Comforting Thought

Comforting Thought

Bite-sized comfort and spirituality in a turmultuous world

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Comforting Thought: We should allow ourselves to receive love and care from others

Paradoxically, letting go sometimes means allowing ourselves to receive love and care from others. Our can-do culture has made many of us believe that we should always be self-sufficient. Somewhere along the way we also get the message that asking for help is a sign of weakness. We often forget that we’re interdependent creatures whose…

Comforting Thought: Regard yourself as a cloud

“Regard yourself as a cloud in the flesh; because, you see, clouds never make mistakes. Then through this capacity you will develop a kind of confidence … you will be able to trust your own intuition.” Alan Watts

Comforting Thought: Rough Diamonds

Abandoned sites and places that are not aesthetically pleasing can teach us a more sophisticated way of looking at the natural environment, not in terms of the picturesque, or even the care of which it has been tended, but with an eye upon ecological virility.

Comforting Thought: Keeping Together in Time

As I have always know intuitively: movement, dance and physicality of our bodies is the key to unlocking connection with other people and our connection to our inner feelings and true self. This was an incredibly powerful insight from ‘The Body Keeps the Score.’ This is why yoga feels good, cycling feels good, sex feels…

Comforting Thought: Soft Fascination

We pay attention differently when we are in nature. This is called ‘soft fascination’ The great 19th century thinker William James (brother of novelist Henry James) proposed that there are two ways of paying attention. The first is voluntary and directed, which is used for tasks that demand concentration. For example doing work, walking along…

Comforting Thought: The interconnectedness of all living things

Everything in its right place One feels keenly the sense of interconnectedness of all living things: a sense of everything being in its right place. This is biology as teleology, rainforest as pocketwatch fallen open on the path- but instead of the hand of God crafting its workings, coevolution is the force by which the…

Comforting Thought: Introverts mature more gracefully than extroverts

Some extraverted people can avoid being introverted and turning inwards, for years at a time. Later in life, self-reflection becomes important for everyone. In short, introverts may mature more gracefully. So you are in good company. Ignore the barbs about ‘lightening up’. Enjoy the levity of others and allow yourself your own specialty. If you’re…

Comforting Thought: The blue of distance, the green of time

“The colour of hills that recede layer upon layer into the horizon. Well this is the green of time. The green that grows from nothing, anything if left for long enough.” It comes at first as mildew and mould. A misting of green-grey, or mustard-green, the green of decay. But then it grows into a…

Comforting Thought: Hens are the goodness of the universe

This morning, a friend and I hung over the half door, watching a mother hen feeding her chickens. The hen bustled around breaking up the bread into crumbs small enough to feed her tiny, hungry offspring. The clucking sound she made was the essential sound of motherhood, the goodness of the universe was in that…

Poignant Thought: The Wild Cows on the Island of Swona

In the mid-20th Century, on the remote island of Swona in Scotland, the Rosie family kept animals including a herd of cows. As the decades wore on, their children moved away and the elderly stalwarts of the family stayed on and eventually died there. Moving of the cattle from the island would have been too…

Comforting Thought: When fear melts, all that is left is love

Love has many identities. The love of parents, spouses, siblings. The heady love of youth, the mellow love of old age. The love of passion, all fiery and insatiable, the subtle love of maturity. The love one person has for another for no particular reason. When fear melts, all that is left is love. In…

Comforting Thought: A cat represents our shared humanity during the worst of times

A cat represents our shared humanity during the worst of times Readers of this blog will remember I reviewed the biographical book about the doomed Karluk and her crew in the enthralling book ‘The Ice Master’ by Jennifer Niven. That book briefly mentions but doesn’t highlight the plight of the plucky feline on board named…

Comforting Thought: Take a donkey’s kiss

Donkey kisses have to be taken. They are not given. But they are soft as cotton wool. They come with liquid brown eyes that look at you with mischief. Eyes that, inspite of it all forgive the wrongs done to them by human ignorance. So gently, and with great care, take a donkey kiss. And…

Comforting Thought: Valueable things in life are shy

Please know that the truest most valuable things in life don’t come with fireworks. They are shy. They come wrapped in breezes, warm and cold. They can be tasted, felt, seen and touched. They are stealthy. Remember to stay alert. Ordinary Beauty: Meaningful Moments in Everyday Life by Mary McEvoy

Comforting Thought: The mind is a mosaic

Modern neuroscience has confirmed this notion of the mind as a kind of society. We all have parts. Right now a part of me feels like taking a nap. Another part wants to keep writing. How well we get along with ourselves depends largely upon our internal leadership skills. How well we listen to our…

Comforting Thought: My head is the lap of infinity

Be small. Be nothing. Stop stirring. Be as small as a petal on a daisy, humming bird tiny. Be nothing as space is nothing, as air is nothing. Stop striving and fall back into the arms of the universe. This is how I have learned to rest. My head is the lap of infinity. Ordinary…

Comforting Thought: the sacred lives in the soft fur of a cat

When life is pulling you under, and you need to love something. I suggest you find a cat. If you are sensible enough to like cats. Place the cat before you and stroke it from the roundness of its head across its satiny back, right to the end of its sinuous tail. Repeat this process…

Comforting Thought: Carl Jung believes introverts do the world a disservice

Carl Jung knew about the prejudice of Western culture against the introverted. He could tolerate it when it came from the extroverted. But he felt that the introverted who undervalue themselves are truly doing the world a disservice. [Introverts] are living evidence that this rich and varied world with all of its overflowing and intoxicating…

Comforting Thought: The mirror is trying to mirror and become aware of itself

Why is it that we in the modern West seem to know so much about the Cosmos but very little about consciousness? I think the answer is simple. The material cosmos is studied as a collection of observed objects “out there.” These objects in space are measured, and their behaviour can often be controlled and…

Comforting Thought: A changing clothesline

Taken from a short and sweet book of insights about life, love and loss by Mary McEvoy… As life goes on, the clothesline diminishes again, families part, spouses leave or die. The clothesline now displays a gender specific wardrobe of perhaps an adventurous widow, or an ordered man on his own in neat contentment. I…

Comforting Thought: Trust begins when someone dares to go against the flow

Like hatred, trust can be contagious… What if negative ideas around human nature are actually a form of pluralistic ignorance? Could our fear that most people are out to maximise their own gain be borne of the assumption that that’s what other’s think? And then we adopt a more cynical view, when, deep down most…

Comforting thought: Liking something is all about anticipation and memory

It turns out we like things when we have the opportunity to pine for them in anticipation and also to think about them fondly as a memory. ‘Liking’ something happens on a continuum of past, present and future according to the fascinating book about tastes, You May Also Like by Tom Vanderbilt. Even as you…

Comforting Thought: Humans are hardwired to be attracted to imperfection

Humans instinctively understand the organic imperfections of the human face, however we experience a ‘visual shock’ when we see severe disfigurement. Taken from the fascinating book ‘You May Also Like’ by Tom Vanderbilt. There is one brain response that never falters – severe disfigurement. And so Bacon’s ‘Visual Shock’ as he calls it seems to…

Comforting thought: Museums are ways of seeing

According to the fascinating book about preferences and tastes, ‘You May Also Like’ by Tom Vanderbilt, museums help us see the odd and remarkable in everyday objects. They also give us cues about the boundaries of art. “The fact that art is not something we see everyday is what makes it extraordinary. This is why…

Interesting Thought: We like things according to a U-shaped curve

One leading theory by Daniel Berlyne is that our liking of things such as music follows an inverted U shaped graph, based on the factor of complexity. We prefer and like things less the more simple or complex they are. The sweet spot for most people is somewhere in the middle. You May Also Like…

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