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The Compassion Guide Approach

On your journey with The Compassion Guide, you will deepen your insight and cultivate compassion towards yourself and others. Together, we explore what makes your inner light of peace, care, and joy shine, and I guide you through practices and exercise that fuel your light. Journeys within are not without their challenges, and I guide you through these with grace and compassion as they arise. Mindfulness and self-compassion serve as frameworks for our journey together.

Mindfulness is waking up to all the moments of our lives. With mindfulness, we increase our capacity to explore inside with curiosity and kindness. This can be pretty easy when we are examining those things that put a smile on our faces and make our light shine brighter. But opening with curiosity and kindness to distressing experiences and challenges that dampen the inner light can be REALLY HARD! Self-compassion helps you through these difficult moments.

Self-compassion is being kind and supportive to yourself when you are struggling, just like you would be to a beloved child or a good friend. Self-compassion is the well from which deep insight and compassion towards yourself and others is drawn.

The Compassion Guide Services

Compassion + Insight = Empowerment

Image by Dustin Humes


A retreat is a time for rest and rejuvenation, a time to connect with yourself and others. The Compassion Guide hosts in-person and online retreats to provide opportunities to renew your spirit, inspire creativity, and embrace alignment. We can create personalized retreat opportunities for small groups and organizations. We also offer several retreats you can sign up for throughout the year.

Classes & Workshops

Self-compassion is the well from which compassion is drawn. When we fill our own well, we have more than enough to share with others. The Compassion Guide offers self-compassion and mindfulness workshops and classes to teach you how to keep filling your well, especially during the most difficult times.

Meet Your Guide

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Rachel Mills-Brantley MSW, LCSW

Caring, Authentic, Vibrant

First hometown: Little York, Illinois (the 's' is silent)

Current hometown: Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Go Heels!)

Current vocational roles: Facilitator at Mindful Littles, Safety Management Supervisor at Student Success Agency

College and Degrees: BA, Illinois College, Jacksonville and MSW, UNC @ Chapel Hill

Favorite Quotes: "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." -Rumi

"Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world." -Pema Chodron


Why The Compassion Guide?

I believe that igniting and spreading the wise, peaceful, and caring light within ALL of us will make our world more compassionate. To be sustainable, we must do this work together. Will you join me?

Image by Kien Do


Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2010. I began my social work career in 2005 when I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a Master of Social Work, and I have worked with people of all ages and diverse identities. Organizations in which I have worked include the Center for Child & Family Health, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Durham Public Schools, Chapel Hill Police Department Crisis Unit, East Durham Children's Initiative, Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, and UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center. I am passionate about working in public education, and I presently hold a full-time position as a Facilitator with Mindful Littles, which is a California-based non-profit whose mission is to raise conscious, resilient leaders through mindful service learning and daily habits of compassion.

Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher-in-Training

I began my journey in Mindful Self-Compassion when I took the 8-week MSC course in 2019, and it was life changing. I went on to participate in an 8-month Community for Deepening Practice program offered through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. The practice has been such a gift to me, and I want to pass it on by teaching it to others. I completed the 12-week live, online teacher training and 10-week teacher training practicum through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. I am teaching my first course this fall, and I will be dedicating my teaching to Genevieve, who is the reason I started on the Mindful Self-Compassion path.

Transformative Educational Leadership

I am a member of the 2020-2021 Transformative Educational Leadership (TEL) cohort. TEL is a transformational community for educational leaders that weaves together leadership, mindfulness, equity, and social-emotional learning in service of creating a more compassionate and interdependent world.

More Tidbits

  • I was raised on a farm in rural Illinois where my family still lives. It is home.

  • One time, as I showed a sheep at a county fair, it ran away from me.

  • Family is super important to me, and I maintain strong bonds with my Illinois family.

  • I have lived in North Carolina since 2002. It is also home, and I share it with my spouse, our two children, more family, and lots of friends.

  • Favorite things include Sunday morning dance parties with my kids, camping, deep introspection, paddling, The Dodo Foster Diaries videos, and spreading compassion.

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