Perfect Me

Life: Powerful And Fragile

Life: Powerful And Fragile

My younger daughter lost her first tooth last week and the older turned 17 a couple of weeks ago. I woke up this morning with both of these things on my mind, a melancholy feeling and a sense that life is slipping me by. Sometimes I believe I’ll live forever, and at other times I’m very connected to my own mortality. Isn’t this one of the very many paradoxes we live with? The power of life itself and the fragility of life in us as individuals? Fragility of life I spoke to a friend today who’s living with the...

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6 Reasons To Go Vegetarian

6 Reasons To Go Vegetarian

I’d been playing with the idea of only eating vegetarian food for some time but the enjoyment of flesh eating was just too strong. 4 months ago, if I’d been faced with this array of meat sticks, I’d have been salivating and fighting to get my teeth sunk in. Now I look at the picture and just feel nauseous. What happened to me? I really don’t know how it happened but I do know I stopped eating meat in the middle of January. I started the year with a week long Zen retreat in the Netherlands where the food...

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Top 8 Taboo Words

Top 8 Taboo Words

Do some words drive you up the wall? Are there things you hear or say that trigger a negative, maybe even an angry, reaction? From violent words come violent acts I once heard a trainer of the police claim that 90% of all acts of physical violence are preceded by an exchange of words. The police in his country are taught how to calm a situation, in the first instance, using only words. I’m not talking here about an angry tone of voice but about the words themselves and the thinking they reveal. Since I started looking closely a...

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Problems Too Large To Handle

Problems Too Large To Handle

Is there anyone who doesn’t have problems to face? Challenges to overcome? As a species don’t we face incredible difficulties in living together peacefully? Managing resources responsibly? Sometimes I get despondent because the road ahead seems too long, the mountain too steep or the burden too heavy to carry. At those times, I take a small step back and try to get some distance from this moment or this period of my life. I consider the scale of the world I live in, the immensity of the solar system and I put my life in comparison to the span...

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In Search Of Value

In Search Of Value

As a kid I was fascinated with a weekly radio show called Desert Island Discs where a guest was invited to select 8 pieces of music to have with them if they were stranded on a desert island. They could add one luxury item and one book, excluding the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare (which apparently all desert islands already have). The idea of choosing from the vast array available (in this case music) somehow appealed to me. How to condense all those bits of music I love into a list of only 8? To say nothing...

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The Big Issue – Saying ‘Yes’

The Big Issue – Saying ‘Yes’

I’m often surprised by how small things can be those making the greatest difference to our lives. A few days ago I saw Jim Carrey’s latest film, ‘Yes Man’ while on a trip to Oxford in the UK. The main character is a compulsive ‘No-man’. He says ‘No’ to invitations, to loan applications (he works in a bank which I found ironically topical) and he says ‘No’ to beggars on the street. After a self-help seminar he agrees to become a ‘Yes-man’ and agree to everything instead. Once he starts saying ‘Yes’, his life, of course, turns around and...

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