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

Garlic and other things that eke out of you!

At a recent job interview I was asked to share the three most important things in my life and why. The interviewer pre-empted the conversation by clarifying there were no wrong answers. It was a means of getting to know me and what matters to me.

My responses came quickly to mind. The first two made sense immediately but the third was an interesting self-revelation.

The why for each took more time to consider as life experiences, changing contexts and time have both shaped and deepened my understanding of what is important to me.

Curiosity aroused. I genuinely want to hear how others answer this question. What is most important? Why?

And take the next personal growth step: What would those who know me well, say is most important to me?

That’s a ‘mirror’ question, a vulnerable moment of checking whether what I say, and how I live, are congruent.  Do I really live out of what I say is important to me, or does my everyday life, decisions and activities show something very different?

It’s like when you are on a peak hour crowded train squished next to a person who has recently consumed a garlic infused meal. It’s eking out of them if you know what I mean.  What’s really important to us is obvious to everyone around us even though we may well be oblivious.

“The things that matter stay with you, seep into your skin”
― Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train

Over the next few weeks of blogging, I’ll unpack what is important to me and why. I won’t mention them now, as I do not want to distract from the impact of the question on you.

Your response is the one that matters and as the interviewer at my job interview said, there are no wrong answers.

I look forward to hearing your responses, to hear if you have gone the next step and asked the ‘mirror’ question too.

“I made a promise never to let myself be deceived again. I would live for the important things in life.”
― Ivy Oakes, The Story of How We Met

Press the Pause Button

Reflective Retreats are for anyone who is weary of being thrown like a skipping stone across the surface of the water, wondering what would happen if you stopped and allowed yourself to slowly sink below the surface of life long enough to discover who you are, and what you are really designed for.
And despite your worst fears of being alone, abandoned or forgotten in the dark depths of the water, the reality is that when you know who you are and affirm your purpose, you are free to choose to live life at the pace and direction of your own choosing.
You are seriously only a ‘stone’s throw’ away from finding meaning and purpose.
Why be still? Why take time out to ‘retreat’?
Well I think you could definitely fill in the blanks, but here are a few very good reasons:
Rest, reflect, restore, contemplate, create, connect, clarify, disconnect, discover, design, oh and my favourite, just breathe.

On many of our guided retreats people have told us that they genuinely wondered how they would fill a day or weekend by themselves, just thinking, praying, etc. By the end of our retreats we regularly receive feedback of pleasant surprise and thankfulness for the gentle guidance and flexibility we offer to assist attendees to thoroughly enjoy the time.
Contact us at C-Change to help you and your partner/team/group plan a reflective retreat.
C-Change will design a retreat to suit your needs. You will be provided a framework for a personal/couple/group retreat to help you maximise this gift of time and space. We enjoy writing and tailoring the retreat to suit you.
Or you could have us facilitate a retreat where you are with your group or team. With COVID still impacting us we can only offer face to face retreats in our home state of Tasmania at this time.
Together, let’s discover the power of the rhythm of retreat as a means of changing your world.
Dianne Priest
C-Change Counsellor and Coach

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

Growing through awkward moments

Do you encounter ‘foot in mouth’ moments, where you sometimes over-compensate, over-think, over-react? You are not alone. Neither do these moments define or determine who you are. While these moments can often spiral you out of kilter with your values, faith, worth, meaning and purpose, God can and does use awkward moments to help us learn more of who He is and who we can be. This retreat will gently take you through these experiences with God. You are not alone and nothing is too hard for Him.

Please click here to download a PDF copy of the retreat for you to use and share.

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