It’s the holidays – HELP!

I need some self-compassion to cope….

Forest B&W, Mindfulness, Oakville, Ontario
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About the Author

Rainer Beltzner

Rainer Beltzner

Rainer has spent over four decades as a business professional, experiencing the stress, anxiety and occasional joys of strategies, politics, and interpersonal conflicts associated with operating and managing in large domestic and international corporate structures. Rainer has presented at major professional conferences, and developed and taught courses at a number of Universities across Canada.


If we truly examine our day-to-day life, we would see that we experience some level of stress or anxiety from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep.

  • “I am running late”
  • “will my car start”
  • “I should have…”
  • “did I get the right gift”

Even during sleep, we often find ourselves restless, waking frequently and entertaining less than positive thoughts – making us even more anxious about the day ahead.

All of us have difficulties in our lives. Some are small – like trying to decide what to have for dinner – to some that are quite large – a worry about the health of a loved one. The reality is that we experience lots of difficulties each and every day.

“Ironically, recognizing and embracing our difficulties, large and small, can substantially enrich our lives. And this can be achieved through cultivating the skill of mindful self-compassion.” (Kristin Neff/Chris Germer)

See also www.selfcompassion.org and www.mindfulselfcompassion.org

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. Self-compassion has also been shown to be an antidote to empathy fatigue – often suffered by health care professionals as they try and cope, providing care to their patients in an ever demanding and stressful environment.

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 authentically ourselves.

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.

Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, 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!

Based on the groundbreaking research of Kristin Neff Ph.D. and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer Ph.D., an empirically supported Mindful Self–Compassion training program (MSC) has been developed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion; that teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding. Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. MSC is a workshop rather than a retreat. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.

This MSC training program consists of 8 weekly sessions in addition to a half-day retreat and is being offered for the first time ever in Ontario, right here at the QE Community and Cultural Centre in Oakville on Thursday nights starting January 8, 2015. You can go to https://msc2015.eventbrite.ca for further information.



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