Permission given to share this post by Chris Winson #365daysofcompassion 

Beautiful words from Dr Isabelle Leboeuf 

I am structuring space into my calendar this year is to write a few more blogs for my website with the intention to enjoy writing down my thoughts and share my learning of being more compassionate to myself and others with the hope to bring more compassion into the world we share.

Life can be very dark. Light it with Compassion – Isabelle Leboeuf 

I must admit it’s not something I find easy to do because I can get too caught up in ‘what if’s,’ I will explain more as we go….

Firstly, Chris Winson reminded me last week during our communication online, he had looked back and reflected through his posts and remembered me saying I would write more blogs, he enjoyed reading my first two blogs ( I even won a Chisi blog encouragement award in 2020 ) that was a joy!

Inspired to write, especially from the encouragement received from my friend Chris who shows up with his honest reflections in his posts at #365daysofcompassion. I have an abundance of respect for his massive commitment to the compassion community. 

So here we go……. 

Compassionate voice……… Maggie be brave again! 

In the past I identified a block that would make me resistant to actively sharing my thoughts in a blog because I would dread my self-critic showing up saying things like….

  • What if you publicly mess up, you always make mistakes and people might think you aren’t a ‘professional’ 
  • What if people think you are waffling on and get into repeating yourself which might irritate other readers? 
  • It’s not worth your fear of being publicly humiliated from critical feedback or people disagreeing with you, you will feel so hurt by people’s negative responses or calling you out
  • You don’t know enough any way about what you are trying to say so don’t give your opinion on it and who cares what your opinion is 

The human brain can be so harmful at times especially when experiencing vulnerabilities. However, the human brain can also be so flipping amazing – it can create images in our minds eye, and we can be so creative, adaptable, learning to deepen our awareness of ourselves and others and make sense of our experiences.  

One thing that I am sure of this year is my curiosity to continue developing knowledge, skills and awareness of compassion focused therapy and my desire to share my learning out into the world. I have worked hard over the past two years participating in numerous training workshops, read books, and completed workbooks, attended conferences, group meetings and have been working with my clinical supervisor to put lots of learning into practice within my client work.

Many people have continued to inspire me within the compassion focused therapy community, and I have encouraged others to begin their journeys to in developing CFT and CMT. Feeling part of a community of people who work so compassionately to offer their knowledge, skills, and wisdom in enabling others to alleviate their suffering and enhance their personal and professional development feels a wonderful place for me to be.

So, if I can speak my truth in being vulnerable about my tricky brain at times and you take some comfort from feeling you are not along in fearing shame then know my arms are open, welcoming you in to embracing vulnerability. 

I have now developed the skills to notice the physical shift within my body and identify my threat system has been activated. I often find comfort and ease my suffering by visualising it’s the little girl inside me (my younger self) being triggered, she feels the impact of my thoughts or experiences, and I now know what I can choose to do when I have gone into my threat system.

From my drive system I can choose to stop, pause, and breathe into my suffering knowing it is an awakening, I smile internally at the little girl within me and remind her I am there with her, she isn’t alone, she is safe, and my gentle voice softens as we communicate…. 

“Hey Maggie, have you been listening to our self-critic or critics out there who you know can show up in harmful ways?” 

I know she feels a lot of shame and can be easily triggered. 

 “You know I am here with you, and I am on a new path in this challenging world, choosing compassion for us to get through the difficult experiences we are going through right now. I am your internal friend and nurturing parent so stay with me and I will get us through this day the best way I can!”

Working in this way soothes my nervous system and eases my internal suffering. Reminding myself there are so many wonderful people out there and through their writing, research, and shared practices I can be fuelled with knowledge to keep showing up to notice the different versions of me with the intention to share my learning with anyone who chooses to join me in living a more compassionate life. This is me bringing more light into the world when it can feel so dark at times. 

The last thing to say in this blog is thank you Chris for his encouragement, and from one Chris to another influential Compassionate man Chris Irons. I am sharing this research paper by Jordan Farr, Margo Ononaiye, and Chris Irons, for more depth of research into early shame experiences if you choose to read it. I found it most helpful on a day when I felt more darkness than light.

First published: 23 July 2021

Early shaming experiences and psychological distress: The role of experiential avoidance and self‐compassion – Farr – 2021 – Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice – Wiley Online Library 

Let’s remember it’s not our fault our human brains are so tricky, and life can feel so hard at times, but it is our responsibility as adults to make changes. To find ways to balance our emotional systems to alleviate our own suffering and the best ways we can achieve this is through focusing on with compassion.

*CFT Compassion Focus Therapy*

*CMT Compassion Mind Training* Compassionate Mind 

Chris Winson #365daysofcompassion

Dr Isabelle Leboeuf 

Chris Irons  Dr Chris Irons – Balanced Minds

Maggie Murray

Maggie Murray

I’m a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Reg MBACP (Accred). I work from a pluralistic perspective rather than humanistic perspective as I am identifying with that terminology after further training.