Thoughts on imagination

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Thoughts on imagination

Thoughts on imagination

For as long as I can remember, I have spent a large portion of my days living in my imagination.  Daydreaming.  Fantasizing.  Thinking.  Creating other worlds, people and scenarios.  In a sense, my imagination gave me a secret world in which, consciously or subconsciously, I was superior to others.  Privy to something they didn’t know or could not access.  Even during social occasions, I would often be fantasizing about someone or someplace else, smiling at the people around me and, perhaps, to them, appearing to engage in perfectly fine conversation, but never truly being there. Discovering the teachings of Eckhart

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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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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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The struggle after acknowledgement

The struggle after acknowledgement

When we’re talking about behaviours we want to change, habits that are no longer helpful to us, acknowledgement is the first step and, for some people, the hardest.  Noticing our behaviours, our emotions and our triggers is absolutely vital if we are to make positive changes. But I’ve realised, through my own experience, that acknowledgement doesn’t automatically equal change.  It seems to be a facet of human nature (or at least my own!) that we can absolutely know that something is unhelpful or even harmful, but we continue to do it anyway.  Sometimes that is necessary, for a while, until

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What to do when you’re dumbfounded

What to do when you’re dumbfounded

Sometimes in life, somebody says or does something that is so ridiculous and factually untrue that it is hard not to dissolve into hysterical laughter, stretch your arms out in a manner that says nothing but a slow and pronounced “WTF?” or become so frenzied and angry that you want to swipe them upside the head and pelt them with your heaviest belongings. Whilst one or two of those options may occasionally be appropriate, none of them seems like a real answer to me.  It is really hard to keep cool and collected enough to deal with the issue when

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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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