Vigilant of the speed limit

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How does it all go so fast? Some people think I’m funny – cracking jokes, laughing aloud. I’m the life of the party. But then again this is usually when people are drinking. I’ll be cackling hysterically at absolutely nothing.

I wonder about this destructive state of delusion. I mean how far am I removed from reality here? What about the inner critic? Perhaps it is convincing me to stay high and hyper. Perhaps it is a silent killer, telling me not to listen to calm and stillness but to hear the “boom boom boom” of the nightclub or social gathering. My sense of the heart is also quite removed. If I was once close to this beating drum, then it is no longer the case. I am unconscious and unaware of the nearness of ‘God’. My back is turned and I am inflicting pain on myself. But, is there a way to consolation again? Is there a way to reorder the mind and reconcile the heart? Continue reading

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Vigilant of intolerance

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Where is the heart? For it feels so distant. A numbness is there… something is gnawing on me but I don’t know what to do. Where is the passion – for life, the normal pleasures, the simple satisfactions? How can I channel my time and energy?

I wonder what is preventing me from being OK right now. There is an invitation to be balanced but I find myself reacting to my circumstances. Perhaps I am caught up in the memory of the highs and lows, perhaps the inner critic wants me to remain forever discontent. How can I reorder the glitter of my mind and connect with something real? And then my heart is so far away. I have escaped my life with a gnawing numbness. There is no fire in my belly, just heartless impulses. How can I turn to an inner transformation – to tune into the true light that is already shining? To be dynamically attracted to a bigger purpose, a heartfelt gratitude for life. Continue reading

Vigilant of the shadow

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How quickly it can come. Balance seemed only a moment ago. A wrong turn or without cause, the blame game, plunging into darkness with rain on the way. Rain can turn to hail, and down, down, down I go.

In a curious way, I wonder about the cause of my blame. I ponder that it is my inner critic that is trying to hijack my life. I know I’m a good person, but why am I falling, going from low to lower? Surely I can intervene to stop this plundering. Surely I can be more vigilant and skillfully counteract this destruction. I also wonder about the state of my heart. Is it in turmoil? Is it dead? And I wonder about my sense of peace. Did someone rob it? Did a vicious dog or its owner attack me all of a sudden? Perhaps I can turn back in time. Perhaps I can reconcile what needs to be reconciled. Continue reading

Vigilance of vulnerable moods

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Mood is best understood, I think, when we look to its Old English origin, mod, meaning ‘frame of mind’. It is about perspective, balance, harmony, presence, and so on. Today, I’d like to introduce the topic of vigilance of vulnerable moods, which I believe is an essential matter if we are to live well, with ourselves and with others. Over the coming weeks, I will look to five frames of mind which cover a range of mental health experiences: depression, low mood, dysphoria (intense unease and agitation), hypomania (elation and overactivity) and mania. I will also write about these in creative terms: being vigilant of the ultimate gloom, the shadow, intolerance, the speed limit and total disconnect. Continue reading

One big Hallelujah!

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Let your life be one big Hallelujah!”

How lucky we are to be on this planet and how ungrateful we are too. I mean, if you think about it, we are presented with so many gifts each day – people, places and things – but we clearly do not fully appreciate that we have more than enough, more than what is needed to be healthy and happy. I am a desperately miserable person in this regard. At the end of the day, I give thanks for as much as I can think of, but the list seldom goes beyond my number of fingers. Yet, when I am truly connected, I see my life like a whole department store of blessings and graces each and every day. Continue reading

Our delightful fragrance

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Outside of the tree there is no fragrance” – Zen saying.

I ponder that when a tree is unified with all its parts – roots, trunk, branches – it emits a delightful fragrance. Similarly, when I am unified in mind, heart and body, I emit something sweet. For me, this fragrance is a stillness that is nurtured through regular meditation and has positive effects on my being. When I meditate, my back is straight and my breathing rhythmic, my mind is focused and quiet and I feel peace and gratitude. Continue reading

Shining like angels

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I’ve been reflecting lately on the state of our relationships. I think it is fair to say that we all have a degree of harmony and disharmony with others. There is a smoothness with those we get on well with; there is a synchronising of heart rhythms when we are together. We trust each other, love each other and care for each other. We create a homely atmosphere wherever we may be: at a coffee shop, in the work canteen, in the park. Conversely, we feel tension and frustration with those we don’t see eye to eye with: our heart rhythms repel when we are together. We are vigilant and on guard for any verbal attacks. We are cautious and don’t share too much. We are happy to see each other’s backs. Isn’t it a curious thing? How can we grow in wisdom and love? Continue reading