In the end is a beginning

There’s a poignancy to autumn at this time, damp, wet, a chill in the air, sun shining low through golden leaves that cling forlornly to thinning trees. The summer is replaced by autumn and winter beckons. All is decaying – but then all is also preparing for the next spring. The end of October is, it is said, a time when the veils between the two worlds are thinner, at the time of the feast of Samhain. No wonder many often choose to leave. This time of ending, of closure, is a sad time, but it can also contain the … Read more

Hope springs eternal even in the darkest of days

Winter can drag on, cold days, wet or frozen, windy, long nights, seemingly endless. It’s the time of year that people can feel really depressed, devoid of optimism and hope. We can get caught up in a cycle of depressed, moody days, and it can be hard to shift the mood. What’s the point of even trying since nothing changes. It just goes on and on. Some of us even wonder if we can go on and on. Here it’s been very wet for days, windy but mild, the days dark, the valley shrouded in mist, people looking sad. The … Read more

When loneliness and feeling alone is no laughing matter

The Christmas season is usually a time when people gather and celebrate together. Paradoxically almost, it can be also a time when many people feel very lonely. The sense of loneliness can affect people who are single and in relationships, living with others or on their own. It transcends cultures, class and locality. It can affect even those who seem the most jolly and full of the joys of life. Particularly after Christmas, there’s a “let down” period. After the high adrenalin rush and the excess, there’s often a “down” time. Christmas in the West is a big spending binge … Read more

Do you love to be in nature away from other people?

Is there a part of you that prefers to be in nature, away amongst mountains, by the sea or in the countryside, where there aren’t any people and you have to yourself the splendour of nature? Do you get times when you want to get away from the stresses and strains of dealing with your fellow humans and the crowded cities? Just recently someone was telling how she comes into her own when in nature, in the silence and stillness of remote mountains and their vast and massive rocky majesty. I thought, “me too!” Your special place, if that is … Read more

What gives me meaning and purpose is an important issue to address

What gives me meaning and purpose? I meet many who ask this and feel dissatisfied with what currently seems to be in their life or sense there’s something missing. Not everybody has this as a driver in their lives, but it is a significant factor.The absense of meaning can be a big cause of frustration and discontent. Humans, it is said, are meaning-making beings. We make interpretations, we fit things into a scheme, we connect things to our beliefs and values, we link what happens to our likes and preferences, we look to get value from what we do, and … Read more

New start or same old stuff and not moving forward?

Are you looking forward to a new start with eager anticipation, or do you find you’re quickly back where you were, with the same old stuff going on and you’re no further forward? It can be a hard one, as everybody else can seem all fired up and we aren’t. Who likes to be a party pooper? And so we suffer in silence. This can be a seasonal thing for many of us,  like a new year supposedly brings new hopes and yet we can still feel we’ve got the same problems. It’s even like positive thinking is for others … Read more

Do you view adversity as a failure and not as a learning?

People can experience setbacks and adversity as failure and then compare themselves negatively with “successful people”. They can therefore miss the learnings and the benefits to them of the setbacks and hardships they encounter. It is often said that the successful entrepreneur is viewed from the perspective of their success story, not the reversals and financial disasters along the way. Someone whose has had a serious accident or illness and had to give on their dream in consequence may look back with regret, but not necessarily see what they’ve gained from their life so far. Yet there are those too … Read more

What do you regret?

It’s a useful question to ask, and many of us hit occasions when we do just that – on the last day of your life, what do you regret? A palliative care nurse recently compiled a list of the top 5 things the dying stated they regretted. These might not surprise you: 1.    I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me 2.    I wish I hadn’t worked so hard 3.    I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings 4.    I wish I had stayed in touch … Read more

Having a web detox to help you find what is really meaningful

As so many of us are habitually connected to the web, it might seem strange to suggest that we would benefit from internet/mobile “holidays” or detoxes. Just in case at this point you might be strongly tempted to click out, just pause on this as you might miss out on something important for your health and well-being. Yes, I felt I had to write that last bit as that is exactly what people do, quickly move on from something that doesn’t have instant interest. Stickability, perseverence, seeing it through, isn’t a habit the net exactly encourages. Yet, this is how … Read more

At what cost do you violate your personal integrity?

What price one’s personal integrity? On the day that a UK MP and his wife are up for sentencing for lying (pun not intended: price…Pryce?!), it’s another of those times to reflect on what we mean by integrity and how important it is to us. The immediate case in mind is that an MP and his wife lied about a driving offence, the MP, a former government minister, claiming it was his wife who was driving, only to be shopped later when his estranged wife, who subsequently claimed marital coercion, told the press it was a lie. It seems a … Read more