The Cracked Pot: A Story of Self-Compassion

Posted: August 24, 2014 in Stories
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This teeny little story (that’s super easy to tell) can pack a punch. It’s a tangible example of how shame/self-doubt/self-criticism is not “true” so much as a particular filter on the world, taking into account only certain pieces of information about ourselves and working them into a particular narrative about who we are and what we do. Mindfulness practice can not only help us become more aware of such identity-narratives and the impact that they have on us (and those around use), but it can also help us widen the filter of our perspective to take in more information, moment by moment. As this tale shows, sometimes we just need one new bit of information to turn our whole perspective on its head!


  • The website this story is on is actually a wonderful resource of powerful teaching tales. Indeed, I’ll likely be linking to other stories on it again in the future. Just as I provide “application notes” for using the stories and games on my blog to teach mindfulness, this website provides notes on how to use these stories for certain types of healing.
  • This story is a beautiful compliment to the game I presented last week.
  • You could do a whole range of follow-up activities with this story: discussions that focus on some of the themes I mentioned in the introduction; art projects where participants draw links between themselves and the cracked pot, identifying flaws and how these can be seen as blessings (and then being mindful of how such a re-frame may (or may not) shift one’s feelings around the perceived flaw); and so on…

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