A few years back I took a turn off the busy roads of life and went down a quite country bridal way. That bridal way was called, 'self-discovery' (spirituality).
I liked the bridal way and felt like I could have stayed on it forever. And I might have, had it not been for my responsibilities - children and bills and stuff.
At the end of that bridal way I came to a busy road. It seemed busier than ever. That was when I realized something that I want to share with you today.
What I learned at the crossroads - where the bridal way of spirituality met the busy main road of life - is that spirituality is not about leaving life's problems behind, it's about continually confronting them with honesty, integrity and courage.
This was a meltdown moment for me. It meant I had to stop hiding on the bridal way of life and end all separation from me and my troubles and heal relationships, find compassion and put myself at the feet of others.
This week I traveled around five hundred miles across the south of the country and have seen first-hand the devastation the summer floods have brought.
I saw a house where the first floor was under water, a farm where the barns were flooded, fields that had turned into lakes and roads where the tarmac was now missing as a result of the conditions.
Then on the news I heard the survey that 61% say this is just freak weather. 25% say it's global warming.
Then I heard that severe flooding happens around every fifty years in the UK and that all this might just be a planetary cycle.
Perhaps the answer is: who knows. But the consequences of the weather are that bees aren't making honey. Cow's winter feed is being ruined, wheat isn't growing and people's lives need to be rebuilt.
I'm not mentioning these things to scare. I'm saying them to apply the principal of facing our challenges with honesty, integrity and courage.
If it is just 'freak once in fifty years weather' then fine. Over the coming months communities will pull together to make things better again and it will all work out fine - until next time.
On the other hand we can't discount the fact that climate change is a ticking clock and that maybe sitting on our botty's until the politicians make a decision is not sensible.
While carrying my thoughts around this week I came to sit my botty on a friend's sofa this week. On their wall they had the words of a Cree Indian.
The words said, 'Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money.'
Thinking about this the following morning led me to a discussion at our breakfast table.
We discussed the possibility that for one week we attempt to avoid anything that comes in plastic wrapping, tin, glass bottles and cardboard - since it all takes natural resources and energy to create.
The reality of the thought of this thought seemed tough, especially on my daughter. She realised she'd go without bread, margarine and marmite at breakfast. Her lunch wouldn't include crisps, tuna, lettuce and cucumber (when it stops growing in the greenhouse).
I would have to forgo olives. I'd miss out on herbs except the ones I grow. I'd also need to get serious on growing even more in the garden or doing deals with my neighbours.
I read a quote in a book recently that there is a need for this generation to become saints and heal what has been done.
Is that a big ask?
My thinking is not to separate from the problems I'm a part of. Of course we've reduced, where we can we reuse and if we can't we endeavor to recycle. Yet still we produce rubbish each week that took resources to make and is still being dumped in the earth.
However, today's article is necessarily about the environment, it's about not burring our heads in the sand. The point I want to get across is that there is a need for us to face our challenges with honesty, integrity and courage, whatever the challenge - be it health, money, business, family or whatever.
I hope you'll find the tips useful.
1. Take a few minutes to think about the things that challenge you the most.
2. Consider the things you don't want to face.
3. What one thing could you do to face that now?
4. Become aware of how you feel when you've faced it.
With Love and good wishes