Taking the Show on the Road

Taking the Show on the Road

We were recently given the opportunity to present a 90-minute workshop entitled, “Space and Grace: Creating a Sustainable Organization through Self-Care and Self-Compassion” at the Alliance Senior Leadership Conference in New Orleans. This conference is for executives, directors and managers at nonprofit organizations across the United States.

Cornerstones of Care's Chief Program Officer Stephen O’Neil and Training Specialist Shelby Clark led leaders through what it looks like to value self-care (space) and self-compassion (grace) on an organizational level.

“In an ever-changing, fast-paced world where resources are often scarce, organizations are constantly being asked to do more with less,” Shelby said. “We live our lives, personally and professionally, maxed out — essentially leaving no room to breathe. Working this way depletes our internal resources and limits ourselves, our employees and our organizations from being solution-oriented, collaborative and innovative.”

The alternative is encouraging employees and volunteers at every organizational level to take self-care and self-compassion seriously. “Our relationships with others are directly reflective of the relationship we have with ourselves,” Shelby explained. “If we are unable to extend grace and compassion inwardly first, we will be unable to do so outwardly. Optimal personal and organizational growth occurs only when we make caring for ourselves and one another a top priority.”

Shelby is not just an advocate for self-care and self-compassion because of the organizational benefit — She has seen both as essential in her own life outside of the workplace. “I consider myself a student of self-care and self-compassion practices,” she shared. “Four years ago, I took an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion class. It really changed how I conceptualized relating to myself and others.” Shelby said that through the class she realized that self-compassion needed practice and was not just an innate skill-set. This revelation is one of the core threads woven throughout the Space and Grace presentation.

“This information continually changes my life as I deepen my own practice and capacity for compassion and self-care,” Shelby admitted. "I see the amazing benefits of this in my life and so I naturally want to share it with others!”