Clouds, hearts and blue sky
Book now and get CAD $105.00 off listed prices. Offer valid until Dec 31, 2022.
  • Private Room (Single or Double Bed; Shared Washroom) – CAD $1,585.00
  • Commuter with 3 meals – CAD $1,210.00

Date & Time Details: Starts March 26 at 3:30 Completes March 31, 2023 at 1:30

Location: Bethlehem Centre

Address: 2371 Arbot Road, Nanaimo, BC, Canada

Mindful Self-Compassion Five Day Intensive

With Victoria Pawlowski M.Ed., R.C.C. and Dr. Kristy Williams MD

March 26 - 31, 2023

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.

After participating in this workshop, you’ll be able to:

  • 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 ​​

Commuter and Residential Options Available


Victoria Pawlowski M.Ed., R.C.C.
Registered Clinical Counsellor | Certified Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion I offer a compassion-focused, mindfulness-based holistic approach to counselling that integrates over 30 years of practice, education, professional training, life experience and a passion for health and healing. I started my career as a Nutritionist with different levels of government and industry focusing on food security, workplace wellness and school food programs.  As I became increasingly interested in the bio-psycho-social aspects of health, I pursued graduate studies in Counselling Psychology and postgraduate work in Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, IBP (integrated body psychotherapy) and EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy). I have had the privilege…
Learn more about Victoria Pawlowski M.Ed., R.C.C.
Dr. Kristy Williams MD
Dr. Kristy Williams is a Trained MSC Teacher and Family Physician in Nanaimo who has been inspired by the integral role compassion plays in the health and healing she seeks for herself and her patients. A meditator since the mid-2000s, she completed her MSC teacher designation in 2018, and has been enjoying teaching and deepening her practice since then. She’s also trained in trauma-sensitive mindfulness and embodied practice and loves to integrate new concepts into the MSC curriculum.
Learn more about Dr. Kristy Williams MD