1) Tuesday In Pics

“Black & White” by Julia Maier

Rabuni, Algeria Shrawi Bachir Siad Daf rest at the Martyr El Scherif land mines victim center. More than 150,000 Sahrawis live in refugee camps scattered in the Algerian desert 35 years after Morocco annexed the disputed territory in the Western Sahara. (Photo by Juan Medina/Reuters)

London: Director and performer Bartabas trains 12-year-old Le Tintoret on stage at Sadler’s Wells theatre (Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

2) The House by Richard Wilbur

Sometimes, on waking, she would close her eyes
For a last look at that white house she knew
In sleep alone, and held no title to,
And had not entered yet, for all her sighs.

What did she tell me of that house of hers?
White gatepost; terrace; fanlight of the door;
A widow’s walk above the bouldered shore;
Salt winds that ruffle the surrounding firs.

Is she now there, wherever there may be?
Only a foolish man would hope to find
That haven fashioned by her dreaming mind.
Night after night, my love, I put to sea.

3) Do you treat yourself as well as you treat your friends and family?

Do you?

For the first 18 years of my life I didn’t treat anyone, including myself, very well, zero self-compassion, zero self-worth. I was able to gain the self-confidence I needed to make life work, but then went through a period of complete self-indulgence, where I didn’t treat anybody but my self well.

It took decades before I reached a balance between compassion for others, and feelings of self-worth about myself. Although I must admit to still spending perhaps a tad to long in front of mirrors. 🙂

From an article in the New York Times, by Tara Paker-Pope


“That simple question is the basis for a burgeoning new area of psychological research called self-compassion — how kindly people view themselves. People who find it easy to be supportive and understanding to others, it turns out, often score surprisingly low on self-compassion tests, berating themselves for perceived failures like being overweight or not exercising.

The research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health. People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic. Preliminary data suggest that self-compassion can even influence how much we eat and may help some people lose weight.

This idea does seem at odds with the advice dispensed by many doctors and self-help books, which suggest that willpower and self-discipline are the keys to better health. But Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field, says self-compassion is not to be confused with self-indulgence or lower standards.

Dr. Kristin Neff is an Associate Professor in Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin.

“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent,” said Dr. Neff, an associate professor of human development at the University of Texas at Austin. “They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”

Imagine your reaction to a child struggling in school or eating too much junk food. Many parents would offer support, like tutoring or making an effort to find healthful foods the child will enjoy. But when adults find themselves in a similar situation — struggling at work, or overeating and gaining weight — many fall into a cycle of self-criticism and negativity. That leaves them feeling even less motivated to change.

“Self-compassion is really conducive to motivation,” Dr. Neff said. “The reason you don’t let your children eat five big tubs of ice cream is because you care about them. With self-compassion, if you care about yourself, you do what’s healthy for you rather than what’s harmful to you.”