Mindful Self-Compassion for Women Online Course

“Whenever I notice something about myself I don’t like,
or whenever something goes wrong in my life,
I silently repeat the following phrases:
This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life.
May I be kind to myself in this moment.
May I give myself the compassion I need.’”

Kristin Neff, Co-Founder, Center for Mindful Self-Compassion

Welcome! “Mindful Self-Compassion for Women” (MSCW) is an Empowering, Experiential 8-week Online Course Based On…

…the empirically validated Mindful Self-Compassion Program designed by Kristin Neff, Ph.D. and Chris Germer, Ph.D. to help people be as kind to themselves as they are to their closest friend when that person is going through a difficult time.

More than 3,000 evidence-based scientific research studies conducted worldwide continue to validate that mindfulness and self-compassion benefit mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health by reducing stress, burnout, depression, anxiety and PTSD while promoting wellbeing, resilience, happier, healthier relationships, and an increase in pleasurable experiences.

This MSC Course is For You If: 

>> You’re experiencing Pandemic Fatigue or Election Burnout and need a soft spot to land once a week.

>> You want to join the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion’s Teacher Training or SCIP Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy Certificate Program and need to fulfill the MSC 8-week course prerequisite

>> You’ve had more family connection (homeschooling kids, working from home with a spouse, maybe some tension or overwhelm) than you’re accustomed to and are looking for better work-life balance

>> You’re living alone, working from home, and want more social interaction and support to help you stay connected

>> You’re an essential worker and know you need better self-care skills but just can’t seem to find the time

>> You have a strong inner critic and want a more encouraging inner coach

>> You wish you felt more confident speaking your truth rather than doubting yourself and staying silent

>> You worry more about what others think, and want to know yourself better but don’t know how to get there and want specific how-to’s you can use every day

Compassion Prayer Photo by Mary Marcdante

In This 8-week MSC Course, You Will Learn and Experience:

* 7 meditations, 14 in-class exercises, and 20 informal practices, that can be used in your daily life to respond to the negative moments that sideswipe your focus, your energy, and your joy

* A three-step process to meet overwhelm and face challenges with confidence

* The two most important questions to ask to create a healthier work-life balance

* How to quiet your self-critical voice and strengthen your compassionate voice

* Three surprising words and gestures to calm painful emotions

* A new way to respond to difficult relationships and caregiver burnout

* The power of a safe, welcoming community where you can be yourself

MSC 8-Week Course Outline

Week 1: Discovering Mindful Self-Compassion

Week 2: Practicing mindfulness

Week 3: Practicing lovingkindness

Week 4: Discovering your compassionate voice

Week 5: Living deeply—core values

Week 5: Bonus: Half-day meditation retreat

Week 6: Meeting difficult emotions

Week 7: Exploring challenging relationships

Week 8: Embracing your life

Get to Know Your MSC Teachers

I’m thrilled to be teaching with my MBSR teacher and MSC colleague, Cheryl Shah. Not only is she a brilliant teacher, but she also makes learning fascinating and fun and has the best laugh.

~ Mary Marcdante ~


My 20+ years of corporate experience and being a mother of two daughters have led me to the conclusion that there must be a better way to live and work. I have seen and experienced firsthand the negative impact of long work hours, the pressure on parents to choose between work and family, and how that tension results in emotional and mental suffering for the entire family. This awareness guides my teaching with a loving, connected presence and helps me translate mindful self-compassion (MSC) into a language of common humanity that is relevant and applicable to corporate life and work/life balance for working parents—we are all in this together.

I have been practicing mindfulness for 15 years and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) for 8 years. I completed the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC) Teacher Training in 2019, have taught several 8-week courses, and I am working my way to becoming a certified MSC teacher. Prior to MSC Teacher Training, I completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Certification program through the UCSD Professional Training Institute. I have taught several MBSR classes onsite at Qualcomm and at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. Since 2013, I have attended an annual 7-10 day mindfulness silent retreat every year.

I was raised in a family and culture where criticism was the driving force to motivate us and get results. There was always a voice telling me, I needed to be perfect and I “should” always be doing more. This voice was fueled with harshness and anger. I took this voice into my conscious adulthood in how I spoke to myself leading to anxiety and depression throughout my adult life. MSC has helped soothe these difficult emotions, treat myself as my own best friend, learn how to accept myself as I am and believe that I am good enough. Instead of motivating myself with critical harshness, I now motivate myself with a compassionate voice and teach others how to do that.

My current day job is in finance with UC San Diego Housing Dining & Hospitality. My previous employers include NRG, Sprint, CareFusion and Jack-in-the-Box. I live with my husband in San Diego while our daughters are now in college. I balance my work and MSC teaching with cooking (especially Indian curries) for family and friends, hiking, playing tennis, working out, reading, and traveling. A good sense of humor and laughter are very important to me and the way I teach, bringing perspective to the difficulties we all encounter and making life much more enjoyable.  


Every major life challenge that I’ve experienced throughout my adult life that kept surfacing—even after so much therapy and personal growth workshops—with the message, “I’m not good enough”—divorce in my 20’s, cervical cancer in my 40’s, working through business and financial loss in my 50’s. Finally, a lifelong friend’s betrayal in my 60’s was the tipping point to stop hiding and ask for more help. I joined a meditation group and a few members recommended the MBSR course so I signed up for that and then followed it up with the MSC course. What a blessing. In retrospect, while I believe we’re all works in progress throughout life, Mindful Self-Compassion has been the missing piece of the “Enough” puzzle for me and I am so grateful for it!

WHAT QUALIFIES YOU TO TEACH MSC? I have completed the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion’s (CMSC) “MSC Teacher Training,” “MSC Teacher Training Practicum,” “Teaching Self Compassion Online,” and the “Self-Compassion for Healthcare Communities” (SCHC) training. Prior to MSC training, my professional experience includes four decades of teaching more than 1500 communication and stress management workshops around the world, professional image consulting, community well-being outreach, leading and participating in group personal growth workshops, individual life-coaching, and a ton of therapy, meditation, and yoga classes through the years.

MSC really tapped into and calmed two issues that have chased me my entire life—self-worth and performance anxiety. Whew. Thanks to MSC, the way I view myself and now think of all those experiences I mentioned above—divorce, cancer, job/financial loss, betrayal—have softened. Learning MSC has allowed me to hold my own hand (especially through this Pandemic) and shown me that compassion, wisdom, and courage live inside me and are accessible 24/7 to inspire and strengthen not just others, but also myself. I want everyone to experience that gift within themselves.

I’ve written three books on women’s health and well-being including My Mother, My Friend: The 10 Most Important Things to Talk about with Your Mother and Living with Enthusiasm: How the 21-Day Smile Diet Can Change Your Life. My next book, My Self, My Friend is coming in 2021. I’m blessed to be part of an amazing weekly women’s presence circle with six women who have been meeting on Sunday nights for the past 9 years. I’m originally from Wisconsin; I’ve lived in San Diego for 25 years, have five amazing nephews ages 24-32 and I’m “Grauntie” to two-year-old Clara. My favorite place to walk, connect, meditate, and photograph life is Torrey Pines Reserve in San Diego. I hope to meet you on the path!

What are the dates?

8 Tuesdays February 2 – March 23, 2021
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Pacific Time

February 2, 2021
February 9, 2021
February 16, 2021
February 23, 2021
March 2, 2021
March 6, 2021 10AM – 1 PM Bonus Half-Day AM retreat
March 9, 2021
March 16, 2021
March 23, 2021

What is the Class Size?

Our classes are kept intentionally small with 8-16 women. We encourage you to share this with your closest friends. It’s a great way to deepen your friendships and strengthen your support system after the course is over. And if you come by yourself, you’ll find a safe space to meet and enjoy other women who will support and encourage your self-compassionate voice and presence. You are welcome here.

Bring a friend or two or three! Download and share our one-page flyer.

What Does It Cost?

We know so many have been financially impacted by the COVID Pandemic so we are offering a “Compassionate Discount” for this course. The standard fee for a Mindful Self-Compassion 8-week course taught by teachers who have completed the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training (we both have) averages $600 per person. Depending on when you register we are offering a range of compassionate pricing listed below. Classes fill quickly so be sure to register as soon as you can.

*We really want you to join us, so if, for some reason, you need to cancel your registration or decide the course isn’t for you, you will receive a full refund less $100 for processing and reserving your seat through the first week of class. After the first week, there are no refunds.

One Person—Register by Monday February 1, 2021
$399 per person USD

Bring a Friend—Register for 2 by Monday February 1, 2021 $349 per person (Save $50 each) Total Payment $700 USD

Early Bird for 1 person—Register by Friday, January 29, 2021
$299 per person (save $100 each) with BONUS e-book, Living with Enthusiasm: How the 21-Day Smile Diet Can Change Your Life by Mary

Early Bird & Bring a Friend. Register for 2 by Friday, January 29, 2021
$249 per person—(save $150 each), plus a BONUS Living with Enthusiasm e-book by Mary for both of you!
Total payment $498 USD

We hope you’ll join us! Click below to register and be sure to check your inbox for a receipt from PayPal. We will follow up with a welcome email with more details within 24 hours.

Register Below.

Click on the small arrow to the right of the registration box for pricing options.

Register for Mindful Self-Compassion for Women Online Course

We’re excited to meet you! See you soon.

Cheryl and Mary