Go Slower, Go Deeper

Tuesday 21 January, 2020

For a few weeks now, the pain of a swollen knee has induced a combination of caution and conscious, deliberate movement. More pain, for no obvious reason, and with no clear cause. It affected me mentally as well as physically, and although it has improved gradually, it’s still not quite right. Given what I wrote in the previous post, I have looked deeper to see if there is something I can take from the experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Go Further, Go Deeper

Thursday 16 January, 2020

Written reflections inevitably lead to insights, and it’s easy to assume that the work has been done. But there is a depth to our discoveries which itself awaits discovery. It mirrors our own existence because, ultimately, depth is what we seek in ourselves and in each other. Commonly, however, as is the case with the ocean, the depths can scare us, and we spend most of our time avoiding whatever lies there. But that is precisely where we must search because, as so many stories inform us, it’s where the treasure is buried. Here’s a reminder from the final paragraph of Always Know That You Always Know:

Read the rest of this entry »

Trusting Love & Life

Thursday 2 January, 2020

I began this review of 2019 with the impression that my resolution from last year had not lasted long. The more I reflected, however, the more I saw that its thread ran through the whole year. Let go. Be empty. That had been the commitment. The reason I couldn’t see it was because my original focus lay too deeply in the extreme of that idea; in the ultimate, spiritual conclusion of emptiness and non-attachment. Lofty goals indeed, and needlessly ambitious because, firstly, I’m far from ready for such a state. And secondly, if it happens at all, it comes through doing the small stuff daily.

Read the rest of this entry »

If Space, Then Time (Pt. 3)

Friday 27 December, 2019

This post concludes the series of three pieces, all of which are inspired by the poem below. It was written by my dad, and when I read it for the first time two weeks ago, I cried intensely. I was deeply moved by his words, his love for his wife, and for the desperately sad fact that she cannot read what he has written about her. She died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2011. As a result, there is nowhere for his words to go. Others will read them and surely be moved by them, but the real recipient is not around. The only other person who fully knows what every syllable means, can no longer be touched by his love and his pain. He bears them alone. Except, of course, that love connects across all dimensions of space and time.

Read the rest of this entry »

If Space, Then Time (Pt. 2)

Friday 27 December, 2019

In Part 1, I looked at the pain of a child lost in the reality of human frailties. This part is about how survival strategies allow us to continue to function so that we may heal when we have more of what we need (time, support, distance, wisdom etc.). It is also a reminder that others are in pain, too. The conclusion is that love holds the key to our healing. Sadness and love may seem very different. But they are not. They are allies in our growth, each a reminder of the other. And although we may risk the former through the latter, we must somehow find the courage to continue to love completely. Life is empty without it.

Read the rest of this entry »

If Space, Then Time (Pt. 1)

Friday 27 December, 2019

The previous entry was all about the simplest of gestures influencing the whole world (and beyond). In any given moment our love, generosity and compassion can touch everything. This post (and the next two in the series) take the same idea and apply it to healing our past. If a smile can inhabit the infinity of space, then healing can inhabit the infinity of time.

Read the rest of this entry »

We Change The World

Saturday 21 December, 2019

When I smile my world changes. When I smile at another person, their world changes too. Even if they don’t smile back, there is a difference in the relationship between us. What’s more, the change is permanent. I’m not saying either of us remain uplifted after the smile has gone, but the imprint remains. It becomes a part of us. Integrated into the whole.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Journal, New Story

Thursday 12 December, 2019

On the day I wrote the previous post, I began writing a new daily journal. The time had come. The catalyst for it was the discovery of the work of Charles Eisenstein. Listening to an interview he gave, led me to search for more of what he had to say. Since that day, two weeks ago, I have listened to numerous talks, conversations and interviews; read essays of his; and started reading his book, The Ascent of Humanity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Take A Step & Keep Walking

Saturday 30 November, 2019

In August, after I wrote ‘We Are Wonderful…’, I thought I’d continue to write about the issues touched upon near the end of that piece. I haven’t. I did some writing, but none if it has appeared on this blog. Three weeks ago I wrote a companion piece, ‘Look After Yourself’, which brought me closer to where I stand today: facing the inevitability of needing (and wanting) to write, despite having little idea what I will discover.

Read the rest of this entry »

What Should I Write?

Monday 25 November, 2019

For people new to written reflection, the first question they often ask is, ‘What should I write?’ My answer is always the same: ‘It doesn’t matter. There’s no right or wrong. You can write whatever you like. To begin with it’s not important what you write. What’s important is that you write.’ This blog post aims to provide a little more texture to that response, as well as a few ideas for where to begin.

Read the rest of this entry »

Look After Yourself

Friday 8 November, 2019

The feedback was glowing. People felt safe, secure and comfortable in the workshop environment. They felt heard and able to contribute and connect. It was almost unanimously positive. Almost. There were a couple of comments which hinted at dissatisfaction or disappointment. Unfortunately, my mind locked onto those fair criticisms and wouldn’t let go. I wanted my work to have been beneficial for all. I had felt energised by every session and felt that everyone was really getting what it was all about. But here I was being told that it wasn’t the case. Some had taken less from the sessions than others.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Master’s Rules

Thursday 31 October, 2019

The following list comprises Thich Nhat Hanh’s 15 Practical Ways To Find Zen at Work. I came across it a few weeks ago. Each point helps to create a new environment for oneself. An alternative way of being. A calmer, more appreciative, more connected existence. In the time since I first read it, I saw another quote from him which underpins what this list is all about: ‘It’s simple: to really relate to the world, you have to first go back and relate to yourself.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Thing I Can Do…

Friday 25 October, 2019

Whenever a group of people find themselves working closely together, there will inevitably be friction. Left unaddressed, tempers boil over and people clash in ways they later, when calmness returns, wish they hadn’t. Prior to such explosions of untempered, unacknowledged emotions, moods are likely to be simmering under the surface. Unnoticed they begin emerge in the form of irritable responses, snide comments, complaints or finger pointing. It’s easy to moan about a situation; it’s more difficult to do something about it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Our Connection With Nature

Tuesday 8 October, 2019

We were only there for two days, but it took less than two seconds for nature to find its inevitable way to the core of my being. The experience moved me in a substantial, unshakeable way, filling my body and mind with a reassuring sense of oneness and homecoming. There was neither room nor need for anything else. I hadn’t visited the Lake District for more than 30 years, but that immovable, eternal place once again exerted its influence in the deepest way possible.

Read the rest of this entry »