Compassionate Ninja shows adults how important self-compassion is

Compassionate Ninja shows adults how important self-compassion is

Mary Nhin is the author of a new children’s book series called Ninja Life Hacks. In it, she teaches children valuable life skills about anger, positivity, kindness, perfection and anxiety to name but a few. Although they were written for young girls and boys ages 3-11, I can assure you their lessons are just as valuable for adults. As was the case during a recent reading of Compassionate Ninja.

My 8-year-old nephew received the entire Ninja Life Hacks series as a Christmas present this year and has been eagerly devouring each book and its messages.

When visiting my wife and I, my nephew often brings a stack of books with him for us to read out loud together. It’s so inspiring to watch him develop his reading skills, getting better and stronger with each passing visit – sometimes amazing me with what he’s able to sound out on his own.

One of the books he brought with him on this most recent visit was Compassionate Ninja. The book description is as follows:

“We teach our children to be kind to others, to share, but how do we teach them to be kind to themselves? Follow Compassionate Ninja in a journey to discover empathy and how important it is to not only cultivate compassion for others but self-compassion, as well.”

While my nephew was focused on mastering his reading skills, I was comprehending a very profound and invaluable message which every adult needs to learn from this book.

You have to find time to be compassionate with yourself.

As Compassionate Ninja shows us, we often spend far too much time judging ourselves – I know I do. Compassion has been defined as, “the emotion one experiences when feeling concern for another’s suffering and desiring to enhance that individual’s welfare.”

We probably practice this behavior with our spouses, our children, our friends, even strangers we meet on the street. But when was the last time you practiced it on yourself?

Perhaps as a new year begins, instead of judging ourselves – many times with fierce criticism – let’s offer ourselves a little self-compassion.

Tell yourself you’re perfect in your imperfections, how it’s okay to ask for help every once in a while and that not every day is going to go as planned but tomorrow is another day to try again.

For as American author and Buddhist practitioner Jack Kornfield once said, “If your compassion does not include yourself it is incomplete.”

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