What do you take for granted that you’d miss if you lost it?

What do you take for granted which you’d miss if it or they weren’t there? We live large chunks of our lives in a “knee-jerk” way. We get on with it, carry out our daily chores, converse with others, get from A to B, earn our daily bread, complete tasks, make connections, and more. All this makes up the necessities and desirables of life. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of all that are you consciously paying attention to? And what gets left out, that you value if you thought about it, and that you’re not noticing? … 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

Is the love-hate relationship between peoples out of control today?

Am I imagining it or is the love-hate balance tipping too far towards hate? Are you feeling uncomfortable about the seeming rise in antagonism towards minorities? Where’s the love and peace? We seem to be in the middle of one of those phases in public life where there’s a desire to blame the ills of life on scapegoats, be they Muslims, benefit claimants, Roma gypsies, immigrants, another religion, another nationality or whoever. Equally we have extremists who have fundamentalist outlooks and see themselves engaged in some climatic struggle against the forces of evil. So, how do we respond from a … Read more

Do you feel dumped upon emotionally by other people?

Do you often find that you’re dumped upon by someone? Like it’s their stuff but somehow you’ve got the problem, particularly if they have the knack of making it look like it’s your problem, or you have a way of taking it on board and thinking it is your problem. It’s easy to feel the victim in such circumstances but not so easy to hand the problem back to the other person, especially if you are not so assertive. Then if we try to hand it back, it comes back at us big time! It helps if we can pause … Read more

Do you let loneliness get to you or choose to change?

After all the activity of Christmas comes the loneliness of January, in the depths of winter, with cold, grey, sunless days and long nights. What was all that festivity about if life is really like this? There are those who feel lonely in relationship and want a change, but there are very many today who aren’t in one and feel the lack of company very much at this time of year. Statistics abound about the rise in the number of people in the UK living alone, around 16% in recent surveys, and in the US it is over 50%. Of … Read more

Do you feel depressed after Christmas?

Many of us feel depressed after Christmas. When the festivities are passed, we’ve welcomed in the New Year, or watched others do so, and the tinsel is put away, we’re left with ourselves and what is unfulfilled or not working in our lives.  It’s the post-Christmas let-down for some, while others may not really enter into the spirit of the occasion in the first place. It can be a hard time. It’s like a massive bump back to earth, back to seeming reality. We get caught up in the pre-Christmas rush to buy presents, get in the food (“Get ready … Read more

Do you blame yourself too much?

Do you find that when things don’t go well you blame yourself? It’s like we can have an omni-present scanner that detects incoming signals and filters them for where we can make ourselves wrong. Someone makes a negative comment and we think it is us that has the problem, even if it really belongs to another. We have difficulty with a project at work and blame ourselves for our mistakes when it could be that we haven’t had things fully explained or we haven’t been trained properly. It might be that really it is as a result of a multiplicity … Read more

What keeps you going despite the odds

“It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away“.* What keeps you going? You might have all sorts of clever stuff, and make all sorts of efforts to look convincing to others, but what really lights you up and is your source of passion? What is your “rock of ages” that truly keeps you going and believing in yourself and putting your self out there or simply carrying on in your everyday world when the chips are down and nothing seems … Read more

Feel the connection in relationship where we are as One

“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I will meet you there,” (Rumi). I always find this a deeply moving quote, because it holds out the possibility for a greater, deeper connection between humans, beyond our personal stuff, where we can truly meet each other and feel the connection between us as One. Today I was forwarded this inspiring TED talk video about the Power of Connection. [youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEaERAnIqsY’] The speaker, Hedy Schleifer, says that, in line with the thinking of the philosopher Martin Buber, there is between two people a “relational space” and … Read more

Freedom can include letting go of our illusions about love

Having just experienced another Valentine’s Day, or avoided it, I wonder if you found yourself wondering if the gloss had come off your romantic life, or reflecting in irony about it not being present for some reason. Love is a very powerful driver towards getting into relationship and yet can be a source of great pain too. As this article makes plain, part of the problem can be to do with our expectations from love in relationship, and our illusions about love. So much of our culture is wrapped up with the notion of romantic love: “One day, my prince/princess … Read more