Mindfulness is increasingly being recognised as an incredibly helpful tool to ease and calm a range of mental health & relationship issues including depression, anxiety & stress. When we add Self-Compassion to Mindfulness, we greatly increase the power of transformation and our capacity for happiness. Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Training provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to accept ourselves just as we are, to build on our resources, to motivate ourselves with encouragement & kindness, and to genuinely care for ourselves & others.
The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness, so that we know we aren't alone.
Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence. Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn't receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves.
It's a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others, and be more authentically ourselves.
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think. The Program includes 8 weekly sessions of approx. 2.5 hours each, in addition to a 4-hour retreat. Prior to registering, participants should plan to attend every session and practice mindfulness and self-compassion at least 30 minutes per day (formally or informally) throughout the program. What to expect program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices.
MSC is a workshop rather than a retreat. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life. MSC is primarily a compassion-training program rather than mindfulness training like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion. MSC is also not psychotherapy insofar as the emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources rather than addressing old wounds. Positive change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way.
It is said that “love reveals everything unlike itself.” While some difficult emotions may arise when practicing self-compassion, MSC teachers are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey interesting and enjoyable for everyone.
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that Mindful Self-Compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships.
In Week 1 we discover what MSC is, and the research findings and science behind it. In Week 2 we move onto more advanced knowledge plus tools and formal/informal practices.
In Week 3, we look at the benefits and further research of 'loving-kindness' and compassion in daily life. In Week 4 we explore the 'inner-critic' and way to cultivate a compassionate inner voice.
In Week 5 we use Mindfulness and Self-Compassion to explore values, strengths and silver linings in times of crisis/challenges to promote growth. We also look at ways to find value in times of suffering.
In Week 6 we look at new practices and tools to deal with difficult emotions such as anxiety, anger, depression, pain, guilt and shame.
In Week 7 we look at dealing with difficult relationships: care-giver fatigue, anger, resentment and forgiveness of others and self.
In Week 8 we look at ways to retrain the brain for happiness: cultivating positive emotions, savouring, gratitude and appreciation.
The main purpose of the retreat, which goes for 4 hours and is generally scheduled on a Sunday between week 5 and week 6, is to deepen our practice. It is a chance to bathe in mindfulness and compassion and let go of expectations about how a retreat should go for you or how you should feel. It is not designed to evoke an altered state of consciousness. What we aim to do is open to our moment-to-moment experience and give ourselves kindness and compassion.
Week one will commence Thursday 8 Oct and will run each week starting at 6.30pm, with the final week being Thurs 26 Oct. Please note, due to the difficulties for many families concerning Covid-19 in 2020, this program is being run at a reduced rate of $295, but will revert to the normal price of $395 in 2021.