Monthly Archives: May 2014

Learning Compassion for Self

In yoga, the Sage was telling us to focus on compassion for self.

Are you compassionate with yourself? So many of us have places in life where we demonstrate and live incredible compassion for an external cause, or a person, or class of people. Yet we are not always compassionate to ourselves.

Where are you the most difficult on yourself? Where do you not give yourself a break? Where does the mind chatter say you cannot do that (whatever that is) in your life?
You’re not alone.

Jared, a client of mine, said I could share his story. His parents loved him but were so frustrated by how stopped he was in life. When I met initially with Jared to discuss working together, it was apparent here was a great young man who would not give himself a break. In his language and in his behaviors, the anger and self-destructive behaviors were so self-defeating.

Jared and I did walking sessions. We would walk and talk. What emerged was a deep lack of compassion based upon three incidents in his younger life. As a result, Jared’s mind had taken the incidents, created a dis-empowering story which Jared was living as though they were real in his world.

Still, Jared was so powerful: he had surrounded himself with people and situations to reinforce the story in his world. Yes, the mind is THAT powerful. His lack of self-compassion resulted in a downward spiral. As the awareness grew, he began to develop some awareness and then compassion for the thoughts he was creating.

As his awareness grew, his compassion grew, and shift occurred.  Within a few months, Jared was not recognizable. He would smile and laugh. His destructive behavior went down, and was almost eliminated. He began to take a more active role in the family business. A deep shift occurred.

This week, look at your life story. Ask yourself the following questions:

Where are you less than compassionate with yourself?

What story do you tell yourself?

What story have you told others about yourself?

Where does this story stop you in life?

Does this story take away your compassion?

How does this story impact your self-compassion?

Journal about each question. See what arises in the inquiry. Journaling is a powerful tool I use to deepen my work with people. And as you deepen the compassion toward yourself, take the renewed you powerfully out in the world and make a difference.

If you have questions, please drop me an email at

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

-Anaďs Nin

Contributed by Executive, Life and Spirituality Coach, Jim Pehkonen

The Power of Point of View

Let’s journey deeper into thought. Before we do, how did the journaling go from last week? What did you see? What opened up as a result of taking time to write? Often powerful healing can arise out of writing.

This week, let’s go deeper into thought–into the point-of-view-perspective of thought.

My definition for “point of view” is an opinion, an attitude, the ability to see something from a specific aspect.

What creates the point of view of your thought? Past experiences morphed with current situations. And time has a funny way of shifting what actually happened to fit your current mental state. It can even be said that often your current situation is a pretty close repeat of a past situation.

10 years ago, I was in a course where one of the homework assignments was to create an autobiography for each year of my life. It included photos, what happened, the friends I had, and a major life event in each year of my life. Upon completion, being the proud son, I showed it to my mom. As she reviewed each year, she looked up and began correcting what had happened. Events I swore had happened at specific ages, she was correcting with the age she remembered them to have happened from her point of view.

I have come to understand that much of our deep past has been modified by the mind to fit our current point of view. Yet in the work I do as a coach, many of my clients actually shift the story they have created (their point of view) about their past. As this happens and their experience of life shifts, they acquire a new point of view.

And this new point of view is actually lighter. They are not carrying heavy burdens of self-doubt and self-persecution. They begin to experience life in the present, aware of the potential for the mind to pull you back, yet through this awareness, a strength of presence develops. Through this strength, they see the world now, and are able to powerfully move forward.

This week, notice your point of view about the tough spaces in your thought. Begin to see them simply as a point of view. Here are a few questions to ask, even write about in your journal:
– What is your point of view?
– What are the past experiences in that point of view?
– Is it true? (from Byron Katie’s The Work)
– What is another way you can see this point of view?

We are dynamic beings. As we deepen our awareness, we shift. Delve deeper into thought – begin to understand your point of view. As you do, you will see that with a little awareness, you can create a new point of view!

I am here to answer any questions or comments you have. Create an AMAZING week!


Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.
–Jay Asher


Contributed by Executive, Life and Spirituality Coach, Jim Pehkonen