What is it like for a boy who is taught he needs to be tough to act like a man, but also feels fear? What is it like for a young man who isn’t supposed to show “weakness” and the only emotion that he can express is anger? This is the reality for many boys and young men growing up in the United States with a specific version of “masculinity” training.Read More
Blog - Essays, Articles, Videos, and Tips
Compassionate Activism Class - Wednesday, March 22, 6:30-8:30pm, Little Italy San Diego
In the past few months, but particularly in the past 5 weeks, I've seen a lot of people who have suddenly found themselves engaging in activist activities....Read More
Purchase Mindfulness Movie tickets as San Diego fundraiser.
There is something we can do for as little as 8 minutes a day that will change our lives. That something is called MINDFULNESS, and I am hosting a movie fundraiser about this powerful practice. Mindfulness is simple in its concept, but difficult in its practice. Yet we can all learn to do it, and 35 of the leading experts in the field will help us out.
As a member of the Board of Directors for Jeans 4 Justice, I am hosting a showing of The Mindfuness Movie and a post-movie panel discussion. All ticket sales benefit Jeans 4 Justice, a San Diego-based nonprofit dedicated to preventing sexual and relationship violence before it happens. Their programs help youth and young adults create compassionate relationships and skills to handle negative emotions in a healthy manner.
Here is a synopsis of The Mindfulness Movie. Full Life. Less Strife:
Experts agree. We don’t experience reality as it really is. We perceive it through a filter that allows us to see only what we’ve been conditioned to see. That’s because we’ve become trapped in the neurobiology of our own brains. As we grow older our actions and reactions become conditioned by our hopes, intentions, anxieties, motivations, loves, hates, desires, fears or frustrations. Eventually we become stuck in these patterns and live our lives on autopilot.
Join us on a journey with a group of 35 world-renowned authors and experts in neuroscience, psychiatry, relationships, sports psychology and quantum physics. Learn an ancient technique that is rapidly becoming embraced by modern science called Mindfulness.
Date: Friday, December 6, 2013
Time: 8pm - 10pm, doors open at 7:30pm
Place: AMN Healthcare, 12400 High Bluff Drive, San Diego, CA 92130 (Free parking in parking garage next to building – park in visitor or unmarked spots.)
Purchase tickets online ahead of time HERE.
Post-film Panel Discussion with local mindfulness professionals:
Steven Alper, LCSW – METTA Training and Consulting
Craig Lambert, LCSW – Craig Lambert Couples Therapy
Sara Schairer - Compassion It
Jennifer Gunsaullus, PhD – Dr. Jenn’s Den
We appreciate our generous venue sponsor AMN Healthcare!
Does it matter to you if you’re a good person? If so, you’ve probably noticed how good it feels to cultivate such compassion. Nonetheless, in our me-centered society, I think folks struggle with understanding what compassion means in their interactions with others and with themselves. If you’d like to increase the role of compassion in your life, I have a handy suggestion below!
First, what exactly are we talking about here…what's a good definition of compassion? I like this definition of compassion from free dictionary: “Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.” So it’s not sympathy, nor pity. It’s empathy and wanting to be of service. Self-compassion is a bit trickier to define. Consider your inner thoughts and how they become focused at times on your perceived failures or flaws. Self-compassion is making a choice to give yourself a break, accept you’re human, and focus on positive feelings towards yourself. Whether towards yourself or others, choosing compassion is a gift to the world.
Would you like to be more compassionate? Check out the bracelet reminder in the photo here. Start your day with your bracelet turned to the dark side. When you specifically do a compassionate act that day, you flip your bracelet to the white side. This is designed to raise awareness around being more compassionate to others. But with the amount of mental berating I see with my clients and friends, I think using it for self-compassion may be important too. The creators of Compassion It thought of that too, and there is now a red/white version of the bracelet specifically as a reminder for self-compassion!
I started wearing my Compassion It bracelet about three weeks ago (and by the way, if you haven’t said “Compassion It” out loud yet, you might not get how clever that name is!). I like to think of myself as a kind, caring person as I move through my day, from clients to loved ones. However, I found it harder than expected to find an opportunity to go out of my way or do something I wouldn’t normally do. This little bracelet has already changed the way I move through my day, and how I can stretch my awareness to be empathetic and kind in new ways. Imagine if everyone took this on?
The cool thing too is that when you purchase a bracelet, it comes with a second one. The intention is that your first compassionate act is already built in when you gift your second bracelet to someone else. Clever! Actually, I think everything about Compassion It is damn clever, and I’m excited that the founder, compassion teacher Sara Schairer, lives here in San Diego. We’re lucky to have this creative mind and teacher here. :)
For yourself, a friend, a stranger, or fundraising for your cause, you can join the social movement for compassion here:
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sexologist, Sociologist, Sexuality & Mindfulness Speaker