How many of you reading this get distracted? Whether you are reading, talking or listening, many a time you will have experienced being distracted. It can be annoying, frustrating and takes you out of your stride until you can focus again. What about when we are listening to someone speak. It can take a lot of concentration to hear their voice and what subject they are talking about. Listening takes a lot of effort, and sometimes it is hard to shut out other noises. Can you think of times this happens to you? Sometimes it is not just noises that … Continue reading Distractions
A speaker started off his seminar by holding a £20 note in the air. In a room of 200 people, he asked, “Who would like a £20 note?”. Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this note to one of you, but first let me do this…” He proceeded to crumple up the twenty pound note. He then asked, “Who still wants it?” Still hands were up in the air. “Well, what if I do this?” He dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it … Continue reading What are you worth?
One of the most influential individuals to me and millions around the world, Thich Nhat Hanh, an Vietnamese Buddhist monk, has died at the age of 95. I thought that it was appropriate that I share a little about who he was and what he achieved throughout his life as his work and studies had a massive influence on my own learning of Mindfulness and how to apply this to everyday life. His Zen teaching organisation, Plum Village, said the monk “passed away peacefully” at the Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam on Saturday. A prolific author and peace activist, … Continue reading Thich Nhat Hanh
Gratitude Meditation – (Being Thankful) By taking a couple of minutes first thing in the morning when I wake, and then just before I retire for the night, I read the following gratitude statements. These help me to put life into perspective. Have a try and see for yourself? I am grateful for the air in my lungs. I am grateful for my heart that beats and keeps me alive. I am grateful for my senses that help me perceive the world. I am grateful for my comfortable bed. I am grateful for my clothes that protect me and keep … Continue reading Being Thankful
Fed up with screen freezing or poor Internet connections? No closure at the end of a session? Missing the personal interaction? Eye contact is just not the same on Zoom or Facetime. Consider a socially distanced meet-up with me, and feel free to wear a mask too. Walk-and-talk therapy has also proven to be a stress reliever for people who don’t consider their home a safe space for online therapy — whether they can’t find enough privacy to feel comfortable opening up, or their family or partner disapproves of therapy, or someone they live with is the reason they’re seeking … Continue reading Online Therapy too stressful?
Someone once said, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This is solid advice for every one of us to keep in mind at some point in our lives. Simply put, make the best out of a situation; see how it can be turned around and most importantly, learn from it. Life will constantly throw difficult challenges your way that would make you fall hard to the ground, but you should always get back up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward with a smile on your face. Know that these challenges are a test of your endurance, of how … Continue reading Life, Lemons and Lemonade
If only life came packed, With manuals we could read, A list of clear instructions and All parts guaranteed. But oh, life’s not so simple, No useful hints or tools, We have to muddle through it Without the help of rules. Yet one thing that we do have Are others by our side, To help support and cheer us, In whom we may confide. For as we share our knowledge, So ignorance takes flight, By working close together We’ll surely get it right. Continue reading A Life Journey
I remember reading a story about a woman who goes into a shop and finds God behind the counter. She asks what they are selling and God replies “Whatever you want you can get here.” Proving herself worthy of this opportunity, the woman asks for peace, love and happiness, adding that she wanted this not just for herself, but the whole world. She is expecting great things and can’t help but be rather disappointed when God hands her a small packet. God explains ” We don’t sell fruit or the finished article, only the seeds.” In other words, the whole … Continue reading Sow the seeds
A friend of mine took up a new hobby to help cope with the boredom of being stuck indoors recently, and decided ontaking up landscape painting, something she always fancied doing. She shared with me that she was becoming very frustrated with making so many beginner’s mistakes. This had led her to consider giving up, on more than a few occasions. She confided that she would spend hours trying to capture some glorious view, only to realise that she hadn’t come anywhere near doing it any justice. This quest for perfection was eating away at her. I shared with my … Continue reading Ever Failed – Fail Better
A man had four sons. He wanted them to learn to judge things carefully, so he sent each of them on a quest to look at an apple tree far away. The first son left in the Winter. The second son left in the Spring. The third son left in the Summer. The fourth son left in the Autumn. After they all returned home , he asked his sons to describe what they had experienced. The first son said that the apple tree was ugly and twisted. The second son said the apple tree was covered with buds and full … Continue reading The Complete Picture
Each day is a fresh beginning For yesterday has gone, Another chance to start anew To change things and move on. Another opportunity To love and smile and give, And act with generosity To look up and laugh and live. Each morning is a fresh, clean page As yet unwritten on, The threshold of an unlived day But not yet walked upon. So choose how you will live this day As on your way you go, For through our acts we all leave tracks Like footprints in the snow. (Kathleen Gillum) Continue reading Each Day
Burt Lancaster played a trapeze artist in the film Trapeze in 1956. Most of the stunts, he performed himself. Burt, had trained as an acrobat since the age of 9. Burt and his friend Nicholas Cuccia formed an acrobatic duo and went on to join Kay’s Circus in the 30’s. When Burt auditioned for this particular job in the circus, he had to prove his worth, not relying on being only an acrobat, but by becoming part of the team who performed each night in the show. The boss of the Circus asked a young Burt, to try out the … Continue reading Burt Lancaster inspiration
All around the world, people remain uncertain about the future. I don’t know what the outcome will be, however I have continued to use some strategies to keep myself going. I want to share them with you, in the hope that you may get some benefit from this particular method. A) Do something every day to reduce anxiety; whether it is a relaxation technique, exercising or getting in touch with some friends. This all amounts to finding some calm in your daily existence. B) Stay informed. Decide to allocate yourself 30 minutes each day to check the Local news and … Continue reading Uncertainty
“Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of your life!” “For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you … Continue reading Time is like a River
“Life is available only in the present moment.” “No one has ever lived in the past or the future, only the now.” “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” “While you are walking, smile and be in the here and now, and you will transform that place into paradise.” “Yesterday is already gone. Tomorrow is not yet here. Today is the only day available to us; it is the most important day of our lives.” (Courtesy Thich Nhat Hanh) Continue reading Hope
It is easy to become complacent in life and just do enough to get by. Have you taken things for granted? Can you be quite content to let others do the running? We all get like this at one time or another, and it is easy to sit back and watch. I was on the phone to a friend the other day asking how they were, and they said that they were lacking motivation to get up and do anything; preferring to watch some box-sets on Netflix for a few days, eating the remains of the Christmas chocolates and other … Continue reading Finding Meaning – Every Day
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein. I love this quote by Albert Einstein. What do you think when you read it? Sometimes I wish the governments of the world would read the above quote and change the way they approach their problems; it would certainly be refreshing for us all! We can easily get caught up in a cycle of negativity while trying to overcome problems, and before long they seem bigger than before, as the same way of thinking brings about the same results. If you have a … Continue reading Change the way you approach a problem.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low but the debts are high, And you want to smile but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest if you must, but don’t you quit. Life is strange with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns, And many failures turn about When we might have won had we stuck it out. Don’t give up though the pace seems slow – You may succeed with another blow. Success … Continue reading Don’t Quit – poem
She rises to gather strength She rises to greet and groom others She rises to hunt She rises alongside other Lionesses She rises to move the young cubs to safety She rises to confront enemies that threaten the pride She rises to walk with her King It is amazing that no matter how weak or hopeless you may feel at certain times in your life, there is a part of us that brings forth the nature of the Lioness, especially when feeling threatened. If only we could learn to have the strength of a Lioness at all times, then … Continue reading Strength of a Lioness
A short story highlighting how we can take a partner for granted. I know that I do this, how about you? A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against … Continue reading Taking someone for granted?
Let me have the courage to believe in myself Not only on the days when I’m going great and nothing seems impossible, But on the days when the world looks lousy and I’m losing. And the road ahead seems too hard; When I wonder if I’m brave enough, smart enough, Strong enough, and I must be crazy if I try Don’t let me quit – Let me have courage in myself. No matter how many people discourage me, doubt, Laugh at me, warn me, think me a fool… Don’t let me listen. Let me hear another voice saying, “You can … Continue reading Let me have the courage to believe in myself
Throughout the Ages Age 6: I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night.” Age 7: I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either. Age 9: I’ve learned that when I wave to people out in the country, they stop what they’re doing and wave back. Age 12: I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mum makes me clean it up again. Age 14: I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up. Age … Continue reading Ages
Off the usual track of Inspirational stories, I thought I would share this for fun… Murphy’s horse laws If you do a thorough check of your trailer before hauling, your truck will break down There is no such thing as a sterile barn cat No one ever notices how you ride until you fall off The least useful horse in your barn will eat the most, require shoes every four weeks and need the vet at least once a month A horse’s misbehavior will be in direct proportion to the number of people who are watching If you’re wondering if … Continue reading Horse Laws
Character My mother says she doesn’t care, About the colour of my hair. Or if my eyes are blue or brown. Or if my nose turns up or down. My mother says she doesn’t care, If I’m dark or if I’m fair, Or if I’m thin or if I’m fat. She doesn’t fret over things like that. It really doesn’t matter. But, if I cheat, or tell a lie, Or do mean things that make folks cry. Or if I’m rude or impolite, And do not try to do what’s right, Then that does really matter. It isn’t looks that … Continue reading Character
Give Thanks For the spouse who hogs the bed covers at night, because that means they aren’t somewhere else. For the teenager who is not doing dishes, but is watching TV, because that means they are at home and not on the streets. For the taxes that I pay, because that means I am employed. For the mess to clean after a party, because it means I have been surrounded by friends. For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because they tell me I have enough to eat. For my shadow that watches me work, because it means … Continue reading Give Thanks
In Madhanpur lived a very hard-working farmer named Gopal. He has three sons Ram, Laxman and Hanuman. All three were strong and healthy. But they were all lazy. Gopal was sad thinking about his sons and the future of his farmland. One day, Gopal got a flash of an idea. He called all his sons and said, “Ram! Laxman! and Hanuman – I have hidden a treasure in our farmland. You search and share the treasure among you.” The three sons were overjoyed. They went to the fields and started searching. Ram started from one end, Laxman searched from the … Continue reading The Farmer and his lazy sons
We have all heard the phrase “You shouldn’t care what other people think of you”. In my opinion, this is unwise. It matters a lot, depending on the relationship you have with the person saying their piece. If it is a family member, a friend or work colleague, then to be a liked and acknowledged part of that particular group does make a difference. We all want to be approved and accepted, as this is human nature. What others think of you in the context of a stranger in the street or passer- by, then their opinion should not … Continue reading Fear of Disapproval
Jack and Alex were friends. On a holiday they went into a forest. They were enjoying the beauty of nature. Suddenly they saw a bear coming at them. They were frightened. Alex who knew climbing trees, ran up to a tree and climbed up quickly. He did not think of Jack. Jack did not know tree climbing. Jack thought for a second. He had heard animals do not prefer dead bodies. He fell to the ground and held his breath. The bear sniffed him and thought he was dead. So, he went away. Alex asked Jack,” What did the bear … Continue reading Two friends and a Bear