Emotional Intelligence.

Oh my Gawd. The tension in the world is right up there at the moment. Polarised views, violent rhetoric and the inability to have a respectful discussion that leads to any resolution or understanding. I’m right – you’re wrong – go die. Essentially.

So what can we do about it? Do we have a personal responsibility to develop our emotional intelligence? Could this make a difference anyway?

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Mindfulness – a philosophy for those ‘dog turd’ moments of life.

I’m not gonna lie – it was bad, real bad. There were times when I didn’t know if I’d get through it.

An evening autumn walk on the cliff-top path had seemed like such a good idea at the time, but at the end of my walk and back in my camper, IT hit my nostrils. The unmistakable noxious stench of dog shit.

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Mindfulness instead of anti-depressants?

Depression is a crippling condition which can leave us feeling utterly bereft and powerless. It is complex, chemical and emotional; deserves great care and attention and often professional help. At the same time, it is also a perfectly normal human response to certain causes and conditions, some of which we are aware and some not. We are not ‘wrong’ or ‘flawed’ to have it. Who knows, maybe the depression has something useful to tell us about our lives and skilful mindfulness practise will help us inquire into this.

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J’Accuse!

Mindfulness and World Peace – really?

So, what has mindfulness got to do with doing our bit for a more peaceful world? Well, more than you might think actually.

As well as getting more okay in our skins and crucially, okay when we are not okay; mindfulness invites us to examine ourselves more deeply, in other words we have the opportunity develop some emotional intelligence.

In these current tumultuous times of ‘react first, worry about out the facts later’, I would like to propose this is vitally important if we are to avoid the catastrophes of the past.

It’s very easy, when we are not aware of the internal forces that drive us, to blame others for being ‘bad’. This can be subtle and happens on an individual level with family, friends and work colleagues. But it is also happening in wider society with deeply dark and dangerous consequences. Read More “J’Accuse!”

What’s wrong with us?

Half Woman – Half Lizard!

So why, when it’s not actually Armageddon and things are not that terrible, can we feel so dissatisfied, ill at ease, agitated or worse?

We mustn’t be too hard on ourselves – we have a hard wired evolutionary bias to focus on ‘what’s wrong’. For our future protection, bad experiences stay with us, the brain structure remembers. Pleasant experiences and positive mind states like optimism, gratitude and equilibrium are just not that useful in evolutionary terms.

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Why is it so hard to sit still and just do nothing?

Does the thought of sitting still … give you the heebie jeebies?

Forget about meditating – do you find it almost impossible to sit still and do nothing? And when I say nothing, I mean nothing. No distractions; no phone, no tablet, no book, no TV, no radio, no music, no food, no drink. Zero, zilch, nada … Nothing. That’s right, absolutely jack.

Well, you are not alone. Many of us are so busy and hyped up these days that our ‘nervous systems’ are in a constant state of arousal. Crikey – no wonder we’re exhausted.

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