Open eyes, open mind, open heart

Courtesy and compassion are two things that when given freely can have the most profound effect. I believe the world could do with more of them. To give them with honesty requires effective communication, especially actively listening to understand one another.

When my depression has a strong hold communication for me is difficult. Talking can be in one word sentences even if I have more to say. Reaching out to meet with friends or express how I am feeling has a weight attached which is almost too hard to lift and at times discourages me from trying. As a result I become increasingly less able to forgive myself for having days when I am not ok. I see goals I have set myself as markers of failure, and self talk discourages me from doing anything to change my current state of mind. It is an unfortunate cycle which is difficult to break free from.

A few weekends ago a journey away from the city allowed me to break free of these shackles, little by little. Being in a beautifully peaceful place, with understanding and caring people provided an environment to safely engage with my own wellbeing. Acknowledging parts of myself where I have room for growth is a positive step. Actively working on these parts of myself, like being more readily able to communicate when I am struggling, requires hope and strength. For me, hope with God I can bring about consistent postive change, and strength drawn from Him to enact change.

We all have our own world view shaped by where we have come from and who we are. Philosophies, politics, religion, education, sport, relationships: some, or all, even more than these, fit together in a way that is uniquely us. One similarity I hope we can all work towards knowing and believing is that we are stronger together. We can provide hope by being there for each other when things are going well, and when things are shrouded in darkness.

Thank you to everyone at Ngatiawa River Monastery, both those whom we visited and those whom I travelled there with. Light was provided both by the sun and the people.

My experience was different to others who were there, but I hope the challenges each of us faced have a positive impact we can acknowledge now or in the future.

Strive today for growth. Today might not seem better than yesterday but, tomorrow, you will have more worldly wisdom and knowledge of the tools in your own toolbox to help lift your hauora and that of those around you.

Looking after ourselves is a necessity. This is different to being selfish, it requires courage to know and make sure you take the time you need to re-energise. How to do this for you is something only you may know. Listen to your heart, your mind, and your soul.

Be good, keep good, and sleep good dear readers. Peace.

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