How do you make practicing self-compassion as easy and accessible as possible? With the help of Time Surfing. I would describe this concept created by Paul Loomans as applied mindfulness for modern humans. It includes simple, but very helpful advice for using your intuition to navigate over the waves of time. Time Surfing can help integrate self-compassion into your daily life in several ways, and in this blog post I share the 3 most important tips.
Tip #1: Be aware & accept
First, Loomans advises marking the beginning of a task and fully accepting it while you are engaged in it. Even, and especially, if it's something you don't feel like doing at all – let’s say, cleaning hair out of the shower drain. Stating aloud or mentally what you are going to do ("I am going to do the dishes now"), can help you to surrender yourself to the task. By marking your tasks this way, you train your acceptance muscle. This also makes it easier to surrender to other experiences in your inner and outer world.
Tip #2 - Breathers
Tip #1 almost automatically brings us to tip #2 and that is: breathers. Mental breaks during which you let your mind wander and make no mental effort whatsoever. A few minutes in between every task usually is enough. This blank space sandwiched by work and other daily chores helps with task switching, but also gives your inner compass room to make itself heard.
The benefits of breathers
These breathers within your day act as a kind of magnet for inspiration and insights emerging from your authentic self. Because, when your mind is allowed to relax for a moment, the things that are genuinely right for you can more easily move to the forefront of your consciousness.
And should something challenging come up during the breather, this is the perfect time to put your self-compassion exercises into action. Bear in mind: the goal is to practice, to make the dedicated choice. You don't have to suddenly become a Zen master with an inner world that looks like that stack of pebbles in front of the ocean you see when you ask a stock photo website for a ‘peaceful’ image. You get the benefits of breathers and self-compassion out of the practice itself, regardless of its effect on the calmness of your mind.
Tip #3 - Dealing with ‘’drop-ins’’
It's all fine and dandy to always be mindful, but there is also a thing called life that occasionally tends to happen. A phone call, an email, the doorbell, a colleague or loved one who needs you, etc. Something always comes up and what do you do then? Then you give the "drop-in" your full attention. That, as contradictory as it may feel, is the way to stay in flow or to easily return to it. When you devote half your attention to the drop-in, while with the other half you’re frantically trying to hold on to that one sentence or image or insight that just popped up, you are much more likely to lose it. In fact, all forms of clinginess cause you to disconnect from what is, and you need to be present with what is in order to enter a state of flow.
Let Time Surfing and self-compassion work FOR you
Time Surfing, like self-compassion, is not meant to become your next to-do; it is meant as an invitation to support yourself in making your life more easeful and joyful. Try to approach it that way, and be gentle with yourself.
P.S. Here you'll find Paul Loomans' book, if you want to dive a little deeper into the concept of Time Surfing.