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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Finding Activism In Art

Friday 15 May, 2020

For the third assignment (after The Space Between Stories and Make Peace With Your Truth) we were asked to seek the activism in the art we produce: ‘Describe an event where you took inspired action, and that created a result beyond anything you could have forced… not necessarily knowing how or whether it would “work,” but nonetheless operating from a feeling of inspiration, purpose, guidance — and maybe a bit of humour.

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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.

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What Do We Have For Each Other?

Monday 19 May, 2014

For years I had a thought: that people who find themselves sitting next to each other on trains, park benches or pavement cafés, might share something of themselves, find a connection and discover the gift each has for the other. I attended an event on Saturday whose goal was the same: to bring people together in order that they may share, connect and discover. All day people did exactly that in pockets of conversation fostered easily by the workshops and the organisers who, once again, did an excellent job.

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Write Your Own Feedback

Sunday 27 April, 2014

It was the third day of his visit and the end of another productive day of silences, conversations, reading, writing and reflection. I had given the TA presentation in Amsterdam that evening and, as part of the process, I had asked the participants for their written feedback. I explained to them that although it obviously helps me, it is more important for them to take a couple of minutes to reflect for themselves. The exercise will bring more clarity to their experience and reinforce their learning. At home afterwards, as I knelt by the open, floor-level window of my apartment and Karaj sat in the armchair, we reflected on how well it had all gone. Outside, the country was celebrating. It was the first King’s Night here in the Netherlands for 122 years.

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Note To Self: Accept Invitations

Monday 24 March, 2014

As an introvert, my default position when I receive an invitation is almost always: No thanks. (Notable exceptions include weddings, some birthdays and close friends.) I am aware of my reluctance, which means it is less likely to influence me. I also understand that too much of anything can be harmful (in this case, isolation) and my experience tells me that social situations can actually be fun, so I tend to accept invites more easily these days. But not automatically.

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An Altered Landscape

Thursday 11 April, 2013

Whilst writing the previous post, ‘It Works. Beautifully.’, I realised that, not only was the experience described there the most positive I have ever had, it has also bestowed on me a feeling that my landscape has been altered. The beauty she and I created permeates my existence and, consequently, I now inhabit a more serene place. Because of her. Because of us.

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Progress Means Never Getting There

Tuesday 22 January, 2013

A disheartening title perhaps, but the point I’m making is that whenever we reach a goal in our development, it’s time to decide where to go next. If we don’t, we stagnate. Top athletes across all sports can be heard saying of their achievements: “There will be plenty of time to enjoy my successes (after I retire). Right now I have to train for my next match.” It’s important to reflect on our progress as we go, but it is equally important to keep going.

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The Contributions We Make

Tuesday 4 December, 2012

This post is about how much we contribute to each other even though we may not realise we do. With our presence we can inspire people, lift their moods, reassure them or provide the opportunity for them to laugh, cry or just be. Sometimes only a few words or a smile are enough. Even silence can suffice to contribute and make a difference to people’s lives and yet we may never fully appreciate the effect we have.

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Make A Connection

Monday 24 October, 2011

There are a few phrases I remember very well from my training because I heard them so often. One of them was a challenge that could be heard in the silences which sometimes followed people’s contributions to the group: ‘Make a connection, people. Make a connection.’ Each time he said it, Karaj was asking us to connect with each other. Nothing else. Just connect. He always urged us to look for the humanity in people and this was allied to that.

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I Will Be Beautiful

Monday 22 September, 2003

Yoga. Short programme. I’m very tired and could easily have avoided exercising, but I didn’t want to. This is the sixth day running, and the sheer discipline of it is doing me good. My body is hurting; not because I am overdoing it, but because I am doing it. My script wants me to be ill, disabled, and I know that. This pain does not surprise me and is not getting me down. I am tired but I am also hyper. Things are going well for me and I am motivated, but I need to slow down. Karaj is manic too.

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Learning How To Serve

Sunday 1 June, 2003

Michelle had invited her father to the house today to honour him. The morning began with preparations for the celebration. Karaj drew up a to-do list of over 40 items. Simran was put in charge and was responsible for ticking off the items as they were done. I received the guests. It was important for me to welcome people and be the first point of contact here. I kept my distance from the servers – Simran, Dev, Ishwar and Kuldip. Only Ishwar was in control of things and it was because of the ineptitude of the others that I stayed on the edge of the operation. I got sucked into their mêlée once for a brief period during the serving of the main course, but quickly got out again when I realised what was going on.

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