A Balance Of Mind & Body

Saturday 28 April, 2018

This entry is a summary of the kind of effect which Marcus and I will be offering during our retreat in June. It comes from a friend of mine who, having gone straight to the gym from our coffee conversation, noticed how well he felt after his workout because he’d given his mind something deep and meaningful to contemplate, and his body the kind of workout our bodies are born to do, but so rarely get the chance to enjoy.

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Expectations High & Low

Thursday 30 March, 2017

This piece examines what happens when expectations are left to run their course, and how easily and unknowingly we are captured by the mind. It is a reminder of the repetitive nature of this work and the need for vigilance. More than anything, it highlights the importance of reflection in seeing more clearly what is happening and in helping to understand that whilst there is always so much noise on the surface of our persona, the deeper we go, the calmer, more peaceful, and more beautiful we are.

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Eleven Days In La La Land

Thursday 12 January, 2017

For a number of reasons I was drawn to watch the same film again and again. Five times in eleven days, in fact. La La Land is a hugely uplifting film imbued with the innocence of love, the naivety of dreams, and the single-minded determination which passion for anything brings. I found myself crying and laughing simultaneously, tapping my feet from the very start, and captivated throughout. I lost myself in the unspoken force of facial expressions, was touched deeply by the songs and the sentiment, and smiled with my whole body at the uncomplicated beauty of love and life. But this post is not about the film; it’s about what happens when you watch something closely and repeatedly. One’s own life, for example.

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TS 8 – Relaxation & Balance

Thursday 2 June, 2016

There is a rhythm to life. There are always ups and downs – that’s how it is at every level of existence. One of the keys to being able to relax and lead a balanced life is to accept that life is this way. Surrender to the process. Surrendering is not the same as giving up. It just means that we don’t waste time and energy resisting. That alone helps us to relax. The comment below from Karaj summarises this nicely. It comes from the post, Relax, Enjoy Yourself:

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Reaching For The Sky

Friday 1 April, 2016

I hardly ever look forward to going, but I’m always glad I went. My weekly yoga class awaits me every Tuesday with its store of frustration and disbelief. How is it that the easiest of positions are so childishly difficult to attain, let alone hold for any meaningful length of time, whilst also maintaining a smoothness of breath? Furthermore, for two days afterwards, those sessions have also been known to haunt me with an incredulous amount of muscle pain. Why does everything hurt so much for those 48 hours? (The pain, I must point out, is the satisfying discomfort of having worked muscles in a way which they usually don’t get, but clearly need, and are obviously built for.)

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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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Nature Or Habit?

Wednesday 2 April, 2014

I was once asked how much of ourselves we can change. I responded that there are certain elements of personality which are not even worth trying to change. We are better served by accepting them, learning to love them and seeing the beauty in them. Our energy is more appropriately focused on the areas we can do something about. But how do we know which behaviour is hard-wired into our nature and which can be ascribed to the habits we have picked up along the way?

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It All Comes Down To This

Monday 14 October, 2013

When we forget the simplicity of it all, or we’re convinced there must be another way; when we are stuck, or frustrated by the lack of novelty, this is the post to read. It’s a reminder of the value of repetition and practise. Every day, every minute, every breath. In the end, it all comes down to this:

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You Think Too Much

Monday 30 September, 2013

People have been telling me for years. And they’re right, I do think too much. In the past, whenever it was pointed out to me, I felt a sense of pride because I thought thinking too much was better than thinking too little. The trick, of course, is to find the balance between the two; to know when it’s necessary to think long and hard, and when it’s better to think only a little or not at all. This post looks at awareness, mindfulness, and mastery as tools to harness our thinking process, rather than allow ourselves to be governed or distracted by our thoughts.

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Life In The Middle

Monday 18 February, 2013

Many years ago a colleague of mine talked to me about living life along a steady, unmoving line between the emotional highs and lows I seemed addicted to at the time. They manifested themselves most noticeably in the weekly rhythm of Fridays and Mondays, fuelling each other in a never-ending cycle of ups and downs. The purity of the joy I felt on a Friday afternoon, with the whole weekend ahead of me, would be matched 2½ days later by the despondency of a Monday morning; the weekend banished to a memory and my mood compounded by having to face another five days before I could feel that joy again.

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Deal With Whatever Comes Our Way

Wednesday 27 March, 2002

07.20 E&M 50 mins. Yesterday I worked with Karaj laying slabs in the far corner of the sunken garden. The weather was gorgeous and as I stood in the garden this morning I was fully aware of the change in season and the fact that not only had I survived the winter, I had done very well with it. The challenge remains, however, to be totally unaffected by the seasons. My balance is my success.

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Maturity & Subtle Insights

Thursday 10 January, 2002

06.55 E&M 50 mins. Followed by another 60 minutes of exercise in my physiotherapy class. At the house Karaj had marked my latest appraisal (14Dec – 9Jan). There were hardly any comments from him and he told me it was excellent. We talked about my maturity and about the session with the core group on Sunday when I was prompted to quantify how I wanted to grow up this year. It helped me to define what I want to do and because of that verbalised definition, it is already happening. I am maturing at a rate which makes it almost visible – to me at least.

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Male Energy & On Fire

Sunday 16 December, 2001

Felt tired as we all met up at the house and I instructed the other men to keep an eye on me for the first couple of hours because I was tired and also with particular regard to Priya’s imminent presence. They didn’t. They, like me, assumed that I knew what I was doing. But that is the whole point. They can see my script far better than I can so I need them, even if I protest, to look out for me. Especially when I ask them too.

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Owning & Forgetting

Friday 7 December, 2001

A busy morning as I made sure the basic work was done – preparing and cooking the food – so the others (Karaj, Sunil and Dev) could discuss the best approach for the construction work on the conservatory. Kuldip arrived and in the afternoon I continued my work in the office while efforts began outside. At one point I reached a block in my work, took a break and went outside to see what was going on. I was drawn quite naturally into working with the others as they tried to move the soil pipe out of the way of where the conservatory roof will go. We had a deadline to meet and as the time drew closer the energy increased but did not become destructive.

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