Self-compassion: what is it
With compassion for myself, I suddenly have so much more confidence and believe in my own capabilities and strength. Participant
Self-compassion is the emotional attitude of mindfulness when we come in contact with suffering. Whereas mindful awareness is usually directed toward moment-to-moment experience, self-compassion focuses on the experiencer. Mindfulness says, “Open to your suffering with spacious awareness and it will change.” Self-compassion adds, “Be kind to yourself in the midst of suffering and it will change.” Mindfulness asks, “What do I know?” and self-compassion asks, “What do I need?”
Self-compassion: how to learn it
When I notice that I’m too hard on myself, I can sometimes soften now. That makes life easier for me. Participant
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who find it embarrassing to be kind to oneself. It’s a courageous mental attitude that stands up to harm, including the discomfort that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, and self-rumination when things go wrong. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, and respond to ourselves and others with care and respect, and be fully human.
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)
The MSC program is a journey: an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Compassion has the paradoxical effect of both soothing and comforting as well as opening us to emotional distress that we may have been unconsciously holding inside, often for many years. Therefore, some difficult emotions are likely to surface during the program as we grow in our capacity to embrace and heal them. The teachers are committed to providing an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to developing compassion for oneself and others.
Rapidly expanding research has clearly demonstrated that self-compassion enhances emotional wellbeing, reduces anxiety and depression, helps to maintain healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and is related to better personal relationships.
By practicing self-compassion I’m much more friendly towards myself. It helps me to take better care of my body and mind. Participant
Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises and group discussions. The goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment for exploring how we typically respond when difficult emotions arise and to provide tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities. For more information on self-compassion, please see www.centerformsc.org
At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:
motivate themselves with encouragement rather than self-criticism
relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance
respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
begin to transform difficult relationships, old and new, through self-validation
practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation
integrate core mindfulness and self-compassion exercises into daily life
teach simple self-compassion practices to patients, students, or clients
describe the theory and research supporting mindful self-compassion
This program is designed for members of the general public, as well as for professionals who wish to integrate self-compassion into their work. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in this 4-day MSC program for professionals. All are welcome!