My mind is always busy

Do you find that when you try to be still and quiet and hope to relax that your mind gets busy and won’t be quiet? It can be very frustrating. People often tell me that “it is hard for me to be quiet and ‘switch off’ when my mind is always busy”. If you are trying to develop the practice of meditation this can prove to be a deterrent, if you let it. What people don’t always realise until they try to relax is that they do in fact have a busy mind, like they are always thinking, always on … Read more

A meditation busy in body and mind is a meditation

When people try to take up some kind of silent practice like meditation, they can be surprised and alarmed by what they become aware of that they didn’t know was there before, like a busy mind or even a busy body. Recently I was listening to someone telling me how when she meditated at a certain time of day, she was still in “action” mode and felt she was too mentally busy and couldn’t settle because her feet were so busy! I thought how often people are aware of a part of themselves that seemingly “can’t” settle. So, how might … Read more

Do you find mindfulness difficult to practice?

The benefits of mindfulness practice can often seem outweighed by their pitfalls in the eyes of many who “try” it and give up, seemingly deterred by for example their very busy minds and by all the things that come up once one pauses and attends to the moment. “It’s very difficult” is a comment I hear a lot, an odd one, you might think, when all you’re being asked to do, is do nothing at all, attend to your breath and let go. Yet it’s when we do this, be still and become aware, that we get what’s really going … 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

Meditate even when you don’t feel like it

If your mind is off on some trip somewhere and you aren’t feeling so good, it’s a good time to meditate. Yet this can seem a hard one if you don’t feel like that either. Yet many seasoned meditators will say that this is exactly where meditation can be so beneficial. Let’s take the example of feeling dissatisfied or discontented about something. Somehow the problem keeps hanging around in your mind and you don’t seem able to let it go or change how you feel. The fear might be that if you go and meditate with this going on, you’ll … Read more

Use your mind to manage your ego

It makes a useful practice to deliberately use the mind to manage your state and focus on wellbeing, and in effect to manage your ego. I think we don’t always realise our feelings of wellbeing are something in our control. We don’t have to be the prey of upsets, sadness and anger Today I was meditating on the awareness of love and contentment. For some reason I started my meditation feeling rather unsettled and anxious. This is a not-unfamiliar experience for me that readers of my blog and newsletter will know! The reason I am sharing this with you now … Read more

Happiness may not be the best goal to pursue

Attempts by governments to foster happiness in the population seem to have been hitting resistance. This is not only because of the well-known tendency of the population to tire of particular regimes over time and look for a change but also that the very happiness agenda itself has been controversial. It’s been pointed out that an over-strong emphasis on happiness as a desirable quality can actually have a dispiriting effect on those for whom being happy is something they are really struggling with. Even the supposed champion par excellence of happiness, Dr Seligman, has in his latest book Flourish moved … Read more

Centre yourself to help you learn how to manage stress

Recently I’ve been designing a course for some people to help them learn how to manage stress and, as so often happens, I’ve been finding myself exploring how I handle stress for myself. It’s very useful to be challenged, in effect, to review your own processes in providing things for others. In fact I’d say it is crucial. One big lesson I got from training in Gestalt was that one’s own process in working with others was always up for review. This is inherent in self awareness. What you teach others, you must practice yourself. Otherwise it is inauthentic at … Read more

Knowing how to deal with stress

Interestingly if alarmingly stress is now the biggest single factor behind long-term sickness absence from work. It may come as no surprise to many at work today, who report long hours, job uncertainty, re-structurings, lack of a pay increase and other pressures, let alone the demands now being placed on them by their work circumstances. So, if this is the case, the key question must be: how to deal with stress, what could you be doing about it? As you will find a lot in this blog, we place a big emphasis on self awareness. This is the ability to … Read more

Being the watcher of your self

So much of the time, we’re busy, hectic, rushing, no time for anything, madly dashing to get somewhere, moving on to the next thing. So, this time, as you are about to plunge into your Monday morning of busyness, just pause a moment and give yourself some space. The beauty of meditation is that it is like a microcosm of our lives. When we meditate, we potentially get to see what we do in life. This is one reason why it is such an excellent self-development tool. So, to pause and meditate a bit, you can detach from your busyness … Read more