Today is the day that my very first book is out in the world for you to get. I could just die of excitement. So, for those of you who don’t know, I spent a large part of 2020 writing my first book. It is called the Self-Compassion Workbook For OCD: Lean into Your Fear, Manage Difficult Emotions and Focus on Recovery. I could cry. I am so excited that it is finally here. It was such a huge project in my life. Now I’m just thrilled to share it with you guys.
Now, what does that mean for you? You can go and purchase the book wherever you buy books. You may order it on Amazon if you don’t have a bookstore near you. But in addition to getting the book, which is literally like, ah, I put my whole soul into this project – what you can do in addition to that is this month, for the month of October, we are going to do a self-compassion challenge.
Now, before you turn the stereo or your iPhone or your iPod off, stay with me because I really strongly believe that this challenge could change your life, whether you have OCD or not. I really want to focus this month on improving your relationship with yourself, improving your relationship with self-compassion, working through the roadblocks that you have. I’m going to be doing a lot of live instruction on Instagram and hopefully on Facebook as well, depending on technology. But if you don’t follow me on Instagram, head over there, if you’re not signed up for the newsletter, head over there, because my goal is to really nurture you through this process and get you having a self-compassion practice that is rich and fulfilling and healing. So, so, so important.
Today, we’re going to kick it off right away. We’re going to talk about the first main point I want you to do. Before we do that, let’s do a couple of important pieces.
So first thing, we’re going to do the “I did a hard thing” segment. This one is from Elle and she has said:
“I sat outside in 92-degree weather to eat my croissant. Even though being in overly hot places makes me anxious, I just wanted to be outside.”
Thank you so much, Elle, for that submission. Really what I hear you saying is you were willing to tolerate heat, which is often a really big trigger for people with anxiety, but you did it because it’s what your soul was asking for, which is a huge piece of what today’s podcast is all about.
Now we’ll move on to the review of the week. This is from Cynthia. She said:
“I’m so excited to share these podcasts with my clients. I was first introduced to Kimberley’s clear and compassionate teaching style when I took ERP School for therapists, which is the CEU course. In the past three weeks since taking the course, I recommended both the course and podcast to my clients. So helpful. Thank you, Kimberley.”
Yay, I’m so happy to hear that, Cynthia. All I have to say, it’s all coming together. I feel like years of hard work of the podcast and courses and the book, and I feel like so many people are getting on board and they’re starting to face their fears and they’re learning these skills and it makes me so overjoyed. So, thank you so much, Cynthia. Thank you, Elle. I’m just feeling such gratitude right now.
Okay. Here we go. We are on Day 1 of the 30-day challenge to self-compassion. Now, I know I’ve done a lot of work on self-compassion before in the podcast. You can go back and listen. I’ve interviewed the most impressive people on self-compassion. You can go back and listen to those episodes. But for today, I want to go straight to the most important piece. We’ll work through some other things later through the month and some roadblocks, but here is the main tool for this week. Are you ready?
I want you to take a couple of breaths. I want you to check in with yourself. You can do this in the form of meditation. If you’re driving, please keep your eyes open on the road. But if not, you may close your eyes and check in with yourself.
Where is the discomfort and the pain in your body? Where is the suffering in your body? Is it in your chest? Is it in your shoulders? Is it in your head? Is it in your heart? Is it in your stomach? Is it in your fingertips? Is it in your legs? Where is the suffering? It could be all over your body, and that’s okay. But just check in on where it’s at.
And then I want you to ask yourself this one question: What do I need right now?
I don’t want you to argue with yourself. I just want you to honor what first comes up. What do I need right now?
Sometimes our instincts are to say, “I want this pain to go away.” But a huge part of self-compassion is honoring what’s really happening. It’s really this truth-telling practice where you have to accept, okay, that’s not an option right now. Otherwise, you would’ve done it, right? You would’ve done the thing to remove the discomfort. If there’s an itch, you probably would’ve scratched it by now.
Often the pains that we feel, the ones that cause us the most suffering are the ones that we can’t simply get rid of the anxiety. We feel the depression, we feel the headaches we have, the stomach aches we experience, the grief, the loss, the anger. All the things, right?
So instead of bargaining with whether it should be there or not, I just want you to radically accept that it’s there and ask yourself: What do I need right now? And often what you need is kindness. Some tenderness around the suffering.
And that might be the thing that you come up with. Before I segue to the next step, it might be to take a deep breath. It might be to slow down. It might be to rest. We’re going to be talking about that throughout the month. It might be to actually give yourself some time to fill up your cup. It might be to set a boundary with somebody. It might be to say NO to something, as long as it’s not something that you’ve previously been doing as a compulsion. We don’t want to use self-compassion as permission just to do more compulsions, but really check in on what do you need right now.
And then, this is the next main piece of the homework for today, what do I need to hear right now? What do I need to hear? What would I love to be told? What would nourish me? If a warm kind loving friend came in the door right now, what would they say to me? What do I need to hear?
Your homework for this week is to say the thing you need to hear, all the time. It might be, “I’m here for you.” It might be, “It makes complete sense that you’re feeling this way.” It might be, “I have your back.” It might be, “I see your pain.” It might be, “Your pain is important.” It might be, “You are enough.” For me, I will tell you the thing I have really had to listen to.
I actually just had a conversation with a dear friend who’s a therapist. I put my hand on my chest and I say, “Dear sweet one, just be with your body and trust that it will hold you and carry you through this moment.”
You’ll hear that some of the statements I’m using, they’re not saying, “We’re going to make everything okay.” They’re saying, “I’ve got you. I’m going to be there for you. Your pain matters. It’s important. It’s valid. There’s nothing wrong with you.” That’s the message I want you to encompass and embrace.
But it’s going to be different depending on the moment. So what I’m going to say here is the advice that I need right now in this moment of suffering is going to be different in an hour. The advice I give myself in an hour, that compassionate check in is going to be different to what I need tomorrow.
And so your homework is ideally, get yourself a journal or a notepad or a Google doc form or notes in your phone, and I want you to do a check in every day, at least once, and write down: What do I need to hear right now? And put in what you need to hear right now. Because what you’ll do is you’ll gather a list of things that you can rely on, sayings and statements you can rely on, at times where you’re so anxious and you can’t even access your compassion itself, or you’re just needing some guidance. These small statements can be a monumental part of your recovery, particularly when you’re totally frazzled and panicked, and you’ve lost all ability to see the rationale. So that’s what I want you to practice.
Your compassion practice, again, isn’t an attempt to remove your discomfort, but to tend to it, to lean into it, to practice being your strongest supporter through your discomfort. I want you to strengthen that voice. It might be very, very, very, very, very shy. It might be very, very timid. It might be very insecure at this time. But with practice, this is a skill that you can learn so that voice in you sounds more like a mama bear, a strong mama bear than it does a timid, uncertain person.
That’s your homework. I want you to check in, I want you to get yourself a journal and I want you to start to document this stuff. Dabble with it. See what works, what doesn’t.
Some of the things that I’ve shared today might help, and some of it might not feel right to you, and that’s totally okay. It’s different for every person. That’s why we ask the question: What do “I” need? Not “What does Kimberly need? What does the neighbor need?” but “What do I need?” Because I matter, and you matter. So, so important.
So, that’s it. That’s your homework. I want you to practice it. Come on back as much as you can to the newsletter, Instagram, social media. I’m going to be doing as much as I can, really trying to double down on people’s self-compassion practice.
You don’t have to have OCD to be a part of this. I’m doing it in celebration of the book. Now that I have it in my hands, you could see me right now, imagine me holding it, like gripping it, like so excited. Now that I have it in my hands, I feel like a light shone on these important practices and I just want you to take them on and have them in your life.
So, there you have it. I’ll meet you back here next week and we will double down on the next piece. And the next piece is my absolute favorite topic, the favorite part of the chapter in the entire book. So I can’t wait to share that with you. Okay?
All right, team. Go and be kind. Check in, strengthen that voice inside you. And I will see you next week for another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit.
All my love. Don’t forget. You know what I’m going to say? It’s a beautiful day to do hard things. I don’t ever want you to forget that.
Have a wonderful day, everybody.