First of all I want to congratulate you for taking the step away from self criticism and towards self love. I have to say that this has been, and still is a big journey for me. I was very very hard on myself for a very very long time. I don't want that to happen to you. Now I understand what is going on and I have a way to change it, I am much kinder to myself and feel a lot better as a result. I know that his has worked wonders for me so it can for you too.

To do this exercise you will need:

1. A printer to download the worksheet (you can draw your own if you wish or you don't have a printer)

2. Some coloured pens, pencils or paint to colour the worksheet.

3. A journal or a pen and paper. 

First, here is a little two minute introduction from me:

 
 

 

 Listen to the visualisation:

Next, download and print the worksheet. Take a few moments to remember the visualisation, or listen to it again before you start. Colour in the areas around the circles. Each time you think of something unfriendly you say to yourself, write it in one of the circles. There are large ones for you to have a good rant, and small ones for those words you label yourself with. Get them all out of your system. Relax as you paint or colour and allow the thoughts to float to the surface. Notice them without judgement. Write down what is important to you. 

Make a list of all the things that you have written on your worksheet in one column on one piece of paper. Then take one comment at a time, and flip it into a positive, something that you would say to your best friend, to someone you love. Make it an 'I am' statement. Eventually you will have a list of affirmations. You can decorate this and make it as beautiful as you wish. Say the affirmations to yourself, out loud if possible, every day. Stick them around your house or by your mirror. They will help your underground trains to forge some new tunnels. You will begin to notice your inner critic and silence it, give it a cuddle and some flowers. 

When your list of affirmations is complete, turn back to your coloured in worksheet. Sit and look at it for a minute or two, notice your breathing and notice how you feel. Then I want you to picture that each circle is just a bubble of air and imagine that each bubble on the page just rises slowly to the top and pops. It's comments and contents vanished into thin air and gone from your mind as well as the paper. 

Now, let's make this transition more concrete by doing some freewriting. Without allowing yourself to give it too much thought, write a letter to yourself. Remind yourself of all your positive attributes, instances you have been kind to yourself or others, what makes you happy and why, and tell yourself about all your successes and achievements. You can write this on a piece of paper or in your journal, I have included a worksheet for you to download, print and write on if you prefer. When freewriting it is important to write in your own hand, typing won't get you the same results. 

 

Read your letter back to yourself, how does it feel? Are you surprised at all? If you want to this would be a good time to go back over your affirmations too. Keep the letter somewhere safe and refer to it any time you need a reminder. 

I hope you enjoyed this exercise and found it helpful, please tell your friends about Attentive Art, I want to help as many people as I can. 

As I mentioned in my video, I have a Facebook group that I'd love for you to join me in. Just click the button below...