Feel like you’re out of control? Join the club

So I’m writing a book. You may have heard me say that before, perhaps years ago - and yes, it’s the same book. However, it’s finally on the final leg to completion. The editors will have it before Christmas, which is exciting.

However - the curious thing about writing a book is finding that it’s all been said before, by other people, and better.

Really what I’m doing is collating the right stuff from the right people - really I’m not writing, but doing a compendium of genius that I approve of. Perhaps you might approve of it too, or a least cause you to think differently, and approve of different things. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

But I came across a quote yesterday, and a beauty is is: ________

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can't control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible”. Epictetus ________

What ARE you in control of? Can you even control your own mind? The answer is (and here’s a big tip for you meditators) - no, no you can’t. You can learn to ignore it, be indifferent to it, but you cannot stop it.

You can shape your thoughts in many ways. You can strengthen certain brain pathways meaning you’re more likely to respond to life with appreciation, gratitude, love and compassion rather than judgement, anxiety, anger, negativity.

This is nice, indeed.

The real key to life begins in becoming aware of what is beyond your thoughts. Becoming aware of the ocean that your fishy thoughts swim in. And that the ocean and your awareness, your consciousness is the same thing.

You can focus on the fish, or you can focus on the ocean.

Now that really is a thing.

So I’m done - see what you can control, stop fighting what you can’t. Be at peace, be effective, be joyful.

Easy life.

Go well! Arjuna

PS. Interested in nicer thoughts and/or this ocean of presence?

Here’s a thing for you: 

“Stop being such a doofus …”

My lovely wife Sumati, in fine form: “Stop being such a doofus”

I love a gentle, supportive, guiding hand back on track, don’t you? Ha ha! Well, sometimes you can’t choose HOW the reminder comes, it’s just enough that you got the wakeup call.

See the fact is, I WAS being a doofus, completely. Have you ever talked yourself out of doing something? Of course you have. I used to do it ALL the time. I do it a lot less now, but there’s always that time to remind there’s no such thing as perfect or finished.

Talking yourself out of things: there’s this bright idea to do something or go somewhere - and then the second and third thoughts come in and give you all the reasons why you shouldn’t or couldn’t or why just staying at home and doing the same old, same old is a better idea than heading forth on an adventure. Which is exactly what happened.

I LOVE kayaking. And it’s been forever since I was went last. So when it started raining last night a ton, I got a little excited. I was watching the river coming up, preparing everything, checking the river levels again, stretching in preparation, checking the river levels … And then this morning I was all second and third thoughts. “Well, maybe I SHOULD be doing some work, maybe the river is too high, actually it’s going to be too low, ooh, it’s really cold out there …”

Enter the Sumati and the doofus uppercut. And thank goodness. Because being on the river was such a blast. Resistance. The biggest handbrake to you doing anything new, lies in your own head. Your mind loves inertia. The same old, same old. No change thanks. So I guess the moral of the story is that no matter what your plan, your idea, your new thing, expect the resistance and just do it anyway.

No one got to the end of their life and said “I wish I’d listened to all the excuses why not a little bit more”. Right? So practice not listening.

Where would you be without them?

Pretty darn happy and fulfilled, I would say. Having adventures. Living the dream.

Go well! Arjuna

PS -

Getting familiar with your own mind - so you can have free choice on what you listen to, so you can be independent of those unconscious patterns and reactions - is a giant step forward in terms of enjoying less stress and negativity and way more calm, contentment and aliveness.

You might really enjoy this sweet little challenge I got going to become more familiar with every moment, complete with Facebook group for extra goodies:

Getting more self-confidence and ditching doubt

If you’re like me it seems like you weren’t born with a ton of self-confidence (which is not true at all, but we'll get to that).

You get caught up in those voices in your head that are doubting and anxious - they seem quite real, a lot of the time.

These voices stop you doing stuff, don’t they? From saying the thing you want to say, from getting out and doing those things, from being seen.

It’s frustrating, at least it can be.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone over and over what I should have said or what I should have done. Torturing myself long after the event has passed.

Though I worked out how to get around it.

You see, there are two different versions of you. One of those versions has no issues with confidence, doubt, anxiety, worry - any of that. They simply don’t exist. Why? This version of you isn’t trying to be someone else. It isn’t trying to live up to anyone’s expectations, it isn’t concerned with what anyone else thinks, it isn't trying to do "it" right.

It is what it is, nothing to prove, nothing to hide. No masks, no roles, no presenting of false images, just 100% authentic you.

You have that already - you are that already - and that is the whole purpose of something like the Bright Path Ishayas’ Ascension. To live as that version of you more and more.

When you practice Ascension those limiting programs of doubt, worry, fear - and that’s what they are, just programs - simply run out of juice. They stop stopping you. Which is a wonderful state of affairs, because then it's easier to practice saying what you know you want to say.

I think I’ve written about this before (if I haven’t, I should have!), from the carefree version of you comes the first thoughts. The doubting program comes in with the second and third thoughts - “I can’t say that!” which overrides the first - wise - thoughts.

Then there’s the question that I personally know well, and see a lot around, “How do I …”

As in “How do I ask for a raise/time off?”, “How do I ask that girl/boy out?”, “How do I ask for what I want?”, “How do I stand up for myself?”. Such self-torture through trying to work out the “best” way of asking for something.

The simple answer seems to be you just have to do it.

You just have to practice opening your mouth and speaking, asking for what you want, speaking those first thoughts.

There’s a time and a place for everything, yes, but what I’ve found is usually the time and the place is when you and the other are together and the first thoughts come in. Right there, open your mouth.

Just be that great version of you - practice your Ascension - and speak. I promise it gets easier.

What I know for sure is the thinking about it is the torture. The doing? Not so bad really, at all.

Go well!



No idea about Ascension? Here's a wonderful list that I put together about how to be more mindful in your daily life - 108 practical ways of living beyond those programs, making sure they don't take over.

Get your free copy here:

You know there’s going to be trouble when …

So New Zealand - the land of my birth -

Has a potato shortage.

On the surface this is no big deal,

But when you realise no potato means no crunchy salted crispy chippy goodness …

It becomes a HUGE deal.

As if I needed any more proof that the world is going to end, and soon.

(Don't go there - I'm just joking on that one)


When you have a love of salted potato products that I do,

Even reading about a possible shortage on the other side of the world,

Could lead to a certain amount of lip trembling anxiousness.

The fear of missing out or being denied or having something taken away is strong, is it not?

It doesn’t matter what it’s about, but the mere idea of lack can keep you up at night,

Sweating profusely at the thought of it.

“What if?” is the device we torture ourselves with.

When I was a kid I was profoundly disturbed to read that scientists thought the world was going to end, that one day it would no longer exist.

I asked my mum, and she explained that it won’t happen for many thousands of years,

And anyway: “What could we actually do about a rogue meteor?”

Such wisdom.

If worrying about anything could help, the world would be in excellent hands.

But worrying about tomorrow denies you of today, doesn’t it?

It’s not useful in any way, shape or form.

Worry is a pattern, a habit …

And even though worry may feel like it can be automatic some times,

As in it has some momentum,

It can be a slippery slope that once you get started it’s hard to stop,

The fact is:

You can learn to create another habit.

You can choose to do something differently.

First step is being aware when you’re worrying about something you have zero control over right now.

Is there anything you CAN do right now?

I could stock up on chips and crisps, otherwise the potato shortage is a fact of nature.

I can’t do anything about it beyond stopping torturing myself by thinking about it.

Sometimes even putting all of it down on paper,

Or chatting it over with a understanding compadre can REALLY help.

Because it gets it out of your head -

In your head it can seem perfectly reasonable,

Out in the open means you have that half step back,

That perspective you need to realise that in no way is it a reasonable concern.

Then you spend your energy working on what you can actually secure,

Where you CAN find stability.


I’m on a roll so I’m going to talk more about this tomorrow.

I may even make a video.

But getting on top of worry was one of the reasons I learnt to meditate.

I wanted an end to all the unnecessary worry and anxiety I knew I was inflicting on myself.

And it worked.

If I can do it, I figure you can do it to.

If you're interested in doing something about worry, here's a FREE guide to getting freedom of choice over your own thoughts:

If you have any questions, let me know - otherwise tune in tomorrow and we’ll talk more about this -

Because it’s important.

Til then, go well!


Doing too much?

I witnessed someone multitasking recently,

It wasn’t pretty.

It was just like watching a car crash unfold in front of you.

It also reminded me of young bubba trying to feed herself.

She tries to get two fists of food into her mouth at the same time.

Doesn’t happen - there’s always a bottle neck -

The only thing that DOES happen is a mess.

It’s the same when you try and do too many things at once.

("Too many things" = more than one)

This multi-tasker is an actor.

He was also attempting to shove a sandwich in his mouth,

Being fitted for his costume,

And trying to learn his lines all at the same time.


Stop, slow down.

You only get one chance at this particular sandwich.

You might only get one chance at connecting with this particular person.

You can't learn anything whilst doing two other things.

You ever raced down a meal, but never actually tasted it?

Ever driven down a road but never travelled it?

Ever had a conversation but never heard it?

Ever read a book but never taken it in?

Life is here and now.

You can only do one thing at once.

You can be lost in thought,

Or you can attend to this moment in time.

And your attention transforms it into something worthwhile.

You can get stressed and race through life,

To what you think will be a better future moment.

Or you can appreciate and be aware of what now holds for you.


“Is there life before death? That is the question!”

Anthony de Mello


Your awareness brings life to life.

Focus, presence, awareness.

It is the antidote to a life of stress and overwhelm and negativity.

The elixir of squeezing everything from life that it has to offer.

And what a joy life is, no matter what -

When you actually show up for it.

That is the key.

Showing up fully for your life.

How to show up?

Try this free 7 day challenge on for size:

I’ll give you the sweet tools that mean you can stay clear of stress and reacting blindly,

To live the life you want to live,

To make sure you don’t miss a moment,

And keep a big fat smile on your face, all the time.

Because life is too short for anything else.

Go well!!!



You can do this.

I know you can.

Because if I of all people can, you can.

You're probably making the same mistake I did

When I first really started meditation, I was in my twenties.

I’d climbed mountains, kayaked some wild rivers, I'd fallen fully in love (several times), I’d taken various recreational drugs.

I’d experienced some real highs in life -

(And equally, like many people, I’d experienced some real lows).

I turned up to meditation with a head full of ideas about what life would be like -

Once I found the magic key.

I was wrong -

I was wrong about so many things, and while I hated being wrong then - it now causes me great humour.

But this time, what I thought I wanted from life - wasn't that at all.

What’s more my expectations meant I caused myself a lot of unnecessary struggle.

So if you can avoid this trap - that would make me happy.

Take a moment - and for you, honestly:

What do you want from life?

Is it to live in blissed out peace, chatting with butterflies? Floating from the ceiling and sending out love to the cosmos?

Or is it more like …

Ending stress, ending suffering, being happier with more balance and more energy?

Being really authentic and real, “here I am with nothing to prove and nothing to hide to no body”?

Maybe it’s to be able to be fully content in the world and not be too shaken when “stuff” happens?

Or to get a few things done without turning into a stressed out grumpster, your mind whirring away, unable to sleep?

Is it to love your family completely but not worry so much about them?

It’s not about the mega highs that you can get -

The feelings, the bliss, the visuals,

It's not even about stopping your thoughts.

Rather, it's about simple contentment.

Quiet joy.

The end - I say again, the END - of fear and self-doubt.

Being present and connected to the things and the people in front of you.

Freedom from being triggered and flying off the handle.

Complete love and compassion and acceptance and allowance for everyone - and yourself.

The real treasure that meditation brings to you is the simple things.

Because not only are they ACTUALLY achievable by ANYONE who wants them -

They’re lasting.

Every single moment of every single day lived freely.

Once found, they are permanent - because they are the simple things.

And that’s what I guide people to when they come and learn Ascension.

Sound good?

It’s truly simple when you know how.

How do you get started?

Getting this free guide is an excellent place:

Go well, and make yours a wonderful weekend.



Keep it so simple, OK?

And - 

Should you have any questions?

I’d love to help.

Just hit me up - you can try it. I really am here to serve. 

Get stupid quick

That’s what my Bright Path Ishayas’ Ascension meditation teacher says.

It surprised me the first time I heard him say it.

Isn’t it best to get smarter?

Well - he’s right.

In that many many times in life, the more you think things over, the more likely you are to mess them up.

You see, if you have ever read Terry Pratchett you may well be aware that there’s first thoughts -

They’re kind of like your intuition, what you REALLY want or need to do or say …

And quite often if you’re speaking these thoughts when turned into words are really funny - even though you had no idea of their humour

Then there’s second, and third thoughts.

They’re the ones that come in soon after telling you why you shouldn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t.

Where first thoughts are simple and quick, second and third (and fourth) thoughts go on forever.

You wake up the next day and you’re still on them.

They’re what lead to regret and guilt and worry and panic and all of that.

While John Lennon was well true when he said that life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans,

Life is what happens to you while you are busy having second and third thoughts.

Try and catch the first thoughts before they get swamped and you lose them.

Awareness and presence is key.

A meditation practice, such as the one I do, is the greatest thing for awareness of first thoughts.

It’s a great thing for getting stupid quick -

Rather than thinking things over so much you miss the pure simplicity and boldness, creativity and inspiration of those quiet first thoughts.

Or even being paralysed by indecision over which thoughts to follow.

Used to happen to me all the time.


Sound good to you?

If you’re ever interested in this stuff, and would just like to talk it through a bit more?

I’m available for a free coaching type call on meditation and mindfulness.

And we'll get you stress and struggle free, calm and centred in a jiffy.

Head this way: 

If you have any questions?

Just let me know, I’d love to help!

Go well,