under the bonnet


I need to arrange a service today for a car.

The number of miles on the clock, or the age of the vehicle determines the need for a service. The vehicle service log tells me what will get attended to for that service – filters and parts to change, checks carried out, along with the standard service activities such as oil change.

I don’t have a service log book for me.
I have no idea how many miles I’ve done.

I’ve certainly been around somewhat longer than any car I’ve ever owned; my eyesight has deteriorated so that now I need glasses to read and sometimes when I sit on the floor, getting up again is a struggle… so I’m guessing a service might be a good idea?

Not only might I benefit from a physical check up, I think mentally and emotionally a once over might be a good idea too.

Is my thinking working for me, am I happy enough, is my life in balance? Are my stress levels right, am I spending too much time in reverse gear, or flat out in fifth? Is my balance of looking ahead and into my rear view mirrors right? Can I see clearly where I’m going, or are my wipers suboptimal, or my windscreen scratched or distorted? Am I steering straight? Is there an annoying squeak in my self talk, distracting me constantly? Do my filters need a clean or to be replaced – am I noticing what I could, or filtering out the wrong things? Is my SatNav programmed to repeat the same journeys the same way, or am I free to detour, to find a new route? Am I concentrating on the road ahead, or distracted constantly?

Driving through life can be tiring, physically, mentally, emotionally. The journey, the destination, the views and sights along the way can be exhilarating though.

Time to make sure we are roadworthy perhaps?


the voice of the soul


Crying is how your body speaks when your mouth can’t explain the pain you feel

Sometimes when we cry, we seek to hide it. Like it is something to be embarrassed about, or even ashamed of. Yet crying is natural. It is a way in which we speak our truth when words cannot suffice. The soul speaking.

There is no greater feeling than crying with laughter. A joy often experienced with others. With friends and loved ones. An uplifting, energising joy. Feeding the soul.

When we remember someone, let us recall them through tears of joy, caught in the moment. Memories of happiness. Memories that fed the soul. For there they live on, forever.

God bless you Des.

Always with us…
on the hunt for dinosaur bones.

the learning of now


I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.

Lewis Carroll
image: chiselled into a plaster wall in Exeter

We grow and change constantly. We just need to give ourselves the opportunity to notice. Not be in our plans for tomorrow, or in our regrets of yesterday, but to be in a deep awareness of what is happening now.

How ‘now’ is changing us; what we are learning that is new awareness, what we can un-learn because we no longer need it. How we are thinking and our patterns of thought. How we are being and how we want to be.


are you Marmite?


Marmite – you either love it or hate it

Possibly true with Marmite, and certainly used to good effect in promoting the brand. It’s a memorable slogan or catch phrase that reflects a certain reality and so it is easy to connect with – you do actually either love it or hate it typically.

Many brands have such slogans.  I recall Persil ‘washes whiter than white’. Not sure if that is technically possible, but, to coin another ‘it does what it says on the tin’.

I was pondering the other day – do I have a slogan, a brand catchphrase I might use?

All of the above might apply to a person too – you either love me or hate me; I’m whiter than white; I do what it says on the tin…

So, maybe you’re ‘finger lickin’ good’?
Maybe you ‘Just do it’?
Maybe you ‘think different’?
Maybe you ‘snap, crackle and pop’?

What might your advertising slogan be and what might it say about you? What aspect of your very essence, your soul would be captured by a phrase used to sell you?

Marmite question maybe?

Photo: Daily Mail


when a mask might reveal, not conceal…


I had the pleasure of attending The Lab recently, where in the midst of some great experiments into being human, we explored working with masks.

If you have seen the excellent ventriloquist comedian Nina Conti you will know part of her act involves applying a partial mask to an audience member. Nina then controls the mouth parts with a remote,  so that the individual seems to be agreeing to do something outrageous, or says something inappropriate, even though their body language suggests horror, or disagreement, at the prospect.

It is a clever representation of the power of a mask. The act demonstrates a freedom and what can be possible if we don’t feel seen, whilst juxtaposing the obvious visibility of the individual’s body squirming at what they are saying, through Nina. Simultaneously, the act allows Nina, as the ventriloquist, to say and do things she might never do herself.

In our Lab experiment we saw people assuming the whole character, mannerisms, language, opinions of their ‘character behind the mask’.

A mask, in a sense, gives us permission to be someone else. To reveal a part of ourselves we may normally keep subdued or hidden. It also gives us permission to conceal ourselves behind the mask. Be it gender, ethnicity, geographic origin. We sometimes use non-visual masks too. Hiding behind our organisational or societal status or role.

I wonder what we are capable of if we could wear a mask at will?

What truth would we be able to speak?
What feeling could we emote?
How much more ourselves we might be?
How much might we conceal?


the words we seek

What would you most like people to say to you?

“You did a great job there”
“Thank you for your support, I really value it”
“You make a real difference”
“Good effort!”
“I really value you as part of this team”
“I love your attention to detail”
“You really delivered there”
“You’re really supportive”
“Well done”
“You truly care”
“That’s another great achievement”
“I appreciate your friendship”
“Thank you”
“You are incredible”
“This wouldn’t have happened without you”
“I love what you did”
“You are vital to this…”
“Together we got it done”

Quite probably, it won’t be precisely any of these. Play around with the words. What’s the perfect positive feedback you could get?

And what’s the worst? Maybe you cringe at “truly care” or simply dismiss “you make a real difference”?

What does that say about you?

Noticing the form of words which we like to receive as a positive stroke and those which don’t work for us can be revealing.

Be curious.

mindless thinking?


The mind’s job is to validate what it already thinks

Byron Katie

Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we are thinking. That we are using our higher cognitive capabilities to make choices, rationalise, decide. To use our intellect.

Our minds are perhaps the best pattern forming device we know. So once a pattern is there, we usually lose the ability to think around it. Instead our brain tells us what it believes it already knows. It post rationalises so as to prove its pattern is correct.

Something to think about?



I’ve been travelling today.

A road journey, along motorways.

Travelling with companions, both in my car and those in other vehicles travelling a similar route. Some joining, some leaving. Some we passed, some passed us. Some moving slower, some racing ahead.

Some we met again and again. That dance you sometimes enjoy between you and another car. Both travelling at a similar speed, but occasionally because of circumstances, they pull out and overtake you. Then, a mile further on, you return the favour. As if two dance partners holding hands, connected in an invisible link, one pulling or pushing the other into a new move, or a different pose.

We pulled off our route for refreshments. As did other travellers. Recharging for the next leg of our journey.

We never know where our fellow drivers are headed. For this leg, clearly we are travelling together. At a future point they may branch off and head in a different direction, as indeed might we. But for now, we travel together.

It’s a bit like life really. All on a journey.