A brief thought for this evening

A brief thought for this evening

A brief thought for this evening

“We’re all just walking each other home.” – Ram Dass With all of the sadness and tragedy in the world, especially today, it is worth remembering that the most important thing we can do is to take care of one another in the best way we can. Be kind.  Be gentle.  Be honest.  Ask for help.  Give it freely.  Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.  Hug people.  Send a note.  Smile.  Cry on each other’s shoulders if you need to. As hard as it can be, refuse to let hatred, violence and anger pull us further apart. We’re all in this

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Thoughts on imagination

Thoughts on imagination

For as long as I can remember, I have spent a large portion of my days living in my imagination.  Daydreaming.  Fantasizing.  Thinking.  Creating other worlds, people and scenarios.  In a sense, my imagination gave me a secret world in which, consciously or subconsciously, I was superior to others.  Privy to something they didn’t know or could not access.  Even during social occasions, I would often be fantasizing about someone or someplace else, smiling at the people around me and, perhaps, to them, appearing to engage in perfectly fine conversation, but never truly being there. Discovering the teachings of Eckhart

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Bullying

Bullying

Anti-bullying week is coming up in November, and it is something which we dedicate a large amount of time and effort to in schools, not just during that week but all year round. I was thinking this evening how strange it is that we are so tough on bullying among children, yet we have so many schools, businesses and offices in which bullying is endemic and even accepted. My first experience of teaching was a stressful and extremely difficult one, due to the nature of the head teacher.  She would routinely humiliate staff and she piled on the pressure to

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Seasickness & tortilla chips

Seasickness & tortilla chips

One morning, during my recent holiday in New York, my mum and I got on the ferry to take a Hop-On, Hop-Off tour of the Hudson River.  Whilst I had felt fine beforehand, within a few minutes of being on the boat, I began to feel a bit nauseous.  I have never particularly suffered from seasickness, but the weather was rough, the motion strong and I began to struggle with the feelings of sickness.  I tried to breathe through it and focus on one thing, all of the usual strategies, but the feeling was intensifying and, by the time we

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Why are we scared of making progress?

I’m about to go to bed after a good but tiring first day back at school with the children, but I wanted to post briefly about something that’s been on my mind…  It has struck me recently that sometimes I actually hamper my own progress because I am frightened.  I am talking about spiritual progress, or essentially about coping with a particular difficult life circumstance.  I think that many of us do this.  In the particular, personal situation I am thinking of (moving on from a complicated relationship) I feel sometimes that I am actually doing a lot better than

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Learning from loss: a quick catch-up

I’m sorry it has been a little while since I’ve written.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year!   Our festive period was quite strange and emotional, due to the loss of my grandmother, but we enjoyed family time together and really made the best of it.  Unfortunately on New Year’s Eve, the day after my grandma’s funeral, we had to take my beloved cat, Maisie, to the vet to be put to sleep.  She has been unwell recently, the prognosis was not good, and we knew it was only a matter of time.  The

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A quick recommendation and a simple question

If you have not yet come across Byron Katie, I would suggest delving into her work–and then doing The Work.   The idea, in very basic terms, is that every situation and emotion is all dependent on our own perception.  It’s about working through those thoughts that eat away at us and getting to the truth of them.  And it’s not always easy.  Sometimes it comes back on us in ways we don’t expect!   But isn’t that what we want?  To be open, vulnerable, brave, honest and kind?   A question that stuck with me from The Work is

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Thoughts on living and dying

It is easy to forget, in the rain and the routine, the aches and pains of each day, what a tremendous privilege it is to be alive.   Proximity to death brings a kind of urgency about life that one can quickly lose in the humdrum of work, commuting and making dinner.  Having just witnessed the passing of my beloved grandmother, I am feeling a range of emotions from sadness to gratitude to emptiness.  But, within the grief, there is also an overwhelming urge to live.  To stop worrying, stop complaining, stop being fearful, stop clinging onto things not meant

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Transcending the body

Transcending the body

When the vicar, Sarah, arrived yesterday to see my grandmother and to say a prayer for her, she walked into the room and said “Oh, it doesn’t look like Dora.”   Far from being an insensitive comment, it was tinged with tenderness and some surprise.  Of course, she would have always seen my grandma at church dressed smartly in a skirt and navy blue blazer with court shoes, beautiful white hair perfectly curled–always immaculate.  But her observation ran deeper than that, for me. There is something that, when it begins to fade, makes the person look less and less like

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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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