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Welcome to Fieldbrook Advising, a team offering workshops on Life Design and self-compassion. We share a commitment to teaching and mentoring through workshops and classes for the public, businesses and organizations.

Why life design and self-compassion?

Many of us experience life transitions — planned and unplanned, periods of feeling stuck, and changes within our ourselves, our relationships, and our communities.  The methodologies and practices of Designing Your Life and Mindful Self-Compassion share a foundation in awareness, curiosity, empowerment and community, and can help us navigate these changes with more creativity and wisdom.

Designing Your Life (DYL) Workshops provide an opportunity to learn the skill of life design — a hands-on approach to applying the creative, iterative, human-centered design process to crafting a life we love. DYL workshops provide creative, collaborative and thought-provoking exercises and discussions to design changes in your life and career. This can include re-imagining balance and energy, enhancing alignment between what matters to you and your pursuits, and radical collaboration with others to generate creative solutions to areas where you are feeling stuck. 

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) provides a framework and a host of contemplative practices to remember our common humanity and relate to ourselves with more kindness, understanding and acceptance. Practicing self-compassion has been linked to experiencing more positive emotions, enhanced resilience and ability to cope with stress and difficulty, willingness to take appropriate risks with less fear of failure, and healthier behaviors.


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What We Do


Logo of Designing Your Life

Designing Your Life

Certified Workshop Providers

Design the most important project of all…your life

Based on the design thinking framework they made popular at Stanford University’s Design School (d-school), Bill Burnett and Dave Evans authored the book Designing Your Life (DYL) on their innovative approach to applying design thinking to building a well-lived and joyful life.

Designing Your Life Workshops provide in-person training on the DYL Life Design methodology in a supportive community. Workshops are offered as one-day, one-and-a-half-days, and as custom offerings for businesses and organizations.

With a focus on radical collaboration, DYL workshops provide creative, collaborative and thought-provoking exercises and discussions to design changes in your life and career. The goal of the workshops is to learn the life design methodology, build community, and come away with actionable ideas to try out right away. Workshops include an opportunity to define what work and life mean to you and how they can be integrated to increase flourishing; Design the balance and energy you need to fuel your life; Frame and reframe problems or areas where you’ve been stuck, and engage in “radical collaboration” and ideation for new solutions; And explore practices for discernment and engage in action planning to bring fresh ideas to life.

Fieldbrook Advising is among the first group of certified DYL facilitators who are licensed to provide workshops to broader audiences, businesses and organizations.

We have ties to Portland, ME and Washington D.C. and provide workshops in these areas. We are also available to travel to provide workshops on-site at your location.

Learn more about our Designing Your Life workshops.


Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.
– Brené Brown

Mindful Self-Compassion

Workshop Provider

Train in Self-Compassion and Mindfulness

Heather Shaughnessy-Cato is trained to teach the 8-week, empirically supported Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program, developed by Drs. Kristin Neff and Chris Germer, which provides training in compassion, self-compassion, and mindfulness.

What is self-compassion? Generally, self-compassion is an awareness practice in which we offer ourselves the same understanding and kindness we might offer to a friend. The MSC course focuses on meditations, exercises and reflections to cultivate kindness (vs. self-criticism), common humanity (vs. isolation) and mindfulness (vs. over-identification). Self-compassion has been linked to emotional wellbeing, enhanced resilience and coping, motivation with less fear of failure, and increased relationship satisfaction.

Additional workshops on self-compassion are available, including an introduction to self-compassion, yoga for embodied self-compassion, and custom designed self-compassion workshop series (such as a 2-part essential skills for self-compassion, and 2-part workshop on reducing caregiving fatigue and burnout).

Learn more about our self-compassion workshops.

Who We Are

We are a team who share a commitment to teaching, facilitating and mentoring.

Collectively, our areas of expertise include: emotional intelligence, pursuing diversity, equity, and inclusion for strategic benefit, emotional wellbeing and stress management, self-compassion, organizational communication, leadership development, career development for information professionals.

Heather Shaughnessy-Cato

Co-founder & Partner
Certified DYL Facilitator
Fieldbrook Advising
Self-compassion & yoga teacher, Mom, Wife/Partner, friend

Designing Your Life Facilitator logo
  • Experience: 10+ years in Development/Fundraising in the Arts & Culture and Higher Education, 9 years as Mind-Body Teacher, 3 years as therapist with clinical experiences in a college counseling service and a hospital, part-time “stay at home” parent
  • Design Focus: Navigate life with awareness, curiosity and courage!
  • Today: Teaches self-compassion + yoga + life design
  • Purpose: Empowerment and emotional wellbeing

Joan Cheverie

Co-founder & Partner,
Certified DYL Facilitator
Fieldbrook Advising

Leadership Coach, Potter, Volunteer, Wife, Friend

Designing Your Life Facilitator logo
  • Experience: 30+ years in higher education, librarian & information professional, leadership development for higher education association
  • Design Focus: Emotional intelligence, conversational intelligence, using design thinking for sustainable change
  • Today: Business co-owner, leadership coach, & potter
  • Purpose: Empowering people to recognize, embrace, & use their talents & skills

Michael Cato

Certified DYL Facilitator,
Fieldbrook Advising
Father, Husband, Brother, Son, Information Technology Executive focused in Higher Education

Designing Your Life Facilitator logo
  • Experience: 20+ years in Information Technology (IT) with a Higher Education focus; 15+ years in IT Leadership; 6 years as a Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Design Focus: Inclusive Leadership
  • Today: IT Executive in Higher Education; Leadership Development Facilitator; Mentor; pseudo/kinda/almost CrossFit athlete
  • Purpose: Empower people to foster innovation through inclusive leadership.

Upcoming Events

Self-Compassion in the Time of COVID-19: Heart-Centered Practices for Hard Times
Virtual Workshop series
Dates TBA


Befriending Ourselves: An introduction to the art and science of self-compassion
Explore practical skills for self-compassion, and practice compassion-focused meditations, gentle movement & relaxation
Rescheduled – Date TBA
Jade Integrated Health, Portland, ME


Designing Your Life Workshop – Offered in partnership with NorthEast Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP)
Tuesday June 16 & Wednesday June 17
Four Points Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center, Norwood, MA
Learn more


Custom Self-compassion Workshops — available virtually / via live-stream
Available for individuals and organizations. Example workshops include: Self-compassion in the time of COVID-19; Foundations in self-compassion; Self-compassion for caregivers and providers; Reframing failure with design thinking and self-compassion.
Contact Heather Shaughnessy-Cato at heather@fieldbrookadvising.com.

Get in Touch

We’d love to hear from you!

Heather Shaughnessy-Cato: heather@fieldbrookadvising.com
Joan Cheverie: joan@fieldbrookadvising.com
Michael Cato: michael@fieldbrookadvising.com
207-200-7719

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30 Pleasant St #412
Brunswick, Maine 04011