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Connection and care

deepening our relationship to ourselves and others

As humans we often have a tendency to put ourselves down or not feel good enough in some way. This can arise in every domain of our life and can become a pervasive form of our stress and suffering. Mindfulness adds perspective to our lives and helps us to see things as they truly are. We become more aware of our judgments, self-criticism or cynicism and the pain they cause ourselves.


With a kinder and more caring connection to ourselves we allow ourselves to be touched by the challenges we experience and recognise our needs. We learn to step away from blaming ourselves, self-criticism and feelings of shame, and relate to ourselves with a sense of warmth and concern. We cultivate our capacity to take care of ourselves.

Ultimately , happiness comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them.


Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

When we relate to ourselves with more kindness and compassion we also become better at reading others and developing empathy and understanding for everything that they go through. We realise that challenges, stress and suffering are things we all encounter sometimes – something which we all share and which connects us.

Compassion is not to be confused with pity. Pity is something that separates, pity feels sorry for ‘that poor person over there’, as if they were somehow different from us.

Compassion acknowledges that ‘me, too, I’m part of the human condition of stress, dis-ease and suffering and am sharing in that with you’. Realising this connection, helps us to relate to others with more openness and empathy and brings more lightness, honesty and ease to our relationships.

When we feel compassion we connect to an altruistic behaviour which in turn relieves our own stress through increasing oxytocin levels.

Gather yourselves: critical and kind, scared and brave, thoughtless and hurt.
Mistakes and failures meet accomplishments.
Like loss and love, they are a package.
Embrace it all. Such a coming together is what we came for.


A Love Story, Jeanie Greensfelder