happiness, mindfulness, present, wellbeing

The Outer Hebrides


The weather in the UK has been dreadful for June, inches of rain well above the average. But not where I was, I’ve just come back from a fortnight in the Outer Hebrides to the west of the Scottish mainland. The weather was very changeable and I would lie if I said it didn’t rain, it was mostly sunny with passing clouds. Each time we arrived at our destination the sun appeared. The main issue was the sun or rather daylight, in June the sun goes below the horizon for a few hours but there is still daylight a sort of bright dusk that then moves into a bright dawn. I’m not complaining as I’ve been this far north before in June; I enjoy it but it gets tiring, learning to sleep when light is burning through the curtains is an art.

Kentallen, south of Fort William

Changing sleeping habits is like any other change, firstly you need notice there is something to change and then it’s something you want to change.

Acceptance of the change will then naturally follow.

My difficulty was, I didn’t know what time it was, I haven’t worn a watch for quite some time and being on holiday there was no rigour of working. Normal things that communicate time where missing, we didn’t watch TV; well, just a bit at the end of the day. When travelling in the car we were listening to audio books most of the time instead of the radio so most of our time references had disappeared. Incidentally as I didn’t have a handle on time I enjoyed very long days of daylight.

Loch Seaforth, the view from our room!

Time could have been something I wanted to manage, become regimented and do particular things at particular times, I chose to ignore what time it was and enjoy each day as each moment appeared and moved on.

Be warned – cafes and restaurants do have opening and closing times, we nearly were too late a couple of times as we thought it was about 12:30 and it was just before 3pm!

It was my birthday whilst on at North Uist, yes another one!
My wife did her usual fantastic research and we had a delicious meal; we were on time for this, though Alistair our taxi driver for the evening took his time driving to and from the restaurant. The taxi journey is another story for another day.

oops all gone

As with everything, it is how I approach something will effect how I behave. I decided to


  • enjoy the weather as it changed, as they say where there is wet weather, there is nothing wrong with the weather but there is a problem with the clothes your are wearing.

  • Not to worry about not getting to sleep because it is still light.

  • Not to worry about time except when I needed to

I enjoyed my holiday, all in all a fantastic time in the Outer Hebrides. It felt like it was far longer then the two weeks perhaps that was because I hadn’t a care what time it was.

A special thanks to my wonderful wife who arranged everything.

and we saw Golden Eagles in flight
Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Being out of control


It is Easter Sunday, it is sunny and looks like its going to be a beautiful hot day here in Gloucestershire. I will enjoy the beautiful hot day but somewhere inside me I feel guilt not for enjoying it but during my life contributing to the global warming. A strange mix of feelings, one is close up; the enjoyment of my day with my family and later on with friends coming around for diner. The other feeling is so nebulous, so unreal, from a personal point of view, unmeasurable and so huge, I feel powerless to do anything. Looking around my desk as I write, I guess as I don’t knows as I’ve never checked, the majority of items have been imported, some may have raw materials that have influenced the change in our environment.

This feels so out of my control, if we all stopped buying we would put other humans at risk of starving, their infrastructure would crumble as the need for product they manufacture would disappear. This has happened before with mass closures in the 1980’s of the UK coal, steel and shipbuilding industries, whole towns and village suddenly became unemployed. I’m guessing again, this has happened all over the world when a method of production has become unprofitable and has moved to somewhere where profits can be made.

Perhaps these closures need to happen again, I really don’t have an answer, I really don’t have a clue on what to do.

What I can do is,

  • reduce my mileage
  • reuse things
  • reduce what goes to the tip
  • eat all the food we buy
  • only buy what is necessary
  • review what is necessary
  • keep things until they are worn out before replacing them
  • leave plastic packaging at the shop

What is your list?

Learning the Alexander Technique has helped me as I am a lot more conscious in what I am doing, I make conscious choices instead of jumping in and making brash decisions as I used to. Raising your consciousness will help you to really enjoy your day, whatever the weather, whom ever you meet, whatever is troubling you. A raised consciousness helps you to take a moment to wait for a decision to manifest, it is strange how it works. I find the right answer is found, or the right situation or person will turn up to help. Many appear to believe that the Alexander Technique is about sitting and standing, about helping physical pain. It does have those characteristics, whoever it is about raising your consciousness so that you can choose how you move and react with your environment in anyway you choose. Stunningly simple in its concept and stunning simple to be.

However the simplicity has a catch,

  • if you want it, it isn’t available
  • if you try for it, it disappears
  • if you pine for it, it hates you
  • if you hate it, it will tease you
  • if you push at it it will push back harder

The secret is

  • if you don’t try, it will appear

The training takes sometime, to teach it can take many years to learn the art of just being and having the skills to show others how to be, I know it as I’m on that journey.

To experience what a teacher can offer and show you that you have the freedom and ease to be can take a few moments. However this will be fleeting, then you may want, try, pine, hate or push it to get is back. It will resist you.

Your teacher will teach and show you methods and techniques for you to notice and act in different ways that brings about the freedom and ease. If you don’t believe it, find an Alexander Technique Teacher, as you have got this far and if you live in somewhere in or near the Forest of Dean, why not contact me for a free session.