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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Learning from loss: a quick catch-up

I’m sorry it has been a little while since I’ve written.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year!   Our festive period was quite strange and emotional, due to the loss of my grandmother, but we enjoyed family time together and really made the best of it.  Unfortunately on New Year’s Eve, the day after my grandma’s funeral, we had to take my beloved cat, Maisie, to the vet to be put to sleep.  She has been unwell recently, the prognosis was not good, and we knew it was only a matter of time.  The

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Thoughts on living and dying

It is easy to forget, in the rain and the routine, the aches and pains of each day, what a tremendous privilege it is to be alive.   Proximity to death brings a kind of urgency about life that one can quickly lose in the humdrum of work, commuting and making dinner.  Having just witnessed the passing of my beloved grandmother, I am feeling a range of emotions from sadness to gratitude to emptiness.  But, within the grief, there is also an overwhelming urge to live.  To stop worrying, stop complaining, stop being fearful, stop clinging onto things not meant

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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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Don’t stay on the park bench for too long

Don’t stay on the park bench for too long

Like many people, I have read and listened to Eckhart Tolle’s teachings for the past few years, finding them of great benefit to my own life. Yesterday, I listened to a recent radio interview with him on YouTube.  He talked a lot about his early life and experiences, and his responses seemed more personal than before.  I could hear that, while he says he is basically surrendered to the ‘isness’ of each moment, there are still difficulties for him–his sudden fame, busy schedule and lack of time and opportunity to hold one-to-one sessions with individuals.  He also said that he

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The bottom of the river

The bottom of the river

The journey is not about becoming perfect. As Dr. Brene Brown says, perfectionism is just a shield–a desire to be so faultless that we are above judgement.  It is unrealistic and unattainable.  There will always be mess.  There will always be judgement, no matter what you do. The journey is about realising that you are already enough. It is about stripping away the layers of stuff, mental and physical, that you cling on to.  All of those things you hide behind and self-medicate with. Pema Chodron has an analogy that I return to often. Imagine you, your life, as a

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