Tag Archives: awareness


I regularly use this phrase “I love to get the juice out of things.” But what do I mean by that?

For me it is about looking deeper, looking wider and looking again.

It might be “getting the juice” out of producing a good crop of garlic. It might be after I’ve seen a movie or attended a concert or meeting.

Sometimes the “juice” might be new learning; sometimes it might be new understanding: sometimes it might be more questions or puzzles to think on and other times new responses or feelings.

The endless possibilities that might arise from “getting the juice” are a really attractive part of this process for me and helps feed the naturally very curious part of me.

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Brushstrokes in the sky

On Tuesday this week my attention was captured once more by the cloud formations. There have been some really interesting and different clouds around at times in the past few weeks.

It was a hot, sunny, blue sky kind of day here on Tuesday and the clouds looked like soft brushstrokes in the sky.

Stress management tips for Friday

Here are a few tips to reduce stress that I have found in a pile of resources today. They seem worth sharing and even having a laugh over perhaps:

 States of chronic alertness result in the storage of unused adrenalin, sugar, lactate, urine and hormones
 Have a good laugh or cry
 Recall your successes, they can help you through your defeats
 Loosen your jaw, let it sag
 Let your shoulders drop
 Relax your hair and scalp
 Uncurl your fingers and toes
 Let your stomach hang out!
 Slow down your breathing. Fill your stomach with breath as if it was a frog’s.
 Set time aside each day to do something slowly and just for yourself
 Say “No” to a demand on your time.
 Take some time out for you over the coming weekend

Books that have mattered to me in the past few years

Here is a list of books that have mattered to me or influenced me in the past few years. Many of these authors have websites and blogs to explore.

The Mindful Woman – Sue Patton Thoele

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical neuroscience of happiness, love and wisdom – Rick Hanson and Rick Mendius

A return to Love – reflections on the principles of a Course in Miracles – Marianne Williamson

A walk on the beach – Joan Anderson

A year by the sea – Joan Anderson

An unfinished marriage – Joan Anderson

A cup of sunlight – Juliet Batten

Growing into wisdom: change and transformation at midlife – Juliet Batten

Listening below the noise: a meditation on the practice of silence – Anne D LeClaire

The church of 80% sincerity – David Roche

The Happiness project –Gretchen Rubin

Focusing: how to gain direct access to your body’s knowledge – Eugene Gendlin

The intention experiment – use your thoughts to change the world –Lynne McTaggart

Everything I’ve ever done that worked – Lesley Garner

Love the life you live – Anne Hartley

The sword of heaven – a 5 continent odyssey to save the world – Mikkel Aaland

Transforming depression – the Heartmath solution – Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman

The artist’s way – Julia Cameron

God is no laughing matter – observations and objections on the spiritual path – Julia Cameron

Letters to a young artist – building a life in art – Julia Cameron

The vein of gold – a journey to your creative heart – Julia Cameron

Walking in this world – practical strategies for creativity – Julia Cameron

Your body speaks your mind – Debbie Shapiro

A complaint free world: the 21 day challenge that will change your life –Will Bowen

Wherever you go, there you are –Jon Kabat-Zinn

Full catastrophe living – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Common Ground – the true story of 2 friends and 2 very different gardens – Janice Marriott and Virginia Pawsey

Common Table – an uncommon tale of friendship and food – Janice Marriott and Virginia Pawsey

Changing patterns: discovering the fabric of creativity – Daena Giardella and Wren Ross

Plan B – Ann Lamott

Grace (Eventually) –Ann Lamott

Operating Instructions- Ann Lamott

Traveling Mercies- Ann Lamott

This piece of earth – Harvey McQueen

Shift happens – Robert Holden

Simple Abundance -Sarah Ban Breathnach

What are these pray tell?

We have a Melia azedarach tree in our front garden and it has grown enormously since we first moved in over 22 years ago. We had it trimmed a few years back and the arborist told me he would refuse to cut it down because it was such a beautiful tree.

In the past year or two I have working hard on being more aware and noticing more and my attention on this tree has increased. Then in the last few months I have been reading Juliet Batten’s blog http://seasonalinspiration.blogspot.com and she too is watching Melia trees and we have shared our observations and findings.

I had, until recently known the tree as the Bead tree and I have just learnt why it is so named, thanks to Juliet. The green seeds that are visible on my tree right now, contain a hard, five sided kernel or bead and these beads are used to make rosary beads.

The word “azedarach” comes from a contraction of the Persian vernacular “azaddhirakt” or noble tree.

I have a new and deeper appreciation for my Melia and the small gifts it gives to spiritual seekers and for its ancient noble status.

Friday wrap-up, a day late

Saturday 2nd July: Friday wrap-up, a day late.

So here are a few things that have happened today. It has been a good one.

 I realized that the very cold weather we have had this week is just the thing to stimulate my newly planted garlic bulbs.

 The coffee was good and hot at the café this morning

 A friend and I had a discussion about resilience which is a topic we are both interested in

 I walked around the lake near our shopping centre and enjoyed the winter light, the water, the birds and some stunning colours that surprised me in the depths of a steely, raw winter’s day

 Hot soup was just the right food for lunch

 I took some interesting photos on a walk near my home. I’ve included these two of a Melia tree near our local dairy. It looks so vastly different to the one in my garden.

 I completed my Garden Bird survey and was delighted by the number of chaffinchs in the count this year

 I did a guided meditation as the light of the day faded

 Everyone enjoyed their hot roast dinner

 There was some humorous television to watch in the evening.

And I found a new blog which I will be following closely with great interest. I’d encourage you to have a look:-)

Saturday tip: Choices offer change

Here is an idea to try if you would like to increase flexibility in your thinking and in your actions. Consider how you can become more flexible by asking yourself the following:
“ Instead of…………………………………………
I could………………………………………………

Choices offer change!

A Lacy Leaf

So this leaf caught my attention as I tidied up in the garden last week. I was struck by its delicate lacy patterns and the fact that it was still intact despite its dryness and the holes in it. ( Apologies for my photography skills or lack of them:-))

It had caught my eye and so I sat and contemplated the leaf. Here are some impressions that came to me:.

Initially it reminded me of how vulnerable we can feel at times in our lives, when holes seem to have appeared in our protective coating and it feels as if there is only a patch or two holding together.

Then I thought about how frail the leaf looked at first glance but upon closer inspection, it is in fact still strong. How often do humans of all ages find themselves in a frail state but something within them is still strong and enables them to move on with life in time.

We can feel stripped bare of so many parts of our lives at times but our basic framework and structure holds us together firmly enough and enables us to rebuild.

Despite decline and ageing we all have a deep beauty to reveal.

While the leaf was once lush and green, now that it is dying we can see all the many tiny aspects of it that have supported its life. We have a multitude of aspects to us that are not always visible.

The tiny veins of the leaf were integral to its ability to stay alive by providing its means of nourishment. The veins drew this nourishment in and helped remove any waste. What are the myriad of ways we need to draw in life and shed the things we don’t need?

The leaf was once part of a tree but had its own special function in that bigger picture.
What is your part in the big picture of your family, community, society and life itself?

” Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts”. Rachel Carson.

The complexity of the leaf mirrors our complexity in so many ways.

What do you see in this leaf?

Step by step

I found myself feeling hurried this morning with three or more pressing tasks to complete.   My brain was feeling hurried and scattered.  Good awareness on my part I thought.  A hurried brain and body can lead to accidents and feelings of stress……so what to do?   Firstly some big deep breaths.   Then a firm message to my brain that hurry was not needed and that one of the tasks could wait until later, or until another time.  A pause to feel my feet standing squarely on the floor and the strength of my legs holding me up, balanced and firm.

A bit of time management thinking around what is the priority here and that was to finish getting the meal into the slow cooker.

That done I could peg the washing out on the line and enjoy the warm sunshine, the amazingly calm atmosphere and the singing of a Tui.  Nice…..

Next came some self care as I sat down to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a read of my emails…….brain and body going along at a much slower pace again.  It pays for me to take things step by step using awareness and attention to regain my equilibrium and an improved feeling of well being.

What steps do you take to achieve a more balanced and pleasant path through the many tasks of your day?