The Silence Was Beautiful

Tuesday 21 August, 2018

Before leaving for the retreat, I reasoned that the silence might take a day or two to get used to. How wrong I was. Even in my initial distraction on that first afternoon, I felt as though I had come home. Nobody talking, no eye contact, no communication of any kind. Just silence and an inward focus. I can only imagine the number and depth of insights experienced by people during those days. All made possible by the silence. It was beautiful, and at times it took my breath away.

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Focus It All Away

Thursday 21 June, 2018

Life exerts such a guiding influence that, regardless of where we think we want to go, if we relax and engage with it in an open and trusting manner, it will show us the way. It repeatedly leads us back to what we need to see until the integration is complete. This series, which began with an intention to establish a new habit, has led me back to a powerful truth; a subject so familiar that I have old journal entries from 17 and 18 years ago which say much the same thing: Focus is the key to a quiet mind and the dissolution of the self.

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Outside & Inside

Friday 20 April, 2018

As explored in the previous two posts*, we need regular reminders in order to remain on track with the life we prefer to lead and the person we wish to be. Those reminders can be simple instructions; or they can take the form of retreats, where we immerse ourselves in our lifestyle of choice and gain some momentum to take back with us into our regular lives.

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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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Talk To Yourself

Wednesday 18 January, 2017

Two of the most effective people I know talk to themselves. One prepares to leave the house by listing out loud what she needs to take with her; and the other chides and encourages himself, making sure he doesn’t succumb to familiar patterns. It seems unnecessary – even crazy – but it’s a compellingly successful method, and all it takes is for us to turn our thoughts into sound. (Incidentally, the reason we think it’s crazy is because we have been conditioned to think that only crazy people talk to themselves.)

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TS 7 – Don’t Get Cocky

Friday 27 May, 2016

Whilst there are clear benefits of a certain level of self-confidence because it empowers us to take on things without fear of failure, or because it allows us to push ourselves further than we would otherwise go, we should avoid getting cocky (over-confident). Cockiness leads to a loss of focus and we relax too much, thinking we’ve made it. Alternatively, we push ourselves too much, thinking we can do it all. When I was 18 I was playing football and having the game of my life. I felt like I could do anything. Then, 20 minutes before the end, I tried to do too much, tore my cruciate ligament and never played again. That experience, and the constant reminders I received during my training, all help me to remain grounded and not get cocky.

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A Vision For My Future

Wednesday 8 October, 2014

This post is for me. They all are really, but as one period of my life reaches its natural conclusion, the intention behind this piece is to define my pathway for the next phase of my development. I have referenced the imminent end to this blog on numerous occasions, but now there are only 16 days before the final journal entry is published, and it is becoming clear why my time at the house came to an end. In the last entries my annoyance reaches its peak and, whilst there are sporadic windows of relief and reassurance that everything might be fine if I stayed, there is a creeping inevitability about my departure.

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Be Careful So Close To The Finish

Friday 19 September, 2014

Five weeks from today it will all be over. I have been working on this blog for almost four years and in just over a month it will be complete. As much as I’m tempted to get excited about it, and as much as there is also a part of me which just wants to reach the finish line, I need to remain focused and I need to be careful. Very careful. It’s a general rule I learnt early in my training, but it’s one which always has the capacity to catch me unawares, because it’s easy to think I am being careful enough. This post is a reminder to me – at a crucial time near the end of a prolonged and intense process – to be calm, focused, alert and safe.

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Self-Responsibility

Monday 11 August, 2014

Thirteen years ago I spent four days bed-ridden in the accident & emergency department. There were insufficient beds to move me upstairs, so I remained among the organised chaos of A&E. I witnessed all kinds of people arriving at various times of the day and night, with a multitude of complaints; every one of them attended to by doctors who were often baffled by their symptoms. This post follows on from the previous two and makes the point that one of the best ways to prosper is to take care of your own well-being.

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Make It All About You

Friday 12 July, 2013

What are your goals? What is your purpose? Your vision? When you have answered those questions, the next step is to make everything about them. However, when you do, there is one major obstacle you may have to overcome: the feeling that you are being selfish by making it all about you. Know this: it isn’t selfish.

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Make Yourself (Happy)

Tuesday 3 July, 2012

There is nothing unexpected about feeling negative when reflecting on who we are. It’s normal. It’s understandable. None of us are perfect, yet we live in a world which so easily offers the ideal of perfection; even going as far as to suggest we should strive for it because, ‘Look, others have it.’

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What is Coaching?

Monday 30 January, 2012

Coaching means supporting someone in reaching their goals. The coach may or may not help define those goals but once they are set, it is the coach’s job to support, empower, encourage and challenge their client to fulfill those goals and to be the best they can possibly be.

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Innate Motivation

Friday 12 August, 2011

This is the stuff we carry inside of us. When we have it we don’t need persuading, we don’t need added incentives and we don’t need much by way of reward. When we have innate motivation, we do things because it is easier to do them than not do them.

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Why is This Happening?

Tuesday 14 June, 2011

Every day, all year round, things happen to us. But we don’t question why they happen. We can’t, there are too many. But we can question the bigger things. And we do. But it’s how we question them, which makes it all so interesting. I spoke with a friend recently who asked what if the fears she faces are real rather than imagined? The answer to the question is simple: it’s not about the fear. It’s about ourselves and it’s about taking the opportunity to grow as individuals and improve who we are.

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