Self-Expression vs. Self-Improvement

Jan 15, 2016

by Lea Seigen Shinraku

Each January, it’s tempting to start thinking about resolutions and creating plans for how we’re going to become new and improved versions of ourselves. The means may vary ~ a change in exercise frequency, eating habits, finances, career ~ but the underlying assumption is often the same: There’s something wrong with the way we are right now. While the impulse for growth is an essential part of being alive, when we pursue it in a way that’s disconnected from a respect for who we are, it can feel oppressive instead of liberating. Read the rest of this entry…


Quoted in PsychCentral: 4 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself When You’re Anxious

Dec 9, 2015

In this follow-up article on PsychCentral, I share my thoughts on how to respond with compassion when you experience anxiety. The title says “4 Ways” but the article actually includes 5 suggestions on how to be kind to yourself when anxiety arises: use soothing touch, remember you’re not alone, anchor yourself in the present, get out of your head, and get curious. If you’d like to read the full article, please click here.


Quoted in PsychCentral: How to Stop Viewing Your Anxiety as an Enemy

Dec 2, 2015

I was recently interviewed in PsychCentral about how self-compassion can help you relate differently to your anxiety. In this article, I talk about the stories we often tell ourselves about what our anxiety means, and ways that we can revise those stories. I also share my perspective on anxiety sometimes having value in that it is often “pointing you toward some deeper understanding of yourself and the ways that you might need to heal some old wounds.” Please click here to read the full article.


Self-Compassion: Trick or Treat?

Oct 24, 2015

by Lea Seigen Shinraku

When you think about self-compassion, do you feel worried that it’s a trick ~ that if you treat yourself with kindness, something bad will happen? Even if you know, intellectually, that self-compassion is important and something you want to cultivate, there are probably some parts of you that aren’t so sure. If you have a history of being a perfectionist, or feeling that you need to be productive at all times, you may have some resistance to practicing self-compassion! Read the rest of this entry…