RELAXATION 2 - Importance of relaxation

As I said in the first part of this series, our society does not value relaxation: we are not taught how to relax.
The result of this is that we live in a society which is very stressful! (Stress being the opposite of relaxation).
One of the biggest stresses, let's face it, is other people: people are not relaxed, they are stressed, and that makes US more stressed! Know what I mean?

Take a look around - how many of the faces you see are relaxed and smiling, and how many are hard looking, grumpy, sad, stressful faces?
I used to think that I was an 'island' - that I was not affected by other people's moods and energy. Now I see how hard it is to really remain centered and free from those influences...


A TRIBUTE to my Father

2 years ago today, my Father died.

I don't like looking back - I too much enjoy being present to this momentary NOW, and it took me a long time to get here!

But sometimes it's necessary to acknowledge (to recognize and to accept) that part of the present is our connection with the past. Sometimes it's necessary to look back and reflect upon where we came from. Today feels like one of those times...

My Old Man died of a rare neurological disease called Motor Neurone Disease (or ALS if you're American, or sometimes it's known as Lou Gehrig's disease - that's how rare it is: no one can agree what to call it!)
It's a particularly bad disease to get (in case you're planning on getting a disease) because it's basically a slow burning death sentence. Bit by bit, the body stops working. And the medical establishments have no idea what causes it, and less idea what to do about it.

My Dad's disease first showed up in his throat - one day his speech started slurring. He told me about a phone call he’d had from an old work colleague - who asked him if he'd been drinking. He wasn't a big drinker - actually, he was one of the most sober people you could ever meet. So this old work colleague was surprised! But he hadn't been drinking. It's just that his vocal chords were wasting away.

In the end, his body packed in completely. I had a phone call one day from my Mother - if I wanted to see him again while he was still alive I should come home soon. So I got on a plane the next day, and spent the weekend with him. It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen in my life - the man who when I was a child, seemed super-human; my hero, reduced to a skeletal 'bag of bones'.

I've seen footage of the American G.I.'s who liberated the Nazi concentration camps, and they were crying like babies: those men who'd fought their way through the second world war, openly crying their eyes out at the sight of the camp prisoners. That's how I felt. But this was a man I knew. My Father.

I spent the weekend with him. He couldn't speak, so there wasn't much communication. He couldn't even hold eye contact, because his neck muscles couldn't support the weight of his head. He was very weak. But when the time came for me to leave, he made a huge effort to sit up, and we hugged. I whispered in his ear,
"I love you Pops".

He looked at me for a long moment, and gave me a 'gesture', like a nod, that I'll never forget. That simple gesture expressed all at once encouragement, love, and respect. And in his eyes I saw that he was at peace.
We both knew, He and I, that we would never see each other again.

Seeing the peace in his eyes that day was one of the most beautiful moments of my life!

The saddest and most beautiful moments of my life, in one weekend. What a rollercoaster ride!

Why was that moment beautiful? Because for years he'd been fighting with life. He was quite a fighter too - he would fight on and on until the bitter end (which is exactly what he did then), and never admit defeat. There were only two choices for him - victory or defeat, success or failure.

In life, he couldn't see another way - it was only in the manner of his death that he knew peace and acceptance.

I'd been trying for years to get him to see that sometimes we have to accept life on it's own terms. Sometimes we have to bow down to a higher power: god; destiny; spirit; a deeper wisdom - call it what you will. Sometimes, LIFE has plans for us, and the only way to be happy and healthy is to YIELD to those plans. To ‘go with the flow’.

I'd been trying for years, and of course my trying mirrored his fighting! My Father's son! So the more I tried, the more he fought, and the more frustrated I became. And we grew apart a little...

But in that moment, when he looked into my eyes and I saw that serenity, peace, acceptance... in that moment he taught me what I had been trying all along, in my vanity and ego, to teach him!

It's not easy - to surrender control. To surrender. But it's so important. I believe that the disease my Father had (Motor Neurone / ALS / Lou Gehrig’s disease) is caused by that refusal to surrender. I believe that it probably happens mostly to people who want to CONTROL life, and can't stand to admit defeat.

(I would love to have the opportunity to work with someone who has MND – I’m a healer – to see if I'm right: to see if I can heal them. If you know anyone who has it, and has the courage to fight it in an alternative way, to try something new, point them in my direction please.)

Nothing is incurable if you know the cause.

So here's my tribute to my Father: my first hero, and a wonderful man. He taught me in life the importance of honesty and integrity; and in his death he taught me the importance of surrender and acceptance. What a great teacher!

He died two years ago today, but he lives on in my heart.

If you enjoyed this post, you might particularly like this – the story of what happened after I hugged him goodbye, got in a taxi, and went to the airport. The story of the longest, hardest day of my life, and probably also the single biggest lesson I ever learnt.

Before you go, please spread the love – share via FB, Tweet, Stumbleupon, etc… and leave a comment.



1. Realise consciously that the only thing you REALLY want is to be deeply happy.

2. Understand that happiness is an inner experience. It is inside yourself, or nowhere! Therefore nothing and no one can give it to you.

3. Look 
inside for that happiness, and cultivate it consciously, doing (as much as possible) only things which make you happy!

4. Accept your mistakes, failings, and so on... don't resist them, it will slow you down (in other words, if you have a bad day, and you really struggle to be happy, 
don't worry!. Tomorrow is another day: every day you get better and better in every way)...


HEALING the trauma of sexual abuse

It's taboo. It makes us feel uncomfortable.
But the statistics are staggering: it is estimated that 25% of girls and 17% of boys are sexually abused before the age of 18*.
The reason I want to write about this is that if you were abused, or if you know someone who was abused, I CAN HELP.

I am also one of those statistics: I was sexually abused by a teacher who became a 'family friend'. From the age of 10 until about 16 I was repeatedly molested...

Sexual abuse causes us to feel small, powerless, weak, lonely, isolated, ashamed, guilty, and depressed. When it happens to a child there is a loss of innocence, a loss of trust, and a loss of openness. The results can be devastating...


RELAXATION 1 - WHAT is relaxation?

With this blog I want to GIVE you as much information and practical advice as I can.

So this is the first of a series of guides on relaxation. It's a big subect - one that in reality few people really think about, but it's so important. It's fundamental - without proper relaxation we cannot be successful in any area of our lives. So I'm breaking it down into three manageable chunks:
Today I will tell you WHAT relaxation is (it's not so obvious!).
In the 2nd article I will tell you WHY it's so important.
And finally I'll give you practical advice on HOW to incorporate relaxation into every day life.

WHAT is relaxation?

Relaxing means "going back".
Going back where?
Inside, where we BELONG!
Ok, but what does that mean?

Almost all our waking lives our attention (and energy) is directed outwards. It goes out through our eyes, our mouths, our bodies (our senses) into the world around us. It is attracted to other people, sounds, advertising, media... all of which are competing for our attention, 24 hours a day...


EGO 1 - What is ego?

I want to talk about ego, and whether or not it is real. This will be a series of articles. First, we'll discuss 'What Is Ego?'
In the next article we'll talk about the implications - namely, that much of the spiritual 'work' that many people do and have done (including myself) for many years, is almost a waste of time.
It's a complex subject, so I will try to keep it as simple as I possibly can. I also want to keep it interesting, so that you stay with me to the end!

The reason I want to write about this now is that I see so many people struggling with what they think is ego - so many people get caught up in the idea that we have an ego, and that we have to 'conquer' it, and that it's difficult. This is simply giving power to the thing which they think are fighting with!
My belief is that the ego is nothing. It doesn't exist. It's not real. It's just a mistaken belief that we get caught up in, and because we get caught up in it, we fight it, and the more we fight it, the more real it seems... like being caught in a net - the more you struggle, the more you get caught up...


ARE YOU A SHEEP? Or are you being YOURSELF?!

Don't get me wrong - I love sheep. But not when they are pretending to be humans!!  

It was brought to my attention again very recently how un-human many humans are! I came off my bike, and was lying by the side of the road, wondering if I had broken anything. It was here in the hills where I live, and there was no-one around to help me - until a car came along... and passed... the passenger, a metre away, looking through the window, pointing at me, and laughing!

I would say that "I couldn't believe it", but the fact is, I wasn't all that surprised.... something very similar happened to me years ago in London - but that time I was in a busy street, surrounded by literally hundreds of people, and again, not a single person so much as asked if I was ok...


EVERYTHING. Is. Perfect.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of looking at the world and finding fault.
When we look, we find what we are looking for, every time. Because we are CREATORS. We create our reality in the form that we choose. We are all-powerful.

If you want to experience peace in the world around you, there must first be peace in your heart.
If you would like to have more money, first find abundance in your Self.
If you would like to know more joy, first seek that place inside yourself where joy comes from.

The world around us is perfect. Don't you see it!
Through a telescope: All the galaxies expanding and contracting in the eternal rhythm of life (universe)... the planets dancing around each other in their perfect orbits.
Through a microscope: All the internal systems expanding and contracting in the eternal rhythm of life (breath)... the electrons and neurons and atoms and molecules dancing around each other in their perfect orbits...



Dear friends, the other day I wrote this post on my Prem Center facebook page: “When we TRUST the world around us, we align ourselves with the natural order. We experience abundance! But when we WORRY, we hold on, and become tense, blocking that natural flow of abundance. Let go. Don't worry. You have always had everything you needed, and always will. Trust, and be truly joyful”

And an old friend of mine from L.A. asked a great question. 
I always love questions(especially such good ones as this!) because it opens up a channel of communication from which not only the two of us learn, but also anyone else who is listening. This is how we can grow and evolve: IN RELATIONSHIP. To me that is what questions and answers are – communication; relationship.
So, here is my friend Joyce’s question:
" what do you mean by "natural order"? i'm asking because i (think) i understand what you mean but then, upon reflection- i'm not quite sure what 'natural order' means beyond being born (been there done, that) and dying (eventually, hopefully a ways off)... i'm being simplistic but i really am curious about understanding what you mean by this... moreover, can a 'natural order' be pursued in an environment immersed in industry, consumerism, and avarice? a place, like say... los angeles? i think it's possible, but it feels like a struggle at times..."

The theme of my original post (the one quoted above) was about 
Trust versus Worry. For me, the natural order is what every animal, vegetable and mineral experiences… faith. It is a silent knowing, a deep trusting - that everything in life is just as it is meant to be. Even when things go ‘wrong’, there is always a reason. We may not immediately know what that reason is, but we can always look back later and say, “aha, that experience had a positive effect”.
In English, we have the saying: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
And one of my favourite singers, Beth Orton, has the wonderful lyric: “regrets are just lessons you haven’t learnt yet”...


AUSTRIA, January 2010

Last night, I couldn’t sleep. I lay awake for about an hour, all the time feeling a voice growing louder in my mind, urging me to get dressed and go outside for a walk. I resisted this for as long as I could (we are in Austria skiing, and it’s -5 outside, whereas my bed is pretty warm!) but eventually realized that this was no ordinary voice.

When I finally got outside, I walked for about a kilometer across the mountain. I could hardly see a thing. The ground was a blur of white; black trees on either side; few stars up above. I walked for about 30 minutes until I was suddenly and inexplicably compelled to sit.

Breath: Bridge between mind & body

Nearby Forest
What is the single most important thing you ever do?

Breathe... more important than eating and drinking! 

You will survive for months without any food.

For a week perhaps without any water.

But without oxygen you only have minutes! We breathe 24 hours a day! But SO many people breathe badly - using too much energy; creating tension in their body; and not getting enough oxygen. I want to share with you here the three basic rules of correct, or proper breathing...


What is real freedom?
Is it a physical condition (not being behind bars)?
Is it being free to do or say or think what ever you want, no matter what?

I created this blog today having never 'blogged' before, and had to choose from a range of 'templates'. I chose the only black one. Why?

I used to have an aversion to the color black. I used to think that it is a negative, or 'unspiritual' (whatever that means!), color.
Then I realised something. Something very profound.
Nothing is negative!

Time for a great quote:
"Nothing is all good or all bad, except that we make it so"...