Hello Gold Star Revolution Squad! I am borrowing the idea for this Tuesday's post from Dr. Rick Hanson.
I am a HUGE fan of Rick Hanson, and I strongly encourage you to check out his books, website, podcast, classes, etc. His book Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom has made a huge impact on my life!
I am also eager to read his latest book, Neurodharma: New Science, Ancient Wisdom, and Seven Practices of the Highest Happiness, which just came out in 2020.
As you might imagine, I am on Rick Hanson's email list. Several months ago, one of his newsletters was dedicated to helping readers develop a strong sense of being included and loved. Although I received the email some time ago, I just got around to reading it recently.
As someone who has struggled with feelings of being an outsider and with loneliness for much of her life, I was psyched to read this newsletter! If we feel loved and included in other people's lives, it gives us a incredibly strong foundation to build on. These feelings of love and inclusion make it so much easier to appreciate ourselves and others on a regular basis.
Dr. Hanson provided several tips in that newsletter on how to increase our feelings of being loved and included, but the one that really tickled my fancy was the idea of creating a "caring committee" inside of yourself.
In that newsletter, Dr. Hanson mentioned something that many of us already know – that lots of people are focused on their inner critic. Some of us are so focused on our inner critics that we may have given our critic a name or a detailed persona. (I have not named my inner critic, but I do know people who have.)
Dr. Hanson then pointed out that, in contrast, we rarely develop an inner persona to help balance out the inner critic, to assist us with nurturing ourselves and caring for others. We don't have an inner protector, someone who encourages us and makes us feel better about ourselves and others.
I completely agree with Dr. Hanson! Even though I haven't named my inner critic, I definitely have paid a TON of attention to it throughout my life. But prior to reading this newsletter, it had NEVER occurred to me that I should have an inner cheerleader!
Also, why stop at just one cheerleader?! I absolutely love Rick Hanson's idea of having an entire internal caring committee! Your caring committee will tell you things like – it's normal to feel the way you do; you really aren't alone; people do care about you; you are not, in fact, stupid; and you are doing a good job.
The members of your committee might also help you care for others by saying – you haven't spoken to your Mom in a while, maybe you should call her; wouldn't it be nice to pay your husband a compliment right now; or don't forget to do something nice for your friend's birthday on Friday. Of course, they would say these things in a loving, caring way, and not in a critical or judgmental way at all!!
This is an idea that I am going to put into practice immediately! Here are my initial thoughts on who the members of my caring committee will be. I might revise it as time goes on.
• Cookie Monster – anyone who knows me even remotely well knows of my love for CM. Also, since Cookie Monster is on the committee, I feel as though I need to add Elmo too. He's just so golly gosh darn jovial, he's bound to make me feel better, right?!
• My cat, Tiki
• My Baba (my maternal grandmother, check out my tribute to her here!)
• My closest girlfriends (I am not going to call you out by name, I'm pretty sure you know who you are)
• Elizabeth Gilbert – if you read my Star of the Week post about Liz, you know that I am a huge fan of hers. Plus, she is just SO encouraging! And I really think that Liz would get along well with my Baba and with Elmo! 😂
I am really psyched about this idea! What do you think about it? Are you willing to try to implement it? Who would be on your committee?? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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