Sunday, 24 October 2010


Today's just one of those days - the Monday after two weeks out of the office and within hours it feels that you haven't been away. The emails have mounted up, the old rhythm kicks in and it makes you wonder whether it was worth it. Well, in reality you know it was worth it. Those hours of complete and utter contentment I experienced last week are something I'd like to be able bottle and use in those more trying times. As I haven't quite mastered that skill yet I realise that I've got to make more of what's in front of me. To be honest, work isn't so bad - it's just a game I've got to get better at playing. I need to ride on the parts of my day I actually quite like and just roll with the rest. I guess that's what life's about anyway. Plus, holidays aren't always a bed of roses - there's so much added pressure to have a good time. And there are only so many pina coladas a man can take...

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Everybody was kung fu fighting

I guess I'm in a space of increased awareness, for want of a better phrase, as I'm more and more often finding ways to associate random day-to-day existence with the essence of spirituality. Then again, I might just be good at shoe-horning the irrelevant into a story that suits my purpose. I like to think the former, but I would say that wouldn't I...?

Yesterday, though, I did have a moment of clarity at a kung fu class. The basis of Wing Chun is more than simply learning to be a poor imitation of Bruce Lee, the best-known proponent of this form of kung fu. It's very much about working with a centred and relaxed version of yourself. I've been cutting my teeth, so to speak, for a couple of years now but I still instinctively kick into real world behaviour. I tense up. I focus on the elements in front of me rather than the wider story around me.

I get stuck in my head thinking about what I think ought to be done, without being balanced and letting it exist in the outside world and just flow. As my instructor said, "Find the balance." Be connected in a less judgemental, less analytical, more engaged way. It was a classic moment of cogruence between mind, body and soul - all on the same page. Wing Chun by its nature tries to encourage that. But in our own random day-to-day existences I'm sure we can all find those moments when it happens to us. It just helps to be a bit more aware at times.

Friday, 1 October 2010


I was watching an episode of 'Glee' the other night (which, I must say, is a brilliantly fun show), when the cast kicked into a rendition of the song 'Smile', made famous by everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Nat King Cole to Michael Jackson. I hadn't heard the song for years but just hearing it stirred something inside. It's just one of those songs I wish that I had written. The words, the melody, the emotion - it's just beautiful. So I thought I'd just put down a few lines of the song, which speak for themselves. Beautiful, just beautiful:

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile