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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Reflection Of What’s There

Tuesday 16 May, 2017

Sitting on the train, I look at the people standing on the platform as they catch themselves in the darkened glass of the train window. They move their head slightly from side to side, but their gaze remains fixed, fascinated by a face they see every day. What is it about our own reflection that captivates us so much? Is it because we make an effort to look good and we like to admire our work? Or are we looking for flaws which might need correcting? Whether it’s admiration, correction, or curious fascination, we require our reflection to be able to do it.

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TS 16 – What Happens When We Let Go?

Thursday 27 October, 2016

The last word came from the audience. Having spent much of the seminar looking at why it is so difficult for us to let go – of words, thoughts, feelings, relationships, habits, etc. – we turned our attention to the advantages of releasing ourselves from whatever does not serve us: relief, freedom, space for new things, and the achievement itself of letting go. It was then that the question came: Is some kind of healing possible? Yes. Absolutely. We can heal ourselves by releasing whatever we’ve been carrying; especially when there was never any need to carry it in the first place.

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TS 2 – The Mind’s Influence

Monday 25 April, 2016

Dancing was a recurring theme during this seminar. One of the participants shared his story of learning to dance and how, over many years, he had learnt to trust in his ability when leading each partner across the dance floor. He explained that every dance is unique, and by sharing his experience he made a contribution to me. His story highlighted the uniqueness of every experience and how, if we can relax and rely on ourselves – trust ourselves – we will discover that we are more capable and more equipped than we thought.

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This post is about a couple of people I know, whose opinions of personal development have changed dramatically over time. Their examples add further weight to the argument that this work is applicable to everyone’s life. They were both clear about their stance from the very start, communicating their thoughts with an immediacy which suggested they had already given the subject some consideration. In time, however, they changed their minds. One did so over the course of a couple of years, the other in the space of a few months. My role in both instances was to accept their initial assertions and carry on regardless. I never set out to change their minds because the nature of this work means there is no point in persuading someone when they are not interested or don’t believe it can help them. All I know is the difference this work has made to my own life and how much sense it makes when observing the human condition.

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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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Olive Oil & Serving Spoons

Sunday 9 February, 2014

This is a delightful example of completing the picture; the procedure of relating both or all sides of a shared experience. It creates clarity, provides learning opportunities and enhances the connection between people. I shared two meals with Karaj and it was only a fortuitous mistake with the second meal which led to us revealing our respective thoughts from the first. To begin with, here is my side of the story:

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Complete The Picture

Thursday 5 September, 2013

I attended a wedding last weekend. It was a wonderful occasion, as weddings so often are, and for two days afterwards I met and reflected on the whole event with some of the protagonists. We reminisced and replayed our favourite scenes, sharing our highlights and filling in missing pieces of the matrimonial jigsaw. The bride and groom even delayed their honeymoon so they could indulge in more of it, reliving the experience again and again, extending and adding to their memories by gathering their guests’ stories and recounting their own.

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Challenging Our Assumptions

Wednesday 19 December, 2012

A week ago I was challenged to leave my comfort zone. I saw it coming and my immediate response was to resist. Fortunately my motivation to take up the challenge was greater. It was all part of a coaching course I was attending and during this particular session I had been talking with one of the coaches about my reluctance to make the first move in social interactions. At best I feel awkward; at worst, anxious and ready to leave. The coach knew my travel arrangements for that evening and our closing dialogue went something like this:

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Gathering Evidence

Monday 27 August, 2012

We are not always who we think we are. All too often we allow those mischievous thoughts in our head to rule. The voices which tell us we can’t when actually we can. Or that we are, when in reality we are not. If we believe them, they can lead us to have an inflated opinion of ourselves or to dismiss our talents. The best way to correct such disparities is to gather evidence of who we are. Incontrovertible, undeniable evidence. Evidence of our abilities and qualities, but also our blind spots and shortfalls; the aim being to know ourselves as fully as possible. Beyond that pursuit, the goal is to have the picture which people have of us agree with the picture we have of ourselves. Congruency.

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A Determination To Succeed

Saturday 6 September, 2003

We (Karaj, Dev, George, Shona, Priya, Michelle, Ishwar and me) looked at the agenda items for the day. Priya started by annoying me. She was incapable of switching the electricity on in the sunken garden tunnel. She was unsystematic, playing at being useless and inviting rescue. (After the session, we labelled the plugs in the tunnel.) As with last night, there was a comment to me from Karaj when we discussed the format of the to-do list. He said, ‘You can do whatever you like as long as you’re having fun.’ A departure from how things used to be a couple of years ago, and something I have earned through my hard work.

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I Just Need To See It

Thursday 4 September, 2003

Karaj told me I’m thinking too much and that I can’t see what he can see in me. He explained the difference between the two of us: he knows what needs to be done, how long it will take and he appreciates that things take time, whereas I want everything to happen quickly.

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Potential, Power & True Self

Sunday 22 September, 2002

I overslept and Karaj woke me. I had no idea what day it was and felt resentment and negativity at being so tired. Spent the next 30 minutes doing the washing up. As I worked, my negativity began to disappear. This is new. Rather than accompany me for much of my day it simply lifted as I woke up and got on with my day.

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Cut It Out

Wednesday 10 April, 2002

07.30 45 mins. I went to bed last night feeling anxious that I had not done enough with my day and that I continue to let Karaj down. The anxiety was still there this morning and it took a few talks with Karaj throughout the course of the day to sort it out.

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