Health check

Be wise

These are wise words: “Simply let your `Yes’ be `Yes,’ and your `No,’ `No’”. But it is easier said than done, in some of our relationships at least.

Some of us may have been taught as children that it isn’t polite to say ‘no’. Or we think that setting boundaries in our relationships means that we are not being loving.

Thinking like this makes it harder as adults to take control of life, to know that we can make choices for what we do and don’t take responsibility.

Let’s observe our choices this week. Are we clearly thinking through for what we take responsibility? Or are we welcoming all comers, without discernment?

It’s healthy to be able to use both words, ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

Give yourself a health check by observing when you find it easier to set boundaries and when you find it harder. Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom.

This is Mindful Monday on 25 October 2021

Choice thoughts


What are you thinking about now? What will you think about throughout today?

Random thoughts will pop into our minds all the time but we have a choice in the thoughts we choose to dwell on. It is another way of saying, ‘You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair’ (attributed to Martin Luther).

I was amazed by the kindness of two strangers yesterday. They had found my wallet dropped in a car park and taken the trouble to track me down, delivering the wallet back to me before I even knew it was missing.

Their action was honourable and admirable. I am grateful to them. I will choose to dwell on their kindness.

Of course there are many other things for me – and for you – that are true, right, pure and lovely. Each of us will notice different things if we pause long enough. There is joy in the noticing. There is well being in identifying these things and dwelling upon them.

Here are some wise words from Scripture, written way back when but just as relevant today:

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

This is Mindful Monday on 18 February 2019.

Do you live near or in Cheltenham, UK? We meet for an evening of mindfulness on the theme of growing in patience in March. See events page for more details and how to book your place.

Crying out

Out of the depths I cry

I like a bit of poetry. I am not a poet myself. And I don’t know an awful lot about poetry. But I like it.

Why do I like it? Often I find a poem is a more honest – more stripped back – statement about a situation or a more captivating description. This is partly because the poems I read are short although this is by no means true of all poems!

At Essence Cheltenham mindfulness gathering last Monday we each spent time individually writing a poem. It wasn’t a poem for sharing. It was a poem of what we want to say to God, the divine, the creator of all  (either because we believe or because we took the risk and imagined we believed at least for a moment).

We were using an aspect of poetry from the ancient book of the Psalms in the Bible as our inspiration. Some of these poems are essentially someone crying out to God – and, as they do that, going on a spiritual journey to a better place.

The background to the exercise was our search for those who are great listeners – and an ancient poet wrote:

Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.

It wasn’t hard to think of a situation about which I wanted to ‘cry out’. I scribbled with an honesty it would be hard to harness with another. I sensed no judgement. I sensed a safe place to truly express myself.

And then I was surprised. I paused from scribbling and I listened. Like the story of the ancient poets, I sensed a journey to a better place. I knew I had been heard. And then I knew a different perspective.  It was not my own – and I sensed the wisdom and love of the divine.

This is Mindful Monday on 2 July 2018.

If you live in Cheltenham or nearby, we meet for an evening of mindfulness in the outdoors (weather permitting) on Monday 30 July. Contact us for details.