Take your time

So often people use meal times solely as an opportunity to refuel. Eating is a rushed affair, with the food not being chewed sufficiently or the flavours and smells not really being enjoyed.
Imagine you are eating a banana. Firstly you should enjoy the colour. Then the smell. Enjoy the texture and taste in your mouth and finally masticate until the fruit is almost liquid in order to take the strain on your digestive system. Sorry, I’m just going for a banana, back in a mo…………………………………………………………...
Now that was a nice banana.
The same principle should be applied to everything you do. Take your time; enjoy life and all its experiences. Take in the sights and sounds, the tastes and textures. Try it today, you might find a whole new world opens up to you.


I heard a great expression once: ‘the best way to get rid of your enemy is to make them your friend’. There is another expression: ‘keep your friends close but your enemies closer’. All in all, a great way to deal with your enemy or someone you don’t get on with is to change your relationship with them. You might be surprised at how they react to your altered behaviour.
I remember 20 or so years ago when I was working in an International School in Swanage: I just couldn’t get on with one of the other teachers. Mainly I think because my first interaction with her was a negative one. One day we were walking into town together with some students; we struck up a conversation which very quickly moved onto the subject of why we didn’t get on. Within 5 minutes we agreed that it was because we were so similar! From that moment on we got on like a house on fire (I’ve never understood that saying).
Often just taking the time to get to know someone can make all the difference.

Facing Fears

So many of us let fear control our lives. We don’t ask that special someone for a date through fear of rejection; we don’t go for that dream job in case we don’t get it; and so on. I know from my own personal experience that you don’t always get what you want in life, but you usually get what you need! Without doubt the most common belief by all self-help authors in relation to fear is that the best way forward is exactly that. Facing fears and pushing through them is always better than avoidance. Strength comes from experience that you can do whatever you need to. What I have learnt over the years is that things don’t have to be perfect. Thinking they do only adds to the stress and anxiety. When you realize that you can get through something without it being perfect then fear looses some of its hold on us.

One big happy family.

I often hear people say that blood is thicker than water. OK, they don’t always use that phrase, but the gist is that family is the most important thing. I agree with this, up to a point. I agree that family is important; however I believe that everyone you meet is family. Tracing back to the origins of mankind, it could be argued that we all originated from the same place. Whether it is as decedents from the first two humans placed on the planet or from some form of evolution, we all originate from the same source and so are linked.
Our attachment to our ‘nuclear’ family is strong and usually takes priority; this is because of a familiarity and bonding over time. Try not to forget that you are related to everyone you meet, and treat everyone accordingly.


When I was young I was sent to ‘Sunday School’ every week. Not so much to learn about religion, more to get me out the house and give my parents a break I think. It was an interesting experience for me although not wholly a positive one.
Now I am older I choose to lead a more spiritual lifestyle that focuses on Buddhist principles, not because I disagree with or am against any of the worlds religions, but more because of my life experiences and what they have taught me.
Whether you choose a religious or spiritually path (or somewhere in the middle) I feel it is important to believe in something bigger than yourself. This gives you a place in the whole scheme of things and allows you to put your life into perspective, hopefully giving you some direction.
I have been a school teacher for the last 20 years and feel grateful that I found my life purpose early. I am also grateful that I am able to share some of my learned wisdom over the Internet. If my thoughts and words help just one other human being I will feel that my time on this planet has been of use. I often joke with Mrs. Cougarsamurai that the only reason I was put on earth was to help her on her journey through life. Of course I am saying this to show my love and support for someone who feels the same towards me (hopefully – lol).


 If you ask most people about their work they would describe it as a means to an end. In other words, they don’t really enjoy it but it earns money to pay the bills. The trick here is to change your occupation to something you do enjoy.  This may not always be an option as we often have responsibilities; however there is a second trick. Change your attitude to your work. Not always easy, I know. But, why not try taking a different approach. Just start with one day. Try and be the best you can on that day. Not just the best, but try to excel at every part of your job on that day. You may find something miraculous happens. Not only do you get better results, but you might actually start enjoying yourself. As an additional bonus others may see you differently and even look up to you as a role model.


Throughout your life you will see many changes. The most dramatic of these usually occur to the body. From infancy to old age, your body will go through many stages. Apparently every 7 years every cell in your body has been re-newed. So effectively the body you have now is a different one to the one you had seven years ago!
How your body copes and develops with these changes depends on how it is treated. We all know the benefits of exercise, good diet and abstaining from drugs (tobacco and alcohol included). The issue is what we do with this information. I do not drink alcoholic and have never taken drugs (apart form the occasional paracetamol. I eat what I believe to be a balanced and healthy diet (with occasional treats); I exercise daily (yoga) and increase my activity levels when I have time and the inclination. I never force myself to do activity as this creates a negative association. I often reward myself for being active by treating myself, although I often find the reward is the activity itself, even if the benefits are not seen until later.

Take care of your body – it has to last a lifetime.  Group health insurance can help.


This refers to your interactions with every other person you meet from day to day. Be it your Spouse or other family member, your friends or work colleagues, even just people you meet in the course of your daily life. I have but one piece of advice that has carried me in good stead throughout.
                                    Treat others as you would like to be treated.


This represents a large concern in most people’s lives. Balancing the books is something that people often struggle with. Income could be used in the following way to limit financial stress. Firstly, food and shelter have to be paid/provided for. These are basic needs that must be met and include: grocery bills; utilities (gas & electric); rent or mortgage; water bill/rates and any other necessities. If there are insufficient monies to cover all the above the you are in deficit and may need professional financial help; or perhaps a second job to increase your income.
When the entire have to’s have been accounted for, then comes the fun bit. If there are monies left over after all the essentials are covered the most important thing to do next is to pay ‘yourself’. By this I mean you put money away in a savings account (hopefully about 10% of what’s left after essentials). By doing this every month you build up savings which equal peace of mind. Hopefully you will never have to ‘dig in’ to these savings and eventually they will start earning you a passive income through interest earned. With any money left over after essentials and savings you can use what’s left over as you see fit; entertainment, charity donations etc.
I wish you good luck with sorting out this important and sometimes stressful part of your life. Once finances are in order I hope you will find this helps create peace of mind.

5 key areas to sort out in your life!

A lot of troubles in your life can be solved by a little bit of organisation.
If you get these FIVE areas of your life in order, you will be amazed at the difference in your life:
1. Finances
2. Relationships
3. Health
4. Work
5. Spirituality/Religion
More on these to follow……..

Patience is a virtue!

In the modern world today most of us expect instant gratification. We want it and we want it now! Often we get ‘it’ now as modern technology allows it. Knowledge is instantly accessible via the internet; we have television on demand, and so on. The problem arises when we don’t get what we want within the timescale we have set. That is when stress and frustration sets in.
Instead of getting upset when you have to wait for something, try and view the situation differently. Turn it round in your head so that you think in fact that you have been given a gift; the gift of time. How you use this is up to you. Let’s say you are stuck in a traffic jam. Instead of getting emotional you could use the opportunity to practice your breathing; or perhaps mentally rehearse the presentation you are about to give at work. You get the idea.
Sometimes I even feel grateful that I have the opportunity to practice being patient.

The present moment.

Many spiritual teachings make reference to living in the moment. The benefits of this are many, however this does not mean that it is inappropriate to remember the past or contemplate our future. Out past is a good tool for learning as we try not to repeat our mistakes. Our future can be seen as a target for where we want to be, based on our present actions. If you want to practice being in the present moment, start with your eating. Instead of the usual way of making meals a time for refuelling, try and enjoy every aspect of what you're doing. Notice the colours, the odours and tastes. Don't forget to take your time and enjoy. Once you have mastered this, you can apply the same principles to almost every daily activity.

Are you worried or concerned?

There is a very important difference between these two states of mind. You need to consider carefully whether the problem you have needs you to be worried or concerned. If you are worried about something, the implication is that you are feeling anxiety and negative about the situation. Concern however implies that you are thinking about a solution and is much more healthy state of mind. So the next time you have an issue or problem, you might consider that being concerned rather than worried is a much better state of mind.


Over the years I have competed in many sports. Sometimes I won, sometimes I didn't. One thing I did learn, is that the thrill of winning is often short lived and the anguish of losing lingers.
The worst thing I used to see (when I was taking school teams) was the reaction from parents on the sideline at Rugby and Soccer matches, when their team lost. On some occasions it was appalling. I couldn't help but wonder about the impact this would have on their children. Many years ago I decided that winning and losing really don't matter. The really important thing is how you react to both. In the end, the most important things are as follows; did you try your hardest; did you show respect; did you enjoy yourself? If you can say yes to all these questions then you are not the only one that will benefit. To quote Dan Millman: it's the journey that's important, not the destination.