Mindful self-compassion for emotional resilience - Sunday 25th November 2018
Introduction to mindful self-compassion - a one day retreat to help build self-care, kindness and emotional resilience. Facilitated by Aileen Ross.
"For someone to develop genuine compassion towards others, first they must have a basis upon which to cultivate compassion, and that basis is the ability to connect to one’s own feelings and to care for one’s own welfare... Caring for others requires caring for oneself…”
- Tenzin Gyatso - the 14th and current Dalai Lama.
How true is that? So many of us are carers in all manner of ways - children/parents/medical patients/students/family/colleagues... the list is endless. We offer others our compassion and kindness but how often do we give ourselves the same gift? Perhaps we feel too worn out to be able to offer ourselves even a small grain of what we give to others. There's no time, little energy, it feels selfish... so many reasons why we don't care for ourselves as we may do for others. And sometimes perhaps we've not received care and compassion in childhood or experienced the opposite in our adult life, so it's hard to access these qualities in ourselves for ourselves.
So here is a one-day retreat-style introduction to mindful self-compassion with the opportunity to give yourself a wonderful gift of a day to learn about self-care and develop self-compassion and kindness. A gentle, self-loving day away from the frazzles of everyday life with the chance to learn basic tools and techniques to treasure and be kind to yourself.
So what is mindful self-compassion?
Self-compassion includes the tools of kindness, mindfulness, and acceptance. Based on the ground-breaking research of Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices to enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.
The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we become able to give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to awareness of others so we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to the emotional damage we sometimes unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others, and become more authentically ourselves.
Increasing scientific research shows how self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. When we’re more self-compassionate we become better able to bounce back from life’s challenges and also experience greater well-being. This, in turn, enables us to also become more compassionate towards others.
What will I experience on the day?
As this is an introductory course to mindful self-compassion no previous experience of mindfulness or meditation is required. We will start with the basics, focusing on simple breathing exercises, then gradually introduce ideas behind mindful self-compassion meditation. There will be some short talks, some exercises where you will explore and develop the capacity to offer yourself self-compassion. As well as the opportunity to learn and practise some mindful self-compassion simple meditations that evoke self-kindness and compassion in daily life.
I will hold and encourage a safe space for all of this to unfold and create a gentle, kind, fun, interesting and supportive one day retreat for you to enjoy. There may be some gentle mindful walking if the weather lends itself to that.
What do I do now?
If you're interested in joining us you can contact me by email or by phone -
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07961 327828.
I am happy to talk with you about this retreat, and also answer any of your queries via email. I can send you an application form for you to fill out which asks helpful questions for me to check out before you book. These forms are kept completely confidential by me.
The cost of this one day retreat is £65 and it’s possible to pay by bank transfer or cheque whichever you prefer.
I'm an experienced and professionally trained senior accredited and registered psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer, working within the ethical code of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I have more than 20 years client experience.
I have a 15 year meditation practice and integrate mindfulness within my therapeutic practice with clients. My initial mindfulness training was with Manchester-based BreathWorks, and I'm currently in my final year of a mindfulness masters degree at Bangor University. My research and thesis is aimed at developing a mindful self-compassion course for carers.
I've trained in America with Chris Germer and Kristin Neff in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and also in the UK with Paul Gilbert in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT).
I'm also a listed mindfulness teacher with the UK Mindfulness Teachers’ Network working to their good practice guidelines alongside my BACP ethical code having taught mindfulness for the past eight years to individuals, groups and developed bespoke courses for organisations.
About Aileen Ross
Aileen's a psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer with 20 years experience and 15 years meditation practice integrating mindfulness within her therapeutic practice. Currently finishing her mindfulness masters degree, Aileen is listed with UK Mindfulness Teachers' Network working to their good practice guidelines and her BACP therapy ethical code.