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Posts from the ‘workshops’ Category

case studies- EY


Learning & Development Faciltation

I worked for over ten years  delivering the counsellor and advanced counsellor training within EY as part of an associate team. We were one of only a couple of providers that the organisation had used for that length of time in the UK. This work involved performance management, relationship building, coaching and difficult conversations training. The advanced programme including greater complexity including neurodiversity, careers and mental health.

We worked at senior levels in the organisation and I have facilitated Partner, Director, Senior Manager and Manager groups as well as some more junior staff just starting out in people management. Many of these audiences were globally diverse but based in the UK. I was particularly actively involved with the Advisory business when it was re-starting within the firm, facilitating the partner group around Firm process and their decisions on people management.

Introducing Heartfulness- Balanced Mind: Kind Mind Course


As many of you are aware, over the last year I have been doing some additional mindfulness training focused on friendship (or loving kindness) and compassion practices. I am now one of the first 20 or so people trained in this new course in the UK while it has been running for a longer time in Europe! I have personally gained so much from these practices- a greater feeling of happiness, a way of self soothing when things get tough and for those of us in the caring and helping professions a way of dealing with the possibilities of burnout from empathy fatigue. Read more

mindfulness MBSR course reported participant benefits


I have been tracking informally over the year participants feedback at the end of the course as to how they feel different as a result of taking the course…While not hugely scientific it is useful to hear what past participants have said. All feedback was collected anonymously as a tick box questionnaire !

100% of people feel more aware

92% of people feel more in touch with themselves

84% felt less anxious

81% felt less stressed

76% of people felt better about themselves and

75% felt more contented

other stats included 66% of people reporting feeling less hijacked by negative moods, 64% appreciate life more and 66% felt their relationships had improved with others

So what are you waiting for? Next course starts 21st April 2017 ! Taster session 10th March 2017. Find out more here


Day of silence Feedback


Some lovely feedback from my day of silence at the weekend (November 2016) at Wormingford community education centre. Next day of silence, open to all that have attended an MBSR or MBCT class will be Saturday March 18th. 9.30-3.30:

‘Thankyou for such an interesting and enlightening day. A perfect venue and location. I’d certainly do it again to build on what i have learnt from you’

‘Wormingford is the perfect place to practice mindfulness. Being here in the Autumn we were flooded with colour against the crisp blue sky. The room has beautiful views outdoors and you don’t have to walk far to feel fully engaged in nature.

The day of silence i came away feeling free, calm and at peace. I hadn’t appreciated how much i needed to slow down’

‘A wonderful day being with myself and nature. Carefully and thoughtfully guided. A real pleasure. I’m grateful I’ve been to do it and for the beautiful surroundings’

‘Wormingford is a lovely spot with beautiful views within a short walk, very peaceful. To subside into silence for several hours is a luxury we rarely afford ourselves and brings relaxation of mind and body. A lovely day refreshing old practices and introducing new ones.’

‘A very good day for me, I valued the time outside, gaining the contrast of feeling cold air and then the warmth of sunshine. A world full of colour, rustling leaves and soggy darker leaves under your feet…time thoughts unconsciously evaporating…everything inside was also of great value, the mindfulness practices and i also really stop and listen to the special poems being read. A good day that I can draw on.’

Art, Nature and Mindfulness Day- November 26th @016



Art, Nature and Mindfulness Day

p1130136loPlease join me of a truly special day exploring both our inner and outer landscape…on Saturday 26th November 2016

Held at Wormingford Community Education Centre, a former primary school located in the peace and tranquility of the rolling Stour Valley- an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The day will start with a short intro and taster to mindfulness practice and how it can enhance our creativity and response to what we see, feel and sense followed by getting outside (in all weathers!) to experience the local landscape.

We will then take this experience back to the Centre for you to work and develop your own piece of work/s as a response.

To make the most of the Autumn light the day will run from 9.30-4pm. £65

The day is limited to 8 places. Tea and Coffee facilities are provided but please bring your own lunch, art materials and suitable walking gear for all weathers. A suggested list of what to bring will be sent closer to the day.

Heather is a colourist, painting expressive nature based paintings inspired by a mindful sense of place. She is a mindfulness practitioner, a coach and learning and development consultant; running mindfulness courses on the Essex/Suffolk Border.

Mindfulness Course Participant Testimonials


Having previously run successful Mindfulness courses at the Colchester Institute you may recognise some of these testimonials…Participants come from all walks of life and include stay at home mums, electricians, Doctors, school teachers, counsellors, social workers, pastoral leads and various business professionals!


It has given me strength of mind and i will use and adapt what i have been learning into my everyday life

Course Participant

I feel that the course has been very good for me at a time when things are and have been difficult in my work and home life. 


Not at all ” wee-woo” ! My partner says I’m happier and calmer. 

This course is to be recommended for people with a chronic illness. Connecting the mind and body and facilitates health and self care.

Course Participant

I really enjoyed it,  nice subject, nice people and nice experience. Its made me aware of me, what i do and what i am. 


It has helped me to meditate without fear of not doing it right!


Even entrenched bad habits can be broken! Give it a go! These courses can help bring a more balanced and calm attitude to life and may help you break lifelong bad habits.


Very useful and practical and has helped me awaken my creative and curious personality. Thank you Heather!! 

I would highly recommend this course to everyone, as even the most practical person still can use time to be more mindfully aware in giving your grey matter some time out for a workout.


This mindfulness course has really opened up my path of self development and brings about a more positive way of being in the World


This course was just what I needed at this point in my life. It has been enlightening and life changing and helped me focus and learn what being mindful really means. The course has helped me get to know myself and be kind and compassionate to myself

Much needed in a stressful world. A way of finding yourself and staying sane.


A valuable journey of self discovery. I am less stressed, have less back pain, have more acknowledgement/understanding of self, more time for self and the here and now is what matters


I have really enjoyed  coming to the course and practicing with others and being lead. It has made me allocate time to press the ‘reset’ button!


Has helped me to ‘untangle’ my brain! Am more aware of when i am on autopilot or not fully in the present- better able to change this

Marion ( Hospital Doctor)

I would definitely recommend to others and would say it is essential in looking after oneself in a nourishing way. Helps to cope with the stresses of life. 

Maggie (Counsellor)

The course has offered the real opportunity for me to think about myself, learn about myself and take care of myself. The course has supported me to  start to break down the barriers that i have built up over the years as a false protection of myself


Some further comments on Heather’s facilitation style in the mindfulness sessions:

Very concise, useful course in the way it was delivered. Given in a way that did not overload or overwhelm when embarking on a personal course. Also delivered very creatively, Thank you.

 Heather, you hold the space during the sessions wonderfully. You bring a very calm open approach to each session which aids learning about oneself

Thankyou for being kind, non judgemental, warm and empathetic. A satisfying learning environment that has allowed me the space to grow.

Well paced, 4 sessions works well despite being designed as eight sessions. Felt we were all given time to have our say

Really enjoyed your welcoming non-judgemental approach.

Found Heather, relaxing, supportive and knowledgeable. Already believing in what she does.

Heather really gave all that she could whilst facilitating the course, including all of us in the group.

CDs are excellent. Heather is a very patient, reflective person. Managed the class with kindness.

I have enjoyed everything Heather has done on the course giving me space to notice in my own time and way.

What a lovely soothing voice. Went at a good pace. Running over more weeks has almost certainly helped to embed it.

Her teaching is very clear. She has a compassionate authority. Her advice about breaking rules and doing what feels personally ok has really helped me during the course and will encourage me in the future

Heather was always non-judgemental and was able to capture and share difficult experiences that we may have been having.

Strengthening your mindfulness practice- silent retreat

March 29th, 2016

Heather Johnston

photo[2]Already completed an 8 week MBSR or MBCT course? I will be running a silent retreat on Saturday 18th March 2017  at Wormingford Community Education Centre between 9.30am and 3.30pm. The cost is £60. Tea and Coffee facilities are available and you will need to bring your own lunch (which will be in silence).

The day will incorporate practices learnt on your MBSR/MBCT course and include some new meditations to strengthen your practice and cultivate further a sense of mindful presence. The day will be held mostly in silence and we will intersperse sitting meditations with movement based meditation and make the most of the beautiful countryside nearby. If the weather is kind to us we will take some of the practice outside so bring sunscreen and a hat!

To apply and book please contact Heather direct at 07801 246113 or via email



Interested in mindfulness classes and coaching in the workplace?



Interested in mindfulness in the workplace?

After a stimulating and enjoyable teachers training retreat with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (University of Bangor) I am now actively incorporating mindfulness thinking into a number of areas of my work:  Read more

Creative arts based workshops and events with teams

January 20th, 2014

Heather Johnston


As one of my new offerings for 2014 I will be providing creativity and art based workshops and events for teams and groups. So if you fancy getting a bit messy and doing something different to come up with some new ideas or solve your organisational challenges or just to spend time as team, then this could be for you!

In my organisational work, I hear a number of comments about wanting to be more innovative and creative either individually or with the work that the group is doing. Using art based techniques alongside my facilitation and event design skills I can work with your group:

  • To start to see things around themselves differently
  • To help them come up with some new ideas
  • To tap in to the intuitive part of themselves that may hold some more unique ideas than traditional approaches
  • To work on something both individually and together to help see interconnections and build a sense of team spirit
  • To loosen up and have some fun!

As some of you know I have been painting for 14 years and have my own studio and participate in open studios and have a few exhibitions coming up this year (see

All materials will be provided and no artistic skills are required- the focus is on the process of the creation! You will also have some strong visual reminders to take back with you to the office, if you so wish.

So if you fancy taking a different approach to solving some of your organisational challenges and coming up with some innovative ideas for the future then please do give me a call on 07801 246113 or e-mail me

Mindfulness and Heartfulness


Mindfulness is a way of being in the present moment so that we become more aware and fully present, noticing what is unfolding moment by moment with a sense of spaciousness, curiosity, acceptance and love. Mindfulness is a practice to nourish our minds rather like what we do for our bodies. By spending time training our minds, we can notice where our attention is and with kindness bring our focus back to where we would like it to be. Mindfulness is in effect a workout for our minds.

 What I offer

I run mindfulness for health and wellbeing (based on the pioneering MBSR/MBCT) 4 and 8 session workshops, Finding peace in a frantic world workshops and mindfulness in schools project .dotb-Foundations and pawsb (7-11 years old) courses. Tailored taster sessions available for Schools and businesses.

81% people who took my mindfulness courses to date felt less stressed, 83% feel less anxious, 95% are more aware and 82% feel better about themselves

The Benefits

There are many scientific research studies into the benefits of mindfulness, with more and more research conducted each year. Scientifically validated studies into mindfulness meditation, specifically MBSR and MBCT have found:

  • Increases in positive emotions and contentment and decrease in anxiety and stress
  • Decrease in pain and inflammation
  • Increased mental stamina and resilience
  • Increased focus, attention and memory improvement
  • Increased creativity, empathy and compassion

Interested to read more or watch some short videos – take a look here

My training

Heather has undertaken two MBSR/MBCT teacher training retreats (TTR 1&2) with the Centre for mindfulness and research practice at the University of Bangor, one of the leaders in the field for mindfulness in the UK, along with advanced mindfulness training course in mindfulness based compassionate living and further training in deep listening. Some of the people that have trained Heather include: Michael Chaskalson, Trish Bartley, Jody Mardula, Sarah Silverton, Erik van den Brink, Ros Oliver, Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter. She has also attended masterclasses with: Profs Paul Gilbert, Tania Singer and Associate Professor Kristin Neff. See my bio here.
Who should attend mindfulness courses?

Mindfulness is generally available to most people, however for some it may be best to be trained by someone with a specific clinical qualification (such as those with an acute mental health condition).

For some people challenges can arise while meditating for a number of different reasons. While each of us is different, If you are going through a major life event (such as having been recently bereaved or divorced) or suffering from mental ill health (eg acute depression) have a learning disability or have just been diagnosed with an upsetting physical illness (eg cancer) it is best to wait and leave attending a course until life is a little more settled for you or find a course that is more specialised to your particular needs. Why? Mindfulness is about bringing awareness to all that life throws at us. As we tune in to this it is helpful to do so when we are relatively stable so we don’t get overwhelmed. As time passes our practice can then bolster us when we hit the rapids! As Jon Kabat Zinn has said- don’t start weaving the parachute when you are about to jump!

My courses are psycho- educational and suitable for delivery in the workplace. They are not designed to discuss any current or past personal problems not related to the practises and if necessary, these should be pursued through individual work with a counsellor or other appropriate support.