In The Zone

Monday 31 August, 2020

In this post I take another look at my life according to three main areas of well-being: physical, mental and emotional. I last did this exercise nine years ago, and for the first time 11 years before that. The three posts, therefore, give the briefest snapshot-summary of the last 20 years. As well as a clear indication of my development, they offer proof of the benefit of writing things down because without my earlier notes it would be easy for me to dismiss, overlook, or twist any notion of progress.

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Turn To Face Life

Thursday 20 August, 2020

This piece rounds off the 3-part series by insisting that we persevere with the view that the biggest contribution we can make to the world is to seek the truth for ourselves in every connection we make. When we do that we demonstrate the kind of behaviour which, when repeated by everyone, can change the world. Don’t worry about others, don’t seek to help others, just listen, seek the transformation for yourself, and trust that one day they will do the same.

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Help Yourself

Thursday 20 August, 2020

We say it when offering our food and hospitality, but we rarely extend it to the treasure available in each interaction we have with each other: ‘Help yourself.’ Continuing this series of posts examining the apparent contradiction of contributing to oneself in order to contribute to the world, this piece looks more closely at my belief that I can help others, and the intriguing truth of how life actually works.

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Contribution – A Paradox

Thursday 20 August, 2020

This post is the first of three which seek to present the paradox of contribution. They invite us to explore the notion that we can make a difference to each other and to see that, ultimately, all we can do is use our interactions to make a difference to ourselves and to our own lives.

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No Need To Prove Myself

Friday 31 July, 2020

Someone asked me what I do. I was hesitant at first, but engaged the question with a few lines of familiar introduction. Then someone else sat down between us, interrupting our conversation just at the point where I usually move up through the gears and talk enthusiastically, if not passionately, about my work. At first I was annoyed, but the interlude gave me a chance to return to my initial hesitancy and observe – perhaps for the first time – what it felt like to step back from selling myself.

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The Harmony Of Acceptance

Sunday 26 July, 2020

As I wrote in Shared Experience, it felt like the other two had not changed in the intervening 16 years. I wondered whether I had changed at all. In their eyes probably not, but I know I have grown since I first met them. But then I wondered whether any of us ever change. Maybe we just spend our lives layering over who we really are, and that any improvement we achieve is either just an appreciation of the layers themselves, or a gradual revealing of our original essence.

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The Wisdom’s In The Body

Friday 17 July, 2020

Another session of body work brought me closer to understanding what I need to be doing. Together with the Qi Gong practice, which is still more sporadic than regular, I am seeing – and more importantly, feeling – what it means to spend more time in my body and less time in my head. The difference is astounding and highlights how we are missing who we truly are, in favour of who we think we are. By connecting more fully with our body we connect more fully with our world. Not only that, the body has a great deal to tell us. As she would later say, ‘The wisdom’s in the body.

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Focus On Love. That’s All.

Saturday 11 July, 2020

I had a conversation with Karaj about the previous post. We talked about love and he told me to focus on nothing else. For a day or two afterwards, I was left with a profound connection to a love which I have never fully embraced, nor nurtured, nor deliberately explored. His message was that I should acknowledge that I am deeply loved, and that I need to see more clearly what is always there.

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No More.

Monday 22 June, 2020

Someone once told me about a belief in the absence of proportionality. It means that whatever your action, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, it changes everything. (I wrote about something similar in the piece, We Change The World.)  Essentially, if you do good to someone, you do good to the whole world. Nothing is considered small. Every gesture contributes to the whole. Everything you do makes a difference.

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A Toddler’s Mantra

Wednesday 17 June, 2020

The story I wrote about in Finding Common Ground was influenced by two things: something I tell my three-year-old regularly, and something about the polarity of argument I have learnt from Charles Eisenstein. This post is about the former. It’s a record of how saying the same thing over and over again came to influence my response to anger. My response was not to defend myself, nor to hit back, nor bite the other person as most toddlers do at some point in their development. It was to come from a place of love, because that is what I want for my son.

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Shared Experience

Thursday 11 June, 2020

For the first time in 16 years, the three of us sat together and chatted. We hadn’t spoken in this constellation since I left my work with Karaj on New Year’s Eve 2003. I was struck by how much neither of them had changed. It made me think that maybe I hadn’t changed either. Had all the work we did during those intense years been for nothing? It was only a fleeting thought because I know that I am different to how I used to be. I know I have improved in ways I would not have been able to, had I not spent the four years with Karaj and the others.

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Finding Common Ground

Tuesday 9 June, 2020

I am not one for courting controversy (not any more, at least) and have little interest in posting anything political or contentious online. My writings are, in some measure, influenced by a lesson I learnt in my early 20s – that when people judge you, confirmation bias will drag your past behaviour, comments you made, even unrelated factors, into an unfair and unwavering condemnation. And so it is that I have been content to write about the strength of personal development and offer my contribution to a better world that way.

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Watch Yourself

Saturday 30 May, 2020

The title of this post is usually an instruction to take care, or look out for something which might be about to happen. However, in the context of this post it’s about exactly what it says: watching yourself. Specifically, it is about observing yourself from a distance, in the same way you might casually observe someone across a crowded room. It’s fascinating, at times mesmerising, and the feeling it generates is a mixture of the ordinary and the mind-blowing.

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A Conversation About Dying

Tuesday 19 May, 2020

Two days ago I talked with someone about death and dying. It was an open, accepting and honest conversation full of liberation and beauty. The person with whom I spoke has suffered so much for so many years that, even at their relatively young age, they are ready for an end to it all. If life happens to improve soon, then great, that’s one way for the pain to end. But they are no longer holding out any hope, having already sailed over that particular horizon. Another way for the pain to end is death, and the more we talked about it and embraced the idea as a realistic possibility imbued with permission and blessing, the lighter and more beautiful the conversation became.

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