Week by Week
Discovering Mindful Self-Compassion
Our first class introduces you to what Self-Compassion is and isn't, and explores the three components of Mindful Self-Compassion; Mindfulness, Common Humanity and Self-Kindness. Using a mixture of guided experiential exercises, teaching, discussion and reflection we will cover how to approach MSC, identifying your intentions for the course, learning about the obstacles to Self-Compassion, the zones of tolerance for emotional safety, and your ability to open and close in response to your emotional needs.
We take a closer look at mindfulness and its role in identifying, and turning towards our difficulties. Continuing our exploration of what practicing Self-Compassion entails and what to expect. In week 2 we learn the first core meditation of “Affectionate Breathing.” You’ll engage in a reflective exercise to explore the impact of resistance on your own suffering, and how to work with it when difficult emotions arise. Every week includes an opportunity to reflect on your experiences with the material outside of class.
The difference between compassion and loving-kindness is explored. We introduce you to the practice of loving-kindness through discussion, meditation, and self reflection. To find meaningful phrases we ask ourselves the core question in self-compassion: “What do I need right now?”
Discovering Your Compassionate Voice
We explore what it feels like to motivate a behavioural change from both the self-critical and self-compassionate perspective. In this class you begin to refine the loving-kindness phrases you were working with throughout the previous week to begin developing your compassionate voice. Introduce the second core practice “Loving-Kindness for Ourselves.”
We introduce the third and final core practice of “Giving and Receiving Compassion.” The practice of living deeply begins with an exploration of your core values, considering how you may be out of balance with these values, and identifying both internal and external obstacles that might be getting in the way.
The Retreat Day is an opportunity for you to deepen your understanding of Mindful Self-Compassion and put into practice the skills that you have been learning. We will guide you through all of the core practices, as well as a range of the informal practices such as, soles of the feet walking meditation, gentle movement, poems, and more.
Meeting Difficult Emotions
Developing new strategies to understanding and meet difficult emotions. You’ll learn to approach difficult emotions in the five stages of acceptance and how to apply three simple techniques of labelling and validating them, locating them in the body, and using the “Soften, Soothe & Allow” practice to meet them more effectively
Exploring Challenges within Relationships
Class 7 focuses on the pain of challenging relationships, whether we feel hurt, disconnected, or emotionally exhausted. The emotion of anger is explored, through engaging in a reflective practice we investigate when anger serves to protect us and when it is harmful to us, and others. You’ll learn how to use the “Self-Compassion Break” in relationships as a way to diffuse or reset a difficult conversation that has gone off track.
Embracing Your Life
In this final class we work on the practices of savouring, gratitude and self-appreciation as a ways to cultivate positive feelings. You’re given tips for maintaining a practice and encouraged to identify what you’d like to remember from this course. We mark the ending of the program with a special activity in which we take time to honour you and your classmates for completing the 8-Week Course.