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


Upcoming Classes & Retreats


Sitting Together
30 minutes of free, guided practice with Carolyn.
All are welcome ~ ONLINE
Offered weekly on Tuesdays at 7pm
To receive meeting info, please join my mailing list:
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Mindful Self-Compassion
Learn to befriend yourself, especially when things are tough. Supportive community, deeply nourishing 8-week course.
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ In Person ~ Bellingham
January 23 – March 13, 2022

Mindful Self-Compassion
An 8-week course from the comfort of your own home. Connect with others and learn how to be kinder to yourself in this warm, supportive course.
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ ONLINE
February 10 – March 31, 2022

Day of Mindfulness & Self-Compassion
A day-long silent retreat on the beautiful Semiahmoo spit. Gentle guided practices to help you unplug and recharge.
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ In Person
Semiahmoo County Park Cannery Lodge (Whatcom County)
Saturday, March 5, 2022

Day of Self-Compassion
A half-day silent retreat at home. Continuous guided practice supports relaxation and a sense of connection.
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ ONLINE
Saturday, March 12, 20221

Fierce Compassion: A Women’s Retreat
Join us in cultivating both fierce and tender compassion with a warm community of women.
Step away from your busy life into quiet, contemplation, and beauty.
(We use an inclusive definition of “women”. All who identify as women are welcome.)
For  Three Trees Yoga with Karen Schwisow ~ In Person



What People Are Saying . . .


Prior to my first workshop with Carolyn on mindful self-compassion, I had been “doing” meditation exercises either with an app or using breathing techniques. 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

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

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

MSC is a really gentle way to approach mindfulness, and I grew in unexpected ways during the 8 weeks. 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

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


The Comings and Goings of Geese

Busy black ribbons slide across the sky
undulating, messy, now crystallizing in a V,
now devolving into dots.
Sailing away like summer
with a promise to return.
Leaving the sky-door open to welcome
the white geese of winter.


Carolyn McCarthy

Carolyn McCarthy has worked for years cultivating presence, attentiveness, and joy as a writer, actor, and singer. After a decade of solo meditation practice, she was thrilled to find Mindfulness Northwest’s retreats and classes. The process of learning in community under the guidance of a trained teacher has been invaluable, inspiring her to become a teacher herself.

Carolyn offers classes in the hopes of moving us, individually and collectively, toward healing, wholeness, and love. Her practice supports her work in social justice, encouraging her to turn toward the difficult within and without. Mindfulness practices also help her to be a calmer, happier person and a better mother, daughter, partner, and friend (most of the time!).

Carolyn lives with her family where the Chuckanut Mountains meet the Salish Sea in 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. In addition to time in the classroom, she loves reading, singing, writing letters, watching birds, and dancing like a fool.

TRAINING: 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. Has attended retreats & trainings with Michelle Becker, Robin Boudette, Tim Burnett, Chris Germer, Steve Hickman, Michelle Johnson, Kristin Neff, Tuere Sala, Regula Saner, Karen Schwisow, Heather Sundberg, and David Treleaven.


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