The Richness Of Not-Knowing

Wednesday 29 April, 2020

What if you abandoned everything you thought you knew, relinquished your beliefs, and became more acquainted with not-knowing? It’s not a commonly expressed idea, but every time I hear it, it stands out, offering an enticing alternative to our conditioned way of life. It’s a sanctuary, but we treat it like a taboo because from a very early age we fear being mocked or punished or disadvantaged if we don’t know.

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Make Peace With Your Truth

Wednesday 22 April, 2020

This is the second assignment from the course mentioned in the previous post. The session itself was entitled, Navigating Uncertainty, and the main message of the lesson was not necessarily that we need take any action, nor that we can passively expect something to come our way, but that we are more likely to act ‘when we make peace with the truth‘. The assignment, therefore, was this:

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A Better World For Everyone

Tuesday 31 March, 2020

The world is increasingly in lockdown and life as we have hitherto known it is breaking down, yet my recurring thought amongst all the fear and uncertainty is that transformation often comes through suffering. The potential for change is always there, awaiting action or awareness, but as long as we’re comfortable nothing is likely to change. The pain wakes us up and motivates us to move. It screams at us that this cannot be the only way.

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Choose To Change Your Mind

Tuesday 17 March, 2020

The exercise was straightforward, the instructions clear. We were given a warm-up scenario, and simply asked to agree or disagree. A line had been drawn down the middle of the room, and our job was to take a position, then seek to persuade others to step over to our side. During the introduction, my attention was drawn to one instruction in particular: Don’t be too fixed in your stance. Be open to the arguments you hear from the other side.

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A Break In The Routine

Wednesday 16 May, 2018

Twelve days into creating the new early morning habit, a familiar obstacle came into view: a break in the routine. It can happen for a number of reasons (in my case it was a two-day trip to see friends) but when it comes it can be surprisingly disorienting. It’s almost unavoidable to begin with, so don’t be hard on yourself when it happens, take a deep breath, and get back into your routine as soon as you can. The longer the break, the more difficult it becomes to find your way back.

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The List

Wednesday 16 August, 2017

What follows is a list of many of the most important pieces from this blog. The list makes it easy for you to understand at a glance what is necessary in this work. It takes you through the process of self-development and self-realisation – from awareness, observation and reflection, and back to awareness – offering you guidance on what to expect along the way and what you can do to help yourself.

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The Paradox Of No Choice

Friday 30 June, 2017

Having emphasised in the previous post the influence of choice on our lives – the unconscious nature of so many of our daily choices, and the need for awareness in order to make better ones – it can also be very helpful to have no choice at all. More specifically, it can be helpful to give yourself no choice. Having no option but to pursue a certain course of action means there is no internal dialogue; no time or energy wasted flipping between need and desire (‘I should but I don’t want to!’). You have to do it, so you get on with it.

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The Choice Is Always Yours

Thursday 22 June, 2017

Every action, every word, every thought is a choice we make and for which we are responsible. What we seldom realise is that we have always been choosing. We may have been conditioned by others to make certain choices – and to make them over and over again – but we always had the freedom to make different ones, no matter how limited that freedom may have seemed. We have been choosing for so long, and doing so thousands of times every day, that our choices have become automatic, passive, unconscious, habitual. Over time, familiar pathways gradually become furrows, deeper and deeper, so that even if we become aware of them, it can seem too difficult to find a way out.

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Limited Only By Our Beliefs

Wednesday 22 March, 2017

Is it possible to influence the result of a football match which has already taken place if you have no knowledge of the result? When this question occurred to me years ago my conclusion was: ‘Yes, it is possible.’ After all, if the focus of thousands of people can have an effect on the outcome of an event, then so can the focus of one person. And if time is an illusion and everything already exists simultaneously, then all we have to do is choose – with complete conviction and belief – whichever reality we want. Our very own placebo effect. The difficulty occurs because we have firm ideas of what we believe to be true and real. Let those go and everything becomes possible.

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Distracted By The Shiny Stuff

Thursday 15 December, 2016

This year it has become clear to me why we are so easily distracted by the shiny stuff, even when the evidence tells us that consumption does not offer long-term contentment: We think this is all there is. We have no idea that there is an alternative. For so many of us there is only the physical plane. Anything which might exist beyond what we perceive with our immediate senses is too abstract for our rational minds to comprehend. We see only what is there, and we dismiss all notions of what might exist beyond that. Life, therefore, quickly becomes focused on the pursuit of earthly pleasures and the avoidance of any kind of pain.

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Reality’s Shopkeeper

Tuesday 13 September, 2016

She stands behind the counter, waiting patiently for you to arrive. She has all the time in the world and will wait forever because infinity is something she is comfortable with, and because she sees her work as the highest form of service. Every day she has the chance to make dreams come true and bring joy to whoever walks into her shop. You see, she has an infinite stockroom, with infinite shelves, holding every imaginable reality. She is your servant and will bring you whatever you wish for. You just have to tell her what it is.

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And So It Continues…

Monday 8 August, 2016

How you choose to see life makes a difference to your perception of yourself, the world, and your place in it. Your outlook and attitude define the qualities you attribute to the whole of existence. They affect how you think and feel, and, therefore, every experience you have. For example, if you choose to believe in coincidences, life takes on a more random quality as different events simply collide without reason or purpose. In those instances the assumption is that if there is any control over what happens, it is beyond us; aspects of our fate are decided elsewhere.

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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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300 Days

Thursday 24 July, 2014

Every day for the last 300 days I have followed a 25-minute exercise routine. It has been a goal of mine for some time to establish such a habit. There have been numerous attempts over the years with plenty of tinkering along the way to get it right. Early routines were dotted with painful episodes because I overdid things. I pushed myself too hard, in too much of a hurry to make progress. Back problems have littered all previous attempts, enticing me each time to throw in the towel. And I did give up. But I came back to it again and again. This current run is my most successful ever.

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