In Praise of Mini-Retirements & How YOU can go on one too

I first read about this idea of mini-retirements in Tim Ferris’ book called the 4-hour work week. The idea stuck and I’ve been taking breaks between work contracts to travel and volunteer ever since. I for one do not want to wait until I’m 65 to enjoy discovering different activities and parts of the world…

A major cause of work stress…and it’s not what you think

Mental stress is defined as how events in one’s external or internal environment are perceived, resulting in the psychological experience of distress and anxiety (source). The question of perception and of our personal capacity to adapt and to welcome uncomfortable events and feelings means that different people can react to the same external or internal…

I went looking for purpose… but did I find it ? (part 1)

So, here we go. I’m attempting it. A three part blog post on looking for purpose. Here’s the topic for part 1: “suffering is a universal, human condition. Its forms and depth vary.” I will now explain what I mean. It’s 2014, and I’m living and working in the Caribbean. It’s November, and it’s hot….

The Subtle Art of Relaxation

I gaze at my candle, at my sacred images and objects, a mishmash of cultures and references that are all significant to me. There’s a quote from the Little Prince, my recent Osho card drawn from my deck, a photo of me when I’m four years old laughing over something which was obviously hilarious. There’s…

Inshallah-ing my way through life

I’ve been reprogrammed. I recognize it and.. I like it! At least this one specific program which has been rewired within me. And the root of this wisdom lies in the Arabic term of “Inshallah”. Literally translated it means “If God wills it”. Translated to life it means that you can do everything right, you…

Sundays in Dakar

Clip-clop, clip-clop, clip the horses’ hooves made echoing noises on the pavement as the thin man with his tired nag trotted smartly forward, pulling a simple wooden platform piled high with cement bricks. The horse-drawn cart was more audible than usual because the neighbourhood was quieter than usual, but that’s because it was Sunday. The…

Is it criticism or feedback? 3 ways to find out

We love talking about growth mindset inside of our companies, right? Growth is necessary, and yet growth can also be painful – because it’s human nature to resist change, even when it’s good for us! Giving and receiving quality feedback is a key component of this growth. Others see us often than we see ourselves….

Africa is born within you

I’m going inside. The cold means an internal and an external “turning within” – to fire and hearth, to bundles of scarves and wool. There’s a subtle tenseness to the skin, as we turn towards our innermost thoughts. Good thing I’ve made inside of myself a safe place to be. The first cold we feel…

The Pancha-what? First trip to an Indian Ashram.

How does one summarize 2 weeks  experience of a first-time in India, first-time in an Ashram and first-time doing a Panchakarma program? With a first-rate smile, I hope. First, let’s define the terms we’ll be referring to: 1. India, in this case the deep south-west, the province of Kerala. After flying into Trivanandrum (also known…

Running Water

When the water don’t flow the day feels incomplete. I walk around my single room flat with the incense I burn before I sleep and it and the flames of the candles show me imbalance – we have fire but we have no water. Running water that is. Of course I have reserve water. No…

No, Thank You, I’m allergic.

Just found this little pearl of a personal note from the end of last year, when I was clearly experiencing a classic case of Africa-fatigue …a malady which manifests in my person every so often with symptoms of abundant and exasperated sarcasm. 17.10.2018 – Thiès – Day 3 Because you’ve heated up water on the…

Knock knock

When you work for an African NGO in a small town where all of your colleagues are your only social circle and thankfully there are a few who you actually want to be friends with. I hear a tentative knock-knock on my bedroom door around 10pm. Sure we have been roommates now for close to…

Sweat and Smile more: it’s October in Senegal

It’s that month of the year in Senegal when we all secretly wish we could exit the country – it’s October. It’s our month when we endure the heat and humidity of the rainy season but without the welcome breaks that come with the coolness of the rains. In short, it’s hot and humid all…

Making inside of yourself a safe place to be

As I embark soon on a new adventure to a new place, one which is very likely to be less comfortable and entertaining from a Western perspective than my previous home base, I feel completely at peace with my decision. Driving around Calgary yesterday morning I imagined chatting with a local teenager about my choice…