Inner Practice #3 An Act Of Kindness Towards Self

Who is your harshest critic?  If you answered yourself, you are mostly likely right.  Your inner dialogue is made up of many voices most of which were recorded when you were a child and now is replayed over and over as your inner critic.  This internal critic serves no positive purpose unless you feel destroying your self-esteem is helpful.  Today's inner practice is for shrinking the inner critic and reducing the never ending judging of self.  Here is the three-step process:
First - take time throughout your day, for the next week, to listen inward to how you talk to yourself.  Pay particular attention to the inner messages you repeat often.  What is the tone of those messages?  How judgmental are you toward yourself?  Do you judge through your thoughts everything you do as either good or bad?  Are you predominately supportive or critical of yourself?  How often do you say supportive and encouraging words in your internal dialogue?  Are you aware of a deeper channel of self-judging and thinking of yourself as no ok?
Second - once you understand the tone and critical nature of your inner dialogue make a commitment to change the interior landscape of how you talk to yourself.  Focus on what you do well.  Be supportive of yourself throughout the day.  Drop any labeling of good or bad and instead ask yourself is what you are doing working for you or not?  Plan out phrases to use: that lift you up; that make you feel positive about yourself; that encourage you to do even better; and that make you feel ok just being who you are.  Inner messages of self-love and encouragement are very powerful for making you feel you deserve a wonderful life.  If you feel great inside, your life will turn out great.
Third - return back to watching your thoughts and inner dialogue, this time however focus on being mindful of the inner critic and the self-judging and just watch it come up in you.  When you become aware of the inner judger you shed light on it, which liberates you from it dominance.  Acknowledge the critic within without judging yourself harshly.  Instead be grateful for the new level of consciousness you now have that is capable of just watching the critic and not letting it affect you anymore.   When you can watch what comes up without judging, you free yourself to be just present to who you are in your daily life.  This will feel very liberating.  Watching impartially is such a gift to you because your loving heart is liberated to be always be compassionate and your spirit is set free to soar to higher levels of realization.  

Remember the inner critic/self-judger is learned and it can be unlearned with focused effort.  Be cautious to not judge your inner critic or the inner critic has just snuck in the back door.  This criticalness of self is the ego-mind replacing the object watcher.   All criticism toward self comes from social/family/educational/religious conditioning and the working of the ego-mind trudging through the past.  Be present and simply observe and the inner critic will shrink away to a distant whisper muted by self-awareness and surrounded by the kindness of self-care.