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3 Ways to Cultivate Compassion

3 Ways to Cultivate Compassion

The holidays are often associated as a season of kindness and generosity. People are cheerful, more keen to give, and carve out time to gather and celebrate with one another. While this time of year may be warm and cozy for some, it can also be very difficult, especially for people who are mourning loss or who are unable to visit their loved ones. It can also be a hectic period--hosting large gatherings, planning events, and finding the perfect gifts.

As your Passion Planners become filled with holiday plans, I hope that you are able to step away from the chaos momentarily to express gratitude and compassion for those you care about most.

Showing Compassion to Yourself

We are often more than happy to extend warmth to those around us but struggle to extend it to ourselves. Dr. Kristin Neff, a leading expert on self-compassion, defines self-compassion as recognizing our own humanity, and offering forgiveness, comfort, and care to ourselves during challenging moments. Whether you enjoy or dread this time of year, take time to show compassion to yourself.

Practice Self-Compassion:

Showing Compassion to Those Around You

The etymology of the word compassion comes from the Latin com- and pati, together meaning “to suffer with.” It is easy to be with others during times of celebration, but difficult during times of struggle. There are so many ways to extend compassion to friends, family, and strangers this season.

Practice Compassion Towards Others:

  • Try one of Chopra Center’s 99 Simple Ways to Show Kindness
  • Write a note of appreciation to someone who is going through a difficult time this Christmas

Showing Compassion to Your Community and Your Environment

Our world is made up of so much more than ourselves and those in our inner circles. We are connected to the earth and our larger community, whether we are aware of it or not. No matter how small we may believe we are, we have the capacity to change the world for the better. As this is a season for generosity and charity, take this time to use your gifts and talents in service of making a positive impact.

Practice Compassion Towards Your Community and Your Environment:

  • Donate to a Toy Drive
  • Serve meals to the homeless at your local shelter
  • Participate in a beach clean-up

Though the splendor of the holidays is often fixed on extravagant decor and the rush of shopping, I like to believe that its true meaning is simply joy and focusing on what truly matters. That is what Passion Planning is all about, after all.

What truly matters to you, and how are you prioritizing that this season? 


Paula Votendahl is a Content Marketing Specialist with Passion Planner. In her free time she enjoys Passion Planning, eating Hot Cheetos, and watching British period dramas.

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