gateway to authentic self

Last Friday, 17.2.2023, I had an opportunity to talk about Self compassion, emotional resilience and decision making in collaborations as part of the AEIOU breakthrough female leaders.

I have described self – compassion as a gateway to more authentic me. It is linked to our ability to hold ourselves when the feelings of pain, shame, guilt, self-judgement come up. It enables us to see more of who we are with self honesty.


According to the research that dr. Kirstin Neff did there are three components of self compassion:

       Self kindness – connected to the deep feeling of Care, so we are able to hold ourselves in whatever feeling is coming up, recognizing harsh words and judgements toward self and asking ourselves Is this kind? Is this loving to myself? Would I actually say this to someone I love and care for?

       Common humanity – realizing it’s not just you feeling i.e. envy and judging it. Being able to take an emotion that we label with judgement and take It

       Opening up to broader perspective: What else could be the reason?, What else could this mean?


Tending from this energy to our own feelings, naming them, is process of holding ourselves with gentleness. This energy is gentle, tender.

However, as the title of a book Fierce self compassion indicates, there is another facet of self compassion. Fierce self compassion. This is linked to action and assertiveness. To step from the victim to taking charge. This energy is very close to anger. Kirstin Neff mentions constructive anger. To be able to handle that facet of compassion appropriately is still a process of learning and exploring for me. I have witnessed destructive anger inside and outside of myself and now learning more and more to use this energy from the place of a firm “no”, from the center of knowing myself and honoring what my emotions are saying and what my feelings are, what my values are and what is important for me.


In Radical acceptance book Tara Brach connects self-compassion and mindfulness that brings in clarity, both together she writes results into self-healing.

I find clarity a tricky one as we can get lost in our own stories, that are still trying to protect the wound in the best possible way. Sometimes talking with trained practitioner about the experience after we held ourselves and recognized the feelings, can bring us closer to the truth and clarity. So with applied self compassion and dialogue with other, the healing can take place. Healing, that brings us a bit closer to Freedom.

Here is my favorite part from Fierce self-compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive, by Kirstin Neff, PhD:

“When we embrace our pain with kindness, we feel loving,

when we remember our common humanity, we feel connected,

when we’re mindful of our pain, we are present. “

If our intention is to live this life with an open heart,  present with what is, then self compassion is an integral part of our journey.


Getting real

Getting real

by Susan Campbell, PhD.

This book is a must read for topics of being true to yourself, congruency, authenticity.

It offers the language for the journey back to self as well as better understanding of what we experience when we decide to recommit to ourselves and being real, congruent.

Getting real requires peeling off the layers of seeking approval, safety or trust to feel safe enough, trusting enough for the essence to come through more.

When the essence is able to flow more through you as appropriate, one becomes more at peace with who you are.

This journey is accompanied  with noticing where we are controlling out of fear and protecting ourselves. It requires the willingness to stay with uncomfortable feelings to get to a place of real intimacy. It requires the courage to find your own expression.


Here are some of my favorite parts from Getting real:

It is part of the human journey to start out whole, then to continually cut off parts of ourselves in response to real or imagined pain, and to spend the rest of our lives searching for what we have cut off, buried, and forgotten about.

When you know how to notice and stay with an uncomfortable experience, you have true freedom. You are not compelled by your conditioning to need things to be a certain way for you to feel okay.

When asserting your desires, you′re going to bump up against the other person′s boundaries. You might even push some buttons along the way. By bumping against her with your request, you′re ″calling her out,″ you′re asking her to be more than her limited view of herself. Or you may be giving her practice holding her ground. Either way, it′s not going to do her any real harm