heather grace: mindfulness & self-compassion

Helping adults and children to create a more joyful and harmonious life…

Three steps for helping your child deal with strong emotions

tantrum image

One of the questions I’m asked most often is, “How do I help my child when they’re in the grip of <insert strong feeling here>?”  Despair, anger, rage, disappointment, anxiety – these are perhaps the most common.  First of all – and this really is key – there’s nothing wrong

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Syria and the evolution of mankind

On Wednesday night, the UK government took us into war against an invisible enemy.  Intelligence on this invisible enemy is, by all accounts, rather slim and tentative.  When we send those RAF tornadoes to drop their bombs, we harden our hearts and disconnect from our humanity.  This is the price that we are willing to pay to try to protect our ‘freedom’.

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Mindful parenting misrepresentation

8 Rules of Mindful Parenting

In my humble opinion, the above article on mindful parenting rather misses the point.  I have a feeling that the author hasn’t misunderstood mindfulness as fully as she makes out, and that actually this is more a backlash against ‘perfectionist parenting’.  To balance the argument (and in defence of mindfulness, not that it cares a jot whether it’s defended or not), mindful parenting isn’t at all about spending our days endlessly sniffing our child’s hair and gazing into their eyes with adoration. 

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From alcohol to mindfulness…

Ok, so I haven’t blogged for AGES. I don’t think I’m a natural blogger at all. But sometimes words just kind of rise up from my heart and feel like they need to be spoken, at least in the written form of ‘speaking’. This is a story of an insight that arose a few months ago, but it was still a little too tender to share back then.  In June of this year I was on retreat on the Holy Isle, blessed to be in the presence of amazing mindfulness teachers such as Rob Nairn, Choden, Heather Regan-Addis and Fay Adams. It was quite a turbulent time in my life, as I had just taken on the role of nearly full-time stepmother to my partner’s 13 year-old son, in addition to mothering my own 3 boys. At the end of the retreat I was feeling a deep spaciousness, as if life had really slowed down and felt ‘manageable’ again.

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Time to let go…

Standing in the rain...

Standing in the rain…

Feeling a little raw today if the truth be told, and it feels good to admit it.  No need to put on a game-face and pretend.  The Buddha taught of how deeply our human suffering is bound to the Universal law of impermanence, and how true that is!  ALL forms (be they physical forms, thought forms, emotion forms, sensations, events) arise and then fade away, arising from the unmanifested, the Source, and returning back to it.  Learning to let go is one of the hardest lessons; yet it is essential work to be done if we are ever to allow inner-peace to find a foothold within us.

We are a couple of days post full-moon, and we are being buffeted by high winds and heavy rain.  Tomorrow my youngest starts primary school, my middle son starts high school and it is the anniversary of my father’s death.  I took this picture just moments ago whilst standing outside in the rain; something I used to do as a child after my father passed.  Yes I feel raw, but at the same time incredibly supported by the Universe; it almost feels as if the skies are crying with me, holding me in my pain.  My children are growing up, and they need me less now.  My youngest revels in doing things for himself and spends much more time gazing adoringly at his older brothers than being with me.  So the hour approaches when I must wave goodbye in the school playground and let go, staying intensely present and allowing life to unfold just as it is.

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