Exploring Our Self-Critic

Most of us are familiar with thoughts that tell us we are not good enough.

These thoughts might be there at work: “Your work is not good”, “You’ll never be as good, why do you bother?”, “No one notices you”, “You are not doing enough”.

This inner critic might meet you when you look at the mirror: “You’re fat.” “Horrible hair, there’s no hope”. “You look bad and sloppy”.

It’s even there to critique your closest relationships. “He doesn’t really love you. No one could care about you.” “You’re not a good mother”, “Just don’t be vulnerable.”

There’s always this sense of never being enough. Of falling short at work, as a partner, and worse sometimes as a parent. This leads to feeling insecure with others. and we can feel guilty, resentful, or controlling.

Being kind to ourselves is one of the central components of mindfulness—but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.

If we can calm our inner critic and cultivate self-acceptance, we can rewire our brain for deeper connections.

It all starts with the awareness to pay attention to your thoughts.

Reflect for a moment:

What’s your typical attitude towards yourself especially in those moments when you’re feeling anxious, angry, or off balance?

For many of us, our attitudes are far from friendly. We have deep habits of judging ourselves as lacking, deficient, inadequate, in pretty much everything.
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You can start observing your thoughts towarrds yourself with this simple exercise in your everyday life:
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✨ Notice when you are caught in thoughts of self-judgmet and come back to your senses, using your breath.
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Sometimes our thoughts are relentless voices in our heads.
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By observing them, we realize they are just thoughts…
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We don’t have to believe in them.

 

Take good care of you,

Manuela

 

PS-  If you want to discover how mindfulness can help you to overcome decades of self-judgment book here a free discovery session and let’s talk. And you can also listen here to a short guided meditation to help you start exploring your self-critic.

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Exploring Our Self-Critic

Hi friends!

In this guided meditation we will explore our self-critic.

We will start by bringing awareness to our breath or to the sounds around us, and then evolve to notice our self-critical thoughts.

We can use mindfulness to be aware when we have those self-critical voices and bring a sense of kindness towards ourselves, and this will increase our ability to regulate emotions.

We use mindfulness practice to not judge ourselfs, to not judge ourselfs for being judgmental, and just noticing judging.

And PLEASE don’t forget to bring a kind attitude to yourself for the judging thoughts, if they are present.

Take good care of you,

Manuela

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Self-Acceptance

compassion

How close is the person you are to the person you want to be?

Don’t answer quickly.

I want you to take a deep breath and analyse where you are in your life. Analyse who you are in your life.

Is this easy to answer?

The road for self-acceptance is also a road of discovery.

Self-acceptance isn’t going to happen overnight. It takes extensive work and considerable dedication.

But learning how to love yourself right and treat yourself well can impact the way you live your life and the things you’re able to accomplish.

Here are 9 ways to start your journey to self-acceptance:

✔Practice self-care. Take time to yourself.

✔Connect with yourself: meditate

✔Accept imperfection.

✔Be kind to yourself (how’s your inner critic? Loud?)

✔Do things that feed your soul.

✔ Practice mindfullness. Be here and now.

✔Move your body. Go for a walk.

✔Be grateful for the things you do for yourself.

✔Don’t take things personally.

 

Tell me how close is the person you are to the person you want to be? Do you feel you show up as yourself in life?

Send me a message if you want to share something about this subject 💛

 

Inviting Compassion

meditation podcast compassion

Hi friends! This is a short practice to invite compassion for ourselves.

As human beings we all have moments of difficulty, challenge, or suffering.

Take a moment to acknowledge the difficulties you’ve experienced or are experiencing now in your life and to feel compassion.

Take good care of you!

Manuela

 

Intention

intention, mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness is an intentional practice. The same for meditation.

I know when you look at pictures of people meditating on social media, you see this blissful expression on their faces and a text underneath telling you all about the benefits.

I also do the same. And I get worried that I can mislead people in thinking this is a magical cure for stress and general unhappiness.

These images of happiness or bliss, only attainable by a few, are illusory. In fact, we feel the effects of a mindfulness practice if we do just that: practice.

Practice is part of learning anything new: piano, guitar, a new language, tennis. If you thought you could start out performing at a high level without practicing, you’d likely be disappointed. It takes people hours of intentional practice to reach a point of expertise and high performance. Like the skills listed above, the capacity to be mindful is something that you learn and grow into.

Don’t let the sitting and the silence fool you. These practices are participatory, not passive.

Those interested in mindfulness will often tell me that they want to get into the habit of practicing daily.

For example, when you download a meditation app. The app will remind you when to meditate, but when the reminder pops up on your phone, you will guiltily ignore it. Now, it’s a source of frustration, just one more thing that you fail to accomplish each day. Not quite what you were hoping for.

Other people, as they begin practicing mindfulness, will say things like, “I think I’m doing something wrong.” They don’t feel anything special.

I try to assure them that there is no “right” experience. Whatever you experience is what you experience. That is the point.

Most mindfulness practices are simply about becoming aware and observing the thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations that arise within you, without being overtaken by them.

It’s perfectly normal to feel bored, anxious, or frustrated—you may be tapping into feelings that you experience unconsciously all the time. It may not be entirely pleasant. And it’s in moments like these that people new to these practices might find it too difficult to continue on a daily basis or stop altogether.

How to engage people in the practice of mindfulness always was an interest of mine. I’ve been putting together action plan strategies that have been shown to help people put personal commitments into practice.

Here are two of those strategies:

  1. One way to boost mindfulness practice is to develop a simple, strategic plan of where and when you will practice each day. This is most helpful for those deeply committed to developing a regular mindfulness practice. And that’s why I created a practical workshop “Find Your Time to Meditate”, where I show you in a simple and efficient way how to find YOUR time to practice. Because It is going to be different for everyone, and what works for me, might not work for you. I also teach you how to have fun, how to turn it into something joyful that you look forward to, rather than a chore.
  2. What is your WHY? This is probably one of the most important things to consider when you are developing anything you want to do consistently, especially when establishing a meditation practice. Your why is going to be unique to you, but connecting to this will help you show up, as this is the thing that will get you out of bed each day, that will help you move beyond the excuses and all the reasons that will come into your head not to (and there are always plenty of them), it will help you stay connected to your practice and get you on the chair. To help you with this you can listen to my guided meditation “Intention” here. This will help you to set or remember your motivation for meditation.
  3. Support and Guidance: I’ll be there during your journey,  giving you the tools to develop your practice. Encouraging you to go deeper in your practice and to not ignore discomfort. Opening the door to deeper inquiry and insight. Celebrating the little vitories.
  4. Be Your Own Anchor Facebook Group: A free safe space where I share real life practice (the boring and not so pretty part), and where we get together once a month in an interactive Zoom group meeting for mindfulness and meditation, to share struggles and victories, and practice together.

 

Regardless of how you enter into these practices, it’s important to know that cultivating awareness and higher states of well-being follow from hard, intentional practice and don’t come easy.

This may not be what you want to hear, but by understanding this reality from the beginning and using smart practice strategies, you stand a better chance of sticking with the practice and experiencing the benefits that it can unlock along the way.

Take good care of you,

Manuela

 

PS.- You already tried to begin a mindfulness practice but you somehow give up? Send me an email or book a discovery session. I can help. Let’s talk!

Relaxation Into Sleep

Hi friends!

One of the main requests I have for meditations is a meditation for sleep. Here it is 🙂

This meditation is calming, and it will bring you relaxation. You will have no ending instruction or music.

Take good care of you!

Manuela

PS. – Send me a message and share with me how it made you feel ❤

If you like it subscribe my Podcast and leave a review, I have new short meditations every week to support your mindfulness journey!

And you can read here a mindfulness exercise to help you sleep better.

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Meditation For Sleep

eyes-close-during-meditationIf you’ve ever went to bed worrying about a problem or a long to-do list, you know those racing thoughts may rob you of a good night’s sleep.

Sleep disturbances, like having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, affect millions of people.

The daytime sleepiness that follows can leave you feeling lousy and boicote your productivity, and it may even harm your health.

Mindfulness meditation — a mind-calming practice that focuses on breathing and awareness of the present moment — can help.

Here’s a simple exercise for you to do when you go to bed:
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❇️ Choose a calming focus.
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It can be your your breath, a sound (“Om”), a short prayer, a positive word (such as “calm” or “ease”), or a phrase (“breathing in calm, breathing out tension”; “I am relaxed”). If you choose a sound, repeat it in your mind as you inhale or exhale.
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❇️ Let go and relax.
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Don’t worry about how you’re doing. When you notice your mind has wandered, simply take a deep breath or say to yourself “thinking, thinking” and gently return your attention to your chosen focus.
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Or you can listen to my guided meditation “Relaxation Into Sleep” here or in Insight Timer.

Take good care of you!

Manuela

Breathe to Focus Your Attention

my-ancora-podcast

Hey friends!

This is a breath meditation practice, the first step for you to start focusing your attention. It will allow you to pause and switch from the usual mode of doing to a mode of non-doing. Of simply being. And it leave you in flow state , ready to show up as your best self.

Take good care of you!

Manuela

 

PS. – If you want to know more about how mindfulness meditation can help you to focus your attention and enhance concentration read here this article.

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How Mindfulness Helps You to Focus Your Attention (and enhance concentration)

my-ancora-podcast

By practicing mindfulness you can improve mental focus and increase concentration.

This has been proved by many scientific studies that explain it by the neuroplasticity principle: through mindfulness meditation we create new neuronal pathways in the brain.

“Where your attention goes energy flows” James Redfield

“What you practice goes stronger” Shauna Shapiro

I’m sure you already heard these two powerful quotes.

Here how mindfulness meditation trains your brain to be better at concentrating: each time you notice that your mind wanders off from whatever you’re focusing on, you intentionally bring your attention back to the object of your attention.

Now, attention doesn’t mean that you need to put an enormous amount of effort into achieving focus.

The idea is to make a balanced effort.

The neuroscience of mindfulness suggests lasting change requires a gradual training through time.

Experiment by trying quite hard, not trying hard at all and then find the sweet spot in the middle. Sometimes, you can almost let go of effort altogether and your mind stays focused quite happily, although this may never happen to you.

As always with mindfulness, no rules exist, so experiment and see what works for you.

Here is a  five-minute meditation for improving your focus:

  1. Sit, every day, for five minutes.
  2. Practice just looking ahead and observing what is in front of you. If you are inside and alone observe the objects, the colours, the shape. If you are outside observe the people walking.
  3. Do this daily for a couple of weeks and see what effect it has on the rest of your life.

Here are some other tips for improving your focus:

  1. When at work, help yourself to be focused by turning off your email and, if possible, your phone, even for short periods of time. The lack of distraction boosts your productivity, focus and sense of satisfaction immensely.
  2. The next time you find yourself multi-tasking, stop. Take a deep breath. Multi-tasking reduces productivity and increases stress — avoid it when you can.
  3. Every day, look out for one thing that you find beautiful, such as your child or partner, a flower, a piece of architecture or the sky, and see whether you can watch and be with that beauty for a few minutes, without distraction. Your mind wanders off as usual of course, but just gently and kindly bring your attention back.

If you’re new to meditation, you may think that your attention seems to be getting worse as you practice. This isn’t true — you’re just discovering how easily your mind can get distracted! Persevere even if you feel you aren’t focusing well at all.

Trust in the process 😉

Take good care of you!

Manuela

 

PS – Listen here to a short guided meditation to focus your attention.