Lately, I’ve been spending time contemplating what it means to be safe. My answers change all the time: a home for my family, a reliable income, a mask, a vaccine. For women, safety sometimes requires silence or lack of eye contact. Safety can mean freedom from oppression. Sometimes safety, not just for yourself, but for the people around you—your family, your coworkers—requires deep knowledge of your purpose and your boundaries, and fierce honesty in the face of your worst habits.
But safety can also be found in the center of our being. In the spaciousness of our inner knowing. That spaciousness is available to all of us—it’s part of our birthright as human beings. It’s also easily obscured by clouds of doubt, fear, self-judgment, and cultural conditioning. We can fool ourselves into thinking that peace and safety aren’t meant for us. Especially if, like me, you have a hard time with self-compassion.
Be Kind to Yourself
If there’s one thing most of our Mindful contributors can agree on, it’s this: To love your life, you need to love yourself. That can be a tall order for some of us. Which is why, for this August issue, we’ve gathered a host of voices to remind you to include yourself in your circle of care”
- Writer Heather Shayne Blakeslee shares what experts say about how to love your body as it is—reminding us that our bodies are a process, not a product.
- Longtime Mindful contributor Elaine Smookler offers valuable insight into how to be your own best friend, even when you’re exhausted or feeling unseen or unappreciated. Compassion researcher
- Dr. Kristin Neff explores how we can show up for ourselves with the same fierce energy we use to care for others.
- And 10 powerful women of the mindfulness movement share the insights they’ve gained through years of practice.
There are so many ways this world tries to separate us from our knowing—and sometimes the biggest culprit is our own fearful voice. But with a little self-compassion, perhaps we can awaken to each moment, safe and strong, and open to the wisdom in our hearts.