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Experience

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[Excerpt from SANE, Getting real with reality]

In insanity, pleasure is a release from the prison cell. It is temporary relief.

The greyhound is allowed to catch the rabbit before the chase is back on again.

The hamster wheel stops momentarily.

But it is a temporary fix and it is a fix that ultimately can make the prison harder to bear. Because we have experienced the relief of the end of the search.

The yoga class, the pills, the alcohol, the shopping hit, the love affair. All brilliant. T…

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Make the suffering go away

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[Excerpt from WELL, getting real with physical and mental health]

At the moment of writing this chapter, the on-line course ‘WELL: getting real with mental and physical health’ is underway. I have had emails this morning from four different people on the course all saying essentially the same thing:

‘Make the suffering stop. It is overwhelming. Take away the anguish. Make me feel better. I’ve tried everything. This is my last hope.’

Maybe we all know that desperation. It might not be sufferin…

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Readiness

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The lottery started in the UK in 1994 and my sister suggested that our family should have a syndicate. Every Saturday we sat in the living room seeing if our numbers would come up. My 93 year old grandmother would sit there, not saying a word until all the numbers had been chosen. Then, when, once again, it was clear we hadn’t won anything she would let out a sigh of relief and thank God for sparing us…

Her relief often comes to mind when people describe their dream life. The major successes th…

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Goals and Results

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[Excerpt from EASE, getting real with work]

Let’s have a chat about goals and desires and what we want to achieve.

Wouldn’t it be great if, every single time we set a goal, we achieved it?

Want to earn more? Done.

Want to get more clients? Done.

Want that next promotion? Done.

Want to achieve that target? Done.

Want a new job? Done.

Sometimes we get what we want and sometimes we don’t.

What’s going on there? What makes the difference? 

Why does desire not translate every time into auto…

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Game 1 and Game 2

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[Excerpt from GAME, getting real with the play of life]


Game 1: Drama and Tension

This is the ‘getting your money’s worth’ from The Game. Because, after all, who wants to play a boring game where nothing happens?

The character is given the aims which create maximum drama:

“Go out there and find yourself! Be someone! And then you will have everything you want. Security, happiness, love, success, freedom! It is all there for you to find. Off you go!”

This is the ultimate search of all time.…

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Beyond Belief

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[excerpt from SANE, getting real with reality]

In ancient Rome and Greece ‘aimless wandering’ was considered a form of madness. The ‘treatment’ was stoning and beating.

In mid 1800s America, the label ‘Dysaesthesia Aethiopica’ indicated that black men and women were incapable of living in freedom. The ‘treatment’ was slavery.

In the 1850s and 60s when train travel was becoming possible, it was believed that the shaking motion injured the brain, sending travellers mad. The ‘treatment’ was to s…

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Consciousness

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[excerpt from HOME, getting real with what you already are]

One evening, I was on my own watching ‘Fleabag’, the series created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Fleabag is the main character (we never learn her real name).

Her sister in the programme is called Claire. Married to someone who treats her appallingly, Claire is in love with a Scandinavian man she has met through her work. He is called Klare.

Fleabag and her sister bump into this man in the park. (It’s the ‘I look like a pencil!’ haircut …

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Confusion

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[excerpt from FREE, Getting real with life, unlimited].

Sometimes we can seem so utterly confused that it looks like we have no idea of how to move forward. We don’t even know what to do let alone have the freedom to act on it.

A few years ago, I found myself in a state of total overwhelm. My head was in chaos. I couldn’t sleep or really eat. I couldn’t pretend to be my normal self with friends so I avoided company.  I was shaking, exhausted and low. I was looking into the future and all I saw…

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Intelligence

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[an excerpt from HOME, the return to what you already are]

An ape remembers a tool they need to retrieve an inaccessible reward and heads off in search of it.

A cave man sketches a hunt scene on the stone wall, allowing for the transportation of his learning to another, long after the hunt itself is over.

A scientist designs a rocket that will reach a planet no one has never visited.

Even the amoeba, a single-celled organism, stores memory in protein structures.

All of this made possible by…

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HOME, the return to what you already are

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My sister and I were in Costa one Sunday (we love a café). We were talking about holidays.

A memory came up of when we were in France in a swimming pool. I was waiting behind someone on the ladder to get out.

At the same time as I pulled myself up the ladder, the woman in front dipped down. Her foot went right down the top of my swimming costume.

In reality, it probably took less than a few seconds for her to extract her foot. In my memory it took so long that it is probably still there. My s…

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