make space

LENT 2019

Life can feel very busy. There are demands from every direction, pressures and stresses that can roll around in our heads. Things that we worry might happen, or things that we are afraid might not.

Picture for a moment all of the noise falling away, as you sit in the sand of a silent dune, and experience a moments peace.... This is a place where you can breath, where you can have time to relax, and hopefully have time to think without fear or judgement. We may not be able to transport you to your own private wilderness, but over the next six weeks we are offering a menu of small and simple ways to pull you out of routines and ruts and help make space for new thoughts and new directions. A little forward planning is needed - like a diet or exercise - you need to think ahead about the practical things you might need to, like a quiet place to sit, a route to walk, an amount of time - ten minutes will do. This are things to set aside as space for these activities.

There is a menu of nine activities for each two week period, divided into 3 categories: changing, cleansing and reducing.

Simply choose one of these activities and try it, daily or occasionally, for this two week period.

Then check back to pick a new activity for the next two weeks, either to replace, or to add to the one you are already practicing.


Don’t push it

weeks 3&4


1 - Help someone without reward

Look for an opportunity today to do something for someone when there is nothing in it for you.... This could be something you have thought of for awhile or a spontaneous act. This is just about getting the feeling of giving something away freely.

2 - Give your thoughts away (anonymous prayer)

Take 10 minutes out of your day to think of someone else, either in general, or a specific situation and ask God to help or to bless what you are praying for.... You don’t need to be specific about what you want to happen, just focus on the idea of the blessing. A particularly helpful image is of a light shining into darkness so that the darkness disappears. Try to do this each day, in your head, or through writing or drawing. What is important here is for this to be something private to you, do not share your prayers with the person you are praying for.

3 - Daily examine

1) Take a moment at the end of the day to move back through your experiences and process your emotions. You can take time to look for God in different parts of your day. ... You can follow this sequence if you like: 1. Pray for light: that you can understand your days events. 2. Review the day saying thank you 3. Review the feelings that surface in the replay of the day 4. Choose one of those feelings (positive or negative) and pray from it. 5. Look toward tomorrow. For a more detailed guide click here

cleansing 2

1 - Daily reflection

Take 10 minutes, before you get up, or as you eat breakfast, or even in the shower, to think about three areas of your life. For things that are difficult - Bless those you struggle with.... For everything little, food, shelter, health - Be thankful for what you have that is good. For things that you have done that were wrong. - Turn away from things that have been wrong and step towards something better. Try to think about these things lightly. Know that you don’t need to think of solutions or answers, just take the time to process each area.

2 - Time for movement (dance, pilates, walking - followed by silence) - connecting your mind and body

Spending 10 or 15 minutes moving your body around, to raise the heart rate and produce happy chemicals in your brain can have a very positive effect on your day. ... This is particularly effective in the morning before breakfast. You can try one of these exercises at home: CLICK HERE Or join us at Southside Youth Hub at 9.30am on a Tuesday and 6.30pm on a Thursday (until 18/04/2019) for a free exercise session.

3 - A moment for perspective

Take a time to see the world in a different light. Switch from ‘doing mode’ to ‘being mode'.

... This means looking at the events of your life without seeing your feelings about them as a fixed reality. Your feelings and comments about the world do not need to define you. Through this you can have a moment to change your internal landscape, letting you reset some of the emotions that you may have thought were fixed in place.

reducing 2

1 - Walk everywhere today

Slow the pace of life down by staying local, and watching the world as you walk. ... Let your senses take in the the sights and sounds, the beauty, but also the mess and the brokenness that make up life around us.

2 - Only nature programmes

1) This is a simple one. Either use the TV guide or an app like the BBC IPlayer to watch only nature programmes this week. ... Think of this again as a palate cleanser, like brushing your teeth. Taking away other distractions by focusing on the wonder of the natural world and give yourself space in your mind to reflect on this throughout the day

3 - Turn off auto pilot

This means all the things that you would normally do without thinking, you will take the time to think about.... Walk slowly, chew your food, be aware of your breathing. Suspend judgement about what you are thinking about, neither good nor bad, to free you from preconceptions. Treat your mind with compassion, be gentle, and approach thoughts with curiosity. Let your brain think what it will, without telling it off or correcting it. Allow yourself time, without the auto-pilot of your day, to do something that makes you happy without achieving an aim or a goal. Something that is just fun.

Please choose an activity and check back on 08/04/2019 for a new menu of options.

you can find a link to the activities from week 1&2 here