We are all in a daily grind of struggle, but when you listen for the voices of demand, you can learn to be kind to yourself and others. You can find rest.
This person deserves a medal.
Sometimes I listen to a person sharing something of their lives, and I think they deserve a medal or some award for what they have been through.
We hand out awards for bravery, sports, business leadership, arts, and other achievements but not for those who have faced the grit and grind of life.
Continue reading “Can you Be Kind to Yourself?”
When chaos comes, or we become aware of the mess we are in, we have choices to make. Charge at it, retreat from it, or engage in the mystery.
All the nicely laid out plans had been turned upside down. I had a recipe for life, and now all the measurements and list of ingredients had fallen off the page. It was a mess, chaos.
The question was what to do next.
The word chaos comes from the Greek word khaos – denoting a gaping void or chasm.
You’ve been there, I’m sure.
Continue reading “Three Responses to Chaos”
The noise of our world will never fully satisfy, but when we learn how to listen for whispers, we find a safe place for the soul.
I wonder when the first sound was made? Was it a big bang or the quietest of whispers. As the sound waves vibrated out, what was heard? Who heard it?
Here in New Zealand, it is believed that the earliest of migrants would have heard the lands existence before seeing it. Such was the abundance of birdlife. Much of that life force is gone now, but even as I write this on a sunny deck, I can hear some of the native birds singing to me.
I hear whispers of God in the throat of a Tui, the whoosh of a Keruru flying by, and the flitting movements of a Fantail dancing in the sun.
It’s a noisy world
Continue reading “Mental Health is … Learning to Listen for the Whispers”
Thoughts and feelings can whirl you away from being centered. The practice of stillness can calm the mind and bring back clarity. The Bible has verses to help us on the way.
Sometimes I feel like I am on a long bungee cord.
I run off to do this and that.
Ambitions, dreams, goals, demands, self-centered desires, temptations.
I concern myself with all sorts of worries and fears, and as I keep moving away from stillness, the bungee cord gets ever so slightly tighter and tighter.
Eventually, I am pulled back, with a twang.
I look around and wonder what happened, and I realize that I have moved out of that place of stillness.
I believe that the spiritual practice of stillness is one of the most difficult to learn.
Continue reading “How to Grow the Practice of Stillness for your Mental Health”
Life will blunt your edge. The knocks, the scuffs, the micro-abrasions and who you are gets dulled. Having a daily sharpening practice keeps your mental health having a fine edge.
I was getting frustrated. I was cutting down a tree with my chainsaw, and it was taking forever. The teeth of the chainsaw were blunt.
Not only did it take longer, but it also required more strength from me to push the chainsaw into the wood. The extra effort required made the cutting more dangerous.
So I put the chainsaw into a vice, got out a small file and quickly gave each tooth on the chain a little grind.
Continue reading “Sharpening: A Spiritual Habit for Better Mental Health”
When we record an event, a time, a place it grounds us in the story going on. As we make a mark, we speak into the wispy winds of today’s experience a permanence and faithfulness.
The struggles in the mind today can become the weather forecast for tomorrow unless we remember the records we have kept of the yesterdays.
Keeping a record of life events can be a source of grounding for your mental health. There is change and keeping a record ties us into a story unfolding.
The sharpness of the chisel easily carved out my initials and date in the base of the chair I was making.
Continue reading “Recording: A Spiritual Habit for Better Mental Health”
We can listen to the obvious – noise, distractions, voices, but it takes a focus to notice the whispers. Mental health comes from a spirituality that is listening for the quiet and unspoken.
It was the busyness of their life that concerned me the most. Jumping from one thing to the next it was like watching an out of control merry go round.
What were they listening to?
What were they listening for? Continue reading “Listening: A Spiritual Habit for Better Mental Health”
Feeling flat and empty can become an invite to feeling full of depth and not a step into depression. Focusing in on something and someone bigger than ourselves can revive a flagging soul.
There are times when I feel flat. Life feels meaningless and like its one cyclical trip of activity to be followed by numbness and feeling dead.
Question: What do you call Batman and Robin after they have been run over by a steamroller?
Answer: Flatman and Ribbon.
The joke maybe mildly funny, but within it, there is a sense of being crushed under, spread out and a loss of purposeful identity.
Continue reading “How to Restore your Soul when Feeling Flat and Drained Out?”
People will always keep crossing your boundaries when your heart is bent and buckled out of shape. But that heart can recover and be filled with courage. It takes time and catching some breath.
‘You need to set some boundaries’.
As they said this my heart sank. I knew that I had to set some boundaries, but it was the enforcing them was the hard part.
Once I was in the heat of the situation I just simply caved in.
Continue reading “Crossing Boundaries Crushes the Shape of the Heart”
If we are going to navigate life well, we must nurture the gift of stillness. Distractions will vie for our attention, but only one that is true will be heard if we quiet ourselves and be still.
Looking up at the stars through a crisp, clear winters night I wondered just how fast they were moving. I’m no astrophysicist, but I do know that whole cosmos is moving.
I was moving at somewhere near
1000 mph compared to the center of the earth. But then the earth was rotating around the Sun at 19 miles per second, or 67,000 miles per hour, or 110,000 kilometers per hour (110 million meters per hour).
Everything is on the move – fast.
Have you found a still place?
Continue reading “Give your Mind the Spiritual Gift of Stillness”