Robin, we will miss you. I will miss you.

On one of my business cards, it describes me as a cross between Eckhart Tolle, John Denver, and Robin Williams.  I did not come up with that myself. It was laid upon me, more than once, by people trying to describe what I do at my concerts.

I have always loved Robin Williams. One time I got to open up for him at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley. I was experimenting with stand-up comedy in those days, and this was my crowning achievement in that world.

In the Green Room before the show, we met. We ate Thai food and joked around together. He couldn’t stop talking about himself, and that was OK by me. I was fascinated, and took him in on a deep level. Instantly, I picked up that he was a tortured individual, trapped by his own aching empathy for all the pain in the world, troubled by so much, and unable to truly receive the love that came his way.

I saw that he performed, yes, out of love and joy, but also partly because he felt unlovable just being himself.

I so related to him.

Robin was a role model for me, both of how brilliant we humans can be when we let Spirit work through us without hesitation, and also of how much I need to make self-care and self-love more important than talent, fame and fortune.

Without that commitment, I, too, have that self-destruct potential in me, and I have to work consciously each day to honor my sensitivity and channel it to help nurture myself and others.

I, along with so many around the world, am grieving and honoring Robin’s passing.

I have been visited by his guides and it seems, in touch with his Spirit, and am offering whatever help I can give to ease and make gentle his transition.

Robin has, sadly, been a demonstration for me of how little money and success have to do with happiness and peace.

May he be at peace, and take as long as a break that he needs from his next performance.

Scott Grace

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Handle YourSelves with Care

Treating yourself like a precious object will make you strong.

-Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

I was working with a client last week and found myself suggesting that she listen to her inner critic/self-doubting voice like it was a member of her esteemed board of advisers.

I had been doing this for years, and it is so cool. Try it. Practice listening to the critic with non-resistance, respect its opinion, take in its message as if it had wisdom, and thank it for sharing. Then, invite it to sit back down and be quiet. It will, when it feels heard. All parts of you want to contribute and be heard. The trick is seeing and feeling yourself as the CEO, the one with the ultimate power in the company. Often the critic has some gold in its criticism for you, though it speaks in a shaming tone of consciousness. But whether or not it has gold, the main thing is to stop resisting it, give it your full attention, and then you are free to listen to other, more loving members of your Advisory Board, like your Higher Self!

How can I give this kind of advice? What are my credentials? What qualifies me is that I have long since stopped pretending that I don’t hear voices. I do. I’m sure there are plenty in there, but I tend to focus on a trio, and I’ve named the big three affectionately: The Critic, Swami Scott, and Little Scott.

The loudest voice, the one with the megaphone is the critic. The critic thinks that critical thinking is intelligence, and that it can and must protect me in a harsh world. The critic protects by constantly drawing attention to what is seemingly wrong – wrong with other people, the world, and especially myself.

I became interested in the history of the critic. Tracing back my critic’s family tree, I found out that the first of its ancestors came to America with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. Historians noted that the critic was often seen in the back of the ship, gazing in Europe’s direction, muttering things like, “This was a big mistake. We should have stayed home. We should have known better!” (The critic is quite fond of the word should.)

The critic learned about life from watching too much tunnel-vision, fixated on the only two channels it was capable of tuning into: black or white,  right or wrong, good or bad. Left to himself, he would continue to watch his black and white set all day long, enjoying being in remote control of how he pictures life. But lucky for us, we have Swami Scott to guide the critic away from his old programs. Swami Scott is a still, small voice of guidance and support connected to Universal Love that we’ve been learning to listen to over the years. When the critic barks at us in his usual righteous tone, “You did that wrong again! You’ll never be good enough!”, Swami Scott might switch off his TV and take him outside to gaze at nature. “Look, Mr. Critic.” (The critic listens best when respectfully called “Mr.”)  “Look at all these different bushes and flowers. None of them are exactly alike. Are any of them right? Are any wrong? Are there any mistakes or flaws in nature? And aren’t we a part of nature?”

Swami Scott’s main job besides pacifying the critic is to take good care of Little Scott. Without  loving guidance, Little Scott tends to get himself in trouble. He might choose to eat things that taste great going down, but feel heavy in the belly for hours later. He might run across the street without looking both ways for cars. He has even been known to run and dive heart-first into the deep waters of a relationship, which is usually not such a good idea without Swami Scott slowing him down, using discernment, pacing his strokes and keeping him afloat.

The Swami is a wise and powerful being who lives somewhere between our eyebrows. Swami Scott has only one disciple, me, and he encourages complete inner-dependency. After taking many workshops and seminars, and studying with other swamis, personal contact with Swami Scott is one of my life’s greatest joys. I sit at his feet in confidence, knowing I never need fear giving him my power. He is my power!

And now to introduce Little Scott. We used to think that being an adult meant not being childlike or vulnerable anymore. But look into any adult’s heart and you will find a child in there, no matter how hidden in a grown up they appear to have packaged themselves. My inner child is a sensitive, playful, brilliantly creative and exquisitely loving child of God. He feels life to the fullest. When I let him have his feelings, he can feel joy, sadness, anger, hurt, fear, regret, love and ecstasy, sometimes all in the passing of five minutes.

But he can also hide really well from those feelings if he thinks he is not safe, if he thinks he is going to be judged for being too sensitive, or too vulnerable.

For much of life Little Scott did not feel safe to feel. Parents, teachers, other kids, and the inner critic all seemed to gang up on him and contribute to his not having a safe space to have emotions. So the kid learned to make it in the world by hiding and pretending, which led to many years of substance abuse. The disconnection from feelings went deep. I even found spiritual pursuits could be used to numb out. My first ten years of meditation, though helpful in many ways, were also used as a form of emotional anesthesia for the layers of pain my inner child carried.

What Little Scott needed was to ask Swami Scott to listen to his feelings, with empathy and acceptance. The child needed a loving presence, a consistent inner friend who would be there for him without judgment or diagnosis. Little Scott tried to find that love through relationships. Women would come and go, but the emptiness of not having his own inner connection would return. In that emptiness he cried out, asking for love and nurturing in the only ways he knew how. He cried through addiction. He cried by not letting the adult Scott reach his goals. He cried until the criticism, the constant high-speed busyness, or other forms of self-abandonment would stop and Swami Scott would come into his consciousness for a loving bedside chat.

Those chats have become pretty special. During those times the Swami listens compassionately to the little guy, cradling him tenderly while he shares, making a safe space for tears, fears, anger and joy to be felt. Tissues are on hand, and the critic stays out of the room. This is where I am learning about the power of acceptance, simply being and hearing where I am at without trying to fix or change things.

As I cease pushing and judging myself, feelings come up to be felt and are released as part of a natural cleansing process. Little Scott becomes lighter and freer. He feels handled with care. A sense of safety returns, which allows his heart to open and express love. He gets a familiar twinkle back in his eyes, a light by which Swami Scott and Little Scott co-create, work/play together in love and service, sharing joy and inspiration with others.

And so it is that that serving mankind and womankind starts with being kind and connected to yourself. Or selves. It takes courage. In a culture that teaches us that strength is about force, say, grabbing a bull by its horns, it takes courage to gaze at yourself in the mirror and say, “I will not fight.” It takes courage to walk the path of non-resistance, to be a peaceful warrior in a world where the status quo has not yet learned to value the power of gentleness and vulnerability.

But the rewards are so juicy: You get to retain and enjoy your innocence, your golden child-heart.

This is my dream, and I invite you to join me: that more and more of us negotiate a cease fire with our inner critics, that we treat our inner kids to a lasting, lifelong happy childhood, and that we handle ourselves, each other, and our world with the utmost care and respect.

Handle Yourself With Care

Once I thought by now I’d be

Mr. Functionality

Perfect and complete in every way

But I still get lost and then get found

As I walk this sacred stumbling ground

I need to reassure me, I’m O.K.

I’m all grown-up the world can see

But that is just one side of me

I’m also a tender child finding my way

I sometimes fumble in the dirt

I have a heart that can be hurt

And so I hear a voice within me say

Handle yourself with care

There’s a precious child of God in there

There’s a judge inside that’s sometimes strong

Convinced I’m doing my whole life wrong

So quick to rise up to my prosecution

But as I grow it’s getting clear

The judge is just a voice of fear

And gentleness my only real solution

For how can the child in me feel safe

If I’m trying to whip myself in shape?

There must be another way to grow

The petals of my heart open in a loving self-environment

A flower grows and blooms

When it’s given the room

So handle yourself with care

There’s a precious child of God in there

And so I live life day to day

Some obstacles get in my way

And though I groan I see the strength that’s birthed

I still get lost and then get found

As I walk this sacred stumbling ground

But life is getting sweeter on this earth

Reaching out to make heart connections

Making my peace with imperfection

Finding out the world needs what I have to give

For as I love the child in me

My heart extends so naturally

I can lend the world my shoulder

When my cup is running over

So handle yourself with care

There’s a precious child of God in there

*ScottSongs 1995

Scott Grace,,  is a life coach, singer/songwriter, recording artist, speaker, minister, workshop leader, and in general, a miracle minded mischief maker. A pioneer in the field of intuitive song, Scott is known for his unique ability to spontaneously create ‘Song Portraits’ for individuals, groups, conferences and businesses about any topic presented. He travels both nationally and in Europe, speaking and singing at conferences, churches, workshops, schools, weddings, etc. His nine compact discs are full of positive, life affirming songs for adults and children. To request a catalog or for booking information please contact Scott at (415) 721-2954 or e-mail him at

[popupwfancybox id="2"]