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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Infinity In A Box

Saturday 10 June, 2017

One common and understandable conclusion we draw in this work is that ‘If I work hard enough I will rid myself of the issues I have. One day, I will no longer feel anxious or angry, and I will stop wishing the world were different.’ I used to look forward to a time when all my problems would be solved. I used think I would wake up one day and be different because the painful parts would be gone and the struggle would be over. And I used to think that working on myself was the way to do that. It is, but it’s only half the story because self-development is a stepping stone to a greater understanding that we already possess what we desire.

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Work On Yourself

Monday 2 January, 2017

There are exceptions to every rule, but for most of the issues we face in life the answer is always the same: work on yourself. Whether you are angry with someone, or you think others should behave differently; whether the world is not how you’d like it to be, or life seems to be dealing you a difficult hand, the solution lies with you. You improve your situation by working on yourself, and there is much you can do because the amount of power and control you have over who you are and what happens to you is huge.

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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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One Thousand Days

Thursday 23 June, 2016

Every movement is a sign of the progress I’ve made. With every step I take, I can feel the difference. There is greater balance, greater control, and greater harmony than before. Not to mention the alleviation of pain. And all because of a short, easily achievable programme of exercises, repeated daily for the last 1000 days. My success is rooted not so much in the workout itself, but in its persistent, long-term execution because, beautifully, the more often and focused we exercise, the more the subtleties of our physical form reveal themselves.

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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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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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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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The Fork In The Road

Friday 11 October, 2013

It’s that point in the process of behavioural change, at which we are on the verge of laying down a new pathway. As we stand there, deliberating the fresh, untrodden ground for the first time, possibly even drained from the effort it has taken to get this far, it is useful to know that we are also close to rejecting the opportunity in favour of the familiar. Our preparation has taken us tantalisingly close to something new, yet we are about to turn our backs on it all, for a continuation of what we already know so well. This is to be expected and it explains, in part, why developing new habits can be a bit tricky.

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I’ll Make It

Sunday 6 October, 2013

Disembarking from a rush-hour train and racing to catch my connection, my haste dissolved in an instant – first mentally, then physically – as the thought expressed itself that, ‘I’ll make it.‘ In and of itself, this is unspectacular, but for someone whose default position is more concerned with what might go wrong specifically, or just that, generally, something will go wrong, it represents a departure from the norm. My cautionary, nay negative, attitude is such an automatic position that I barely notice it, but on this particular morning it was replaced with ease. The thought came naturally, I relaxed, and then another thought came: ‘Even if I don’t, I’ll be fine‘. And I relaxed even further.

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Switching To Manual

Thursday 27 June, 2013

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that changing our patterns and habits can seem an arduous undertaking. It feels awkward and unnatural. And it’s tiring. But that is only because we are having to resort to manual techniques in order to make it possible. In any walk of life, the switch from automatic to manual is a frustrating one because automatic, by definition, requires no thought and minimal effort. Manual, on the other hand, is slow and cumbersome. To begin with, at least.

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Back To Good Habits

Sunday 6 July, 2003

Simran woke me up to tell me of a call he received this morning from Shona. I listened to what he had to say and then asked, ‘You woke me up for that?’ He apologised, saying he thought it might affect our plans. I told him I’d see him later and hung up. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I reflected on his call. I was annoyed at his invasion – again – and wondering whether I had handled it okay. Once I’d established there was no emergency, I had cut the call short.

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If Something Works…

Saturday 14 June, 2003

Awake. Tired and very stiff. Had trouble sleeping last night – so much body pain. I felt short-tempered, but I welcomed people as they arrived for the men’s group.

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Old Habits Are Dying

Tuesday 27 May, 2003

Karaj called from London to discuss the plans for today. There will be more visitors: Michelle, Harriet, Dev, Marian and the girls (Simran’s young sons). Shortly afterwards, Calvin phoned, asking whether Karaj had looked at his work memo. He also told me the school has not sent the learning stuff he had thought they were getting. I was annoyed at Calvin’s lack of action and rounded the conversation up. His passivity cannot go on. With his son and his work he needs to do something. (He doesn’t know whether he will be here on Wednesday; he will let me know. Precisely my point.)

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