Work in progress

Work in progress, each of us.

Each of us is a work in progress.

Reminding ourselves of this can help us grow in patience, with ourselves and with others. It may also help us act with kindness. And remember we tend to do to others as we do to ourselves . . . So that means kindness to ourselves as well as others.

Reminding ourselves that we are all a work in progress also keeps us humble. There are studies that indicate that humble people have better relationships. Why would this be? Because they accept other people for who they are.

Say it with me, ‘I am a work in progress’. Think of someone you know, maybe someone with whom you have a difficult or complex relationship, ‘They are a work in progress.’

Accept that you and others are a work in progress; grow in patience, kindness and humility.

This is Mindful Monday on 6 September 2021.

The miracle of life

The miracle of life

It’s the start of another week, holiday or otherwise. Each of us know we will encounter many different things through the week: there will be the difficult alongside the enjoyable.

Through this week choose to take moments to simply notice your breath. You are choosing to notice you are alive. You are choosing to be in the moment, the present., just as it is.

Practicing doing this in the everyday gives us a learned coping mechanism to help us when we come to things that are stressful or difficult.

Your breath – your life – is precious. Notice it regularly. Then you will continue to do so even in the midst of the difficult.

Noticing our breath often brings a sense of calm. It can also often give us a sense of thankfulness. Including amidst the tough stuff.

This is Mindful Monday on 23 August 2021.

Learn to move on

Life must be lived forward but it is only understood backwards.

Some things are truths of living that deserve to be written in stone. So I loved it when I saw an artist had done just that with this truth.

Have you got a repeat thought about something that happened in the past rattling round in your head, probably way more than you would like it to? It’s wearing you out; it’s wearing you down.

Make time to sit down and reflect on it. What can you learn from what happened? If it helps you to absorb it, write it down. If you choose to be in a relationship with God, seek his Spirit’s wisdom.

Learning from the past is part of living in the present, living in the present well.

This is Mindful Monday on 9 August 2021.

Thankfulness, overflowing

Thankfulness. Let it flow.

Notice . . . and be thankful.

I have been intentionally noticing water, possibly because of a few days’ heatwave in the UK! And as I have practiced noticing it – being aware of it rather than just taking it for granted – I have been so thankful.

Turning the tap . . . to drink, to wash, to water plants. Going to a swimming pool and enjoying the coolness of the water. Watching (brief) rain . . . and breathing deep afterwards to smell the earthiness in the damp air. Watching a documentary about the Earth’s oceans and how their flow nurtures life.

Water, vital for life. Notice. Be thankful. Know the richness of what you have.

Just the act of choosing to notice and being thankful for one thing will change your perspective on so many things. Give it a go – today.

This is Mindful Monday on 26 July 2021.

Day after day

Discipline, day after day

Whether you are a committed sports fan or not, you can’t avoid sport in the UK at the moment. Alongside millions, I have been watching great sportspeople perform at massive sports events. (And yes, you win some and you lose some!)

Behind each event are sportspeople who have trained, day after day. Without the crowds. Without competition adrenaline. Without sure reward.

Let’s share the joy (and the pain) of these events. Let’s also note the discipline.

Is there something you would love to achieve or do? Mindfulness is about living in the present but it is also about planning for the future, taking actions in the present which increase the likelihood of something happening in the future.

These sportspeople train each day with a future win in mind. Is there something you need to do each day to prepare for a better present and future? Sure we can’t always win but we can influence being well placed!

This is Mindful Monday on 12 July 2021.

Your pace – not theirs

I walked up hill behind someone this week. I tried to match their stride. I could do it for a short time but they were taller than I am – and perhaps fitter! – so it didn’t last for long. I couldn’t match their stride for any period of time.

Why was I trying to? Okay, that was just a momentary individual game on a walk but what if I was trying to do that generally in life? That would cause me to be constantly living at other people’s paces, seeking to be like other people, comparing myself with others.

It would mean I am missing finding my own pace, my own pattern, my own beliefs and values – the way I choose to live life and make sense of life. That would be a shame.

Each of us is unique. Our pace is unique. Explore your pace (not someone else’s). Celebrate your pace. Yes, we learn from the experiences of others. But we remain – uniquely – us!

This is Mindful Monday on 27 June 2021.

Break the routine

Break the routine

We can boost our awareness of ourselves and what is around us by choosing to break our usual routines. In the routine we are used to, we will notice less; we will think our ‘usual’ thoughts.

Holidays naturally create new patterns and new locations. But, not on holiday, we can choose to break our usual routines and benefit from being more aware.

Often when we break our routine, we will notice more good things that encourage and energise us, as well as new thoughts that can take us to more creative spaces.

Try a change; observe what new things you notice!

This is Mindful Monday on 21 June 2021.