“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) was developed by Christopher K. Germer, PhD, leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy (www.MindfulSelfCompassion.org) and Kristin Neff, PhD, pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion (www.Self-Compassion.org). MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience. Mindfulness is the first step in emotional healing – being able to turn toward and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings (such as inadequacy, sadness, anger, confusion) with a spirit of openness and curiosity. Self-compassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we’re hurting. Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional wellbeing. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.
Participants will learn and apply the three key components of self-compassion—mindful awareness, kindness, and a sense of our common humanity—to cultivate a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-denial, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, motivate ourselves with kindness, care for others, and be fully human.
Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. 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 and others. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities.
At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:
• respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
• begin to transform difficult relationships, old and new, through self-validation
• motivate themselves with encouragement rather than self-criticism
• relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance
• teach simple self-compassion practices to patients, students, or clients
• alleviate caregiver fatigue
This program is designed for members of the general public, as well as for professionals who wish to integrate self-compassion into their work. No previous experience with meditation or mindfulness is required to participate in this 5-day program. And the program fulfills a prerequisite for becoming an MSC teacher. All are welcome!