Imagine if you talked to yourself, this way, when you were having a hard time.
I remember doing this for myself many times. Say you’re not feeling well. You put yourself to bed. You struggle up the stairs. You make tea for yourself. You reach out to friends and community to bring you soup. This is Maitri.
Maitri, or metta, is simply being kind to ourselves. But kindness is not “idiot compassion” (read about this Buddhist concept, via Chogyam Trungpa, on elephantjournal.com or elsewhere). Kindness has to be coupled with honesty with ourselves. Right? Not just one or the other.
An IG friend just asked me about her feelings of hurt, of being left out, of sadness, of loneliness. I have all these feelings, too. And I’ve shared about them here many times. Too many times, sorry!
“The key, as you know deep down, is that ALL OF US feel left out or behind in certain areas, some times. I would really encourage you to invest in maitri practice–we have a course on it, Pema Chodron’s books are so good, meditation twice daily is vital, group meditation is vital.
All your feelings are valid, honestly, but cycling through them again and again as WE ALL DO is too hard on you, not kind to yourself.
So for me, meditation and maitri are foundations for self-honesty and kindness, both. I can send you Pema books I recommend, can’t remember if you’ve read her. And the Maitri course link, or you can do Elephant Academy live this Spring with me and others.
And, then, exercise, community, good real food, taking space in nature, being kind to yourself, doing things you love, making friends with loneliness–all of this is important if you do want to feel better.”
If you’d like to practice Maitri, and writing our stories and our hearts out (whether or not we share them publicly) this Summer.
You can sample our best-selling Find your Voice course, free, before taking the leap.
May it be of benefit!
For more: Maitri.
For more: our Maitri course.
For more: 5 Ways out of Everyday Depression.