About Wendy Saunders

Welcome to the website and blog of Wendy Saunders, Senior Manager of Leadership Development for YMCA of the USA, and Certified Teacher in Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), a program of Emory University in Atlanta, GA. A highly sought-after speaker, leadership trainer, and the author of "Beyond Civility: Growing Compassionate Love in Communities," a white paper published in the Journal of Community Strengthening, Wendy inspires professionals across the country to enhance workplace quality of life - and increase employee retention, productivity, and performance - by shifting to a more mindful and compassionate culture. Wendy also works with community members and students to help them cultivate higher levels of mindfulness, well-being, self-compassion, resilience, and compassion for others. As a former executive for the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles and now executive leadership development faculty for the Y nationally, Wendy is helping to advance compassionate love and related concepts, mindful and compassionate leadership, Cause-Driven Leadership, emotional intelligence, and leadership coaching across the Y movement, in the Los Angeles community, and in other communities and organizations around the country. - See more at:

Our Divided America: Do You Have Delusions of Superiority?

August 26th, 2017|

I’m grateful to have spent some time tonight watching a video of Brené Brown speaking about the events in Charlottesville, VA, and I’d like to offer a few thoughts. If you’re familiar with my website and Facebook page, you probably know that I haven’t been very shy about expressing my deep concerns about acts of violence and hate, or my strong advocacy for love and compassion.  You may also know that I’ve written and spoken […]

2016 Presidential Campaign Got You Feeling Angry or Stressed Out? Three ways mindfulness can bring you calm, clarity, and true empowerment.

October 8th, 2016|

In recent weeks, I’ve found myself feeling increasingly frustrated – and even angry – with many aspects of this year’s presidential campaign, particularly as I’ve watched the news, speeches, debates and rallies, contemplated the implications of the poll numbers, and read dozens (or probably hundreds, I’ve lost count) of politically-charged Facebook and Twitter posts.  I’ve also been feeling a bit powerless—questioning what I can really do to make a difference in this political race to […]

Cognitively-Based Compassion Training | Los Angeles

July 30th, 2015|

Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT®), a program of Emory University, was brought to Los Angeles in 2014 by Certified CBCT Teacher, Wendy Saunders.  Wendy also serves as Senior Manager of Leadership Development for YMCA of the USA.  Wendy offers the 8 to 10-week CBCT course periodically at YMCAs in the L.A. area.  The next CBCT course will be offered at the Hollywood YMCA beginning on July 2, 2017 (contact Wendy to sign up).  She also offers CBCT 1:1 […]

A Taxicab Confession about Real Love

May 10th, 2014|

As I’ve been traveling a bit more frequently in the last couple of years, I’ve set an intention to engage any taxicab driver I ride with in a conversation of meaning.  As many of the taxi drivers I meet are originally from another country, it’s a perfect opportunity for me to deepen my knowledge of another part of the world and, often, hear someone else’s story and passions – one of my favorite things to […]

Freeing Your Mind and Spirit through Meditation

February 17th, 2014|

How often do you find yourself caught up in your own mind: replaying certain scenes from your day, thinking about what happened and how it affected you — or how it might affect you in the future, trying to imagine all the possible ways you think a situation might play out, or immersed in thoughts or worries about an issue or conflict with your significant other, a family member, or a friend?

Chances are, this happens […]

Meditation Basics

January 26th, 2014|

There are many types of meditation: religious and nonreligious, walking and sitting, silent and chanting, with mantras and without, and more. When just getting started, many people find it helpful to practice with one of the most basic of them all:  breathing meditation (also known as ‘mindfulness of breathing’). The general goal of this meditation is to focus on –or be mindful of– your breathing, and only your breathing, for a set period of time.

Consider giving […]

5 Ways Compassion Increases Happiness and Well-Being

January 20th, 2014|

Compassion can change your life and increase your levels of happiness and well-being.  Sound too good to be true?  Not for hundreds of students, professionals, and community members who have been trained in compassion over the past couple years through well-known universities like Emory University in Atlanta, GA and Stanford University in northern California.  You might be thinking: People were actually “trained in compassion”?  That sounds like some sort of court-assigned program for people with […]

Karen’s Story

December 9th, 2013|

On #GivingTuesday this year (the day after Cyber Monday), Karen posted this on her Facebook timeline:

“I’ll give something to every charity provided in the comments below this status. Go!”

Over 7 hours and 20 charities later, Karen had given something to every charity her Facebook friends had requested she give to.  Under her status, she commented back to each person who recommended a charity, letting them know that she had given a donation to that organization […]

Emotional Intelligence 101

September 12th, 2013|

A little understanding of brain science can go a long way to improve our interpersonal effectiveness in multiple aspects of our life. While our IQ – or intelligence quotient – is pretty well set by the time we are adults, our EQ – or emotional quotient – can change over time.  EQ is the measure of emotional intelligence, and scores of books have been written on this subject by experts in the field like Daniel […]

An Antidote for Loneliness

September 12th, 2013|

An Antidote for Loneliness (for singles… or those who feel single!)

Whether you’re single and looking for a relationship or in a relationship but feel like you’re single, at times you may find yourself no more than an arm’s-length away from the dark cloud of loneliness. You can sense it looming, ready to cast a shadow on your spirit when you have a weak moment or aren’t busy with life’s many distractions. So to avoid it, […]