Reflections + Resources

Practice Love first

I’ve recently had a couple of yoga students ask me about establishing a personal yoga and/or meditation practice. In their experience, it has been very difficult to get something steady happening and although they know they feel the benefits when they do their...

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Another kind of intelligence

Reflections + Resources Another kind of intelligence... “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of.” – 1960s pop song In 1995, a science journalist, author and psychologist named Daniel Goleman wrote a book...

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From little things, big things grow.

Last week I had a date to meet a friend for dinner. I arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes early and found a lovely spot out on the footpath under a leafy tree. As I settled into my seat, I found myself wishing I’d brought along something to read to pass the time....

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Move while you’re moving…

Last year I helped my friend Simon bring to birth his vision for a yoga & mindfulness phone app you can use while driving your car. It may seem counter-intuitive to attempt to do yoga while driving your car. However, our whole focus during the time of writing and...

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What is your healthspan?

Me with my mother, circa late 1959... It would have been my mother's 91st birthday a few days ago. I always think of her on her birthday and miss being able to ring her up and send love and greetings, just talk about life, the universe and everything, as we used to...

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Being here, as it is, is my wish…

“Many a wishes that I blew,
finding myself was the one that came true.”
– Anamika Sharma

Many years ago – feels like a hundred now – I majored in drama at University. This morning I remembered coming up with an improvisation piece that went like this:

“A young woman, slouched shoulders and head drooped, stands on top of a tall skyscraper. She is obviously depressed and downcast, so much so that she has decided she can’t go on, she is planning to jump off the building and end it all. It takes something to get the courage up, and she teeters on the edge of the building for a moment or two, feeling unable to take that final step.

“Panting and frustrated and getting angrier, she steps back a few metres for what she thinks will be her final attempt – she is going to run and jump! Just as she starts to push off into a run, she notices a small flash of green just poking out of the shadows at the building’s edge. This stops her desperate train of thought just long enough. Curious, she goes over to investigate and finds a beautiful little bright-green dandelion plant with a round head of soft white seeds perched on a long hollow stem.

“Something about its trembling leaves and fierce determination to grow where it has landed touches the young woman profoundly. She suddenly feels chagrined – if this little plant is so determined to grow in such a harsh and unfriendly concrete environment, perhaps she too should re-examine her life to find the places where she could grow? She leans down and gently blows on the fragile-looking flower head and as the little parachute-like seeds flow out into the evening air, she puts her hand on her heart, and quietly leaves the building top. End of story.”

A bit melodramatic, I suppose, a concoction of a 20-year-old just at the beginning of her adult life. Yet as I went for a walk around the back paddock this morning, I was reminded of that long-ago invented scenario. For here below my feet, carpeting the ground, a million small green shoots just emerging from the moist earth, product of our recent rainfall. The miracle of life, its unstoppable force, so apparent in these fragile green shoots. Tiny seeds that had waited so patiently through months of parched heat now unfurling into brave life. How joyful they are!

The moral of this story? It’s worth noticing the ‘little’ things… just being present to the miracle of life in this very breath is an experience we all too often gloss over in our quest for the next thing. Maybe the sadness and anxiety that is rife in our busy, forward-focussed culture is partly a product of feeling unconnected to this moment now.

Mindfulness is really not mysterious, and can offer such richness through noticing (and really being with) the ordinary. It just takes a little practice, and those new green shoots of awareness begin to grow in us too, creating a sense of rich connection, lifting the spirit, inhabiting the promise of this moment.