The beauty you never knew you had

I have come to drag you out of yourself and take you into my heart.
I have come to bring out the beauty you never knew you had and lift you like a prayer to the sky.
If no one recognises you, I do because you are my life and soul.
Don’t run away, accept your wounds and let bravery be your shield.
It takes a thousand stages for the perfect being to evolve.
Every step of the way I will walk with you and never leave you stranded.
– Rumi

Beauty you never knew you had

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Hope is a renewable quality

Today’s thought is about hope… and the difference between gently nurturing your sense of hope or ignoring it.

In this context, hope is way softer than an expectation of a specific result. It’s more of a quiet sense of background direction, a flow moving forwards, exact details and route unknown but a direction you want to explore. Hope speaks quietly in words like “may be…” “might” “curious” “possibly” “what if…?” “I wonder…”

Not every moment feels as hopeful, or so connected to that sense of gentle momentum. Sometimes you just splat in a heap, stumble about, or inexplicably decide that you are so close to your dreams, you’d better turn back. Not every recovery from a set back will be stupendously elegant, swift or resourceful. We do the best we can at the time: My scale for “best I can” goes from Complete Pants to Stonkingly Awesome.

Hope matters because it leads you through fear, it hears your doubts and encourages you to consider that maybe not all of those doubts are completely based in fact. Hope reminds you that new things are likely to feel uncomfortable at first, and the answer to that is not to stop, but to practice, gently. Hope can also be a cheeky monkey and play hide and seek, especially if you haven’t been nurturing yourself and are getting a bit frazzled.

But I think one of the ways you can nurture hope is to to treat each moment as a new one.

Hope can be nurtured by reminding yourself that the future is not set. The fact that you’ve ballsed something up, again, does not mean you will balls it up for ever more. The past does not equal your future. The past gives you some experience to draw from. End of.

What you choose to do right now, with this moment, that’s where you can become hopeful again. Especially if you’re willing to make a tiny change, and see how that works out. Hope is stronger than fear, and with a glimmer of hope – or a socking great truckload of it – you can keep taking little steps forwards.

As Thomas Kinkade said, hope is a renewable quality. Renewable at New Year, & New Moons, renewable every moment, every breath. Whether you choose to do something differently or circumstances change around you, some kind of newness will happen.

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Hope is a renewable quality

Nurture

Nurture:
To care for and protect someone or something while they are growing

Young seedlings are tender and can easily be lost. They are vulnerable in multiple ways:

  • Treading on them
  • Ignoring them and leaving them to wither
  • Providing no protection from slugs, snails & other nibblers
  • Providing no protection from strong winds that can break them
  • Being too keen & leaving young plants out on frosty night
  • Over-watering: drowned, anemic plants
  • Over feeding: Spindly weak plants that shoot up but then can’t hold their own weight

All the above are a right pain in the arse, those beautiful dreams of flourishing plants set back. Particularly a bit of a shocker that you can destroy by too much of something which, in lesser quantities, is beneficial.

Seedlings

New ideas, new habits, new skills, new friendships, new ways of thinking, new projects … they’re all tender and vulnerable too, whilst they develop roots and become stronger: They need protection from too much criticism too soon, from doubts, from over enthusiasm, from overwhelm, from over-reaching, from stalling, from starving.

Discovering how to nurture healthy seedlings that grow into healthy plants is likely to take some learning (i.e. mistakes). You may have to re-sow a few times!! Keep nurturing:

  1. You’re responsible for daily care, ongoing. It’s not a one off thing. Check how things are going often, and provide whatever is needed.
  2. There is a rate of growth that can be handled, and you’re best off working within that. A little oomph helps. Too much oomph destroys.
  3. The healthy growth of that seedling (or idea, project, habit…) is inherent, ready and waiting. You don’t have to create that bit. You just have to nourish that inherent potential, and protect it from external hazards, your own neglect – or your own over-enthusiasm.

That’s why nurture matters. Nurture enables the new. Success depends not on being brilliant immediately, but on having the patience and persistence to nurture.

Get away…

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgement will be surer; since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgement…

Go some distance away because the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and a lock of harmony of proportion is more readily seen – Leonardo Da Vinci

Get away from it all

Get away from it all

Find a Thinking Rock

Find a Thinking Rock… Ok, what’s a Thinking Rock?

This is a Thinking Rock:

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So is this:

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It doesn’t actually literally have to be a rock. I do seem to be partial to them myself, but the fact that it’s a rock is not the essential bit. The essential bit is:

  • You can sit down
  • When you sit down, the views fill your senses. You can gaze, listen, be awed
  • The place feels special to you
  • It’s peaceful, you can sit undisturbed

So, the Thinking Rock doesn’t have to be a rock, it could be a bench, a handy tree trunk, a sunny patch of grass … Some place outside where you love the views, be they hills and mountains, streams, rivers, parkland, garden, seaside.

Then there’s the “Thinking” bit. You don’t actually think at the Thinking Rock either.  The point of the Thinking Rock is that once there, your senses are so full and you feel connected to views so uplifting, that you forget all about conscious thinking.

The Thinking Rock allows your thoughts to stop scampering about trying to find an answer. It tucks your ego up in an awesome snuggle of nature and allows your brain to untangle. It eases fear, tension and grasping for answers. It calms, sooths, rebalances. It brings a little zing of inspiration. Your Thinking Rock is space for you to Just Be. It’s a space where you find it easy to Just Be. In such a place, you can feel what you really feel.

Let nature do the work. Sit and be awed. Allow contents to settle.

Find your Thinking Rock, where you need neither think nor be sat on a rock.

That is all 🙂

Snow Day

Today there was snow: Inspiring, beautiful, view-changing, scrunchy crunchy exciting snow. Here’s highlights of some of the views I fed on – no words necessary I think! Wrap up warm, and enjoy your Snow Day 🙂

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Pics from the Black Mountains – temporarily white – on the eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales.

Trust

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Trust… When reaching out means stepping into the void. When there are no signposts to follow or paths to walk Trust and follow your heart’s vision – Stephanie June Sorrell

Permission to idle

We categorise adults who sit in contemplative moods as flakey, spacey, or lazy. But for your brain to do its best work, you need to be idle. If you want to have great ideas or if you just want to get to know yourself, you must stop managing your time. At the very least, modern neuroscience is rapidly amassing more and more evidence that the resting state of the brain is vital to its health – Andrew Smart, Auto Pilot: The art and science of doing nothing

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This is one whopping great, year-long permit to include idle time in your day, every day: Amble, gaze at whatever brings you joy, snuggle by an open fire with a glass of wine, picnic by a stream, meditate, nap, watch the clouds go by …

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If you have a To Do List, your bit of idle time is not the least important thing on it; it is the most important thing, the thing that’s going to nurture you and maintain you in working condition to handle the other things on that list.

So get a grip and develop your capacity for idling!

Being insanely busy all the time is not only bad for you; it also prevents you from discovering the human being you were meant to be – Andrew Smart, Auto Pilot: The art and science of doing nothing

P.S Winter time can be particularly good for chilling champagne whilst idling 😀

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Right now…

No two walks are ever the same, even if you travel the same route.

Even within a season, the light, temperature, the clouds, the people and wildlife you encounter, the direction you happen to glance in, how you’re feeling… they’re ever changing. For that reason I never tire of walking familiar territory: It is both familiar, and brand new every time.

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I also love the excitement of the very first time on a new path or sheep track, the new views that emerge and the sense of discovery waiting to experience whatever is ahead.

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Do you have a particular way of relating to nature? A style of relationship? For me it’s a very accepting one, no expectation other than tending to be extremely content in all kinds of conditions, excited by the new, and excitedly seeing new in the familiar.

How wonderful to bring even a smidge of that freshness to the day to day stuff of life… And how wonderful to know the environment which draws out and nurtures such simple pleasure!

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Pictures from the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Restore

To walk, amble or gaze at nature is the best restorative I know: Balancing, reliably effective, uplifting, calming.

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Wishing you a happy 2015