Mental Health Grows When we Have a Routine

Mental-Health-Grows-When-we-Have-a-Routine-Spiritual-formation

It was my routine that I had built up over the years that got me through the dark morning. Do you have a routine?

Ever had one of those mornings where you just don’t want to face the day. You’re sort of glued to the bed. It’s a safe, warm and secure place, and you just want to go back to sleep if possible because well it’s better than listening to the depressing or anxious thoughts trawling through your mind. The black dog of depression is cuddled up beside you and you don’t want to face the day. It’s a routine that can so easily become a rut. Continue reading “Mental Health Grows When we Have a Routine”

and next to them

I want to do it my way.  I don’t need others help. I can rebuild my life and recover in my own strength. To admit that I need help is a sign of weakness. That I am just like them.

No, I am better than that. I will continue to hold on to that pride and resist any exposure and vulnerability to others lest I be considered weak and incapable.

Are you like this too? Continue reading “and next to them”

In Recovery YOU Have To Do The Work

The old saying is true. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. It’s also true that you can take the water to the horse, put the water in a china cup and sprinkle rose petals over and it still won’t drink.

In my years as a pastor/ chaplain/ mental health worker the ones who made the progress and saw recovery were the ones who did the work. They didn’t sit around smoking all day, regaling the old days. They were the ones who made the effort to change. Continue reading “In Recovery YOU Have To Do The Work”

Do You Have A Rhythm of Nourishment?

I almost overlooked it. There it was, a small little camellia flower. Deep pink, just beginning to burst out of its green cocoon.

I had almost walked passed it without noticing its gift to me. While I was busy pruning and looking at some straggly looking shrubs, I saw this little flower. Here amongst the overgrowth was a small camellia, starving for light but desiring to express its beauty out to the world. I stopped, looked and took in nourishment for the soul.

This gift of beauty was for me, right here right now. I studied its beauty and imbibed its petite delicateness.

Do you take time to smell the roses/camellias?

Continue reading “Do You Have A Rhythm of Nourishment?”

Are You In Sync With The Rhythm?

I’m not a dancer, but I am a musician. I believe that our Mental Health is closely linked to the rhythms we keep.

I have played guitar since I was thirteen and one of the little practice exercises I used to do in the early days was to play a piece of music either really slow or really fast, but it had to make sense.

As I progressed on in my learning I began to join with others.

I quickly learnt that if I was going to part of some ‘good music happening’ then I needed to learn the rhythm of not just the music, but the people as well.

Continue reading “Are You In Sync With The Rhythm?”

How Joy Comes From An Unexpected Place.

I’ve had a taste and now I want more. I’m not being greedy or demanding or ‘push in line’ about it. It’s just that I have had a taste and I long for more.

There are wafts of joy coming from the kitchen. There is a party going on and I can hear music, and the delight of dance. I’m invited, actually I’m their special guest.

It’s a serious party, in the meaning that this is the total focus of all that they do.

Joy is the serious business of heaven C.S Lewis          Click to Tweet

Continue reading “How Joy Comes From An Unexpected Place.”

What Opens The Door To Joy?

It was so delightful that you could smell the perfume of joy sweep the room.

What Opens The Door To Joy-

She was in her 30’s and had been diagnosed with a psychotic illness. Voices in her head were her constant companion. She was into some New Age stuff mixed with Catholic teachings and a liberal dose of Joyce Meyer. It was a happy meal combo that suited her.

So when I asked for people to give a message or sermon on one of the Beatitudes she jumped at the opportunity. She chose to speak about what it means to be meek.

With a couple of photocopied sheets from easy to read commentaries and devotionals she went off to study and pray.

I met with her a couple of weeks later to discuss what she had written.

She had read and mulled over the topic to where she decided that meekness was all about being in control. She discovered that the classical Greek word used to translate meekness was that for a horse that had been tamed and bridled. She instantly connected this with her voices. That there was an element of being disciplined, of being under the direction of a master tamer, that the voices needed to be brought under submission. That with Jesus, the help needed, would be there.

So the evening came when  she was to deliver her message. I had sat with her and we had crafted the words together. She stood there and read them out to an astonished  group of fellow struggler’s. She had nailed it.

There was joy. Joy in my heart for what she had done. Joy in her heart for the achievement and for the connectedness with her friends.

She shared this message with her family and friends. Photocopy after photocopy was made and distributed.

When I recall this story I remember a Jesus story where he describes a woman filled with joy.

“Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.” Luke 15: 8-10

Joy comes as  by-product of something that was lost, now found.

Joy comes as a by-product of empowerment of a gift.

Joy comes from those things and those people who most would consider small and insignificant.

You see, something within her was given the outlet to express itself. Something deep that was hidden under all the labels and symptoms. It was a gift that needed to be given.

There is a party going on and you’re invited. Not to be a wall flower spectator, but to be a participant in joy.

How do you get to that party? What opens the door to joy?

Be still and take notice of the small.

Quotes to consider

  • Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. Marianne Williamson
  • I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for Joy. C.S. Lewis,
  • Joy isn’t simply a feeling. Joy is a response to a certain states of affairs that have been changed, created, to which there is a particular way of responding. Miroslav Volv

Questions to consider and leave a comment.

  1. Where have you found joy in the small?
  2. What is required to find joy?
  3. Have you ever discounted a moment of joy? Why?

Barry Pearman