Remember Your Starting Point

Thursday 29 November, 2018

During the whole episode, I was not the only one to question whether it is even possible to change oneself. It’s an obvious and natural question to ask when we fall back so heavily into the habits we say we wish to change. The question feels loaded, as if there is only one conclusion: No, it isn’t possible. No wonder I had such a strong urge to walk away during those two weeks. But there is another perspective: This is a lifelong process, there is always work to be done, and (believe it or not) you are progressing every day. Seen in that way, it helps enormously to remember where you started.

Read the rest of this entry »

Take The Chance To Practise

Sunday 29 July, 2018

Within every one of my professional interactions – whether retreats, workshops, or individual conversations – there comes a time when someone asks exactly how they are supposed to get around the obstacles they encounter so regularly. The answer is always the same; the encouragement too: ‘Practice. And you have plenty of opportunities every day to practise.’

Read the rest of this entry »

A Magical Retreat

Thursday 12 July, 2018

It was serene and gentle, but equally powerful and intense. The house and surrounding countryside offered immediate peace and quiet, with a faint promise of revelation. It was an environment which heralded the high level of quality we would experience in every facet of the retreat. Attendees arrived with a little apprehension; understandable, really, because there is no way of knowing quite what to expect. It was the same for the trainers. Marcus and I were poised, ready to go down any avenue the process and the people took us; equipped with our versatility and expertise, and a willingness to support and enrich the lives of those bold enough to be themselves.

Read the rest of this entry »

Slow & Steady

Friday 6 July, 2018

I thought I might be able to summarise the essence of our first retreat in one blog post, but I’m not even going to try. Instead, I shall simply begin with this entry, in the hope that the rest will emerge in a manner in keeping with the title of this post. It uses an example from our weekend which made us smile and laugh throughout. It shows how one simple comment can open up into a world of information and learning for all involved; and how returning to the lessons can reinforce a simple yet powerful habit without any effort at all.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Time To Plant A Tree

Thursday 7 June, 2018

When faced with something we consider to be a mammoth task – and behavioural change can certainly fall into that category – it’s easy to feel daunted, or to find reasons not to make a start. It is particularly difficult when life is hard and everything seems to be going against us. But it is especially when problems appear insurmountable that we must remind ourselves of the importance of taking one step, and the wisdom of what time can do for us. We can, therefore, take great encouragement from this saying:

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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:

Read the rest of this entry »