Dr. Sydney Spears is a professor at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare and holds a PhD in Clinical Social Work from Smith College. As a woman of color, she tells us she has experienced layers of oppression and discrimination. Looking for a way to make sense of these experiences, and the difficult emotions she felt because of them, she became interested in meditation. Through her mindfulness practice she realized her identity did not need to be defined by the social constructs society often uses to discriminate. She found comfort in knowing that while she may not be able to control her external experiences, no one could affect her internal peace. Now she teaches the concept of mindful self-compassion to help others come to this same realization.
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