Finding Silence

Come to the Bleddfa Centre on Saturday 12th October for Finding Silence, a day retreat based on the book of that name by Bleddfa’s founder, James Roose-Evans.

From now until the retreat day, I will be featuring excerpts from James’s book. I hope you will find in it, as I have done, a medicine for the soul in busy and stressful times. Let it take you on a different journey…

Details about the retreat can be found here

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How good are you?

words text scrabble blocks
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I have a list of words, I’ve recently discovered, that I like to think fit my personality. It’s quite long. Here is the start of it:

Good, kind, powerful, strong, intelligent, spiritual, generous, funny, interesting, brave, selfless, refined, right, calm….

You get the picture?

If I’m honest, it’s quite hard to maintain this all the time!

Unfortunately, I’ve also discovered that I have a second list. It’s not what I like to think fits me, but it is what I have the potential to be and am at times. It’s also long. It starts like this:

Bad, unkind, vulnerable, weak, stupid, materialistic, mean, dull, boring, timid, selfish, crass, wrong, angry…

You get that picture too?

The good news is, I don’t actually have to choose between List A and List B. They’re both part of what I am as a human being – surprise, surprise! How hard is it for us to accept that!

What a relief to be able to look at the second list and say, ‘Yes, I’m all of this, too’ – just not all the time.   And to say, ‘Yes, I can be the stuff in the first list – just not all the time.’ It’s enough to accept that I’m a work in progress.

Accepting the ‘shadow’ side of myself gives me a more honest and authentic place on which to stand and relate to myself and others.  I can relax from the fear of ‘getting it wrong’. Of course I’ll get it wrong. But this isn’t a fixed state to be judged by – just part of the flow. So when I look in the inner mirror, I don’t have to ‘breathe in’, metaphorically. I can say hello to my own self, just as I am, and start from there.

brown tabby cat peeking beside wall
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So I just invite you to let yourself off the hook from being perfect, and whatever it means to be ‘right’, and just be content to be human. It’s a very good, honest starting point for being more at ease with yourself and others. Good things follow!

Noticing

Noticing issnowdrops a great help in life.
We often miss what is around us because we are preoccupied by what is going through our mind.

And on the other hand we can go through life with our inward eyes shut, even when our outward ones are open.

Awareness of the different processes that make up our moments and movement through life is surprisingly difficult to cultivate. A lot of counselling work is about giving attention to things inside: thoughts, feelings and resources that we have previously ignored, or put aside, or of which we have had no awareness. Re-integrating them into our consciousness can make our life feel more whole and healthy.

Giving compassionate attention to neglected parts of ourselves can be helpful and freeing. Sometimes we might fear this process, but there are ways in which counselling can help it become a healing one.

Counselling is based on the principle that, given the right conditions, living things will begin to flourish, and grow towards the light. Acknowledging what is within with new awareness and acceptance begins with the small step of noticing.