After the rain

rainbow

Rainbows. I have seen three recently. This is one from my garden. I saw another driving along a road (couldn’t take a photo). A friend pointed out another at work (didn’t take a photo).

Each time I see a rainbow my spirits are lifted. I am glad. Almost ridiculously glad.

Why is this? A rainbow is simply a reaction of light in water droplets, always happening opposite the sun. Yet I have an emotional reaction. I smile when I see a rainbow. I am happy. I am the lighter for it.

Perhaps it is about hope. The rain – read ‘the tough times’ – has passed. So quickly, the sun – read ‘the good times’ – has come. Life continues and all things pass.

It also makes me think of the creator. It is beautiful. But it’s deeper even than that. It reminds me of a story. It’s a story of a flood than nearly destroyed everything – but it didn’t. There was hope. There was life. And there was the promise of relationship between God and all living creatures.

Maybe my reaction is best expressed just as ‘wow’, without too much analysis! Join me next time you see a rainbow. And in the meantime know that all things pass – and there is hope.

This is Mindful Monday on 28 October 2019.

If you living in or near Cheltenham, join Sara Shailer and Julie Hill for an evening of mindfulness exploring the theme of the uniqueness of each of our journeys on the evening of Monday 4 November at the Oasis in Cheltenham. To book your place, email hello@essencecheltenham.org

 

 

Falling awake: stop and drop

falling awake

More usually I think the phrase is ‘falling asleep’, not ‘falling awake’ (and I think it is Tesco that use the phrase ‘you shop we drop’).

Falling awake is the title of a book I am reading by Jon Kabat-Zinn on mindfulness.

I love his description of how to cultivate being mindful:

The invitation is always the same: to stop for a moment – just one moment – and drop into wakefulness. That is all. Stop and drop: meaning, drop in to your experience of experiencing, and for even the briefest of moments, simply holding it in awareness as it is – in no time, or to put it differently, in this timeless moment we call now, the only moment we actually ever have.

I am glad that while he notes it is simple, he also notes that it is not easy!

I have journeyed with many over the years including through facilitating Essence events in Cheltenham. Being with others in discovering how to be more mindfulness in the every day is incredibly helpful – and it also helps to have a bit of fun and laughter in the process.

Here’s to moments of falling awake in your day – and week – ahead.

This is Mindful Monday on Monday 29 July 2019.

If you are in the vicinity of Cheltenham, join us for an evening of mindfulness in the outdoors on Monday 19 August – email hello@essencecheltenham.org and I will get back to you to confirm time and location.

 

Choice thoughts

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.