Human Potential...

We all live within certain potentialities. But it's also the case that those with aptitude don't always use it, and those with less sometimes surprise others with their achievements. It's much about effort and application, but also planning. We can't extend beyond the vision we hold for ourselves. If goals are like a kite, they only fly as high as the string within our hands. The elements and conditions will of course play their part, but with patience and perseverance, nothing is beyond a positive heart and determined mind.  

 

 

Share Joy...

What is the worth of anything, if we do not have someone to share it with? Imagine having everything the heart desires, but being a lone soul on this entire planet - how wretched would that be? Yet, surrounded by people, so many of us are indeed lonely. Inspite of friends on social media, or even stored contacts in our phones, we have too few connections. That's what we need to grow, because whatever we value multiples and expands, when it is shared. That might not add up arithmetically, but this post wasn't intended to teach anyone maths.

 

 

Look With Awareness...

Shine the light of awareness on almost any situation, and misunderstandings evaporate. We are often in conflict with one another, because we have simply failed to take the time to see matters from each others perspective. Hatred and bigotry tends to arise from ignorance, which is a huge short-cut. Love and acceptance arise from knowledge, which requires patience and care. There may be some things and some people that we may never be able to love, but this should never be the first choice we make. When we take time to understand, we often change ourselves in the process, and strangely, others change too.

 

 

Interdependance...

Whilst human beings use technology and wealth to feel increasingly self-sufficient, it is actually the case that our comfort, happiness and security is impossible without the cooperation of others around us. Working in harmony, the whole always becomes greater than the sum of its parts. We can prosper together if we realise the power of co-existence and collective responsibility. For that, we will need to rise above our outward differences and connect with all that joins us, moreso than the small things that seem to separate us.

 

 

Relational Roots...

We identify with the world, with its constant ebb and flow. The things that bring us the most joy, also hold within them the seeds of our deepest sorrow. Yet without these contrasts, life would become entirely mundane. Look to the trees which spring to life, offer their fruit and then shed their all as winter draws in. Can we not also withstand the changing seasons of existence? Infact, we have the same innate potential to replenish ourselves. See how the tree is held by the earth that nourishes it? We just need to work out who holds us and keeps us strong...

 

Wake Mindfully...

Do you ever wake-up with a moment to check your intentions for the day? Rather than semi-consciously stumbling out of bed and letting life pull you along, just take a few breaths and invoke your 'wise mind'. Ask yourself how you wish for this day to be. If it is to be peaceful (or joyful, or something else), consider the acts, places, activities and people that may contribute towards your aspiration. Having pictured it and felt it, get up meaningfully and mindfully. Then work towards the plan, reminding yourself of it with refreshment break you take. In doing so, you will find what you are looking for. A peaceful day can become a peaceful week - weeks become years and years ultimately become your life. But it all starts...today.

 

Trust in Love...

Parenthood is at once the most profound and exciting possibility, as also the most scary proposition we can face. When we remember there is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a 'good enough' parent, we can settle in for the journey with poise and hope. Children are influenced more by what they see than they are taught with words. Good parents need to draw on their inner resources, and also absorb all that is noble and dignified in the world, so that they may pass it forwards. Less so with their spoken lessons, more so with the lived experience they can provide. If that sounds too much, rest assured that love tends to find the way.

 

Give and Take...

Give and take is a natural transaction in all aspects of life and relationships. But, when our neediness is overemphasised in love, an unhealthy kind of dependancy is fostered. Then, both the one who loves and the one who is loved, lose their liberty. A simple check we can make, is whether there is a balance to how much we give and take within any relationship. When we can do both in equal measure, we are very much together but also free.

Just Bounce...

Bouncebackability is required if we are to be resilient in the face of stress and adversity. We can't control or predict every twist and turn of life, and if we could things would soon get pretty dull and boring! Life happens - we only need to work out how we will respond, adjust and move forwards. The good thing is that we can learn to be resilient - it is not a trait we simply inherit like our height or eye colour. Resilience is a subtle combination of goal setting, positive attitude and acceptance. It is the product of how we perceive, appraise, approach and tackle stresses and challenges.

Expand Happiness...

The 10million copy best seller, "Confucius from the Heart" by Yu Dan, presents ancient wisdom for the modern world. It is a book that never leaves my bedside table. This quote, from p59 is one of the most poignant. How often do we think about finding ways to be happier, without ever considering how to hold onto the happiness that is already with us? To illustrate, in some parts of the world grocers sell loose sugar, salt, milk and various other commodities by weight - they provide according to the size of the container we bring. Perhaps this can teach us how to approach our transactions with life? Most of all, we mustn't downsize the heart! Enlarge its capacity to enjoy this world, through gratitude, love and reflections on higher purpose . Regrets and complaints serve only to clutter the heart, leaving less room for joy.

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Broader Vision...

We constantly evaluate, judge and interpret the information we take in through our eyes and ears. If there was an absolute 'truth' in what we see and hear, all recipients of the same information would have a consensus opinion. Yet this is not so - whether it is academic life, politics, religion, the family context or any other domain of life, we invariably diverge and disagree on all manner of things. The differences arise because we filter and prioritise information based on our existing outlook - often one that we have held for a long time. It's almost impossible to separate ourselves from whatever it is we observe. Our cultural heritage, pre-existing beliefs, historical experiences and future needs...they all colour the picture before us. Understanding this process might make us less adamant in our view and more open to possibilities. When we give ourselves permission to look at our beliefs and conclusions through the eyes of another, and they do likewise, we each both appreciate a bigger, more rounded picture. We see more than we could, had we relied on our looking alone

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Hope for 2021...

As we ready ourselves to step into 2021, we can all breathe a sigh of relief to put an extraordinary year behind us. The losses we have suffered will hurt. The anxiety that arose from the prevailing uncertainty will be hard to shake off. But time will heal, as always it does. Beyond the pain, let us celebrate the determination of the human race, and the care and compassion that became manifest in the villages, towns and cities around us. And, let us embrace the possibilities that lie ahead. May it be a year where we regain health, appreciate those who remain with us and live with a newfound respect for the natural world. 

Keep Safe...

Special dates in the annual calendar are just categorisations that human beings have conceived, otherwise no time is any more or less special than any other. But certain dates do symbolise something important - peace, forgiveness and joy at Christmas, and a chance for newfound hope and renewal on the 1st January. Even our birthday reminds us another year has passed - what will we do with the year ahead? How well did we make use of the year that has passed? Did we make more friends, or lose them along the way? Such milestones do help us reflect, and can invite the changes we most need to see or experience in our lives - because we all know that decades pass by in the blink of an eye, if we are not mindful. As we all keep safe this Christmas, and make the best of what has been a truly difficult time, let's work for even more togetherness and community spirit in the time ahead. We are always happy to support local wellbeing initiatives - with our time, venue and expertise. Let us know if you have an idea, and we will work to bring it to life.

Be Kind...

It is the season where we begin wrapping gifts for those we love, to share on Christmas Day. Whilst kindness can't be bought or sold it certainly can be shared, as possibly one of the most important gifts we will ever make. However, as we send it out, let us also remember to direct kindness towards our own self. Surprisingly, the more we offer to ourselves, the more we have to give to others. The more we share, the more we seem to find. And so this mathematical conundrum rolls on, as giving and receiving merge into a perpetual cycle of large heartedness. That sounds like the kind of Christmas we all need and hope for.

Appreciate...

We live in an abundant world, full of natural resources and unspoilt beauty. Yet so much passes us by! It would benefit us to look up from our desk from time to time, to replenish and reenergise ourselves. The Native Americans knew it well - when trees are no more, lakes and rivers have run dry and the air has been laced with dust, we will realise that money cannot nourish us. Taking care of our world, through sincere appreciation and respect, will allow the world to keep taking care of us.

Stay Together...

As the pandemic rumbles on we again need to keep apart, whilst also keeping together. Please reach out to those who are most vulnerable, alone and disillusioned. Let's not forget that whilst the virus impacts physical health and mortality, it also impacts mental health and emotional well being.

Be Playful...

Life easily becomes too serious. Even games transmute into things that need to be won at all costs, and education becomes obscured behind a series of tests and examinations. Life overflows with vitality, when we make room for joy, playfulness and connection with others. What's more, we learn better and achievements mean more, when we get these priorities right.

Embrace Change...

Problem focussed reflections tend to sap resources and create greater stuckness. It reminds us what is not happening, and what we can't do. When we situate ourselves in a more hopeful frame of mind, and appreciate the possibilities before us, motivation and energy grows. We are then being encouraged by our dreams, not restrained by our fears.​

Find Composure...

Our understanding of stress tells us that when feeling threatened or at risk, the body reacts by either preparing to escape (flight), stand our ground (fight), going numb (freeze) or becoming submissive (flop). These automatic reactions are often necessary to get by in the immediate term - to survive - but staying at this level of nervous system arousal or shut down means we can't progress. Heightened stress responses are also major contributors to cardio-vascular disease and cancer, to name just two worrying health needs. Covid 19 is of course worrying, and our front line staff are having to live with this very real threat as a normal part of their working life, each day. Whether the dangers we face are actual or perceived, we can do much to reduce their impact on us physically, and also to sidestep the burn-out they may otherwise cause, if we learn to manage our thoughts and emotions. Fortunately, we are getting better as a society at learning to take a breath, compose ourselves, connect to our deeper purpose and meet the demand that is before us. Mindfulness, meditation, relaxation training and resilience building are all contributing to psychological health at home, college and in the workplace. We hope these positive trends continue, as we need them more than ever before.

Look with Love...

In decades of psychological therapy I've never met an angry child, who did not have an angry parent. I've also seen children flourish, when they are cherished and held with love. It's not about parent-blaming here, because none of us are really ever prepared for this most important life task, and yes - some of us are afforded more resources and experiences to manage. In today's day and age, we look more often at our phones and tablets, than we do at our children. Before we know it, they outgrow us and have moved on. In the early years especially, spend time alongside your children. Try to put down your work and worries, and prioritise them. Children are amazingly resilient - they really don't need hours and hours of your time. Just small, regular moments that happen frequently, are good enough. Your efforts will impact them positively, and it will change you too.

Let Go...

There is an art to knowing when to embrace someone or something wholeheartedly, and when it is time to release our hold. The people, places and vocations we have cherished, can't stay the same. Stepping forwards with hope for what is to come, rather than regret for what is being left behind, brings with it an accepting and graceful state of mind.

Just Smile...

Smiling is triggered by positive emotions felt within us, but when we curve our lips into a smile (even artificially), we change how we feel. Try it now. When events and experiences move us to happiness, it's naturally a lovely, warm sensation. But we can learn to cultivate a sense of joy, even when circumstances would seem to oppose it. This happens when we see problems as temporary, and remain hopeful that things can and will improve; when we consider the everyday and 'ordinary' aspects of our lives usually taken for granted, and remember that these were some of the things we once dreamt of having; when we remind ourselves what is really valuable, enduring and important and when we consider what we can give, in the midst of all that we take from the world and people around us. I invite you to take a moment, breathe and...smile.

Think Openly...

Being quick to cast judgement on any situation or person may appear outwardly confident and self-assured, but really it reflects an underlying insecurity and shallowness. The need to be right often stems from an anxiety about being wrong, so much so we justify our position at the expense of hearing or listening to other views and possibilities. On the other hand, to admit that we may not know something or are still learning may appear like a vulnerability, but actually reflects great courage and wisdom. When we lay down our arguments and certainties, we become open to new ways of understanding and seeing. It also allows the other person to be more relaxed in their communication. Then, we can talk flexibly, without worrying about who has the best things to say. In short, we converse about our thinking, rather than trying to convert the other to our ideas. Real dialogue and richness in communication follows. We should all step into that 'field' from time to time, if we wish to move forwards together.​

Affirm Life...

A lack of confidence, low self-esteem or difficulties with anxiety often leads to avoidant behaviour. We turn away from challenges, and believe we can't and won't manage. This greatly reinforces the problem we had to start with, confirming what we feel about ourselves and our perceived inability to manage. But, we need more 'yes' in our lives - stepping up, even if we are unsure and afraid. We should gather whatever support we need to defeat negative self-feeling, so that our world stops shrinking, and begins growing again. That support may be through friends and family, faith, self-help books or professional counselling and therapy. Don't let fear steal away more days of your life, than it has already. 

Be Appreciative...

The world is a mirror, in which we 'see as we look'. To be more appreciated and respected, let us extend more respect and appreciation to those around us. There is a subtle truth to the idea that we cannot hurt another without by some token hurting ourselves, and we cannot help another without in some way benefitting ourselves. So, start by giving what you most wish to receive.

Step Out...

We tend to prefer the comfort zones of safe-certainty*. However, staying here just reinforces what we already know and believe. Life becomes more dynamic when we step into safe-uncertainty. We are held by our heritage and understanding, but free to explore beyond it. Stepping into uncertainty can be frightening, but we soon learn, and begin to grow. (*Barry Mason - UK based Systemic Psychotherapist)

Grow Wisely...

Wisdom is not guaranteed with the passing years - we sometimes grow old, without growing up! The difference is how we spend our time, where we invest our thoughts and the habits we create for ourselves.

The Circle of Life...

People of faith believe in eternal life, but there are other ways to conceive of it. Whether we live on as memories, the inspiring impact we had on those around us, through DNA or by way of some kind of ascendance - it can be said, "we are...always". Isn't that a reassuring thought? If we remember that we will need to return whatever we take, it will encourage greater respect and reverence. 

 

 

Keep Going...

Things worth achieving usually take effort. This necessarily means negotiating obstacles and challenges. We can either be pulled down by the problems or find the motivation to get past them. I often think that if a problem presents itself, there must also be a solution. One can't exist without the other. Solutions might create new problems, but one step at a time, we can overcome these too. It's only when we look back at how far we have come, that we realise the stumbling blocks were carving a path for us to move forwards.

 

 

Choose Your Life...

As we travel through life, we all start at different places, with varying levels of resource, support and resilience. It's good to make companions along the way, and engage with the rituals of greetings and farewells. But your journey is totally your own. You can't borrow time from others, and you can't lend it to them either. Because your moments are unique and precious, choose to spend them as you wish - don't get caught up in living someone else's dream! If you try, you will only devalue them and yourself, at the same time. Live the life you need to experience. No justifications, no excuses, no complaints.
 

 

 

Watch Your Thoughts

Thoughts are said to be the ancestors to every action. Whatever we think about frequently, trickles down into our emotional, relational and behavioural state of being. We should watch our thoughts carefully, ensuring they are useful, needed and wanted in our lives. Thoughts become words, which then become actions and habits and ultimately become the defining factor in who we are, and how we are. If you want to change your life, change the way you think.

 

Parental Presence...

Children love gifts, play dates and time on screens. What they need alongside that, is parental presence. When we notice our children, and prioritise them, we send them a message that they are valued. Without this how can they possibly develop a sense of self-worth or self-esteem? Remember there will always be work - spend time with your children, whilst they still need you. Observe them, comment on what you notice or what you see them doing. Children who are cherished, go on to cherish the world.

 

Become You...

There is an ideal self, and an actual self. The actual is often weighed down in the sweat and toil of life, where roles and duties take precedence. The ideal is a deeper longing to be more and experience more - it is the world of hope, dreams and aspirations. The bigger the gap between the ideal and actual, the more likely we are to feel depressed and lost. We have to make time for our ideal self to manifest, as there will always be work to be done. The beauty is that when the ideal self is alive and well, we are more productive and successful. When the disappointment gap is taken care of, we are at our most vibrant and exuberant.

Don't Give In...

Viktor Frankl was a neurologist and psychiatrist, who survived the Holocaust. He famously spoke of the last of the human freedoms - the freedom to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances. As a psychologist, I feel we should always work to change a negative situation where there is a capacity and provision to do so. But, when nothing else is possible we must adjust ourselves or find the best 'work-around'. People like Frankl remind us that even in the most hopeless situations we should never give in to despair.

 

Effective Parenting...

When a guitar is tuned too tight or too loose, the strings will either break or fail to make the sounds one would wish for. Relationships - including parent and child - are just so. Diana Baumrind, a 1970's social worker, spoke of authoritative parenting as the most effective approach to children. Such parenting has a good balance between emotional warmth and demands. If the balance falls out of shape, we either become neglectful, overly permissive or rigidly authoritarian. The relationship is primary - but we are not simply friends to our children. They do need our guidance and boundaries too.

Re-story Your Life...

A wonderful book, "the Wise Heart..." written by Jack Kornfield, focuses on Buddhist Psychology. It is a detailed read, requiring attention and focus, but there are some beautiful insights and exercises (which to be honest, I am still working through). This quote is really about the stories we tell ourselves and others - they readily become stories we subsequently live and experience (stories told become stories lived). But a story is just a story - and there are many ways in which you may talk about your life. Will the story be one of lack, regret and disappointment? Will it be one of hope, transition and joy? Who is the author? Will you take back the pen?

Let it Go...

A beautiful book by Robert Holden, called "Shift Happens" is an easy read, with deeply thought provoking ideas. The idea of forgiving yourself and others, is a theme that recurs a few times in the pages. The past always features some grievances, disappointments and wounds. By constantly replaying them, we draw life from ourselves and from the those we accuse. "All pain is past pain - all fear is old fear", as Holden writes. When the hurtful thought arises, as surely it will, have the presence to say: "This is about the past...". It will create an opening in the mind for healing, inspiration, forgiveness and something altogether new. I thoroughly recommend this book, from Hayhouse Publishers.

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Travel Light...

We may feel treated unjustly. Our evaluation of others may lead to disappointment, frustration or anger. As long as we require the 'other' to fix the situation - to apologise, accept the error made or pay for their actions - we hand the power to change how we feel, to them. Working to repair these hurts is sometimes necessary, especially if the relationship is one we need to sustain or improve for the future, or where the actions were criminal in nature. Emotional health lies in recognising which issues to pursue and which to move past, and leave behind. Packing hurts away, and carrying this baggage with us for years to come, just makes the journey of life burdensome and unfulfilling. Where possible, travel as light as you can.

It's OK to Take...

A balanced existence combines an appreciation of what we have with an awareness of what we most need. It may be virtuous to be patient, as we wait for life to unfold, but there is a place for self-determined action. Decide what will fulfil you, and then work to make it happen.

Stand Out...

Snowflakes are amazingly intricate, as if shaped and designed by a master sculptor. They are fashioned in the space between the earth and the sky when moisture in the air mingles with temperatures at or below freezing point. Life too can present circumstances where we ‘freeze’ or feel paralysed. We can find ourselves 'out in the cold', due to some social rejection or event that draws the very warmth from us. We have to choose whether to be extinguished by these pressures, or whether to stand out with dignity and composure. Something beautiful can always follow a fall, if we direct the right attitude towards it.

Keep Going...

Present mindedness is much needed to overcome regretful journeys into the past, and fretful mentalisations of what is yet to come. But what if your present circumstances are deeply challenging? It is then that you must buckle down, gather your strength and find the means to survive. Reminding yourself that this moment (day, week, month or year) like so many others before it, will pass. Refuse to allow difficult moments to limit or define you. The moments are like clouds floating in and out of view, whereas you are as still, vast and boundless as the sky. The moments do not contain you, any more than the clouds contain the sky.
 

Rise Above...

Think about the quarrels and fall-outs taking place in the streets, offices and homes of our towns and cities. When you look down at those places from a higher plane, there is silence, tranquility and calm. Clearly, those conflicts are not resolved by our retreat to a safer place, but they do cease to impact us, and we are refreshed by the break. Escapism is of course unhelpful in the longer term. But what if we could raise our perspective in the midst of those fall-outs and look down at what is happening from an elevated vantage point? Might the unnecessary stress and noise be quietened? May we then respond, rather than react? Say something that soothes, rather than enflames?

Keep Smiling...

This funny take on the Mona Lisa reminds me of a friend during early University years, who would distinguish between being 'worried' and being 'concerned' about issues. Worry is often wasted energy, which weighs us down with fear and trepidation. Being concerned on the other hand, is sending energy towards a problem, with a focus on finding a resolution if one exists, and accepting that we did what we could even if we could not change things. Concern comes from a place of ability, composure and hopefulness, whereas worry comes from lack, insecurity and helplessness. As this pandemic rolls on, be concerned but don't give in to worry. Do what you can, and keep living the life you have. Without due care, worry might shorten the time we have or at the very least take the joy of living from us.

Start & End Well...

How we start and end our day, often determines our mood state and connection to ourselves, as well as others. If we book-end our day by filling our heart and mind with enjoyable, positive and growth-related thoughts and feelings, we will not only move through the day with vibrancy, but also sleep soundly at night. Waking to tragedies in the news, or settling to bed after watching violence (psychological or otherwise) in film, it's no wonder we live in a state of heightened arousal and fear. So settle down to a meaningful book, listen to some soul-stirring music, or spend some time in simple quietude and prayer. You will see the difference it makes, in just 1 or 2 days. 

Positive Attitude...

Our attitude largely determines the outcomes and experiences we have in life. There are multiple possibilities in any given scenario, even when the game seems up or all odds are against you. At this moment, the world is on a a precipice - can we sustain ourselves through the covid pandemic; will we have the foresight and courage to address climate change; will we overcome the divisions that fanaticism (in all it's expressions) presents? The answer must be YES. Nothing is beyond a person or society when we blend vision with unwavering resolve.​

Love Your Children...

As humans we can move between darker and lighter phases of mood and mentality. Sometimes we may feel so good that nothing seems impossible or beyond reach, and at other times it's a challenge just to get out of bed in the morning! Just as regular sleep, a good days work, opportunities to relax and balanced eating helps us feel physically brighter, we do need to cultivate good practices and habits, to enjoy better emotional health. Most of this depends on how we feed the mind, and where we place our attention. Spending time with positive people who nourish you is key. So too are moments of quiet - perhaps in meditation, or just simple wakeful mindfulness of your surroundings and experience. Every day, it helps to read something that uplifts you, and stretches your imagination to a higher plane of thinking and feeling. When we immerse the heart and mind in places of nurture, we do metaphorically feel filled with sunshine. Then, we don't need to wait a whole year to enjoy Diwali - that most precious festival of light...

Solution Focussed...

Sometimes, relationship problems need to be identified and understood before we can work on them. If that approach is not helping, as often it does not, then we should turn to a more solution focussed way of thinking. This means prioritising what we want to see and experience, and creating opportunities for more of this, rather than deciding what we do not want to see and experience, and wasting time trying to suppress or avoid it. Problem focussed interventions are often small in breadth, and have usually failed in the past - so they tend to deflate and de-energise us. They are built on critique and disappointment of what is not happening. Solution focussed interventions are wide and subject to the full spectrum of our creativity - they are founded on hope and generosity. That is why they inspire and motivate us, and those we love, towards change.

Diwali Light...

As humans we can move between darker and lighter phases of mood and mentality. Sometimes we may feel so good that nothing seems impossible or beyond reach, and at other times it's a challenge just to get out of bed in the morning! Just as regular sleep, a good days work, opportunities to relax and balanced eating helps us feel physically brighter, we do need to cultivate good practices and habits, to enjoy better emotional health. Most of this depends on how we feed the mind, and where we place our attention. Spending time with positive people who nourish you is key. So too are moments of quiet - perhaps in meditation, or just simple wakeful mindfulness of your surroundings and experience. Every day, it helps to read something that uplifts you, and stretches your imagination to a higher plane of thinking and feeling. When we immerse the heart and mind in places of nurture, we do metaphorically feel filled with sunshine. Then, we don't need to wait a whole year to enjoy Diwali - that most precious festival of light...

Keep it Simple...

A direct path to any goal is sometimes obscured by the complexity of doubt, fear, anxiety or pride. We essentially "cloud- out" our route, because we may not believe we can do it, worry what will happen if we fail, or are just too concerned what other people will think of us. Tying ourselves up in knots, the more we plan and procrastinate, the further the goal extends ahead of us. Keeping it simple is the key. Simplicity is using what you have, to do what you can, in the most straightforward manner possible, at the time it is most called for. Most things fall into place, when we rely on these basic steps to move forwards. ​

Opportunity knocks...

This may seem like an overly optimistic post at the cusp of a second covid lockdown here in England. However, even in seemingly dark and challenging times, we can discover (and if necessary create) possibilities. We are not our experience, but what WE DO with our experience. It's not what happens, but what WE DO with what happens, that counts. So, whilst it will be tough (and for some of us, much moreso than others) how can we find opportunities to keep together even though we are apart? How can we reach out to those in need? What can we do with the time that has been given to us, if indeed we are one of those who need to stay at home. Let's find our purpose, be creative and above all stay positive. We will come through, in the end.

Speak with Care...

One of my great mentors once explained how we learn to speak within the first 12months of our lives, but then take a lifetime to learn when not to speak. Words have so much power that they can literally start and end wars. Just consider how many of the fall-outs and conflicts at work, at home and within relationships overall, are a consequence of words that were uttered, without being sufficiently weighed up beforehand? I am not limiting speech, or trying to control or suppress it - we have that freedom, at least in the liberal societies of our world. But, any freedom comes with responsibility, which is as important as the freedom we fight to protect. Perhaps the Socratic filter is called for - is what you are about to your personal experience? Is it true and authentic? Is it going to help someone, or may it harm them? If's ok if we get it wrong, but let's not be too shy to apologise, and set things straight.

Be More...

We inherit all kinds of beliefs about ourselves from the stories people tell about us. We internalise stories of lack and also of abundance - so much so that 'stories told' easily become 'stories lived'. But we are more than the affirming stories we heard, and certainly much, much more than the stories of lack that may have been foisted upon us. When you talk negatively to yourself, try if possible to be a better friend. Be kind and self-compassionate. Patiently ask what you CAN do, rather than what you can't. Consider what you have achieved, rather than seeing things as a total failure. If you struggle, give yourself time and space. A calm and reassured mind can achieve more than anyone gives it credit for.

Keep Hopeful...

We will experience days that are joyfully bright, and full of happiness. But there will also be circumstances that feel dark, perhaps even hopeless. Work to appreciatively 'bank' the positive times - relying on them for good cheer. Should life feel gloomy, don't give up - rather keep engaging. Hope is a reliable path to a better tomorrow.

Embrace Change...

Change is often difficult, because we all like comfort zones. Yet if we resist change, critique or new ideas, there is no real scope for improvement. So when someone reaches out and questions what you are doing, or whether it can be done differently, think twice before you say 'no'. You might just be losing an opportunity to make life just a little more...beautiful!