Inner listening

How Can Meditation Help us To Be More Successful in Business? In Relationships? In Life?

Meditation, or stilling and focusing the mind, has many benefits for our physical and mental health. It reverses the physiological effects of stress and allows us to feel calmer, centred and relaxed. In our busy lives, full of technological overload, all this is very helpful to our long-term well-being.

In all aspects of life, and especially in business, we also need to be able to think clearly, even under stress, and make quick, effective decisions. We need to have insight and, at times, strategic foresight. We require the relationship skills to be both a team player and a visionary leader of both ourselves, and others. And we need the interaction capabilities to be able to get along with, and communicate to, many different types of people. So how can meditation help with all of these essential skills for life? Read More

To Give or Not To Give? Part Two: How Altruism Can Be Used for our Personal Growth

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Mahatma Gandh

Altruism – the giving to others without seeking anything in return – is definitely a means of finding ourselves and an opportunity to move beyond our egocentric actions and reactions. Many spiritual traditions echo this philosophy. In fact, having a generous nature is woven into the very core of our DNA. It is a natural thing for us to do. It brings many rewards and yet, should be done from a giving heart rather than the desire purely to receive those rewards.

Our hunter gatherer ancestors knew that altruism within the tribe promoted the passing on of genes. It also supported their reputation amongst other tribe members as it was important to be seen to be sharing the spoils of one’s labours and giving back what they themselves had received: if you give me some special roots to eat today, I must be seen to give you some special roots to eat tomorrow so I appear benevolent in the eyes of others. Since those early days, our willingness to help others has evolved considerably and we are now willing to help those far outside our tribe and who we do not even know. Read More

Who are we? Small Self, Big Self or True Self?

We live in a psychologically-sophisticated age. We know we need self-esteem, self-worth, self-compassion, self-love and we need to do self-care. We know we have an ego or personality that can behave badly at times. We know we need to work on ourselves to overcome our negative character traits. We may too have an awareness of an inner essence that is more magnificent than all of this. But who actually are we? A mix of all of this? One self at one moment… and another self at a different moment? Let me try and clarify it. Read More

Hold on. Let go. Which Should We Do?

Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
 Ann Landers

As we approach the end of the year, it is a perfect time for reflecting on what is working in our lives…and what is not! What to hold onto ….and what to let go of. Importantly, it is helpful to recognise the behavioural habits, attachments to situations or people or our ways of thinking that are causing us suffering. And from here, let them go.

However, letting go does not come easily to most of us. We love the phrase ‘just let it go’ but when it comes to it, we don’t seem to be able to. We prefer instead to ruminate on what’s wrong, rather than seek to change it. Why? Because we like the illusion of control. We prefer the safe and the known rather than the unknown. We cling to the status quo – even when we know, the status quo is painful. Read More

Do You Have The Fundamentals in Place?

 

Every small decision we make has an impact on our body and mind. It impacts our next decision. And the rest of our day. Often it impacts the day after, the week after, the month after and beyond. Being mindful of these seemingly unimportant decisions helps us to flourish in life, rather than just surviving.

I believe there are four essential ‘fundamentals’ that contribute to a happy, successful and fulfilling life. Without bringing awareness to the significance of each of them we cannot feel vibrant. We cannot effectively carry out our responsibilities. We cannot reach our potential. And we cannot make a difference in the world. These fundamentals are nutrition, exercise, sleep and training our attention. Read More

Meditation: What’s Your Why?

“Suppose you read about a pill that you could take once a day to reduce anxiety and increase your contentment.

Would you take it?

Suppose further that the pill has a great variety of side effects, all of them good: increased self-esteem, empathy, and trust; it even improves memory.

Suppose, finally, that the pill is all natural and costs nothing. Now would you take it?

The pill exists. It’s called meditation.”
 Jonathon Haidt

There is a plethora of information on meditation these days. Type in a search for meditation on YouTube and 8,550,000 videos are on offer. Amazon sells 500+ different books on the topic. On Google there are 630,000 UK web sites offering some form of meditation facilitation from practical mindfulness to esoteric journeys to far away galaxies. We are spoilt for choice!

Despite the huge growth of meditation as an ‘industry’ and the array of options it offers, it is important to decide on your own personal type of practice and your specific reasons for doing it. Meditation is only an effective tool if it is practiced daily. And committed, frequent practice of anything requires you to have a strong reason ‘why’ you are doing it…or it is too easy to give up! Read More

Turning Poison into Medicine: How to Move Through Challenges… and Become Happier

 

The idea of ‘turning poison into medicine’ comes from a form of Buddhism called Nichiren Buddhism. This is a sect of Japanese Buddhism based on the teachings of its founder Nichiren in the 13th century. One of the key tenets of this approach is that our suffering is not caused by our attachment to our desires, as traditional Buddhism teaches. It purports, instead, that our suffering is caused by our belief that we lack the personal power to overcome the challenges that confront us. That ultimately, we are powerless in the face of adversity. And this can lead us to states of severe anxiety and depression where we are consumed by feelings of powerlessness, worry and despair. Read More

I. A. F: The Key to Self-Mastery

We all want to feel confident, peaceful, happy and successful. We all would love to exude these positive qualities all of the time. Yet often, our life circumstances seem to make us feel exactly the opposite. We feel tired, fearful, depressed, stressed, not good enough and sometimes overwhelmed by the challenges we are going through.

Please click here to see a short video clip (taken on someone’s phone so please ignore the quality) to hear me talking about this on a panel at a conference discussing how to build your confidence. I talk about three important keys to self-mastery: I. A. F. standing for Identity, Feelings, Actions. (There is also a very short second video you can watch by clicking page one about ‘successful daring’). Read More

The Five Hallmarks of Enlightened People: Some Suggestions for Their Attainment

Enlightenment is, in the end, nothing more than the natural state of being”. Adyashanti

This quote from American spiritual teacher and author Adyashanti highlights that enlightenment is an attainable state for us all. It is not something we have to seek for. In my experience though, we do need to train our mental muscles to embrace the qualities that enlightened people embody. And that means practice!

Below I have put together a list of the mental traits of enlightened masters: individuals such as Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and living masters such as Eckhart Tolle, Mother Amma and Gangaji. In this short summary, I have given a series of suggestions on how we can do our best to work towards these hallmakrs if we want to evolve and grow towards Enlightenment through our lifetime. Read More

Which Wolf Are You Feeding? How to have Successful Communication in Relationships

We all know that collaboration, networking being part of a community are key tools for our growth and sustenance. Without them, it is easy to experience loneliness, isolation and the depression that accompanies those feelings. This TEDx talk, which has 75 years of research behind it, highlights the importance of relationships to our long term happiness and well-being. Yet forging and sustaining nurturing, supportive relationships can be a challenge. Why is that?

Within our hearts, we all have two fundamental and opposite energies: love and hate. Or, to put it another way, people trigger in us one of two reactions: our understanding or our resistance. Read More

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