New Years Inspiration: beauty 

Beauty is everywhere and all around us, if we look with our hearts.
Everyday Glory 

Beyond the the phones and above the screens 

A silent beauty waits to be seen

In early morning’s rich orange hue

And frosted air and skys of blue

I feel so vibrant I see the beauty 

I know it’s truth, it’s majestic duty

I welcome beauty into my story

And each day becomes  everyday glory 
Michael 😊

New Years Inspiration: dancing a ceilidh

I would like to tell you about another wonderful new experience I have enjoyed this year.

Last night I danced in a ceilidh!

For anyone who has not done this, it is a series of patterned dances played out to folk music, where partners dance together and within a larger group. It is high energy and very invigorating.

Here are 5 things that it taught me:

1. Music is universal. It doesn’t matter where people comes from, who they are or what they look like, everyone can access music, join in and have fun dancing.

2. Its very easy to make friends. Because you are constantly swapping partners, a big smile and the right open attitude means you are soon dancing with a new friend. 

3. Music is a great thing. We all came together, danced, smiled, enjoyed the sounds and laughed. Music was the facilitator. 

4. Dancing keeps you young at heart. It was brilliant to see the range of people joining in, from a 3 year old girl to couples in their 80s. We were all dancing equals, smiling away. 

5. Get over yourself. Do not worry about looking silly or making mistakes. As in life, if we can focus on the task at hand, give ourselves to it fully without fear of failure or ridicule, then we will learn very quickly and are then pretty much untouchable.

See you on the dance floor! 

Michael 😁

Guest post // at the open grave – by Michael 

My latest collaboration with Ana! 😁

@ bittersweet diary

Let it out, you can’t hold it together.

Not now, at the open grave:

Where the vulture diggers are hungry

For another body

Stacking them high

Sprinkle dirt, flick holy water,

Tread carefully…collapse into a family member

Who hugs you too tightly, but right now

It feels right, or real.

The rain plays with us

Like a fickle child

And I am suddenly drained

Nothing touches me,

There are only lurching stomach pains

And no more sandwiches left when we arrive

I just wanted a drink, to try and help.

It doesn’t

They dug a grave in my heart today

And it stings.

Poetry byMichael

Artwork ~ unknown

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New Years Inspiration: Crossfit

Good morning everyone,

It’s a beautiful morning here on my trip down in the south of England and I’d like to tell you about another new thing I have tried whilst here: crossfit

In my fitness training  over the years I have done marital arts, climbing, running, swimming, strongman training, cycling, tai chi and yoga and I’d always been interested in trying out crossfit. After a game of badminton I got an opportunity to train with a guy called Ben, a personal trainer who loves crossfit and has a real passion for it.

I said to him,

You just train me, anything you want…he smiled widely and  we were off!

He showed me how to do thrusters, an exercise combining a shoulder press with a squat. These are a great full body exercise. Another exercise technique he showed me was EMOMsevery minute on the minute. So we set an amount of 10, and gave ourselves one minute to complete 10 reps inside a minute of a variety of exercises. Here is what we did:

Press ups x 10

Pull ups x 10 

Thrusters x 10

Burpees x 10

That made 1  round and we did 4 rounds, finishing with as many burpees as we could do in a minute! It was brilliant and it was so good to learn new exercises and to look at fitness from a different point of view. I’m definitely going to use thrusters and EMOMs in my future training, as well as learn more about cross fit and people such as Richard Froning and Sam Briggs.

So if you’re into fitness, try out crossfit, it’s definitely a good workout

Equally, keeping your mind open, willing to learn, fail, adapt and grow will open up the whole world to you, as it has done to me.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend

Michael 😁💪🏻⭐️

New Years Inspiration: try something new!

This is the year, this is the day, this is the time to try something new! I embraced this yesterday and had a brand new experience: I went horse riding!  🐴 

It was fantastic. I had a horse called Bobby, a laid back, relaxed grey and white horse who was very patient with me. I managed to walk, trot and rising trot on my own and it was brilliant! Picking up the basics of stop, start and go were very accessible and I was surprised by how  much I got to do in a short space of time.

What really moved me however, was the sheer power and presence of the animal. Although I had never ridden a horse before in my life, something about being close to the animal felt familiar. Like how we humans have domesticated and grown with dogs over centuries, the same is true of horses. Sat up there I imagined all my ancestors who had ridden horses before me. It was a profound experience and my favourite part was just being with the animal: talking to him, stroking him and riding him.

I’d thoroughly recommend horse riding, even just as a one off lesson, it’s a great experience. And remember to try something new, do something spontaneously or in a different way to usual. I guarantee it will envigorate you and remind you of just how many beautiful wonders there are to behold in our world.

Saddle up!


New Years Inspiration: listening 

Are we listening? 

The world is always talking; giving information, opinions, facts, figures, ideas, all sorts of things. And it is important to know when to listen: for in doing so, you can gain and become ideas and concepts initially above and beyond you in seconds. You can also truly empathise with a loved one, through listening, or learning a new point of view.

It’s easy to talk, as they say in Game of Thrones, words are wind. And yet to truly listen, one becomes open, receptive,  in-judgemental, careful and honest

To fully listen to another is one of the great gifts we can give someone, for we are giving ourselves to them in that moment

And what a wonderful thing to do. 

Also, it is important to listen in other ways. To listen to nature, one can look up at the moon and stars on a cold winters nights and be open to their beauty, that’s true listening. And to sit in silence and invite in the world or to hold onto the silent space between sounds is also so beautiful and important. I make it a habit to, at least twice a day, simply sit and listen. 

So try if today and realise the power and grace of listening: with your ears, your mind and with your heart.

 There are incredible sounds of life happening right now, you just need to listen to them.

Best wishes 

Michael 😁

New Years Inspiration: time

Hello to you all,

We are into the second week of the New Year now and I hope it is going well for you! I’d like to suggest a phrase to you that I have been telling myself, which has helped me to stay relaxed and calm: you still have time. 

I know that there are people in this world who are truly suffering and I write this in solidarity with, not in ignorance of, them.  My love for people is why I am writing this. It’s easy at the moment to think that we have to do everything straight away, all at once and to the highest standard. But the thing about making New Years’ resolutions is that you have a year to complete them, not just a month!

And so it is with our lives. Our perception of time is often not very accurate: we have both less and more time than we realise. If we think the rest of our lives must be squeezed into this year, then we are rushing and we have so much more time than that. Conversely, if we think we have all the time in the world, we are in for a rude awakening. 

To paraphrase the fantastic Buddhist Monk Matthieu Richard said, You would not begrudge the time it takes to complete an education or master a skill, so why complain on how long it takes to become a well rounded, happy human being? It is a life long process. 

So some things in our lives must be completed quickly and well, such as deadlines and particular projects. But others, like relationships, our health, our happiness with ourselves and our positive impact on the world: we have our whole lives to craft and refine these.

So consider your time and take it well!

I wish you both  the gift of joy in happy times and the resilience to endure the difficult.