Change, love it or hate it? It happens.

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” ― C. JoyBell C.

Do you love or hate change?

I don’t mean the word, I mean the fact that change happens. I think we are all pretty similar in that we are pretty adaptable to change so long as it occurs in increments and in a timescale that we feel comfortable with.

As opposed to those major gut-wrenching changes that sometimes happen, like separation, a change of career or perhaps death. I have yet to come across someone who is so opposed to change and wants everything to be exactly the same every day. Have you?

I think we adapt quite well to changes. I was reflecting back today.

I remember vividly the girls starting primary school. That first day, of getting up early, getting ready and being excited to go to “big school” at the age of 5. Six years follow. A routine is developed. Friendships created by them and by us as adults. Then suddenly that day arrives when they have to leave primary school and go to senior school. Tears and moments of joy. A summer holiday and then the journey starts again at senior school. Another six years of developing new friendships. Growing into young adults. Suddenly, the final year is upon us and a prom and exams are the focus on their minds. Another change and they start the sixth form.

In that same time period as parents, we have gone through changes as well.

We extended one house twice, with all the building works going on around us. We then moved house, – don’t ask why! Bought and sold four horses. Yes, four. I find it amazing I ever agreed to one, let alone four. I have changed jobs a number of times and started to define a new career path for myself along the way. I even had a midlife crisis and owned a boat and frightened myself witless learning how to captain it on one of the most challenging tidal rivers in the UK.   

When was the last time you took some time out to reflect on the changes that have gone on in your life? We live our lives going through huge amounts of change, often without even realising it.

As we experience a change in the moment that the change happens, we might feel fraught. Perhaps frightened. We might not want the change to happen. We might be angry that the change is happening. I learnt a trick a few years ago that has really helped me.

HELPFUL TIP: When you are going through a change period, take a few minutes to write down how you are feeling. The thoughts and worries that you might have. How you think others are reacting around you. I call this a Memory Note.

Then put the note you have written away. Somewhere safe, out of sight. Why?

Because you are not going to look at the note until the change is over. Sometimes when I have done this, I have even forgotten I wrote stuff down. Six months or more may pass and all of a sudden I’ll remember I wrote something. More recently, I have taken to put a reminder into my diary months ahead to remind me that I wrote something down and also where I hid it.

When the reminder comes up, I grab the notes and sit and read them. I then reflect on the feelings I have now as opposed to those that I might have written at the time. It certainly helps me to understand what I was feeling at the time and how I coped with the change. It also helps me understand and learn from the change. Maybe, next time there is a change going to happen in your life, you will give a Memory Note a try.

I leave you with the following quote:

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”  ― Maya Angelou

My reflections on the attitudes of Mindfulness

“The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.” ― Václav Havel

This is the last of the series on the seven attitudes that Jon-Kabat-Zinn developed and has stipulated are the basis for Mindfulness.

The practice of mindfulness is like cultivating a garden.

A garden flourishes when certain conditions are present. The right amount of light; water; ground conditions, but most important of all, how you, as the gardener, tends to the garden.

I have had many a perfect day in the garden, the kind of day that I hoped would never end. A day when the borders are bright with colour, and the perfect lawn grass and shrubs stand green against the blue sky. A day when there is a warm sweetness in the air while you prune and weed and plant out seedlings. It’s a kind of day that leaves you feeling calm, collected, and aware.

If you’ve ever had a day like this, there is a good chance you’ve achieved, at least for a few moments, the mental state known as mindfulness.

As I have gone through the seven attitudinal qualities, I have been trying to reflect my own practices, challenges and learnings. You might like to go back over the articles to review and reflect.

Keeping these attitudes in mind is part of the mindfulness training that you can go through either in a group eight week programme or even individually – as I did – or online. Keeping these attitudes in mind is a way of channelling our energies in the process of healing and growth. Remember too that they are interdependent. Each influences the other and working on one enhances them all.

One last thought, though. Jon, mentions two other attitudes that he has thought should be added to the previous seven. They are Gratitude and Generosity.

The video where Jon describes the Gratitude and Generosity attitudes can be viewed here:


I came across a wonderful article from Tiny Buddha on “Tending to Your Garden of Thoughts and Keeping Your Mind Weed-Free” which made me think further about the garden analogy.

I leave you with the following quote.

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience