When Love comes to call,

Great things happen.

It has been proved over, and over again in scientific studies…

The sort of thing that I just love.

It started with a paper by Kristin D. Neff of the University of Texas in 2003.

In her studies, she discovered the three indispensable components of self-compassion;

Kindness towards yourself in difficult times

Paying attention to your own suffering in a non-obsessive way

Common humanity (you are not the only one)

From 2003 on the idea of self-compassion has been gaining momentum.

It is easy to say, you should be gentle with yourself, and love yourself no matter what.

You should treat yourself with the same kindness you would bestow on a child or a friend.

But the practical reality is most of us have deeply grooved automatic responses that are the polar-opposite.

When we see a flaw in ourselves

We lash out with criticism and scorn.

What I am going to suggest is a method to overcome such personal abuse.

It’s called a Thought Ladder, and I learned it from my colleague

Kara Loewentheil.

It goes like this: When you have a negative thought in response to something

The first step is to

Notice it.

For example, you’ve just stepped on the scale and noticed you have gained a pound and you think,

“What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get my shit together?”

The second step is

once you have found your sentence,

Add “I notice I keep thinking” to the front of it.

That creates some space, and distance from the hurtful sentence.

“I notice I keep thinking, what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get my shit together?”

Once you have created space it is time for step number three

 Add an opening statement

Such as:

“Someday I may believe that (enter a new positive statement here)”

Or “I am open to believing (enter positive statement)”

Fourth step

Neutral Statement

“I have a body”

Or anything that is factual and does not have an emotional charge.

Fifth step

Goal Thought

“I love my beautiful, resilient body”

Or whatever your particular goal thought is.

And here’s the trippy thing, if you pace yourself, and you get to the space of truly accepting and loving yourself just the way you are,

Magic starts to happen.

You will be open to ideas that were previously locked out of your sight.

You will be able to let the pounds be released from your body

As you no longer will need them to prove to yourself

All your old poisonous thoughts.

And it works for anything that you struggle with.

It just takes some reflection to start to notice where you are mean to yourself.

So, I challenge you,

Find a thought that no longer serves you.

Put it on the Thought Ladder.

Take all the time you need.

A new habit takes approximately 66 days to acquire.

(see previous blog post).

And watch magic happen for yourself.