A way of paying attention that can bring us greater resilience, ease, and joy.

  Upcoming Classes & Retreats


Midday Mindfulness

Drop-in online hour of guided practice. Warm community and simple, welcoming practices.
FREE but you must register HERE to receive the link.
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ ONLINE
Wednesdays at noon
Usually taught by Tim Burnett, but I often sub.
I will be teaching:
October 11

Mindful Self-Compassion
Learn how to treat yourself as you would a friend. Gather with like-minded others as you experience self-kindness.

For Mindfulness Northwest ~ ONLINE
October 15 – December 3

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
The gold standard! Learn about your brain, support your nervous system, practice in community. Powerful & transformative.

For Mindfulness Northwest ~ IN PERSON
At Prime Studio in Bellingham, WA
October 16 – December 4

Meeting the Inner Critic
Let’s get curious about that harsh inner voice. Simple, effective tools to bring more kindness. 
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ IN PERSON
At Bow Sanctuary
Saturday, November 4

Coming Home to the Heart ~ A Women’s Retreat Day
Join us for a full day of guided yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices. Nourish, restore, and connect. Co-taught with yogini extraordinaire, Beth Rusk!
For Bow Sanctuary ~ IN PERSON
Saturday, November 11

Day of Mindfulness
A day of continuous guided practice at the beach! Silence, community, and the beauty of nature. We will be indoors & out. 

For Mindfulness Northwest ~ IN PERSON
At Semiahmoo County Park
Saturday, November 18


Emotional Resilience with Mindfulness
Build resilience through mindful exploration of your emotions.  For Mindfulness Northwest ~ IN PERSON
At Bow Sanctuary
January 27

Heart of Winter Retreat
Short & sweet retreat from home. Practice in a warm community of silence. If you’re curious but shy, this is a wonderful first retreat!
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ ONLINE
February 9-11

Mindful Self-Compassion
Learn how to treat yourself as you would a friend. Gather with like-minded others as you experience self-kindness.

For Mindfulness Northwest ~ ONLINE
February 3 – April 1 (no foolin!)

Spring Weekend Retreat
With my mentor and partner in mindful crime, Karen Schwisow! Open to all.
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ IN PERSON
At Samish Camp on Samish Island, Bow

March 22-24

Fierce Compassion: A Women’s Retreat
Join us in cultivating both fierce and tender compassion with a warm community of women.
With the extraordinary Karen Schwisow!
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ IN PERSON
At Whidbey Institute
Registration opening soon

Save the dates: May 24-26



Free practice recordings, online at Mindfulness Northwest. Listen HERE.

Articles I’ve authored for Mindfulness Northwest. Read about:

  • Fierce & Tender Self-Compassion (featuring mama bears)
  • Savoring (featuring deliciousness)
  • Tips for mindful holidays (featuring Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr.)
  • The power of practicing together (featuring wet interrupting dog noses)
  • Plus R.A.I.N., poetry, and more!

What People Are Saying . . .


Insightful, inspirational, and transformative.
-Spencer, MSC participant

Carolyn, you have a gift for creating a space where discoveries can be made. Thank you for your guidance.
-Becca, Mindful Writing participant

Carolyn provided an abundance of information while keeping the learning incredibly organic and experiential. I appreciate the scientific and practical examination of the practice along side the less tangible, emotional, spiritual elements.
– taylor s., MBSR participant

Carolyn opened up the world of mindfulness to me. She is a wonderful teacher – patient, empathetic, warm, compassionate, and a brilliant communicator with great energy! She went above and beyond to understand the needs of each student.
-Anand, MSC participant

The most impressive thing to me about Carolyn is that she doesn’t try to present herself as being impressive. It wasn’t that she had all the answers and was sharing them with us.  Instead, she had the ability to help us understand that for ourselves.  It was like she was opening a door and giving us the opportunity to walk through it.  She is the real thing—a genuine teacher.
-Tom, MSC participant

Thank you for everything! Your humor, boundary-keeping, and genuine care were treasured.
-Kathleen, MSC participant

I find Carolyn’s feedback as we talk about our experience endlessly helpful, insightful, and genuine.
– Carol G., MSC participant

Carolyn is a really wonderful instructor – she holds space for everyone in the class in a special way, modeling the practice of mindful self-compassion, but as an outward expression.
-Erin B., MSC participant

Lots of great insights and practices that help you to understand mindfulness and how you can use it in your daily life in formal or informal ways.
– Jen H., MBSR participant

Carolyn is great! Well-studied, wise, creative, playful and pragmatic. Anything you glean from the course and your practice improves your life.
– Renee, MSC participant



Headshot by Tiffany Brooks




Lopsided, luscious,
the moon moves through the cedars,
her golden late-summer light
obscuring the meteors
that I have stepped out to see.

She is forgiven.

Carolyn McCarthy




Carolyn offers classes in the hopes of moving us, individually and collectively, toward healing, wholeness, and love. Zest, warmth and wit enliven her teaching. Core practices: sitting meditation, time outside, solo living room dance parties.

A student of social justice, Carolyn uses mindfulness to face difficult truths within and without. All are welcome in her offerings. She lives and practices on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish people. Here by way of colonialism, she is grateful for the ongoing leadership that her neighbors, the Lhaq’te’mish (Lummi Nation), provide in caring for the lands and waters we all call home.

  • Certified to teach MSC by UCSD Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.
  • Trained to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction through Mindfulness Northwest.
  • Graduate of Mindfulness Northwest’s 9-month Mindfulness Teacher Training Program.
  • Trainings and retreats with Chris Germer, Michelle Johnson, Tuere Sala, Heather Sundberg, David Treleaven, and many others.


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