Small steps each day can make a big difference. The ideas and tools you learn in moments of formal practice can come into their own when you apply them (test them out) practically in day to day scenarios.
I am hugely passionate about helping you to feel happier and healthier through not only meditation, but a holistic approach to life that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise or movement, quality sleep and also beauty – whether for you that means MAC or Macbeth. Not only do our bodies function holistically, we are part of the whole of life. We are intimately and seamlessly in touch with everything and everyone else as one integrated whole. Nothing is separate and there are no isolated systems. How fascinating it is then, to explore the implications of this in every day life
Each day close your eyes for 5 minutes and move your attention from the outside world to your own inner presence. Be interested! What’s happening within you, with a little viewing, is fascinating.
A Poem Is A Portal
Poetry, paintings, photos, music, sculptures or dance: works of art have a transcendental power. I began to discover this while pioneering a new form of poetry therapy with the charity MIND in the UK. Artists and writers often point to the great stillness of presence through their work and in this sense, poems are like little intravenous shots of meditation. The good news is that you don't have to be an arty person to enjoy the benefits. All you need is an open mind and the willingness to learn something new.
Make The New
Take a look at the world around you. You’re living in the midst of a phenomenal ongoing creation. Even within your own body new cells are coming into existence by the second. Human beings are inherently creative and expressing that creativity can bring you great contentment and happiness. Make time to learn about your own creative expression and appreciate it as often as you can. Perhaps it works through sports, business, ideas, cooking, design, raising children - or houseplants. This process often gives you a chance to descover and develop your own unique talents.
For much of the twentieth century, it was thought that neuro-plasticity – the brain’s ability to reinvent itself – was purely a feature of prenatal and early childhood development, but this is now understood to last well into adulthood. This means, for example, that the brain can develop positive new programmes throughout adult life. So why wait? Take courses, read books and develop your personal psychology where necessary. It can be very worthwhile to do this, and to get to know our character at the same time; yet we shouldn’t get bogged down in this identity alone – we are much more than just our personality.
Nothing Is Missing
Everything is happening perfectly and in perfect time. On the face of things, of course there are things to learn, change and develop. Yet at the ultimate level you're already perfect. Or should I say, at once perfect and evolving. I recently read a poem called ‘View From A Window’ by the wonderful artist R. S. Thomas. Talking of the beauty of the countryside he says: ‘ All through history The great brush has not rested, Nor the paint dried; yet what eye, Looking coolly, or, as we now, Through the tears’ lenses, ever saw This work and it was not finished?’ Such a clever guy!
Being close to nature and spending time outside has significant and wide-ranging health benefits and that's why I encourage people to enjoy the natural world as often as possible. Can’t get out? Researchers have shown that just looking at pictures of nature can improve your mood. Buy a houseplant and a photographic nature book and leaf through at regular intervals while remembering the magnificent, natural wonder you are.
Follow Your Enthusiasm
I'm not part of any one school of thought or religion, I like to explore them all. This enables me to more freely evolve my practice over time, according to my own ever expanding awareness of the truth of things. It’s important to remain willing and open-minded enough to explore each mindful activity that takes your interest– because you never know what it will bring. Far better to keep your options open! With this is mind, follow your own interests and enthusiasms because these usually have a good route figured out for you.
Being connected to others in a meaningful way is excellent for wellbeing, as is feeling a connection to something bigger than your individual self. There are many ways to enjoy a sense of connection. A few popular examples are: spending time with friends, dancing, helping others, looking after a garden, yoga or meditation.