Are we losing our ability to have empathy and to connect?

We must have all done it, a family gathering at Christmas and at a quiet moment you come into the room and everybody is on their phones or tablets, with snippets of conversation in between. Perfectly normal, you might think: everybody is wishing friends a Happy Christmas. Except that that is what occurs a lot right through the year where people are together or alone. This world is now getting brilliantly connected. Yet do we notice any disconnect with others we’re with? Being a big user myself but also a coach of relationship and interpersonal dynamics, I’m frequently observing what … Read more

Be present and aware and start enjoying your life

You must just pause a moment and check where your mind has been focused over the last hour or half-hour. How much do you let yourself really be present and aware with what’s happening right now? For example, if you’re travelling to or from work, how much do you notice what’s around you, who you are with, what’s going on? Or is your mind preoccupied, such as with what’s been happening, or what might happen? Are you off ruminating about things? Is your mind doing what is habitually does? So, take a deep breath or two, become really aware, let … Read more

Manage your mind to still your busy mind and be at peace

It’s a common complaint that I hear from people, that their minds are too busy, they can’t get it to be still, they are constantly plagued by negative or unhelpful thoughts, or simple are unable to switch off. It’s no surprise in today’s very stressful life but it’s not something limited to stress situations. Your mind can take you to hell and back if you’re not careful. This is where having the skill to manage your mind is so important. The mind is a maleable instrument and we can deal with these tendencies if we choose. In yoga and other … Read more

Create space for your inner creativity to emerge

You can feel deeply frustrated when you’re stuck in a rut in terms of ideas for a way forward. You’d not be alone, though it can feel lonely. We can, many of us, thrash around for new ideas and although we might come up with something, it might not in the end get us anywhere. Then we can think we’re missing the plot and be losing out in the rush of competition. Apart from a classic ego error, that of comparison with others, this can also miss some important truths about how the mind works in terms of creativity. In our … Read more

How much flexibility do you have with change

What happens for you when somebody does something that “upsets your apple cart, that changes things in an unexpected way that throws everything you’d been thinking and planning for into confusion and uncertainty? Do you respond in a calm, rational way, or is your first “knee-jerk response to feel an upsurge of emotion? Daniel Goleman in Working with Emotional Intelligence states that a key competency in Emotional self-regulation is adaptability or flexibility. It isn’t the obvious one, since one would probably look to self-control as the vital ingredient in how we respond to situations and events that might “push our … Read more

Being present and aware in whatever you are doing

In all the busy-ness of your day, I wonder if there’s a part of you that doesn’t want to be doing what you are doing? Or a part that thinks you’ve got too much to do? Or doesn’t want to be where you are? Apart from considerations of making changes in those situations in the future, it can be worth reflecting on the totality of your awareness in that situation. We can get so heavily invested in our dislike of our current circumstances that we don’t allow ourselves to drop it, let go, surrender and “be” in that moment. Like … Read more

Drop it and be who you are

“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realising who you are at the deepest level of your being.” (Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks) It can be a pattern for people to spend large amounts of their time and energy on matters that get them wound up and upset, angry or anxious, trying to avoid something happening that they don’t want, trying to make something happen that won’t happen, trying to change something that has occured, trying to change other people, trying to change something in themselves, trying to do or be something else, feeling depressed … Read more

Where do you go to be with your Self?

It’s been very warm here in South West France. A clear blue sky, golden colours of autumn. A good day to go out. So we went to this basilica at Penne D’Agenais, Notre Dame de Peyragude. It’s a late 19th Century church, quite simple and with a very strong energy that touches my heart. Having walked round the various chapels round the outside of the nave, I sat down and meditated a while. It felt good to connect in the heart-centre with the energy in the place and allow the feeling to spread out from my heart and right across … Read more

Take time to connect with who or what really matters for you

You might already take a long time to get to work, in which case you might not be surprised to read how long many people now take to commute in the US. It’s happening here too in the UK. What was once the dream of away-from-the-city living has turned into a bit of a nightmare. For others, it is simply a result of getting around in today’s congested travel conditions. So, as you get to the end of your week, you’ll be likely to be glad of a break from it, unless you’ve got a stack to catch up on … Read more

It’s hard to stay connected with all that’s going on

Do you feel you live in a nano-second world? Lots to think about, lots going on, feeling pressured, too much to do, no time? As one who is used to encouraging people to slow down and really get into the deeper meaning of something, this can sometimes be a challenge! I was having what I thought was an interesting conversation with somebody, in which I thought they were engaged, and I was making what to me was an important point – and I was really getting into it – when I became aware that they were no longer “there”. Their … Read more