Be Kind to Yourself

Be Kind to Yourself

Releasing Frustrations and Embracing Joy

by Cindy Bunch
Foreword by Ruth Haley Barton

Be Kind to Yourself
  • Length: 132 pages
  • Published: July 28, 2020
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4676-4
  • Item Code: 4676
  • Case Quantity: 76

When we experience frustrations in daily life, we often hold ourselves to blame. Self-criticism is often our default setting. But we can have a more gracious posture toward ourselves. We can practice disciplines of self-kindness.

Editor and spiritual director Cindy Bunch calls us to self-care through greater compassion for ourselves. She helps us pay attention to the frustrations that bug us in order to identify negative thinking about ourselves or others. As we do so, we can discern what we need to let go. This allows us to lean into the things that bring us joy. Each chapter is filled with spiritual practices and creative exercises for reflection and celebration.

Be kind to yourself. And discover new opportunities to embrace joy.

"'The only true gift is a portion of oneself,' writes Ralph Waldo Emerson, and this, to me, is an apt description of what Cindy has done in the book you hold in your hand. She has shared with us generous portions of herself—her own story, her honest struggles, and the practices that have helped her endure and find joy in the midst of it all. Since all of us have our own stories that include joy and pain, gladness and sadness, this is something we all need."

From the foreword by Ruth Haley Barton, founding president of the Transforming Center

"Be Kind to Yourself is a lovely gift of grace. I love that it is filled with practices to help act as antidotes for difficult times. This really is a sweet treasure to reach for when life is feeling especially unkind; it's guaranteed to inspire a new perspective."

Christine Valters Paintner, poet and spiritual director, author of Earth, Our Original Monastery

"What's bugging you? What's bringing you joy? With these two simple questions, Cindy Bunch, like an experienced mariner, masterfully steers us through the choppy seas of negative self-talk and disheartening feelings that we all know so well. Each chapter of Be Kind to Yourself is a testimony to an important insight: by responding to God's grace with classic spiritual practices, we can anchor our lives in a peaceful harbor resplendent with joy and free of frustrations. This is wise and practical spiritual formation at its best!"

Albert Haase, OFM, author of Becoming an Ordinary Mystic: Spirituality for the Rest of Us


Introduction: What’s Bugging You?
Recording a Daily Examen: Days One to Ten
1. I Had a Bad Day: Paying Attention to the Beautiful Things
2. I Can't Believe I Said That: Speaking Kindly to Ourselves
3. Beyond My Control: Creating a New Mental Playlist
4. I Saw It on Twitter: Knowing What to Let Go
Recording a Daily Examen: Days Eleven to Twenty
5. Ringing in My Ears: The God Who Sees Me
6. When Life's on Hold: Establishing Self-Care Practices
7. It Wasn't Supposed to Rain Today: Discovering What's Underneath
8. I Can't Believe He Did That: Forgiving Others
Recording a Daily Examen: Days Twenty-One to Thirty
9. I Cracked Under the Pressure: Taking One Thing at a Time
10. Things I Don't Want to Do: Gratitude Flip
11. Second-Guessing Myself: The Wisdom of the Enneagram
12. I Can't Find the Time to Do What I Want to Do: Choosing the Nourishing Things
Epilogue: Spiritual Direction
Appendix: The Intuitive Art Process

Cindy Bunch

Cindy Bunch is associate publisher and director of editorial at InterVarsity Press, where she has worked for more than thirty years. She acquires and develops for the Formatio line of spiritual formation books. She is the author of Be Kind to Yourself as well as several Bible study guides in IVP's LifeGuide® Bible Studies series.

Cindy holds an MA in theological studies from Northern Seminary and completed her spiritual direction training at North Park Seminary. She and her husband live in the Chicago suburbs.

BY Cindy Bunch

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