Mindful Self-Compassion

I’ve been emailing a man named Martin for about 3 weeks now.

No, it’s not a romantic exchange. I’m pretty sure that the guy is married and I have a boyfriend, although lately, things have been…eh, complicated. (Story of my life with men.)

There’s this place called Rivers Edge and it hosts a ton of wellness classes and courses for women. Mostly it’s yoga, meditation and things of that nature. I’ve seen their upcoming events on my Facebook feed and then I’ll click the “interested button.” But I’ve yet to actually attend one of them, mostly because of the cost.

Mid-January one of the courses really caught my eye:

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on research by Kristin Neff and the clinical work of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care, and understanding.

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.

The goal is for participants to experience self-compassion directly and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.

The course includes 8 weekly sessions of 2-1⁄2 hours each and a 4-hour retreat. It is compatible with a wide range of religious and spiritual orientations, and with having no religious or spiritual orientation. No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required.

Well then. This looked like something that could really be a great thing for me, so I filled out the background info form and that’s when Martin emailed me back.

The problem was the price, a whopping $350. To me, that is a lot of cash to come up with, especially since I have moving expenses to worry about and I will just be breaking even on the house sale. So, back and forth we’ve gone, trying to sort out what kind of discount I can get based on the fact that I’m as poor as a church mouse.


Money is evil.

I think we’ve finally hit on an amount that I can swing. Dr. Martin (he’s the one who’s teaching the class) truly wants me to attend because, after everything that I’ve gone through the last few years, it would be beneficial to my healing process.

He’s such a nice man.

Kind…and I’ve been in short supply of that since my dad died.

It starts on St. Patricks Day and I’m looking forward to it. Now I just need to anty up the class fee that we’ve settled on and to look at it as a gift to myself.

A True Empath Story


I was at the dentist’s office awaiting my final fitting for my permanent dentures. I could’ve gotten them back in November but I was quite depressed then due to the upcoming holidays, swallowed up by my grief and having a hard time doing the stuff that I needed to do.

Anyway, there was a woman who came in and she smiled brightly at the entire waiting room, wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

We all mumbled it back to her, including me. I was annoyed that I’d been waiting for an entire 30 minutes already and distracted by my phone.

She started talking to a man that was sitting next to her and I couldn’t help but notice her voice choking up as she told him that her mother had passed away on January 2nd.

“I can’t believe she’s gone. I just lay in bed at night, crying. Even though we argued often, she was the only person who was always there for me.”

It only took me a second or two before I stood up and walked over to her.

“I lost my mother last May.”

“You did?”

“Yes. May I give you a hug?”

She got up and practically threw herself into my arms. And there we were, two strangers, hugging in a waiting room. It lasted about a minute, while I gently rocked her back and forth as she sobbed.

I said a bunch of soothing things to her but mostly what I remember saying is that I wish I could tell her that it would get easier but I couldn’t.

“But she’s always with you. Trust me, she is.”

I put my hand on my heart to show her where.

She nodded, her tear-stained face beaming at me with gratitude and a beautiful, sad smile.

“Thank you. Thank you so much.”

And I felt GOOD. I felt like I was honoring my true calling in life, comforting bereft people and showing empathy to those souls that are struggling.

Because life is hard.

She was gone by the time I was finished with my appointment. We never exchanged names and I’m doubtful that I’ll ever see her again.

But knowing that I made some sort of a difference in this woman’s life will stay with me forever.

I had to change the second part of this post for personal reasons (I just got blasted from the “lost friend” for only caring about myself and being a selfish, self-absorbed bitch) so don’t pay attention to the first few comments down there. Since I’m trying to reduce the amount of stress in my life these days, it’s just easier for me to delete it.

So now it’s just a post about a really good experience that I had with a stranger in my dentist’s waiting room.

I really think that I need to be more careful about who I allow into my life from now on.

Where’s the Humor?


I still believe that my greatest attribute is my sense of humor. I know that it’s still there because sometimes I’ll make my boyfriend laugh so hard that he insists that I should go to an open mic night downtown at a comedy club. I try to explain that my humor is mostly spontaneous and I don’t have an act or anything.

Not to mention that I’m naturally introverted and shit.

If you put my daughter and me together and if we’re both in relatively decent moods (you know, not both on our periods) we’re a comedic force to be reckoned with. Our banter back and forth is pretty hilarious. I’m proud to have passed down this trait to her.

I mean, she did end up with all of my mental health problems, but at least she’s fucking funny.

At least there’s that, folks.

A few months after starting this blog back in 2012 (how the time does fly) I decided to tap into this natural ability of mine, something along the lines of healing with humor. I tried my best to deal with every shit sandwich that was thrown my way with at least a touch of laughter.

But the shit sandwiches started to pile up so high that I began to lose sight of that brilliant idea and massive turds began to muck up my finely honed humor gears. The funny just stopped percolating and started to choke like my generic one cup coffee maker does the last few minutes of brewing my morning wakey juice.

“Ehh, uhh, uhh, uhh….aahhh.”

My daughter does a much better impression of it.

I’ve obviously been writing these past few months about my grief. Losing your mommy isn’t something that you just “get over.” I mean, that was my mom and even with our many issues, I love that woman and she’ll always be my fucking hero.

I’ll never get over it. Never. My best hope is to be able to move forward with my sorrow and forever until we meet again broken heart.

I can already tell that people are getting tired of it like that means a damn thing to me. I live my life for myself, not for other’s comfort level. That shit ends now.

I decided last night while I was out shopping with Steven to take my comedic chops on the road and see if I could still get cashiers and some of the people in line to laugh. Think of it as a homage to my mother, because she absolutely loved to joke around with strangers back in her prime, much to my youthful embarrassment.

I get it now, mom.

I first pick up on their vibes to see if they are open to such an exchange. (Another innate talent o’ mine.)

If I sense that they aren’t grumpy assholes, I proceed.

It makes me feel better when I can cheer someone up and make them giggle, guffaw, chuckle and whathaveyou.

I only wish that I could feel up to it more often. But at least it’s still in there, just waiting for me to use it when I’m able to.

Because if it wasn’t still there, then I’d be royally screwed.