Also known as lovingkindness or metta, depending on the tradition, self-compassion involves self-kindness, mindful acceptance and non-judgment, and recognition of our common humanity. It is not a “get out of jail free” card or an excuse for not being accountable for ourselves. Instead, it is about treating ourselves with the same gentleness we’d show our friends or would nurture an animal with, especially in the face of real or perceived failures. We are more likely to feel motivated and move towards our goals when feeling affirmed and supported as opposed to when we are stuck in a shame spiral of self-criticism and inadequacy, treating ourselves as a bully would.
The Refuge draws from self-compassion practices drawn from a number of secular and spiritual traditions in order to cultivate an approach that is accessible to clients regardless of faith, including the works of Dr. Kristin Neff, Dr. Tara Brach, Dr. Christopher Germer, and Jack Kornfield.