make self-compassion easier and more fun with art journaling


make self-compassion easier and more fun with art journaling


What if deep self-healing felt like play?

If you’re like many of my students, you've been on a healing journey for some time.

You know to prioritize self-care.

You know that you have an inner critic.

And an inner child. 
And while you know what self-compassion is, you also know that it's often hard to be patient with ourselves in everyday life. This disconnect can be so painful. Sometimes we even judge ourselves for judging ourselves!


I want you to know that this isn't your fault. You're reading the books, listening to the podcasts, meditating, going to therapy.

You're doing all the right things.

It's just that there's a part of you that's getting left behind. It's a part that lives in the world of imagination. And as long as you leave it behind, it will keep hijacking your imagination to create nightmares. Instead of the beautiful life you actually want to be living. The life you know is possible.

I know firsthand how painful it is to live with this disconnect. For over a decade, I've been a licensed therapist, taught self-compassion classes and supported students and clients in learning to be kinder to themselves. Self-compassion has been deeply healing for me personally, and it's my life's work. But if I'm honest, I've long felt like I was missing something. While I had experienced profound healing, at times I was still at the mercy of my old, deep patterns. The many tools I had seemed to only go so far. And it was exhausting.

This was especially true during the pandemic. And with life feeling so intense and overwhelming, I wanted to try something fun. So I took an online class in art journaling. I immediately felt how this simple, accessible skill helped make my relationship with myself visible. It gave me a way to reclaim my imagination and re-connect with the young, creative part inside. The one who likes to hijack my imagination and vividly picture all the worst-case scenarios.

I learned that this part of me is what I was missing. This part holds the key to my self-love superpowers and I believe that it holds yours, too.

If we want to deeply heal,

we have to re-claim our imagination.

We need to use it for good.

Instead of using it to dream up catastrophes.


This is what I learned through art journaling, and it has changed my life and my work. This is the powerful, simple and joyful way to be kind to ourselves.

Throughout the pandemic, I dedicated myself to exploring creative self-compassion, and I pursued certification for Heartwork Journaling. With these new tools, I've translated the self-compassion skills and lessons I've taught for years into art journaling practices. And they are all waiting for you inside the updated Everyday Self-Compassion program!

JoAnne T.

"I've been meditating for years, and I've been studying self compassion for years. But taking Lea's course and doing these simple heart-centered drawings of my inner experience made me actually experience self compassion on a visceral level. It was like going from reading about swimming to actually diving into the water. "

what if it was easier

to break free from self-judgment?


Imagine what life would be like if there was a gentle way to see beyond the limited, distorted perspective of your inner critic and reclaim your time. If you could practice what you know about self-compassion and actually live it. Imagine being able to appreciate the life you have right now, knowing that it's enough and you're enough.

You’d feel more:

¬†‚̧ԳŹ¬† compassion, joy, confidence and calm

ūüĒó¬† connection and¬†authenticity with yourself and others

You’d have more:

ūüĆü¬† energy to care for yourself and for the people you love

ūüí°¬† clarity to take action on what¬†really¬†matters to you

ūüĆĪ¬† space to grow, create and rest

ūüĆĽ¬† capacity to accept what you can't change


ūüĎČ you'd see and live the truth: that you're human, you're whole, and you belong ūüĎą

Gamida C.

"There was a point in my life when I became more aware of my own self-talk, which at times wasn't very kind. I could be very empathic towards others and decided that I wanted and needed to be my own best friend. As the saying goes: 'When the student is ready, the teacher appears'. The art journaling practices Lea taught formed the road to my compassionate self. The tools, resources and research she provided opened doorways to the Self that are very transformative. If you're ready to practice self compassion, you're in the right place."

Lea Seigen Shinraku


I'm Lea Seigen Shinraku


I've been a licensed therapist and leading self-compassion groups, workshops and trainings for over 10 years. I'm also a 20+ year Zen practitioner. Most of us never learned how to be kind to ourselves, and it's hard to figure out on your own. The habit of self-judgment runs deep! I know what it's like to struggle with an intense inner critic, and to navigate ongoing uncertainty. I've learned how powerful the combination of creativity and self-compassion is, and how to practice it in everyday life. I've also discovered that uncertainty is a gateway to deep connection with myself and others. Creative self-compassion is revolutionary, and nothing means more to me than helping people truly accept themselves and have more fun doing it. That's why I created Everyday Self-Compassion.


everyday self-compassion

an 8-week live online group program where you’ll learn how to disarm your inner critic, practice self-kindness, and navigate the uncertainty of everyday life with creativity, confidence and calm

16 units of continuing education credit are available, too!

how everyday self-compassion

is different

Art Journaling

Self-compassion isn't just a mindful and contemplative practice, it's also fundamentally creative. Art journaling makes it more fun and easeful ~ while also providing a deeply transformative experience. Learning self-kindness requires us to re-wire our brain from being more self-critical to being more self-compassionate ~ and that's creative! Plus, research shows that when we incorporate drawing in learning, we're twice as likely to retain what we learn. Creative practices also improve brain function and mental health.


Everyday Self-Compassion is the only program with a specific focus on how self-compassion can help you meet uncertain times with more creativity, calm and confidence. While it has always been part of life, uncertainty hadn't been an everyday concern for most people prior to 2020. Now that we know what it's like for life to be upended ~ and we're a lot more aware of uncertainty. However, most folks still feel overwhelmed by it. In ESC, you'll learn solid coping skills so you can feel more centered in uncertain times.


One of the most powerful parts of learning and practicing in a group is that you get to directly experience that you're not alone. Instead of just reading about common humanity, you witness and talk with other imperfect humans who are showing up, committed to learning to be kinder to themselves. You realize that you really are a human among humans, and no one has life completely figured out. There's no substitute for the support of a safe, warmhearted community, and that's what we create together in Everyday Self-Compassion.


students say...

"the missing ingredient"

"I've been in somatic therapy and a Zen student for the last decade, and it wasn't until self-compassion practice with Lea that I found the missing ingredient of my healing journey. I realized I was searching for more 'contact' and warm connection with myself. Even in therapy, I could somehow avoid being warmly accepting of myself. Creative self-compassion has been a tremendous gift. Thank you, Lea!" ~ Cat S.

"something was not sinking in"

"I knew I needed to learn how to be kind to myself. I had read about self-compassion and tried to do meditations, but something was not sinking in. Art journaling got me to slow down and absorb what self-compassion means ~ especially common humanity. The practices we did in class helped me. Thank you for everything. This changed my life. I highly recommend this course to anyone!" ~ Patricia C. 

"truly life-changing"

"I learned to let go of my perfectionism and the need to 'stay strong' and to instead give myself a break ~ treating myself as I would treat a friend. This was truly life changing. Lea’s expert teaching was supported by her gentle, firm guidance and ongoing encouragement to 'be curious.' Since taking the course, my relationship with myself and with others is more authentic, connected and human. I’m extremely grateful." ~ Kelly R.

"pure solace"

"The poetry practices and the helpful drawings (speaking as someone who failed art in grade 1) stand out as pure solace as I learned what self-compassion is and how to bring it into my own life. The most striking aspect of this course is how Lea embodies everything she teaches. I learned what self-compassion feels like simply by being in her presence. I can state that everyone in this course is unequivocally accepted as they are." ~ Trudy B.

"I recommend it to everyone!"

"Everyday Self Compassion was one of those rare experiences when I both learned a lot and had fun. Every single thing that Lea presented was simple, clear, wise, warm, and backed by science. Plus, learning through art journaling helped me integrate each insight deeply. Lea really is a true healer, and this class is her unique, cutting-edge vehicle. I recommend it to everyone!" ~ Jared M.

"a safe and nurturing space"

"This was a safe and nurturing space for me to release the stressors of my day and shed the personal armor that I put on to go out into the world, and to experiment with being incredibly tender with myself. These self-compassion techniques have completely changed the way I see my early painful experiences and helped me heal old wounds that I didn't realize were still impacting me." ~ Katie V.  

everyday self-compassion

will teach you how to...


ūüĆŅ¬† practice creative self-compassion in the face of uncertainty

ūüĆŅ¬† use your innate creativity to adapt to changing circumstances

ūüĆŅ¬† motivate yourself with kindness instead of criticism

ūüĆŅ¬† develop healthier and more realistic expectations of yourself

ūüĆŅ¬† respond to challenges with deeper self trust


… so you can feel more calm, creative, connected and confident in the uncertainty of everyday life.


The Heart-First Way

The Heart-First Way is my unique framework for teaching and practicing creative self-compassion, and it's the foundation for the Everyday Self-Compassion program.

question: get curious about yourself and your experience

connect with yourself, your loved ones and all beings

create an intentional response with your body and mind

what to expect

in the program


Each week, we'll explore a different dimension of self-compassion through meditation and art journaling. Our live classes will be a mix of reflective and creative; serious and playful. We'll meditate together, check in as a group, and learn about each week's theme through a talk, art journaling practice and small group discussions.

In preparation for each week's class, you'll watch a brief info video and complete a reflection. This conceptual foundation will help you make the most of our live classes, where you'll have space and time to ask questions and process what you're learning.

You'll also have home practices each week, including meditations, reflections and art journaling.

The program is designed to give you a direct experience of creative self-compassion as an uplifting practice. The goal is for you to have more fun on your healing journey. Through meditation and art journaling, you will learn practical, playful tools that you can access when facing the uncertainty of everyday life. These skills will help you embody your inner compassionate self more fully and with more ease and joy.

This class is appropriate for healthcare professionals as well as the general public. Healthcare professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients.


Before our first class, you'll do some guided, reflective art journaling to clarify your intentions and learn about the basics of self-compassion.


In our first class, we get to know each other to create safety in the group, and we practice together with the fundamentals of self-compassion.


Next, we focus on normalizing uncertainty as a part of life, and we learn practices for meeting unertain times with greater confidence.


Most of us learned to ignore our feelings and needs. This week, we'll learn how feelings and needs show us how to be self-compassionate.


This week we'll learn about how healthy boundaries relate to the universal needs for connection and autonomy ~ in ourselves and others.


The retreat is time to immerse yourself in familiar meditations and new self-compassion practices with mindfulness, creativity, and movement.


If we look to outer achievements for our identity or self-esteem, we can get lost. This week we'll explore sources of unconditional self-esteem.


This week, we'll explore the perspective of having various parts, and how we can learn to listen to them so that we feel more whole.


We'll explore the inner workings of the critic even more deeply, and we'll learn a step-by-step process for accessing the voice of self-kindness.


We'll explore the qualities of the compassionate self and look back on the journey, identifying the practices that are most helpful for each of us.

everyday self-compassion also includes

this supportive bonus!

Mini Meditation Bundle

Created in response to alumni requests, this audio bundle features 12 mini meditations, each less than 7 minutes long, to help you re-center. They give you easy access to a self-compassion re-set!

when and where

we'll meet

Note: There are two cohorts for Summer 2024!

Thursday Evenings:
July 11 - August 29, 2024
6pm - 8pm PT

Friday Mornings:
July 12 - August 30, 2024
10am -12pm PT

Joint retreat for both cohorts:
Saturday, August 3 ~ 9am-12pm PT

Location: on Zoom

Supplies: You will need a watercolor set, waterproof black pen and mixed media or watercolor spiral-bound pad. I will share a suggested materials list when you register.

CE units: 16 units of continuing education credit available for purchase
Note: You must attend the live classes to earn CE credit. You can miss the retreat or one class and still earn CE. See below for more information.

"I can't tell you how transformative the art journaling was. It was really a revelation to me. This course is so unique. There are many many programs about self-compassion out there, but I haven't seen anything else that does what Everyday Self-Compassion does. I'm very grateful that I took this class." ~ Sue K.

(to hear more from Sue, listen to her spoken reflections below)


everyday self-compassion

everyday self-compassion includes

  • 8 live, weekly classes
  • half-day retreat
  • practical and creative self-compassion tools
  • mix of reflective and playful activities
  • weekly meditations
  • safe, supportive community
  • grounded, encouraging teacher
  • recordings of classes and retreat
  • lifetime access
  • BONUS: meditation bundle

8-week live online group program

Thursday evening cohort begins July 11th
Friday morning cohort begins  July 12th

16 units of continuing education credit available at checkout




  • 8 live, weekly classes
  • half-day retreat
  • practical self-compassion tools
  • mix of reflective and playful, creative activities
  • weekly meditations
  • safe, supportive community
  • grounded, encouraging teacher
  • recordings of classes and retreat
  • lifetime access
  • BONUS: meditation bundle






  • 8 live, weekly classes
  • half-day retreat
  • practical self-compassion tools
  • mix of reflective and playful, creative activities
  • weekly meditations
  • safe, supportive community
  • grounded, encouraging teacher
  • recordings of classes and retreat
  • lifetime access
  • BONUS: meditation bundle



I want you to love Everyday Self-Compassion. If for any reason you're not satisfied, email me at [email protected] by Friday,¬†July 26th, and you'll receive a full refund.

now is the time

for self-compassion and creativity


There's never been a better time to learn about creative self-compassion and how it can help you meet uncertainty with more confidence and calm. Our world continues to feel unpredictable, and many of us are dealing with ongoing disruption, loss, and transition.

On top of that, you might be spending a good amount of time blaming yourself ~ on some level thinking that you should have this figured out by now. Or maybe you've been doing things to numb out because everything feels overwhelming. We've all been there. But when we numb, we miss out on the life we want to be living.

The truth is, no one has it 100% figured out. We're all figuring it out, moment-by-moment, together. When you realize that, things don't feel so heavy. What if it was easier to remember you're not alone? What if you could have fun and still heal?

If you've felt overwhelmed when facing uncertainty and you want to feel more centered in your everyday life, don't let another day go by without reclaiming your creativity and learning to be kinder to yourself. Being on a healing journey doesn't always have to feel heavy.


Life-changing program, supportive community, 100% guarantee? Sign me up!!

Information on continuing education credit for healthcare professionals:

  • CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Academy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Spiritual
    Competency Academy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.
  • LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.
  • SCA is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. RNs must retain their certificate of attendance for 4 years after the course concludes.
  • For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact Lea at¬†[email protected].
  • For questions about CE, contact Spiritual Competency Academy at¬†[email protected].

at the end of the program

participants will be better able to:

  • Describe the three components of self-compassion.
  • Describe three benefits to practicing self-compassion.
  • Utilize self-compassion meditation for oneself in the context of personal and professional relationships.
  • Apply basic self-compassion and creativity skills as a response to the everyday needs and demands of one‚Äôs personal and professional life.
  • Explain the proven health benefits of a regular journaling practice.
  • Describe how to transform difficult emotions using mindfulness and self-compassion practices.
  • Utilize self-compassion practices to meet unmet relational needs in one‚Äôs personal and professional life.
  • Apply basic mindfulness skills to stay present to self and others.
  • Demonstrate simple self-compassion practices to patients, students, or clients.
  • Apply self-compassion practices to respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness.¬†
  • Apply self-compassion practices to motivate themselves with encouragement rather than self-criticism.
  • Describe the research supporting the effectiveness of creative practice in managing stress.
  • Compare the effectiveness of self-criticism vs. self-compassion as a source of motivation.









Questions about Everyday Self-Compassion? 
Email Lea at [email protected]

disclaimer: enrollment in Everyday Self-Compassion is not group therapy, and it is not a substitute for mental health services. Enrollment in Everyday Self-Compassion does not constitute a therapist-client relationship.