A new book in the Cougarsamurai series is now available as paperback or on Kindle: 'Cougarsamurai and the Four Noble Truths' can be found on your local Amazon site. I hope you enjoy and thank you so much for all the support.

I just wanted to share this great picture of Cougarsamurai drawn by Rosie (aged 11). I'm really glad you liked the morals in the stories Rosie. Thank you so much for this awesome picture. I'm sure Cougarsamurai would love it!

The Cougarsamurai Chronicles

Just a quick heads up to remind everyone that The Complete Cougarsamurai Chronicles are available to download from Amazon (Kindle). Also available in paperback from Amazon UK , Amazon USA or your respective Amazon site. Read short tales in the travels of Cougarsamurai (sample below). Hope you enjoy!

You can also follow Cougarsamurai on Facebook and Twitter.

Daily Enlightenment

You might find it helpful to have a few words of enlightenment/inspiration placed around the place. It doesn't have to be much, perhaps a post-it note on the fridge door or bathroom mirror. These are great as a means to stop the 'monkey mind' going rampant all day long as they serve to make you pause for thought and centre. As part of the exercise you could make a point of changing them once a week; this way you will have to research fresh ones, stopping you taking the existing ones for granted. Here are a few I have borrowed to help you on your way.....

Lead, Follow or get out of the way!
Be kind as everyone is fighting a hard battle.
Strangers are just friends you haven't met yet.
Don't Panic!
Don't sweat the small stuff....it's all small stuff.
Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Make Everything O.K.

Dan Millman posted this on Facebook to help with the holiday season. I hope you like it! It bought a smile to my face. Thanks Dan.

Make Everything OK

Flexibility is the key!

If we can allow our minds and bodies to stay flexible then we are better equipped to cope with the rigours of life. As we get older we need to maintain flexibility in our bodies because we often have more sedentary lifestyles. Yoga or Tai Chi are excellent for this as they are non-competitive, require no or little equipment and are often practised in a group setting. I try and do at least half an hour's Yoga a day.
Equally important is that we remain flexible in our minds.When life doesn't go the way we had planned it is important that we don't overreact and explore other possibilities. Sometimes it is better not to have such a rigid plan so that we have flexibility built in. 
Examine your life and see if having more flexibility would really benefit you.

The answer to life's biggest question.

Ever since the development of language it is probable that mankind has searched for the meaning of life. Why are we here, what is our purpose and to quote the author  Douglas Adams: 'Does it cosmically speaking matter if I don't get up and go to work this morning?'
This is of course life's biggest question. I would like to suggest that there are a couple of ways we could respond to this. Some have said that the main priority is procreation and the perpetuation of the species. At the other end of the spectrum I have heard it said that we are here simply here to have a good time. Richard Leider said: 'The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.' It's entirely possible that every living person has a completely different viewpoint, so here is mine.

Firstly I think it is important not to get too caught up in this question. I honestly believe that the human mind does not have the capacity to understand the universe at this time. Therefore I think everybody should give some thought to what they want their life to be about. It could be service to others, or it could simply be complete altruism. Whatever we decide I would like to suggest two simple rules. Firstly that nothing you do causes harm to others, physically or emotionally. Secondly that you give yourself a life of 100% and no less. If you are resting then rest completely. If you're engaged in conversation with another person then give that person all of your attention.

Finally I think it is important to be happy more than you are not. How you achieve this happiness is up to you.

I thought you might like to take a look at one of the stories from Book 3 of The Cougarsamurai Chronicles.

The Test
Cougarsamurai sat cross-legged in the large dojo (training hall). Today was the day he would put his three most worthy students to the test. Above the doorway to the training hall he had placed a large bag of sand in such a way that as the door opened the bag would fall onto the head of whoever entered. He would summon his three students one at a time.

Kanji, friend of Hisoka, was the first to be called. After a few minutes Cougarsamurai heard a knock at the doorway and called for Kanji to enter. Kanji opened the door and stepped forward just as the bag of sand fell towards his head. At the last instant, sensing the bag, Kanji stepped to the side and the bag fell harmlessly to the ground with a thud. 

Cougarsamurai instructed his student to replace the bag and come to sit next to him. Kanji carefully placed the bag back above the doorway and moved to sit next to his master. A few minutes later there was a knock at the door. It was the second trainee to be called for.

The Samurai was particularly interested to see how this trainee would deal with the scenario. It had been a while since their encounter during a one-on-one archery contest (see the Cougarsamurai Chronicles book 2), and he was interested to see exactly how much progress had been made.

Denjiro opened the door and stepped forward. The bag of sand came crashing down toward his head. Calmly and swiftly he stepped aside, drew his sword and split the bag straight down the middle, so that it landed in two halves at his feet. Kanji could not contain himself and started to clap vigorously. Cougarsamurai said nothing except to instruct Denjiro to place a new bag of sand above the door and then come and sit next to him, to wait for the final student.

This was the one Cougarsamurai was especially interested in. Hisoka had been a challenge for a long time; rarely did he learn the lesson until it was repeated. Nonetheless he had high hopes for him and sat up expectantly when he heard a knock at the door. He called for the Hisoka to enter.

Hisoka opened the door and was about to step forward when he sensed something was wrong. Instead of stepping forward he merely stood still and observed. Sure enough a bag of sand fell to the floor in front of his eyes. It was only then that he stepped forward toward his teacher. Cougarsamurai and the other two students grinned broadly at Hisoka.

His teacher asked him why he had not entered. Hisoka said that one lesson he had learned was to look before you leap. Or in this case before you enter the dojo, with your teacher and two friends looking mischievously on.  All four burst out laughing. Cougarsamurai said that he was pleased with his students’ performances. No one had failed the test.

Self Worth

Watching the news I was amazed to see a segment about a footballer who is paid over £300,000 a week! This really got me thinking about how this would make that person feel, especially with regards to their self worth. As a footballer this person is certainly worth more than someone who does not have his particular skill. However as human being he is surely worth no more than anyone else. I think part of the problem that most of us have in our lives, is that we compare ourselves to others continually and rate our sense of self-worth accordingly.  We use status, power and money as often the yardsticks by which we measure our self-worth. When a newborn infant we all are of equal value. It is only by comparing ourselves to others as we grow that we start to devalue ourselves. Society and schooling are constantly re-enforcing this.
I would like to suggest that you treat yourself and everyone you meet as if they were newborn. Rate everyone, including yourself, with a self-worth rating of 100%. If you have made mistakes in your life it doesn't mean you're self-worth rating should decrease. Everyone makes mistakes. It is part of being human. Importantly, you should not rate yourself higher than anyone else either. Everyone should be allowed to have equal self-worth.


To many people, meditation conjures up images of Buddhist monks sitting cross-legged while gently rocking backwards and forwards chanting a special word or phrase.  If we take a different view of what meditation is, it is  possibile that we can all experience the benefits of this simple exercise in mindfulness.
The art of meditation lies in one pointed attention. Focusing your mind on just one thing at the exclusion of absolutely everything else. This has a wonderful effect of clearing the mind and it is this clarity which brings peace. In my experience of many years in many different sports, but most notably in the martial arts, it is during intense physical activity than you are able to enter what is known in the West as the 'zone'. Or to the Japanese Samurai as 'satori'.
I can distinctly remember how, when practising judo, I found it impossible to think of anything else when someone was trying to strangle me into unconsciousness. Perhaps this is an extreme example of meditation and I by no means suggest it as a way to achieve clarity of mind. However, if we remember throughout our day to give everything our undivided attention, then we are in essence living a kind of moving meditation. 
Whatever you have to do throughout your day, even something as simple as washing the dishes, gives you a wonderful opportunity to practice this one pointed attention.

Cougar Cat

After much discussion, Mrs CS and I finally decided to get a kitten. As you can see in the picture below he is gorgeous. Although I had to take him to the vet's immediately because he had a slight flea problem. One of the great things about having pets is that they really teach you to live in the moment. 

Oh, in case you are wondering; we called him COUGAR!   

Pray for What You Already Have

An Excerpt from: One Minute Mindfulness.

The next minute is not what we think it will be — not even close. But it can be what we decide to focus on. If we constantly look for what’s missing from our lives — that big house, dream car, perfect relationship, ideal job — then the upcoming minute might be filled with regret, remorse, sadness, frustration, and hopelessness. If we consistently appreciate what is currently before us and available in our lives — the car that runs, the roof over our head, the job that provides resources, and the relationships we do have, most importantly with ourselves — then we spare ourselves disappointment.

I love this....

POWER THINKING THOUGHT OF THE DAY—There’s a Native American tale of a grandfather telling his troubled grandson that inside every person there are two wolves that are always fighting. “One wolf is evil—he is anger, greed, envy, resentment. The second wolf is good—joy, peace, love, truth and faith.” The grandson asked, “Which wolf wins?” The grandfather replied, “The one you feed.
~ Dr. Joe Luciani

Life is a journey

Life is a journey and if we consider the final destination of our body, then it becomes important to consider what happened along the way. Think of it as if you are driving a car. You are behind the wheel and for the most part make the decisions about what happens on the journey and what direction to take. Of course you will sometimes come across roadblocks and other drivers who may interfere with your journey, so it is important to decide how to deal with these.
If you have to make a diversion it is simply  necessary and doesn't have to be a disaster. You can make the necessary adjustments and continue on your way. Yes it may be an inconvenience, but these things happen. You might also get cut up by another driver; again these things happen, you just have to decide the best way to deal with it.
I would like to suggest that when you come across these hurdles it is better to accept them without judgement as part of the journey  and don't let them spoil your day. Some things are out of your control and once you understand that it is easier to let them pass. 


It is usually very upsetting when we are wrongly judged by others, yet this seems to happen so often. Unfortunately, gossip and making judgements about other people is all too common, fuelled by what we see on television in soap operas and in the media (about celebrities).
Resolve to be less judgemental about others, or better still, completely non-judgemental about others. If you consider that every single person you meet has had completely different life experiences to you, then it must be obvious that everyone sees the world as they are and not as it is. With this in mind it is easier not to judge.The beauty of this approach is that your interactions with others become much more meaningful.

Nike - Just Do It!

Have you ever had one of those days where you had something to do that you really didn't want to?Chances are you have. Maybe even several things to do on a day, that you really didn't want to. You have two choices. Choice one; get upset, feel down, complain and generally not enjoy yourself.  Choice two; just do it! Regardless of how you feel, just get on with what needs to be done, to the best of your ability. This way several things happen. Firstly, whatever you have to do is now done and dusted. Secondly, you haven't suffered along the way. You never know you might have even enjoyed yourself.

Whenever I see the Nike slogan, I am reminded to just do it.

Make a connection today.

Human beings are on the whole sociable creatures. There are times in our lives when we all need a bit of solitude, but usually we enjoy other's company. I would like to suggest that it is in these moments; when we are fully engaged with another person, actively giving and receiving in the conversation, that we are truly experiencing life at its best. Make a point today of really connecting with another person and notice how this make you feel. More importantly, notice effect it has on the other person. Paying attention to your interactions with others really is a win-win.

My new favourite book

Last weekend whilst staying with my parents in Kent,
I was lucky enough to come across a second-hand bookseller who recommended a book to me after I explained I was looking for something spiritual. As luck would have it, the bookseller and I were on the same wavelength and she immediately reached for a volume called 'The Four Agreements' by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is not often I'm taken aback by a spiritual book, however this one has had me encapsulated for four days. I don't want to ruin it for you by giving too much away, but I really suggest you give it a try I honestly believed this could transform your life, or at the very least ease the struggle.

Don't believe anything you hear!

Unfortunately most of us have grown up believing everything we are told about ourselves by other people. If one person says you don't look good in hats - that's it! We believe from that moment on that we 'don't look good in hats'! This applies to many facets of our lives, from how we look to what we are capable of. Now it's time to take a reality check. Someone else's reality it isn't yours. If someone says 'you're no good at .....', that's just their opinion (which they are entitled to, but is often marred by their own thoughts and desires), but it's not your reality.
It's time to stop living in the universe created by other people and re-enter your own. Where your beliefs and aspirations are all true and reachable for you. If you believe you look good in hats - so be it!

Don't forget to BREATHE!

Most of the time we are unconscious of our breathing. As an autonomic reflex our breath is self regulatory. This is pretty much a good thing. If we had to think about every breath we took life would become quite tedious. This doesn't mean however that we should forget about our breathing altogether. Spending a few moments each day to focus on our breath and try to regulate the pattern is good for the mind and body. If you are gadget minded there are many great apps to help you do this. You can also take this a step further and do exercises to help you breathe more freely and more efficiently.

I have recently started using a training aid which I find quite useful. It's a great tool for giving your lungs a workout whilst the body remains calm.  Click on the link below and see what you think: 

Did you learn the lesson yet?

The majority of people go through life making the same mistakes over and over again. Whether it be in relationships or with money the same errors keep recurring. The path towards a happier and more peaceful existence lies in recognising the mistake and not repeating it.
An example with this is someone who moves from one failed relationship to another because they keep going for the same 'type' of partner, who ultimately is not compatible with them. Or the person who looses money by making one bad investment after another, not recognising they are repeating the same mistake over and over again.
Choose an area in your life that concerns or troubles you. Ask  yourself if you are making mistakes and most importantly: Did you learn the lesson yet?

Look after your body.

Throughout your life you will own many different things. You will have many friends who will come and go. You will live in different places. There is one thing however which you are destined to keep for a lifetime. You have just one body and although medical science can replace bits it cannot fix everything. My advice is simple; you have just one body so look after it. This means taking regular exercise, eating healthily, and watching your intake of toxins. It also involves managing your stress and dealing appropriately with your emotions. Often our bodies suffer the brunt of our mental issues.
If you're not sure where to start, the Internet is a wonderful resource. There are plenty of great sites and also access to specialist books on the subject. 


The term ‘Self-Help’ receives a bad rap. What on earth can be wrong with using all your knowledge and inherent wisdom to make your own life more rewarding and happy? Let’s face it; if you ask anyone whether they would rather be happy or unhappy, I am positive everyone would say the former. If they did say the latter, it is because they probably enjoy being unhappy and being so would in fact make them happy! ‘Self-Help’ writings have been around for centuries. Ancient Greek philosophers were admired for their insights.  In more modern times these books are often seen as a refuge for those who struggle to cope with life. Recognition of a struggle and the desire to take steps to deal with it shows strength. Proof that you are no longer willing to accept a life of disappointment. This should be applauded, not frowned upon. It shows a willingness to grow and not just plod through life with little or no desire to self-improve. 

A silent thank you.

In an earlier post I mentioned a Shiatsu practitioner called Nicola Morgan whom I met over 20 years ago. She recommended to me the book by Dan Millman called Way of the Peaceful Warrior. It was reading this book that set me on my current path and inspired me to start this site. I never took the opportunity to thank Nicola for guiding me in this direction, so would like to do so now.  I understand that even if she doesn't read this post she was still feel my gratitude.
Why don't you take this opportunity to say thanks to someone in your past who made a difference. Perhaps a teacher or a colleague, an old friend or relation. Although they may not hear you, I am sure your thanks will not go unfelt.

William and Kate in Canada.

I was watching a documentary today about the Royal visit to Canada. I found it very moving. Every single person interviewed (from the onlookers) commented on how the Royal couple seemed to be just like ordinary people. I thought this was a wonderful sentiment, however it occurred to me that there is no such thing as an ordinary person. We are all unique and therefore extraordinary. There is no one else on this planet exactly like another (and that includes identical twins). Remember that fact, in every interaction you have with a fellow human being. Everybody is special, nobody is ordinary, everyone should be treated as extra-ordinary.So the next time you're seeking to your childs teacher; or a bank clerk, remember that they are unique and special, just like you.

Are you too sensitive?

I know that I can be at times. Sometimes it's all too easy to get upset over little things, perhaps something that someone has said or done. But because we are of a sensitive nature, these things can have an effect on us. If this sounds like you, here are some good tips to help you deal with your sensitivity. Firstly, just understanding that you have a sensitive nature can be enough to put things in perspective. Secondly, you can choose to devalue what another person has said or done, especially if it doesn't come from good intentions. Surely, someone who is deliberately trying to upset you, should not be allowed the same consideration as someone who does the opposite.
Finally, you could confront the person. Explaining how their actions make you feel can often have a remarkable effect on your relationship with a person. Do be careful with whom you try this approach. Not everyone is as emotionally intelligent as you.

What are you waiting for?

If we are lucky, we get about 70 or 80 years on this planet. Yet so may of us spend much of his time trying and waiting to be happy. I would like to suggest that perhaps you are trying too hard! Perhaps you are waiting for the right circumstances to be happy and are overlooking all the great things that you have and have experienced which mean you can be happy right now.
There's a well-known saying about stopping to smell the roses. This is something so many of us fail to do. Rather than putting off your happiness until certain conditions arise. Consider what is happening in this moment and whether you are overlooking the joy in your present circumstances.
So rather than wait to get that new job; or find a new love; in order to feel happy, just be happy now at this moment ,with where you are and what you have. Stop delaying your happiness or you may find you put it off indefinitely.

Please have a look around.

I have just had a look back over some of my older posts from previous months.I suggest you do the same.You never know you might find something relevant and interesting. I know I did.
You can also scroll down to the bottom of the page and use the 'search this site' feature!
I would also like to strongly recommend that you check out my 'recommended sites' page. These are links to other sites I have developed with a view to helping you save money or make money.

If you don't try, you won't fail!

As is today's fashion, I have a T-shirt with a slogan on it. This reads ' if you don't try, you won't fail!' What I love about this, is that it suggests that you are better off not giving anything a try, as this means you will never be disappointed. But the most important thing is that it also points to the opposite. If you don't try you won't succeed either!
 I have tried many things in my life, some of which I have been successful at and others of which I have failed miserably. The trick I have learnt is not to see these failures as a bad thing, but rather as an opportunity to learn and grow. It takes a child on average at least 200 attempts at walking before they succeed. Each one of those failures contributes to the ultimate goal. As long as you learn from your mistakes they are not failures. If you never try anything you will never reach your potential and never know just how good you can be.

Have yourself a Ceremony

So often we let our worries get on top of us. Take five minutes, right now, to make a list of all your worries on piece of paper. Put down absolutely everything no matter how small. When you are happy (so to speak) with your list - destroy it! Tear it up, scrunch it up or even shred it! Now allow yourself to be worry free the rest of the day.