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In the day to day rush of life it is easy to become disconnected from how we are feeling. We struggle through stressful work situations, brush off any irritations or difficulties we face, and forget ourselves when we help others. The intention with this sermon is to return from a place of outer confusion, to a place of inner appreciation.

Before we go any further, I would like to bring back your attention to yourself.

Firstly, however you’re sitting, pay attention to how your seat feels. Are you comfortable? Is the height right? Feel the sensation of your body against the contours of the chair. Feel the soles of your feet against the floor. You are here, now.. in your chair.

Next, I want you to bring your attention to your breathing… at the end of this sentence, I want you to close your eyes and feel those breaths.. hear the air as it rushes out of your nose, feel the rise and fall of your chest… I’ll give you 30 seconds now to do that.. afterwards, come back to this text.

Finally, I want you to take stock of how you feel inside. Any emotional niggles, frustrations.. any calmness or satisfaction… allow all those feelings to be recognised…feel them right now just as they are.. I’ll give you another 30 seconds to do so.

You should now be centred and aware of yourself.

There is a little book I carry around with me, printed by the British Quakers, called ‘Advices and Queries’. Every page has little paragraphs that require you to consider yourself. Paragraph 11 starts “Be honest with yourself. What unpalatable truths might you be evading? When you recognise your shortcomings, do not let that discourage you.”

Before we continue, I’d like you to speak out loud your immediate feelings in response to the sentences above, doesn’t matter what it is… whatever that phrase makes you feel immediately.. say it now.


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When I first read it, my thoughts were 'I've been avoiding it.'

Now I would like you to consider that phrase further. Think about those feelings you felt earlier.. if you had any frustrations or anger, what was the cause? Consider the first line “Be honest with yourself”. Are you creating a roadblock for yourself? Are you getting in the way of your own peace? Or have you fulfilled the things you have asked of yourself? It is possible that the answer may not be a comfortable one. But whatever the answer, allow it your full awareness, and let that guide you for tomorrow.

I’d like to finish on a slightly lighter note with a quote from Elvis Presley:

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away.”