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Entries in flexibility (17)


Noticing the noise.

These days, I wake up at 4am and savour the moments of bliss before watching, noticing, observing my Mind fill with noise. 

When I had small babies, I would lie awake for hours worrying about getting enough sleep, raging against the lack of sleep I was able to get, fearing the daylight hours, fearing the night hours too. Getting up to a child in the night meant being awake at least 3 hours ... and it was making me sick. It wasn't the lack of sleep, it was my Mind keeping me awake and making me sick with worry, rage, frustration, fear. 

By accepting my being awake in the early hours, I have come to treasure it as a moment when my Mind is clear and less noisy than "usual". I get up and write, or read or research or listen to the gentle silence in my mind. 

Of course when the noise begins to take over my Mind, I notice I feel the need to get moving, do things, start on the list I want to get through for that day.  That noise is what I now recognise as anxiety in my Mind

Notice, I don't say "anxiety in me"?

My Mind and my Self are different: my Self is calm, centered, clear.

My Mind is full of noise: crazy stories, thoughts, judgements, ideas, fears, conversations had, conversations that need to happen, to-do list items, random sounds.  That is what I observe... when I step back from my mind and notice. 

This morning, for example, I noticed how I think about my ability to speak French as "intermediate", "it will never be more than that" and "I am intermediate or average at everything I do and have always been". I noticed these thoughts and wondered  "Really? ... where does this stuff come from?". 

These limiting thoughts are fairly benign: they relate to a skill that does not make or break my day - although has definitely led to all manner of frustration over the years!

But what if this kind of thinking is prevalent in other ways in my Mind ... and even more crucial, what if I am actually listening to it, believing it, holding it to be a truth, and living my life as if it's true?? What are the consequences of seeing that noise as a real part of me? 

These days I notice the noise and see it as separate from Self. These days I label it as noise, acknowledge its connection to the anxiety I feel, and accept that it is something I carry with me that does not define me. It is NOT me (Self), it is my Mind - that is all. 

Naming Mind and Self as different is a freedom we all have, if we choose.

Noticing the noise is a significant step to seeing the separation between Self and Mind and to reducing both anxiety and depression. 

When you listen to your noise, what do you notice?



Magical Questions: what if things were different?

In an effort to re-focus myself and my life, I have been asking myself the above question: What if things were different? ... the answers are a relevation to me, and provide a plan for making changes in my life.

In my case I decided to ask myself "What if I was single? - how would I live my life?

I hasten to add that I am NOT imagining yukky things happening to my lovely husband ... or the disappearance of my children.

I love them all but I know that the role I play as Mother and Wife is easy enough to hide behind at times ... I mean by raising children I am already "doing" something right?

No. I suspect that at times the busy-ness of these two roles, along with my work, leave me feeling little energy or inspiration for working out if the way I am living my life is how I really want it to be.  

If I could wave a magic wand and change things, what would I change about my life now?

The extension of that question is the concept that if there are things I would change (waving a magic wand seems like a great, easy way to proceed don't you think?) then why don't I change them anyway?

With vulnerabililty, I share with you my list. I wrote it in full indulgence of my imagination ... 

  • I would still raise my children

  • I would continue my education

  • I would diversify my income sources 

  • I would travel more

  • I would see more movies

  • I would switch to a more ecological lifestyle (with coffee and chocolate always included)

  • I would live in the countryside and go walking all the time – a good sized town with mountains all around, or a smallish place near the beach/lake

  • I would have a garden and grow my own veges

  • I would ride a bike whenever I could

  • I would swim each day

It's not an exhaustive list.

It's a 'first go' list. I wonder what I will add as time passes.

Above all, I found myself looking at the list and wondering exactly what it is that stops me from having the life I want right now - it's certainly not my married status I can tell you!!!

I wonder what question you would ask?


  • What would I do if I wasn't scared?
  • What would I do if I had the money to do it?
  • What would I change if I could re-start my education?
  • What would I do/change if I cared less what other people think?


Take a moment, a piece of paper and a pen ... and write down your question. Then, with courage, write down your answers.

... this is where you find your voice, what you really want ... this is where it begins. 




Shut your door against the world for a while.

Just HAVE to share this quote from the latest blog post via Karen Wallace at Your Luscious Life ...

In fact that is why the lives of most women are so vaguely unsatisfactory. They are always doing secondary and menial things (that do not require all their gifts and ability) for others and never anything for themselves. Society and husbands praise them for it (when they get too miserable or have nervous breakdowns) though always a little perplexedly and halfheartedly and just to be consoling. The poor wives are reminded that that is just why wives are so splendid – because they are so unselfish and self-sacrificing and that is the wonderful thing about them! But inwardly women know that something is wrong.

They sense that if you are always doing something for others, like a servant or nurse, and never anything for yourself, you cannot do others any good. You make them physically more comfortable. But you cannot affect them spiritually in any way at all. For to teach, encourage, cheer up, console, amuse, stimulate or advise a husband or children or friends, you have to be something yourself …

If you would shut your door against the children for an hour a day and say; ‘Mother is working on her five-act tragedy in blank verse!’ you would be surprised how they would respect you. They would probably all become playwrights.

::Brenda Ueland::

There is so much simplicity in the words here, and so much we need to remember for ourselves, our own mothers/wives/sisters/aunts/sisters-in-law/girlfriends. 

Share it around. Then close the door on the world ... and be something for yourself.



How are you creating the isolation you feel?

Some of you are in unimaginable emotional pain right now. Life is HARD.

If you are feeling alone it might be time to reflect on how, in your pain, you are pushing away the very support you need right now.

Growing up, evolving, learning, experiencing, connecting with others, disconnecting from others, losing jobs/homes/relationships/loved ones/futures/dreams/health/physicality/love - all these things are really, really tough experiences to live through and with.

There is no doubt, that when we are in the midst of our pain, we can feel that we are surrounded by people who don't understand or who say/do the wrong thing in attempting to 'help' us.

At the time, it feels like there is no-one more lonely anywhere on the planet!

We have to be careful at this point to ensure we are not believing this idea of our isolation so much that we are pushing away the people in our lives who love and care about us ... in the process disconnecting ourselves from our support network.

(Sure, they may be the ones saying things that sound empty, cliche, inappropriate or downright stupid - but that does not mean they don't care about us).

What we need most at times like this are our friends, our family, our partners, colleagues, group members - because in most cases, they are the key to our survival.

We can get support from these people in our lives by telling them what we want or do not want from them.

They are not mind readers - I can promise you that. They don't know exactly what we need so they are fumbling around the darkness trying to work it out (often annoying us in the process). Their intentions are good.

But only we know what we really need right now.

We don't have to do this alone. Alone is a choice too! Reach out for help - especially where it's being offered. Do it today.

Sarah xx






Telling the full story.

Is one of your limitations your lack of practice at seeing your strengths? Depression thrives on your ability to tell only the negative side of the story ...

From a very young age we learn to see our faults and the areas we could improve. We learn to compare ourselves to others: both those around us and those we find in the media. Because we "compare our insides to other people's outsides", it is always a false comparison.

Over the years we become well-practiced in seeing how we are less than, lacking, faulted, not enough.

We also become convinced that this is the truth, somehow a reality of our lives.

We also become convinced that of those around us, we are the only ones suffering from this lack.

What would happen if you began telling a different story? Not necessarily the positive version of everything you currently believe, but a neutral version ... the one without the judgement attached to it.

What would happen if you simply observed yourself in a balanced way?

By telling the full story (not just the negative one) you begin to allow a more balanced view of yourself to grow and evolve.

Looking for the good stuff as naturally and quickly as you look for your faults, you begin to tell a new story - one that helps you move forward into a lighter, more powerful life.


Sarah xx