St Peter's House, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9GH

Chaplaincy to The Manchester Universities. The RNCM & The University Of Law.

Un/know.

Dis/agree.

Pause/Move on.

Breathe in.

Breathe Out.

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”

Richard Rohr

Curiosity I Encounter I Gift

Human Being

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”   Richard Rohr

Oh yes, I do agree with this!

Too many times has something glinted with promise, beckoning with a ‘new you!’ sales-pitch (no matter how well-intended) assuring that this [book/programme/practice] is the one – that a new, more balanced, more ‘well’ and somehow better way of living lies ahead. That with work, thinking, reading or just following the right steps this new way of living is within reach.

The reality is that living – full colour, getting-it-wrong-most-days, gloriously imperfect but keeping trucking-on-anyway – is a messy, fluid and multi-layered business and we can’t think ourselves to better versions of it.

I’ve learnt that my thinking must never be too set-apart, abstract, ‘venerated’ or idealistic that it steers me from the path of real-life. To live ourself into new mindsets we need to stay open to being wrong, to challenge and to change – to looking through the little door in our souls that leads to darkness and owning that those shadowy corners have a home in us too.

Living is done day-by-day, moment-by-moment, and it’s only through consciously cultivating our awareness of this that we might reach new, more peaceful, all-encompassing ways of thinking that may restore wholeness to us as individuals, to our communities, our world and our Mother Earth.

Writing to the early Christian community in Rome, an early church leader called Paul offered advice [you could substitute the name ‘God’ for another word for a higher, spiritual source if you find this helpful – or maybe just the deep wisdom within yourself]:

“So here’s what I want you to do…..Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering….. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”

Romans 12: 1-2

So as we ‘truck along’, mucking-up, giving up daily and starting again, life calls to us for our attention. For us to be still for a moment – noticing the new paths that our feet are beating and the journey as it unfolds day by-day. Drawing deep energy from the reserves of Love within that connect us to ourselves and others, anchoring us moment-by-moment to both the mysterious reaches of the galaxies and the intricacies of our own human hearts. And as we live these very ordinary lives – fumbling, often painful, never straight-forward, but sometimes wonderful human lives – our Human Being is itself a gift of endless curiosity and encounter.

“Wanderer there is no road, the road is made by walking…”

Antonio Machado

Hannah Skinner

Hannah Skinner

These blogs, writings and podcasts explore Human Being in its fluid, multidimensional, rainbow-hued variations. You’ll see the seasons change and lock-downs come-and-go through these blogs, and hear different voices and questions rise up. We invite you into our journey of wondering, and hope our writing kindles fires of curiosity or dissent! Either way, slow down and feel it all…..

We love to hear from you, so if you have an idea or blog to contribute, please get in touch.

Change is a Journey

When we started The Well we weren’t sure that it’d work. Would anyone refer themselves to us? Would anyone trust us to care for them? And if they did, would we be able to meet the need? Doubt, the inner critic, insecurity, the nagging voice that tells you to stick to what you know, do the ‘easy thing’… We had it all. Setting up The Well signaled CHANGE – and change is SCARY

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Life after Death

I’d expected them to have died off by now and so I thought that I’d inspect the hive, as I got further through the colony I saw eggs and brood. That basically means that a Queen is laying and that there is hope.

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On Mindfulness

Life isn’t all roses; each of us suffers, we all encounter difficulty. We all have pain. Mindfulness does not eradicate these things. How could it? These qualities all contribute to the wide spectrum of human emotion. Frailty and vulnerability all part of the human condition. That wonderfully poignant story reimagined and retold through each of us. The beauty; the boring; the bleak.

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Turn Out the Lights

Each night, as Manchester turns from the bright of the Sun, day-light is seamlessly replaced by the LED glare of streetlamps and the glow from a thousand windows of homes and cars as people go busily on living their lives around me. The tall towers of the city, not far from my bedroom window, are silhouetted in a greyish-yellow shroud that darkens steadily, but is never truly dark. And the stars…. I can count them. There are six, maybe seven, I see regularly from the window.

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