Host a Book Club: Self Compassion by Kristen Neff

I was recommended the book Self-Compassion: The Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff three times by three different people — which meant I had to read it. It also always came with this comment, “I think you’d get a lot out of this book”… whatever that was supposed to mean! I would typically roll my eyes — I felt that having more self-compassion would make me lose my *edge.* I also honestly didn’t even know how to be kind to myself or where to start!

What I loved about this book was the research behind it — the stories + studies that show being kind to ourselves won’t turn us into lazy bums or cause us to be taken advantage of. I also loved, loved, loved the exercises + activities that Neff shares in the book [you can find all of them here]!

If you are someone who secretly rolls your eyes when you hear the word *self-compassion* or *self-care*… this book is for you. If you are tired of this critical voice in your head monitoring every action you have about yourself [or others]… this book is for you. If you are ready to love yourself unconditionally… this book is for you! So grab your favorite cup of tea + a cozy blanket to wrap up with this February + dive into Self-Compassion!

Below are questions//discussion prompts, so that you can either:

  • #1] use the prompts for journaling, or:
  • #2] grab CHAARG girls in your area + host your own CHAARG Book Club!

#1] What does self-compassion mean to you? Did your perception of self-compassion change while reading the book?

#2] Page 121 shares the practice of developing a Self-Compassion mantra. Was this something that you did or practiced? If so – share your self-compassion mantra. If not, now could be a great time to develop one!

#3] How would you explain the difference between self-esteem + self-compassion to a friend? Have you started seeing these differences more in your interactions with friends + family from reading this book?

#4] “The number one reason people give for why they aren’t more compassionate to themselves is fear of laziness + self-indulgence.” [Page 160]. What has been your greatest obstacle in showing yourself more compassion? How are you working through that?

#5] Page 174 of the book begins talking about Self-Compassion + our bodies. It notes that women tend to be a lot bigger critics of their bodies + have a lot of insecurities around their looks. Have you began to look at your body through the lens of self-compassion? [If you feel like this is something you are struggling with, I recommend practicing the exercise on page 178 in the book!]

#6] “We can’t always rely on our partners to make us feel good about ourselves because at the end of the day, for acceptance to truly penetrate our hearts, it has to come from within.” [page 222]. This quote resonated with me so much. I found it really helpful to identify some of the stories I would tell myself in relationships + the roles I would play during fights or when I feel upset with my partner. Have you listed out these roles or stories? What one have you seen as a pattern in your life or a disruption in your relationships?

#7] “The sense of common humanity inherent in self-appreciation means that we appreciate ourselves not because we’re better than others, but because all people have goodness in them.” [Page 272]. Have you ever found it difficult to admire your positive traits?  Complete the exercise on page 274 + share some of the things you appreciate about yourself with someone while listening to the qualities they appreciate about themselves as well.

#8] There are a number of exercises, journaling prompts, + meditations throughout this book. Have any stuck with you? Do you practice any of them on a weekly or daily basis? What is something you would want to share with a friend from this book?

We all have someone in our lives that after reading this book we say, “You need to read THIS!” I ended up recommending this book to at least 4 people while I was reading it. I encourage you to take this book + mail it to someone that you think could use it + after their done, encourage them to do the same : ).

I hope this book has been as life changing for you as it was for me.


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