Mindful Self-Compassion Five Day Intensive
With Victoria Pawlowski M.Ed., R.C.C. and Dr. Kristy Williams MD
March 24 - 29, 2024
We invite you to join us for the last week of March in 2023 for a residential retreat to feed mind, body, and soul. Take this opportunity to take a deep dive into Mindfulness and Self-Compassion practice and learn to care for yourself in a deep and sustainable way.
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an evidence-based training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the groundbreaking research of Dr. Kristin Neff (Ph.D.) and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer (psychologist), MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care, and understanding. Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that 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. And it’s easier than you think.
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 can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can 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 harm, including the harm that we 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 be more authentic ourselves.
- Practice self-compassion in daily life
- Understand the evidence-based benefits of self-compassion
- Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
- Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
- Transform challenging relationships, old and new
- Manage caregiver fatigue
- Practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation
What To Expect
Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussions, and home practices. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.
To that end, we are including open and facilitated creative opportunities to support the embodiment of the practices. The goal is to support participants in the creation of a personal set of Mindful Self-Compassion Cards to further take away on their journey and support their daily practice.
MSC is primarily a compassion training program, although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion. MSC is also not psychotherapy insofar as the emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources rather than addressing old wounds. Positive change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way.
It is said that “love reveals everything unlike itself.” While some difficult emotions may arise when practicing self-compassion, we are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey interesting and enjoyable for everyone.
No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend MSC. To insure safety, participants are asked to provide background information when they register for the program.
This program fulfills one of the prerequisites for becoming an MSC teacher. For more information on MSC and MSC Teacher Training, please visit www.CenterForMSC.org
Commuter and Residential Options Available
Victoria is a registered clinical counsellor and certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher who has been practising, studying and teaching MSC at Bethlehem since 2014. She is grateful for her co-teachers, mentors and all the participants who have shared this path of learning to turn towards our difficult experiences with the balm of self-compassion. Victoria is passionate about contributing to a more compassionate world through the development of personal skills and resources that can help us our include ourselves in our big arms of compassion for others.
Learn more about Victoria Pawlowski M.Ed., R.C.C.
Kristy is a teacher of mindful self-compassion family physician and parent who is continually humbled by the breadth of being human in these times. She is passionate about learning and sharing in community and finds MSC skills essential for her personal well being. She offers one on one care as a physician and has offered programs since 2018 to the public (specifically to those training and working in health care.) She has trained in trauma-sensitive mindfulness, embodied practice, attending to grief and socially engaged Buddhism and strives to integrate and embody these concepts into her teaching.
Learn more about Dr. Kristy Williams MD