Her face red, her curly raven hair looking like it had been electrocuted, and her words vaporising before they had condensed into anything that made sense. Nothing usually escaped the Drama Queen, except important words at important moments. On these occasions the Drama Queen became speechless and her usually regal demeanour faded as frustration welled up inside. The Drama Queen was having one of her customary internal melt downs. They had grown fewer and further between episodes as the decades passed, but once in a while they reared their head to remind her she was not being understood. Friends and family would give her gifts but not the gifts she wanted. They would give her compliments but not the compliments she needed. They gave her time, but not in the way she needed it. “Mirror mirror on the wall when will ever be about me?” the Drama Queen asked her reflection one day when one of her friends did not seem to be taking her into consideration any more. “What is so hard about asking someone how they are and what have they been up to?” the Drama Queen thundered after a particularly wet and lonely weekend. “On what planet does [...]
“A delicate face looks up from a fiery mane of Pre-Raphaelite hair and beams enthusiastically at each and every student assembled in the circle of seats. The smell of burning white sage surrounded Anne Aylor the first time I walked into her class.” The scent: a hall mark of her creative ritual and the eye catching cow—one of her infrequently used teaching aides—were assembled along with Ganesh, Buddha and a few Crystals on a small table. Anne Aylor believes that to teach you have to channel other energies, such as compassion and wisdom and these small icons remind her of this. I first met Anne in the middle of October 2009 when I attended on impulse her two-day Release the Writer in You workshop. It changed the way I looked at my life. As I think back to that chilly October Saturday when I first met Anne, I still remember her cow. “Asking a student to stop reading when they have been reading for too long is difficult when they are in mid sentence, but if they do this or if they apologise for what they are about to read, it is a cow offence [...]
Last weekend was probably as close to hell on Earth as I have been to in my life. While Londonwas deep in riots, I was immersed in life with The Prisoners of Padua, who seem to be getting further and further from the edge of reality. I woke up back in London on Tuesday morning, blissfully unaware of the riots and yet strangely calm and serene despite the tragedy I found in Italy. And not to mention the chaos in Croydon that I subconsciously avoided with a “wrong” turn onto the M25 on my drive back from Gatwick Airport. Someone somewhere was keeping an eye on me. This same someone, however, threw The Raven in my path yesterday, an encounter that threw me more off balance than the mania in Italy. Although it was only today on my way to lunch, when I reverted back to my shopaholic tendencies that I realised something had thrown me off kilter. I had bought not one but two turquoise rings without even thinking about it. These two rings are gorgeous and original, and I would argue that one cannot have too many rings. That said, anyone who knows me knows [...]
‘I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek Happiness.” This is the opening line of The Art of Happiness that sets the agenda with clear simplicity. When I think back to a year ago at the time I spent three whole days in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama—albeit as part of a conference—I am instantly happy by this memory. So it was always going to be a pleasure reading The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler. Add to the cocktail four solid days of sunshine with nothing planned but to read, relax and recuperate and the effect was like a massive Meditation on the meaning of life. I first came across many of the Buddhist principals—such as the nature of suffering—that underlie The Art of Happiness in Matthieu Ricard’s book Happiness. Matthieu’s book—which led me to the Mind & Life Conference in Zurich in the first place—was a transformational manual that I savoured over a month. The Art of Happiness I have devoured faster than chocolate Easter eggs. The concepts are now a growing part of my psyche, and the way the [...]
It is Mother’s Day in the UK tomorrow and so today, I was in Bath enjoying the sunshine for a weekend dedicated mum. As we meandered slowly up and down the small boutique filled lanes of this gorgeous town, mum suddenly disappeared. I finally found her again 10 minutes later emerging from a crystal shop with a rose quartz crystal tea light holder that she gave to me as a gift. When I joked that it was the day of The Mother tomorrow and I was supposed to be buying her the presents, she said without hesitation “You can’t be a mother without children, so this is my present to you to say thank you.” As I swallowed the deep wave of emotion, I felt that this little object was right metaphor for what I believe can only be described as unconditional love. I had just been telling mum how I love my adventures into the properties of various Crystals that I am being drawn to; but in that moment I knew very little about the true properties of rose quartz. This was largely because until recently I have had an aversion to anything pink, especially [...]
Forgiveness is the act of letting go of anger, resentment or need for revenge that is the result of an offence or mistake. Forgiveness can lead to empathy and compassion for the person that did the hurting. One can forgive the person without excusing the act.
The heart chakra is the fourth chakra, which in Sanskrit is called the Anahata chakra, and it is associated with the colour green.
Karma, which is derived from the Sanskrit kri, means to do and at its most basic level karma simply means action, although it has come to imply both action and reaction.
Altruism and Compassion in Economic Systems: A public dialogue between Economics, Neuroscience and Contemplative Sciences What a title! To the untrained eye, it looks like an oxymoron. But when I stumbled across it I just knew it was something I had to explore. After all I am still a full time financial journalist exploring my purpose in life and my current career is not an accident (even if it feels like it to me). After reading Matthieu Ricard‘s book on Happiness over Christmas I was curious to know more about this Buddhist monk, who had written this life changing book. My passion is photography and when I saw his site, I knew that this was a congruent person living the fullness of his potential. I was inspired and I really wanted to meet him. My Google meandering took me to the Mind and Life Institute and from there to this conference, which turned out to have three people, whose books on happiness have been inspirational: the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness and Richard Layard‘s Happiness: Lessons from a New Science. Happiness and economics in one place. It seems to make sense to my logical mind to find out what this is all about. Plus [...]