Stress, Jenga and Washing the Dishes

Stress, Jenga and Washing the Dishes

We think our lives have a strength to them, but remove a few Jenga pegs, experience a shock, and we can easily topple to the stress. So we build with each other and find new resilience. 

A couple of mornings ago, my son said ‘Nice Jenga Dad.’ I was puzzled, for a moment then I realized he was talking about my dishwashing Jenga.

Jenga is a stacking game using perfectly shaped wooden blocks. Then one by one, a peg is removed and placed on the top of the tower until it topples over. It’s a game of skill and engineering.

Since the kids were little, we generally wash the dishes and stack them in the dish rack to be put away the next morning. Continue reading “Stress, Jenga and Washing the Dishes”

I’m Never Going to Trust my Heart to You Because …

I'm Never Going to Trust my Heart to You Because ...

We open the heart and then find our trust is broken, but trust is fragile at the best of times, so we are wisely careful with the gift.

It’s those secret little internal vows we make that can cause so much damage.

As I wrote some words upon a whiteboard, I could see her affirm what I was writing. ‘I’m never going to trust again’.

She had opened her heart to someone, and it had got broken badly. She had trusted someone, shared the deep stuff, and now that part of her was locked in a coffin of her own making and was nailed down tight. A vow had been made. Continue reading “I’m Never Going to Trust my Heart to You Because …”

How to Build an Inner ‘Bulldog’ Resilience for your Mental Health

Storms of life can hit hard against our mental health, but we can learn to stand firm and even advance. Developing resilience is a practice of strengthing your inner Bulldog.

It was quite something as I watched this little goat headbutt a Bulldog. Repeatedly it launched itself at the Bulldog, but the dog stayed firm, resilient, and even advanced into the storm.

To me, it spoke of resilience in the face of adversity. Continue reading “How to Build an Inner ‘Bulldog’ Resilience for your Mental Health”

A Particulate of Clay takes on COVID-19

A Particulate of Clay takes on COVID-19

At times we can seem so small and vulnerable like a speck of clay, but joined together, we can take on the challenges such as COVID 19. Let’s bind together for our Mental Health.

‘Particulate’ is an interesting word. It refers to a minute separate particle. In a cup of flour, the particulates would be every little particle of flour, different of itself but essential in the whole.

Back in the eighties, I studied Agriculture, and one of the classes I took was soil science. We studied rocks and minerals, silt, sand, and clay. Out of the soil come the very foundations of our existence. ‘Healthy soil = healthy food = healthy people’ was the 1942 mantra of J.I. Rodale Continue reading “A Particulate of Clay takes on COVID-19”

What the World needs now is Courage and Compassion

What the World needs now is Courage and Compassion

It’s an isolated world, well, sort of, but it’s one that needs courage and compassion if we are going to create connection.

Today as I write this, is it our first day of mandatory nationwide lockdown in New Zealand due to the spread of the Corona Virus. People have been told to stay at home. There is an eerie quietness to where we live. The motorway a few kilometers provides no hum.

Two words keep coming to my thinking: courage and compassion. Continue reading “What the World needs now is Courage and Compassion”

Doing Your Best to Live at Peace with Everyone

Doing Your Best to Live at Peace with Everyone

Some people can be difficult to live at peace with. To live peaceably and in harmony requires each person to do the work on themselves.

Some people are like bottomless holes. You give and give, and they take and take.  They raise a storm, and you’re expected to bring peace.

Instead of taking self-responsibility, they blame and shame. They make others a scapegoat for their failings. Continue reading “Doing Your Best to Live at Peace with Everyone”

Love heals. Indifference Kills. What do you most need?

Love heals. Indifference Kills. What do you most need

What your neighbor needs now is love but they often encounter indifference. We need to find a way to listen to them and tell them they are loved.

I wonder at times that under depression and anxiety, there is a deep unmet need for love. That many are love-starved and are unaware of it.

There are a lot of lonely people; maybe you’re one of them. I want to tell you that you are loved, but ‘Love’, I believe, is the most dangerous word in the world.

When heard, it can be twisted into all sorts of meanings and intentions that were never meant. Romanticized, sexualized, it can take on a life of its own.

I love my wife, my family, and my friends. Sounds right and proper, but what about saying ‘You are loved’ to someone who is struggling with depression or anxiety. Someone is psychotic? Continue reading “Love heals. Indifference Kills. What do you most need?”

When the Confessor Goes Rogue

When the Confessor Goes Rogue

We need to share the pain of life with someone, but what happens when the confessor, the one we are exposing our heart to, goes rogue. We need to be careful with who we share our heart with.

What they thought was being said in private was now being passed around like appetizers at a dinner party. Everyone had a munch and nibble, then passed the plate on for another’s perusal.

They were locked down now. Having exposed their heart, they had got hurt and had made a vow never to be open again.

To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal.
Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.
Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

But something had died within them. It was a willingness to trust and, therefore, to know love and give love. They allowed others to come only as close as they felt safe. Functionality, not intimacy. Continue reading “When the Confessor Goes Rogue”

Your Brain Needs to Rest Beside Still Waters

Your brain needs to rest Beside Still Waters concussion

Our brains can be so busy that it can feel like a concussion, but we can help the brain recover by finding some still waters to rest next by.

When I wrote the first draft of this post, I was sitting next to a small stream. There wasn’t much water flowing through it because it is summer and we haven’t had a good rainfall for over 60 days.

But still, the trickle provided life to many. There were some Kokopu (a native New Zealand fish), some birds that would refresh and wash, insects sipping, and tree roots merging with the waters. The water was also being pumped out to beautiful gardens and orchards. Water troughs were being kept full for thirsty horses.

Now I was being replenished. I invited my self to be still and listen for the stillness of the flowing waters. Something outside of my control. Continue reading “Your Brain Needs to Rest Beside Still Waters”

Seven Observations of Long Haul Caregivers

Seven Observations of Long Haul Caregivers

Being a caregiver over a long period of time can be tough going, but there are some things that those on the long haul do well. We need to applaud the long haul caregiver.

There are some people that I want to stand and applaud.

I love the game of cricket and when a player has done exceptionally well the crowd will rise one by one and cheer their performance. Continue reading “Seven Observations of Long Haul Caregivers”