Hindsight might be 2020; however, like you, Burrell and I had no way of anticipating what the year would bring. We could never have predicted that a global pandemic would shut down the world and simultaneously open hearts and minds to the value of compassion and the reality of interconnectedness.
We were both grateful to be able to serve our communities and world during this challenging and unprecedented year. Here are some of the Compassion It 2020 highlights:
1 – Burrell and I Zoomed together a LOT!
Thanks to the new world of online EVERYTHING, we moved our compassion workshops to Zoom. Since Burrell is based in Chicago and I’m in San Diego, we don’t usually have the opportunity to co-facilitate in-person workshops.
Together we led our first online Compassion Cultivation Training® course through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. We also co-facilitated programs for educators at Valley City State University in North Dakota, staff members of Children’s Legal Services of San Diego, student-athletes at the University of North Carolina and many others.
Plus, Burrell and I offered up free weekly Zoom sessions for participants of our 30-Day Compassion It Challenge.
2 – We meditated with Italians
Starting on Monday, March 16, Compassion It partnered with Italia Mindfulness to offer free daily Zoom online meditation sessions for the first few months of the pandemic. I led the meditations in English, and Alessandro Giannandrea translated each line into Italian.
Italy suffered tremendously at the start of the pandemic. In response to that suffering, we offered the meditations for Italians, Americans, and any others from around the world who wanted to join. The sessions proved to be a powerful pillar of support for those who participated.
3 – We supported our communities
We also rose to the occasion in the early stages of the pandemic to offer free weekly Zoom compassion sessions for leaders of San Diego’s Creative Youth Development nonprofits and for healthcare workers at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
I also began leading a weekly self-compassion meditation for the general public through UCSD’s Center for Mindfulness (and, as of February of 2021, that’s still going).
Burrell led workshops for staff members of Chicago Food Depository, and Chicago Metropolitan Family Services.
4 – San Diego’s Community College District “compassioned it”
Before the world shut down, I facilitated nine in-person workshops on burnout prevention and self-compassion for staff members across San Diego’s Community College District. What an awesome way to get the compassion ball rolling at a large organization!
5 – Compassion It made its mark in Asia
I delivered a training for a group of therapists in Singapore who brought our 30-Day Compassion It Challenge to their community. Plus, this article in The Annapurna Express out of Kathmandu, Nepal, mentioned us!
6 – We got GREAT feedback from leaders at Google One!
We led our 90-min self-compassion workshop for leaders at Google One, and they loved it!
Here’s some of their feedback after the session:
“It was helpful to hear that at all levels we are all experiencing some of the same struggles. I appreciated how open the group was in sharing and I think the facilitators did a great job of creating a safe space for that to happen.”
“The exercises were powerful in helping me understand what compassion feels like, as well as how much harder we are on ourselves.”
We’re excited about doors that might open because of this awesome opportunity! (Learn more about our organizational compassion programs.)
7 – We reached thousands this year
We offered a variety of face-to-face (via Zoom and Instagram Live) programs for over 3,700 participants in 2020!
We’re grateful for the technology that helped us share our message of compassion to a larger and more expansive audience. Nonetheless, we look forward to being in person with participants again. We’ll certainly continue to offer programs online, but there’s nothing like being in the same room!
2020…it’s been real.