The lives we lead, particularly in the Western world, are technologically overburdened and spiritually impoverished. Our children can tell us the various merits of different operating systems for electronic devices, but are rarely in touch with how different emotions are experienced in the body, or how it feels to bring kindness to a moment of difficulty. They are bombarded almost constantly with information at a rate that mankind even 50 years ago would have struggled to begin to comprehend, and mental illness is at an all-time high.
Research indicates that one of every four adolescents will have an episode of major depression during high school, with the average age of onset being 14 years of age. The human race is at a tipping point, and we have no sane choice but to begin to awaken the capacities within us that have too-long lain dormant. We can choose to lead a child towards awakening, and thus awaken ourselves.
Heather Grace MacKenzie was brought up on the Scottish Isle of Islay, daughter of a farmer and a conservationist. She is a Mindfulness Teacher, Reiki Master and Empowerment Coach. As well as teaching meditation and mindfulness to her own three children and her two step-children, she has taught children of all ages and stages in both family and school settings. Her most important work is mothering four amazing boys.
“I watch him quietly, this little miracle of creation. He’s sleeping now; his boisterous energy has come to rest. The soft glow of the lamp illuminates his perfect alabaster skin and slightly flushed cheeks. Little freckles dot his cheeks and nose, his chest gently rises and falls and a small sigh escapes from his lips. He’s wearing his favourite light-blue farm-vehicle pyjamas; they’re mostly covered by his bed covers, but a little foot peeks out from beneath. As I reach out to touch his silky blonde hair, he stirs and moves his head to snuggle his cheek into my hand. A glimmer of a smile plays across his face as if he knows mummy’s here, and I know that on some level he’s aware that I’m close by. I witness each beautiful moment unfolding, aware of the flow of my own breath, feeling the cool air rush past the insides of my nostrils, the expansion of the chest, the stretching sensations in the muscles of the abdomen, the pause, the softening of the belly, the fall of the chest, the warmer air rushing past the insides of the nostrils on the out-breath. I’m aware of the sensations of pressure and contact between the soles of my feet and the soft carpet fibres, and tiny adjustments that my muscles make to keep my body balanced. The faint awareness of my pulse, the beating of my heart, underlying each moment. Using all of my senses enables me to inhabit the moment as fully as I can.
Being Logan’s mother for the past six years has been one of the greatest gifts of my life, along with mothering his two older brothers, Connor (aged fifteen) and Ethan (aged thirteen). Each of my children shows me, in each moment that I’m present, whether my communication is clear, whether they feel heard and therefore respected, and whether I’m present to their needs and also my own.”
Excerpt from the forth-coming book, ‘Awakening Child: A journey of inner transformation through teaching your child mindfulness’
by Heather Grace MacKenzie
O-Books: Release Date 29th July 2016,