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Mindfulness & Self-Compassion

One of the best kept secrets about being human is that most of our suffering is not personal. Even though much of the time we compare our insides to other people’s outsides and often conclude that everyone else is ok and we are not, it’s not personal. Most of our suffering is simply a part of our human nature. That feisty inner critic in your mind? Most of us wrestle with it until we learn skillful means for making peace with it, which is entirely possible, by the way. One of the things the mind does when we don’t give it a task to do is that it makes commentary about the present moment. The commentary is often critical, and much of the time it’s directed inward toward ourselves. Regular mindfulness practice has been shown to increase grey matter in the area of the brain that relates to empathy and compassion, so just meditating regularly will grow your self-compassion, as will bringing mindful awareness to the moments in which you’re being unkind to yourself, pausing, and engaging in a merciful act of kindness toward yourself. And just in case your mind is telling you that self-compassion equals self-indulgence, it’s not true. There is a skillful way to develop self-compassion and still hold ourselves accountable.
 If your compassion does not include yourself, it’s incomplete. –Jack Kornfield
Warmly,
Jen

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Mindful Writing for Healing half-day retreat. When we experience stressful or challenging times in our lives, it’s human nature to relive the story over and over in our mind. Often the story in our mind feels like chaos, and it’s difficult to let it go. Putting language to stressful events, shaping the events into a story and making meaning from what happened can help us to make order from the chaos and begin to heal. This workshop explores mindfulness practices to cultivate inner peace and keep us grounded while we write. It teaches mindful writing as a narrative practice for healing. The workshop is designed for non-writers and writers, beginning or experienced, who hare interested in writing for self-awareness and/or publication.
Date & Time: Saturday March 25, 2017  9am – 12pm
Location: 217 N. 5th Ave. Wilmington, NC
Registration is limited and required. Email Jen to register
Cost:
 $50

The Heart of Self-Compassion: Making Peace with Your Inner Critic half day retreat. Self-compassion is an attitude that anyone can learn to cultivate. Many of us struggle with negative self-talk, perfectionism, and a relentless cycle of beating up on ourselves for our struggles, which can lead to low self-esteem, increased anxiety, and even depression. Isn’t it time you let go of the old ways of relating with yourself that aren’t really working and embrace relating to yourself with kindness and compassion? Research shows that those who cultivate compassion have increased willpower and an easier time with life changes in general. In this half-day retreat, we’ll explore practices from mindfulness meditation, writing, and modern neuroscience for working with the body, breath, and mind to cultivate loving-kindness and self-compassion. Please bring a journal or notebook and a pen.
Date and Time: Saturday April 8, 2017  9am – 12pm.
Location: McKay Healing Arts   2916 Wrightsville Ave, Wilmington, NC
Registration is limited and required. Email Jen to register.
Cost: 
$50

Brain Injury Association of North Carolina Annual Family Conference afternoon keynote speaker. April 24, 2017. Topic: Mindfulness.  Open to the public. Register through BIANC.  Location: The Farm, Selma, NC.

Awakening the Heart to Joy half-day retreat. Joy is an innate capacity that is accessible to all of us if we learn how to cultivate it. We live in a culture in which it has become the norm to feel busy, stressed, disconnected from ourselves and others, and a sense of emotional flatness. Many of us have learned to numb emotions that we judge as “difficult,” because we feel afraid of feeling them or don’t know how to deal with them. But if we numb to anger and sadness, we also numb to joy, because we can’t selectively numb our emotions. True joy involves feeling a sense of aliveness, connection, and wellbeing and a capacity for meeting whatever arises in our lives with compassion and authenticity. During this half day retreat, we will explore practices for working with the body, breath, and mind to open the heart, meet our emotions skillfully, and cultivate joy. These practices originate from yoga, Insight meditation, and modern neuroscience.
Date & Time: Saturday June 24, 2017  9am – 12pm
Location: McKay Healing Arts   2916 Wrightsville Ave, Wilmington, NC
Registration is limited and required. Email Jen to register.
Cost: 
$50
I’m working on two photography projects, Ghost Trees and Penetrating Brightness, and have posted some of the work on my photography website. Both projects consist of mindful photographs. Check it out for a mindful break. MeditateCreate.com
3 Comments Post a comment
  1. A good reminder.

    March 5, 2017
  2. I too can quickly find myself making “commentaries about the present moment,” so I’ve devised a list of activities to help shush that inner narrator. Writing and photography are two of those activities

    March 5, 2017

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