Sunday, May 10, 2009

what’s important

some years ago i went on some courses in south africa run by dr. baruch banai

i attended Turning Point, Joyspring and The Mile, organized by by insight training center

i thought they were powerful. they were really good for me and i have no doubt that the way i am now has been affected by these workshops. i ‘d like to share one simple but hugely important item that sticks in my mind from one of these courses:

be clear on what is important to you

in its simplicity, this is saying to us that we can’t have things both ways. if we need to cross the stream and there is no bridge, we have to accept that we will get our boots wet. if it’s more important for us to keep our boots dry then we don’t cross the stream. simple. there is no compromise here.

in life we often come up against similar situations. we want something but can’t let go of something else. we often cause concern and anguish for ourselves simply because we don’t accept this simple fact. there’s a decision to be made … this or that … not both. we hang on and hang on and try all sorts of things to keep both. be clear on what is important to you.

once we’re clear on what’s truly important to us; what it is that we really want and then let go of the other thing, then life becomes so much simpler.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Sex is like air … it’s no big deal until you’re not getting any : - )

I’m starting with a joke because I don’t want this blog entry to be too serious. Sex is a huge subject and very much up there in the forefront, alongside the subject of love and it can have a big influence on our wellness.

But people are divided. To some people, like me it’s very important but to others, it may not be. If you’re happy the way you feel then all is well. I’m not making recommendations one way or the other. For me sex is a beautiful gift - a gift from the gods. For me it can be used in many ways: to make us happy; to show each other love; to bond a relationship; to play on a sunday afternoon; it can be the most wholesome and beautiful thing between people.
It can be many things depending on how we feel, who we are with and what the moment brings.
a Previous partner would wake me in the middle of the night to have sex if she couldn’t get off to sleep - she swore that it was better than a sleeping pill. It can be strong and aggressive, it can be playful, it can be loving and dreamy, it can be casual, it can be with the intent of making babies – wow! can it be more wonderful than that?

I see two aspects of sexual expression:
the play, the touching, fondling, kissing part with a partner and/or the orgasm with or without a partner. Both make us feel good - one strokes us on the outside and one strokes us on the inside. They can go hand in hand or not ... it doesn't matter I think but what matters is that we engage in it (if that is your propensity - as I mentioned in the previous paragraph) and abandon ourself to it and enjoy it. it is so satisfying and feels so good that I think it must have a deep wellness component.

I would take the following tongue-in-cheek but  Live Science Magazine
reported some years ago that if you can't make it to the gym, try fooling around. Your heart might thank you. A study of 2,500 men aged 49 to 54 found that having an orgasm at least three times a week cut in half the likelihood of death from coronary heart disease.

Of course we bring a load of baggage with sexuality -  our mother’s and father’s influence, our early experiences, our fears about letting go, our fears about our bodies and being naked, our adult experiences – often having been let down or having been disappointed or even hurt. For me the never ending performance anxiety. I could go on and on. Such a complex area of our lives is bound to affect our wellness.

if however, you are one of those people for whom it is not high on the list, then don’t  read further.
Be truthful with yourself though … we must not pretend it’s not important if in reality it is, but our many failures (or what we perceive as failures though in fact they may not have been failures at all) have convinced us to pretend that we don’t care about it. That’s not a good idea. The thought will only continue on a much deeper level in our minds and it can spread poison into other areas of our lives.

I can’t even suggest that you ‘be yourself’, because I can see how I’ve changed over the years. When I look back on my own sexual path which started in such naivety, I see that I’ve learned so much from every person that I’ve met on that path. I try not be hold back, to go into each relationship with as much hope, openness and honesty as always and just keep on … trusting, loving, experiencing, and having fun.  

Friday, May 8, 2009


am I happy? i don’t know … i think half the time it’s not knowing what level of happiness i should be at that stops me from saying – yes, i’m happy. i wonder if others are in fact much happier than i am? should i be feeling happy? isn’t there something more?

it reminds me of tree-planting, when rookies get cream. let me decipher this language to some of you who may not be planters … as a beginner planter, you (like everyone else) get good, bad, terrible or sometimes very good ground that we call ‘cream’. so when a new planter looks at their ground and doesn’t realize this is the best they are ever likely to get, they just start planting in the ordinary way – plant for a bit, sit down for a rest, eat a sandwich, have a smoke, plant some more.

when experienced planters gets cream they goes crazy! they know that if you don’t plant this quickly, soon enough others will start coming onto your land to ‘help’ you to finish it. there’s not much cream usually and it goes quickly. so the experienced planter pulls out all stops! no sitting down! nothing but plant, run back to bag up and plant like there’s no tomorrow. an experienced planter knows that this IS cream.

so knowing that yes, this IS happiness is a big thing.

but what IS happiness? does money bring happiness? well the scientific answer (and we so love scientific answers don’t we?) is that it’s the little things in life that govern whether we feel happy or not. for the purpose of the study, rich people and middle and low income people were given little bleepers and throughout the day at various times when their bleepers went off, they were asked to enter whether they felt happy or not at that precise moment.

the results of this study concluded that in fact, whether you were rich or not had nothing to do with your level of happiness. researchers found that the link between wealth and good mood to be “greatly exaggerated and mostly an illusion”. it was little things, like the joy in the cup of tea you were drinking, or whether you felt good after your night’s sleep, or whether any number of small seemingly insignificant things made you feel good at that particular time that determined your overall level of happiness. “even a life-changing event like winning the lottery or suffering a disabling injury doesn't preoccupy most people for ever” researchers said. “eventually, rich or poor, we all go back to focussing on how good our breakfast tastes and what's on TV.”

my good friend mary holding posted on facebook recently: ‘for the first time in my life, I'm not waiting for anything to happen so that I can be happy’.

don’t you just love what she said?

ps. this is an interesting analysis: The Economics of Happiness
Wednesday 31 August 2011
by: Jeffrey D. Sachs, Project Syndicate | News Analysis