This is a really useful and informative workbook that is most definitely needed now. Often we are asked to be compassionate to others and towards other things but how often are we compassionate towards ourselves.
In the modern age we are living in we have numerous external and internal factors that mean we are less than kind towards ourselves and subsequently to other people around us.
Compassion starts with ourselves and learning to be so is a skill to do. This is a guide to helping you be more compassionate to yourself and is an easy read and is set out in a way that makes it achievable and not some distant out of reach goal.
The first part of the book looks at being caring towards ourselves which is broken down into self-kindness, appreciating ourselves, cultural influences, looking after the basics, and facing challenges. Next, it looks at connecting with others and how we are interconnected and have similar human experiences. As it says in this section, ‘We all experience the wonder and amazement of life as well as the sorrows and fears’. It then ends in this section on being mindful in the moment which highlights areas such as noticing without judgement, recognising our feelings, and cultivating the mindfulness habit.
The rest of this book is a weekly reflective journal which has some nice quotes and descriptions and then weekly tasks to write down which has a number of questions to ask yourself to reflect on your journey of discovering compassion.
It also has mindful colouring pages to do as you go along and you do get a sense of being encouraged as you go along the journey. Many of the quotes come from people we all know and some less so, they include Mother Teresa, Leonard Cohen, Dalai Lama, and Ram Dass.
At the end of the journal are some meditations to try out which give you a chance to practice breathing and meditations.
This is a self-discovery book that I am sure many will gain something from even just to be more accepting of self and compassionate to ourselves and those around us.
Carl Dutton is a psychodrama psychotherapist working in the NHS in FRESH CAMHS at Alderhey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.