The practice of relating well

With social pressure (and personal desire) to achieve, to be informed, to look good, to have answers, etc, much of the time our attention moves outwards and forwards (into the future). We seek out resources (materials, information, status) and anticipate potential problems. We do this intentionally, and it also happens in habitual ways, outside of … Read more

Outsourcing happiness – a short-term fix

Life constantly presents us with situations we don’t want. Too much of this… not enough of that… The intensity of these situations varies: someone uses the last piece of toilet paper and doesn’t replace it – a loved one dies before their 30th birthday. Do you know anyone who has avoided disappointment, failure, pain and … Read more

From the Personal to the Global

All of us do our best to cope with the “stuff of life.” We develop ways of responding – some skillful and some not so skillful. Over time, these can develop into unskillful patterns and habits that leave us feeling empty, and often have a negative impact on others. Consider: Exploding when you don’t get … Read more

Relating to the natural world

Recently I was talking to some friends in England who are thinking of visiting Western Australia. They are interested in visiting Exmouth/Ningaloo Reef and we were talking about the vast distances between places in Australia. My friends are familiar with English landscapes where they can easily walk from village to village and find a pub, … Read more

Mindfulness and the planet

“Could you please put the bread in a paper bag and not a plastic bag?” The local bakery I go to has both paper and plastic available, but their default is to use the plastic bag. If I am caught up in my thoughts rather than present and aware, I end up with another plastic … Read more

Exercising mindfully – maximising the benefits

Recently I was working with a client who has health challenges. He had heard about mindfulness and decided to learn more to support him manage the stress that comes with unexpected health challenges. I knew that he was committed to his physical health and exercised regularly. Like most people, this client didn’t have (or didn’t … Read more

Beginner’s Mind for a New Year

Beginner’s mind – or the capacity to bring an open and curious approach to a situation – is one of the principles of mindfulness. Cultivating beginner’s mind can help us get the new year started on the right foot. As Jon Kabat-Zinn says: “An open, ‘beginner’s’ mind allows us to be receptive to new possibilities … Read more

Self-awareness – why bother?

How well do you know yourself? Do you know your likely reaction if a colleague offers you unsolicited praise? How does your mood and behaviour change in relation to external pressures? What kinds of situations lead to you getting stuck in ruminative thinking? What do you find challenging to let go of? Which situations generate … Read more

The judgemental mind

If you stand back and observe your thoughts during an average day, most of us will see a fair share of self-judgement, as well as judgement of others. Our minds can be pretty quick to form conclusions of something (or someone) as good/bad, right/wrong etc. “He’s annoying!” or “This will never work out!” for example. … Read more

Desire OR How much “stuff” is in your cupboards?

The headline grabbed my attention: “How to create a sense of urgency in your online customers.” Contained in this headline is an unflattering assessment of human beings. It recognises that we have limited capacity to withstand the manipulation of our emotions. It knows how easily we can be convinced to purchase something that we weren’t … Read more