The two opposites of a life well lived

Perhaps the primary challenge of every person's life. Firstly, to accept today, fully. Secondly, to aim for a better tomorrow, without holding back. The first is supported by ancient wisdom, from East and West, over five thousand years…

The best time to start a business

Is now. We can't go back and do something in the past, so it's always now. There's an old adage that goes, "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now." Businesses are a bit like trees. When we think…

Moments of mindfulness

I first wrote a little about mindfulness a while back, thinking about the movement towards mindfulness, and something Kevin Barry, the Irish writer, said about the merits of mindlessness. Can mindfulness ever cause your mind to be too full?…

The point of productivity

Productivity has long been a big sub-industry within the business world. David Allen's Getting Things Done or GTD methodology, honed over 30 years, has sold millions of books, and prompted a wave of frameworks mapping GTD to the digital world.…

Learning about life from an oak tree sapling

Trees are the greatest gift. Francis Harvey, the poet, has a poem called "Blessings". It opens like this: Yesterday for some reason I couldn't understand I suddenly felt starved of trees And had to make tracks⁣ towards the Beeches…

How to overcome the fear of missing out (in five easy steps)

FOMO is a famous acronym in the acronym-rich tech culture of today. FOMO is the fear of missing out. The fear of missing out is what prompts many of us to do many of the things we do. The fear of missing out is, in large part, responsible…

400 words about the uncertainty of adulthood for all young adults

Approximately 60,000 people in Ireland take the State Leaving Cert exam each year. The equivalent of a packed outdoor arena full of young men and women, taking something labelled with such finality as the "Leaving" exam. Leaving what? Leaving…

The universal language of touch

There was a documentary about bears and bear research on the BBC last weekend. It was called "Bearwalker of the Northwoods", and it followed Lynn Rogers, an American bear researcher, on his daily work to study and better understand the black…

The meaning we make

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychotherapist and psychiatrist who spent years in four concentration camps during World War II, where at least four family members died: his wife, both his parents and his brother. When the war ended and he…

How to get back to normal

The best way to get back to normal is to fully appreciate these two things: There is no normal There is no going back The normality we might yearn for was a way of being that was built by two things: Habits: The things we do…

Caring vs careful

There's a difference between being caring and being careful. Caring is looking around you, outside you, seeing what needs care, and offering that care. Caring is a generous and selfless act. Careful is looking at yourself, inside you,…

Snippets of possible definitions of grace

How might anyone offer up definitions of grace? Perhaps, instead of defining it, it is better to offer an incomplete list of places where grace occurs. Grace is the prayer our forefathers said before and after meals, and which for many of…

Off the beaten path

A couple of days ago I wrote a piece about Caroline Myss and her experiences along the path of El Camino in northern Spain, when she spoke of a "tunnel of grace" built up by a thousand years of the footsteps of pilgrims. And it made me think…

Craving real connection in a connected, disconnected world

We are more connected than we have ever been. Despite a lockdown that has affected the lives of billions of people, all over the world people were able to "work from home", taking advantage of recent developments in technology to contribute…

The energy of the right path

I spoke with a friend of mine earlier this week, for the first time in a long time. Melissa is an energy healer, and she radiates a beautiful energy. She left a corporate life and lifestyle in New York several years ago and moved to Hawaii,…