A word of caution

Now that he has read a few “spirtitual” books he has become an expert on what is wrong with everyone one around him. He shines a merciless spotlight of criticism on his wife, his children, his work colleagues. In a convoluted way he is trying to make himself a hero, to feel superior, by complaining about his victimhood - which is rather like trying to nail jelly to the ceiling - hilarious but impossible. Conversation is futile whilst he is in his autopilot of protecting/inflating his ego. How does he do this? By complaining… about pretty well everyone and everything around him. A strategy that has brought neither peace nor…

The prisoner and the rain

The prisoner had sat all night in his cage in the rain, condemned to die in the morning. He was waiting, hoping with every fibre of his being for a reprieve; that his appeal would be heard and that somehow he would be spared. The hours came and went but no news came. He realised that this really was the end. He was soon to be executed. At first panic gripped him. He shook with fear. His heart ached unbearably with the thought of all that he was losing.  Then, as he accepted that there was nothing more to be done, he experienced an immense peace, a profound stillness. His…

Ignorant of our ignorance

Our minds provide the only connection, the only interface we have with our lives, the universe and everything. How we use our minds is critical to absolutely every aspect of our lives and yet it is a sad fact that most people spend more time and money on their hairstyle than they do on their mind. Add to this the fact that we are essentially emotionally driven beings and yet most of us have had little or zero training in recognising emotions as they arise in our bodies, what emotions are - let alone how they interact with thoughts and perception. The mind and emotions have evolved to ensure just…

A simple word that will improve your life!

A quick and effective way to reduce unnecessary stress in your life is to learn to say “no”. The inability to say “no” is often rooted in childhood where we had to be “good” to get the approval/love/affection of our parents. If our parents used humiliation as a way of controlling us,this creates an inadequate sense of self-worth which in turn means that we have probably a visceral fear of the imagined reaction or disapproval that we believe saying “no” will create. What lies beneath this is the fundamentally flawed believe that, “I can manipulate this person into loving me by being compliant, by being “nice”.” The reality is the…

Eating healthily for us, animals and the planet

I, like many, have been struggling with the idea of becoming vegetarian, living off a plant-based diet. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants – Michael Pollan I know from independent studies that it is healthier (less contaminants, additives, hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol). I know that most animals raised for meat production are treated terribly and as a result suffer horribly. I know that meat production is an contributor to global warming. In fact, the only argument I have for eating meat is that I like the taste. Not really very convincing when weighed against the other reasons! I was vegetarian for many years between the ages of 35 and 45.…

Children, sunshine and mountains – happy apes

In order to notice the wonderful moments in life, we have to be there to appreciate them. This Saturday was spent walking the Ruta del Cares in Cantabria. The first two and a half kilometres is a steady uphill slog all in the bright, hot spring sunshine. I feel my heart pumping, sweat soaking through my tee-shirt, the awe inspiring views flavoured with a touch of vertigo, feet crunching on the stony surface, contrasting with the river’s sound of rushing water. There is sporadic conversation and long periods of silence without any need to talk. A deep feeling of gratitude and privilege to be there beneath the infinite powder blue…

Relationships: enjoying yours whilst avoiding the pitfalls

Finding our “true love” and making a life with that person takes up an extraordinary amount of our time and energy. Here are 12 ideas to avoid making the most common mistakes: Most relationships end. So stop worrying and enjoy it here and now. You will at least take away great memories. If you waste your time worrying, you won’t even have those!Do not try to fix anyone… It is not in your power to do so. It will drive you and everyone else crazy. The question is this: Can you accept and be with that person just as they are right now?To be in a relationship is to be…

A tale from the dark side

A constant companion in my life has been a dark hole of despair. This feeling is not unusual for people who have suffered the types of neglect, abuse or abandonment that I did as a child. In my case (and many others) it gave rise to compulsive avoidance behaviour with drugs (I include alcohol), sex, falling in love, work - in fact anything that would help me “escape” that empty sense of despair.  The strangest aspect of all this was that I was not aware that I was trying to escape anything; I just felt a compulsive need to always be  “doing something”.  There were many days, during many years…

Nothing is permanent…not even our relationships

Nothing lasts forever; nothing is permanent and everything changes. That includes the people we love and our relationships with them.   Life is a series of problems or lessons. If we solve a problem adequately, if we learn the lesson, we move on. The universe then sends us a new problem/lesson. If we don’t solve a problem or learn adequately the lesson, we become stuck and and/or have to repeat. Relationships follow the same rules. People appear in our lives in a similar way. We find ourselves with someone because we have a lesson to learn. When we have learnt the lesson, we can move on. Sometimes it is obvious…

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