Mindful Self Compassion

Poems

  Allow by Danna Faulds   There is no controlling life. Try corralling a lightning bolt, containing a tornado. Dam a stream and it will create a new channel. Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet.   Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground. The...

MSC Session Outline

  MSC SESSION OUTLINE   Session 1 Discovering Mindful Self-Compassion Topic:  Welcome Exercise:  Why am I Here? Topic:  Practical Details Topic: How to Approach MSC Exercise: Guiding Principles Exercise: How Would I Treat a Friend? Topic: What is Self-Compassion?...

The Science of Self Compassion

THE SCIENCE OF SELF-COMPASSION   SELF-ESTEEM For years self-esteem was seen as the ultimate marker of wellbeing Self-esteem is a global evaluation of self-worth Movement in schools to enhance students' self-esteem Potential problems with high self-esteem:  Not if you...

Definitions

DEFINITIONS   MINDFULNESS "The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudmentally to the unfolding of experience moment to moment." - Jon Kabat-Zinn   "Awareness, of the present moment, with acceptance." - Chris...

Home Practice

HOME PRACTICE We recommend that MSC participants practice mindfulness and/or self-compassion at least 30 minutes per day, formally and informally.  The purpose is to develop a new mental habit. It takes time to develop new habits.  Here are some tips for maintaining a...

What Works For Me?

WHAT WORKS FOR ME?   The MSC program contains a wide variety of meditations and informal practices that can be used to strengthen the habit of responding mindfully and compassionately to emotional distress.    After you complete the program, please check the practices...

Core Meditation: Loving-Kindness For Ourselves

LOVING-KINDNESS FOR OURSELVES Please find a comfortable position, sitting or lying down. Let your eyes close, fully or partially. Take a few deep breaths to settle into your body and into the present moment. Put your hand over your heart, or wherever it is comforting...

Core Meditation: Giving And Receiving Compassion

GIVING AND RECEIVING COMPASSION Please sit comfortably, close your eyes, and if you like, put a hand over your heart or another soothing place as a reminder to bring not just awareness, but loving awareness, to your experience and to yourself.   Take a few deep,...

Core Meditation: Affectionate Breathing

AFFECTIONATE BREATHING Please find a friendly, comfortable posture in which your body is supported, and you don’t need any effort to remain in that position for the entire meditation.   Take a few slow, easy breaths to release unnecessary tension, letting the eyes...

Loving-Kindness For A Loved One Meditation

    LOVING-KINDNESS FOR A LOVED ONE Allow yourself to settle into a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. If you like, put a hand over your heart, or another location, as a  soothing reminder to bring not only awareness, but loving awareness, to our...

Compassionate Body Scan Meditation

COMPASSIONATE BODY SCAN Find a comfortable position, resting on your back with your hands about six inches from your sides and your feet about shoulder-width apart.  Then, place one or two hands over your heart (or another soothing place), doing this as a reminder to...

Compassionate Friend Meditation

COMPASSIONATE FRIEND MEDITATION Please find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. Gently close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths to settle into your body. Put one or two hands over your heart for a moment to remind yourself to give yourself loving...

Compassion For Self And Others Meditation

     COMPASSION FOR SELF AND OTHERS Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.  Take three, deep, relaxing breaths.   Open your awareness to the sounds in your environment. Come into the present moment by simply listening to whatever presents itself to your...

Self-Compassion Break Practice

SELF-COMPASSION BREAK When you notice that you’re feeling stress or emotional discomfort, see if you can find the discomfort in your body.  Where do you feel it the most?  Make contact with the sensations as they arise in your body. Now, slowly say to yourself: 1....

Soothing Touch Practice

SOOTHING TOUCH   One easy way to soothe and comfort yourself when you’re feeling badly is to give yourself a gentle hug or caress, or simply put your hand on your heart and feel the warmth of your hand. It may feel awkward or embarrassing at first, but your body...

Self-Compassion In Daily Life

SELF-COMPASSION IN DAILY LIFE The goal of the MSC program is to be mindful and self-compassionate in daily life. That means to: (1) know when you’re under stress or suffering (mindfulness) (2) to respond with care and kindness (self-compassion). The simplest approach...

Mindfulness In Daily Life

MINDFULNESS IN DAILY LIFE  Mindfulness can be practiced every moment of the day: while you brush your teeth; while you walk from the parking garage to work; when you eat your breakfast, or whenever your cell phone rings. Pick an ordinary activity. You might choose...

Soles Of The Feet (grounding exercise)

SOLES OF THE FEET This is an effective way to anchor your awareness in the present moment, in body sensation, especially when you’re upset and can’t calm yourself down. Stand up and feel the soles of your feet on the floor.  Rock forward and back a little, and side to...

Here-And-Now-Stone (grounding exercise)

HERE-AND-NOW STONE  Please find a stone that you find especially attractive that you can also keep in your pocket. Then try the following exercise: Start by carefully examining your stone. Notice the colours, the angles, and the way the light plays on the curves of...

Sense And Savour Walk (grounding exercise)

 SENSE AND SAVOUR WALK  The goal of the walk is to notice as many pleasurable things as possible; slowly, one after another. Use all your senses—sight, smell, sound, touch... maybe even taste. How many happy, beautiful, or inspiring things can you notice while you’re...

Savouring Food (grounding exercise)

SAVOURING FOOD Select a snack, or a meal, that you would like to eat. Take a moment and enjoy how the food looks. Then enjoy the smell.  How does it feel to the touch? Begin to reflect on the many hands that were involved in bringing this food to your mouth—the...

Compassionate Walking (grounding exercise)

COMPASSIONATE WALKING Stand still for a moment and anchor your attention in your body. Be aware of yourself in the standing posture. Feel your body. Recall that every living being wants to live peacefully and happily. Connect with that deep wish: “Just as all beings...

Compassionate Movement (grounding exercise)

COMPASSIONATE MOVEMENT Anchoring    Stand up and feel the soles of your feet on the floor. Rock forward and backward a little, and side to side. Make little circles with your knees. Feel the changes of sensation in the soles of your feet. Anchor your awareness in your...

Finding Loving-Kindness Phrases Exercise

    FINDING LOVING-KINDNESS PHRASES This is a pen and paper exercise.  You will close your eyes and do some reflection, then open your eyes and write.  Then close and open your eyes again. This exercise is designed to help you discover loving-kindness and compassion...

Compassionate Letter To Myself Exercise

COMPASSIONATE LETTER TO MYSELF  Everybody has something about themselves they don’t like; something that causes them to feel shame, insecure, or not “good enough.” Please think of something that tends to make you feel bad about yourself (eg. an unhealthy habit; your...

Living With A Vow Exercise

LIVING WITH A VOW When we talk about making a vow, we don’t mean making an unbreakable contract or a promise like a marriage vow. Rather, a vow is an intention to which we can continually reorient ourselves when we’ve gone astray in our lives. A vow anchors our life...

Compassionate Listening Exercise

COMPASSIONATE LISTENING When you are engaged in conversation, and would like to listen more attentively and feel more compassion, try practicing Giving and Receiving Compassion. You can continue the conversation and, in the background, feel the movement of your breath...

Soften-Soothe-Allow Meditation

  SOFTEN-SOOTHE-ALLOW There are 3 components to this exercise: (1) labeling emotions, (2) mindfulness of emotion in the body, and (3) soften-soothe-allow. These components can be practiced individually or together. They can also be practiced in daily life, or as a...

Self-Compassion For Caregivers Meditation

SELF-COMPASSION FOR CAREGIVERS  This exercise is intended for use in actual caregiving situations. It is a way of being compassionate with ourselves while maintaining connection to others. It combines the Giving and Receiving Compassion meditation with phrases that...

Meeting Unmet Needs Meditation

MEETING UNMET NEEDS This exercise is designed to transform hard feelings, especially anger, in current and past relationships. Close your eyes and think of an old relationship that you still feel angry or bitter about.  It's important for this exercise that you choose...

Forgiveness For Ourselves And Others Meditation

FORGIVENESS The central point of forgiveness practice is that we can't forgive wihout first opening to our pain--opening to how hurt we still fee.  Self-compassion gives us the strength to open to pain.   There are five steps to forgiveness:   Opening to pain...

Working With Difficult Emotions Meditation

WORKING WITH DIFFICULT EMOTIONS   There are 3 components to this exercise: (1) labeling emotions, (2) mindfulness of emotion in the body, and (3) soften-soothe-allow.  These components can be practiced individually or together.  They can also be practiced in daily...

Misgivings About Self-Compassion

Misgivings about self-compassion It’s not uncommon for us to come across some hurdles when we contemplate practicing self-compassion. We might think that it will turn us unto unmotivated slobs, who will never get anything done if we just love ourselves. We might fear...