Photo of a single pink gerber daisy and it's shadow on a wall.

distracted? go back to basics

Acknowledging out loud that I have been a professional coach for over five years makes me smile. What a journey! Continuous training (in psychology, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, neuroscience…) informs and deepens the questions I pose to clients, and to myself. There are many rich layers to my proposition of simplifying life so that we can see our truth and get to what really matters.

Yet, to honour the nature of this approach, sometimes just sticking with essentials to get through the day is wise. Continue reading

Advertisements

a daily slow down

a photo of the author smiling broadly while on a swing in a playground.

An empty swing tempts this kid. (photo by Karl)

Say that title out loud and it sounds like a country dance. Yet the mood of this post is decidedly quieter with a lower heart rate!

My regular readers know that I practice mindfulness in the form of meditation and walking around my neighbourhood.  Even when running (walking?) an errand, I gently notice my surroundings which makes me smile and feel calm as I arrive at my destination. How can we get more of that feeling? Continue reading

just sit

a photo of Karl meditating in front of a window that looks out over dense green trees.

Morning ritual. (photo by Jo)

by Karl Pruner

What is meditation? There may be as many answers as there are meditators. As a practitioner for forty four years, I can only say for sure what it means to me. Meditation means rest. In meditation, my mind rests in the awareness of the present moment. Noises come and go. Thoughts come and go. I let them come and I let them go, without any action required on my part. I am not distracted because I have no goal, no expectation, no preferred outcome. I am awake but, otherwise, I’m on a short break from choosing, deciding, preferring, wishing, feeling, thinking and/or doing.

There are lots of meditation techniques, most of which develop mindfulness of the present moment by offering the mind a simple task, along with an invitation to gently and uncritically return to the task, each time you become aware that you have become distracted. One of the simplest techniques was described by Buddha. Continue reading

when the lights are out

A photo of multi coloured tulips in a clear vase on a white mantle. The angle of the sunlight from a nearby window casts a strong shadow on the wall behind the flowers and the glass refracts and sparkles. It is early evening on a Spring night.

During a ‘No Gadget Night’ in the Spring, we revel in the sunlight until 8pm. (photo by Jo)

As Earth Day approaches, (April 22nd) I have been receiving reports about the challenge I put to my readers to try a No Gadget Night (NGN). With lights off and all electronics put away, what happened? Finding activities to keep occupied did not seem to be a problem. What I find fascinating is the variety of thoughts and feelings around habits of consumption and how we live with technology.  Enjoy these great stories! Continue reading

resolution or intention?

Cheers!

Candlelit dinner and bubbly. Cheers!

Well, it’s that time.

The time to experience the expectations that come from an old year turning into a new one. The push for individuals to devise resolutions.

I can relate to the practice of welcoming in a new year. Besides my love for champagne and toasting to anything in life, the slide into winter with the promise of increasing sunshine creates a feeling of anticipation. The birth of Spring can be imagined not far off and we dream of its possibilities. At this moment, do you feel excited? Are you looking forward to the next layer of your life? Perhaps you are reflective, pausing to cheer or condemn your past self. It is also possible to resist the urge to think and to just sit in the moment. Or ignore it all together. All valid and applicable, where ever you may be in your life. Continue reading

work smart, not hard

I have a plan. Yes, there are times when I just don’t want to work. This may be because a task is difficult and I want to avoid it. Or sometimes the creative flow has become frozen in the cold weather and it’s best to just walk away and warm up! Maybe I have personal things on my mind and it is difficult to focus on the task at hand. Regardless of the reason, I don’t get down about it. Being flexible to cope with these variables develops resiliency. I remind myself of the benefits of getting the hard stuff over with so I can feel a sense of accomplishment. If I am not in the groove, then I take a moment to do some exercise. Sometimes life’s problems can occasionally take over so a little forgiveness goes a long way! In all cases, my experience informs me about what strategy to take so I can get back on track. But get back on track with what? Am I doing the right thing? Sometimes it is painful working on too many things and running out of time on them all. It requires some discipline to maintain a light on what is important so I employ a layered approach by asking: Continue reading