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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Trusting Love & Life

Thursday 2 January, 2020

I began this review of 2019 with the impression that my resolution from last year had not lasted long. The more I reflected, however, the more I saw that its thread ran through the whole year. Let go. Be empty. That had been the commitment. The reason I couldn’t see it was because my original focus lay too deeply in the extreme of that idea; in the ultimate, spiritual conclusion of emptiness and non-attachment. Lofty goals indeed, and needlessly ambitious because, firstly, I’m far from ready for such a state. And secondly, if it happens at all, it comes through doing the small stuff daily.

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Clarity & Creation

Saturday 28 September, 2019

The other example from the recent Qi Gong workshop came in a break between the exercises. The teacher and I talked about awareness. Without it, nothing can happen. Karaj had shown me that when you see things clearly, they begin to shift. Change occurs just by paying attention. So if passive awareness is enough to generate movement, what happens when it becomes active?

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One Instruction: Let Go

Wednesday 27 February, 2019

This post is an intriguing example of what happens when you let go. It reaffirms the old issues of how easily the mind can dominate; how convinced we can be by its stories; how it takes effort and intent to release ourselves from their entanglement; and how life really looks when you see the truth beyond the veneer.

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Seeing The Gift

Friday 15 February, 2019

It happened because I got drawn into the concept of personhood; identifying with the veneer rather than with the stuff underneath. It’s okay that it happened because I saw it more clearly, and seeing is half the battle. And it’s a sign that I am doing well because my script only fights back when there is something to fight against.

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Another Step Forward

Wednesday 28 November, 2018

The anger turned to sadness, but still there seemed no way out. There was some shame, too, as there always is, because as hard as I work and as long as I have been focused on improvement, such lapses as I describe in the previous post, always make me wonder whether I am actually getting anywhere. This post and the three which follow are meant to record, in case I doubt myself again, that I am getting somewhere. They also detail how written reflection and a well-intentioned, open discussion are key to dispelling the clouds which obscure the purity of who we truly are.

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Tending Your Garden

Tuesday 20 November, 2018

Over the years it became overgrown.
But it was cared for once,
At the beginning.
By others who loved and nurtured it.

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The Team & The Individual

Monday 15 October, 2018

The best thing you can do for your team is to work on yourself. If everyone does that, and people support each other in their respective development, the team will grow and mature. So, too, will the individual. PRACTICE and DISCIPLINE are the foundations of the work. They are qualities you will need to return to again and again as you seek to change certain habits. It can be difficult at first, but if you pay close attention you will be able to SEE YOUR PROGRESS, no matter how small. And it’s important that you see the small steps, because if you wait for the big leaps you will easily become downhearted.

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When The Novelty Wears Off

Friday 15 June, 2018

The novelty has well and truly worn off my latest attempt to create a new habit. Six weeks ago it began with the intention to get up very early every day and exercise, meditate and write. As I wrote in the previous post, that intention transformed itself a few times, finally becoming a desire to improve my sleeping habits by training my mind more. (My mind has been an issue for me for years. But my perseverance each time is a demonstration of the habit forming process – repetition over time – because although I did not know it when I wrote this piece, at the end of the year I would finally have a major breakthrough with my mind.)

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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 the most important and most helpful 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 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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Yesterday I Was Clever

Wednesday 22 February, 2017

A common desire which people express about their interactions with others, is their wish to see the other person change, or grow, or at least move away from what seem to be unhelpful ways of doing things. We all recognise it. We have all felt the same about someone close to us – a friend, a colleague, or a loved one. The thing is, we cannot change anyone, and the sooner we learn this, the better it is for everyone. The title of this post is taken from a poet’s words about the desire to change others and the wisdom it eventually brings:

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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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