Hi, my name is Elli and I'm a people pleaser.A recovering people pleaser.I want to make other people happy.Which always seemed like a good goal to have.But this well-intentioned aim got me into hot water. Back then. About ten years ago life was tiring.My girls were tiny and I was pregnant with my son.I had lots of friends and a brilliant husband who was very busy with work.I ran a small group in church which was made up of lots of fantastic women who were also in the same life stage as me.We were all tired all the time.We were always making...

Not all the causes of anxiety can be rectified quickly or easily. I have found through personal (and often painful) experience, there are certain mindsets and patterns of behaviour that take months, or even years, to unpick.That may not sound very encouraging, especially if you are battling anxiety right now, in this moment.But fear not, there are some things you can do to lessen your anxiety here and now in the middle of your busy day, or stressful season.These are some practices that have worked for me:Breathing Slow. I know I often write about the importance of slowing your...

A list for anyone overwhelmed and stressed.A list for those of us who worry too much about what we cannot control.A list for the over-thinkers and the do-gooders.(A list for me).1. Don't play it safe.Wear the bright red lippy, the yellow dress, the dungarees you think make you look like an overgrown toddler. Clothes are for fun.2. Don't compare.You are beautiful and your life is good. Count blessings, dance in the kitchen. Silence the voice of comparison, it will make your life smaller.3. Don't hide.Let somebody in. The mask will become harder to remove the longer your wear it. Allow...

Yesterday as I was chopping a pepper for tea, I cut my finger.A small but deep incision in the tip of the third finger on my left hand.I put a plaster over it but it wouldn't stop bleeding. I tried to continue with the food prep but was soon stopped by the throbbing and the blood seeping out either side of the bandage.Thankfully I had someone who could take over, and a friend nearby with the know-how to re-bandage my cut.Beth took off my hastily applied band-aid and searched through the three half-empty first-aid kits in the drawer. She took...

I was raised on testimonies of healing. I was taught about the miraculous, Jesus healing the blind man, that meeting in South America when someone was raised from the dead, the missions in Africa where people had seen limbs re-grow and hearing restored.I thought healing was the only answer to the question of illness, because illness was always a sign something was badly wrong in your soul or heart or the world, right?I spent a long time waiting for the happy ending when I would stand and say I was now better. That my mental health was inviolable.When I would proclaim the...

We have been in Anglesey for about 8 weeks now. It has been fantastic.As I write this I am outside sat at the table under the parasol. If I look up I can see the mountains of Snowdonia in the distance and the patchwork of fields, with the occasional house or farm dotted in between. The swallows that have nested in the outhouse where we keep the broken garden furniture and an impressive collection of cobwebs swoop in and out, dancing above me. All I can hear is birdsong, my fingers tapping on the the keys and a distant radio...

What follows are some thoughts on moving from one place to another.We are living in Anglesey at the moment (for a three month sabbatical) but these words are not about a literal move, but a metaphorical one.The past few years I have been on the border, crossing from one way of life to another. My blog is subtitled 'Learning How To Live' because this is what I have been doing: learning how to live in a new way, in a new space.I have been transitioning from one way of thinking about myself, my life, my faith and the world in which I live, to...

I recently wrote a post about freedom. This post was a starting point for re-articulating my faith. If you haven't read it you might want to check it out before reading this.The ideas contained in these posts are fresh, and like wet paint have the potential to make a mess.I am stumbling towards truth, inarticulately.I am starting to write about some new truths.Some things my younger self would probably call heresy.There is nothing safe or tidy about this.--- I am good. I spent many years believing the core of me was bad.This idea sounded plausible and reasonable because, like every other sane person on the planet,...

I had my first panic attack at 22.Except I didn't know that was what it was called, or that it was symptomatic of the fact I was suffering with a mental illness.Mental health was not on my radar.At all.I didn't think of my brain as being healthy or unhealthy. I didn't think about it having moving or corruptible parts. It just was. It existed and enabled me to get on with life.When I did allow myself to think about these panic attacks (mostly I liked to pretend I had imagined the whole thing) I believed these aberrations were caused by...