the pale ground
beneath your feet,
way to begin
from Start Close In by David Whyte
Start Close In. That’s what we did in coming together to a centre for Compassion Inspired Health. We started close in with long time friends and colleagues. With our own hearts and minds. With our own personal practice of mindfulness, meditation, healing and growth. With a sincere desire to be of service and contribute to a more compassionate world.
Early in 2014, Life Coach, friend and colleague Zoey Ryan, asked me to facilitate a workshop for frontline staff who were experiencing burnout and vicarious trauma from their work with women and children who were experiencing partner abuse.
I invited my friend and colleague, Carol Ranger, to co-facilitate the training with me and while planning we discovered the research showing the protective and health benefits of self-compassion practice for caregivers. We incorporated self-compassion skills into our training and were pleased when participants found it so helpful. This inspired us to study with Dr. Chris Germer and Dr. Kristen Neff and The Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion and to train as Mindful Self-Compassion teachers.
We began to integrate the tools into our own ilifes and our own work in health care. Since 2014 we have taught Mindful Self-Compassion programs to hundreds of people in our own community and beyond, slowly building a local community of practitioners who connect and support their practice through our private facebook group. Zoey Ryan now teaches MSC in Metro Vancouver, Carol Ranger incorporates the skills into her work as a dietitian at Tsow Tun LeLum Society and I have the privilege of co-teaching with Kristy Williams, MD, a trained MSC Teacher with a strong interest in trauma informed mindfulness.
When social distancing was required due to COVID starting in March 2020, we started to offer Free Live Self-Compassion Meditations to support people during these difficult and uncertain times.
In addition to teaching Mindful Self-Compassion, I have a part-time counselling practice offering mindfulness based compassion focused therapy. I belong to a worldwide network of Mindful Self-Compassion Teachers who are also therapists who meet regularly to explore how to best to integrate the Mindful Self-Compassion skills and practices into our work with clients.
Victoria Pawlowski, RCC., MEd.
Mindfulness based Compassion focused Therapist
The Way It Is” by William Stafford
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.