Get Out Of The Way

Friday 29 September, 2017

Karaj once told me a story of a man who was so convinced that a particular holy man could help him, that he searched far and wide for him. He walked everywhere, from village to village, patiently seeking, knowing inside that whatever the holy man said to him will change his life. Eventually, one dusty afternoon the holy many came into view. He was on a horse, surrounded by mounted guards. Surprisingly perhaps, he was in a bad mood.

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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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Astonishingly Simple

Tuesday 11 July, 2017

Standing on my head, looking across the room at the empty wall, I wondered whether I might put a poster there, upside down, to remind me of a few simple things I forget to do on a daily basis. Simple but powerful practices which, when done regularly and in a focused way, can improve my life. A couple of days later I thought about it again and three things came to mind: smile, breathe, and let go. This post is about the astonishingly simple things which can transform our experience of ourselves and of life itself, and how important it is to practise them whenever we can because, when we need them most, they can be slippery and elusive.

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It Is What It Is

Thursday 15 June, 2017

In 2001, during my recovery from back surgery, the physiotherapist explained, ‘You will have good days and you will have bad days. On your good days, don’t overdo it!’ There is so much wisdom in that advice because, indeed, there are days when things work, and there are days when they don’t. Equally, just as it is important not to get too excited and carried away on the good days, it is also wise not to allow yourself to get too down on the difficult days.

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We Think We Know

Saturday 27 May, 2017

We think we know, but we don’t. We think we have a good idea of how life should be – our own life, other people’s lives, life in general – but we don’t. Given the magnitude of it all and the small scales we operate on, how can we possibly think we can see the biggest picture? From our narrow perspective it’s unfathomable, and with our arrogance of assuming we know we restrict ourselves and make life unnecessarily complicated.

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Back Again, But Different

Monday 6 March, 2017

There’s a glorious moment of not-knowing first thing in the morning. Just on the edge of wakefulness, as consciousness beckons, life takes a deep, silent breath and waits. In that moment, before reality comes rushing back in, potential is at its peak. Everything is possible because nothing yet exists. Nothing of our past is present, and the future can’t exist because it has no present to work with. There is only emptiness and silence, both waiting to be filled with whatever comes their way.

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Letting Go On The Bridge

Wednesday 21 September, 2016

There is a bridge near my apartment across which I cycle most days. It has a slalom element at each end which makes it fun to negotiate, especially when the bridge is empty. Every time I cycle towards it, I want a clear path. I want it to be easy, smooth and enjoyable. But the path isn’t always clear because half the time there are people on it. Some are tourists taking photos, some are locals going about their day, and others are just like me: people on their bikes hoping for a clear run. Over the past few weeks that bridge has become the place where I practise letting go.

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TS 8 – Relaxation & Balance

Thursday 2 June, 2016

There is a rhythm to life. There are always ups and downs – that’s how it is at every level of existence. One of the keys to being able to relax and lead a balanced life is to accept that life is this way. Surrender to the process. Surrendering is not the same as giving up. It just means that we don’t waste time and energy resisting. That alone helps us to relax. The comment below from Karaj summarises this nicely. It comes from the post, Relax, Enjoy Yourself:

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Drop Everything For A Moment

Thursday 24 March, 2016

16 years ago, I wrote a short entry called Infinite Futures, in which I talked about the advantages of remaining within that quiet point in existence where all futures are possible, rather than allow my thoughts to limit me to one particular trajectory. My point had been to remind myself how peaceful life is when I am not preoccupied with what the future may or may not hold.

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Fresh Air & Focus

Thursday 3 March, 2016

I lay on the floor, my earphones leaking the new breathing exercises into my head. It’s week one of the programme and the emphasis is on relaxing and using the power of the mind to visualise. Having found its place between physical exercise and meditation, this is the easiest part of my routine: lie down, close your eyes, relax, breathe, and ease your mind into the realm of power and positivity. This morning, with the doors of the french-balcony wide open, I felt the cool, fresh air inviting me to celebrate with the sunshine in a perfect mixture of springtime and early summer. In my relaxed state, with my mind focussed on its formidable ability to influence mood and create positivity, I had all that I needed.

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Journeys Within Journeys

Thursday 2 October, 2014

In the days before I set off to spend a month in the sunshine, there was reluctance. I had booked the trip primarily out of need, rather than desire. Desire alone would not have sufficed to make it happen, because I have come to value routine over adventure; repetition over novelty. These past weeks have re-awakened the adventurous side of my character in the most gentle way possible: within the secure friendship of good people, and in a beautiful, warm part of the world where everything was in place for me to create my normal routine, meet new people, indulge ever more effortlessly in new experiences, and see myself in sharper focus.

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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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Are You Still Breathing?

Friday 13 June, 2014

There were two occasions during the presentation, when the word breathe appeared on the screen. I had put it there for my own benefit, as a reminder for me to take a moment, breathe, and calm down. I tend to get excited about my work and any reminder to calm myself is always welcome. After the presentation, Karaj offered me his feedback. He suggested I use more of the breathe slides, adding that they should be the focus of my presentation and the focus of my life.

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Relax, Your Future’s On Its Way

Thursday 15 May, 2014

Inspired by two communications with former clients this week, this post follows on from the previous two and is the logical next step: Once you know you create your future, you can relax, it’s on its way. And if you relax, you will see it coming over the horizon. However, if you are too busy with your thoughts and concerns, it will pass you by. Whatever our desired future, the temptation is to force it into existence because we want it so much, or we want to know if it works out, or even just because we desperately want to get out of our current situation. We serve ourselves best, however, by relaxing.

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