I’ve been getting to know my kid-self lately as part of my training for the Positive Intelligence (PQ) program. According to Shirzad Chamine, who wrote Positive Intelligence, we’re really hard on ourselves as adults and struggle to feel the same empathy/compassion for other people. He contends this lack of empathy and self-compassion is what gets in the way of us showing up fully at work and in our home lives.
I’m all in. I want to remove the barriers that keep me from living an authentic life, and I want that for my clients too! In the PQ program, we’re walked through a contemplation where we look deeply into our inner child’s eyes to experience the
essence of our being without judgment. This picture of me at 4-5 years old was taken by a photographer hired by my gramma back in the ’70s. Look at the joy on this face! Can you see the sweet soul inside? I can. That’s me!
The next step to begin to feel empathy for ourselves is to feel it when looking at the picture. Really feel it in our body….the idea is that if you get used to feeling it for yourself, even if it’s a child version of yourself, you’re more likely to be able to feel empathy for your adult self.
I now have a few different pictures of myself above my desk at home. Whenever I’m struggling, I look up there and see my smiling soul smile back at me. She’s still in there, and when we lock eyes, I’m immediately reminded that feeling empathy and self-compassion for myself is the way to feel better.
So, in my opinion, I’m with Shirzad-this is the best way to “do” empathy!