Self-Compassion

“And yet.” Two words to apply from reading the book, “How To Be Sick,” by Toni Bernhard

This weekend, I had the great pleasure of candlelight, a handmade quilt, and a book (as well as other things). I read the book, How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers, by Toni Bernhard. I heard about the book on Facebook of all places and via Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance. Read more ›

in Articles,Counselling Reflections & Skills,External Resources,Self-Compassion

Healing a Soldier’s Heart: A short documentary of a pilot program using mindfulness and loving kindness meditations.

This week, I would like to share a video I came across in the spring that I found interesting and inspiring. It’s a documentary of a pilot program that was run through Veterans Affairs in Seattle teaching to veterans mindfulness meditation, loving kindness meditation, and concepts related to compassion for oneself and for others.

The veterans in the group were all suffering in various ways, which you learn snippets of over the course of the video. The group members also experience positive changes over the program, Read more ›

in Articles,Compassion,External Resources,Mindfulness,Self-Compassion

Heartfulness, Self-Compassion, Open-Heartedness

It’s been a while since I’ve written. The mid and late fall were taken up with seeing clients and with supervision meetings–preparing for what did end up being my final exam to complete my registration for autonomous practice with the College of Psychologists here in Ontario. (Note: I’ve passed. I’m done!) Tragically, a week later I experienced a heart-breaking loss in my life. Then it was the holidays. I’m unfolding from all of this and am both getting back to routines, as well as consciously and deliberately working to create some new ones.

Today I would like to share a quote from a wonderful little book I read in the fall by Jon Kabat-Zinn called Arriving at Your Own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindfulness. Read more ›

in Articles,External Resources,Mindfulness,Self-Compassion,Working with people who self-injure

TED Talk by Richard Wilkinson: “How Economic Inequality Harms Societies”

Today I watched the talk “How Economic Inequality Harms Societies” given by Richard Wilkinson at TED.com and I wanted to share it. The presenter speaks of the compelling relationship between the degree of income disparity in a country and the degree of health of the individuals who live there. Over and over again, the findings suggest that the greater the disparity, the poorer will be all the people’s health in that country, including people’s mental health. Read more ›

in Articles,Counselling Reflections & Skills,Self-Compassion

On the quest to cut open a pumpkin: phrases for self-compassion

Sitting on my counter for the past while has been a beautiful, locally, lovingly, organically grown baking pumpkin. This weekend, it was time to use it, and I opted to make gluten-free pumpkin muffins. One of the first steps, after washing it, was to cut the pumpkin open. Trials with five separate knives later, mission was accomplished.

About one-quarter to one-third of the way through trying to cut the pumpkin open–and likely while I wrestled to pull a stuck knife out of the vegetable–I began to fantasize Read more ›

in Articles,Self-Compassion

Go Slow to Go Fast: My Common Humanity with An Excavating Crew

Let me begin with the introduction of some terms: spool (not the kind for thread), water box, elevation, drop, a “y”, underground services, mains, laterals, hydraulic…. Earlier this month, I faced an emergency of sorts when the sewer drain outside my home became completely clogged and damaged by tree roots.

This was an unexpected and vastly consuming situation, a problem I was unaware of but had clearly been developing for a long time until it reached some tipping point and then, voila! Read more ›

in Articles,Counselling Reflections & Skills,Self-Compassion

The quality and skill of honouring

He accepted–really accepted whole-heartedly–that he was angry and jealous, that he resisted and struggled, and that he was afraid. He accepted that he was also precious beyond measure–wise and foolish, rich and poor, and totally unfathomable. He felt so much gratitude that in the total darkness he stood up, walked toward the snake [a source of great fear], and bowed.  
–Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart, p. 5; [square bracket text added by Tracy]

You put your whole self in.
You put your whole self out.
You put your whole self in….
That’s what it’s all about.
— Lyrics from The Hokey Pokey

I believe concepts of self-compassion and emotion regulation are closely related. One aspect that can be found in both is the intention and action of honouring. Read more ›

in Articles,Self-Compassion,Working with Emotion,Working with people who self-injure

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