Free Online 3-Week Course on Self-Compassion for the Holidays.
This year’s free online 3-week Self-Compassion for the Holidays course will begin on Tuesday, November 30 at 7 pm Eastern. Each class will last about 90 minutes with a break in the middle. For details, read on:
The holiday season can be a time of connection and joy, but because it involves human beings, it can also be kind of complicated. I offer this course annually to provide resources for when things aren’t as smooth as we would like. The course is free because I have found these practices to be really valuable, and I want to make them as accessible as possible. If you find the class useful, donations are welcome, but not necessary. And if you aren’t sure if you’ll have the time to attend the Zoom sessions, you are welcome to sign up and I’ll send you handouts on what we go over in each class.
The first class will cover resourcing techniques—both physical and mental—so that if things get prickly, you’ll be less likely to add your own reactivity to the mix. The idea of resourcing comes from the mental health world, and it means having readily available ways to tap into a sense of calm and ease (at least a little!). We’ll talk about in-the-moment resourcing: mini-mindfulness breaks you can do to reset yourself in the midst of difficulties so you can bring more of who you are into the next moment. Then we’ll talk about lifestyle resourcing, which means remembering to do what nourishes you so your internal batteries stay charged. Finally, I’ll offer some mental resourcing techniques that include cultivating supportive images, memories and attitudes that can build resilience and equanimity.
The second class will draw on exercises from the evidence-based Mindful Self-Compassion program that can help bring self-compassion into difficult situations. We’ll talk about what self-compassion is and how it does—or does not—show up in your life. We’ll cover the research on the benefits of self-compassion, and address common misgivings, such as the perception that self-compassion is ‘weak.’ We will then try some practices designed to encourage self-compassion in the midst of difficulties. If there is time, we’ll do an additional practice that brings self-compassion into dealing with difficult emotions. (Please note that the first hour of this session will be very similar to my 1-hour Intro to Self-Compassion classes if you have taken one of those.)
The final class will cover the traditional loving kindness meditation—a type of meditation that uses phrases and imagery to get in touch with our natural inclination to offer goodwill to others and ourselves. If you are not familiar with it, here is a great post by Dr. Emma Seppälä, science director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. We’ll do the traditional practice, and then do a variation where you can create phrases that resonate with you. Finally, we’ll see how the practice can help us have more space when it comes to dealing with difficult people in our lives.
This course tends to be popular, so I often do it as a webinar format rather than as a typical interactive mindfulness class. But there will still be small group discussions in breakout rooms as well as large group interaction so we can learn from each other. And I’m happy to stay after each session if there are further questions.
Thanks for your interest in this offering, and mostly I wish you the best holiday season ever!