Heather's Blog

Mindfulness & Self-Compassion Teacher

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Acceptance for the Win

When you find yourself feeling stuck and frustrated, and perhaps repeating the same pattern over and over again and not sure how to change it, then a way to make the change is to take a fresh look at the situation.  

Questions to Ask:

What is your current perspective?  Do you feel like maybe something isn’t fair?  Do  you think that you want it to be different than it is?  Are you holding on to a thought that if only the situation were a certain way that everything would be better..different…easier…or whatever you’re telling yourself..this is where you it is helpful to do some investigative work..to explore within yourself to see what you may be thinking and feeling..  As you examine your thoughts and feelings about the situation, ask yourself, what is that I don’t want to accept?  What is it that makes me uncomfortable?   

As you ask yourself these questions, it will not be an easy process and you may find yourself not willing to go deeper into the situation  but as you do, you will start to see the situation from a new perspective. By looking at it from a fresh perspective, this allows you to start to accept the facts, just as they are.  To accept reality without trying to add your wishes for how you want it to be.  You can then start to ask yourself if you can truly accept it.

A different way to look at it…

Instead of looking at it as why is this happening to me.  What would it be like if you ask yourself, what can I learn from this?  How can I grow from this?  What do I need to know from this situation that I don’t already know?  There may be some painful emotions that arise as you go through this process.  It can be challenging to look at reality and face it.    Sitting with this painful emotion is going to be hard.  No doubt about it.  But that’s where the healing is.  This is where the growth is.  True growth happens when you step outside of your comfort zone.  Healing happens when you can befriend your pain and accept it.  It takes courage to turn towards that which we don’t want to.   When you can embrace those negative emotions that are painful and know that they will not last, you are on the path for opening the door towards understanding yourself and your life more deeply and richly and creating the life that is connected, inspired, and meaningful to you.

What Trees and Humans have in Common

When I attended a silent retreat for the first time.  The theme was “Coming Home to Kindness.”  It was an incredibly powerful and enlightening experience, where I learned how to connect to myself and with others through silence.   The retreat was 5 days of dharma talks given by the instructors, yoga, qi gong, 30-minute sitting meditations, and 30-minute walking meditations.  I learned that humor is extremely powerful and that I turn towards it in uncomfortable situations.  Also, even when you aren’t saying a word you can still make connections with others. 

Does anyone else talk to themselves and didn’t know it?   I do!! I  found that out too!  Catch me doing it in the grocery store now and find it funny to catch people glancing at me curiously.

So, during one of the walking meditations at the retreat, I was in a small atrium and I was admiring the plants but at one point, I looked up and I noticed this tree outside that was nestled into the corner of the building.  It caught my interest because the back of it was in shade due to the building but the other half was in direct sunlight. , I realized that the front of the tree in the sunshine was beautiful and vibrant, with lush green branches and it was blooming because the branches were strong and healthy.  However, the back of the tree was different, it looked as though it was tired and dying, with no green in sight and the branches looked dry and brittle.    There was no life to it.    

The back half of the tree needed sunlight to survive.  It wasn’t getting what it needed so it was slowly dying without such a basic need.  

What do we need to thrive?

As humans, we are the same way.  When we don’t give ourselves what we need and we don’t give time and attention to parts of ourselves and our lives that are important, then they will slowly wither.  Those parts need to be nourished and tended to to bloom.

  It can be difficult to notice if there is a part of you that feels neglected or tired because we live in a fast-paced busy world and our attention is constantly being drawn from one thing to the next.   It’s when you slow down and go inward and look at yourself and start asking questions, you can start to notice what is truly important.  

The Gift of Silence

In silence, we learn about ourselves. Take a moment.   Pause.  Close your eyes.  Draw in a breath and in the stillness ask and listen for the response that comes up first to:  How can I be true to myself? 

By asking yourself this question a few times throughout the day, you can start to reconnect to the parts of yourself may have been neglected.

Different Needs

 It can be as simple as quenching your thirst with a glass of water, or maybe to take a break if you’ve been sitting at the computer for a long time and need to stretch your legs with a short walk.  There are other things that you may discover as you start asking yourself this question.   You may begin to realize that there are parts of your life that haven’t been tended to in a while such as friendships, activities, or quiet or vacation time to recharge your batteries.   

Is there an activity that you have stopped doing?  Maybe you like to paint, read, or knit. Perhaps, you enjoy exercising such as running, swimming, or taking a walk but you feel as though you don’t have the time for it.  When was the last time you gave yourself time to enjoy quality time with an activity you enjoy?  What would it be like to allow yourself to discover the possibilities and enjoy them?  Could you do this for 5 minutes? 10 minutes?  Starting with small snippets of time will introduce this activity back into your day.

What will you discover if you take the time to find out?


With Spring right around the corner and with it being synonymous with renewal, I’ve been thinking about how this is the perfect time to clear out my house a little bit and do some spring cleaning. 

So I went through my closets, piling up clothes I haven’t worn in a long time and don’t plan to wear again.  I cleaned out the storage room and removed old Christmas and Halloween decorations.  With each piece that I put into the donation pile, I felt lighter.   It felt as though I was freeing myself.   I allowed myself make room and space in my home and open it up just a little more. 

Why we need a clean up too..

This kind of cleaning makes me think about how as humans, we need to do some decluttering too from time to time.   It is benefical for us to clear out old beliefs and ways of thinking.  It can be easy to hold on to belief systems that you have had for a long time because it has become a default way of thinking.  But as you grow and evolve and learn new ways, similar to computer software, those old thought patterns can become outdated and will need an update. 

Otherwise, the old ways of thinking are going to hold you back and keep you stuck.  And nobody wants that!  So maybe it’s time to take a look around..inside yourself..and ask….

Are there any outdated thoughts you have about yourself that can use some updating?

Why is Gratitude so Important

Gratitude is a change maker.  Let me repeat that.  Gratitude is a change maker.  It sets the tone to create a positive mindset.

Starting a gratitude practice can be as straight forward as practicing gratitude on a daily and regular basis.  When you practice gratitude regularly, it changes your mindset and becomes a catalyst to build a strong foundation to frame your life around.  Your mindset becomes tuned in to success and creates a willingness to be open to appreciate the life you have.   You build an appreciation of yourself, what you have, the people in your life, and the moments you experience.  This  can help you become more supportive and compassionate towards your life experiences and  help you become your own cheerleader.  Every practice of gratitude is a moment to root for yourself, appreciate what you currently have, and create opportunities for success.   Simply by noticing what you already have to be grateful for in your life.  Right now. 

Cyclical Effect

The practice of gratitude creates a cyclical effect.  One good action creates a feel-good reaction (appreciation), which in turn starts the desire to want to keep building on that foundation of good actions and feel good reaction (appreciation) so that it builds and builds.  This continues and inspires more of the same until it becomes cyclical.

So how does that happen you may be wondering?  The more gratitude you express, the more you begin to appreciate all aspects of your life and what you have!  It releases the -lack- a mentality that holds you back and moves you into a growth mindset. 

Growth Mindset

When you’re in a growth mindset, the door opens so you not only give but to receive.  This helps to build confidence.  By building confidence in the very things you wish to do in your life, you will start to realize that you are capable of doing what you desire. There is greatness within all of us that we can tap into that lays dormant.  Until you notice it and bring it to life.

What blocks the ability to tap into the well of greatness is that dang ego and the shield it has in place.  The ego wants to protect you by using fear and anger,  to block you from getting hurt.  Sure, this is helpful, but it also keeps you stuck in place.   Using gratitude is the way to drop the shield of the ego.   It’s the way to check the ego (or you can gently thank it!)  and allow for you to align with your true self and be one with your true nature. 

You can start by noticing one thing you are grateful for and build on it from there. 

What are you grateful for in this moment?

And remember…always ask yourself..How can I be true to myself?