• Mara Elwood

Struggling and Perseverance

A floating advertisement for MSC captured by Rosie Walford in Auckland Habour

A common struggle with most Mindful Self-Compassion teachers that I have talked to, is the struggle to fill classes with enough participants. Especially in any area that is not in North America. I started teaching MSC on Waiheke Island a year ago, and after 6 months of marketing to get enough participants, which included; social media, articles in local papers and notice boards, as well as free hour long talks at the local library, I still had to postpone the first 8-week program I was going to offer because of lack of participants. However, when I then prepared to offer the program a few months later, after more free talks and advertising, I had more than enough people sign up, and opened a second session for the extra 8 people on the wait-list. When I prepared to teach a second time on Waiheke, I had the same struggle, and finally had just 8 participants sign up (two of whom are returning participants). I charge very little for my classes, and offer payment plans, as my community has people in it that cannot afford the price charged in the big city of Auckland, so cost is not what is keeping people away. With classes I offered in Auckland I was not in charge of the promotion, and many of the participants were fed into the program from a well established Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program. Even still the promoters for this program had the same issues getting enough participants.

So I wonder what it is that keeps people from committing to learning how to give themselves compassion? Is it lack of awareness that this type of training exists? Is it fear that being self-compassionate is selfish, or will decrease our competitive edge? Is it having too little time to take a course?

I do not have a budget for advertising on the side of freight ships, or buses, but I will continue promotion of the program in social media, local papers, and word of mouth, and hope more people will continue to sign up. I will also soon be certified and will be able to offer intensive style training to see if that is more palatable to the time poor members of the community. I believe in MSC and know that kindness and compassion are desperately needed in the world. Both compassion and kindness heal, help and support, increasing productivity and self esteem, courage to try new things, and connection with others.

For more information about MSC visit the “Center for MSC” website, which has a full listing of all classes and trained teachers in your area.

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