I recently spent ten days at a silent meditation retreat called Vipassana. It was intense and interesting, and like nothing I have ever experienced before. Whilst it was fresh in my mind, I shared my experience in a free flowing conversation with an old friend of mine. We talked about what Vipassana is, what I observed and experienced, the key learnings and tools I took away, and how I prepared for the most intense ten days of my life.
A friend of mine who knows a thing or two about wine recently explained how the experts assess quality using the BLIC test. It comprises Balance, Length, Intensity and Complexity. What if we could apply the same test to our lives?
What if you had a mirror that helped you more accurately see yourself as the world sees you? A lens that offered a glimpse into the workings and motivations of the people in your life. And a path for personal growth towards a more balanced and fulfilled life. How would it change the way you show up in your day to day life?
Are you happy? When a friend recently asked me this question, I had to consider how to respond. It’s a simple question but I have almost never been able to answer it with a clear “yes” or “no”, at least not without a preamble or explanation of some sort. What really is happiness? How does one find it, create it or hold on to it? And why as a society are we so obsessed with it?
No one really prepares us for rejection, other than life itself giving every one of us our own unique lesson in it. The simple act of selecting something or someone is in itself an implicit rejection of all else that was on offer. We could not function if it weren’t for our ability to choose. We experience rejection both explicitly and implicitly from the day we are born, and yet it is the one thing we dread most in our daily lives.
Everything changes the instant you see that money is abundant but your time on this earth is scarce, not the other way around.
The concept of time is complex. Money too is complex in terms of how it is created, disseminated, perceived and ultimately used. Unlike time, money can be earned, replaced and substituted, and most importantly, it is possible to live without it.
I’ve always loved reading. There is no better way to travel to a faraway place, to be a fly-on-the-wall in a family drama, to live someone else’s life, and learn new things. All by simply getting lost in a book or listening to an audiobook. Today I review one of my favourites.
The practice of gratitude is one of the most powerful ways of creating abundance in our lives.
What are you grateful for today? Can you list five things each day that made you feel happy, safe, loved or valued?
The practice of acknowledging the good things in your life is key to attracting more of them. The habit of expressing appreciation to those who bestow you with those good things is what keeps humanity going, despite all the challenges and negativity.
As India’s Independence Day approaches I wonder why it isn’t called Freedom Day. Did India not free itself from its colonisers? Does it matter that the subjugation happened slowly over a few hundred years with the tacit consent of the country’s feuding rulers? The relationship between the British Empire and India over time had become one of co-dependence: both countries needing each other but with one wielding all the power.
What really is the difference between independence and freedom, especially when it comes to individuals like you and me?
The world is crying out for leaders who lead from the front and leave no one behind. We need leaders who have the courage to create something that goes beyond their personal gain. We want leaders who get the big picture and see what is truly possible for them and for their team. Leaders with the ability to enlist others into their vision, to make an impact and be remembered.
Nature’s capacity to heal is a reminder of what’s possible for every one of us. It’s a reminder that no matter what external events occur in our lives, we have the capacity to create change and even reinvent ourselves to suit our new reality. Never before have we been individually and collectively been given permission to question the status quo and actively create a whole new normal.
As humanity reels from the ravages of a tiny microscopic virus, Nature is breathing a sigh of relief and our beautiful planet has a chance to heal. It is ironic, what Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion could not achieve, the Coronavirus has done by bringing economic giants to their knees. Whether you’re in full lockdown, self-isolating, or are one of our heroes on the frontline, this is a moment in human history that we will remember for a long time.It would be a shame to allow a crisis of such proportions to go to waste. What lessons can we learn and how do we want to look back on this extraordinary time in our lives? This is a unique opportunity to do a few things differently that in years to come we can look back on with pride and satisfaction.
In a time when we are digitally more connected than ever, at least on an illusory level, social isolation is probably at an all time high. “Friends” and “followers” on social media are no replacement for real conversations and human interactions. Our social media avatars have become yet another mask we wear to selectively portray a certain persona. Today I want to share a few things I do to make it work for me to stay open to new connections, some of which go on to deepen into real friendship.
Relationships fascinate me. How new people come into our lives. How some people help us to grow by being supportive whilst others appear to teach us life lessons in the most unexpected and hurtful ways. How someone you were once best friends with is now on a completely different wavelength. How in your hour of need exactly the right person shows up, as if by magic, helps you and then disappears before you’ve had a chance to even say thank you. Or how you can no longer bear to be around people you once so loved and admired.
I recently listened to Dr Gabor Maté’s audiobook When The Body Says No. I don’t exaggerate when I tell you that it has shaken me to the core and changed so much of what I thought I knew. I’m not alone in my belief that staying positive is one of the simplest things in our control that can lead to better emotional and physical wellbeing. I now know I was wrong.
Today I’m sharing with you something I put together for my children, to help them deal with the curve balls life will inevitably lob their way.
No matter how grown up or responsible you are, there will be moments when you feel like a helpless bystander in an out-of-control world.
My last post was about the greatest gift you can give yourself. Today I want to talk about gifts you can give others that will cost you nothing but will mean the world to those receiving it. And as with all heartfelt gifts, they will leave you feeling happier, healthier and more fulfilled.
The greatest gift you can give yourself if to become self-centred.
“What?” I hear you say. “Isn’t that the same as selfish? How’s that a good thing?”
Being self centred is about going deep within yourself & taking ownership of all your choices & actions. It’s about understanding that everything you need & want can be found within you. It means that even change around you begins with you.
I’m not a fan of labels. Literally and metaphorically speaking. I’d be hard pushed to tell you what brand of trainers I wear, or what make my kettle or iron is. To me they serve a purpose, and so long as they do it well, I don’t care what names they goes by. The same logic applies to individuals.
Over time we attribute labels to ourselves based on what we do for a living, our current abilities and the perception we and others have of who we are. These labels can colour our self-esteem and become our limitations.
Over the recent school half term break, my son and I travelled to India to spend time with close family and friends. An unexpected benefit was a whole week spent with hardly a mention of Brexit in the news. Bliss. I had many memorable experiences but I want to share just one with you today.