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Showing posts from 2018

Sunday Reflection - On Being A Child of Light

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Our ancestors must have feared the darkness of night terribly. Oh how they would have loved  daylight and those nights when the moon shone bright. Most of all they must have loved the full moon. It is all too easy to see how they came to worship the sun and the moon.  But then, of course, they discovered fire. At first it was probably a natural fire; perhaps, a bush fire following a long hot summer. Those fires would have inspired awe. And keeping alight a flame from a natural fire through the dark winter must have been a very special responsibility - the sacred flame. In time, the secret of making fire was discovered. The Greek myth tells how Prometheus defied the gods by stealing fire and giving its secret to humanity. He was sentenced to eternal torment for an act that enabled human progress and civilization. Life in the cave without fire would have been pretty constrained, if not impossible. It was the coming of light in the form of flame  that led to man's greatest c

Night, night - my poem of Remembrance 2018

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I have a new poem on my Dreaming in Purple and Grey poetry site. It is written in remembrance for the 100 years' anniversary of the First World War armistice.  You can find it at this link . I wanted this poem to sound like a nursery rhyme despite the gruesomeness. For us growing up in the fifties, the First World War was not very far away. My Grandad was a wagonner when the war began. He was called up with his horses. My Mum could remember those horses being dressed in horse ribbons to be paraded through the village before they made their journey to France. Grandad drove a water wagon at the start of the war and a water truck by the end. I don't know what happened to the horses. I know he lost a brother and, I believe, a brother-in-law, on the Somme. All they told us kids about his experiences in the war was about the lack of clean clothing. And,how each night in the trenches, Grandad and the other soldiers would kill the lice in their vests by running a candle flame up the

Sunday Reflection - Just Listening

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  When you think about it, it seems strange that so many people use sound to help them sleep. Surely most people prefer silence. But do they? During long periods of silence in sensory deprivation experiments, people have imagined some pretty strange sounds. Being robbed of sensory input doesn’t suit the brain - it needs to fill the silence. The brain just craves sensory input. So, to sleep better, some people listen to white noise machines. Others love the sound of waves or a tropical forest. What about meditating in complete silence? Well, the first challenge is to find somewhere completely quiet. That isn't easy in the modern world. And, the countryside is certainly not quiet. Of course, you have then to sit in silence and quiet the mind. That in itself requires the strongest mental muscles. So, gentle rhythmic sounds or chants can help us meditate more easily.  There is a practice that I love - meditating on sound. To do this, sit quietly with your eyes closed and ta

Quite Reflection - Glass Half Full

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There are two ways of looking at most things in life. When you face a new challenge, you can think; "Oh no, I'm not going to be able to this. It is something I've never done before. It means I have to learn new skills. And I'm probably going to fail." Or you can think; "Yes, this is a challenge. But I will get the chance to learn more skills. And I'm going to give it my all and do my best to make it a success. You will find lots of advice around about the power of positive thinking and expecting success. There is a lot of research that shows how having a positive approach to life improves health and happiness. Try looking at the Greater Good Science Centre   website for more information.  But, with so many people jumping on a positive thinking bandwagon, it easy sometimes to lose sight of what it is really about. At its simplest and most powerful, it is about seeing half a glass of water as half full and not half empty. How you view

Happiness is When the Cat Purrs

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Someone once told me a story. A woman had been living a miserable life. Her husband was a  bully who tried to control her completely. Over the years her creative spirit slowly eroded away. She couldn't see how she would ever be happy. How could she find the confidence to leave and make another life?  One of the few joys in her life, was her cat.  The family lived in small flat in a large city. Husband insisted they kept the cat inside. The cat seems healthy enough but the woman noticed she never purred. Circumstances changed and they moved to a new flat. It was much larger, light and airy. There were two balconies. The woman loved the new place and so, apparently, did the cat. One day the woman heard a new sound - her silent cat had begun to purr. And the purring became a habit. With more freedom, light and fresh air, the cat was much happier. It took the woman a little longer to find her happiness. But one day she met someone who inspired and supported her. That

Saturday Reflection - Hard Times and Your Gentle Inner Voice

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No one lives a life without unhappiness. We all suffer loss and other forms of change we would not have chosen. Often the change leads to better things. And, sometimes, even with the most positive of attitudes, a loss just hurts. We mourn and then get on with life in changed circumstances,as best we can. But, there is a skill you can learn when things are going well that will help when they are going badly. We can learn to listen to the wise and loving inner voice. For some, this is the voice of God. For others it is the higher self - part of you. Somewhere, beneath the chaos of our minds, it speaks. If we can learn to still the chaos, we can learn to hear the voice. You can learn at any time. But, the easiest time is when things are going well. Your inner friend and counsellor will always be there.  Time to pause and listen. Sit quietly in a gentle place if you can. Take a few quiet breaths. Feel yourself there in the present, just sitting quiet and still. Oh, there is a joy

Saturday Reflection - Contemplating Not Ruminating

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So here I am on Saturday morning, sitting quietly at my desk and contemplating. Contemplating, not ruminating! The difference between those two words, and the process they describe, is huge. Contemplating means to consider something thoroughly. You take time to think fully or deeply. It helps to do it in your quiet place and to settle your mind before you start. Ruminating means dwelling on something without reaching any real conclusions. You brood on it, turning it over and over in your mind, You agonize and worry and the thoughts run on and on. You just can't let go. But it doesn't actually get you any nearer to a solution. The thoughts run like a ticker tape through your head. Ruminating is often a sign of stress. Stress is a very common experience. Often, I work with clients who feel stressed. Learning how to bring themselves wholly into the present helps them a great deal. In this post I explain what I teach them. Feeling stressed? Learn to be present! C

Advice for new leaders

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There's a new post on my Career and Life Coaching Blog with advice for new leaders. New leaders - leadership is about creating positive change in a group or organization to achieve some long-term objective. It involves having a vision, setting goals and knowing how to move  the organization and its people towards them. The key skill for new leaders is learn how to best use your resources. And that includes  your people and using their talents to get you to where you need to be. You can find the rest of the post at this link Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people  lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled.  Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link You can find Wendy's books on Amazon at this link

Happy Music

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Here is some happy music just to brighten your day Buy the music here : iTunes : https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tro... Bandcamp : https://dbfiechter.bandcamp.com/album... Amazon mp3 : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00W... Listen to this music on Spotify: Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/album/4pukyr... *** Tracklist : 0:00 – Coral Reef 3:07 – Tidal Pool 6:08 – Paradise Lagoon 9:29 – Tropical Tides Golf 12:11 – Caribbean Dream 16:11 – Palm Tree Beach 19:49 – Tropical Island 22:51 – Caribbean Sea 26:27 – Exotic Isles 29:24 – Island of Jamaica 32:14 – Trinidad and Tobago 35:31 – Fun in the Sun 38:45 – Summer Vacation 42:11 – Coast of Mexico 45:44 – Jellyfish Bay 49:13 – Ocean Pool 52:17 – Blue Surf 55:32 – Coconut Lounge 58:49 – Hawaiian Breezes 1:02:07 – Sunset in Hawaii 1:06:03 – Ukulele Dance

A quiet walk

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A quiet walk through the Quinalt Rainforest in Olympic National Park on the Washington coast. This is filmed just before the heavy foliage blossoms in March. The rainforest is one of the most meditative places I visit. The green moss is heavy with moisture from the winter. From CreationScapes https://esfilms.net/ch-UCrXxrLl2seADVnu_peGZtj g Posted by Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this  link

Finding tranquillity

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Finding tranquillity  To be tranquil is to be, calm, serene, and, in the moment, worry-free. The word tranquillity appears in lots of religious texts and particularly in Buddhism. In Buddhism the term passaddhi means the tranquillity of the body, thoughts and consciousness that is found on the path to enlightenment. Being tranquil allows you to a take rest from the periods of hard focused attention’so often required in modern life. Research has shown that one of the best ways to find tranquility is to spend time in a natural environment. There you can allow your imagination to wander and just soak up your surroundings and a different way of being. For me, spending a little time among trees or by the sea helps me realise that life can be lived with a much longer perspective - the troubles of one day mean very little. The first maps of tranquility were developed by Simon Rendel of ASH Consulting for a Department of Transport study in 1991. In these maps tranquil areas were def
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Feeling stressed? Learn to be present! Wendy Smith is a Career Coach and Life Coach   helping you to solve difficult problems at work Many of the great religions talk about the value of being able to sit quietly in the present. Sometimes this is a prelude to prayer – sometimes sitting in the present is the prayer or at perhaps a step on the way to enlightenment.  But only recently have we understood the psychological value of being wholly in the present, with or without the religion. I work with clients who feel stressed. And being able to bring themselves wholly into the present can be a great help to them. Here is what I teach them to do. My practice of presence! Find yourself a quiet spot.  This can be a pleasant spot within your home, or somewhere quiet at work.  It is great if you can do the exercise out of doors in your garden or even on a park bench.  But you need somewhere where you can sit for a few minutes and not be disturbed.  First, focus