MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. Mindfulness is the first step—turning with loving awareness toward difficult experience (thoughts, emotions, and sensations). Self-compassion comes next—bringing loving awareness to ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warm, connected, presence during difficult moments in our lives.
Most of us feel compassion when a close friend is struggling. What would it be like to receive the same caring attention from yourself when you needed it most? All that’s required is a shift in attention—recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion. Self-compassion involves the capacity to comfort and soothe ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement, when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate. Self-compassion is learned in part by connecting with our innate compassion for others, and self-compassion also helps to grow and sustain our compassion for others.
Burgeoning research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, coping with life challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships. It 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 self-respect.
Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those of us who did not learn these skills as children.
MSC is an experiential journey — an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness – offering periods of instruction and periods of practice. Self-Compassion can be learned by anyone, even those of us who did not learn these skills as children. This program fulfills a prerequisite for becoming a MSC teacher.
Mindfulness is the practice of turning towards our experience so that we can see clearly what we are going through. Mindful Self-Compassion is the practice of turning towards ourselves, the experiencer, so that we can be kind-hearted as we go through our experience. These practices offer us an opportunity to attend, soothe, and see ourselves as part of a community with whom we share this being human. The elements of MSC are mindfulness, self-kindness, and awareness of a common humanity.
Based on the practice of mindfulness, which cultivates a steadiness in the face of our experiences, MSC goes on to foster a kind and supportive attitude to ourselves as beings who feel our pain deeply. We feel hurt, sad, or stuck in not knowing how to proceed. Typically, when we have such experiences, the self-critical mind engages with negative thoughts and we become mired in suffering. The skills learned in MSC allow us to treat moments of pain with understanding and compassion for ourselves. We learn to give ourselves what we need in that moment and by doing so acknowledge ourselves as worthy of such care.
In MSC you’ll learn:
Kristy Arbon, Heartworks Training, The Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion and The Institute for Psychotherapy and Mindfulness.
Victoria Pawlowski and Carolena Ranger, The Centre for Compassion Inspired Health