Shame is probably the trickiest human emotion. It’s everywhere, so we barely see it. It’s also the glue that makes other emotions stick around longer than they should – fear, anger, guilt—and it hollows out the observer in a way that there’s no one home to work with the emotions. The mere mention of the s-word usually sends people packing. However, when we look carefully at shame, we discover some surprising insights that easily loosen its grip in our lives. For example, the 3 paradoxes of shame are:
- Shame feels blameworthy, but it is an innocent emotion.
- Shame makes us feel alone, but it connects us to the rest of humanity
- Shame feels ancient, but it’s a temporary state like all emotions.
These three paradoxes correspond to the three components of self-compassion: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.
In this workshop, we will explore the nature of shame, its causes (including cultural exclusion), and learn simple skills to detect shame in our daily lives and transform it through the power of self-compassion. Meditation practitioners will be able to integrate these tools into their contemplative practices and psychotherapists will learn new skills to work with shame both relationally and through interventions in therapy.
Everyone is welcome. Participants can expect to touch difficult emotions in this workshop, but they will also learn how to transform the stickiest and trickiest human emotion of all through mindful self-compassion.