Commitment To Yourself

Monday 22 December, 2014

I was restless when I arrived for the final visit of the year. I had expected to conclude my blog in October (this is the final entry), but the timing of our previous get-together had offered an acceptable extension into November, which then crept almost unnoticed into December. I had also lost a little of the clarity and enthusiasm which had accompanied me the last time I saw him. I wondered whether we would be able to create something as special as the previous four visits. And I wondered whether our plans to collaborate in the future were as solid as they have felt all year. He told me later that he’d had his doubts too.

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Still Working

Thursday 27 November, 2014

Karaj and I have been talking all year about the events and people from my training days. My latest visit to see him was no different. We talked about the group, the negativity, and the processes at work. We talked about people’s commitment and where their focus was. In our conversations there is always a desire to get to the truth of who we are. It broke through again on the final morning, when our last discussion before I left for the airport took a surprising turn.

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What We’re Up Against

Wednesday 22 October, 2014

I posted a journal entry recently, from 11 years ago (My Mind At Work’). It was the most difficult entry of all to post because it denigrates the man who helped changed my life. I debated with myself and consulted those close to me on whether or not to publish. It would have been easy not to, but in the end I had little choice because the entry provides important insight into the power of the mind (and script) to undermine our entire process. Back then, I had been warned that such a phase would come, but still I felt powerless to do anything. I was even aware what was happening at the time – as can be seen from a line in the previous day’s entry – but still it seemed there was nothing I could do about it:

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A Brighter, Lighter Future

Friday 17 October, 2014

In the previous post I outlined my direction for the next phase of my life. I wrote predominately about dealing with my negativity and finding a way to be at peace with myself and my world. This post looks at the symbolism of a physical shift I made this week towards a brighter, lighter future; and stresses the need to seek out the positive, rather than allow any additional negativity into my life.

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A Vision For My Future

Wednesday 8 October, 2014

This post is for me. They all are really, but as one period of my life reaches its natural conclusion, the intention behind this piece is to define my pathway for the next phase of my development. I have referenced the imminent end to this blog on numerous occasions, but now there are only 16 days before the final journal entry is published, and it is becoming clear why my time at the house came to an end. In the last entries my annoyance reaches its peak and, whilst there are sporadic windows of relief and reassurance that everything might be fine if I stayed, there is a creeping inevitability about my departure.

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Journeys Within Journeys

Thursday 2 October, 2014

In the days before I set off to spend a month in the sunshine, there was reluctance. I had booked the trip primarily out of need, rather than desire. Desire alone would not have sufficed to make it happen, because I have come to value routine over adventure; repetition over novelty. These past weeks have re-awakened the adventurous side of my character in the most gentle way possible: within the secure friendship of good people, and in a beautiful, warm part of the world where everything was in place for me to create my normal routine, meet new people, indulge ever more effortlessly in new experiences, and see myself in sharper focus.

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Novelty & Repetition

Tuesday 23 September, 2014

I’m in Northern California for a few weeks, and last Friday a friend took me on a visit to her home town; an idyllic place where coat shops don’t exist because the sun always shines. We drove past the local cinema, outside which a long queue of people had formed. As I was wondering what movie could possibly cause such an extended line of eager people, my friend pointed out that there was a particular technology store a little further down the road. Renowned for their quality and design, and masters of expectation, on this particular day they happened to be selling their brand new phone.

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Be Careful So Close To The Finish

Friday 19 September, 2014

Five weeks from today it will all be over. I have been working on this blog for almost four years and in just over a month it will be complete. As much as I’m tempted to get excited about it, and as much as there is also a part of me which just wants to reach the finish line, I need to remain focused and I need to be careful. Very careful. It’s a general rule I learnt early in my training, but it’s one which always has the capacity to catch me unawares, because it’s easy to think I am being careful enough. This post is a reminder to me – at a crucial time near the end of a prolonged and intense process – to be calm, focused, alert and safe.

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Be (With) The Best

Monday 15 September, 2014

Surround yourself with good people’, is standard advice for those who wish to succeed. Actually, it is sound advice for anyone, but in order to build relationships with the best people, we have to be the best we can be. And to be anywhere near that level, we have to own who we are. More specifically, we have to own how good we are. I have written about this subject before (see the related posts, below) but I am minded to revisit it because of several conversations I’ve had in recent weeks, as well as being prompted by some of the latest journal posts from 11 years ago (again, see below) in which I was challenged to see my own brilliance.

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We All Need Attention

Monday 8 September, 2014

We yearn for attention because we need it. As social animals, attention, acknowledgment and physical contact are fundamental to our development and continued health. Yet most of us have no idea how important our need is, nor how strongly it affects us. Studies of people’s brains in fMRI scanners have shown that (social) rejection affects the same part of the brain associated with physical pain, which is why solitary confinement in prisons is such a bleak and damaging punishment. It hurts to be excluded and ignored, and we are likely to do whatever is necessary to make sure it doesn’t happen.

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The Doubt Will Always Be There

Thursday 21 August, 2014

It is said of Richard Feynman, the great 20th century physicist, that when he lectured, his students understood the subject matter clearly, yet as soon as they left the lecture hall their understanding evapourated. I had a similar experience when I wrote and posted the previous entry, ‘Desperate To Belong’. During the writing of it, I had clarity about the injunction of not being allowed to dream and the reasons behind my struggle of wanting to conform but also go my own way. Yet as soon as I published the post, the sadness I had written of returned, followed inevitably by the familiar doubt that maybe I am making the wrong choice.

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Desperate To Belong

Tuesday 19 August, 2014

We talked into the early hours of the morning, and he explained to me how I am torn between my need to belong and my desire to go my own way. For years I have been frustrated by the world and my place in it, feeling that if only the world were more like me, then I wouldn’t have to struggle in isolation. In my moments of clarity I reprimand myself, saying it’s my problem, not the world’s, and that if I really had the courage of my own convictions I would stride on down my chosen path, without the need for the world to come with me and keep me company.

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Self-Doubt & Emergency Procedures

Wednesday 13 August, 2014

Once in a while I experience periods of self-doubt. They appear without warning, taint everything, strip me of my confidence, and make me question all that is important to me. It happened to me earlier this year; and last week it happened again. Fortunately, my experience and my writing tell me it doesn’t last forever and there are things I can do to help myself. This post looks at the process of dealing with the doubt, and highlights three aspects which helped to minimise the effect it had on me: (1) the value of recording events; (2) the use of emergency procedures; and (3) the awareness that there is more than one way to deal with things.

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Self-Responsibility

Monday 11 August, 2014

Thirteen years ago I spent four days bed-ridden in the accident & emergency department. There were insufficient beds to move me upstairs, so I remained among the organised chaos of A&E. I witnessed all kinds of people arriving at various times of the day and night, with a multitude of complaints; every one of them attended to by doctors who were often baffled by their symptoms. This post follows on from the previous two and makes the point that one of the best ways to prosper is to take care of your own well-being.

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