Being in survival mode is ego

For our ego watch today we’ll take the whole survival mentality, since this is where people can so easily go when faced with economic challenge and hardship. It’s become really salient with climate change. After all, it’s so easy, although that’s not how we’d like to see it! You read all sorts of scary headlines about the economy, share or stock prices, house prices, flooding, forest fires, or whatever, and the heart starts beating fast, you go cold, a terror gets a hold, and in a panic you start thinking of all sorts of cataclysmic scenarios. Or you feel like … Read more

Being happy with your lot

How much of your life is taken up by wanting, desire, lack, dissatisfaction and not being happy with your lot? This is about desire and there not “being enough”. Eastern philosophy gives a big role in its analysis of human suffering to desire. They say that being caught up in desire explains much of our inability to find contentment. Swami Muktananda when responding to someone who complained of always feeling dissatisfied, said, “You become dissatisfied with what you have because you are not aware of all you have. If you were aware of all that you have, it would give … Read more

Where is your sanctuary?

Do you have a place of sanctuary to which you can periodically retreat, get away from the world at large and feel safe and at one? What for you is a place of sanctuary? For some it’s perhaps a religious place and many may think of a church, monastery, or other spiritual place. In the Middle Ages, sanctuary was also where one went for safe keeping against the vengeance of some one, say in a Cathedral or other religious institution. One example in England is Beverley Minster. For others, it might be a special place, such as in your house … Read more

The dark night of the soul comes to test us and teach us

Have you had hard times when things have been such that you’ve hit prolonged periods of pain, depression or illness? Have there been really hard times in your life when all has seemed to be going against you? Sometimes we hit really low points when we despair or feel utterly stuck and constrained. This is when life seems to close in on us and it appears that this is all we’ve got. Some people call this sort of time a dark night of the soul. The phrase “dark night of the soul” derives from the 16th century Spanish mystic, St … Read more

Being unattached to the outcome

Do you find you can’t let go of what you want and keep on at it even when all the signs are that it probably won’t work. This is where one gets “attached” to an outcome. It’s all too familiar and often doesn’t serve us. Instead we can benefit from being unattached instead. For example, have you ever found you’ve wanted someone else to do something for you and despite your efforts he or she persists in not doing what you ask? You think you’ve made your request pretty plain but what you get back is not what you wanted. … Read more

What you appreciate, appreciates

Recently helping someone to get their life back on track got me thinking about how much is possible when we deliberately focus on what we’ve got that we value, that we appreciate. So, when you feel like it isn’t happening, that you haven’t got what you want, that things seem not to be turning out as you intended, try this. Focus your attention on what you do have. Think about all the people in your life that you love, value and respect. Think of the things in your life that you value. Think of your positive attributes, of your skills … Read more