What do you do when a friend is in trouble?
You offer words of encouragement, a hug, a warm blanket, a cup of tea, an invitation to go out and talk - something kind that you believe will comfort your friend in need. Most of us naturally feel compassion when a close friend is struggling and know exactly what to do.
What would it be like to receive the same caring attention whenever you needed it most?
All that is required is a shift in the direction of your attention - recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of kindness and hence
compassion. Kindness in the quality of response to our experience, a warm, soothing and nourishing expression of care for
what is happening. And this is something we can learn to cultivate in everyday life in order to be able to recall it when things are difficult because that is what compassion is: meeting pain and
challenges with kindness.
Mindful Self-Compassion (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 experience with a spirit of openness and curiosity.
Self-compassion involves responding to these challenges with kindness, sympathy and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we are hurting. Together, they create a state of
warm, connected presence during difficult moments.
Self compassion is an inner strength that enables us to be more fully human -
to acknowledge our shortcomings, learn from them, and make necessary changes with an attitude of kindness and
Research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships. Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone:
it is the practice of repeatedly evoking good will toward ourselves especially when we are suffering - cultivating the desire that all living beings live happily and free from suffering, including ourselves!
Mindful Self-Compassion 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).
In MSC you will learn to: