Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Self-Compassion’

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

Making Intentional Choices

170A4194

 

This is the age of the opening of the heart in a more collective way, for only through the forces of the heart can humanity become aware of the travails Earth undergoes, to actually feel Earth as a living Being, and consciously join our being with hers. –Robert Sardello

When we cultivate mindfulness, our self-awareness grows. When we open our hearts and cultivate self-compassion, our compassion for other beings and for the Earth increases. We can either walk through this life on auto-pilot, making choices based on what feels good or easy in the moment and spend our energy dealing with the impact of those choices on our bodies, hearts, minds and the Earth; or we can begin to wake up, open our hearts, cultivate a daily mindfulness practice, and make intentional choices that reflect a deep commitment to our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the Earth. When we make intentional choices, we reap the benefit of those choices. What choices can you make in this moment and the next that reflect a commitment to take 100% responsibility for your own wellbeing and for the wellbeing of the Earth? Live intentionally. Choose how your life unfolds.

Warmly,
Jen

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Heart of Self-Compassion half-day retreat. Saturday July 16, 2016  9am – 12pm in Wilmington, NC. **This retreat is now full with a wait list.**
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.
Location McKay Healing Arts.  Cost: $50  Registration is limited and required.
THIS RETREAT IS NOW FULL. TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITLISTemail Jen 

 

Commitment to Self-Care

170A3828

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation… Audre Lorde

I’m often asked about how to develop and keep commitments to a regular meditation practice and other self-care practices. First, it’s important to make time. We won’t ever find the time. We must make the time and ask ourselves what we’re willing to give up in order to make time to practice. And then we must be aware of our thoughts. There will be days or moments that we don’t want to keep our commitment. The mind will tell us that we’re too busy, too tired and a million other reasons. Remember that whatever we rest our attention on grows. If we rest our attention on not wanting to do something, the not wanting to do it grows. If we notice the thoughts and the habit of attempting to escape doing what we have a genuine desire to be committed to and then focus our attention on our intentions and the reasons we created those intentions in the first place, then feelings of wanting to follow through sometimes increase and follow through is often easier. Notice how much time you’re spending dreading anything in your life. What would happen if you gently moved your attention away from dread toward what you really desire in your life?

Warmly,

Jen

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Heart of Self-Compassion half-day retreat. Saturday July 16, 2016  9am – 12pm in Wilmington, NC.
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.
Location: McKay Healing Arts 4916 Wrightsville Ave.  Cost: $50  Registration is limited and required. To register email Jen

 

Receiving Ourselves with Acceptance

 

Processed with VSCO with s6 preset

Until a woman can receive herself, she will unconsciously force others to reject her, despite the fact that her most conscious desire is to be loved.” –Marion Woodman

One of our most painful habitual patterns as human beings is wanting things to be other than they are. We often turn this habit on ourselves, wanting to be other than we are. Rather than embracing our most wounded places with love, which is truly what is called for, we treat ourselves mercilessly and wish we were different. We may even unconsciously encourage others to reject us, we may reject them before they have opportunity to reject us, or we may keep them at a safe distance and feign indifference. We can learn to love ourselves by noticing our habits of self-criticism or self-hatred and choosing in these moments to meet ourselves with acceptance, love and compassion. Today, try turning toward your wounded places with love and receive yourself and all of your messiness and imperfection with acceptance.

Warmly,
Jen

Self-Compassion

We find lightness and ease in our lives as we increasingly care for ourselves and other beings. –Sharon Salzberg

As you move toward your intentions, hopes and dreams this season, keep in mind that practicing self-compassion may be one of the most effective things that you can do to help you realize your intentions. Some people hold the belief that beating up on themselves and not letting themselves off the hook helps them to keep moving toward their goals, but the research on willpower and achieving goals indicates otherwise. Read more

Practicing Mindful Acceptance

For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain. –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Much of our suffering is created by wanting things to be other than they are. Acceptance involves acknowledging things as they are in this moment and then asking, “Now what?” Read more

Cultivating Self-Compassion

In a soft belly, there is room to live and grow, as our nature allows. Room to let go of the judgment that considers us somehow imperfect, room to send with each softening breath loving kindness into the grateful heart. –Steven Levine

This week, try taking a few moments each day to send loving-kindness to yourself. Close your eyes, and allow the attention to rest on the breath. Without changing it in any way, simply notice the rise of the chest and belly with the inhale and the fall of the chest and belly with the exhale. Read more

Cultivating Authenticity

We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.  —May Sarton

In the silence and the stillness, go in and in until you meet the essence of your authentic self. The quirks and the rough edges, the aspects of yourself that make you unique are what make you beautiful. Embrace yourself with acceptance and compassion, and celebrate who you are. Read more

Practicing Mindful Self-Care

Living mindfully and intentionally begins with the breath, with being present in each moment. But it also involves making choices about our lives that are congruent with who we are and what matters most to us. In order to realize our true nature, and our true nature is to be happy and at peace, we must practice mindful self-care. Practicing mindful self-care requires that we prioritize our health and well-being and surround ourselves with people who nurture and encourage us. It means spending time in ways that generate energy and inspiration and releasing things, activities, and people that drain us. In practicing mindful self-care, we learn to treat ourselves as though we were our only child.