Does Self Compassion = Self Indulgence?
Why can self care or self compassion be so challenging?
Often it’s much easier to offer compassion, reassurance and kindness to those around us than to ourselves. Self care & self compassion can feel self-indulgent or even selfish. Our fast - paced, comparative and productivity obsessed culture emphasises always striving for more, leaving little to no time for contentment or time to just be. We are encouraged to evaluate our ‘performance’ in every aspect of our lives. No longer just in our professional worlds but our social and personal landscapes have also been turned into units that can be counted, measured, compared, monetised and marketed to. Marketing & advertising works by making us feel we are lacking in some way, hoping that if we buy something we will become better.
We are hardwired for social connection & a sense of belonging. Social awareness, acceptance and connection have long been part of our survival mechanism and brainsit in our ‘old brain’ - which has been around in some form for over 10 million years.
More recently, (for about the last 2 million years) we’ve been existing with the added bonus of a sense of self, the ability to imagine & conceptualise desires & fears beyond our actual immediate experience.
All of this creates quite a cocktail.
If we bring together:
- Socially focussed survival mechanisms (old brain) with a sense of self (new brain) we have a combination that can result in comparison of ourselves to others
- A competitive culture of acquisition, excess & individualism that literally profits from our feelings of inadequacy and negative comparison to others
- A huge increase of the platforms through which we can absorb & display enhanced, censored versions of ourselves & others
Then is it really is any wonder that many of us have inner critics that are running rough shod over our experience? Inner critics that won’t permit a self administered ‘pat on the back’ for our efforts, reassurance, kind, soothing self talk or permission to put our feet up & do nothing productive once in a while.
Self compassion might feel indulgent or wishy washy in a social landscape that favours competition, but it’s actually the foundation of resilience and courage. It allows us to share the more real, vulnerable & imperfect but also unique and creative versions of ourselves. This exposing of our vulnerability fosters more genuine connection with others & is the basis of a sense of real belonging. Bringing this more real & courageous part of ourselves into our responsibilities and work helps us find more meaning and purpose but also a sense of contentment.
As queen Brene says:
“Engaging from a place of worthiness is having the courage, compassion & connection to wake up in the morning & think
‘no matter what gets done & how much is left undone, I am enough.
It’s going to sleep thinking,
’I am imperfect, vulnerable & sometimes afraid but that doesn’t change the fact that I am brave & worthy of love & belonging.’
Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
Self compassion, self care and a feeling of innate worthiness can be antidotes to this inner critic. But as these ideas are totally contrary to all the other messaging we have shoved into our consciousness every second; putting them into practice is challenging. Where do we begin with reframing thoughts and changing patterns of behaviour?
In this workshop, Molly & Lisa will share some practical tools that can be used to directly experience & cultivate more self compassion. Techniques will include with gentle, flowing yoga sequences coupled with breath & mantra. Body work, energetic practices & self reflection will also be used.
We will use the body as a vehicle through which we can tangibly and viscerally experience being & moving from a place of self compassion, acceptance, and ‘enoughness’. We will be slowing things right down so that we can notice & direct our inner dialogue as we work with the body, helping to start to access & manage the more unruly beast of the mind. The use of mantra, breath, body work, meditation & reflection will help us then bring these principles of self compassion into our thought processes and feelings. Our intention is that by experiencing these compassionate qualities through the body, breath and mind in a workshop; we will be able to access them more easily in our daily habits of thought & behaviour.
Lisa is a Clinical Psychologist with over ten years experience working in the mental health field. After qualifying in 2015, she travelled to Peru and on a retreat in the Amazon felt a strong connection and realisation that her body held many secrets about her emotional and energetic experiences over the course of her lifetime.
During her therapeutic work in the last four years with those with trauma, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and medically unexplained symptoms, Lisa has become fascinated with how as human beings we tend to push our difficult experiences down into our body, and that these experiences if left untreated and stuck can later manifest as illness.
This year Lisa travelled in Asia for four months learning meditation practices, therapeutic yoga asana and Thai Massage & Ayurveda inspired bodywork. This learning has further inspired her to attempt to combine touch-based therapy and physical therapy techniques into her psychology practice, which is an ongoing process and exploration. She hopes to study Body Psychotherapy or Somatic Experiencing courses in the future to combine psychology with physical release techniques to assist her clients to feel a more significant and whole shift in their being, than working just with the mental aspects.
Less than an hour by train from King’s Cross (and a 10 minute taxi from Canterbury)
Accommodation in cottages and a sophisticated ‘grown up’ dorm room
9 acres of beautifully manicured gardens
Gorgeous yoga studio with under floor heating - check it out here!
Hot tub and outdoor shower
Surrounded by countryside with lots of beautiful walks
A yoga therapist as well as a yoga teacher; Molly teaches nurturing yoga classes that are as dynamic or as gentle as you need them to be.
Her classes lead with the breath and emphasise tuning into the body’s feedback & noticing how this impacts our mood & mental wellbeing.
She’s particularly interested in how the practices of yoga filter off the mat and into our daily lives, relationships & habits of thought.
Her aim is to create space for students to follow their own lines of enquiry and experience; using the body and breath as the vehicles of exploration.
She firmly believes in adapting practices to the individual rather than adapting individuals to the practice.
Classes normally include movement, breathing, chanting and meditation.
£385 per person (only x3 places left, women only)
PRIVATE COTTAGE ‘The Potting Shed’:
£465 per person for shared twin/double room in the private cottage
£530 for the whole cottage to yourself.
Click below to pay £100 deposit to confirm your place
Balance due Early June 2019.
There will be no refunds for guests leaving early. Price is to be paid in FULL.
Deposit is £100 non-refundable to secure your spot.
All guests must have travel insurance that cover the country and activities, and any emergencies will be covered by this.
Check prices below for included components of retreat only
Payment plans available upon request.
Photos of The Quaives
Release & Align Retreat, Nicaragua, Jan 2018
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