Simple Self-Empathy Exercises


Simple exercises to build self-empathy help create a safe space where mothers of at-risk girls can get together and talk.  Focusing Trainer Heazel Martínez uses prompts to foster self-empathy. For example, she asks them to consider:

  • How much time do I devote to the things I love doing, just for myself?
  • What are four positive things about me?
  • How do I feel when my needs aren’t met? For instance, how do I feel when I don’t get enough sleep? Can I develop a compassionate attitude toward myself, given all the challenges of motherhood?

Feeling a problem in your body allows it to change

At the end of the get-together, Heazel might read a quote from Eugene Gendlin, the philosopher/psychologist who developed Focusing:

What is split off, not felt, remains the same.  When it is felt, it changes.  Most people don’t know this!  They think that by not permitting the feeling of their negative ways they make themselves good.  On the contrary, that keeps these negatives static, the same from year to year.  A few moments of feeling it in your body allows it to change.  If there is in you something bad or sick or unsound, let it inwardly be and breathe.  That’s the only way it can evolve and change into the form it needs.

Comments of the participants:

“I was able to unburden myself. It feels a bit better to have talked about things in my life. It’s comfortable here. ”

“Thank you. I’ve never had the opportunity to be in a space where I can talk about what I feel.”

“I’m glad that other people know how I am so I don’t have to pretend to be something else.”

Support this free space for women

Your support helps Heazel offer this free space where women can spend quality time together, relaxing and practicing empathy for themselves and each other. Please donate to Focusing El Salvador.