Is this for you?

You have longing to feel more whole and alive in your life as well as more skillful in your relationships. You know that parts of who you are have been sent into exile and you are ready to reclaim those parts. You know that this means embracing vulnerability and being with discomfort. You have enough resource and support in your life to do this difficult work of moving into relationship with shame and cultivating a sense of self that has you thriving in your life and in your relationships. You can see how a lack of access to a solid sense of your own worth blocks your ability to engage in relationships the way you would like to and inhibits compassion and skillful relating.  

You might not name shame as a part of the problem. Shame often goes undetected. Struggles with shame usually have other labels like:  not standing up for yourself when you need to, withdrawing from something you really want, giving up on your dreams, overworking, feeling small in certain situations, having poor boundaries, wishing your body was different, hearing yourself say you’re not good enough, shutting down in a vulnerable moment, etc.

What is it all about?

Shame is the feeling you get when you perceive that your worth or basic sense of goodness is threatened. It's about your identity, who you are as a person. This is distinct from guilt, which is the feeling you get when you perceive that your behavior is out of alignment with your values. 

Shame can be triggered by your own thoughts & behavior, by conditions in your environment, or by the behavior of others. The idea isn’t to control conditions perfectly so that you never experience shame. Rather, the hope is to cultivate compassionate awareness, see things as they truly are, and make use of skills that return you to having a sense of being grounded in your values and a sense of your own goodness. 



How it works

For each class we will begin with five minutes of guided meditation. I will present a particular concept and skill. Then you will practice the skill in a short structured exercise. You will hear questions and comments from previous participants both clarifying the material and debriefing exercises.

You will follow along with the video (60-90 minutes) and your handout. Some exercises you can do on your own and some are best done with another person.

As you take the course you can ask questions via email:  info@wiseheartpdx.org

Thank you so much for your participation and dedicating your time and energy to this important work. We look forward to connecting.

Topics for the Series:

Internal Resources and Thriving: 
Self awareness, mindfulness, an anchor, expansive identity, and a compassionate relationship to your experience are a few of the skills we will access to build internal resources in the context of shame.

Getting to Know Shame:
We will talk about the life serving purpose of shame (what needs it is trying to protect) and how it moves from serving life to being a toxin.  We will study shame at the subtle level of body, energy, emotion, thoughts, beliefs, and posture.  We will practice using the body as resource to shift into an expansive perspective more easily when shame arises

Translating Into Feelings and Needs:
Whether it is shame or any other judgment voice, feelings and needs are present underneath. We will practice recognizing the voice of shame as an expression of feelings and needs and offering empathy to that voice.

Embodying the Energy of the Need and Appreciation:
We often talk about needs as met or unmet. This is the most salient aspect of our experience. At a more subtle level we can also experience needs as life serving energies existing fully on their own. Learning to access these essential qualities or energies gives you resource in the most difficult of experiences. Appreciation, is another door to accessing the energy of the need and we will practice with a specific structure for appreciation.

Making peace with yourself: 
From parents, environment, conditioning and other infinite influences we can’t name, you have inherited a whole package of characteristics, habits, proclivities, challenges, etc. that you relate to with varying levels of acceptance.  Shame pulls out particular parts of this package and tries to cover them up and or push them away. By breaking down your sense of "me" into smaller bits you can more easily relate to each aspect of experience with compassion.

Deep Shame and Deep Empathy:
For most of us there is something we have done in our lives that we still feel a sense of shame about. We haven’t quite been able to move on from that particular event or series of events. Shame and regret that hang on for years are toxic. They inhibit your ability to access aliveness and be a contribution to yourself and others. We will work with finding a way into long standing shame so that healing may occur.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome!

    • Welcome!

  • 2

    Week 1 - Understanding Shame & Practicing Empathy

    • Session 1 - Bringing Light to Shame

    • Outline for Week 1

  • 3

    Week 2 - Identity & Shame

    • Session 2 - Bringing Light to Shame

    • Outline for Week 2

  • 4

    Week 3 - Translating Shame

    • Session 3

    • Outline for Week 3

  • 5

    Week 4 - Nourishment Barriers & Tender Needs

    • Session 4 - Bringing Light to Shame

    • Outline Week 4

  • 6

    Week 5 - Sorting Shame & Neural Networks

    • Session 5 - Bringing Light to Shame

    • Outline for Week 5

  • 7

    Week 6 - A Short Circuit for Shame

    • Session 6 - Bringing Light to Shame

    • Outline for Week 6

  • 8

    Week 7 - Responding to Shame Triggers

    • Session 7 - Bringing Light to Shame

    • Outline for Week 7

  • 9

    Week 8 - Past Abuse & Shame

    • Session 8 - Bringing Light to Shame

    • Outline for Week 8

Be supported in your learning

  • Weekly Reminders

    Each week, you will get an email reminder encouraging you to login and complete content for the course.

  • Learning Schedule

    Each week you will receive access to the content for the week. If you get behind, you have an extra eight weeks to catch up. This format helps support you in your commitment to stay engaged throughout the duration of the course.

  • Get Questions Answered

    If you run into questions during the course, you can send us an email at info@wiseheartpdx.org

What they're saying

Bringing Light to Shame

Nelly Mastroeni

Excellent course

Excellent course

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Clearing the fog that shame creates

MJ Boueri

This course has truly helped me learn what shame is and recognize when it surfaces in my life and, and this is key- the course then shared personal practical...

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This course has truly helped me learn what shame is and recognize when it surfaces in my life and, and this is key- the course then shared personal practical doable ways to recalibrate after a shame trigger. I will return to this class again as I build upon the skills LaShelle so clearly highlighted in her classes. A very worthwhile course.

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