We help you create a nourishing relationship with yourself
We help highly sensitive people who self soothe with food and who want to feel nourished, compassionate with themselves, and safe.
You’re probably someone who cares deeply about compassion and who is generously compassionate with others. Yet you may struggle to bring that same compassion to yourself – especially in areas of your life where you struggle.
We’re here to help you turn your compassionate heart towards you own being.
In our courses and groups, you’ll learn how to transform your inner landscape from shame and criticism into a place of warmth and welcome. With this inner refuge, habits of self soothing with food, isolation, and self judgment can gently fall away.
You’ll learn how to bring kindness to the places where you feel you ‘should’ve known better’ so that you can make positive, healthy changes with food, soften feelings of isolation, and love, connect and give freely.
We offer several levels of support – a 30 day do at home course, group classes, and a year long small group intensive – to support your journey. You can find the dates for upcoming classes on the events page.
Do at home courses
You can begin our do at home courses at any time. If you’re new here and want to know where to start, we encourage you to begin with our Emerge course, which you can find below.
If you overuse sugar or food for stress relief, to care for your emotions, or to self regulate, this course will help you soften self criticism, set nourishing limits, and change your eating habits with a gentle, compassion based approach. You’ll receive daily emotional support and learn how to apply self compassion to the process of habit change, so you can create more nourishing self talk and build resilience, that internal sense of, “I trust myself to move through this.”
This course is our most popular and has been taken by thousands from around the world since 2012. *Note – this course used to be called The 30 Day Lift. It was renamed and revised in 2019 as Emerge: Create a New Habit.
Available any time. Includes an email companion, guiding you through the course.
When you attempt to make changes in how you eat, care for your body, or care for your self, you may bump into your Inner Rebel – the part of you that strongly says “No!” The result? You may get stuck in collapse, resistance or inner conflict – fighting amongst these various parts and needs.
In this course, you’ll learn how to soften this inner conflict, understand the needs underneath the inner rebel, and playfully work with this part of you rather than against it. This will help you follow through on the changes you want to make and express a greater sense of power in your life.
Available any time. Includes an email companion, guiding you through the course.
If you’re wanting more help to soften self soothing with food, the next step is When Food is Your Mother, a 12 week, small group class. Course materials are delivered online along with a private, closed forum on Mighty Networks. We also meet for Q&A webinars to connect, share insights, ask questions, and practice the exercises together.
We offer When Food is Your Mother once a year. The next class is offered in mid 2021.
For many people, overeating and binge eating are not just “bad” habits or coping strategies but emotional bonds – a well intentioned coping mechanism to feel safe, secure and connected in the face of isolation, intense emotions, powerlessness, or pain.
In moments of overwhelm, this emotional bond with food – and the needs that drive it – can override other needs, such as a need for health or nurturing limits. In this class, you’ll learn how to nurture the internal and external safety that enables you to soften your bond with food.
When we experience heartache, hardship, or pain, or when we struggle with something long term like illness or trauma, it’s easy to feel like ‘damaged goods’ – like there’s something wrong with us.
Our struggles can become the lens through which we see ourselves, coloring our perceptions and beliefs about who we are. In the wake of this separation, we often lose our connection with ourselves: our hopes and dreams, abiding goodness, capability, and trustworthiness.
The Book of Love is a playful, art based class to reconnect to your wholeness: to birth the deeper story that lives underneath feelings of disconnection.
In this 6 week class, you’ll be crafting a journal – using a blank book that you fill with images, stories, symbols and more – to create a book of connection, a chronicle and witness to your soul’s story. Through this creation and through sharing a space with others, you’ll reconnect with your deepest self, soften shame, and embolden courage.
The next Book of Love class will begin mid-January, 2021 through the end of February.
Small group intensive
Our small group intensive is for our beloved alumni who want to come together in a small group to nurture spaces of inner ‘mothering’ within themselves – to create an internal refuge of warmth, welcome, compassion and courage.
Over a year’s time, we come together to deepen the healing you began in When Food is Your Mother so habits of self soothing with food, isolation, and self judgment can gently fall away.
This is a year long offering. The next group runs from November 2021 through October 2022.
More about Growing Human(kind)ness
Growing human(kind)ness means 3 things: to grow into the fullness of your humanity, to foster kindness for your vulnerability, and to deepen your inner and outer connectedness.
There’s a deeper story that lives underneath the surface story of your struggles, and this story is both more true and more merciful.
Together, we sing this story into being.
The roots of our approach
Our approach is grounded in self compassion, attachment theory (especially the work of Dr. Gordon Neufeld), IPNB (interpersonal neurobiology), creative expression, and contemplative spiritual practices.
From these disciplines, we hold these things dear, the bedrock for all that we offer:
- That our brains are shaped in and wired for relationship – what we’ve learned from IPNB (interpersonal neurobiology) and attachment theory.
- That all our internal parts are valuable and worthy of compassion, respect, warmth and curiosity – what we’ve learned from systems like Focusing, non violent communication, and IFS (Interal Family Systems.)
- That we’re fundamentally resilient, created in goodness, and rooted in love – what we’ve learned from our contemplative and wisdom traditions and from trauma research.
- That we heal in connection, community and compassion – what we’ve learned from all of the above.
- And that we are beheld in a bond of Love that is sung throughout all of creation – what we’ve learned from attachment theory and our wisdom traditions, especially the Divine Mother.
Our courses are here to help you create inner hospitality for the ‘not beautiful’ parts of your journey so you can care for the vulnerability that lies underneath coping strategies like overeating, overdoing, and perfectionism.
Being tender with our pain grows our love for ourselves, for each other, for life, and for all of humanity. It softens the tendency to blame or scapegoat, and deepens forgiveness, an understanding and an embrace of the complexity of being human.
As you reconnect with your wholeness, goodness, and strength, you also connect with what you could call the ‘Deeper Story.’ Connecting with your Deeper Story softens the shame of trauma and reunites you with wholeness, where you can create a more merciful and embracing relationship with yourself, others, and all of life.
Vulnerability is a pathway to love, how we connect with others on an emotional, not an intellectual level, how we grow and embody the fullness of our hearts. It’s also a pathway to rest, and to joy.
We also believe that vulnerability is a catalyst for nurturing economic, social, racial and environmental justice, equality, healing, and peace in our outer communities, something that we at Growing Human(kind)ness feel called to learn, support and nurture.
We help in 3 key areas
- Changing how you see – we see compulsive behavior, defenses, and self protections as a cry from the soul: cries for connection, and help. Learn how to use compassion and connection to build the container for growth: loving relationship.
- Changing how you relate – connection can support you in difficult situations, when you feel triggered and reactive. This is an important switch: responding to your needs, emotions, challenges, and triggers with compassionate, caring support rather than fear/anxiety, disgust, contempt, frustration, collapse/helplessness, or self hatred.
- Changing how you grow – learn how to use the safety of relationship to support your growth out of compulsive behavior. Connection makes healing and growth easier, less stressful, and possible.
The fruits of this approach appear “up on the surface” as changes in how you respond to triggers, changes in how you talk to or relate to yourself, and changes in how you relate to your emotions, struggles, losses, and vulnerability.
Our approach is non-violent, gentle, and grounded in deep respect for our human vulnerability.