Breathe, go within and be present

It’s ever so simple, and yet so profound. Breathe! Yes, just do it! Take in a deeper breath or two and breathe out long. Take a moment to really notice it and feel it. Feel your body as it responds. Notice how you feel. Really savour the moment. And notice the effect it has. Now, what was going on for you? Where were you at when you read those words and took some deliberate, conscious breaths? Were you a bit somewhere else, a bit in your head, a bit on edge, or other ways that your mind uses to grab … Read more

Breathe and you have the power to change your life

The power to change your life can be contained, it is said, within a single breath. Yet there’s also a whole lot of understanding and practice behind that. If you take a breath right now and, let’s say breathe deeply and then breathe out slowly, you might feel a bit calmer and more relaxed, depending on how tuned in you are. You might in that instant also welcome the chance to be in the moment and let go of whatever is currently pressing in on your life. The real skill however, if we can call it that, is within the … Read more

We can very easily miss the simple solutions in life that are naturally available to us

When things are not going so well we can very easily miss simple solutions in life that can make things better for us by using the  simple gifts naturally available to us, like breathing or laughing! It’s curious how the simple things in life are so hard to get, were it not for the barriers we’ve put in their way. That can sound almost inappropriate, if we don’t realise the power of these very available things. Breathing consciously, focusing your awareness on the action of breathing in and breathing out, is a mindfulness technique that brings you into the moment … Read more

Your invitation to the party

It’s a vital distinguishing feature of people today, those that have self awareness. It’s that ability to take a step back and be aware of oneself in action. With skill and practice, we become far more able to be aware of when our less useful characteristics, those of the ego, are in play: for example if we check ourselves out and put a pause perhaps on that old “knee-jerk” response. It’s not surprising that Daniel Goleman, author of “Emotional Intelligence”, describes it is the key emotional intelligence ability. It also enables us to be more connected, to be more aware … Read more

Feeling driven and needing a break after a holiday

For many a holiday can feel like a well-earned rest but for others it can be a much-needed break after very pressured work. Some even feel guilty to take time out. Yet breaks are necessary pauses for us, especially if we’re feeling driven. Today is classically when large numbers of people return to work in the UK after what seems to some of us like quite an extensive Christmas. For many it’s also when the children go back to school. Yet I wonder how many of you collapsed in a metaphorical heap this Christmas and still found that time flew … Read more

Feeling overloaded by data

Feeling overloaded by data is a widespread phenomenon that’s having a big impact on people’s work lives, and one might even add personally too, as with stress, anxiety and depression. Do you find your self feeling overwhelmed with the mass of tasks, activities and areas of focus you need to attend to on your computer? Like you know you have to make a call shortly and yet you’ve just had an email about something you’re doing that’s gone wrong and you can’t find the relevant file. Then there’s a text from someone close to you and someone has just dropped … Read more

On being purely aware of breathing

I went to a wonderful evening about Rumi in Bath last Thursday, at an event led by people of the Sufi Way. Peter Hawkins led a fascinating session on Rumi’s life and the mystical poetry that he wrote, interspersed with readings by Kunderke Kevlin. Rumi is frequently quoted not only by his followers and other Sufis but also very many others interested in the mystical approach both in the East and in the West. One particular poem stood out for me, Only Breath. Such a powerful reminder of that which is formless and unattached. For me it was a great … Read more

Now just stop, pause, and breathe

Now pause and breathe! “What?” you might think, “I haven’t the time for that!” We many of us arrive at work with a lot on our mind. For example, how many of you will be starting your week with a great, big “to do” list? You might of course be all fired up with enthusiasm and inspiration about what you’re going to “do”. However, given that over half of people are in jobs they currently don’t like, it might be more with a heavy heart. Along the latter way lies stress and illness after a while. Pausing before taking action … Read more

Has fear got hold of you?

Anybody watching the collapse in share prices across the world over the last few days may well be feeling more than a touch of fear. It is after all panic that drives these massive sell-offs. Previously what was regarded as quite “safe” investments suddenly looks very unsafe. People pull the plug and cash drains away. Fear can be all-consuming. It gets us in the grip, paralysing us and driving us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. Or it can sit in the background, as an underlying anxiety. It tends to lead to exaggeration in the level of the perceived … Read more