Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens – Carl Jung

Self-Compassion & Self-Awareness

As we begin this journey together, I want to start with a few building blocks that will provide you with an easier go at approaching self care. Throughout the research, self-awareness and self-compassion have been found to be essential ingredients in a healthy and well-balanced approach towards self care.


What is Self-Awareness?


Each and every one of us has vulnerabilities, suffering, failures, and inadequacies. In addition, we live within a society that creates opportunities for incredible stress. Awareness of one’s internal landscape, one’s own vulnerabilities, and one’s stress response are essential for wellbeing and assists one in the understanding of who, what, where, when, and how to utilize self care.

Self-awareness aids one in the understanding that when a certain moment or experience triggers a vulnerability or stress response, we have the choice to ‘go down with the ship’ or turn to self care.


How Can One Become More Self-Aware?


One of the easiest ways to become more self-aware is with the use of journaling. Writing down of one’s thoughts, one’s inner monologue, and one’s daily stressors and concerns not only creates a space to ‘let go,’ but releases the day with paper and pen. Journaling can give one insight into the patterns that increase personal vulnerabilities and daily stressors. 


What is Self-Compassion?


In the simplest terms, self-compassion is being kind to oneself. Research has found incredibly positive results with self-compassion:

  • Increased overall personal health and wellbeing
  • Enhanced social connection and life satisfaction 
  • Strengthened curiosity, optimism, happiness, and wisdom

The critical and judgmental mind can be quite powerful and our society only reinforces it. However, with the use of self-compassion we diffuse this energy by being gentle with oneself.

Self-compassion can include:

  • Making time for self
  • Creating healthy boundaries
  • Extending compassion to others 

Self-compassion has the potential of transforming not only one’s inner landscape, but also all of one’s outer life as well. Incorporating self-compassion into your day-to-day life will not only help in those moments of increased vulnerability and stress, but with time will become a habit.


How Self-compassionate Are You?


This question is not one of judgment, but self-reflective in nature. I have provided you with a link to a simple quiz on self-compassion:



This exercise was developed by Dr. Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field of psychology and self-compassion. This will help provide insight into personal self-awareness and self-compassion.

I will continually remind you of this along the way, but please be kind to yourself on this new adventure in self care.


Photos and artwork by Sean Kelley.