Seasickness & tortilla chips

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Seasickness & tortilla chips

Seasickness & tortilla chips

One morning, during my recent holiday in New York, my mum and I got on the ferry to take a Hop-On, Hop-Off tour of the Hudson River.  Whilst I had felt fine beforehand, within a few minutes of being on the boat, I began to feel a bit nauseous.  I have never particularly suffered from seasickness, but the weather was rough, the motion strong and I began to struggle with the feelings of sickness.  I tried to breathe through it and focus on one thing, all of the usual strategies, but the feeling was intensifying and, by the time we

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Why are we scared of making progress?

I’m about to go to bed after a good but tiring first day back at school with the children, but I wanted to post briefly about something that’s been on my mind…  It has struck me recently that sometimes I actually hamper my own progress because I am frightened.  I am talking about spiritual progress, or essentially about coping with a particular difficult life circumstance.  I think that many of us do this.  In the particular, personal situation I am thinking of (moving on from a complicated relationship) I feel sometimes that I am actually doing a lot better than

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The little one

The little one

The little one has mucus gathered at her nose this evening and she lays in my arms unpurring and still, onyx eyes open.   Her tiny animal heart  beats at a speed she surely cannot take for too long.   My fingers touch it, fluttering wildly in the cage of her ribs, beneath her front limbs  when I lift her up to feel the sun.  The skin of her ears is paper thin, red and veined, translucent and warm.   He, an old man in a crumpled suit, bones only recently filtered into the earth, bends to sing from his gut,  while

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Misconceptions about meditation

Misconceptions about meditation

I went on a weekend meditation retreat a little while ago and, without doubt, the most frequent comment I received from colleagues on Monday was: “Oh, it must have been so relaxing!” Well, yes.  And no.   Yes, because I was away from the traffic and noise of London, away from work, away from the constant pinging of technology and away from anybody I knew, just for a couple of nights.  The retreat took place in the countryside so, of course, being able to walk in nature and enjoy the stillness, the peace and the fresh air was relaxing. But

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The eternal ocean

The eternal ocean

One would not, upon the stars, dream of placing a temporary condition of the heart; a means by which they could become fuller, more beautiful, more complete. Yet you, of stardust and stillness, made of the very same things, swill the air and the waves into chaos not knowing there is an eternal ocean beneath where all of your restlessness can have its moment and then pass, honoured but not believed. Be not afraid. Lay your tender heart open. All in nature is complete, and cannot be broken.

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What is courage?

What is courage?

Courage rarely explodes in a rush of love and sunlight.  Those incidences occur, but they are rare. Mostly, courage is a fraction.  A part of a whole.  A whisper that says “I know you’re scared, but stand your ground this time.” Courage is diminutive.  It rolls with the tide and changes shape.  It swells and sighs and alters its opinions depending on the situation. Courage is a long road between the mountains. Courage is speaking out when everyone else is silent. Courage is remaining silent when everyone else is shouting. Courage is pursuing your dreams quietly, diligently, despite the doubt

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Simple things to do when you’re feeling sluggish

Simple things to do when you’re feeling sluggish

We all have those days when we feel a bit ‘off’.  Sluggish, tired, fed up or just a bit blue for no real reason. These are a collection of easy things to try when you’re feeling that way.  They cost nothing and take little time, but they always help me to feel refreshed and just that little bit brighter. Drink a glass of ice cold water (lemon optional!)  Not drinking enough water can make you feel bloated, sluggish and just as though your body is not quite working at its optimum.  I feel immediately better once the water has passed

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How to beat those Sunday evening blues

How to beat those Sunday evening blues

Remember when you were fifteen or sixteen and Sunday evenings really sucked?  The thought of going back to school the next day, starting a whole new week of work, was just too depressing and sometimes, if you were anything like me, the Sunday evening dread could easily spoil your whole weekend. Maybe you still feel like that now.  Maybe you regularly feel that growing knot in your stomach that tells you it’s almost time to get back into work mode. I’ve only realised, in the past couple of years, what a waste of my weekends that was.  What a shame

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