Backdraft – Connie Au-Yeung

With a trembling hand,

softly and gently,

I open my heart,

in search

for the warmth within,

the love that’s

hidden, forgotten, frozen

and carefully sealed.

A door sprung open

Flames shoot out

Wave after wave



That’s ok

For I’m not afraid.

It’s enough to just say

Oh I know,


Welcome to my way

For if you didn’t show your blaze

Love could’ve never reached that place.

Let the fire glow

Let the flames rage

Let it all go ablaze

For it cannot last

When you fuel it

With tenderness and grace.

You are the way

For stillness to return and stay.


Backdraft is a term from the Mindful Self-Compassion MSC programme. It relates to the often intense and painful emotions and memories that may surface at the initial stages of developing self-compassion practices. This is natural and fairly common, as compassion is engaging things that may have been avoided or left alone for some time.

Connie Au-Yeung is an editor and course developer for, an online language learning business devoted to using the power of stories and dialogues for language learning. A Hongkonger who moved to the UK as a teenager, Connie studied Natural Sciences and worked as a science editor before moving to Japan to teach English. Connie became interested in the science of mindfulness and started practising insight meditation while in Japan and continued her personal practice through her years of living in Qatar and Egypt before returning to the UK. Recently, Connie started practicing mindful self-compassion (MSC). Having completed the 8-week MSC course, Connie recently attended a 5-day intensive led by the programme’s founders Drs Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. It was then that Connie decided to use the medium of poetry as a means to document her MSC experiences. Connie is interested in mindful parenting and teaching self-compassion to children. You can find her on Twitter @connie_cheun.


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