View this email in your browser
Hi Community,

I hope October has been treating you well and that you've been enjoying the mostly cooler days. Pretty soon we'll be turning back the clocks and, hopefully, receiving some much-needed rain here in California.

Last week marked the beginning of the Mindful Self-Compassion course, and teaching the first class really reminded me of how powerful, and necessary, self-compassion is for all of us. 
I'm looking forward to the next 8 weeks of MSC.

This month's blog post ~ Self-Compassion: Trick or Treat ~ touches on the doubts that many people have when they begin practicing self-compassion, and it offers some suggestions on how to relate to those misgivings. If you have noticed some doubts in yourself, I hope you find post helpful.

Also, you may enjoy listening to the Self-Compassion playlist I recently created on Spotify. Music is a real resource for me, and I know many people feel that way. If music speaks to you, I encourage you to create your own playlist of songs that feel especially supportive to you and recognize this as an act of self-compassion.

The tool I'm sharing this month ~ Self-Compassion in Daily Life ~ comes from the Mindful Self-Compassion course. It's an opportunity to notice the things that you're already doing to relate to yourself with kindness. It's so important to see yourself accurately and to get that you wouldn't be here if you weren't relating to yourself with some degree of self-compassion. I hope you find this tool an encouragement to let these self-compassionate habits register.

The next Self-Compassion Circle meets tomorrow, Sunday, October 25, from 6-7:30pm at Cultural Integration Fellowship in San Francisco. We're meeting on Sundays this month and next month, and I hope that this shift gives more folks an opportunity to come, as I know that it can be hard to make it on a Monday night. At tomorrow's group, we'll be talking, meditating and practicing together in a welcoming circle of likeminded folks. There's usually a mix of newcomers and regulars. You are very welcome to join us. 

~ October 2015 Newsletter ~
Self-Compassion in Daily Life
(this practice is based on teachings in the
Mindful Self-Compassion training)

While self-compassion involves reflection and a kind of mind training, it is also an active, practical practice. Acting with self-compassion means that you recognize when you are under stress, and you respond with care and kindness.

There actually are many ways that you already practice self-compassion, and it can be helpful to remember to recognize them. One of the things the inner critic often judges is our ability to take care of ourselves. However, you wouldn't have lived this long if you couldn't take care of yourself.

Rather than making a list of all the things you need to do differently or more of to take better care of yourself, start by recognizing what you are already doing. It can be easy to overlook all the ways that you practice self-care, and to just focus on how you aren't doing as much as you could.

Take a few moments and think about the things you do each day that express and reflect a sense of care for yourself. This might include really basic, pragmatic things that you don't even think about like, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, taking out the recycling, going to the dentist for a check-up, paying bills on time, or making sure your cupboards are stocked.

Here are a few other categories to consider:

Physically ~ exercise, stretching, yoga, massage, warm bath, cup of tea, eat a nice meal, drink a glass of water when you're thirsty, take a nap, walk around the block, hug a loved one

Mentally ~ meditation, watch a funny movie or tv show, read an inspiring or funny book or article, take a class, do a crossword puzzle or sudoku, listen to music you like

Emotionally ~ pet your dog or cat, journal, cook, go to therapy, garden/take care of plants

Relationally ~ meet with friends, send a birthday card, write a letter, play a game

Spiritually ~ pray, walk in the woods or in a park, help others, spend time by the ocean, 

Creatively ~ write, draw, paint, photography, play music, knitting, sewing, make crafts

This practice is not meant to make you feel guilty about the things that you aren't doing, but rather to help you recognize what you are doing, and to let that register more fully.

It's important to really see what you are already doing to relate to yourself with kindness. The simple, everyday things you do count just as much as the mind-training exercises and meditations that you might do to more consciously cultivate self-compassion. See if you can recognize your everyday acts of self-compassion.
Upcoming Events
self-compassion circle
Monthly Meditation Group
Next Meeting: Oct. 25
Recent Articles
Self-Compassion: Trick or Treat?
Speaking of
"You will learn by reading, but you will understand with love."
~ Shams
"Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold." 
~ Zelda Fitzgerald
"Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition." 
~ James Baldwin
"The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don't feel brave enough to deal with.
To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else's eyes."
~ Pema Ch

by William Stafford

You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes. Yellow
pulls across the hills and thrums,
or the silence after lightening before it says
its names ~ and then the clouds' wide-mouthed
apologies. You were aimed from birth:
you will never be alone. Rain
will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,
long aisles ~ you never heard so deep a sound,
moss on rock, and years. You turn your head ~
that's what the silence meant: you're not alone.
The whole wide world pours down.

Lea Seigen Shinraku

I’m Lea Seigen Shinraku, a San Francisco-based Marriage and Family therapist, and I see self-compassion as one of the most powerful skills a person can cultivate. In addition to one-on-one client work, I also offer workshops, groups, trainings, consultation and supervision, all focused on self-compassion. In pursuing my interest in self-compassion, I have trained directly with Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Chris Germer, pioneers in the field. My work is also informed by ongoing consultation and education, as well as 15 years of regular meditation practice. To learn more about me, I invite you to visit

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist: MFC51836
Copyright © 2015 Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp