The benefit of the doubt

The benefit of the doubt

‘We’re all in the same storm but we’re not all in the same boat.’

This quote is a lovely reminder that every person’s experience is unique to them in every moment.

Through the Daily Gathering and other conversations I’m noticing how, whatever the circumstances: very busy, houseful, working from home with adult children returned or young children. Income disappearing or threatened; furloughed; retired; physically unwell; physically fit there is something obvious but easy to overlook: we are all having ups and downs, regardless of our circumstances.

It’s good to notice how, when we feel irked and frustrated then the world looks annoying and difficult (and our stress looks bigger and more important than everyone else’s); when we feel relaxed and content then we tend to have more perspective, humour and tolerance. We don’t tend to focus on the past or future too much and simply go about our day, finding it easier to deal with what comes up or able to wait until a solution occurs.

When we’re out of sorts, we tend to be more reactive and that looks different for different people. Some get spiky, loud and aggressive; some go quiet and hide, some lose focus and get weepy. Some do that to a large degree; others to a lesser degree.

The point?

Going in and out of different states of mind is entirely normal and is not a result of this pandemic. It happens anyway, all the time, to everyone.

It may look as though you are more up and down just now and that may seem to be the result of the pandemic but actually it may simply be that things that have always been true are becoming more visible to you.

Things like certainty. You may have feelings of anxiety and panic which look tied to the loss of certainty around eg income, plans or visiting family members.

Yet all our lives we have come up against things that didn’t go to plan. Mostly, after we’ve got over our upset or disappointment, something occurs to us which helps us navigate the new situation. It’s good to remember we have this innate capacity to deal with what arises, once our mind settles down. s

That can lead to noticing that things were never really certain, we just liked to believe they were. In fact, certainty around anything (except death and taxes) is an illusion.

That can be pretty uncomfortable if you’re wellbeing looks tied to your income or your plans or your time with family.

When, however, you get a glimpse of how your experience is constantly fluctuating from relaxation to tension, feelings of hope to feelings of irritation and everything in between, you might begin to wonder how your feeling state could possibly be a measure of your wellbeing, given how arbitrary and changeable it is, regardless of the circumstances.

What if there is something unaffected by any particular state of mind you might be experiencing? What if there is wellbeing at your core that is not subject to your moods or external circumstances?

As we get curious about that, we start to notice when we’re relaxed, curious and open, life feels easier, solutions occur to us, we can find joy in the small and ordinary moments of life.

We get less fascinated by what we might happen to be feeling in any given moment and more interested in what powers this whole thing called human experience.

That exploration can lead to feeling more grounded, more able to experience ups and downs with less suffering, doing less harm to yourself and others and finding unexpected joy and peace in the midst of the most unusual circumstances.

You know this at some level.

When the world looks and feels crazy to you, something is calling you home to a deeper understanding of your essence.

So really this is just to say, give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt. We all do and say daft things when we’re agitated and the world looks bleak when we’re down.

But like the weather in the UK, the dark clouds pass and the sun comes out again at some point. Knowing that, can help us weather the ups and downs without getting too stuck into our clouded (distorted) points of view.

Knowing things will look less daunting in time and we’ll suffer less if we can leave our negative thinking alone and just go about our day as best we can.

In the meantime, I love the Irish saying,

‘A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures’

Happy weekend!

Reflections on loss

Reflections on loss

Photograph © Juliet Fay San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge 5.30pm Thursday 19 March 2020

Author’s note: I’m now safely back in the UK, and in a period of 14 days of self-isolation, though feeling fine.

As is I sit at Gate 6 tonight waiting to board one of the few flights departing San Francisco, bound for London, the mood is subdued. It’s a ghost town.

The lack of tannoy announcements emphasises just how severe the curtailment of air travel has been in so very few days. A shadow of its former self, the daily commute over San Francisco bridge had melted away.

At the airport, face masks and gloves are common on staff and passengers. A little more distance is offered and sought. The much loved hum of a busy transport hub is eerily absent.

Tears today as I leave my love in California, not knowing when we’ll see each other again. Wanting to stay yet knowing it’s time to go (while it’s still possible).

Feeling such gratitude for all the unseen hands that made this journey possible: the gentle telephone operator at British Airways, the staff at the airport and the crews who are taking so many of us home.

Suddenly so many in the frontline are becoming visible to us all

Yesterday my 16 year old daughter called me, in shock at the announcement of school closure and the sudden cancellation of the summer exams.

Something she, and many like her, sitting milestone exams have focused on for many months. She was in a turmoil, as were her friends. The future they’ve imagined dissolved by the utterance of a few words carried on the airwaves from a distant seat of government, just one of the myriad responses to a threat we cannot see.

It reminded me of when I lost my father suddenly 20 years ago. ‘Your father has died’; four small words whispered into my just waking ear, and my world spun, dissolved and I lost two weeks as my mind tried to catch up with the new reality that didn’t include my Dad.

I’m struck by how we are collectively reeling from loss upon loss, as the world we know transforms before our eyes. And this will continue. We are losing loved ones, mobility, function, jobs, routines, pay packets, income, contracts, goals, freedoms, trips, hugs, closeness, autonomy; we are losing our certainties and the security of our imagined futures.

And this can feel scary, like being in free-fall

And you begin to see that loss is a universal human experience from the seemingly minor; losing keys to what we consider major losses, like redundancy and bereavement. The emotions we feel at times of loss can be heightened, contradictory and obey no rhyme or reason.

Feelings of shock, disbelief, numbness, anger, despair, frustration, black humour, hopelessness and profound, heart wrenching sadness tumble through in no particular order. We catch our breath at the force of the waves of emotion crashing under our ribs.

And I am seeing anew the wisdom of our body mind system in the face of what can feel like a ceaseless battery of loss.

When our minds shut down, it is wisdom gently and beautifully saying ‘enough’ with trying to think your way through this. You can’t.

The body wisdom takes over to give your poor system a much needed breather. When tears fall at the security gate, the body is releasing pent up emotion that wants only to wash through. When the noise of unexpectedly ‘at home’, arguing children feels unbearable and you get propelled outside to breathe the cool night air, that is wisdom nudging you to minimise harm in the moment and give you a mini refresh.

When tempers flare and fights break out over toilet rolls in the aisles, or cereal at breakfast time, that too is a kind of wisdom, the misdirected survival instinct grabbing onto what looks like it would bring some comfort and security in these times of blindly charting the unknown territory ahead. The power surging through our systems, reminding us forcefully that we’re alive and being alive is a precious gift.

In some of the programmes I’ve delivered at a local mental health charity, loss is a recurring theme, but so too is renewal. As we adapt to living without the thing, function, person or imagined future we held so dear (and let’s admit, took for granted often), something gently beckons our attention.

It is the space that holds the loss. As we loosen our grip on the loss, our focal-length changes and the space comes into view. It is the space of the not yet known, the space of possibility, the space of infinite wisdom. The space where something new can flourish and grow.

And something new, always, always begins with a fresh thought

Throughout our lives, we have faced loss after loss and sometimes, without us even noticing that loss is transmuted into something achingly beautiful.

In the stinging freshness of raw loss, like lemon juice in a cut, we can’t conceive how this event could feel anything other than piercingly painful and yet, and yet our minds refresh our perspective again and again sometimes over years until one day, we think of the loss with gratitude and tenderness, as the kaleidoscope of experience is seen from the distance of months or years and its wondrous pattern is revealed.

And too, among the losses we think we cannot bear, we notice losses that leave us lighter of heart. Losing grudges, bitterness, jealousy, resentments, worrying, comparing, judging, criticising, competing, self-importance, fascination with our selves and being constantly offended or outraged. Finding the trivial and petty gently releasing its grip on us. These things lose their importance as the bigger picture comes into sharp relief.

And in their place we discover a new found kindness, compassion, humour, warmth and wonder spontaneously arising at this being human business.

And it gradually dawns on us we never did have control and our futures were never certain, we just told ourselves they were.

And while we have been going about our days, every day, millions have been experiencing loss and renewal over and over again. Because this is the nature of life.

These losses, the gentle falling away of beliefs, concepts and ideas that keep us grasping blindly for certainties that do not exist, these are the treasures. These are gifts. Like scales falling from our eyes, they enable us to feel our shared humanity, our intimate interconnectedness.

As our sense of separation recedes, the world can transform before our eyes

And transforming it is.

As the world’s foot eases back on the accelerator of intense human activity we notice losses we can marvel at: the loss of air pollution letting great swathes of urban populations breathe easier; the loss of noise pollution, as that background cacophony subsides, we notice birdsong and the sigh of wind in the trees; as the waterways of Venice are recovering from years of pollution, stories of sparkling clear water; as the rush of the commute grinds to a halt, couples, families, neighbours and communities are discovering each other, as if for the first time.

And as with any adjustment, at first it may be bumpy, but as we collectively re-set, we may uncover something extraordinarily beautiful in the ordinariness of just being, being alive, loving each other, helping each other, caring for the earth and all its creatures.

We are already seeing things that looked inconceivable just last week (some countries are ahead of others with this, but surely more will follow?): financial support for the vulnerable, sharing of resources more equitably, care for those who are scared, failing, lonely or sick. Businesses turning their resources towards the common good, people offering their skills, time, expertise or funds to help others.

A collective reset on what we value: the carers, the teachers, the healthcare workers, the trash collectors, the childcare providers, the farmers and growers, the volunteers, the millions of helpers who have always been there. And that’s just in the short term.

A volunteer working on our organic veg box scheme in the 1990s, wisely observed (having grown up in Chile):

‘the two most undervalued roles in the Western world are: raising children and growing food; yet they are fundamental to life’.

Volunteer Tony

Perhaps that is about to change.

Imagine what this upheaval and loss may open up in the longer term. New ways of working; new types of economies, new ways of caring for ourselves, each other and our planet.

Now at this time of accelerated loss, let’s collectively join hands in virtual solidarity as we open our hearts and eyes wide to the grief yes, but also to the unimaginable vastness of the unknown which has always been before us.

We like to make up certainties because we imagine that way safety lies. Those certainties obscure the fact that your next moment to moment experience is entirely unknown and up for grabs. Not what’s going to happen out there but what your ever changing experience is inside.

And change does not have to take years or be hard.

Innovation is the offspring of chaos

And what initiates innovation? Simply, a new thought that takes you not just to an adjustment but to an as yet unknown reality that can arrive in the mind of a person or a group in the blink of an eye.

And innovation creates its own momentum. Instead of seeing reasons why not, we begin to see possibilities we never imagined.

Now is not the time for timid steps, but for giant leaps of faith

As those certainties dissolve, we may discover in the midst of our grief, something extraordinary and yet so simple. Something we’ve always known.

Certainties are false idols

They do not provide the security we crave. That comes from within. From a deep knowing that we are intimately and intricately connected to all life. A knowing that what arises in us and through us comes from a far greater intelligence than we can comprehend.

A knowing that life is a mystery and that’s what makes it so profoundly awe inspiring. Knowing too that change is the only constant. Experience is life in motion. All the ups and downs, highs and lows, that’s what life is, a wild ride and we are asked simply to surrender to it.

Feeling the pull, following the thread of what our hearts know is true, grounds us into a quiet knowing, a knowing that ‘all shall be well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well’ (Julian of Norwich) even as we grip the rails for this white knuckle ride. When it neither looks nor feels okay.

As we begin to wonder at what powers us, and all life, we begin to see certainties are nothing more than a figment of our imagination. Let’s face it: sometimes things work out as we planned; mostly they don’t. In the end, there is nothing but this present moment.

The past has gone; the future will never happen. The present is all you can ever lose

As we reel from loss upon loss, take heart dear ones, open your heart to all of it: the outrageous grief, the disbelief, the dismay the howling hysterics as toddlers, teenagers and adults with jangled nerves throw tantrums right, left and centre and let those things course through you like the storms they are.

And as they subside, let your heart overflow with the unbearable tenderness of memories of loved ones, moments of raucous laughter, sunlight falling on the kitchen sink and inappropriate belly laughs that lighten the weight of fear.

And notice, just there, just out of focus is a sense of peace, amid the cacophony of unchained emotion. Look to it.

Know that all this is just the ride, not the essence of what we are. Take your time, be gentle, wrap yourself in love and more love; care for yourself as if you were indeed just getting over ‘the flu’.

As I sit, high above the clouds in an Airbus flying over Greenland, appreciating the magic and the mayhem of air travel (and wondering how the industry may evolve), I recall the lovely story of the Chinese farmer. This is how I remember it….

There was once a poor Chinese farmer who had a horse he used to plough his field. One day, the horse escaped and ran away. The farmers’ neighbours rushed round when they heard the news and said, ‘how terrible!’ The Chinese farmer replied,

“We’ll see”

The next day, the farmer heard the sound of hooves approaching. His horse had returned bringing with him a wild horse. The farmer opened the gate and in they came. When his neighbour’s heard about this great good fortune, they came rushing round to see the new horse. ‘How wonderful’, they said. The Chinese farmer replied,

“We’ll see”

The following day, the farmer’s son, excited by the arrival of the wild horse, decided to try and ride it. The horse bolted and the young man was thrown to the ground, breaking his leg in the fall. The neighbours, eager to commiserate at this terrible bad luck, came to visit saying, ‘how awful, what will you do?”. The Chinese farmer replied

“We’ll see”

The country was at war and the very next day the local recruiting officer arrived to conscript the young men from the village. The Chinese farmer’s son was not fit for duty and so they passed him over. The neighbours heard the news, and were eager to congratulate the farmer on his good fortune. But the Chinese farmer replied, you guessed it,

“We’ll see”

Wishing you all well at this time.

Love Juliet

Afterword: As I opened my front door after 24 hours of travel, I marvelled at how the inspiration to write this came through and occupied me on and off through the long, long journey, away from my love, towards home. The kindness of wisdom can be breathtaking. 

Fresh Thought

Fresh Thought

Fresh Thought

First artwork created November 2019, acrylic on canvas.

Finding a discarded canvas in my daughter’s bedroom. Erasing the pencil marks. Excited to pick up a paint brush and create an artwork.

A birthday gift for someone I love.

Living on the estuary, the movement of the tides is a backdrop to my life reminding me that everything changes. Moods, thoughts, inspiration ebbs and flows.

If right now, isn’t appealing, it’s okay, there’ll be fresh thought along at some point.

© Artwork: ‘Fresh Thought’ Juliet Fay 2019

Boggarts (and other difficult people)

The Boggart appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, one of the series of books about the boy wizard Harry Potter by J K Rowling. In these books, a Bogart is a shape shifting spirit that will appear disguised as your worst fear.

Often hidden, it will burst out when you least expect it. To ‘overcome’ your initial terror, Harry and his friends learn from Professor Remus Lupin to use a Riddikulus charm to change the appearance of the Bogart into something less fearful or ridiculous. Neville, a particularly nervous pupil, tries out the spell, re-dressing the Bogart (who’s appeared as his nemesis Professor Snape) in a green silk gown, bonnet and high heels. The comedy breaks the grip of terror.

Like a Boggart, difficult people seem to pop up in our lives and disturb us (and sometimes hang around a LONG time). I wanted to share my ever evolving understanding of this topic, as it often come up in sessions I facilitate.

At first it can look as if the difficult person needs to change for us to find peace. Or perhaps we just want rid of that person. Because they are SO difficult and annoying.

Perhaps, we sense, we may have something to do with our experience of the difficult person

If we have some inkling that our experience of the difficult person is actually all ours and nothing to do with the person in question, we might realise at one level that we are dealing with ‘difficult thinking’ about the person which gives us the experience of a difficult person. Rather than an actual difficult person. After all other people get along with this person perfectly well.

However if this is more theoretical than felt or realised, we might still wrestle with this experience, and innocently reach for a better ‘story’ to rid us of our uncomfortable feelings.

Different stories come in all shapes and sizes, like:-

He/she doesn’t communicate well

He/she is having a hard time/has problems/has had a hard life etc etc

He/she is over-reacting

He/she is so judgemental

He/she is so negative

He/she is an a**!#%#e

He/she just can’t get over it

Or if you’ve been around the Principles understanding for a while it can come out in more subtle story making:-

It is just his or her thinking

They are not self-aware

I did the best I could

They did the best they could

They must be suffering, it must be so hard to be them

Subtle and sneaky: ways we try to avoid discomfort

These are all subtle ways we seek to avoid the discomfort we are experiencing that seems to be about this difficult person. It’s like dressing up the Bogart in different clothes to force quit our experience of difficulty. 

But why would we avoid feeling discomfort? What’s the big deal about feeling uncomfortable? If we now that it is temporary and inherently unreliable as an indicator of anything other than our state of mind, why would it bother us to feel uncomfortable?

And yet …. it’s very seductive, this ‘making a better story’, easing ourselves away from discomfort.

But this is where we’ve got the wrong end of the stick (again!).

While we are busy story making, we are moving further and further away from engaging in our experience (uncomfortable though it may be) and seeing the heart of the other person.

Both of which are far more interesting and less draining than the endless merry go round of story making. Which, you remember was all about not being uncomfortable. 

Let’s look at what can happen…… 

We have a story about something that happened: say a ‘difficult’ person didn’t answer an email and ……… we don’t like that.

So we make a story about why they didn’t answer the email.

e.g. they don’t care about us, they don’t like us, we don’t matter, why don’t they give us an answer, they’re so annoying, etc etc then we can begin to add more layers to try and come up with a story that feels better.

So the story goes round and round, with more flesh being added to the bones e.g. they always do this, why are they such hard work, how am I supposed to make arrangements when they don’t answer etc etc. We move from blame to judgement to self-judgement and back again. Before we know it we have moved into a movie of our own creation where we play the aggrieved party and the other plays the offending party (or we take turns).

What’s interesting about this, is that by the time we actually make contact, we have already written the scene with our part and the other person’s part laid out ready. So we’ll be resentful and hurt, they get a blast of judgement even before any words are exchanged and they are likely to be either off hand, defensive or equally hurt and so it goes on.

Lights, camera, action!

You get the picture. We create a story and hey presto, if we don’t see what’s going on, it happens again and again in ever more resourceful and imaginative scenes where hurt, slights, misunderstanding and counter hurt, play out on endless repeat.

Next time you catch yourself feeling hurt, offended, jealous, bewildered or uncomfortable and it looks like it is because of someone else, check out how cranked up your story making machine is.

Before the story completely takes over, what happens if you pause and just feel the discomfort rather than trying to avoid it?

If you truly know that it is not created by the other person, it’s more likely that you’ll have the wherewithal to pause. When that subsides (as it will, of its own accord, if you leave it be), see what else arises? What’s new?

The stories we make up about our ‘difficult people’ are fascinating

They reach back into the past for evidence and predict the future based on the past. They leave no room for people (including yourself) to be as they are. Have you noticed how you’re not relaxed and easy when you finally get in front of the ‘difficult’ person?

When we meet someone in a story like this we’ve made up, we only ever get to experience that story, not the actual living breathing person in front of us.

If we use these stories to try and take decisions in the present, they are pretty much guaranteed to backfire. They’re not helpful. They’re based on a simulation of that person that is entirely self-created, like an avatar in a computer game. Have you noticed how your difficult person has no redeeming features, their every action is suspect and they become like a cartoon baddie? Irredeemable. 

It’s very human to do this.

We are, after all, story making machines. And even knowing what you know, something ‘bigger’ will likely crop up that looks entirely and utterly as if your experience is coming from someone (or somewhere) else. Go easy on yourself. In this case…..

Love will do if understanding is absent

But if you can see it in action, you get curious: though better stories might be appealing, there is something beyond all the stories.

If for one moment you can step out of the story and simply breathe and open to the heart of the person in front of you, the invitation is there for both of you to have a new experience.

Without the script from the story, you can simply be interested in who is in front of you in that moment. Like a stranger you meet on a train journey when you have all the time in the world and as they begin to speak, you find yourself curious and fascinated by who this person is, what their experience is. You forget yourself as you get immersed in this exchange.

And in this space, what you experience might surprise you.

And what about the ‘easy’people?

Funnily enough, you might notice, with the ‘easy’ people in your life, the stories you carry about them are very sparse.

You just love them. Enjoy them. You don’t endlessly analyse their words and actions. You don’t tend to worry about them. You don’t mind if you don’t see them. When you think of them, there’s a warm feeling. You love their foibles and funny little ways. When you’re with them it’s fun and easy whether you’re doing the dishes or dining out.

Notice with the difficult people (especially when this feels like a long standing problem), there is a mountain of thinking. You analyse things they said and chew over things they failed to do or say. And it comes with uneasy feelings. If only they would give you want you want: a fair hearing, understanding, love, acceptance?

You aren’t meeting them in the here and now, you are meeting them in chapter four of the block buster novel you wrote about them.

Until you see the story for what it is – a huge great bundle of thought – you are destined to experience only the person you made up and not the living breathing being in front of you.

Funnily enough, the love and understanding you so desperately want from the ‘difficult’ person are likely the very same things you are denying yourself in some aspect of your life.

Nowhere is this easier to miss than in your own story.

Which chapter are you stuck in?

The one where things never work out; where it’s better to be alone rather than risk getting hurt; the one where you’re too old or too young to do what you dream of doing; the one where you blew it and there’s no get out of jail card; the one where you are too depleted from illness, disappointment, loss, heartache or chronic conditions or the one where other people’s expectations and demands are too crushing? It’s so easy for this to look and feel true.

If you see it for what it is. You can turn the page and open to what is. Go from there. And who knows what might happen.

I love the story of the Bogart and the pink frilly gown. While the Bogart looks real, dressing it up in a pink frilly gown might be temporarily helpful. However, until you see the Bogart for what it really is – a figment of your imagination – made of thought – it will keep appearing attached to so called ‘difficult’ people, difficult situations, difficult memories, or difficult imaginings about the future. When one bows out, a new one will be ready and waiting to play the part.

When you see it for what it is, the Bogart diminishes of its own accord and what remains is the essence of your experience (whatever or whoever it is): that essence is love and beauty. Anything else is opinion, judgement, belief ~ in short, a story.

While there is no magic wand for seeing the illusory nature of thought, in the case of a difficult person or any other so called difficulty, if we have glimpsed the understanding that all of our experience comes via the Power of Thought then we can at least, look away from the story and get curious about the awesome creativity of that Power and what lies beyond it.

As ever thank you to those I am in conversation with. This article was inspired by a recent group and various conversations I’ve had recently. It occurred to me to write this and in doing so, I have seen deeper into my own stories. It is a joy to be in this conversation. If you are interested to join me in conversation please contact me.

When I find myself in times of trouble

When I find myself in times of trouble

When I find myself in times of trouble……

When troubles seem to be on our back, it can lead to frantic activity or paralysis or yo-yo-ing between the two. The state of the world in particular is a place where it looks like we can be flung about on a roller coaster of emotions from denial to anger to deep gloom, grief or a sense of panic and urgency. 

My own journey with climate change began in the 1990s. Getting involved in organic farming led to finding out a great deal about soil and the changing state of the planet.

Busy raising and processing organic food, I didn’t feel I had the capacity to take on the bigger picture but I felt the fear associated with the ‘armageddon narrative’. Even back then in the early 2000s I felt how disempowering it could be to just consume that information without having some creative response or outlet.  

What I didn’t realise back then is, whether the troubles look internal (my mental health difficulties) or external (climate change); tiny (I’ve run out of coffee) or insurmountable (rising temperatures), our experience of them is always coming via the power of Mind, Thought and Consciousness (even when it doesn’t look like it). 

How does that help, especially with the ‘big’ stuff?

It helps because we begin to see how changeable the mind is. How unreliable ‘reactivity’ is in giving us information about ourselves, others or the world and how when we look towards the source of our experience.

How there is an infinite supply of new thoughts, fresh ideas, new perspectives when we get less fascinated with our personal thought dramas and more interested in what is constant (the flow of thought).

It won’t stop us feeling the whole dynamic and diverse range of feelings but an understanding of what is going on helps us allow those feelings to roll through knowing there is a deeper wisdom at play and to take the next step (whatever that may be) with more ease and less angst.

In these times, we need more innovation, connection and love

And more people out in the world who can bring that example to every day life. What helps us do this, for ourselves, our loved ones, in our workplaces, communities and in the wider world, is a deeper understanding of our true nature.
Gathering with others who are looking in this direction is nourishing and nurtures that reflective, relaxing and deepening gratitude for being alive. Something we begin to look to more and more, in times of trouble or not. 

Experiencing for ourselves how practical ideas and solutions show up in real time lays the groundwork for a deeper knowing that we can get into life and take the actions that occur to us from that more solid sense of what’s next.

Knowing that in an enraged state of mind we will, of course find more things to rail against. From a state of hopelessness: the challenges will seem overwhelming.

It’s not that we can necessarily ‘snap out of’ those states but we get less enamoured of them, trust them less, judge them less and as this happens we get more discerning about when to pause, when to rest, when to reflect, when to gather information, when to cease from consuming, when to act, when to make changes, when to reach out to others, when to retreat into silence, when to mourn.

As we get better at tuning into a deeper wisdom, we can’t but get better at nurturing others and the planet we share and responding to what shows up (whatever that may be) with more resilience, love and clarity. 


Juliet Fay is a 3 Principles Facilitator & Mental Health Educator facilitating healing conversations via poetry, illustration, walk ‘n talk, group programmes and 1:2:1 mentoring sessions. She lives in a small village on an estuary in West Wales and works in her local community, at a mental health charity and online.

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