Listening – to you

listening to you

Most of us would want to be good at listening to others. We would perhaps even regard it as a vital skill we want to actively nurture. We want to listen to our loved ones and those with whom our lives connect.

Perhaps fewer of us are good at listening to ourselves. And we may not place the same value on this as we would on listening to others.

Yet learning to notice ourselves – how we are, what is happening in our thoughts, emotions, spirits and bodies – actually creates a more positive space to notice – to listen to – others.

I have been intentional about listening to myself over the last week. I have had varied and many things to which I have needed to pay attention (happy and sad events; some activities that have been mentally demanding and some simply requiring the commitment of many hours; some physically demanding and some physically constraining).

When we listen to ourselves (and others), we often find compassion rising. We realise the needs we have for rest, for good nutrition, for laughter, for companionship, for essential ‘chilling out’. We listen and we increase our chances of making wise choices.

One of my wise choices was to plan for a Sunday afternoon relaxing on the sofa. A time of rest. Lovely!

Listen to yourself. Allow yourself to be compassionate to yourself (not always easy I know). Make wise choices.

This is Mindful Monday on 14 January 2019. 

Do you live in Cheltenham or nearby? Join Sara Shailer and Julie Hill for an evening of mindfulness on the theme of ‘growing in peace’ on Tuesday 5 February 7.30-9 pm, booking your place in advance by emailing


In the dark

Dark beneath the surface

We can sometimes feel like we are in the dark, in a dormant place. We might sense we have potential and yet the season of our lives seems to be unproductive.

We met for an evening of mindfulness last Monday, including reflecting on the life-cycle of a flowering bulb.

We notice all the Spring bulbs when they are flowering but that is a short time in the overall annual cycle. They have been dormant in the ground during autumn, they have been in cool weather over the winter establishing roots – nothing to show above the surface. The winter is an important season when – in the dark, below the surface – the bulb can put down its roots. And then after flowering in the Spring, the leaves dry out and send nutrients to the bulb with the flowering forming in the bulb once again.

The bloom is evident for a short while but preparations are happening for that time throughout the year.

What’s the point? We too need to rest at times, to be dormant. We too need to be nurtured – sometimes in a dark place even! – to put down a good root system. Don’t shun these seasons but embrace them. For it is from them that there is healthy growth – and we bloom.

This is Mindful Monday on 23 April 2018. If you live in Cheltenham or the surrounding area join us for an evening of mindfulness on Monday 14 May 7.30-9 pm.