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The Power of Holding Difficulty with Self-Compassion

with Kristin Neff, PhD

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What you'll learn

  • Discover how the loving connected presence of self compassion can be a more reliable source of joy than the external conditions of our lives
  • Learn about the three main components of self-compassion: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness; and hear about the research behind how these help you to be stronger, more resilient, and more effective
  • Experience a guided practice to help you work with difficulty or overwhelm, and get tips for integrating self-compassion into your daily life

About the speakers

Kristin Neff, PhD

Kristin Neff, PhD, is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, conducting the first empirical studies on self-compassion nearly twenty years ago. She has been recognized as one of the most influential researchers in psychology worldwide. She is the author of the bestselling book Self-Compassion.  Along with her colleague Chris Germer she developed the empirically-supported Mindful Self-Compassion program which is taught all around the globe.  They also co-wrote The Mindful Self-compassion Workbook and Teaching the Mindful Self-compassion Program.  Her latest book is Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive.

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  • I think that if we were all more self compassionate, the world would be so much better, because we can’t give what we haven’t accomplished in ourselves.
    Thank you for this session.

  • The creation sprouts up from the joyfulness and sorrows serve as contrast only to illuminate joyful state.So sorrow and sufferrings are the colours only to paint joyfulness more beautiful, be utilised full.

  • Thank you both for this heart opening sharing ! I really enjoyed the guided practice too 🙂 Wishing joy to all this week!

  • I have read Fierce Self-Compassion and can not praise the knowledge, insights, and self-compassion activities enough. I gifted this book to my daughter, my sister, and my mother. I purchased the Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook after watching Happiness and Its Causes some years ago and have practiced the Self-Compassion activities with my friends and family since. These practices have become part of my everyday life, in my personal care, nurture, compassion, and healing. My daughter, friends, and family are sharing the practice of Mindful Self-Compassion with others. A goal in life once rehoused is to pursue Mindfulness Self-Compassion Teacher Training. In my own personal experience, turning compassion inward is that as Presiding Bishop Micheal Curry mentioned earlier, cultivates a sense of Joy from deeper within. Thank you.

  • I love the acknowledgement that others can sense our inner state and that we connect at a level that is neither visible nor verbal. Nothing spooky – just how we’re wired. Also makes it apparent that we impact others by our very presence, so it is important to care for our inner world, including being compassionate with ourselves.

  • My own fear, anxiety about a session I need to facilitate, dissolved hearing Kristen’s words and connecting to common humanity, and as I hold others who are in fear, I was opening to myself. Embracing this moment as it is with loving kindness.

  • Thank you SO much.
    I am/was in a very difficult place, part of which is my son’s schizophrenia…..I need and am starting a self compassion practice….thank you.

  • I’m new to Kristen’s work, but I can see this is going to be the beginning of a very positive journey for me. I’ve just downloaded the wonderful MP3 exercises from her website and really look forward to making them part of my daily life. I also look forward to reading her books.Thank you so much for this inspiring event.

  • Thanks! Especially for pointing out that self-compassion takes a ‘shared’ stance based on shared humanity (giving oneself, & one’s feelings, experiences and efforts, the same credence as everyone else) rather than being about having a self that cares about the self in isolation. When we’re used to feeling that we’re ‘on our own,’ or we don’t have access to good communities, ‘self-compassion’ can sound more like ‘self-pity,’ and as you say we focus on amping up our performance.

  • Thank you both for this amazing presentation. I am working on a theory that joy is connection. That connection can be with others, with nature, or with ourselves. Your work added fuel to my fire and I am grateful. Dave

  • Always love listening to Kristen! Self compassion is so important in everyone’s life. I always say everyone should talk to themselves like they would to their best friend. Always be mindful so that you can be self compassionate for a happier world. Thank you once again!

  • Thank you. Rich content. The study of compassion and extending that to self is valuable for us in our very individualistic, competitive, performance driven, self sufficient North American culture. Time for something kinder, softer, to ease the trauma we all have been and are presently living with.The ‘turning toward’ that you spoke of, rather than turning away from. We have accomplished much of benefit in our mechanistic/technological focus. Time to allow , or surrender to the situation we now find ourselves in. That industrial focus, that mechanistic focus reminds me of the child who takes alarm clocks or radios apart to see how they work. We do that and sometimes do not know how to put it back together but we have gained valuable knowledge. Our planet needs us to stop making such a mess right now. We need to take a break, have a snack, seek advice on how to fix that alarm clock in pieces all over your floor. The Dali Lama and others like the Rev. Desmond Tutu and their kind have wisdom and skills needed now. The world needs them and us right now. Compassion can ease our suffering, allow room for awareness and maybe , just maybe, if enough of us do this we may find ways to heal ourselves and thus others and our planet. Interconnectedness, pooling our energy and resources, wisdom arises in that still, calm space and we need to be wise right now. Blessings. I wish us all well.

    • Yes indeed. Blood sugar is a whole needed discussion now as well, diet is more important than many recognize, I laughed when you said “we need to take a break and have a snack”. So much road rage could be avoided I am pretty sure! (Had a landlady who made herself too thin and admitted to me as I offered her a massage after a fender-bender she was hungry!)

  • self compassion is a must for people who give much of themselves helping other people… Thank you for helping me realize this

  • Thanks so much Kristin for this eye opening & heart warming session, which really spoke to a number of the challenges I am going through right now & gave me some tools to deal with them, and also create the boundaries that I need to move forward.

  • Thank you Kristin for your insights on self-compassion. I’m a first time mother and find myself often being overwhelmed and hard on myself. I am looking forward to reading your books and incorporating self-compassion in my daily practice to achieve peace of mind amidst the chaos of work at home and work from home 🙂

  • wonderful, thank you! I loved the conversation and the guided practice. And I’m very glad that Kristin brought up the empathic effect of our self-compassion on those around us. Thanks, too, for talking about the need for compassionate action and about how seflf-compassion can fill us up to carry on.

  • Thank you. I have been feeling a lot of heaviness in my heart today. Doing the meditation with you helped me release tears I had been holding it. The release was very necessary. Thank you very much. I also found the fact that I can give myself a loving touch and the brain doesn’t know the difference – very helpful and relieving to hear. I can take care of myself. Really inspired to focus on my self compassion!

  • Thank you. I always love to hear Kristin speak about self compassion and lead us in practice. May we all feel our connection with other flawed imperfect human beings.

  • Wow, what a powerful and foundational practice on the path to JOY, and like you said, one many of us haven’t given much thought to. Loved this eye- and heart-opening talk and your warm heart and nature, Kristin. Can’t wait to read your books! ❤️

  • Wonderful Session.. Loved how the concept of Mindful Self-compassion has been simplified and explained. Also the meditation was awesome. especially the part of connecting with self with physical touch.

  • Thank you for giving us the extra time to listen to additional sessions. I so needed to hear Kristin Neff’s presentation on self-compassion and the dual sides of caring and action. When in a negative self-space, I tend to isolate so that others are not affected by how I feel. Failure has always resulted in an indictment against self. Kristin has provided numerous helpful ideas/actions to change…never too old! THANK YOU!

  • Wonderful session. Kristin Neff is brilliant and heart-centered at the same time. She makes so much sense, and is backed by research. Self compassion is one very important key to living a joyful life, and being able to be there for others as well. Thank you so much. I can see that you want to alleviate unecessary suffering.

  • Congratulations Kristin on your ground breaking work helping us all to recognise as ‘good enough’ flawed individuals that we can effectively care for ourselves in times of need, grow accordingly and have greater internal resources to care for others. Your exercise was wonderful and so detailed that we can all use it as needed. Take care you are truly a gift to others !

  • What an enriching interaction and a powerful self-compassion practice. Fierce & Tender Compassion was particularly a new ‘aha’ for me! So much gratitude you both!

    i recently experienced immense compassion in the presence of HH the Dalai Lama and could relate with a lot of what you shared Kristin — Loving Connected Presence!

    PS: Copying a link to my experience with HH:

  • Potentially SO empowering, shared as much as I could remember with my weekly meditation group (fully attributing, and sharing video with heartfelt thanks!) Rosalyn Bruyere said “pets are human emotion magnifiers”; perhaps our most sensitive “on the spectrum” folks are as well. (I have a cat visiting and I swear he reads my emotions.) More importantly, a girl with X-genetic issues upstairs who does her best to isolate & alienate me (fearing I could take her adoptive Dad away) could/must be resonating to my lack of resources you teach, so on with this “project” with my thanks, again. It would be SO amazing if I stopped reacting, and as a result she calmed down. At least, I will learn self-compassion. At best, she will trigger less startle reflex, anger & frustration in me. Bless you.

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