Good day, good people!
We do what we know to be unhealthy, unworthy, unwise, and contrary to our best interest. At the same time, we do not do what we know will serve our highest good. Our attempts to do better are contaminated by self-judgment, self-hatred, resentment towards the necessities of life, and other negative thinking. We honestly and sincerely try to do well, but oftentimes end up failing regardless.
Sound familiar? I would bet that nearly everyone struggles with this dynamic in some form or another. How is it that we find it to be so profoundly difficult to take real care of ourselves? How is it that we may keep our promises to ourselves, and follow the path through life that our hearts call us to, from a place of deep self-compassion?
These are the sorts of questions we’ll be exploring in the next online class, on the practice of “Compassionate Self-Discipline”. I hope you will consider joining in! Here are the details:
When: The class will begin on Friday, January 22nd. The last assignment will go out on Friday, February 19th. The class will then end over the next couple weeks as people respond to the final assignment and read their classmates’ responses.
How to Register: Go to www.theoneopendoor.org, scroll to the bottom of the home page, and make a donation of any size. Please be sure to include a note that the donation is for the Compassionate Self-Discipline Class—either that or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (See below for more information about donations for the class.)
I’ve decided to do two things differently this time in order to make it easier for people to participate in the class. The first is that this class will be two weeks shorter than the previous ones have been (four official weeks, plus time to wrap things up at the end). The second is the addition of a virtual group discussion every week that will be dedicated to the class and to the processing of the class assignments. This group will likely happen on Sunday mornings. Class participants may post responses to the assignments in written form as before, or process in the virtual group, or both.
I will offer one official assignment per week on Fridays. In the past I tried two per week and found that was too much for people given their busy lives and all the responsibility they carry. This time there will just be one—but I will sprinkle extra-credit assignments throughout for those who have the time and wish for more to explore and practice with. The class assignments will come in video form.
The content of this class, as I said, will be the practice of “Compassionate Self-Discipline.” Everyone will pick something to work on over the course of the class: some aspect of their lives where self-discipline is lacking and they would like to see a change. We will each practice bringing compassionate self-discipline to whatever this thing is, and as we do we will use our project as a mirror in which to see all the ways we fail to keep our promises to ourselves, and how we might learn to act from the heart instead.
One thing to note is that this class will require work and effort on your part if you decide to participate. The level of your participation will be up to you, but a minimum of two hours per week will be required in order to receive from the class what is intended. More time will be required if you choose to do the extra credit assignments and to keep up with your classmates’ posts and my responses. Before you sign up, please look honestly to see if you have the time and space in your life to devote to the class. If you do, great! I’ll look forward to seeing you there! If you do not, then it would be best for you to wait to sign up for a class until a time when you have more space in your life to participate. I would like to have people in the class who are prepared and have the time to do the work.
The class will be offered on a donation basis, as usual. In order to register, go to www.theoneopendoor.org, scroll to the bottom of the home page, and make a donation of any size. The purpose of this initial donation is to support you in keeping your commitment to the class. At the end of the class there will be an opportunity to donate more if you choose.
Thank you everyone for your attention to this email. I hope you will consider giving yourself the gift of this class. Take good care of yourselves, be well, and I hope you have a lovely day!