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The Art of ‘Not Thinking’….

During lockdown, with all the stresses and strains involved, walking in the countryside has been a salvation for many of us. Walking up hill and down dale, I have found helpful spaces in which to walk, and think, and sometimes, not to think!

Not thinking can be hard! Where do we start with ‘not thinking’ when all the days thoughts swirl round and round in our heads, and the ‘what if’s’ and ‘if only’s’ won’t be stilled? There is certainly a skill to learn, to apply to ‘not thinking.’

Left to one’s own devices, it can be easy to listen to those churning thoughts that bob up to the surface in an unwelcome fashion……

So I wanted to concentrate on ways of ‘not thinking’ – or perhaps thinking in a different way. Taking time to focus on the small but important things in life. Then I thought about the fact that thinking can be good even when there is turbulence. We may like calm seas, but actually, it’s when the ocean is at its most choppy and the waves are hurtling to the shore that it deposits the most beautiful shells at our feet. As long as we can look at problems from within a deep and calm mind we can find the strength to cope with what life throws at us.

I must have been so busy trying to think about the art of ‘not thinking’ that sadly I hadn’t noticed that most of long blog I had written above hadn’t been saved! I was pleased with it too. I felt I had some real gems to share with you. I put my head in my hands. I used some bad language! Then I thought – perhaps there is a reason for that, and I tried to calm down.

So, dear reader, this isn’t the whole blog I had written for you today. I had written about how we can always feel better after a walk outside. And how we can feel better if we talk things over with a kind friend. But I have written a poem for you that I hope might help get my point across. For those days when our thoughts get the better of us, I hope my words help a little bit!

When Nature Smiles

'Oh, my!' She said,
My mind is just a jumble
Of broken thoughts,
And morbid fears that I will stumble.
What if I can't find a way
To calm my heart
And stop my world 
From falling apart?'
'Come and walk'
Beckoned the sun,
'And just talk'
Said the wise one;
'Tell your woes to the trees
And they will float
Away on the breeze.'
And so she did just that,
And nature smiled
As she sat
Curled up like a child.
'Oh, my soul is free!' She said,
'Today is a new day'
And she waved to the sun
And went on her way.

L.M.H.

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Nearly Going Somewhere…

I guess we are all missing our holidays at the moment. We still aren’t sure when we can book to go travel to sunnier climes. Perhaps it won’t be too long. Who knows?

I remember years ago reading an article called ‘The Art of Nearly Going Somewhere ‘ and it really resonated with me. The writer described how he liked looking at travel brochures and imagining himself setting off on exotic travels. He enjoyed picturing himself having many different adventures and experiences. He would spend lots of time thinking and planning. He felt the sand between his toes, he bought the tee-shirt and drank the Sangria. He was lost in blissful daydream for a while. But then he looked around him, took in his familiar surroundings. His home. And he realised, he liked home best. He was happy with his lot. The art of ‘nearly going somewhere’ was enough to keep him happy.

Sometimes, I think the planning and imagining of an event is as much fun as actually taking part. We can sit at home and just imagine the good bits, without experiencing the airport delays, the sunburn, the mosquitoes …..Ok, I know, you’d still like a real holiday! But here’s a poem about ‘nearly going somewhere’, just for a bit of fun. And you never know, just by imagining something wonderful, it may become reality!

Wishing you a very blessed and happy Easter.

Nearly Going Somewhere


I looked at sunny skies
And oceans blue,
Ancient relics
With a golden hue,
Cobbled streets 
Where we could roam
And enjoy a scene 
So far from home.
I saw places where we could stop 
And watch the sun set
On a fun-filled day
We wouldn’t forget. 
I could smell the blossom
From the flowering trees,
Feel the warmth
Of the gentle breeze.
I could imagine the markets 
With exotic wares,
See water parks,
Bazaars and fairs.
There was time to take a breath,
And focus weary eyes
On new horizons
With the hint of surprise.
Oh, how I enjoyed leafing through
The glossy catalogue
As I sat alongside you,
Dreaming of a different view.
Then we made coffee
And put the catalogue away,
Feeling more than happy
We had seen the world in a day.

L.M.H.