Paradise and the Donkey

Left to my own devices, I’m a bit like a donkey. Poke me with a stick and dangle a carrot in front of me and I’m inclined to move forward but I have an infallible capacity for idleness. No stick and no carrot and movement rapidly winds down to nothing and I mooch about chewing and watching the world go by. I have noticed a pattern. When I do things – anything – that is purposeful action I feel happy. When I drift I feel unhappy. Whether it be 30 mins exercise, a dip in the sea, composing a blog, reading a piece of students work or … [Read more...]

Feeding the right wolf

A small child asked his elderly grandfather who was a Native American why there was violence and cruelty in the world. He said it was like two wolves fighting in the heart. One wolf is vengeful and angry and the other wolf was kind and understanding. The young child asked the grandfather which wolf would win. And the grandfather replied “the wolf that wins will be the one that is fed”. I love this story because it seems to get to the heart of the predicament we find ourselves. Much of what happens is outside our control. Like day and night, … [Read more...]

Old Dog, New Tricks

I have a dog called Woo. Her full name is Jah Woo Wodger. Woo looks like a collie, smells like a collie and has behaved like a collie for the past 9 years of her life apart from one aspect. She has steadfastly refused to swim. Now I think all collies can actually swim, they do it rather well. Swimming’s good for them especially when it’s hot. In the past I have rather randomly attempted to teach woo to swim by throwing sticks into bodies of water. The ocean waves she will run from and the pools she will only go up to her chest. At the point … [Read more...]

The Conditions for Change

I was mulling over this as I walked my dog, these thoughts came to me: Any technique or insight to a limiting behaviour and its alternative, positive one can only be a part of the ‘cure’. The truth is that people tend hold onto their limiting beliefs with tenacity even in the face of evidence to the contrary. Whatever the technique or strategy or insight there are two other qualities that are essential for change. Motivation has to be high – Just wanting something isn’t enough Action has to be taken – However small. An insight into a … [Read more...]

Still Pond, Rushing River

Still Pond, Rushing Stream Is not each moment a perpetual unfolding? An unfolding that has as part of its beauty and mystery the containing of completely different and opposing qualities. There is in each moment everything that has come before and contained within it everything that follows. And yet at the same time each moment is completely unique, stands alone unrepeatable. Each moment is completely still like a deep pool and at the same time as active as rushing stream. Each moment in life is part of a stream of motion. There is no … [Read more...]

Stars and Starfish

There is a story about the child spotted by an adult placing starfish back into the sea. The adult points out that thousands of starfish had been stranded high up on the beach and what difference could he make? As he carefully picked one up and begins carrying it down to the water’s edge the boy replies “It makes a difference to this one”. One of the values of a metaphorical story is that it can contain layers of wisdom. I initially heard this one as “An act of positivity whatever the circumstance makes a difference”. As I enjoyed the imagery … [Read more...]