Friday 22nd October 2021

Calm Days And Calm Nights. 2/2021.

Calm Days And Calm Nights. 2/2021.

Yes I now have these: days and nights of calm.

I have found the secret to inner peace…forever and ever.

Actually that is so not true … read on!

Waaaay back in 2015 I was in transition. From my former to life to the life we had chosen. From work, family near by, security of home (until end of 2014) to retirement, no family nearby and no home other than a house to rent. It was not great YET it was the life we chose to have after turning 65.


My husband, above, who is of a much different disposition to me, was fine. In fact, he LOVED the change, except for the awful house we selected to rent, and was busy studying counselling on-line, doing volunteer work with Lifeline and building projects at his brother’s.

Me? I missed company, some work,  friends, going out for coffee and yet…..I knew that I could not get my old life back.

We HAD moved on.

When I get to write Chapter  Twenty One of Telling My Story for 2015 there will be much more revealed but right now, I am leading up to what started to make a difference for me….


I first found it in person, at a Buddhist Centre, in the first months of 2015, and then via an app called Headspace. This helped me from 2015 until into 2018 when I changed my meditation app to Calm. Now I am a life time subscriber and what a difference it makes for me:





In 2019 I shared more about Calm and its help for me over here.

These thoughts and views are formed by me, over time, as I changed and grew to understand what I was doing….I was practising meditation. I was practising being still and I was/am continuing to do this every day and each night. It’s called Meditation Practice for a good reason.

What Meditation Is Not.

  • a clearing out of your thoughts
  • a way to get to inner peace easily
  • a place & way of being seated to best meditate
  • perfection found
  • silence

What Meditation Is.

  • a regular 10-12 minutes in my morning, and then in my evening which is just for this.
  • lying in my bed…yes, not sitting nor kneeling, because I can still concentrate, relax and take in what I need to being comfortable on my back with my hands by my sides.
  • a gift to my inner health
  • a space & time which I value that is MINE
  • something I can come back to over and over again
  • being curious about myself
  • learning something a new and refreshing my previous learnings.

How Did I Get Here?

Even before 2015 I was seeking help and information on how to help me calm myself inside and accept more readily what “life” is about. As a teacher and always a lifetime learner I sought much information, learning and help and got it via CDs, courses on-line and podcasts. I have added some images of some of my kept resources.

The first real introduction I had to becoming mindful and helping with the sadness I was feeling, even though I was not clinically depressed was this book and I still listen to it from time to time. These two men, Mark Williams and Danny Penman, are pioneers (after Jon Kabat-Zinn) of Mindfulness for Wellness and Using Mindful Practices for Stress Release.

Some were purchased on-line directly from Sounds True, others via my (then) favourite book selling site, Book Depository. Others I found directly on-line or at my local books sellers.

Some of the authors who helped me “get me” are:- are found here and in my messy but lovely photos of my books and CDs. On display for easy reading….for you, the reader.

Pema Chodron  Tara Brach    Jack Kornfield    Brene Brown  Sharon Salzberg  Clare Bowditch     

Elizabeth Gilbert   Andy Puddicombe  John O’Donohue   Jeff Foster  Judson Brewer

Megan Devine    Martin Seligman     Steve Peters    Andrew Fuller   Kristin Neff    Glennon Doyle

Rick Hanson   Christopher Germer    Lori Deschene    Paul Gilbert  Claire Weekes  Anne Lamott 

Yes, that IS a list and yet, not the end of it. The reason each of these people helped ME and form part of many meditation practices that I know of is that they mention common ideas:

there is only one moment: now

that we can only control one person, us

that we forget the above two often so we need to practise

AND, that it’s human to be like this.

This image is my iphone locked screen.

Calm Days And Calm Nights. What Is This About?

Regular readers of this blog know I was diagnosed with a form of head and neck cancer back in 2017. Full series of blog posts here. I learned so much about myself then, about what I could cope with, about how I could, with support and practise, learn to deal with hard things. I wrote a post or two about exposure therapy as I learned I HAD to do after seeing a psychologist back in 2016.

Changing from Headspace Meditation to Calm Meditation for me was about just that…change. It did turn out to go well for me in 2018 I was offered a great price for a lifetime subscription and being on a pretty fixed and low income that helps a lot.

I liked and still do the ways in which I can pick and choose the meditation for a particular reason*, for example, if  I sense I am being overly self-critical I will choose to do the series on that to learn and learn again (practise remember) the various ways in which I can pull myself up in terms of self-talk and gently guide myself forward.

Each day now, at the time of waking…and in retirement days this can vary from 8.00 am to 9.00 am and I LOVE that luxury, I open the Calm App and settle back in bed (loo stop first) for my morning Daily Calm. Following it, I reflect via the suggestions and may choose to keep and share the quote and image of the day. Then I get on with my day.

Oh, I do not write about Calm because I was asked to or I was paid to do so. I just like to share what works for me.

At the end of the day, again in bed, when I am ready to settle for the night, I select a meditation via need*. It does not matter if I have done this one before, there is always something new to learn and focus on.

If by the end of this one, I am still wide awake – not often – I may choose a Sleep Story. They are awesome and have great narrators and stories to share. It’s much better for me than music.

As we know and admit, we are all “works in progress” and I decided to share my thoughts in this first week of blogging 2021 with you and in joining a couple of link ups.

  • May you find peace.
  • May you be content.
  • May you be well.

When I am here…I am the most mindful I can be outside of practising meditation!

And may you never stop learning!


Joining with Leanne and friends here for link up called Lovin Life.

Now on the weekend I am joining here with Natalie and friends for a Coffee Catch Up.









  1. Hi Denyse, you have certainly researched meditation haven’t you? For the beginner, meditation can be challenging and when I first started studying it, I found it so difficult to clear my mind. That was until I realised that you don’t have to. I’ve used the Calm app and that can be useful to guide you through. I also find that looking at the ocean and watching the waves break have an hypnotic affect and I can clear my mind of the stresses of the day. A lovely wish from you May you find peace, May you be content, May you be well – what more could we want? xx

    • Oh Sue I have indeed but I am a curious learner so needed to keep on learning. I am very glad it has finally all made much more sense to me in these 6 or so years.

      Yes, like you I thought we had to clear the mind! Ha. Impossible.

      No doubt about it, over time and with greater knowledge and insight into what makes me “me” I am very much motivated and centred with my practice of daily calm.

      In fact, a couple of times recently when I had to get out of bed before meditation, the day just did not feel right. I meditated later but it gives my day a start that I expect and value.

      Mindfulness can be found anywhere and your particular place is one I love too. However, just being here on the computer, tapping the keys and thinking about nothing else but this response is being mindful too.

      Stay well, content and ….at peace with yourself and hopefully the world around you.


  2. I think you are a great advert for CALM and love the way you’ve taken us through your process of books, thinkings and learnings. Thanks for your informative post and being open in sharing your thoughts on this valuable subject.

    By the way, I found a double up of The Craving Mind 🙂

    • Then I declare you the winner!!

      Phew, thank goodness. I hope you are happy to accept the prize!!

      Truly was a breakthrough for me to understand “why I ate” on certain occasions…and of course, it was to salve feelings. I now know, thanks to listening to Judson speak about this as well as the audioversion that cravings are like feelings and as long as they’re not delved into too deeply, (to attach to them) they pass….

      He does say, however, that in his research smoking is still the hardest to quit.

      Thanks for your kind words. I truly AM grateful I had such to overcome that I have…and still do, because without some of those pre-cancer experiences – you did not know of my blog then – life was pretty ordinary and I was grieving. A lot. The death of all those things I had left behind.

      Enough of that. Email me you best mailing addy and the duplicate copy will be on its way!!


  3. Hi Denyse this is the most informative post about mediation that I’ve read. I always thought meditation wasnt for me but after reading your post I’m going to download the app and give it a go. I don’t sleep very well and dread going to bed most nights, so perhaps the app may help. I’ve never thought of trying meditation.

    • Oh Jennifer, that sounds pretty tough for you indeed.

      I admit I sleep alone and that makes listening to an app easier.

      I can forward you 30 days free via my email system where Calm will welcome you, and you do sign up but as a trial only. No money. It’s at the end that you may choose to do the paid version. It opens up so much more and there are many ways in which you can be helped. I know I find it invaluable.

      Of course, I get nothing from doing this but sharing is a blogging thing and I would love to send you the link.

      Tell me the best email if you wish.


  4. Wow Denyse – that’s a library and a half of self-help right there on your shelves. If we lived closer I’d be popping in to borrow a book or two! I think we have no excuse these days when it comes to helping ourselves through difficult periods – books, online resources, free stuff, music, meditations, yoga, and whatever else – it’s all available if we proactively seek it out. I know I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the last several years from delving in and finding what connects and makes sense. I’m so glad you’ve found your “happy place” too – it’s different for each of us, but so vital to aging well. x

    • You would be more than welcome to borrow!! These books, obviously acquired over time, are sometimes the paper version of the audio or CD version for me to refer to or quote from. However, I know they have been with me for a while and I did sell off some a few years back to readers/friends. This lot though remind me of how I came to where I am now and I never take that for granted.

      Self-learning, going into areas of interest and picking what resonates and then finding there are common links in most of whom I follow and have aligned my learning and beliefs with is very satisfying.

      I never try to push anyone into any kind of learning because I think we need to be curious to seek it for ourselves but now having put these resources on the blog, I would always be happy to write more about them or discuss how I used them…now, that could be something I could guest post about maybe?

      Thanks Leanne for your kind words, and all of the support over time.


  5. I need to purchase the Calm app I think. Headspace and Smiling mind didn’t really do it for me. One thing I really want to try and do is practice mindful self-compassion better this year. Still going through Neff’s workbook.

    • Maybe it’s a sign??

      I can send you the email for 30 days of it if you want.

      It’s why I moved from Headspace Sanch.

      I just get so much more value from the many types of topics I can choose from. It is literally 10 mins a day or a bit longer in some sets of meditations. I return to different groups by need. I hope you get something out of the change. I cannot get my day going well unless I do the morning one before I leave the bed. It was also when I changed the so-called rule to do meditation lying down that it helped me stay with it and not thinking about my uncomfy body when I sat.


  6. Hi Denyse Just popping in again to share for #weekendcoffeeshare

  7. Hi Denyse, It’s wonderful to read how you learned about meditation and adopt the practice daily. I’ve been practicing meditation for a long time, about 15 minutes every day, and have found it to be very helpful for me. I don’t think I’ll ever stop the practice. Thank you for joining me at my debut Weekend Coffee Share link up. I hope you enjoy the party #weekendcoffeeshare

    • Thank you so much Natalie, for having the new link up and your kind words.

      You are so right about not stopping the meditation practice. It is woven into my morning and evening routines and I would miss it if I ever had to stop.

      Congratulations on your link up and I will pop over to see some new blogs to comment on. I want to become read more widely this year in the blogging world and I hope this may improve that!


  8. Wow! What a fabulous pile of books. I am so intrigued by your calm app. I have never tried mediating but can definitely see how it would be so beneficial.

    • Thank you Joanne. Not until you need to learn something (as I did, big time!) do you know how many resources there are out there. All have been so helpful in their own way.

      Calm via the app is an amazing way for me to meditate as it’s not too long and is guided too.


  9. This is such a helpful post for me right now, so thank you Denyse! I had both Headspace and Calm recommended to me to help deal with stress and introduce me to meditation. I kind of put it on the backburner and didn’t look into either of them because it’s way easier to do nothing than to start a new habit. But reading about how you use meditation and mentioning both the apps makes me think I should actually get to it!

    • Hello Kat, I am sorry I have just got the chance to reply.

      I started with headspace then after two years moved to Calm. I used paid versions because they cover the range of any human emotion and need.

      Recently I had another look at headspace (the one with Andy Puddicombe narration) and it has moved and developed greatly.

      However, for comfort from Tamara Levitt’s voice and her stories as well as guidance she wins each time.

      Only seek to do meditation if YOU think it might be good to explore. I did it purely as a self-motivated thing and as I alluded to above, I thought it was a magic panacea but…’s take me 4+ years for me to be part of this each and every day.

      Worth exploring! Definitely. And you do not empty your mind…..truly!

      Ask me more if I haven’t covered anything you would like to know.


  10. I know people say meditation is great… but I can’t get past it sounded like someone telling me to keep being boring!!

    • You can always make me smile with your take on things Vanessa, thank you!

      I say you might actually meditate when a camera is in front of your eye and you are working on a shot.


  11. I believe that meditation is essential to a mindful lifestyle. I like to meditate outdoors, in nature, that gives me a higher inner peace. Thank you for a beautiful post.

    • Thank you so much Maria.

      That is true for me these days but I admit my first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening, in bed works so well.

      I do find I am far more at ease and mindful in nature and seek it most days.


  12. I’m envious you can meditate. My dad has encouraged me to try it over the years. I have succeeded in guided meditation a couple of times. But the ability to achieve daily meditation is still definitely a mystery to me.

    • Here’s the thing Leanne, have you heard of the saying “when the student is ready the teacher will appear?”

      That for me was how I began. I was searching for ‘something’ to help me make sense of the emotions and overload I felt. Calm (and Headspace) meditation provides this for me.

      We never get to know it perfectly or to a finale. It is always called practice because each day we practise it.

      I wrote this above for Katherine:

      Only seek to do meditation if YOU think it might be good to explore. I did it purely as a self-motivated thing and as I alluded to above, I thought it was a magic panacea but…’s take me 4+ years for me to be part of this each and every day.

      Word to ponder?