Kindness is contagious

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.  Lou Tzu My religion is kindness: Kindness to strangers, kindness to friends, Kindness to family, kindness to myself. It wasn’t always that way. Kindness is contagious. Even the smallest apparently insignificant act of kindness has great power to change. I know this both as giver and receiver. Kindness is contagious.  Don’t wait for someone to be kind to you before being kind back. Be brave. Be the change. Be kind first. Kindness doesn’t look for something in return. Kindness doesn’t need recognition. Kindness it is not ego food. Kindness is its own reward. We need…

Really listen

Seek to understand before seeking to be understood. This means…  Listen, really listen. This means… your only desire is to understand. This means… not trying to give a solution. This means… not trying to think of an answer. This means… being fully present with all your senses dedicated to listening. This means… your posture is open, listening. This means… seeking clarification if you lose concentration or don’t understand. This means… with compassion – an open heart. This is an act of love.

There is always hope

My friend Clayton and I were the wild boys and proud of it. In our early 20’s we tried every drug we could get our hands on. We chased women. We drove fast cars. We lived intensely. I saved his life at least once and he saved mine. A thing we had in common was a level of emotional intelligence of less than zero. We didn’t feel things; we took drugs instead! I had no idea what an emotion was. In spite of all that, we each did well professionally… that is, we earned lots of money. Looking back now, I can see clearly that we were both desperately trying…

The cards you are dealt

In a game of poker, the cards we have in our hand are decided by chance in the deal; we don’t pick them. Even if our cards are not that good we can still win. Only an idiot would complain about his or her cards. Complaining will simply remove any chance of winning. Our lives are like a game of poker. You didn’t choose your parents, teachers, neighbours or family. Your task is to play the very best game you can with the cards life has given you. Only an idiot would complain. In this life it is not the cards you are dealt which counts, it is the way…

Friendship

We sit there, side by side on the sofa, eyes closed. In that moment nothing exists except the aria. Wordlessly we submit to the unbearable beauty of the soprano’s voice as it pierces simultaneously our hearts.. Emotions are not hidden; there is no shame in tears shed. Hearts are cracked open, the tender contents gladly shared. Another moment: sitting on the cliff top in quiet companionship. The growling waves crash thundering onto the rocks, felt in our bodies rather than heard in our ears. The sun warming our backs; the breeze - gentle, refreshing. The coarse slippery texture of the dune grass in my fingers. The vast peaceful clear blue…

Death and Dying

There are only two things I know for certain in this life: that I will die and that I do not know when.  Whenever I raise this point to groups I am normally met with groans, a roll of the eyes, or “that’s a bit strong”, “that’s a bit depressing”. And yet to live with this reality close to hand is deeply empowering; it allows me to live my life more intensely. It helps me understand what is important and what is not. I can let go of my need to always be right or to be a dick, and instead, be present and connect. Colours are brighter. Everything is…

Is your relationship toxic or healthy?
Post Apocalyptic Love

Is your relationship toxic or healthy?

A frequent topic of conversation in our residential resilience trainings is that of relationships. Most people want to find a partner, someone with whom they can share their lives. Many have experienced disappointment in relationships. Some have experienced real suffering. Others have experienced unhealthy relationships in which, although they have felt unhappy and mistreated, they have felt unable to get out of. Perhaps one of the saddest aspects is when a relationship has ended and the person wants me to help them with some trick or strategy to get that other person, that relationship back. This is normally an indicator of an unhealthy relationship. In a conversation with my youngest…