Recording and Listening (R/L): Being Our Own Best Friend and Mentor

A kind word at the end of the day.
A compliment on a job well done.
Someone to share our triumphs with.
Someone who is really interested in what we want to say.
Aren’t we all looking for that? 
We expect our loved ones to be kind, loving and supportive to us and they do their best to be! But sometimes they just cannot be there for us the way we want them to be. 
And if kindness and encouragement are not available in our external relationships, it certainly isn’t that we tap into within ourselves. Our thoughts are usually negative, judgmental, critical, or self-hating. 
But we can give ourselves the compassion and support we seek. We can be our own best friend & Mentor.
We can simply record messages that we want to hear — and then listen to them!  
You can read more about the spiritual roots of this Practice by clicking here.

What We Record:

  • Compassionate and encouraging messages we’d say to a friend that we would like to hear.
  • Reminders that we are loved, even in the hardest of times.
  • What we like about ourselves.
  • How we would like to be in the world.
  • Reminders about the kind of life we want to have
  • Compliments we receive.
  • Reminders of what worked during the day. 
  • What would reassure us when we are afraid
  • What we love, what we are grateful for.


Examples of Recordings:

Start with these:

Make a recording about what you appreciate about yourself—something kind you said, a task that you did well, or something hard that you navigated skillfully. Perhaps you were a loving partner or a friend. Perhaps you cooked a fabulous meal or kept a commitment to yourself. Perhaps you made time to take a walk in nature. 
This kind of appreciation recording acknowledges the many ways you are that is authentically compassionate and loving. Give it a try by expressing just one thing you appreciate about yourself. 
(Note: One of the best appreciation recordings is a Love Letter to yourself. Here’s more on how to make this specific kind of recording.)

Make a recording stating an intention you have for your day.
Perhaps you have a big meeting later in the day and you want to remind yourself to show up as a compassionate listener and with enthusiasm? Maybe you have a new commitment to eating more fruits and vegetables so you record all of the rainbow foods you intend to try? You might record your intention to live your life with as much awareness and love as possible! 
This kind of intention recording will remind us what matters to us. Sometimes we forget what we are about or what we value. Intention recordings are a gentle hand on our backs, guiding us toward our hearts.   

Did you receive a compliment recently? Can you think of one? When you do, turn on your recorder and share that compliment out loud. 
You may want to remind yourself how wonderful it felt when your boss acknowledged how much hard work you put into that team project. Perhaps you want to recall how happy your friend looked when she told you that your deep listening helped her so much. Maybe you shared something you lovingly created — a photo or artwork or knit hat — and someone complimented you on the beauty of it? 
Feeling bad about ourselves is a habit that we don’t need to reinforce. We can use our recorder to remember joyful and authentic compliments. 

Often times, we live an entire day and then indulge the bad habit of only talking about what went wrong.  What if we set out to consider all the things that went RIGHT? 
You can turn on the recorder, and make a list of everything that worked during your day. Start with all the parts of your body that didn’t hurt and that worked very well. “My heart is beating and my lungs are breathing. My appendix didn’t burst. My fingers and hands helped me type, chop, and carry things. My brain reminded me how to read, write, do math, and recall the names of people I love!” 
You can continue by thinking of all the electronics or mechanical things in your life that worked. “My car started and got me to my child’s school. The tea pot heated water. My clothes were washed and dried by the washer/dryer. My computer started and let me work on the text document and also Excel spreadsheets. My telephone worked great to text and phone people I love. The refrigerator kept all the food cold; nothing spoiled.” 
Add in everything else that worked today: “My children woke up and attended school! I didn’t fall down the steps. I made it to my meeting on time. I heard beautiful things like birds and music and my mom’s voice.” 
The hardest thing about making this recording is that it is impossible to STOP. Countless things go right every day!

These are slightly more challenging; Try them when you are ready!

We can be our own best friend during challenging times! In this Practice, we call that internal best friend, the Mentor. It is as if we have 24/7 access to a kind, unconditionally loving, very wise presence. 
If something feels difficult — maybe you are experiencing grief, loss, anxiety, or anger — it can be so helpful to listen to calm, kind words of love and acceptance. That’s why having a recording handy to listen to can be so supportive. 
Right now, remember what it was like last time you were having a hard time. Imagine your face. Imagine your feelings. Now, turn on the recorder talk to that person. It is likely that this will be a recording of great acceptance. Maybe you speak to the truth that life can sometimes feel hard, and it is okay to feel sad, inadequate or anxious. It is okay to feel whatever is arising. Perhaps you will want to record the phrase, “You are not alone” or “I am here with you.” 
Creating a recording like this is a way of telling ourselves that no matter what, we will show up with love and kindness for ourselves. 

We are incredibly wise just not aware of it. If you pause for a moment, perhaps an example will come to mind where you solved a problem or resolved an issue. (Which is, in itself, a dropping in of insight, right?!) 
Turn on your recorder and share an insight with yourself! Maybe you had a phone conversation with your mother and afterward you realized that she has a beautiful way of sharing what she loves about you. You choose to record about the insight that you can do that for other people. 
Or, perhaps you noticed that you were short with the clerk at the market today. Upon reflection, it dropped in that you hadn’t eaten lunch or taken your usual morning walk. You may want to record the insight that when you skip taking care of yourself, you don’t feel as loving toward others. You record a gentle reminder to yourself that self-care is not selfish!  
The more we start to pay attention to the insights Life drops in, the more that seem to magically come to us! Insights are gifts; making recordings about them is like gifting our future selves. It is also a way of saying “thank you.”

These types of recordings can encourage us and give us support. Remember, these are simply examples.  You can record anything at all that feels loving and encouraging to you, in your own words.

Falling in Love With Our Voice:

It is common for people to say, “I don’t like the sound of my voice,” That’s not a problem at all.  Consider that it is simply an inner critic disparaging your voice. 
We can learn to fall in love with our voice as we practice being our own best friend. To learn more about learning to love our own voices, click here.

Start Now!

Make your first recording—what you are grateful for by hitting the record button on the Recorder app on your smart phone.

If you have questions about this practice, drop us a line by emailing