Do you allow the opinion of others to affect what you feel and do?

How much does the opinion of others impact what you think, say and do? Many people say to me that one of their greatest fears is of not being thought well of by others. The role of judgement plays a huge part in our lives, more than we’d perhaps care to admit. Yet, it is just worth bearing in mind that it is just that, a judgement. Consider the role that judgement plays in our lives. For starters there is religion which in an increasingly secular world still plays a huge part, and much religion is about judgement at some … Read more

Use mindfulness to drop negative feelings

It might seem the holy grail to many of us, the ability to drop negative feelings at will. Believe it or not but it can be done, although for many of us too it can be after some effort, and not always healthily. Mindfulness offers a very healthy alternative and the benefit comes with knowledge and practice. Do you find that negative feelings can hang around for ages, like you’re hooked on them? We can struggle to let go of anger, upset or sadness. They can pollute our life and interrupt our enjoyment. They can affect the choices we make … Read more

Letting go can be the hardest thing to do

Do you find you get so caught up in something that you don’t see that what you really need to do is let go? We can get so attached to something that hanging on to the direction we’re taking seems the only option and we thus lack choices about alternatives. Letting go of “it” can seem a weakness, giving up. It can seem obvious to an outsider but to us in the middle of “it”, whatever that is, “it” is all that matters. You want something to happen but “it” won’t oblige! The frustration builds up and we work all … Read more

Being mindful of what you are thinking feeling and sensing

I’ve recently been preparing a new mindfulness course and in the process reflecting on what for me was one of the most invaluable things I learned from mindfulness many years ago, that of what is called metacognition. This is where your mind is aware that you are thinking, feeling and sensing as it is happening. For me, this experience of being mindful, once I had learned how to practice it, was truly transformative. At the time I knew it as “witnessing”, since my training had also been with people versed in certain traditions that integrated Eastern mysticism with Western Transpersonal … Read more

Getting to know the different parts of ourselves can be healing

You might think that the good person whom you like to think you are is always perfectly nice and reasonable, pleasant to be around, positive, calm and agreeable, and that that’s what others want. Then you might also want to throw your toys out of the pram, have a tantrum and be perfectly obnoxious. These different parts of ourselves can feel uncomfortable to be around. For example you may know you can’t be like that, having tantrums, quite simply for various reasons of a social kind, like that’s not what one does, others don’t like it – and they certainly … Read more

Mindfulness helps us see what’s messing up our lives

To say that the first step in mindfulness is to become aware can sound obvious were it not that we tend to live much of our lives in automatic pilot and not attending to the obvious, what’s right in front of us, what’s really going on. What we really need to attend to, what’s messing our lives up, tends to be things we’ve taken for granted, or where it’s learned behaviour or it’s a pattern we’ve taken up long ago and wouldn’t know we’re doing it. For example, someone who has a lot of stress in their life might have … Read more

To not trust others shuts us off to ourselves too

To trust others is a delicate boundary in human relationships and not trusting is a potential source of self-limitation. Let’s look at where we often don’t trust. It is commonly stated that trust in various kinds of public figures and professions is at a low ebb. A range of scandals, exposes and crises in the last few years has lowered many in public esteem, including in the UK politicians (the expenses scandal), bankers and financial services (the 2008 crash), and journalists (the hacking scandal). Some go on to say that trust in general is weak, although in hard times that … Read more

Time to be is time to be yourself

Taking time out every year is so invaluable, and yet I know people who have literally worked so hard that they didn’t take holidays, or struggled to relax when they did. It was in the news recently that it now takes people on average 4 day and 8 hours to wind down, as was reported in a recent post here. That could take a lot of time to be yourself, for some of us. Doesn’t this say something about how we’re all living? It’s like people have forgotten how to connect to their breath, to literally take a breath. Or … Read more

Mindfulness of who you are

Recently there has been an explosion of interest in the personal development and coaching arena in the practice of mindfulness, and now anyone exploring the field will find it hard to miss some course on the subject. For the layperson however this might be just more  jargon to find your way around before you can actually find someone who can help you resolve your problem. This blog, and the courses offered on this site, have plenty to say about matters like awareness, presence, emotional intelligence and managing the mind. So what is mindfulness and what has it to do with … Read more

To choose or not to choose

Pardon the Shakespearian touch, but do you find you can get so “caught up” in something that’s going on in your life that you forget you have other options as to how you might respond and deal with it, that you can choose again? I’m thinking of how we can be so impacted by something that happens that, despite what we’ve learned, we are quickly back in the midst of our “knee-jerk” reactions, succumbing to the familiar numbers we can run. Then, like Hamlet, we no longer “be”. Let’s say you not long ago left a job you had decided … Read more