Self-Compassion: a Heroic Journey to Courage, Kindness and Connection

How do we treat our self in difficult situations, when something goes wrong, or after making a mistake? What’s the tone of our inner self-talk? Are we sympathetic, understanding, and kind? Or are we self-critical, constantly obsessing on our error?

Self-compassion is the alternative to being self-critical. Research shows that being self-critical is not conducive to success, health, or well-being. Self-criticism results in isolation, tension, and suffering, whereas self-compassion builds confidence, well-being, and resilience. And, selfcompassion can be learned.

We can learn to relate to our self like a good friend, who sees our imperfections with a heart of understanding, warmth, and kindness. And, when we courageously open our heart toward our own suffering, our understanding and compassion for others naturally deepens. As we let go of harsh self-judgment and gain insight into the source of our patterns, we begin to sense our potential for unconditional love.

Cultivating self-compassion is a heroic journey, which

builds resilience for the challenges of everyday life,

improves our relationships with others, and

enables us to become a force of kindness in the world.

Course topics are covered through a combination of presentations, exercises, dialogue, guided meditations, and paired and group communication methods. Topics include:

  • Three aspects of self-compassion
  • Compassionate mindfulness of the body
  • Exploring the obstacles to self-compassion
  • Meeting our inner critic
  • Being worthy of love
  • Developing resilience
  • A comprehensive model for self-compassion
  • Exercises for compassionate listening
  • Definitions of love, empathy, compassion, and self-compassion
  • Clearing emotional unfinished business
  • Self-compassion as a bridge to genuine kindness for others
  • Forgiveness and self-forgiveness
  • Contemplations for developing kindness, self-compassion, transforming suffering, and self-forgiveness

A large part of the schedule includes practicing and mastering meditations for self-kindness and learning to apply these meditations in daily life. The purpose is to develop skills and insights that support personal healing and inner transformation.




“My patients sense my openness and that I have more to offer them than just medicine for pain relief. I now clearly understand the difference between empathy and compassion, so I can enter palliative care work feeling much safer and without worrying about getting burned out. Even though before the course I had no experience with meditation, I now regularly do guided meditations, and look forward to this time of rest every night. It gives me space and support in every area of my life.” – Uli Kewer, MD