Being patient is not something many of us do very well

Being patient is not something people seem to do well. On the contrary, we pile on the pressure, push the boundaries and demand results, impatient to get what we want. It can be self-limiting since it sets up resistance in the universe and the more we push, the harder it gets. The cycle of impatience is resisted by others and within us too. There’s another self inside crying out for attention and not getting heard. We’re all in a rush to get somewhere, get something done, short of time, too much going on, on a deadline, other people demanding something, … Read more

Do you need to change your lifestyle before stress does?

Are the warning signs flashing that you need to change your lifestyle before stress gets the better of you and brings about some unwelcome change? In fact are you heeding the signs? People don’t always see that the signs are there, that what was previously OK about how they were living and working is now no longer OK. We think we can cope and assume things can be as they have been so far, when in fact the body is protesting and the style is draining it of the ability to be able to cope. What is important is that … Read more

To take time out for yourself can seem really hard to do

To take time out for yourself is something that is always instantly available. Yet to take time out for yourself isn’t that easy for lots of us in our busy existence in a modern urban-oriented economy with lots of commitments and demands on our time. We can feel like “there’s no time”, and we feel far too busy to even give it a thought. It’s a real trap, if you think about it, not having the time to give yourself some space. Busy minds can for many of us seem a good thing, lots of buzz, activity, things going on, … Read more

What stops you being in present moment awareness more often?

If you are having a lot of stress at the moment, now is a good moment to pause and take some deep breaths, deliberately, consciously and in full awareness of the present moment. Notice a difference? Just taking some deep breaths, then breathing steadily and in present moment awareness, letting go of what’s going on. It’s so simple. So why don’t we do this, what comes naturally, more often? One of the great values of mindfulness practice is that it is such a great way to manage and reduce stress. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s mindfulness-based stress reduction program (MBSR) is well-known and … Read more

Do not believe everything you think

Do you wake up with a list of “got to’s” buzzing through your head, like a shopping list of things that “have” to be done? If so you’d be like very many of us, with multiple things claiming our attention. It’s like the moment we wake up, there is the sheer drivenness of our lives, right there in the flood of often chaotic thoughts. Then the body responds, with racing heart, sweaty hands, butterflies in the stomach and so on. For some of us, our sleep has been like that, and we’ve even gone to bed with it, if not … Read more

Do you love life or do you hate it?

Do you find that sometimes you love life and sometimes you hate it? Like at this time of year? In January, many of us in the Northern hemisphere can feel at our lowest ebb. It’s a time when the daylight hours are still short. It can feel dark and our moods can be dark too. The weather can be adverse too. It can feel like we’re pushing water uphill. It’s not surprising that people get more stressed and depressed. Yet they also say the darkest hour is just before the dawn. The daylight hours are getting ever so slightly longer, … Read more

Stress makes it difficult for you to think clearly

Do you find that when you’re living under pressure you find it difficult to think clearly and structure your  thoughts. In fact do you lose your words? People talk of feeling like their brain is scrambled and say they are “losing it”. People who meditate by contrast, and thus become mindfully aware,  find that while they might beforehand be struggling for ideas, they come out of the meditation thinking much more clearly and have often got the idea or solution they needed. Of course meditation isn’t the only way this happens: try having a shower or notice what comes to … Read more

Did you find it hard to switch off this holiday?

It’s seemingly a necessary function of taking a break for a North European to go where the rhythms of life are slow, the climate warmer and the day’s activities seem better organised for serving the senses. Being in South West France it was for me therefore good to take time out to observe and be present with the process of its life, to enthuse at the rising of the sun, read in the cool of the morning air, shop in the local market, eat out in a welcoming cafe, indulge a bit where it’s been necessary all year to mind … Read more

Having a web detox to help you find what is really meaningful

As so many of us are habitually connected to the web, it might seem strange to suggest that we would benefit from internet/mobile “holidays” or detoxes. Just in case at this point you might be strongly tempted to click out, just pause on this as you might miss out on something important for your health and well-being. Yes, I felt I had to write that last bit as that is exactly what people do, quickly move on from something that doesn’t have instant interest. Stickability, perseverence, seeing it through, isn’t a habit the net exactly encourages. Yet, this is how … 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