The July challenge >>>
Be more self-compassionate
This month is about focussing on you! It's a month to figure out what you really need and then give yourself the time and permission to get it.
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The whole point of Revolution Twelve is to think about ourselves and give ourselves a framework for positive personal growth. It can be difficult to acheive that if we have a negative view of ourselves, so this month is an opportunity to meditate on the concept of self-compassion.
Dr Kristin Neff is a Professor of Educational Psychology and is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion. She says this of self-compassion:
"Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?"
Accroding to Neff, individuals who are more self-compassionate tend to have greater happiness, life satisfaction and motivation, better relationships and physical health, and less anxiety and depression. They also have the resilience needed to cope with stressful life events such as divorce, health crises, and academic failure, and even combat trauma.
This month is an opportunity to explore the idea of self-compassion, either within the context of Revolution Twelve, or more generally in your life...
Here are a couple of good videos intrcuding the concept to get you started:
This is a really flexible challenge, so make some time at the start of the month to really think about what you want to get out of it.
Some people use this challenge as an opportunity to take a month off from Revolution Twelve. It can be quite intense doing challenges back to back, so consider this an officially approved rest month if that's what you feel you need. Others have also used this month to redo a previous month's challenge. If there was a month you felt you could have gotten more out of, or that you really loved, or one you missed because life just got in the way, this could be a good opportunity to revisit it.
Alternatively, use it as a chance to commit to some self reflection. A good starting point is just making space in your life to be alone with your thoughts. Make whatever arrangements you need to give yourself time to go for a walk somewhere peaceful or to have an evening at home without distraction. Then use that time to think about areas of your life where you could offer yourself more compassion.
This might be starting with some simple acts of self care, like taking leisurely short walks, getting a massage or nourishing yourself with good food. It might be finding and working with a therapist or coach, or just exploring the concept of self compassion.
Dr Kristin Neff has created this short test as a tool to help get a sense of how self-compassionate you are at the moment, which could be a useful tool to help start exploring the idea.
There is no right or wrong way to do any of the monthly challenges. But more than almost any other month, this one is totally open to your own interpretation. You can get as much or as little out of July as you like. Good luck!