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Oh, fellow empathic souls! These are painful times for our hearts.

There is so much going on in our world lately. When it comes to racism, I know I still have a ton to learn. My focus for the last few years has been to figure out what I can do in myself, my community, my work, and my family to, albeit very imperfectly, advocate for and listen to those without white privilege.

The work is slow-going sometimes and real, deep, progress takes time. I’ve made mistakes and I know I’ll continue to mess up every step of the way. True change is very messy.

I notice that my mind has a lot of stories about how I should be doing more, faster, better at this work. I hate when personal crises slow me down.

And, sure, that’s always true. There’s always more to do. More to learn. More to face and become aware of.

And, I also know that anything I do that involves discomfort or fear requires lots of self-compassion. Self-compassion makes me show up and do better. Self-criticism keeps me frozen in inaction.

The best thing about self-compassion is that when we use it, we can face discomfort and places where we need to do better without collapsing into shame. Shame can prevent us from really listening to others, seeing where we need to change, and doing the work of learning how to listen without defensiveness.

I know I need to make changes and do a better job when it comes to anti-racist work in myself and my business. If I can compassionately take myself to task, then I can make progress in this work. I can befriend the discomfort.

If you happen to be criticizing yourself today (whatever the topic), I gently encourage you to stop for a moment and remind yourself that it’s ok to be compassionate with yourself. Compassion will help you move forward; being hard on yourself often prevents forward movement.

Not sure how to shift that self-critic voice to something kinder? I get it. Sometimes it’s really hard.

Together, we can make it easier to stop being super hard on ourselves. It’s a team effort! Together, we can do the work it takes to create real and lasting change.