The mountains have long stood

Month: November 2016

The mountains have long stood

The mountains have long stood

The mountains have long stood and guarded the plains, while a thousand summer evenings have sighed and slept.   They have seen children created and homesteads blown away by western winds that through the valleys have swept.   They judge not but they keep their faces to the light and in the evening they tenderly cradle the stars.   Young cattle grow restless in the heat of the night and flushed couples tumble out of crowded bars.   I wonder about the secrets of yours that they hold as you lay down amid the debris of another day’s labour.  

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The struggle after acknowledgement

The struggle after acknowledgement

When we’re talking about behaviours we want to change, habits that are no longer helpful to us, acknowledgement is the first step and, for some people, the hardest.  Noticing our behaviours, our emotions and our triggers is absolutely vital if we are to make positive changes. But I’ve realised, through my own experience, that acknowledgement doesn’t automatically equal change.  It seems to be a facet of human nature (or at least my own!) that we can absolutely know that something is unhelpful or even harmful, but we continue to do it anyway.  Sometimes that is necessary, for a while, until

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29th November

29th November

Happy 184th birthday to Louisa May Alcott–a wonderful writer who remains an inspiration to women across the world.

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Body beautiful

Body beautiful

“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.”  I love this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh.  It helps me to realise that, whilst the physical form may be superficial and fleeting, it is still precious.  A flower dies within days of blooming, but don’t we enjoy it, celebrate it, nurture it and revere it while it is alive?   With the discovery of a newfound spiritual practice there can be a tendency, as I suggested earlier, to think that it is futile or even arrogant or shallow to take

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Don’t stay on the park bench for too long

Don’t stay on the park bench for too long

Like many people, I have read and listened to Eckhart Tolle’s teachings for the past few years, finding them of great benefit to my own life. Yesterday, I listened to a recent radio interview with him on YouTube.  He talked a lot about his early life and experiences, and his responses seemed more personal than before.  I could hear that, while he says he is basically surrendered to the ‘isness’ of each moment, there are still difficulties for him–his sudden fame, busy schedule and lack of time and opportunity to hold one-to-one sessions with individuals.  He also said that he

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A simple longing

A simple longing

​Here in the clamorous night my fingers upon your mouth the summer birds seek shores  untouched by rain, silver and silent in their flight. And I can think of no greater joy beneath these wild oyster stars than to fall asleep in the cold grass and be licked awake by daylight.

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A quick catch-up

A quick catch-up

Happy Saturday, friends!  And to those of you in the States, I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve been a bit quiet the past couple of days because there has been so much going on at work.  We had parents’ evening on Thursday from 2:30pm until 8pm so, as you can imagine, I fell into bed pretty much as soon as I arrived home!  The school term never really slows down–what with Christmas productions, assessments and all sorts of festive parties and afternoon fayres, there is always something to keep us teachers busy.  I do enjoy this season though,

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Why should it take an earthquake?

Why should it take an earthquake?

I’ve been thinking, this morning, about how quickly one’s perspective can change, often through illness or a sudden event that causes us to focus on what’s important. I have often listened to people who have faced trauma or long-term, serious illness and been inspired by their views.  Then, inevitably, I have thought ‘What if it didn’t take something so huge and catastrophic to force us to re-evaluate our lives and our values?’ I had an awful dose of tonsillitis just before the summer.  I was at home, off work, for almost a week, in a lot of pain, shivering, sweating

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What feeds your soul?

What feeds your soul?

It’s so easy, especially today, to watch, listen to and read things that provide only temporary gratification.  Or perhaps they provide hardly any gratification at all… they are just habitual.  Things we have become used to ingesting.  Scrolling idly through Facebook, gossip columns or depressing news stories. It’s so easy to do this, and to never evaluate the effect that this unconscious consumption has upon our minds and souls. I realised a while ago that, whilst my natural propensity when choosing a film, for example, is for thrillers, creepy stories or gritty dramas, they generally have quite a negative impact

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When forgetting is a blessing

When forgetting is a blessing

Last night was quite difficult, emotionally. As you know, my beloved grandma has Alzheimer’s and my mum is living with her as a full-time carer.  Over the past few weeks, she has deteriorated rapidly, the ravages of the disease taking its toll on her body as well as her mind.   In contrast to a couple of months ago when we were able to take her out to the seafront and she would walk for a few minutes, holding onto her wheelchair, enjoying the fresh air and, usually, an ice cream, she is now bedbound, barely able to lift her

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