The Gentle Art of Self-Kindness is all about giving ourselves permission to have uncomfortable feelings so we can heal ourselves from them. It is the process of giving up the fight without giving up hope and love.
You could call this acceptance. You could call this surrender.
But you don’t have to. The words, the name, are not the point. Some words rub me the wrong way — acceptance and surrender are probably at the top of this list — so I came up with something else so I could finally stop fighting myself.
It is counter-intuitive but I believe that as soon as you let yourself really feel what is true for you, you are on your way up and out.
It means meeting yourself where you are.
It means allowing yourself to hate where you are.
It means allowing yourself to hate yourself while hoping to love yourself someday, as scary and impossible as this may sound.
It means being imperfect. Being content with being Very Good Enough, and sometimes no good at all.
Permission-Based Healing is about bringing ease to what is when what is hurts.
It’s about learning from pain. And more than anything else: it’s about learning how to be kind to yourself when you are in pain. Because pain is too much of a normal feature of the human experience, we might as well learn how to feel safe even while we are in pain.
Permission-Based Healing means becoming a peaceful warrior, who is less like a solider and more like a scientist, a student, a detective. It’s about laying down weapons and picking up the shield and turning on the force-field. It’s about moving away from the battlefield and into the LOVEratory.
It means no bombs, no guns, and keeping sharp edges to a minimum.
Swings are important, and playgrounds, and sand. And being a body of water — tears, sweat, milk, and all — and trusting that you will float back to shore when you stop swimming upstream.
It means soft blankets, and tea, and foot massage. Even if you need to be the one massaging your own feet.
And chocolate, of course. And ice cream. And snow cones. And napkins. And tissues. Endless boxes of tissues. And coping skills that are served out of a kooky jar, with permission to drop crumbs, of course.
Permission-Based Healing is scary. It goes against everything in our culture.
We fear that if we stop fighting, our demons will win. We fear that if we stop running we are doomed. It is my experience that as long as I believe this, only the monsters are winning. In this path to wholeness, the road to being your best self is through allowing your weak self to exist, allowing her to shake in her boots, and instead of judging her and hiding her in the closet, lending her a hand. Permission-Based Healing is terrifying, and absolutely worth it.
Teaching Self-Kindness and Permission-Based Healing is my life’s work.
It’s how I make sense of my mother’s suicide, the miracle of my second mom, the love I get from my dad and my husband and my children and my community. It’s how I bring myself to talk about my own suicide attempt, despite the fact that every time I mention it I kinda wanna barf. It’s how I’ve managed to avoid barfing so far (you can read about it here). These are the guiding principles behind the nourishing group culture at the Mama’s Comfort Camp, and it;s the main subject of my teachings, in the classes and kits I’m creating, and in my one-on-one coaching with clients.
Permission-Based Healing is the most subversive, most effective, most basic skill for happiness.
It is why I am here. On this blog. In this world. Without it, I’d be dead. Seriously.
Permission-Based Healing means trust, and hope, and fear. And back.
It’s how I try my best to raise my kids. When I practice Permission-Based Healing, everybody around me, especially my family, thrives.