Transformed Thinking

Love hopes and believes the best.

What we listen to affects

how we connect and relate

to ourselves and others.

We listen to lies about our self

Formed from frail humanity.

Freedom comes when we

Forgive, turn, face the Son

Leaving the past in the past!

We listen to lies about others;

Framed pictures of painful betrayals.

Freedom comes when fears

Are faced and we take heart

Finding both hope and healing.

For we finally understand,

We all listen to the same lies

And all will be healed

By the same truth.

“Father forgive them,

They do not know what they do.”

They live with lies, shaping a reality

Giving brittle illusions of power,

Control, protection, connection.

We reject what we most fear.

Therefore, we first reject ourselves.

The pain of deep disconnection

More than any can bear.

We become a city divided,

Defeated, destroyed.

The gate is unhinged,

Open and torn

As we, with broken hearts,

Hide in a corner dark and small

Afraid to step forward

To claim what is ours,

Our birthright

As sons and daughters of the King.

We are never alone, not ever!

What a comfort He brings

The great “I am,”

The Lover of my soul.

It’s no longer I that live,

but Christ that lives in me!

He died to set me free!

Di Priest ©C-Change 2007

The Best Season

Ten thousand flowers in spring,
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life. Wu-Men

From when the boys were little my husband and I had a habit of going in and checking on them each night before we went to bed. We would stand together at the foot of their beds and just enjoy watching them in peaceful sleep. Every time, we’d whisper to each other, ‘I wish they’d stay this age, it’s just perfect.’ But each year would roll by and we found ourselves wishing they’d stay the same in every delightful stage of their lives, except maybe late teens when we started going to bed before they did cause we could no longer keep the pace.

But I do remember that beautiful sense of enjoying them, loving them and celebrating the season and stage of life they were at, every year. It changed constantly, of course, but we loved the learning, the growing, the adventures, the discoveries, the ups and the downs and still do.

But there were many times and seasons when my mind was clouded by ‘unnecessary’ things and I, like many busy working parents, found myself struggling with anxiety, shame and guilt which blocked my vision, trapped me in damaging mind loops and left me weary to the bone.

In these times of loss of flow, hope and clear thinking I found my mentors to be life changing. I valued their fly on the wall perspective, their gentle but provocative questions, their support as I learned to let go of faulty thinking and their genuine desire to see me enjoy life to the full.

If you are clouded by ‘unnecessary’ and necessary things and desire to re-gain perspective and find the beauty in each season I encourage you to seek out a coach/mentor who can help you see that this could be the best season of your life.

There is a gift in everything if only we’ll see it.

Silence and Solitude

Two words that can spark dread and dismissal or evoke a deep response of anticipation and acceptance.

I vacillate somewhere between the two responses, knowing in my head that silence and solitude are helpful for me to choose from time to time just like the slack tide in the river that momentarily ceases its ebb and flow.

This year of COVID-19 created a ‘slack tide’ season that once accepted, became helpful. I’ve noticed the value of quality time, listening and enjoying connecting with family and friends. I’ve noticed a greater awareness of the inner life, what motivates, inspires, frightens or hinders me.

I’ve noticed a growing acceptance and love for others. I no longer require them to always understand, or agree with me, or even be like me.

I’ve noticed a deeper faith in an unchanging good God who speaks gently into my life with patient wisdom.

How has this season impacted you? Have you observed changes within, priorities shifting, relationships deepening? Have you found new ways to engage in the beauty of silence and solitude as a means of bringing balance to the strong currents defining life?

A friend has enjoyed additional time of solitude in the garden, planting, pruning, tending, watering. Another friend has enjoyed the time of silence while knitting, sitting in a chair looking at the ever changing sky as she quietly prays for her family. For me it has been writing and photography as I have soaked into the natural beauty of my home state.

This has been a season of ‘unforgetting’, finding new strength, purpose and hope. How has it been for you?

The journey of unforgetting

I forgot I love to play the flute, breathing, creating, flowing, soaring.

I forgot I love being in the music.

I forgot I love the simple pleasure of following a mountain ridge with my eye and noticing every curve, buttress, cliff and fold.

I forgot I love noticing the moment.

I forgot I love the warmth of a fire on my face as I wrap my hands around a warm cup of tea.

I forgot I love being comforted.

I forgot I love the sun shining through a window on a beautiful vase of flowers, revealing shimmering colour and curves of amazing design.

I forgot I love beauty.

I forgot I love watching a farmer on his motorbike with his working dog chasing, herding, delighting in being together, taking a moment for an affectionate pat and wag of tail.

I forgot I love being appreciated for my work.

I forgot how green the grass, how deep blue the mountains, how vibrant the golden hour at end of day

I forgot the power of choosing silence and solitude

Di Priest

C-Change © 2020

Finding home in the heart

‘What I love most about my home is who I share it with.’ Tad Carpenter

Some years ago, one of our sons was asked how he coped with the many house moves his parents made over the years.  His response came immediately and straight from his heart. ‘Home is wherever mum and dad are.’

I don’t think my husband and I ever planned to live semi nomadic lives, it just happened out of a mix of necessity and who we are.

We enjoy discovering beauty in all places and meeting people from all walks of life.

We are drawn to people and their stories of faith, hope and love. Stories that inspire, provoke and add to our understanding of what it means to be human.

We treasure those who have trusted us and felt at home with us wherever we are.

Thomas Merton says,We’re called to give our hearts to the world, but first we have to have our hearts in our own possession. We cannot give to others what we ourselves don’t possess.”

The journey for us as ‘happy wanderers’ has been to daily learn to be at home in our own hearts.

Learning the ways of giving and receiving, owning when we are hurting others, celebrating when we are part of the solution. Learning to listen to ourselves and to others without prejudice and judgement. Learning when to accept, forgive, and love well. Learning how to let go of fixing, advising, setting straight and respectfully refusing to accept other’s attempts to do so.

Learning ultimately to allow our gentle and good God to make His home in our hearts. This is still an unfolding mystery and the greatest adventure of our lives.

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its home in you. ― Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

What does ‘me time’ look like?

I remember some years ago taking time out for a weekend away by myself. Away from my normal routine of washing, house cleaning, attending sporting events for our three active sons and all the other fun activities that crowd out a weekend before Monday returns with a dull thud.
Ah, a wonderful weekend of peace and quiet in a friend’s shack, all made possible after much planning, negotiating, list leaving and reminding myself, it’s not all up to me.
My first hurdle was at the supermarket on the way to my ‘retreat’. I walked up and down the aisles aware of a struggle to know what to buy for myself. I was so sure of what everyone else in the household liked but I had no clues as to what ‘treats’ or ‘staples’ I wanted for myself.
It was one of those funny moments of awareness that just maybe, I really needed this quiet weekend away, if nothing else just to remind myself of what I want to eat when I’m not focused on feeding the hungry hordes and their mates.
“Me time has gone out the door and I’m not sure when or how to get it back,” said a friend recently who was juggling working from home, supervising her children’s schooling and trying to get through a list of home projects because it seemed like a great idea at the time.
Would love to hear your answers to these questions as we consider more ways to bring healthy change to our lives.

  • What is ‘me time’ for you?
  • How do you re-charge the batteries?
  • How do you create those small but essential spaces in a day, week and/or month to re-acquaint yourself with your own needs, wants, feelings, interests and just cause moments?

And I must add that ‘me time’ does not mean just sleeping, pleasant as though that may be for some who are weary from the daily duties of life, and then some.

And my final question:

  • When was the last time you had some serious, high quality, replenishing, ‘me time’?(Photo of Paisley – Pipe Clay Lagoon 2020)

Numbing or Nurturing – Habits for Change

I’ve begun to notice during this time of ‘glorious isolation’, my tendency to choose numbing strategies to cope with the lingering anxiety that lurks just under the surface of my ‘she’ll be right when I can see the light at the end of this tunnel’ demeanour.

Now there is nothing wrong with watching a re-run of Friends while nibbling on chocolate and downing a glass of smooth red. You’ll certainly not be judged by me on that one or similar options.

My lazy brain just loves to, take the soft option, ease my load (perceived of course) and excuse the need to slow the already slow pace.

Yep, here comes the but!

But I’ve begun to note that ‘numbing’ strategies while offering short term reprieve can become longer term bad habits with consequences I genuinely don’t want. That causes concern as I begin to normalise and justify the ‘need’ to numb down to cope with this season.

What I lose, is well-being, satisfaction, confidence and so much more.

Lately, in response to this pattern I’ve begun to remember some activities that tend to ‘nurture’ rather than ‘numb’ in this season.

For me, walking, reading (OK, wine may be involved) photography, writing, gardening, feeding the chooks and digging for worms with them, actually nourishes me. I don’t feel quite so defeated. I’ve begun to remember what I really enjoy doing, what gives me joy, purpose and meaning.

Building ‘nurturing’ activities into my day (because I’m worth it) engages my brain and gives me a stronger sense of value.

Before you ‘return to normal’ whatever that may be, my question to you is:

Have you noticed what ‘numbs’ and/or ‘nurtures’ you and what will you take forward into the new season just around the corner? Remember – you are worth it.