Peak 2: I am getting mentally tougher

I’m drawn in my reading today to the type of concept I’d usually recoil from. It’s from a former US Navy Seal called Jocko Willink whose mantra is ‘Discipline equals freedom‘. The concept which has caught my imagination is this:

If you want to be mentally tougher, it is simple: Be tougher. Don’t meditate on it. … It’s possible to “be tougher”, starting with your next decision. Have trouble saying “no” to dessert? Be tougher. Make that your starting decision. Feeling winded? Take the stairs anyway. Ditto. It doesn’t matter how small or big you start. If you want to be tougher, be tougher.” Jocko Willink quoted in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss p414

Be tougher

Why does this resonate? Well, another of Willink’s concepts makes sense of this: “Take extreme ownership of your world.” I read this as follows: in wrapping one’s mental discipline around the tasks you want or need to undertake, you create more self-sufficiency. I believe this mental discipline potentially allows for more freedom and margins within our human relationships. In a still relatively new relationship, I’m aware that as I grasp my own nettles more firmly, I’m less likely to glance sideways and ask my partner to grasp them for me. Similarly, I’m going to avoid the temptation to blame my partner if I get stung by a nettle I tried to brush pass instead of tackling head-on. Furthermore, if my partner has developed a certain mental discipline, and I haven’t, the disparity will cause frustration and discomfort to us both – the invitation is open for me to rise up and regulate with my partner’s level of mental discipline – to resonate at the same frequency.

Another reason I might feel inclined to toy with the seemingly rough and ready theme of mental discipline? I’ve just written up my overview of where I got to with my MEDS protocols for the MEDS Project. I did so much good work, but on reflection, if I’d had access to really strong mental discipline and inner toughness, I’d have been able to give the ideas a better run for their money. I know that the MEDS protocols are my foundations for health and wellbeing, therefore they are also my foundations for peak experiences – so targeting the last inner barrier to success in my health and wellbeing will ever be a gift to myself. And so it doesn’t feel soft and gentle? Well that’s ok. My mind and ego play hardball with me, so I’m happy to generate some internal steam to order to match their energy-dispersing forces with my own focus-gathering decisiveness.

And it’s not all about Navy SEAL austerity, it’s about pushing to complete things (as G says), so that then leisure can be taken properly. In the same book (Tools of Titans p408), Maria Popova quotes H Thoreau on the theme of work:

“The really efficient labourer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a halo of ease and leisure. There will be a wide margin for relaxation to his day. He is earnest to secure the kernels of time and does not exaggerate the value of the husk.”

Sounds like a cocktail by a pool, but really, to create the balance of true ease and true action, it takes… mental toughness. No?

Sure thing! Your inner child loves the clarity of boundaries. Your inner being loves the vividness of the decision and action. This is the sacred act of non-drifting.

Aha! Yes! Drifting…. Say no more.

Our inner barometer will always be seeking areas of low pressure where the work can get done without threat of squalls. You have the power to create your own inner weather conditions. The fun (peak state) begins when the internal state can be fine-tuned at will.

Good! Well inner toughness and mental discipline starts with obeying one’s day own schedule… It’s time to get up!

“If you want to be tougher, be tougher.” ->

“I am getting mentally tougher.”

Peak 2 I am getting mentally tougher

MEDS Final: Where I finally got to with the MEDS protocols

As I wind up the MEDS protocols, here’s an overview of where I have got to with the MEDS protocols… so far.

Meditation: I probably meditate for c10 minutes a few days a week in the mornings. I typically use Marconi’s Weightless as background music. I’m also more mindful in other ways – including sometimes I’ll do ‘moving meditation’ in the form of qigong to music (no tutor). The next step is: latching the meditation on to my daily exercise regime, so that it becomes an embedded practise.

Exercise: My current ideal pattern is 20 minutes of qigong and a 15 minute walk round the neighbourhood, every day, with at least one long a week, plus the Movements to Music class weekly. This has a massive healing/balancing/strengthening benefit for me, even though it’s all pretty gentle. The next step is a) shifting lifestyle to ensure that work/tiredness doesn’t steamroller daily exercise time b) G and I are going to get bikes and do cycling together. Yes!! I’m so excited. Cycling really does it for me…

Diet: Woo! Well this has been a roller coaster, partly from moving in with someone whose metabolic set weight is really healthy and fat-adjusted meaning he can eat heartily without gaining weight. I’m listening to The Obesity Code (still!) and gradually getting an understanding of my relationship with insulin, adrenal fatigue, stress and cortisol. I have lost 10 pounds since 1st Jan 19. I’m still pretty clear that low-carb high-fat might be a good way forward for me, combined with intermittent fasting.  The next step for me:  a) to get myself/life balanced enough to be able to work well with the LCHF intermittent fasting protocols and gently reset my metabolic set point b) to relax more and more, as cortisol actually seems to play more of a role than calories in my weight state.

Oh yes… and I’m still doing Dry January. Three months alcohol free. That was a big one. I’m really pleased. Aiming to keep going for a bit, and then do Damp December, like I did in 2017.

Sleep: My FitBit broke a couple of weeks ago so I’m not entirely sure where I’m at, but I did manage to get my average to hit 7hours for a couple of weeks, which I’m really pleased about. I’m retiring in good time too, generally. But I do wake up before 6.30am in general, whether I like it or not! The next step: To master the early night – not just going to bed, but reading and switching off screens, and falling asleep before 10pm… Yes!

The journey continues…

MEDS Day 100: Today, I am beginning a new project, called the Peak Project

Observations on an ‘exhausted’ day:

  • I don’t need to save people from their feelings or pain…
  • My ‘saving’ manoeuvres leave me exhausted and fatigued. They are not required.
  • I save / intervene / people-please / over-serve / oblige out of fear: fear of their displeasure, their pain, their condemnation of me.
  • I need to self-soothe out of that fear, with self-compassion and attention. Only then can I rationalise with myself about the actual value in my plan to ‘save’ another.
  • If I leave someone to ‘fend for themselves’, what happens? Nothing in particular, it transpires. Each has their own perfect strength.

If I focus my energies on ‘fending for myself‘, what happens? I find greater ease in life. Less fatigue, less adrenal overload, less cortisol tangoing. More ease makes for more receptivity, more soothing, more allowing, more aligning with my inner being.

This is a beautiful potential change in my self: to learn to witness myself at the moment of my trying to turbo-charge myself into stopping someone being left to ‘fend for themselves’. Can I get into tourist mode and watch myself reaching the peaks and troughs of that particular rollercoaster? The roller coaster of the empath, maybe? Can I bring attention to my empathic desire to prevent another being with their own distress? Can I channel that loving attention towards to my serving, soothing and meeting my own needs? Can I let ‘obliging’ go?

Can I let ‘saving’ go?

Can I ‘oblige’ my own needs?

Can I ‘save’ my own self from distress, insecurity or exhaustion?

Can I let each ‘fend for themselves’, and be at peace with that, safe in the knowledge that we are all ultimately safe, held, protected, free…?

What is all this about, dear heart of my being?

The Mother arises. 

Ok..? My maternal instinct and old ways somehow redirected to others (who aren’t my now grown-up children)?

How does it feel to write ‘now grown-up children’? 

It touches on a part of me which is still astonished that nature creates the set-up in which your most beloved beings, the recipients of your deepest love, should grow up and go… I am so proud of them as flown birds, and you know that’s always going to be the ‘deal’… But yes, there is a part of me that remains genuinely… disbelieving that this unthinkable, unspeakable thing should have happened. It makes tears and sobs come heaving up…

Softly, dear soul. Softly with yourself. Thank you for sharing this. 

Thank you for eliciting it, and bringing it forth.

You spoke earlier about, in a sense, redirecting that intense, abundance parental care towards… yourself now. How does that feel to reflect upon? 

It feels kind of sweet. Like I can imagine a little me (an inner child, I suppose), left to ‘fend for herself’ for so long, now being the object of my (occasionally intense, eh, kids?) parental gaze…

*tearfulness* My beautiful kids were my intense, heartfelt, passionate, devoted ‘special interest’! Time took that away from me! I miss them. I miss my role as their companion, teacher, carer, champion, fixer, supporter, watcher… Where are my beautiful girls? It makes me want to wail from a very deep place in my heart… 

Softly, sweet soul. Softly with yourself. Again, dear one… What if you were to direct some of that deep, deep, caring attention towards your self? Would that feel fun? Easeful? Exploratory? 

Yes, I think so. I don’t know.

Why don’t you ask the child inside you what she would like? 

Hello Little Me. Long time no chat. Want to be my new adopted child?


Good then. What do you want to do together?

Have fun, adventures, exploring, giddy experiences, roller coasters, exhilaration. Yes, exhilaration. 

Man alive. Really? What’s all that about then?

We sat still on a rock for a long time, being careful not to step off it and fall into the sea. Know what I mean? 

Yes. I do.

The tide has ebbed away. There is no danger. We can roam and roll and cartwheel and fly. How does that sound? 

Um, possible… Yes.

You know that Tourist Guide in our heart? It’s ready to show us some sights…

I hear you. New experiences. Exhilaration. Wow factor. Great feelings. Glee. Awe. Joy.

‘Peak’ experiences. You up for that? Can I hop on your shoulders?

Ok, sure. You’ll all need to show me the way…

‘Peak experiences’. What does that phrase mean to you? 

To be honest, I’m not really sure. But I am prepared to find out!

So we are saying that, today…

‘Today, I am beginning a new project, called the Peak Project’

Wow, really?


I’m super-moved. Awesome. I love it. Thank you for the MEDS Project. It’s been such a journey. I’ve learnt so much about myself and about approaches to regulating self-care. But, as we saw from above… I’m still exhausted. I have some patterns for the MEDS (which I no longer share here) but they are irregular. I actually need to completely reorientate my work if I am to be able to honour the MEDS protocols. My work is more than full time (although I should be working no more than 10-15 hours a week according to my GP) and, relying heavily on my work as a trainer specifically, it requires huge drawdowns on my adrenal glands… which are back to being ready to go again. I have a weekly exercise class… and I am back to having to sit out certain bits with post-op participants in their 70s. Something’s seriously out of whack in my body, and it’s causing me distress.

So maybe, instead of trying to regulate my MEDS and force them upon my ungrateful self 😉 … I take a more global approach. With my Little Me sitting on my shoulders, I get rallied up to go and discover those experiences which wash me with joie-de-vivre. I allow my neural pathways to get soaked in deep ‘joy, pride, awe’… Maybe, with attention on those ‘peak experiences’ of life, we shift gear from one of steady regulation / compliance to a regime, to one in which the observance of good self-care, self-healing, self-love protocols becomes natural in the light of our appreciation of the good times human, physical life affords us. I don’t know. Let’s find out. I’ve skirted around the whole ‘human potential’ field, thinking ‘Hey, let’s just get a steady balance before we try and overexcite ourselves..’ – but… if we’re serious about taking a heart-led approach to life, maybe that involves following it … towards our bliss. 

This feels right… It’s Day 100 of the MEDS Project, and I am in awe of the dialogues it has produced. THANK YOU, Inner Being! Onwards, to the next chapter…

Today, I am beginning a new project, called the Peak Project


MEDS Day 99: Today I am in Tourist Mode

The Resounding Yes and the Firm No: this game has been the beginning of a beautiful practice. It had made me remember that when I was a young child I operated very much in two modes only:

  • Neutral, open, observing mode
  • “Ooh, I like that” mode

I remember clearly coming out of an art house play at the Bristol Old Vic with my Dad (I was maybe 9?) and hearing people criticise the play. I recall the feeling of astonishment… Why would someone come out of their homes to have the extraordinary experience of watching people doing something crazy, original and unique in a darkened room… only to speaking poorly of their own experience after? It seemed such a waste. I knew even then (maybe having grown up in a tiny hamlet without access to much culture) that what we’d experienced was outrageously out of the usual. Wasn’t that enough? Why impose a view? Why need to drop into some kind of ‘I’m better than the brave wonder I’ve just witnessed’ mode? I guess I was witnessing people’s ego at work, and my fresh young mind could see it for the yucky diminishing joy-sucker that the ego is…. before I myself fell into that judgment mode out of the inertia of mimicry a mere few years later.

But what about a conscious return to that gentle open, observing mode of: watch, watch, watch, oooh I like that, watch, watch, oh heck yes!, watch, watch… I sensed some of that yesterday. G and I are on a Weekend Away. Yes! What bliss. I could feel, as the cares of the working week ebbed away, the clear sense of “Everything is unfolding wonderfully” as we pootled about as tourists in a state of ‘watch watch ooh yes watch watch wow watch watch I like that watch…’

The tourist mode.

Yes! I was in tourist mode! Is that what we want to bring to daily life? It is, isn’t it? No need to weigh up, judge, critique, cast opinion, hedge, impress, jazzhand, be smart, impose one’s self…

The Tourist Mode is most certainly your most ‘allowing’ state. It surely is your ‘receptive’ mode. Because you bring a state of relaxed, open awareness, while leaning into appreciation. The tourist is looking for things to snapshot in a state of appreciation.

I love that. Yes, so true. When we’re tourists we’re in wonderland. Everything is new, and there to delight and invite us.

The same goes for daily life. It is wonderland, there to delight and invite. The opportunity is to see the constant newness in the seemingly familiar.

What do you mean by that?

When you think you know what is at hand, think again. Bring an open perspective. Keep the sense of being a tourist, even in your own home.


By nurturing your sense of wonder. In that theatre when you were a child, you were Alice in Wonderland. The ‘hoighty-toity’ critics were the Queen of Hearts casting judgment (“Off with their heads!”) or even the White Rabbit hastening on through to some ‘other’ more important date or destination.

In daily life it is easy to be focussed on some White Rabbit-esque destination that is simply ‘not where we are’… “I’m late! I’m late, for a very important date!” There is no place or time more important and pressing than right here, right now… That is what we forget in daily life.

It’s almost like you’re saying we should eliminate goals, targets, appointments… How would we grow, or get stuff done, or earn our livings?

By resting.

Hm, what now?

By resting. Were you to rest in the present as much as you rushed to the important date, you would achieve all you want to achieve.

Controversial, my friends. I’ve tried that…

No you haven’t. Not really. When you stopped working, were you satisfied with your decision? When you admitted you needed rest, did you bask in that rest?

A little bit. I learnt to a little bit.

Excellent. So now it’s time to learn more of that. Your ‘Firm No’ – does it include saying ‘No’ to events which exhaust you?

I thought we were here to go watch watch ooh yes watch watch…

How about: watch watch no watch watch ooh yes watch no thank you…

Does the tourist say no?

If she didn’t she might fall off the pier or the cliff edge. She is not a lemming. She remains discerning.

Aha. So it’s Resounding Yes and Firm No, in Tourist Mode?

Tourist Mode is simply open appreciation of what is. Tourist Mode is looking out for the best, while keeping an eye out for safe boundaries. Tourist Mode is aligning with the most beautiful things as you come to them, and snapshotting yourself right there. Tourist Mode is about sharing the journey with fellow tourists and exchanging tips for best experiences and travel hacks. Tourist Mode is appreciating the wonders of the landscapes, towns and villages that locals might even take for granted (but truth be told, usually don’t). Tourist Mode is going slowly enough to take it all in. Tourist Mode is about pointing out beauty, wonders, astonishing sights, marvels and new understandings. Tourist Mode is about feeling alive and being ‘tuned in, tapped in, turned on’ (as Abraham-Hicks would say) to the moment, to the place, to the opportunity to bask in what is. Tourist Mode is about pacing ourselves so we don’t bust a gut or lose energy for more explorations.

Exploration. That’s such a good word. May I bring a sense of exploration to my days. May I put binoculars round my neck and a magnifying glass in my pocket, each day, whether in new places or the apparently familiar. May I treat each moment as an instance in Wonder Land, for it most surely is. Awaken my eyes, my mind and my heart to the wonders of my daily life.

Your Heart is fully awake to this already.

Then may it teach, guide and lead forward my eyes and mind. May my Heart be the Tour Guide to my days.

Your Heart most surely accompanies you, and invites you on its magical tour, daily.

Then may I get into Tourist Mode and follow the raised umbrella of my Tour Guide Heart more faithfully and ever more attentively each day.

Today I am in Tourist Mode


PS. G reminded me later of the concept of ‘Holiday Consciousness‘ by Colin Wilson. It’s Level 5/7 in the stairway upwards, the point where life becomes self-evidently delightful, life a spring morning… just before we reach the level of life reconciling itself with us…. Lovely.

I’ve had an explore of Colin Wilson and have ordered his book Super Consciousness. It’s on ‘peak experience‘… those levels 5..6..7. I’m interested. Maybe this is my next topic of enquiry after MEDS….

MEDS Day 98: I am playing the game of ‘the Resounding Yes & the Firm No’ 

I’m a bit abashed by yesterday’s rather long and (ergh) money-focussed phrase!

Good! It’s getting into the corners of you. You began this MEDS project thinking that applying discipline to your practices of meditation, exercise, diet and sleep would create balance. Did you not? 

Yes! I guess I did. I thought that some tweaking of the MEDS would support my mental health and physical wellbeing.

And what are you learning now? 

I think I’m learning that tweaking my daily ‘prescription’ may help, but what is really going to cut the mustard is my consistent inner state. I need to be in harmony with my inner being first, and after that, other things (like getting my MEDS right) flow naturally.

Right. The MEDS project, with its daily protocols and stats listing, jostled at your awareness nicely. But ultimately, you are looking at settling your nervous system, aligning with your heart, binding with your intuition… as your primary self-care prescription. You are learning to love and accept and approve of yourself in the act of self-care. It’s intangible and yet thoroughly practical and pragmatic. 

You are learning to apply self-love even, yes even, around matters of financial wellbeing. For you, that is really getting in to the corners of your inner healing. 

You can meditate daily, exercise faithfully, eat like a goddess, and sleep like a dormouse… But, if these MEDS are undertaken without the full foundation of self-approval, self-care, self-love, self-compassion… you are at constant risk of using such pragmatic protocols as a stick to punish yourself with. 


The spirit of your doing is the key. 

How do I open my heart further to allow and absorb these matters of self-approval etc? How do I turn the tanker of old habits of self-punishment?

What do you think?

It feels like it needs some ongoing self-hypnosis. Some re-programming of the subconscious mind, the underlying operating system of the self. Some radical act of self-forgiveness. Some laying down of massive protective boundaries. (“Build the wall! Build the wall!”) Sorry… a troubling and unwelcome text message came in and triggered me there…

Build the wall, you say. What is this message actually saying? 

It’s something around boundaries, I guess.

Dear heart, it is about closing the door to the endless incomers to your energy system. You have work to do. Your openness to others is commendable in its intention, but condemnable in its impact upon you. You are tired, exhausted even. You do indeed need a renewed sense of self-space to grow. 

What is self-space? 

The space into which others, let’s just say clients for now, cannot enter or roam free. 


The upside of saying “No” is that you can also more clearly say “Yes” – to your colleagues, your clients, your co-workers, your friends, your companions, your self and your universe. 

Learning to say a resounding “Yes!” and a firm “No!” is at the heart of the MEDS project. It is the lever for applying self-care. 

A hundred thousand half-hearted “Yeses” are the cause of your adrenal fatigue. 

Woah! Haha. I can see that… Yikes. That’s powerful stuff. Time to start recognising myself in the act of a half-hearted yes, and to get clear about my resounding Noes.

Practise it: No, no, no. Thank you but no. No, I am not able to agree to that. No, no, nobody, no. Not now, not then, not here, not there. No, thank you. Thank you, but no. Nononono. 

Ok but what about the things I’d like to say no to, but doing so is just actually coming out of my laziness or fear… Like when I dodge admin calls..?

You know the answer to this. Make it a ‘Heck yeah!’ if doing it will create equilibrium and enhanced self-space. Wrestle it heartily to the ground with a kiss. Seize it and its ability to give you peace. Bring some energy to the matters that need to be a yes for you to progress. 

Practising ‘the Resounding Yes and the Firm No’ is a game in itself. You can play that today, using anchoring to accompany it. Left hand click is YES; right hand click is NO. Remember, dear soul… the abyss loves vagueness and abhors certainty. Practise the Art of Assured Certainty as the greatest asset in your portfolio of self-care skills. 

I am playing the game of ‘the Resounding Yes & the Firm No’ 

PS. Ah Universal Consciousness, you rock. I finished this dialogue and then picked up the book Tools of Titans while I brushed my teeth. Look at the very next pages awaiting me:

My Key Takeaway Questions on How to Say No When It Matters Most (Tim Ferris):

  • Are you doing what you’re uniquely capable of, what you feel placed here on earth to do? Can you be replaced?
  • How often are you saying “Hell Yeah!” or “No”? And on the other hand, are you actually drowning in “kinda cool” commitments?
  • How much of your life is Making versus Managing? Are you getting the blocks of 3-5 hours for making, several times a week? See more:
  • Are you fooling yourself with a plan for ‘moderation’?
  • You say health is #1… But is it really? If you sleep poorly will you cancel that early morning meeting at the last minute to catch up on sleep? Do you play in to the ‘culture of cortisol’?
  • Are you having a breakthrough or a breakdown?
  • “Make your peace with the fact that saying ‘no’ often requires trading popularity for respect.” Greg McKeown

Onwards. Resounding yes (click left!); firm no (click right!). ?

MEDS Day 97: Today, I am learning to love and approve of myself when I plant the seeds of financial growth

In this state of ‘helping myself to the happiness of harmony’, what is it the heart desires? I know that the key to bringing about our intentions is the unity of heart and mind.

What would Mind achieve this week? 

Lots of little tiddlers. Meeting the demands of all those emails, chores, tasks undone… A spot of people-pleasing, and not getting into trouble.

And what about Heart?

Heart would like to plant some financial growth seeds. Literally, just those simple seeds which will start to spring up and flourish in due course, as a matter of natural progression.

What are those seeds?

The odd advert, circulating my flyer, a bit of social media marketing…

So how will you balance your Mind’s desire to ‘answer those emails before you get into trouble’ with your Heart’s desire to ‘plant some financial growth seeds’?

I know I need to get Mind on board for it to support the activities of Heart.

Can you give Mind a role in the planting of financial growth seeds? 

It could be proof-reader and fact-checker?

Good. Anything else required by Mind? 

Mind likes to know everything will be accounted for, but it’s not terribly good at keeping the Self-Care side of things ticking on. Like yesterday, it turned out to be really helpful to say to myself:

I am helping myself to the happiness of harmony, and one of the ways I’m doing this is by having a Self-Care Sunday, in which I play Switch20 on tasks for which I will say, “I love and approve of myself [doing xyz self-care task].”

Are we back to Housekeeping Habits?

Yes! These self-care tasks (so easily ditched by Mind because they put our needs first and not the needs/demands of clients/family/others etc) are indeed the Housekeeping Habits.

And ‘loving and approving of’ yourself helps you stick to the Housekeeping Habits? 

I guess so. Sometimes I’ve felt ashamed, nervous or like I’m wasting time when I do those housekeeping tasks which actually give me a sense of balance or completion when done. But I’m watching my G who doesn’t have the same preoccupation. In fact he feels unsettled if he hasn’t done those housekeeping tasks – which is natural I guess… but in such circumstances, he actually politely turns down other invitations/demands to focus on building the equilibrium back up again, until it’s done. I realise that I, on the other hand, became so highly accustomed to bowling along (and being bowled along by others’ requests) without a sense of foundation (housekeeping in hand etc), that I normalised that state – to the degree that I actually thought that building the balanced foundation was somehow selfish, a waste of time… an indulgence. That’s what it is – I thought I was an indulgence to get everything to a state of equilibrium! Ha! I actively disapproved of myself if I ever turned down others’ demands on account of not having met my own. It’s the ‘obliger’ tendency in me, in Gretchin Rubin’s terms. But as I have seen through the mirror of my relationship, putting off meeting my own needs for equilibrium merely has the result of leaving me with less energy and fewer resources for meeting my needs later, which equally leaves me less able to ‘people-please’ later! In other words, by bucking the quiet call to establish equilibrium I’m sabotaging even the obliger in me!

So now: I’m learning to love and approve of myself when…

  • meeting my own needs
  • building my own foundation
  • finding personal equilibrium
  • helping myself to the happiness of harmony
  • putting myself and my home and my ‘heart’ first
  • seeking a sense of ‘all is in its place’

Helpful, heart-warming stuff. Can you apply these insights to the planting of the Financial Growth Seeds?

Aha. As in, “I’m learning to love and approve of myself when I plant the seeds of financial growth.” Wow. There’s good work there. It’s a bit long.

Long phrases require attention. Is that ok? 

Yes. It is.

Today, I am learning to love and approve of myself when I plant the seeds of financial growth.

MEDS Day 96: Today I am helping myself to the happiness of harmony

Yesterday, I enjoyed helping myself to the happiness which is balance, and anchoring it. It’s not always easy to remember to do the physical anchoring, tapping middle finger to thumb three times, NLP style. But I sense this anchoring is an important exercise of ‘paying attention’. I will reapply myself to it today.

I reflected yesterday on how ‘balance’ or ‘equilibrium’ is akin to ‘harmony’. G and I are currently reading the letters of Rodney Collin (1909 – 1956), a student and teacher of the works of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, in a posthumous book titled ‘The Theory of Conscious Harmony‘ (1958). In the frontispiece, Collin quotes from his own book, The Herald of Harmony:

Remember then thy Self, remembering God:  remember God, remembering thyself. This last achieved, the Herald of Harmony can return to Him Who sent him, his mission done. 

Is my work at the moment to help myself to the happiness of harmony?

Work with that today. (You love alliteration.) See what you learn. Anchor, anchor, anchor, using the finger/thumb technique. Settle into this flow of receiving, claiming, allowing the happy feelings of balance, equilibrium, harmony. While fireworks of momentary achievement might please and stimulate the eye for a few seconds, mastering the art of attaining inner harmony can bring ease to the heart-mind for an eternity. 

Today I am helping myself to the happiness of harmony

PS. On Sunday:

It’s good practice, this. It’s physiological – I tap fore-middle-ring finger for each ‘H’ word: helping, happiness, harmony. It’s tricky to remember the words, and so it needs attention. Events have arisen to test my sense of inner harmony. My practice brings me back. I will keep going with this one. Any further guidance?

Sometimes it helps to tack, to zig-zag… to keeps ourselves awake. How about a game of Switch20 to liven you up and regroups yourself. Remember: “I love and approve of myself” is a good antidote to cranking up about the potential ‘disapproval’ of others (which is merely an old unhealed scar).

Switch 20: I love and approve of myself…

  • Having a shower
  • Clearing my bedroom stuff
  • Making a pile of things for recycling

Thank you. I will indeed to a spot of Love&Approval Switch20. That will be a fine way of helping myself to the happiness of harmony. ❤️

MEDS Day 95: Today I am helping myself to happiness: balance ⚓️

Here I am, helping myself, to happiness. This is me, helping myself to rest, to recuperation, to wellbeing, to the good fortune of life, to the love around me. Here I am. Helping myself.

In terms of the MEDS project, and incorporating new habits in to my life… I have learnt so much. I realise that a certain amount of my learning is centred, not so much around strict ‘activities to schedule’, but broader principles such as:

  • Little and often is best
  • Moderation brings results
  • Self-care is key
  • Just relax into it
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Effort less, receive more
  • Get life in balance
  • A pattern of activities lightly touched upon daily, is grounding & effective

Am I frustrated with only having lost 10lbs since 1st Jan? Yes. Am I aware I’ve moved house and been working hard which is not conducive to stresslessness and good routines? Yes. Am I conscious that I’ve now got the opportunity to draw new balance in to my life? Yes. Am I developing the confidence and self-assurance to ask for what I want (professionally), so I don’t need to overstretch myself? Yes. Am I growing in self-compassion? Yes.

My love and I are going to start cycling. I love cycling.

‘Helping myself’ has been a beautiful practice. What next?

Meditation time…




In the meditation I realised we weren’t yet done with ‘I am helping myself…’. It is time now to play with the phrase which was emerging yesterday: I am helping myself to happiness.

This time, using an anchoring technique each time you notice yourself ‘helping yourself to happiness’.

The middle finger touches thumb, for example.

Yes, tapping three times for good measure, every time you catch yourself helping yourself to happiness.

What does the anchoring mechanism actually do?

It gives your physiology the reminder to snapshot the feeling of wellbeing, receptivity and ‘allowing’ that arises when you actively reach out to help yourself to happiness.

I’m imagining this is a metaphorical reaching out, ie. not the hand extending outwards for a chocolate eclair…?

Why limit yourself to the non-physical?

Good question. The material seems to get me into imbalance.

Only if the thinking behind the outreaching hand is imbalanced. If your thinking says ‘grab it though it’s naughty’, you create excess potential. If your thinking says ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you’ and your heart is held in a state of appreciation, wonder and respect for all things… you are more likely to align with a balanced result.

How best can I help myself to happiness?

By quietening the mind and moving towards the things, states and opportunities one feels subtly attracted to. That takes real awareness of the internal compass. This is advanced self-knowledge. It requires working from the united heart-mind, not from old programming. It is about being super-sensitive to one’s super-sensitivities.

Lovely. And what is ‘happiness’?


Really?! Not peaks, zeniths, highs? It’s just straight ol’ balance?

Yep. Straight old balance. You know how the baby loves routine and predictability and rhythm and downtime and freshness? So does the inner being.

Wow. So, it’s not about fulfilling one’s dreams.

Sure it is. And your inner being dreams of balance.

Wow. This took me by surprise. But it makes sense. And I see it in my Love too. He takes warm pleasure in the gentle orderliness, serenity and ease of a well-balanced life. It’s a wonder to me. I’m learning.

So today I’m helping myself to happiness, or balance?

Both. The latter is the descriptor for the former. Remember to anchor the moments you spot yourself helping helping yourself to balancing happiness.

Today I am helping myself to happiness (balance) ⚓️

MEDS Day 94: Today I am helping myself

Here I am, playing in the Garden of Eden. This is me, in Eden, and all is well. This is me, here I am, here I am and this is me, in Eden, playing…” What a calming, affirming, soothing, delightful commentary on my days this has been over the last few days.

At one point, as we hastened to the venue of a mediation meeting, I thought of my colleague mediator, the highly experienced solicitor and mediator who had invited me to co-mediate with her: ‘She has given me such wonderful opportunities to develop as a mediator, ever since I met her. She really is an angel in my life.’ And two seconds later, she nodded up to the church directly opposite the front door of the venue, and said, “Ooh, angels!” We’d never spoken in these terms before. What a confirmation, of the friendship, but also the notion of our being in a heaven on Earth according to our perceptions. 

My perception of my world is key. I can look at the same vista or circumstance and say “This is hell” or “This is heaven” – and be right. To proclaim ‘heaven’ in any circumstance is to be free on a belief in the apparent ‘conditions’ of reality. It is to sense the presence of perfection, the motion towards completion, the invitation to pour in love… in that and every moment.

It is noted that you are getting better at prayerful communication. 

I am trying to. I am returning to this. My prayers are different these days. Less hapless supplication. More trusting declaration and invitation. My frame of mind is different. My connection upwards is more vividly visualised, partly from the qigong work in which one practises visualising an energetic connection with a source above one’s head. What more can I learn on the topic of prayerful communication?

It is wise to be patient with oneself and not to reach out too frequently, but to be really specific, targeted and humbly reticent in seeking divine assistance. This way we do not dilute our days with ‘dribbling’ prayer, but we summon communicative energy and deploy it carefully. Our faith is increased when we see direct impact on the objects of our prayers. 

So you’re saying, take one thing in your day and pray about it, and then watch that single thing evolve…. rather than take a prayer scatter gun to your day.

It’s about the ‘target slide’ or the ‘clear intention’. Your ‘single aim’ is the leverage for understanding how thought creates things and circumstances. But lightly done! As ever, lightly done. No effort, importance, slapping of hands on the water. We gently ‘take’ instead of pleading emotionally. We are learning to deploy thought carefully and with ‘aim’. We ‘help ourselves’. 

Interesting concept: ‘we help ourselves’. Of course two meanings: assist ourselves and take things for ourselves (as in, ‘help yourself to biscuits’). I love that.

I’m helping myself to quiet time.

I’m helping myself to an ordered house.

I’m helping myself to better pay.

I’m helping myself to rest after a busy week.

I’m helping myself to get dressed and start the day.

I’m helping myself to a Sunday lunch.

And what’s on the target slide? 

Ah. What’s the end aim..? I see myself able to do the things I want to do, according to my personal credo of ‘We can all be happy’. I’m helping myself to time to write, mediate, share, communicate, write, mediate, meditate, share communicate, exercise, play, play, play.

So is it a case of learning to reach out, and help myself from the banquet of delights before me?

Feast or famine of opportunity is an inside job. Attending the Feast as either guest or server, is an inside job. Feeling free to help oneself from the buffet, is an inside job. Knowing the banquet has been laid on for us all, is an inside job. Reach out. Help yourself to the goodness before you. It has all been laid out for general public consumption. Are you alive, here, today, on the physical plane? Well then. All choice, rich pickings, delights, opportunities, goodnesses and treats are there for you to help yourself too. And they won’t run out. Welcome to the Garden of Eden. Help yourself. 


Precious child, there is no Tree of Knowledge. You were duped by that ruse. All is abundance. All is creative juice. All is Love. And Love is endless and without condition. Welcome to the Garden of Eden. Help yourself. 

Got it. Thank you for this. And may I share this sense of abundance with the guests we have to stay today. And with all with whom I come into contact this week. May my prayerful communication centre on this playful, appreciative, fun practice today and beyond:

Today I am helping myself