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Education & Outreach


Surviving the Holidays: A Self-Compassion Meditation for Birthmothers

The holidays can be so hard for birthparents, filled with triggers for trauma and sadness, and it can be a real challenge to give ourselves the compassion we often give so generously to everyone else around us. On Your Feet's Jessica Figlio, one of our Case Managers and a birthmom, is also a registered yoga teacher, and this holiday season, she has shared a meditation (below) designed to help us all survive the holidays with grace and love. 


Today I give you the gift of time and space to look inward and feel while finding more self-love and compassion for yourself. Because you are so very loved, worthy, and deserving.

So get comfy, grab your cup of tea or water, find a quiet space without distraction, and lets spend some time practicing mindfulness together.

Find a seated or reclined position where you can stay comfortably for 10 minutes. Feel free to prop yourself up with pillows or lie down reclined over a large pillow. Close your eyes and take some natural inhales and exhales.

Notice the earth beneath you, grounding you. Allow yourself to feel heavy and feel any tension melt away with each exhale. Notice any sensations you feel in your body. Notice your thoughts and allow them to flow in and out with each inhale and exhale., welcoming them as part of this journey.

Now let’s turn our attention to the breath.


  • Take a few cleansing breaths: inhale through your nose and exhale out through your mouth
  • Close your lips and relax your tongue to the bottom of your mouth
  • Relax your jaw and facial muscles. Relax your eyes behind your eyelids.
  • Observe the gentle rhythm and flow of your breath
    • Notice your body expand on the inhale and relax on the exhale
    • Notice the cool sensation of the breath in through the nose on the inhale and the warm sensation out through the nose on the exhale
    • Observe the breath moving in and out of the back of your throat


  • Gently place your hands on your heart
  • Notice the breath moving in and out as your chest rises and falls
  • Observe the heart as the center of love in your body. What colors come to mind when you think of love?
    • Visualize these colors around your heart glowing more vibrant with each inhale and exhale.Bring awareness to someone you love deeply. Perhaps the child that you placed. Notice the feelings and sensations that come up. Take deep inhales and exhales as you breath into these sensations, trusting and accepting what is coming up for you.
  • Send love to this special someone by mentally saying “I love you” or another phrase that is meaningful
  • Turn these warm and nurturing feelings of love toward yourself. Notice any thoughts or sensations that come up for you here
  • Repeat to yourself mentally one of these truths that resonates with you: “I am loved,” or “I am worthy and deserving of love”


  • Take a cleansing breath in through your nose and out through your mouth
  • Rub your hands together and create some heat between your palms
  • Place the palms on the outside of each ribcage
  • Notice the breath moving in and out of your lungs as your ribcage expands and relaxes
  • Observe the lungs as the filter of grief in your body
    • Notice the sensations you feel around the word grief
    • Notice the thoughts and emotions which surface and allow them to flow with each inhale and exhale
  • Continue breathing deep inhales and exhales and repeat to yourself mentally one of these statements which resonates with you: “I honor these feelings” or “I honor my tears” or “I am ok”

Letting Go

  • Take a cleansing breath in through your nose and out through your mouth
  • Gently place your hands on your naval, just above your belly button
  • Notice the breath moving in and out as your belly expands and relaxes
  • Observe the abdomen as the outlet of letting go.
    • With each exhale continue to notice the body relax, releasing any physical or mental tension
    • Allow any negative feelings or thoughts to leave your body and melt into the earth beneath you
    • Feel a sense of gratitude for these thoughts or feelings for their purpose while allowing them to leave the body
  • Repeat one of these mantras to yourself mentally that resonates with you “I am doing the best I can” “I am exactly where I need to be” “Everything is going to be ok” “I am beautifully imperfect”


Place your right hand on your heart and left hand on your belly. Notice the breath moving from your throat through your chest, ribcage, and abdomen as one breath

Relax your hands and arms alongside your body or on your lap and simply observe your mind and body as one. Visualize any thoughts as white puffy clouds passing in a crisp blue sky. Notice any changes that you feel or observe in your mind and body from the beginning of the practice

Open your eyes and observe the space around you, with a heart of gratitude for what this practice has given you today and knowing you can return here any time you need to.

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