CMSC Blog

The Body as Friend, Companion, and Guide: Restoring Connection Through Self-Compassion

When your body does not behave, look, or feel the way you want it to, you may feel that wish to pull away, blame, and shame it. It is exactly in these challenging moments that self-compassion is there to remind you that your precious body never meant to cause you any harm or distress. Rather, it is, and always has been, just trying to guide you along this journey of life.

Transformations Through Mindful Self-Compassion in Eldoret

Sometimes, there are atrocities that are so horrific that we can’t help but be moved to compassionate action. Such was the case in 2018 when over 300 women and children were caught in the political crossfire between warring factions in the secluded mountainous region of Chepkurkur on Mount Elgon in Kenya. With the encouragement of Lilian Muthui, a Kenya-based psychologist and counselor, a team of us set out to provide carefully adapted Mindful Self-Compassion training for the women, teens, and children of the war-torn community.  Here is my story.

Being Your Own Cheerleader

In my profession, I have a bird’s-eye view of the intense daily life struggles experienced by many teens who are overwhelmed by academic standards, social pressures, and familial stresses. This is a story about a courageous young woman, Malavika, and her journey out of despair and into self-compassion.

What is possible when we surrender?

When we feel like giving up, there is something heroic and necessary in simply standing and finding our feet, steadying our hearts and minds the way we would do this for another, and beginning to put one foot in front of the other on a renewed life journey of redemption, forgiveness and release of the ill-fated wish for something else. Writing this article was my first step on that journey. What will be yours?

Study of 80 Veterans Shows that MSC is a Valuable Addition to Medical Pain Management Strategies

In a recent study by Dr. Greg Serpa and colleagues, it appears that teaching Veterans to meet their emotional and physical suffering with kindness had an impact on their medication use. “Our treatment system has medicalized pain management and then blamed and marginalized those who suffer for seeking the very thing our system has trained them to see as their best path for relief. Humans have used compassion to alleviate suffering for millennia. Isn’t it time to support those who are suffering with compassion training?”

MSC and Being with Ageing Parents

Compassion is relational. And perhaps the most complicated of these relations at times are within our family. Families are the very foundation of this human experience, and so many threads of the tapestry of our life may well be family relations. Bearing the complexity of this in mind, I humbly offer my story of the caring relation-shipping that I had with the four elders in my life: my parents and my husband’s parents. And if you are in the time of your life where you are caring for an elderly parent/s, my wish for you is to include yourself in your caring. Know that the caring goes on long after they die and that loving relation-shipping is eternal.

The Near and Far Enemies of Fierce Compassion

Practitioners of compassion inevitably ask, “What specific actions should I take?” to address injustice in their lives. Cultivating the qualities of mindfulness, common humanity and kindness is a good foundation for compassionate action, and when we add a measure of wisdom, we can surely change the world for the better.

Self-Compassion and Waking Up to Racial Injustice

By participating in and benefitting from an unjust system, we perpetuate racism. We need to have self-compassion to see our role in racism clearly, holding this uncomfortable truth with love and acceptance, so we can wake up and commit to do things differently.

The Surprising Benefits of an Online Meditation Retreat

Online retreats can be a loving refuge amidst chaos in the time of global pandemic. Beth Mulligan shares that by gently challenging our expectations for what a retreat “should” look like, we open ourselves to seeing that one need not travel to “get away from it all.” Indeed, the potential for connection, insight, and ease are right here at home.

Self-Compassion and COVID-19

What kind of world do we want to create as we navigate through global challenges like Covid-19? Will our hearts expand or contract as they bump into each new challenge? A global commitment to living compassionately can make all the difference and self-compassion seems like an excellent way to start.

The Little Book of Self-Compassion

The Little Book of Self-Compassion by MSC Teacher, Kathryn Lovewell was born out of the desire to share the transformative power, potency and accessibility of Mindful Self-Compassion. It is intended as a deep bow to Chris and Kristin’s work and a “first step” for all those who want kindness inside, but don’t know or believe it is possible.

Break the Cycle of Anxious Thinking and Get the Sleep You Need: Mindfulness for Insomnia

There are few things that can bring out our common humanity more than the maddening struggle with sleeplessness. Trained mindfulness expert and MSC teacher, Catherine Polan Orzech, teams up with behavioral sleep specialist, William H. Moorcroft, to offer evidence-based meditations and an four-week protocol to address the root of sleep issues.

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