A Philosophy For Living Well.
1. Quiet Time Is Lovely
Each day close your eyes for 5 minutes and move your attention from the outside world to your inner presence. Be interested! What’s happening within you, with a little viewing, is fascinating.
2. Everything Is Connected
Our bodies work holistically, and we’re also seamlessly in touch with our outside wider life. We’re part of everything and everyone else as one integrated whole. Nothing is separate and there are no isolated systems. How fascinating then, to explore the implications of this in everyday life!
3. A Poem Is A Portal
Whether it’s poetry, paintings, photos, music, sculptures or dance, works of art have a transcendental power. I began to discover this while pioneering a new form of poetry therapy with the charity Mind in the UK. Artists and writers often point to the great stillness of presence through their work and in this sense, poems are like little shots of meditation. The good news is that you don’t have to be an arty person to enjoy the benefits. All you need is an open mind and the willingness to learn something new.
4. Make The New
I believe we are all creative and expressing that creativity can bring great contentment and happiness. The creative process gives you a chance to discover and develop your unique talents. Make time to learn about your creative expression and appreciate it as often as you can. Perhaps it works through sports, business, ideas, cooking, design, raising children – or houseplants.
5. Explore Your Psychology
For much of the twentieth century, it was thought that neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to reinvent itself – was purely a feature of prenatal and early childhood development, but it’s now understood that the brain can develop positive new programmes throughout adult life. So why wait? Take courses, read books and develop your psychology where you feel it’s necessary. It can be very worthwhile to do this as you get to know your character at the same time.
6. Nothing is Missing
Of course, there may be room for improvement and there are things to learn, yet, there’s no need to get bogged down in this identity alone – you’re much more than just your personality. At the ultimate level, you’re already perfect. Or should I say, at once perfect and evolving? I recently read a poem called ‘View From A Window’ by the wonderful Welsh poet R. S. Thomas. Talking about the beauty of nature, he points out that:
‘All through history The great brush has not rested, Nor the paint dried; yet what eye, Looking coolly, or, as we now, Through the tears’ lenses, ever saw This work and it was not finished?’
7. Commune With Nature
Being close to nature has significant and wide-ranging health benefits and that’s why I encourage people to enjoy the natural world as often as possible. Can’t get out? Researchers have shown that just looking at pictures of nature can improve your mood. Go for a walk, buy a houseplant or leaf through a photographic nature book.
8. Follow Your Enthusiasm
I’m not part of any particular school of thought or religion exclusively, as I like to explore them all. This enables me to more freely evolve my practice over time according to my own ever-expanding awareness of the truth of things. I find that it’s important to remain willing and open-minded enough to explore each mindful activity that takes your interest– because you never know what it will bring. Far better to keep your options open! With this in mind, I encourage you to follow your interests and enthusiasms because these usually have a good route figured out for you.
9. Meaningful Connections
Being connected to others in a meaningful way is excellent for wellbeing, as is feeling a connection to something bigger than your individual self. There are many ways to enjoy a sense of connection. A few popular examples are: spending time with friends, dancing, helping others, looking after a garden, yoga or meditation. To stay connected and get more ideas from me about living well you might like to join my fortnightly newsletter.