Self-compassion as self-care for grief is the practice of making skillful choices that will reduce suffering and improve the quality of your life. It goes beyond creating healthy habits, such as exercise, a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and getting the right amount of sleep – though these can all help with grief. This session will explore how an attitude of self-compassion—in other words, relating to yourself as you would a beloved friend—can help you manage difficult emotions, reduce suffering, and even transform your relationship to yourself and others. We will also explore the 3 core components of self-compassion, and experience a guided meditation designed to open your heart so you can offer lovingkindness to yourself.
As hard as it may seem, we can tend to our own suffering using self-compassion techniques that are rooted in ancient spiritual practices and proven effective by contemporary research. Once we apply the “oxygen mask” to ourselves as professionals, we can then use the same techniques to support our peers and loved ones who might be struggling with feelings of guilt, loneliness and low self-efficacy.
Heather is the author of Mindfulness & Grief, the host of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, and a contributor to Techniques of Grief Therapy: Assessment & Intervention, edited by the esteemed grief therapist Dr. Bob Neimeyer. Heather is on the Advisory Board for T*A*P*S (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Military Loss), and contributes to T*A*P*S Magazine.
Heather holds a Master's Degree in Thanatology, which is the study of
Death, Dying, and Bereavement, from Hood College. She is an
IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist,
and holds three certificates from the Phoenix Rising Yoga School of
Yoga Therapy, in yoga therapy, therapeutic yoga teacher training, and
group facilitation. She is also registered through Yoga Alliance as a
Registered Yoga Teacher-200 hours.
Heather discovered yoga and mindfulness while she was the CEO of a web development company and diagnosed with a stress-related illness. These contemplative practices inspired her to live a life in service to others, and she became a suicide/crisis hotline call specialist in honor of her uncle who died by suicide when Heather was a child. Heather has led workshops for organizations including Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation, National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, and the Association of Death Education and Counseling.
She is the founder of the Frederick Meditation Center in Maryland, where she has a private practice, and offers supportive articles and guided meditations at MindfulnessAndGrief.com.