What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the foundation of mindful self-compassion. We need to know we are suffering in order to respond to our discomfort with kindness. Mindfulness has had many definitions through the years. Mindful awareness would be feeling the vibrations in your body and the sound in your ears when you clap your hands. Jon Kabat – Zinn, who created Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in 1979 for his patients in the pain clinic at U. Mass Hospital, is considered to be the person who brought the 2,500 year old Buddhist practice of mindfulness to people here in the west in order to manage their pain.

What is Self Compassion?

According to Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself as you would act towards a dear friend when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now, how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?” Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect? You may try to change in ways that allow you to be more healthy and happy, but this is done because you care about yourself, not because you are worthless or unacceptable as you are. Perhaps most importantly, having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness. Things will not always go the way you want them to. You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us. The more you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and all your fellow humans in the experience of life.

What is Mindful Methods for Life Skills Training?

Mindful Methods for Life (MML) Skills Training incorporates the empirically-supported, 8 week, Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) training program based on the research of Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, which teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care, and understanding with the empirically-supported practices of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindful Eating, Mindful Parenting, and Mindfulness in the Workplace. MML also incorporates the teachings of Rick Hanson showing us how to rewire our brains for more happiness, peace, and well-being. And MML integrates teachings from James Baraz, Brene’ Brown, Pema Chodrun, Alan Morinis, and many more.

MML provides powerful tools for emotional resilience. Mindfulness is the first step in emotional healing—being able to turn toward and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings (such as inadequacy, sadness, anger, confusion) with a spirit of openness and curiosity. Self-compassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we’re hurting. Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional wellbeing. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.

In MML you’ll learn:

  • how to handle difficult emotions with greater ease, by working with difficult emotions
  • how to motivate yourself with encouragement rather than criticism
  • how to transform difficult relationships
  • how to use mindfulness and self-compassion practices in everyday life
  • how to increase joy in your life
  • how to rewire the brain for more happiness by taking in positive mind states