Just notice

Notice Word Cloudone word‘…  The idea is to have a guiding ‘word’ in your daily mind’s eye, that inspires, refocuses, grounds you… to simplify your outlook and enable your view to be clearer… to declutter, cleanse or revitalise your world view…

I was recently reminded about the idea by @stepheniez via Positively Positive. (@Tanya_Marlow and  also mentioned the idea.)

OK, this could be a tad gimmicky and like ‘mindfulness’* it can be taken like crisps or chips and enjoyed as a one-off novelty*. But ‘potatoes’ can be far more revitalising and nutritious if considered more thoughtfully.

The one word idea, like mindfulness, NLP and CBT etc, might also be used to great effect when considered more seriously.

You can use your ‘focal word’ (or phrase) for a variety of purposes. In the past I’ve used the idea over periods like advent and lent, with a view to re-grounding and focusing myself – usually this has been guided by @briandraperuk‘s wise steerings.

If you like the idea, check it out ‘one word‘.

After the advent of innocence, purity and potential… the thing that can be told is not the eternal thing…
Just ‘notice’.

*Beware of McMindfulness the instant-hit take on the value-laden ambition of truly mindful living.


“Calm down” I keep saying, or even “CALM DOWN!” (oh the irony!).

I came across this little idea recently while reading some Thich Nhat Hanh.

It speaks for itself so I wont prattle on like I did in the last post, just pop back and read it if you missed it. ‘Awareness’ “focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations…” 

Mind in a Jar.

We decided to make some “Mind Jars” – enjoy.

It’s a simple idea which is this short animated film shown below.



The art of relaxation…

yawn!  Ahgh… here he goes again, yadda yadda ‘mindfulness’ yadda…

“a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations…”
I know mindfulness is the buzz-thing at the moment, you can’t go anywhere without hearing about the wonders of McMindfulness. And, yes it’s right to be cautious because there’s a lot of shallow pap written about it.  But, in essence the ideas and the practices are worth exploring.

True awareness is NOT an easy thing to achieve.  But having a mindful ambition is a great start; ‘being’ with a ‘mindful’ approach. Truly mindful of ‘yourself’, truly mindful of ‘the space you inhabit’, truly mindful of ‘what you share’, truly mindful of the ‘people you meet’, and truly mindful of the ‘stuff’ that you encounter!  …stop, relax, breath.

We are surrounded by ‘stuff’.

Stuff picks you up and you find yourself pulled by the “gotta get/do/be…” that surrounds us.  Loud opinion, passion, aggressive obstacles, beauty, disregard, gossip, music, art, popular consumption, empty promises, amplified surface, hidden depths, bling, gestures, advertising, glum faces, abstract expressions, connection, happyville, disconnection… and creme eggs! (and the like)

Yes, “drive” is what gets things done, but a mindful drive might be more fruitful.

Perhaps Solomon said it first “diligence leads to riches as surely as haste leads to poverty” .

The beat of your heart – we are all too often picked up be a pseudo heartbeat, a pulse of the new. Rediscover your heart beat! …an ongoing, daily, or even hourly practice

RelaxKidsWhere your treasure is there is your heart also…

But the thing I wanted to share here is a book that I came across recently (thanks to Brian).

As you know AJ gets morning migraines fortnightly and we considered that the chemical imbalance might be mixed with a busyness, anxiety, eagerness thing. She’s like me and is often keen (anxious) to do, please, get done and achieve – this can become overwhelming without space and time-out. Both A and P enjoy these stories and visualisations and after a reading a the effect is notable.

Relax Kids: Aladdin’s Magic Carpet by Marneta Viegas

It’s a book of one-page relaxing visualisations (or ‘meditations’ if you want to get hippy) for kids. It’s specially written for children to help them explore and develop creativity and their personal imaginations. The visualisation stories are ideal for calming down at bedtime, but can be used at anytime of day. Designed to be read slowly to the kids, they are based on familiar tales, such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins or Treasure Island, etc. The themes are designed to help children in everyday life with and revolve around affirmations of protection, peace, freedom, strength, difference, confidence etc.

If you fancy stopping, relaxing and breathing… give it an ‘awareful’ try!

Beware… ideally mindfulness might lead to soulfulness.


Have a heart…

It’s an ongoing, daily, or even hourly practice!

Travelling, or indeed ‘being’, with a ‘mindful’ approach.

Mindful of ‘yourself’, mindful of ‘the space you inhabit’, mindful of ‘what you share’, and mindful of the ‘conflictus differentia’ that one encounters!

Where possible, I now cycle on the cycle-path if it’s available and usable. However, daily I need to join the stream of traffic when cycleways are not available.

20130321-215139.jpgTravelling with ‘the traffic’ (a passenger?), is quite a different prospect to simply travelling.
‘Being’ with the traffic, (the common consciousness?)is quite a different prospect to simple pilgrimatic being.

We are surrounded by ‘stuff’. The stream picks you up and you find yourself pulled by the “gotta get a double seat” milieu that surrounds you. Loud opinion, aggressive obstacles, disregard, covert gossip, music, art, popular consumption, empty promises, amplified surface, hidden depths, bling, gestures, advertising, glum faces, abstract expressions, connection, happyville, disconnection… and creme eggs! (and the like)

It’s taken me a long time, and I am not there yet, to truly move from a driverly approach to a new more ambulant(?), contented(?), endowed(?) perspective and outlook.

Yes, “drive” is what gets things done, but a mindful drive might be more fruitful.
“Every good tree bears good fruit” through a process of simple interaction, fecundity and growth.
Less haste and less speed!.
Perhaps Solomon said it first “diligence leads to riches as surely as haste leads to poverty” .
Creativity is most prevalent when one looks outside of the familiar (routine).

Mindfulness – stop, relax, breath.
The beat of your heart – we are all too often picked up be a pseudo heartbeat, pulse of the new.
The beat of the music, the media, the entertainment, the beat of information… it’s not our heartbeat, but often it takes over and we become part of it’s hypnotic ways.
Where your treasure is there is your heart also…

Rediscover your heart beat! an ongoing, daily, or even hourly practice!


holy habits?

JPRWhiteonWhiteOK ‘discipline’, again…

I like the idea of ‘soft discipline’ (it’s best if you), but dislike ‘hard discipline’ (you should). Don’t we all?

We all subscribe to cultural norms whether we buy the t-shirts or not, and in turn we all soft or hard
discipline ourselves to think in certain ways.

I shy away from many harder disciplines especially superstitious, ritualistic historical ways.

I guess there always has to be motive, or reason.

For the last few weeks I have made the decision to “shave my facial hair” almost daily (otherwise known
as my “shrew”). To be clean shaven – not something that I have made a habit of in the past.

I have been entertaining the idea of ‘habits that help focus the mind’.

This is not for aesthetic, religious, or practical reasons – but as a trigger to remind me of ‘mindfulness’.

At first this seemed an odd idea, but it has produced effect.

I can’t pinpoint what effect, but it’s “a decision”, a catalyst, that reminds and projects onto one’s world

It requires time and action. It’s a physical, visual, sensual and personal act. But what have I associated it

Attitude, worth, image, health, cleanliness, imperfection, routine…

As a single act it’s relatively meaningless, but when combined with other ambitions it seems to resonate.

It reminds you of growth, change, time, nature…

It reminds you of ablution, presentation, countenance…

It requires a daily decision, growth just happens…

To be wild, to sculpt an image, or to cleanse and routinely resolve towards clarity… ?

#holyhabits ?


talking to one’s self


Yes, here I am again, solitarily talking to myself.
Studies show that it’s a mental and physical form of release, justification and excitement.
Yes, I guess I do blog about myself, who else could I speak for?
Question is, where’s it taking me… more and more into an insular world of introspection?
Or is it a release for natural introspection, a purging of the essential contemplation? A contemplation that started when as a growing boy, I first realised that we are essentially alone. A moment, with stars, sky, sea and misplaced(?) instruction…
We all find ourselves somewhere on the introvert extrovert spectrum, some more polemic than others. I don’t think introversion is a crime, but it’s often perceived as such and it can be a weight.
In today’s society/community the extrovert is celebrated, championed and adored. We are expected to take part, join in and display.
A traditional organic community existed as a result of necessary relationships, necessary structures around work, religion and local commerce and trade. Today we find fabricated communities created as novelties and commodities, clubs, groups and lifestyle choices.
I feel there is still a great need for real community but real community does not readily fit with our individualistic, purchasable, ‘click and collect’ world.
My introspective nature generates guilt, when attempting to be part of ‘community’, one fails to entertain, failing to display value, failing to suspend disbelief.
In his book ‘Solitude’, Simon Parke talks about “the feeling that no one really cares what happens… an awareness that we lack close and meaningful contact with others, which produces feelings of being cut off from them.” and that “many people have been taught loneliness. We want our children to live active lives in the world, and so train them for activity. But if this is the only world they are taught to value, a world of external stimulation, they become alienated from themselves”
We teach our children and ourselves to be part of a collective consciousness but when that collective consciousness fails to be worthy, fails to perform, one has no value, we fail, we have no place. Solitude is a reality, loneliness is a symptom of a shallow ideal.
With solitude I can mindfully talk to myself.
With loneliness, talking to anyone, even oneself, can be hard even not possible.
Happy daze?



An unfocused time of year…


With plenty of expectation of… “we’re not sure what”, thoughts at this time of year can become a tad fraught.

I can’t focus my thought right now, ‘cos I’m thinking loads about something and something about loads and it’s all getting a tad pre-Christmasy and end-of-the-yeary…
Cards to write and send, insurance to sort, nativities to see, guests to please, friends to see, presents to arrange, wife to please, kids to educate, what did i promise?, animals to feed, bike to mend, money to save, try not to forget, try to remember, try to try, next year to put off…

Mindfulness gong! …and relax… !


I noticed the other day that social media posts about stuff, issues, opinions and the like, get “occasional comment”, but images of silly jingle-bell hats and reindeer costumes get bounteous “licks”.  Curious…

Perhaps instead of banging on about how this is this, and that’s that and OML whatever next, we should all just get festive and unfocus… ?

…or should we re-focus?



Addendum to the below:
What a load of rollocks I write. The old brain really does concoct some crap.
 Sunday evening, and just trying to sift the crap out of the way.
 There’s not much to it really is there? Tomorrow will bring what it brings, yesterday is past.
 My brain’s problem is it’s looking for something that’s not there. That’s art for you.
 I am breathing, I can taste flavour, I feel warmth, I can expect treasures, I have painted stones and walnut whip, slumbered children and a smile from the wife, popcorn tv, infotainment … breath…
 I am breathing, I feel warmth…

And so…

Recently mulling stuff about mindfulness; all’s well and good, but acceptance, tolerance and awakening are the watch words. At first glance a new perspective seems to deny confrontation, conflict, and argument, but how can one progress, create or develop through or around obstacles, with an ‘accepting’ attitude?
The bullish energy of selfishness and the quick-fix attitude of the post-modern ego seem stronger than the river of peace… Yes, the turbulence that the enthusiastic will can create, can cause storms and depressions, and the self might be lucky to realise that one’s ego and desire is limiting. Reality is often buried under constructions and stories. I love stories, I love creativity, but it seems too much of a good thing can crash the operating system.

Personally, a defragment, clean-up and review of subscriptions has worked wonders. Yes, the chemicals are still needed to keep the sparks firing. As Mr. H says, we all need specific clothes.
And so…
Clothed with what’s needed, with a mindful view of the stream, how do we tackle the debris, constructions and faults we perceive? Do we continue, solitary, with friends, on the low-road with views of the river? Do we venture to the heights with chosen weaponry? How do we love it?