Printing memories

Those that know me appreciate that I am an amateur photographer. Some of my photographs have been published here and my gallery is at 500px – click here for my site. Since we now all carry our phones we are all photographers and document our lives from the mundane to the dramatic. We have lots of ways to show these memories to the world – facebook, twitter, Instagram . . . They seem very ephemeral. I wonder what the current generation will be able to show of these historic times we live in (as I write…

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Going home again

Yesterday, I went back to my birth city. It had been several years as I had left home at 18 to attend University & had never wanted to go back. I’d had a difficult childhood. Cycling as a teenager was my escapism and I was always thinking of running away from home. I would pack my saddle bags & panniers and then be out all day. Finally coming home when late as I had nowhere to go, but it felt better whilst on the road plotting my escape. You have a lot of time…

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Through a child’s eye

I have recently returned from a few days vacation in Norfolk, UK with my wife and daughter. She is nearly six years old and I spent a good deal of time watching her. It reminds me of how we can lose our ability to notice life. It is so easy to be focused on work and such like, and fail to observe joyful life passing us by. So on the last couple of mornings, I walked to the beach with our dog and stood for a time. Pausing to drink in with each and…

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Rest for a calmer world

As the Easter break is upon us we have a longer weekend to enjoy.  We need to have rest throughout every day, but do you notice? Did you notice yesterday how you spent any downtime? Added to my reading list this week is Haemin Sunim’s bestseller, The Things You Can See When You Slow Down. A central tenet of this book is obviously slowing down to achieve calm, but also to notice the world around us. He points out that we can feel small and vulnerable as we perceive our minds to be small…

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Which is more important? Pleasure or enjoyment?

A professional colleague & friend suggested I read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s ‘Flow – The classic work on how to achieve happiness.’ I’m not that far in it yet, as it is quite a thought provoking book. So this week’s blog is about the difference of pleasure and enjoyment and which one you would rather, in your pursuit of happiness. A life absent of enjoyment does not mean that aspects can’t be pleasurable. There are two main ways to improve life – change the external environment to match our goals (such as buying stuff), and to change how…

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Shisa Kanko

I read a story via a posting on FB this week which held some resonance with me. ‘Known in Japanese as shisa kanko, pointing-and-calling works on the principle of associating one’s tasks with physical movements and vocalizations to prevent errors by “raising the consciousness levels of workers”—according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan. Rather than relying on a worker’s eyes or habit alone, each step in a given task is reinforced physically and audibly to ensure the step is both complete and accurate.’ Have you ever driven somewhere and arrived without…

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Mindful Meetings

This week has been a week of two halves. I was working the first two days in my ‘day job’, then my mid-week day off but I actually attended a meeting associated with work, and the second half of the week with study days. I have had a rich experience providing me with much to reflect on. I also had a meeting with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while for a chat. Meetings are part of work life but are also a part of all aspects of our lives. We have meetings at…

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Something for the weekend

I’m trying to diet – again! Last Monday I weighed 84kg, in the past I had felt fantastic at 75kg. Pity I listened to others who suggested I looked gaunt. A couple of years ago I was really successful but recently the weight just keeps piling on. So, I have been reflecting on my experience over the years. What diet I choose to go on didn’t matter that much, apart from a lower carbohydrate diet I did for a while and when I was in cycle training. What seemed to matter the most were…

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How to get started with mindfulness

A common question. How do I get started? It is rather a bit like getting dressed of a morning, and initially takes just as long! We all get dressed each morning. There is a finite number of clothes to wear but we never wear exactly the same as anyone else. Mindfulness is also quite simply but then gets rather complex the further you go with it. No humming (unless you like that sort of thing) and no dinging bells (unless you like that sort of thing!). Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be…

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Birthdays Part Deux

Keeping in the moment & being mindful can be a difficult task. Waking up and suddenly you find yourself wearing a mask. What did just happen? Can’t I just go back to bed and try this again? Birthdays are difficult as they are reminders of your past. I previously measured my worth by the number of cards I received. I never told anyone generally about my upcoming birthday. Why? I suppose I didn’t want rejection. If they didn’t know, then I wouldn’t have the pressure of whether they sent a card or not. However,…

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