I am excited to share about a new online program starting March 1st that I will be co-facilitating with my good friend and favorite collaborator, Andrea Hylen.
I invite you to come explore and build your foundation in self-compassion.
Join us for 31 Days of Self-Compassion: A Journey Through Writing & Restorative Practices.
“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.”
“A compassionate state of mind brings inner peace, and therefore a healthier body.”~ H.H. Dalai Lama
We have been and continue to be living in incredibly challenging times. There is much uncertainty in the world and it’s taking its toll on all of us – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Many of us are being stretched to our limits or even beyond. We are being asked to give to our families, friends, in our work relationships and in our communities. As the pandemic continues, many of us are feeling a sense of depletion, loss of hope and many layers of grief that we cannot even yet understand.
We are between endings and beginnings. This can be a very unsettling place to be as our natural human tendency is to seek order, stability, and a sense of control over life and our experiences. In many ways, the universe is asking us to let go and step into a new way of being with ourselves, others, and the world around us.
“Between stimulus and response lies a space. In that space lie our freedom and power to choose a response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.“~ Viktor Frankl
This is much easier said than done, especially when we are experiencing crisis and chaos all around us on global scale, and in our own lives. In many spiritual and healing traditions, meditation, mindfulness, and contemplation practices offer a vehicle for developing our foundation to respond rather than react, to choose compassion rather than to judgement, and to open our hearts rather than shut ourselves down.
In the Buddhist tradition compassion is defined as “the heart that trembles in the face of suffering”. It is considered the noblest quality of the human heart, the motivation underlying all meditative paths of healing and liberation. The Dalai Lama once said, “if you want to know what compassion is, look into the eyes of a mother or father as they cradle their sick and fevered child”.
We live in exciting times when science meets spirituality! The benefits that spiritual practitioners have long known about compassion practices are being well researched and an understanding of their implications for our building our health, wellbeing and resilience is emerging strongly. A lot of our focus in response to the pandemic is prevention, which is an essential component. Building positive wellness is another critical factor that supports our ability to navigate and thrive in times of crisis on all levels – body, mind, emotion, and spirit.
At the heart of compassion is the practice of self-compassion. Which is defined as:
“The ongoing practice of relating to yourself kindly and fairly. It is especially helpful during times of stress and suffering. Self-compassion is not kicking yourself when you’re down, which prolongs stress reactions, creates more suffering, and delays your ability to get back up. Instead, self-compassion is about treating yourself as you would treat a good friend in distress. It is about responding with caring support.” ~ Whitlock, et al. (2021)
Neff & Germer (2018), authors of Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, expand this concept of being a good friend to ourselves suggesting that we “become an inner ally rather than an inner enemy.”
Many of us who have grown up in Western culture, have been taught that it is selfish to care for or love ourselves first. We have been criticized for not being giving enough or pushing ourselves to our limits or beyond our boundaries to offer compassion to others. This is a worthy and yet, perhaps misguided aim. In many heart-centered and spiritual traditions, it understood that in order to have the ability to offer true kindness and compassion to others, we need to cultivate that foundation within ourselves. Another way of looking at this is that we need to fill our own well of self-compassion so we can pour it out into our relationships and the world!
Some of the benefits of self-compassion that research identifies includes:
- Increases in well-being and resilience
- Decreases in stress, secondary trauma, and burnout
- Supporting healthy behaviors and minimizing unhealthy behaviors (like more exercise and less substance use)
- Improves confidence in providing compassionate care to others
- Strengthens pro-social or supportive relationship behaviors
- Improves self-care
- Decreases anxiety and depression
- Increases non-reactivity and perspective taking and decreases self-judgement
- Fosters social connectedness which is a predictor of a longer life, faster recovery from disease and higher levels of happiness and well-being.
So, building our foundation in self-compassion has many benefits. There is every reason to practice compassion at this time as a way to support ourselves, others, and our world.
“Compassionate towards yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.” ~ Tao Te Ching
31 Days of Self-Compassion is an invitation to build your own foundation through writing, restorative practices, and an online community of women and men journeying together to cultivate change in ourselves and our relationships. As we plant seeds of self-compassion within, they grow and flourish, and can be carried out into the world.
We hope you will join us!
31 Days of Self-Compassion Program Details:
- Program Dates: March 1st – 31st, 2022
- Location: Online via private FB Community and Zoom Connection Circles
- Cost: $47
During the 31 Days of Self-Compassion, you will have an opportunity to:
- Explore self-compassion through daily journal writing reflections and compassion practices
- Connect with yourself and community through restorative practices and an online community
- Build your foundation for well-being and resilience through cultivating compassion
- Explore your vision for the emergence of a new world filled with greater compassionate, kindness and care
This 31-Day Program Includes:
- 31-Days of reflections and questions for journal writing
- Compassion practices including meditation and mindfulness, gratitude, cultivating connection and more
- An online community of women and men journeying together to cultivate change in ourselves, our relationships, and our world
- Two Optional Live Zoom Community Connection Circles
For additional information or any questions about the program, please feel free to contact me or use the button below to register via Eventbrite.