Life has pain. Despite your best intentions, things go wrong. How do you usually react when things fall apart? Often, people feel ashamed and self-critical, thinking “What’s wrong with me?” No matter how hard you try to avoid emotional pain, it’s everywhere. Can you make a change this year and learn to respond to pain differently? Instead of thinking that you are broken and need to be fixed, these sessions teach how to relate to emotional pain in a more compassionate and loving way. This series will explore a radical, scientifically supported way to respond to pain: through self-compassion.
Simply put, self-compassion is taking care of yourself, just as you would care for someone you love dearly. In this session, we will explore the three parts of self-compassion: mindfulness, common humanity, and self-kindness. We will apply this lesson through compassionate emotion surfing.
In this session, you will enjoy experiential practices of affectionate breathing, compassionate self-touch, and gratitude for yourself. We will explore the reality of the negativity brain bias and over-ride that tendency with self-appreciation.
The Yin and Yang of Self-Compassion.
Is self-compassion always just a fluffy, touchy-feeling practice? Not at all! There is a fearsome side! This session focuses on the two sides of self-compassion, emphasizing the yin (comforting, soothing, validating) and yang (protecting, providing, motivating).
“What you resist persists. What you feel can heal.” When you hate, resist, and judge yourself, you get stuck. This session explores how to befriend yourself, just as you are. We examine the inner critic and replace it with a compassionate coach.
Embracing your Body with Self-Compassion.
Your sense of self is often closely identified with your body, and it can be painful when your body doesn’t look, behave, or feel the way you want. In this final session, we will apply our core strategies of non-judgmental mindfulness, common humanity, and self-kindness – specifically toward your body.
Julie Kangas, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist, certified yoga teacher, and a certified compassion meditation teacher. She is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Diego and a clinic coordinator at the San Diego VA. She treats Veterans with PTSD and participates in research applying yoga, self-compassion, and meditation as treatments for mental and physical illness. She serves as the Director of the Advanced Fellowship for Women’s Health and teaches doctoral and post-doctoral candidates in clinical psychology. She also maintains a small private practice (find her at drjuliekangas.com).