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  • Writer's pictureDr T

The Essence of Self-Compassion

Giving Yourself Permission to Do What Feels Good & Right

Day 5 – July 13, 2021 - Self-Care & Self-Compassion

I’m walking back from the beach and thinking of the way the day began in self-compassion. It was less difficult to get up this morning. I didn’t feel the need to hit the snooze 15 times, just once. I woke up with an ease deep inside, I didn’t need to talk myself into rising. I didn’t have to boss myself; I started my day in peace.

"Take Care" - Day 5, 7.13.21

All of this is because I woke with the knowledge that I got to do something good today. I was “allowed” to enjoy myself!

I got to walk to the beach, stroll along the water’s edge, and search for beach glass. I also knew there would be artmaking and writing. Somehow, the combination of the three things is feeding me in ways I didn’t imagine. Hmmm, physical activity, nature, creativity… OK, there is something powerful here, not sure what… but it’ll come - probably a few days down the road, and likely when I’m in the shower!


My sense of self-compassion grew when less than half a block from the house I ran into a dog friend with his two pups, one of whose names is Phoebe. She’s a tiny little white thing, wispy and sweet. I helped to save her one time when she got in a fight with a ginormous dog and managed to ditch her collar. She ran off at the speed of light with a trail of people chasing after her. Luckily, she ran toward home and was intercepted by her friendly neighbors and their dogs.

Anyway, I was able to talk to my neighbor and pet his pups because I left my girl at home to do a power walk. He knew exactly what I meant when I said it was hard to walk for exercise when Lila is with me. His face lit up with a broad smile and he told me how guilty he feels when he takes a chunk of time to just go sit somewhere and read a book.

“You deserve the walk – you are doing the right thing,” he told me, looking earnestly into my eyes. Sawubona!

Sawubona is an old South African way of being, living, and honoring who we are in relation to others. It acknowledges the oneness of all peoples and that each of us lives because we ALL live. Imagine a world where we all practiced Sawubona…

When he looked at me it was as if I was really being seen, which allowed me to see him back. In that moment there was a heady presence of community, connection, and self-compassion! He gave me this wonderful gift of understanding how I felt, and permission to enjoy what I was about to do without worrying or guilt.

What I see now is that I also gave him a gift; later in the day or the next, he wouldn’t need to sneak off guiltily for a quiet read. He would remember our conversation and maybe decide he didn’t need to “sneak,” because he no longer felt the guilt.

I walked on toward the beach, but my pace rapidly quickened, and I literally felt like I was flying. This scared my inner turtle a bit!

The turtle in me is dominant, but not alone… I am so much more…

I’m Gemini – the twins – so what’s the other part of me? A bird? A beagle? a zebra? A new mission – I must find my other spirit animal. Just so we’re clear, I’m not big into astrology, but over the past several years it’s become very clear that I have a dual nature, so this part of my astrological forecast happens to fit.

It felt so good to breeze through my walk, and work up a sweat. It’s dreary today, but it feels soooo good - damp, cool, cloudy – a real treat in July in Chicago! Just great! I don’t need a sunny day to feel great (hmmm what do I need to feel great… that could be a whole article in itself – or even a book!)

When I got to the beach everything I spied, and crouched to pick up, was small, beautiful, precious shades of white, green, and blue. I found blue beach glass today! It’s pretty rare, and I’ve found it two days in a row; I see that as a sign from the universe that I am on the right path.

As I walked, I felt the drive to do nature’s art today – a labyrinth or a landscape, maybe a tree. Self-compassion – mindfulness - seeing the beauty in regular everyday things – this also resonates with the feelings of Sawubona and community.

“I see you nature,” and I say to you “Sawubona!” I am me because you are you. We are because together we are one!



All of this was “written” via voice recorder on my cell phone. I started recording as I walked because I knew what I wanted to write and didn’t want to lose my train of thought. But I was so inspired by my thoughts I lost track of how far I had walked and where I was!


“Gotta turn you off now and detour to the studio!”


Permission Granted:

Do things that feel good and right, and please don’t feel guilty about it.

Until tomorrow... For Your Consideration...

What self-care or self-compassion do you deny yourself? How does this denial affect you?


Do you want to create your own 30-Day Project?

Is it time to LEAP?

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