Tag Archives: Mindfulness

There Are No Experts On Life

There is an expression that some people believe, “You are the expert of your own life” or the other variation, “You are the only expert of your own life”.

I was in a planning meeting where we were working on developing a tool for women who might feel isolated or lack community during their pregnancy and postpartum period. A common theme and belief that kept being repeated during the brain storming session was that women know what’s best for themselves and they are experts in their own lives. I had to disagree.

I reminded everyone in attendance that if these women were indeed experts, they wouldn’t be needing help because they wouldn’t have found themselves in these situations that required government help. An expert is defined as “One with the special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject; b) having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.” (Websters-Merriam Dictionary)

The reason I believe we can’t ever become “experts” of our own life is because of a simple fact, we don’t know what we don’t know. As someone who has worked with numerous women and others who are in emergency situations I have never believed that we should expect people to know exactly what they need. In the midst of situations that will eventually become traumatic, it is unrealistic to expect a person to be an expert while their life feels like it’s spiraling out of control, or in danger. That is why we as workers, friends, and family are there to be of help to those in need.

Failed expectations often lead to shame, embarrassment, isolation, and sometimes mood disorders. We can manage our lives as best as we can, but that never guarantees that occurrences outside of our control won’t happen and that we won’t be in a place where we won’t know what to do and seek assistance and advice.

There are a variety of reasons why people aren’t so called experts of their lives: PTSD, mood disorders, sleep deprivation, lack of self-awareness, being manipulated, effects of domestic violence, medical issues, and simply being human.

If you are an expert of your life, this can lead to not being open to growth and learning. Learning more about yourself, your environment, and others. It’s easy to see yourself one way while others might see you a different way. We can learn self-reflection, self-awareness, and healthy self-critique; but it is unlikely that you will ever become an expert on yourself.

Life's Journey

Instead of being an expert, embrace being a learner with periods of thankfulness for the experiences of growth and transformation. We can plan for the future, but if we aren’t flexible and resilient, we will always be disappointed. Allow yourself to change directions and welcome new experiences. An expert is rarely on a journey because they know everything already and are often there to tell the world what they know rather than what they are learning. Experts spend plenty of time talking about the past and less on the future of open possibilities.

Let’s leave being an expert to things that are external to our self and instead, let’s be journeyers in our own lives.

The Blessing of Mindfulness


Lent tree




The Blessing of Mindfulness (One Word 2014)


Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment and having an awareness of experiences as they happen.

Mindfulness Now

It’s the second week of Lent and yes, I’ve forgotten or messed up a few times, but I can say at this point I’m learning a lot. I don’t want to call it sin, but I don’t feel guilty during the times I’ve messed up so far. I feel a sense of peace and I know that Lent is a time when I feel especially safe, where my slip-ups are opportunities to “Fail Forward” and draw closer to God.

For me there is no quitting during Lent, if I “mess up” well… I still have “X” numbers of days left and I must keep going. I wish I could extend this outlook to the rest of my thoughts during the year; it’s something I am still working on. Failing Forward is not only one of my favourite John Maxwell books; it is also a growing way of life for me. I’m learning that God doesn’t quit on us and therefore, I am not to quit. Paul gave the best metaphor for our faith, that of an Olympic long distance runner. Does a long distance runner quit because he has fallen 40 minutes into his run? No. Once he realises what has happened, he spits the dirt out of his mouth, shakes the dirt n’ blood off his knees and arms, gets up and resumes running. A well trained runner would never think of bowing out of a foot race because he slipped and fell.  He knows he has invested too much time, heart, and discipline to give up because of a setback.

Mindfulness is a blessing because it teaches us to be present in our life. Through this type of practice I can focus on Jesus’ instructions and Paul’s teachings that tell me I am not to be anxious about anything:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7 

Mindfulness brings the peace of God into your life. When you are not in the present moment it is difficult to be at peace when your mind is filled with past memories and an anxious future. God is not focused on the past or the future like His human creations are; He is in the here and now.

mindfulness Present


Are you maintaining a state of mindfulness or do you find yourself habitually wondering back to the past or jumping ahead to the future?


When you find your emotions pulling you away from the present moment try saying a quick, one sentence word of prayer or blessing to God. For example repeating, “Lord, help me to see this person as you see him/her.” It can also be a short bible verse that brings you comfort, joy, peace, or strength. As you repeat these, remember to stay in the moment, no praying about the past or the future, it’s about staying in the moment with a sense of calm and peace.

Mind Full Mindful