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Forgiving Ourselves

A while ago, I'm not sure why, maybe because I'm getting older, I found myself besieged by regrets from the long distant past and found myself wincing. The memories came thick and fast, in technicolour and I noticed I was starting to feel miserable - trapped in a regretful, punitive relationship with myself. Read more...

 



Ghosts From the Past

I’ve known for many years that unprocessed past experiences can influence the quality of my life and intrude into the present. In hindsight, I can usually work out why I’ve behaved unskilfully and learn what I need to do, to develop the skills to function more effectively in the present. Read more...

 



The Shadow

As I was growing up, I ‘knew’ even though it wasn’t true, that in order to be accepted and loved by my Mum and Dad and have a safe place in my family, I had to be good – meaning nice, kind, helpful, caring, unselfish, loving and generous etc. Read more...

 



Dogma

I was brought up in one of the global traditions of religious dogma which was driven by fear. At school from when I was very small, I was made to repeat over and over again that ‘sin was any thought, word, deed or omission against the word of God’. Read more...

 



Unconditional Love

Years ago, as my Mum lay dying, there was something she needed to say, before she surrendered herself to the next stage of her soul’s journey. It was not easy for her. Time and again she struggled for words, but each time she fell back, silent and exhausted – gathering herself for the next courageous effort. Read more...

 



Change

Recently I came across a different take on the ‘Serenity Prayer’ which struck a chord, and continues to make me chuckle.

It’s so easy to think how much better the world would be, if only people thought the way I did. We can see this tendency on a personal and global level, throughout the story of humans on this planet.’ Read more...

 



A Vision for our Life

I’ve been facilitating Shana Bellin’s Power of Choice Course for Women for around 25 years. During this course we women reflect deeply about what it is that we truly want, both personally and professionally. We then take the time to set objectives and goals to manifest it in our lives. Read more...

 



One Year to Live

I′ve been reading a book by Stephen Levine where he imagines he has one year to live and if this were the case, how he might use the time he has left. I′ve had this book for many years and this is the first time I′ve opened it. I wonder why?

I think my 4 year old grandson may have the answer. I′ve been aware for a while that he doesn′t like saying goodbye. He rang me to let me know what he was doing, and as is his wont, immediately hung up. When his Mum asked him about saying goodbye, he said ‘I just want to keep playing and saying goodbye makes me feel funny in the tummy.’ Read more...

 



Intimate Relationships

When my daughters were small, I used to read them fairy stories, and when we came to the ‘happily ever after,’ I created a different ending as follows: ‘So they got married and had many wonderful times together and sometimes they were sad and sometimes angry and had big fights, but they always found a way to talk about whatever it was that made them angry, so they could understand and trust each other and feel close to each other again.’

When they could read, they protested, as they could see that my ending wasn′t the ‘real’ one in the storybook. Read more...

 



Requests v Demands

When I was growing up, we had very little money. One of the less useful assumptions I picked up was ‘never ask for anything unless you′re desperate, and then the other person doesn′t have any right to refuse.’ As I never knew if I was desperate enough, I never asked for anything.

On the other hand, if anyone asked me for something, I assumed they were desperate, and I believed that if I was a kind, decent person, I should always give whatever was asked of me. In my mind it was not a request, it was a demand which I had to satisfy.Read more...

 



Making a Difference

Jessica, my paternal grandmother was a wonderfully wise and courageous woman. When her daughter got together with a divorced man, my grandfather who was fiercely and rigidly religious, forbade both her and their children to have anything to do with her, as she had sinned before God.

Jessica′s response which I love, was to say ‘thank God I don′t belong to your religion’. She then packed a basket of goodies and took herself off to spend time with them.Read more...

 



Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

As a child growing up, I was so busy being good that I didn′t have any time to wonder about why I was here, or what was important to me.

I just focussed on what was important to others, and lost any sense of myself in the process. Meaning for me at that time, was to be what others needed me to be. I was definitely walking in shoes designed to fit others.Read more...

 



The Judging Mind

It amuses me to find that whenever I judge another person or their behaviour, what comes back to me is an experience of when I too have done exactly what they have done, or some variation of what I'm now judging.

This certainly contributes to keeping me mindful of when I point the finger at someone else - there are three fingers facing back at me. Read more...

 



The Power of Choice

When I was growing up, whenever there was irritation or anger amongst us children, my Mum used to say - count to ten. I never understood why she said this, or how it could possibly help and I must say, I never took her advice.

Years later I heard of Victor Frankl - an ongoing inspiration for both my Mum and myself. He was a German, a Jew and a psychiatrist in the time of Nazi Germany. He and his family ended up in separate concentration camps. Read more...

 



Seeing Clearly

I was doing some research recently and came across a young, blind, autistic lad singing ‘Open The Eyes of My Heart, I Want to See You Clearly’

This really struck a chord in me.  I have put it on my study door as a reminder to see both myself and others with the eyes of my heart rather than from the eyes of judgement such as good/bad, right/wrong, like/dislike, love/hate. Read more...

 



Radical Acceptance

 

This is a powerful concept which unfortunately is often misunderstood. It does not mean that we have to agree with, or like the challenges that often come our way.  It does mean that we acknowledge and accept the reality of these challenges for what they are. It is a courageous response to life as it is, rather than how we think life should be. Read more...

 



Inner Voices

I was with my three and a half year old grandson recently, when he showed me a penny he had found in the sand at the back of his home. Shortly afterwards he told me he'd lost his penny and was looking for it again in the sand. I was alongside him at the clothes-line and was struck by how he was talking to Read more...

 



Forgiveness

It is one of life's most terrible ironies, that ongoing rage and hatred can be as connective as love. It can fill our minds and colour all our senses. It can keep us tied to that person or to those events, and distract us from living a rich and authentic life. Read more...