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HPR 127 | Compassionate Self-Awareness

Heartrepreneur® Radio | Episode 127 | Mindfulness Through Compassionate Self-Awareness with Clarissa Hughes

HPR 127 | Compassionate Self-Awareness


A lot of people in today’s world are living with a low level of anxiety that’s difficult to work with. Those people have probably put themselves in a position where they have a lot of negative self-talk and a lot of self-criticism. They’re good at catastrophizing situations and things that are just in their heads, and often they don’t feel very well. When we’re highly stressed, we end up with inflammatory or autoimmune types of conditions and an all-round mental and physical sense of unwellness. Mindfulness coach Clarissa Hughes shares her own journey of compassionate self-awareness and becoming steady, awake, and aligned with what truly matters to her. She works with clients to help them get crystal clear about how their mind chatter is impacting their choices and their ability to thrive and how to build powerful steps to becoming their compassionate self.

Listen to the podcast here:
Mindfulness Through Compassionate Self-Awareness with Clarissa Hughes

I have with me Clarissa Hughes. She’s a certified Mindfulness Coach who went through her own journey of self-compassionate awareness, becoming steady and calm, awake, alive and aligned with what truly matters to her. She works with clients to help them get crystal clear about how their mind chatter is impacting their choices and their ability to thrive and how to build powerful steps to becoming a compassionate self. Welcome, Clarissa.

I’m so delighted to be here.

I’m excited to have you and I’m curious because you refer a little bit to your own journey. Can you tell us about your journey and how this all came to be if you’d be that transparent?

I was 28 years in some of the world’s biggest corporations.We all know those big brands. They’re in our lives every day. I had a burnout and that came for me at the same time as I went through the menopause and sometimes it’s hard to dissect the two from each other. Stress had been building up in my life. I changed jobs and crashed. I didn’t crash in a chronic, fatigued way. I lost all interest in everything that I cared about in life. I ended up sitting in this cubicle, banking with a seven-figure salary, but the whole of my soul was dead. There was nothing that I wanted to do or care about anymore. I had to change a lot of that.

That’s where mindfulness came back in. I’d had an interest in meditation and yoga maybe ten, fifteen years earlier. Being a single mom and a senior role, it fell by the wayside. I got back on the horse, started to meditate. I went to mindfulness training and then I realized that I was reconnecting not only focus and clarity, but connecting to myself. Compassion became the journey that I had to go on, because that’s what I realized the thing that was missing in my life was that Iwasn’t being compassionate towards myself. Not in a soft, mushy way, but sometimes that wasabout some tough love along with cultivating some strength, wisdom and dropping some of your victim mentality that goes around with being a non-compassionate person.

I want to thank you for being open and sharing your own story. I found myself about four or five years ago, realizing one day that I’m an advocate of self-love. I love human beings of all shapes, sizes, colors. I respect and love everyone, but I was not being loving of myself. I went through my own journey to explore myself, my inner self and to figure out what was in my way. I’m relating to this completely. What happens as human beings? What keeps us away from being more compassionate with ourselves?

Some of that, I believe, is that we are conditioned to behave in a certain way. Women in particular are taught to conform to quite a lot of rules and norms. We’re taught to be nice. That horrible word that we say to a little girl, “Be nice,” and we’re not supposed to stick our head too much of the parapet. If you’re being difficult, setting boundaries, standing up for yourself, someone will surely call you a diva or a worse word. We start to dampen down what we need and we start to think that we should be caring for the people and conforming. The journey begins a lot there. It begins with not being able to say no and trying to conform to what every society thinks we should be like. There’s another part to that and that is we’re a little bit afraid of what compassion is.People think you’re weak, weak-willed, we’re having to actually move ourselves and work through that.There’s a misconception there that you’re weak, weak-willed and that you should all be soothy and lovely, then you’re faced with compassion, which is about some tough love to yourself. People find that quite hard. There’s quite a bit of fear attached to that type of behavior.

Commit to do one kind act to yourself. Click To Tweet

I didn’t think about the fear around mushy, gushy compassion. What are a couple ofaction steps that the readers can take to be more compassionate? Do you have any quick tools or resources?

One of them is to do some quick thingsevery single day. How about committing to do one kind act to yourself? It’s something that’s a nice kind thing, something small. That’s one of it. The other side is to start to look at simple, compassionate practiceslike writing a letter to yourself, your compassionate self. Some visualization techniques you can do to create an ideal compassionate self and simple visualization meditation techniques people can do.I work a lot with the work from Kristin Neff in the US. She’s got some great resourceson her website about compassion, which people can follow up and they’re free. There are a lot about journaling and simple meditations that bring you back to yourself and make you ask some questions about yourself.

I love things that we canstart to do and take action on. Do you haveany example ofa client story on how you’ve helped someone on the journey?

I certainly have. I’ve been recently working with a lady who had a high level of anxiety, quite borderline in needing more help than me as a mindfulness coach. Part of that journey with her was to help her to establish some boundaries. Learning to say, “No,” was one of the things. She dropped everything for her children, her sister, her mother and she wasn’t taking care of her own health. Her own health problems were quite significant. In working together, she did two great things. One is she sought some medical advice that she’d been afraid to go. She was not going to the doctor, not getting the care that she needed for quite a severe gastric issue. She wasn’t putting herself first and she was afraid of what would come out. It turned out that she just needs to take supplements as a starting point. I thought that’s a great point, the great space that she took.

The other one was that her sister was pregnant in the US. She actually said, “No, I can’t fly to be there for your birth. You’ve got a husband, you’ve got doctors. I’m not well enough to come. I need to stay here in Sweden and look after myself.” That was a massive step because in her past she would’ve gone straight on that flight and done everything for everybody else. Instead through working with me in the middle of the program, shehad the courage to say that. Her sister had a lovely baby and everything was fine.

Who is an ideal client for you, Clarissa?

HPR 127 | Compassionate Self-Awareness
Compassionate Self-Awareness: Journaling and simple meditations bring you back to yourself and make you ask some questions about yourself.

I work with both males and females obviously, but I tend to find that women are coming on the journey a little bit sooner. A lot of people that I work with, the people who have high levels of stress, they have possibly a lot of anxiety. We’ve got to remember that a lot of people in this world are living with a low level of anxiety that’s quite difficult to work with. Those sorts of people have probably put themselves in a position where they have a lot of negative self-talk, a lot of self-criticism, they’re good at catastrophizing situations.

The things aren’t really in their heads and often they don’t feel very well. What we know is that when we’re highly stressed, we end up with inflammatory or autoimmune types of conditions are quite common. They got an all-round mental and physical sense of unwellness. I work with those people in a one-to-one coaching over eight weeks to help them go on a journey to feel better. Obviously people who want to feel better and not in that position are my ideal clients. As people, we don’t tend to seek help until we need it. That seems to be the reality of it.

That is well said. I totally can relate to that.

I wish it was different. I wish more people had the foresight to be more preventative. We’re all okay until we hit a wall.

How can people find you? How can they connect with you? Please tell us that would be valuable.

I’ve go to a website called The Little Breathing Space. On that website you can read a lot of blogs from me and you can also connect with my programs there. You can find out the different types of programs I offer both online and offline, and that’s the best place to start.

We're all okay until we hit a wall. Click To Tweet

I want to thank you for coming here. I feel that we got not only tons of value, truly I believe that we can open our eyes, open our minds and at the same time get to relate to more of what you’re saying. I appreciate you so much. If you would give your contact info once more, that would be awesome.


You’ve been marvelous with the value you created. I’m going to encourage people to reach out and to connect with you. I feel that the work you do is important and you are clearly a Heartrepreneur. Thank you so much for being here on the show, Clarissa.

Thank you so much, Terri, for having me.

To the readers, don’t forget to go over and make a connection with Clarissa. At the same time, I do invite you to do two actions. One is to join the Heartrepreneur Community. We are really active there, we’re looking for peoplelike you and we all do business together. Heartrepreneurs do business with Heartrepreneurs. Go into Facebook under the groups and look for Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine. The other thing is don’t forget that I put together a special webinar for you that is transformational, with lots of great information and it is That is my gift to you as a reader. Thank you for tuning in.

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About Clarissa Hughes

HPR 127 | Compassionate Self-AwarenessClarissa Hughes is the CEO and founder of The Little Breathing Space a mindfulness coaching business based in Göteborg, Sweden. She has a passion for empowering today’s busy businesswomen to remove the stress and overwhelm out of their lives Supporting them to navigate the demands of modern life skilfully. And helping them to develop a higher capacity to feel clear-headed, confident and thriving in a life that reflects their purpose.Clarissa has been a senior manager in large corporations in the UK and Asia over 28 years. She suffered a burnout due to stress and found her way back to a calmer, more connected life through mindfulness. Clarissa is an accredited Breathworks Mindfulness practitioner, iRest Yoga Nidra teacher, has experience and an academic background in human behaviour. She has been a key note speaker at leadership conferences and appeared in articles, podcasts, and radio interviews internationally talking all things mindfulness. Clarissa believes that mindfulness is more than daily meditation – it is a way of living with compassionate self-awareness so that we can truly thrive. Her website can be found here at on she can be found on social media through these Facebook, and

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