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7 Potent Ways To Live And Die Without Regret

Add up all the stories told from deathbeds; the regrets, confessions, sorrows, secrets, petitions for forgiveness, and desperate calls to turn back the clock, and we have an infinite library of tragedy.

I must change my life so that I can live it. Not wait for it.
—  Susan Sontag

Death’s Day is coming — today, tomorrow, or it could be decades away.

Good health and youth do not protect anyone from death’s decision.

When death calls your name, you must go.

In my late teens, I almost died in a car accident, but death let me off the hook.

Not long after, death called my best friend, then my father.

I pushed their deaths into the shadow and ran into the light but soon discovered that chasing light created too many fears and even bigger shadows.

Then I found a wise teacher and teachings that led me back to the darkness to befriend death. Since that time I have allowed myself to remain with the awareness of death and this has driven me to interact with life more purposefully and joyfully.

In this essay, I reveal the 7 things I have learned about regret and death:

  1. Take a leaf from the Top 5 Regrets
  2. Explore other cultures
  3. Break the silence around death in daily life
  4. Learn the skill of change and letting go
  5. Meditate on death
  6. Interact with myths, art, and symbols of death
  7. Express your experience of death

1. Take A Leaf From The Top 5 Regrets

What we can learn from those near death, is that regret is the greatest pain.

Nurse Bronnie Ware spent 12 years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She collected stories and published a book, The Top Five Regrets Of Dying.

My friend Ann Marie is a nurse who worked in palliative care for twenty years. She carries her patient’s stories so deeply that being with her is sometimes heartbreaking.

Together these nurses have thousands of stories, and yet their top 5 regrets are identical.

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{New Book} 10 Things Girls Need Most: To Grow Up Strong and Free

Foster The Wild Child
An excellent new book, 10 Things Girls Need Most: To Grow Up Strong and Free by psychologist Steve Biddulph, explores the trials and traumas of prepubescent and pubescent girls. The book targets parents of girls, however, it’s for anyone who wants to understand the difficulties girls of today face – our women of tomorrow. 

Just as Biddulph’s book Manhood, aimed at fathers and sons, was an informative read for women (I gifted many copies to women to better understand their fathers, sons, brothers, and lovers), his new book offers illuminating insights for women and men of all ages.

For me, the book offers visceral insights into the state of the feminine in current western culture. Regrettably, it ain’t particularly pretty.

 What are the 10 things girls need most?

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The Power of Sankalpa (Intention) to Overcome Adversity, and Near Death

We have spent the past few months supporting students to create a powerful Sankalpa (a resolve) and to identify their heart’s desire through our Find Life Purpose Online Course.

The Sanskrit word sankalpa means “a resolve or intention formed in the heart”.

We’re greatly heartened to know that so many of our students have been empowered to make meaningful changes in their lives, some small, some large, all significant.

The ability to make a powerful Sankalpa – one that empowers us to manifest our intention is difficult to achieve because the mind is innately unstable, full of doubts, and conflicting desires.

To counteract these conflicts and doubts, students of our course are given various tools and exercises to examine each desire. Using Yogic Knowledge, Meditation Practices and Integration Exercises students test their desires and intentions through different perspectives or lenses. For example, how each desire fits into a particular stage of life and how to cognize the different desires that arise from each of the seven chakras. This results in an ability to form a holistic relationship with desires.

If we only listen to what one part of us wants we are silencing another part of us, and sooner or later this part will demand to be heard.

The Clarifying Power Of Adversity

Sometimes it takes a negative experience to stir up a powerful Sankalpa. In this way, adversity can be a blessing because it thrusts us into reconnecting with our will to survive, to overcome the odds, to heal, or to repair. And it is the aim of the course to support all of our students being able to remain on track while facing difficult, challenging and powerful life experiences, experiences that have the potential if they are managed wisely, to change your life for the better.

In our moment of truth we either collapse under the weight of the adversity or, if we are lucky and able, we muster all of our internal resources to rise to the challenge. The course will help you do this.

Case Study: How our student overcame a near death experience and taught her doctors about the power of Sankalpa

The story by Sanyasi Yogamitra epitomizes what we can do, even when faced with life-threatening illness, in what appears to be insurmountable odds.

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How to Thrive in The Year Of The Fire Rooster

The Year Of Passion, Compassion And Confidence

The Fire Rooster Lunar Year kicks off January 28th, 2017. Fire Rooster favors passion, compassion, calmness and confidence.

The year is dominated by the fire and metal elements in Chinese astrology. Excessive fire hurts the heart and liver and causes stress, excitement and anger. Excessive metal damages the lungs bringing feelings of anxiety and difficulty in letting go of grief.

Here’s a little poetic advice to help you handle the fire and metal energies so that you thrive, fly and keep safe all year long…

Time to be determined, brave, and true,
to channel your desires into one heartfelt pursuit.
That cherished something you’ve always wanted to do,
revamp, redesign and make it totally brand new.

It’s high time to let go of anger and rage.
Let the winds of change set you free from your cage.
Drink more water, workout until you sweat.
Replenish, rejuvenate, and get profound rest.

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Has Your Shadow Hijacked Your Life?

Your shadow contains all the traits and impulses that you disconnect from in yourself, but which you can plainly see in other people, such as egotism, laziness, carelessness, cowardice, greed and aggression.

If you are unaware of your own shadow, or if you are aware but neglect responsibility for it, your shadow can send distressing thoughts, emotions, and impulses into your awareness, seemingly from out the blue, and can even cause accidents. You can say or do things that you would rather not say or do, and this erodes the quality of your life.

Your Shadow in Relationships

The more control your own shadow has over you, the more easily you fall prey to another person’s shadow. Relationships can be fraught, strained or stormy, and they often end suddenly and badly. This is because if your shadow is in control it causes projection and denial. You can’t see who the other person actually is because your projection is getting in the way. The greatest tragedy, however, is that you can’t see yourself.

No-one is immune to the power of the shadow and we all have one. The quest is not to get rid of it (since you never can), but to learn about its nature and impact on your life, and begin a process of reintegration of all the shadow aspects that you’ve disowned. Ultimately, you need to take responsibility for your shadow so that you stop projecting both your ‘negative’ and ‘golden’ shadow onto others. This creates psychological peace, which is essential for mature relationships.

Feelings and Behaviors from the Unconscious Shadow

An unconscious shadow can cause anything from niggling annoyances to severe psychological disorders. Here are some examples of the shadow being in control; when the suppressed shadow becomes energized and empowered.

  • Feeling irritated and angry for no obvious reason
  • Feeling nervous or anxious for no obvious reason
  • Regurgitating a negative thought or emotion
  • Thinking that life is meaningless
  • Feeling apathetic or bored
  • Compulsively hiding how you really feel
  • Acting against your own values and ethics
  • Feeling shame or guilt
  • Blaming others for your problems
  • Sulking

Types of Shadows: Negative, Golden, Family, Societal

Everyone carries several types of shadows, and they often overlap.

Here are some examples:

You repeatedly encounter people who share the same fault e.g. jealousy, aloofness, thoughtlessness. This is your active Negative Shadow.

You are surrounded by people who are talented in the way you wish you were e.g. they are outgoing, creative, successful. This is your active Golden Shadow.

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The Best Yoga Pose in the World

You can be anywhere, in almost any situation; taking a meeting, shopping, working out, or socializing, and you can perform the best yoga pose in the world. Convenient, flexible, and effective, it can be practiced on or off the mat, in any clothing, and needs no yoga props.

The best yoga pose in the world doesn’t even require a particular physical position. It takes only a thought, an awareness, to perform.

The “letting go” yoga pose

When you consciously let go of holding and contracting, whether that’s in your jaw, your shoulders, stomach, or wherever where you hold the most tension, you unravel the tightly-held form that you’ve been identifying with; the limited you.

In the letting go you are, at that moment, liberated (relatively). You reconnect with more of you, with the energies of your body and mind, those in your personal sphere, and beyond.

You are an ecosystem of connectivity.

You are more than your thoughts, your ideas, your occupation, your social identity, and your emotions. You are an ecosystem of connectivity. In every moment, you are contracting or expanding your ecosystem through your constricting or expanding awareness.

The tension connection

The letting go yoga pose doesn’t look impressive. In fact, it’s imperceptible to others. It does, however, create a powerful psychic impression; people feel it. This is because all levels of tension; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, are connected, they feed into and impact upon each other. This not only occurs in our inner world but also radiates out into the outer world.

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