Wake Up Festival 2013

Below are the resources I prepared for my sessions/intensives at the 2013 Wake Up Festival. Enjoy!

PDFs of Slide Shows:


The Neuroscience of Change Breakout: WakeUpMcGonigalBreakoutSlides

Guided Meditations/Practice MP3s/Written Exercises:

Breath Focus MP3 (instructions for practice followed by 3 5-min intervals marked by meditation bowl ringing, for up to 15-min practice)

Listening to Your Body MP3 (5-min meditation/reflection on self-care)

Surf the Urge instructions (breathing practice for dealing with cravings/impulses/anxiety)

Befriending Your Body Body Scan & Gratitude Practice MP3 (20-min meditation/reflection)

Self Compassion Letter Writing Exercise (word doc)

Values Affirmation Writing Exercise (word doc)


Scientific Articles

Functional Neural Plasticity and Associated Changes in Positive Affect after Compassion Training (Klimecki et al. 2012)

The Science of Self-Compassion A review chapter by self-compassion researcher Kristin Neff, from the book Compassion and Wisdom in Psychotherapy

Mind Wandering and Attention During Focused Meditation (Hasenkamp et al. 2012)

Craving to Quit: Psychological Models and Neurobiological Mechanisms of Mindfulness Training as Treatment for Addictions (Brewer,  Elwafi, & Davis 2012).

Retraining the Addicted Brain: A Review of Hypothesized Neurobiological Mechanisms of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (Witkiewitz, Lustyk, & Bowen 2012)

The Mindful Brain and Emotion Regulation in Mood Disorders (Farb, Anderson, & Segal 2012).

How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work? Proposing Mechanisms from a Conceptual and Neural Perspective (Holzel et al. 2011)

Resources from Organizations I Work With:

The Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (includes many videos of compassion-related talks, research papers, and other resources)

The Center for Greater Good (UC Berkeley) — articles, videos, and more on the “Science of a Meaningful Life”


My Books/Programs

Choose to Change” On-Demand 6-Week Video/Audio course from SoundsTrue.com

Do you feel stuck in old habits that no longer serve you? Have you been struggling to make a change that you know will bring greater health and happiness into your life? In Choose to Change, Dr. Kelly McGonigal presents a six-week online video course on the process of intentional change that blends lecture, experiential exercises and guided meditations, Q&A with participants, and more. CE credits available to a range of healthcare professionals. This series includes videos of previously live sessions, as well as downloadable MP3s of all meditation/self-reflection practices in the program. Get immediate access online at Sounds True.

The Neuroscience of Change” 6-Session Audio Program from SoundsTrue.com

The Neuroscience of Change: A Compassion-Based Guide to Personal Transformation presents six live (unscripted) talks and twelve guided self-reflection and mediation practices to support the process of change. This audio series integrates the most exciting scientific findings about how the mind works with the wisdom of mind-body traditions like yoga and Buddhism. It deepens some of the most important ideas from The Willpower Instinct, including the importance of mindfulness, self-compassion, and acceptance for change. The program also provides practical support to help you explore and embody these qualities through breathing, meditation, and relaxation practices.

You can order the 6-CD set OR download the program in MP3 format at Sounds True. CE Credits available for the downloadable version.

Or order the 6-CD set from any major bookseller, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Chapters (Canada), and Indie Bound.

“Boost Your Willpower: 28 Days to Create the Change You Want” A Free 4-Week Online Program through YogaJournal.com

Through this exclusive Yoga Journal program, created by Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal, you will learn to identify what you really want and gain the tools and skills needed to reach those goals. You can do this program anytime, at your own pace. After you sign up, you’ll receive daily emails with links to asana practices, meditations, and self-reflection exercises to tap your inner guidance, focus your energy, and strengthen your willpower muscles. Plus, you’ll enjoy great information and tips about how willpower works and how to create a life that supports all of your goals. The program also includes invitations to live online chats with Dr. McGonigal.

Note: I’m especially excited about this program because it provides participants with free access to professionally produced yoga videos and guided meditations. The program includes four different yoga videos: a gentle flow practice emphasizing breathing stretches; a more energetic flow practice accessible to all levels; a restorative yoga practice; and my favorite, a simple flow practice integrating mudras (hand gestures). Sign up now

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It” (Penguin 2011) describes the science of self-control and how to apply it to your own life. Available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats everywhere. Also available in Chinese, Dutch, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and other translations — check your regional booksellers to see if it is available. Published as “Maximum Willpower” in the UK.

If you are interested in sample yoga sequences and scripts for meditation/breathing exercises appropriate for beginners, people dealing with physical pain or health challenges, or those interested in cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion through yoga practice, I recommend my book Yoga for Pain Relief (New Harbinger 2009).


Leave a Comment

  1. Thank you for your generosity in sharing all of these wonderful resources. I’ll do what I can to pass your work forward, including at the Boulder Center for Conscious Community. I so appreciate what you’re up to!

  2. I attended your Choose to Change class last year at Sounds True, read your book, and just purchased the Neuroscience of Change CDs. I love the work you are doing, and have personally been about to use this information to help me create the life I want. I’d love to be able to share the videos from your class with some others. Would that be ok?

  3. Hi Kelly,

    We met recently at both the Wake Up Festival, as well as the Emerging Women Live Conference. At the end of the conference we were in the lobby discussing resistance. One thing I wanted to talk with you more about was if you felt it was advantageous to be able to identify at what level you are having resistance. For example, for someone who wants (& simultaneously doesn’t want) to meditate, they might be resisting doing it at a particular time of day or for a certain amount of time. This resistance seems like it could be approached very differently than an egoic resistance like “I don’t want to have to meditate to call myself a meditator”. I would love to hear your thoughts on this or related ideas.


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