“Be kinder to yourself.
And then let your kindness flood the world.”

— Pema Chödrön

Do you feel like you are getting by, but could go further toward well-being, healing, and flourishing?

Hi, my name is Heather Shaughnessy-Cato.

I am a Self-Compassion Teacher and Well-Being Coach with a background in mindfulness and yoga, and a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Navigating life’s ups and downs with compassion, wisdom and ease is my favorite topic to explore, study and teach. 

I can help you to feel more at home and empowered in your own life through:

  • Coaching: Work with me one-on-one for customized support.
  • Courses: Learn and apply mind-body practices in a small and supportive community.
  • Custom workshops: Design a workshop, series, or experience for your team or organization.

Those who seek my services tend to describe struggling with any of the following:

  • Feeling stuck: You may feel unfulfilled, uncertain, or “blah” – and not sure what or how to change.
  • Navigating a life change: Moving, becoming a parent, wishing to making a career change, experiencing the loss of a relationship. These inflection points can leave you feeling unsettled by the accompanying unknowns, changes, and transitions.
  • Self-criticism and doubt: You may have a pattern of being hard on yourself, and are seeking kinder ways to relate to yourself.
  • Managing stress: Times are tough. You are looking for a supportive partner to talk through the stressors you face and to seek new ways to work through life’s ups and downs.
  • A wish to take your yoga / mindfulness / self-compassion practice “off the mat” and more fully into your life.

I am pleased to help individuals and groups learn and apply skills to:

  • Discover what is truly replenishing for you
  • Reflect on and articulate your priorities, values, and goals
  • Validate and acknowledge your own needs
  • Learn to titrate how much you “take in” from the world around you
  • Set boundaries with others and within yourself
  • Develop or strengthen a practice of self-compassion and mindfulness
  • Soften self-criticism
  • Work with difficult emotions


My work centers around deep listening + the frameworks, skills, tools, and practices of Mindful Self-Compassion, Designing Your Life, Wellness and Health Coaching, Mindfulness, Yoga, through the lens of trauma-informed approaches.

Well-Being Coaching – Virtual and In Person

Coaching: Take dedicated time and space just for you to be seen and heard, to define your aspirations and goals, and receive support to explore your authentic path forward. I serve as your non-judgmental partner, with a goal of helping you to (re)connect with your own inner wisdom and resources.

Learning new skills, tools, frameworks and practices: You have the option to add mind-body and creative practices to our sessions. Learn / deepen, customize and apply tools and practices from any of the following:

  • Self-compassion
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Designing Your Life modules
  • Yoga

Courses & Classes – Virtual

Attend to your own well-being in a supportive community. Learn and customize a range of practices to relieve stress, soften self-criticism, and pivot with more ease.

Offerings include:

  • Introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (free)
  • Mindful Self-Compassion Program
  • Classes on well-being through the lens of life design, compassion, and/or mindfulness

Custom Workshops – Virtual and In-Person

I design custom workshops and experiences for organizations and groups.

Work with me to design an experience for your group or organization to manage stress, enhance wellbeing, address burnout, and enhance performance. 

Mindful and compassionate approaches for wholehearted well-being.

My coaching and teaching are grounded in the following frameworks, designed to help you seek clarity and meet challenges with compassion and wisdom.

Mindful Self-CompassionThe art and science of treating yourself like a good friend. MSC is an empirically-supported program to develop the skill of self-compassion for greater self-kindness, to feel more connected with others, to soothe, comfort and protect ourselves, and to make changes out of self-love and a commitment to growth. 
Designing Your LifeA creative method of applying the human-centered design thinking process to our own lives – to think more expansively and creatively, to learn to pivot in the midst of change, and to collaborate with others to expose our underlying assumptions and constraints. Learn practical strategies and feel more empowered to design a life in which you can flourish.
MindfulnessBalanced, non-judgmental present moment awareness. Practicing mindfulness can help to reduce stress, bring grounding in the midst of intense moments, enhance self-awareness, and help you to intentionally pause and appreciate the good things in life.
YogaA contemplative practice for healing, integration, connection and kindness. Yoga offers an opportunity to listen deeply to our minds, bodies and hearts, to heal with movement and breath, to cultivate present moment awareness, and to play with embodying mindfulness and self-compassion.
Wellness & Health CoachingA reflective, experiential process to enhance physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being. Set your vision for wholehearted well-being, then take incremental steps – with support- toward your vision.
MA, Clinical Mental Health CounselingWith my previous training and experience as a therapist, my starting point is to see each person as whole and an expert in their own lives. My goal as a coach is to help you remember your wholeness and to connect with your own inner wisdom and courage.
Trauma-informed approachesTrauma-Sensitive approaches take into account how trauma impacts the body and mind. There are a more inclusive range of options we can incorporate in practicing mindfulness, yoga, self-compassion, and in navigating both one-on-one and small-group class sessions.

What my clients are saying

I can’t express how much I enjoyed interacting with you during our coaching sessions. I got so much more out of it than I could have possibly imagined. With your gentle & insightful guidance, I was able to shift some long ingrained patterns of harsh self-judgment.

— Chris, Coaching client

You are so giving of yourself and your time and talents, and the lessons you taught me continue to resonate and ripple through me.

— Melissa, Coaching client

Heather Shaughnessy-Cato, MA
wholehearted LLC

169 Park Row, Brunswick, ME 04011