There was a tournament this year at my martial arts school’s annual gathering. Not only did we perform the ceremonies to respect the masters past and present, but in the afternoon those students and trainers who were interested challenged themselves by stepping into the ring while the rest of the family watched, cheered, and shouted advice.
I say family, because that’s what we are - a massive family of different backgrounds all connected by a common pursuit of this marti
Torrential rain produces a 50 centimetre sheet of water which cascades down a gravel race finding its way between flattened rocks. This gravel race is also the road we are travelling upon to Nagarkot, Nepal. The Nepali driver carefully picks his way along the ‘road’. His driving skills are akin to a slalom white water paddler as he avoids the larger rocks and the parts where the road is completely washed away. I’m on route to Nagarkot with Jenn Weidman to facilitate a res
In a few days I’ll be heading to a beautiful, quiet beach in Phuket. It will be the day before the folks coming to our next resilience retreat arrive. I’ll check in to the venue and do all the preparation bits that need doing - timing and menus and locations and materials and details details details. The pile on my dining table of equipment and supplies is growing daily. So much so that visitors to my place feel compelled to ask what kind of vehicle I’m taking to Phuket,
The last six months have been quite the whirlwind for me. And its got me thinking again about intention and resilience practice. In the middle of April, I stared down my calendar with mixed feelings. I was basically booked straight out through September with additional prospects still hanging out there - a both exciting and terrifying prospect. A colleague asked how many jobs or open projects I was working on at that moment and her question finally spurred me to pause and a
I recently started composting. Let me help you visualize that. I live in an apartment. With a couple small balconies. In the city. In the tropics. And I’ve recently started composting. “It will smell! There will be bugs! We will be living with a pile of trash!” These were the protests and worries of my family and friends. But why should composting be only for those living in more rural or suburban areas with wider, open spaces? There must be a way. So, I did what
(สำรับภาษาไทยกรุณาอ่านด้านล่าง) “Lobsters come to mind…” I found myself saying in a recent chat with a friend. In answer to my friend’s quizzical expression, I referred to this bit of an interview from JInsider with Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski in which he talks about responding to stress. I’ve been gleefully watching the Olympics since it started, cheering for the human stories of athletes I’ve never heard of in sports I don’t usually follow. And it is interesting to consider
What is a resilience retreat? What is it that Illoura Peace Retreats and Space Bangkok offer our participants? Some read the explanations within our web sites and immediately connect with the relevance and understand their needs. Others not so, and have many questions: Why is resilience important? What do you aim to achieve on your retreats? What will participation do for me? Author Eric Greitens (2015) captures the importance of resilience in his recent book title Res
This blog was originally posted on PCDN as part of the PCDN Career Series. ----- Work life balance. It’s a phrase that can easily be added to the list of buzz words we regularly hear discussed. As if somehow we hold the scales of our lives in a constant struggle for equilibrium. Why do we approach work and life as separate? Or even worse, as work vs. life – nurturing an image of our days as finite resources that form the battlefield on which these two arch enemies contend.
Old American cars are one of the prevailing visions across Cuba, particularly in Havana. These large, 50’s model cars are iconic and also a necessity. Road transport is essential due to the limited and failing public transport infrastructure. The 50’s model cars are a hang-over from the American era of Cuba’s pre-revolution history. The next wave of motor vehicles was the influx of Russian Ladas, post revolution, as the import of American vehicles, including parts for Ame
I’m at the airport smiling as I go through check in. My emotions are tightly packed into my 7kg carry on baggage. False bravado. I’m not leaving on holidays, but everyone is telling me to enjoy my trip. The truth is I’m leaving Yangon to go to hospital in Bangkok. A suspicious looking mole on my arm has changed appearance in recent weeks and the Yangon doctor fears it might be skin cancer. Living in Myanmar, I’ve been wary of illnesses like dengue, malaria and hepatitis.
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." - Jiddu Krishnamurti This quote keeps coming back to me these days. I’ve had many conversations recently with people who are well adjusted to the profoundly sick societies they are living in. Most of them, in fact, are far beyond well adjusted to the point that if society looked at their lives, they would be considered successful. And yet all the while these successful and well adjusted people a
“Find your happy place and go there often,” she always says. What about finding your happy place where you are? I led a site survey trip to northern Thailand last week - making connections and exploring options for a future project. Mostly I had been to the locations we visited before, yet we met and sat with many new people along the way who were inspiring and doing amazing things in amazing places.
Throughout the trip, Irene’s statement kept coming back to me, prodding
I glanced down at my shirt to confirm. Yup. There they were. The splotches of a darker color as my shirt soaked up my sweat. How embarrassing. Here I was facilitating a session on leadership, creating a space for deep learning and reflection using martial arts activities, and I was obviously sweating. And, as if that wasn’t enough, I was sure the participants could tell when I was a bit winded from the combination of the activity plus the talking. Darn it. Why couldn’
“I’m not sure how I could justify the time and cost of such indulgence to my family.”
Reading that sentence made me sad. She was explaining why she wouldn’t be joining our creative reflective retreat. And as I read, I found myself face to face with the inevitable irony that hovers around this work, rooted in misled definitions and twisted yet dominant perspectives.
Caring for the self is indulgence. Thus retreats and other events that promote wellbeing, and resilience
This post first appeared on Humanity United’s blog on July 18, 2016 as part of a blog series from Dr. John Paul Lederach, Humanity United Senior Fellow, exploring the challenges of social fragmentation and conflict with a focus on reconciliation, social healing, and human flourishing. ----- How does humanity unite? I asked this fundamental question the first time I met with the Humanity United Board of Trustees. It was not the first time I sought to understand how the extra