Thursday, November 4, 2010

Self-compassion: Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Is Self-Compassion Important?
This workbook is meant to be an invitation to create space in our lives for understanding and compassion for ourselves (and others), especially in rough times, and so to give us the opportunity to put aside the painful illusion of a future peace without a present one.
All of us already have preferred ways to take care of ourselves and show ourselves compassion. We'll begin by exploring our own intuitive wisdom for providing a safe, accepting, compassionate space to heal from stress and conflict.
Learning Task 2: Using Neff's Self-Compassion Scale
All of us make mistakes, especially in circumstances where emotions, needs, self-identities, cultures and other complex issues are involved. Using Neff's Self-Compassion Scale, we'll reflect on our own experience of self-compassion and explore six areas essential for self-compassion.
Learning Task 3: Mindfulness as a Basic Skill for Self-Compassion
Mindfulness is an essential skill for healing from the wounds of stress and conflict and removing the destructive power of over-identification. We'll introduce and begin practicing four skills of mindfulness.
Learning Task 4: Understanding the Process
How do we cultivate self-kindness, especially when our thoughts are so often filled with judgment? Where should we direct our mindfulness? A good starting place is to look at the process we go through to produce destructive thoughts and behaviors. We'll practice using a diagram to understand a conflict story.
Learning Task 5: Understanding Our Triggers
We'll explore our own tendencies for difficult emotions and thoughts to 'flood' during stress and try to discover some of the triggers we have in a conflict.
Learning Task 6: Identifying Our Interpretive Filters
We'll look at 2 important parts of our interpretive filters: affect systems (Anger/Anxiety/Disgust; Driven/Excited/Vitality; Content/Safe/Connected) and inference systems (including life-traps). We'll then explore how they might impact our well-being and our experiences of conflict.
Learning Task 7 Soothing Our Inner Voice
While reflecting on a conflict story, we'll pay attention to what happens with our body sensations, emotions, attention/thought and action urges. We'll then make compassionate response charts and practice one of these responses.
Learning Task 8: Context is Everything
Knowing our own vulnerability factors allows us to be proactive in avoiding, preparing for and/or making plans for healing from difficult circumstances. After identifying some of our key factors, we'll brainstorm possible compassionate preparations and responses.
Self-Compassion 8a: Writing a Compassionate Letter
Self-Compassion 8b: Keeping a Compassion Diary
Learning Task 9: Experiencing & Expressing Gratitude
Because we have focused on our self-compassion during stress and conflict, we have put a lot of emphasis on the difficult and negative experiences of life. How can we cultivate an attitude of gratefulness, even when facing less than ideal circumstances?
Conclusion: Ending & Beginning
As we conclude this workbook, we remember that each new day brings an invitation to continue learning to cultivate lives of self-compassion.