Positive Parenting – Arises through awareness

I am currently really enjoying working on a project with my eldest child, a boy who turns 16 in October. He loves his summer sport and wants to reach his potential while keeping the rest of his life in balance.

I could sense last season that he felt like he could have done better. The reality was he did not really understand how to go about it.

In the last 18 months my son’s body has transformed from a boy to a well built 6”1’ adolescent. So it was no real surprise that he was struggling to adjust to his new found proportions.

When I suggested I could help him with some structured coaching, practice and fitness he was I sensed relieved.

As both our lives are busy we firstly worked out a time line and schedule leading up to his cricket trials that we could both commit to with a little give and take built in.

I documented a detailed commitment from us both which was also a first in our relationship. This took the form of a daily schedule as well as a favourite of mine a mind map incorporating specific tasks, opportunities and global goals.

I could see he appreciated the fact that I was willing to participate in the process rather than just telling him what to do or to outsource the process by sending him somewhere else.

We are now halfway throughout the programme which he has stuck to happily. He can see the sustained structured incremental approach working. What’s more we are both enjoying the benefits of this shared journey. It’s our special time together and has definitely drawn us closer.

The key has been to encourage and celebrate each achievement no matter how incrementally small. Any set backs are treated as positive learning opportunities not to be dwelled upon.

As part of the process we have been going to a local park to practice. The other weekend there was another father a son doing exactly the same thing just beside us.

The sad thing was the father did not know how to coach his son using a positive frame work. Every time the father communicated with his son it was by pointing out everything he was going wrong.

Not once did this father offer his son even the slightest encouragement. They both looked very serious and glum the whole time, neither ever smiled.

This father was clearly willing to put in the time and effort to genuinely help out his son. The sad fact was he did not know how to go about it in a positive light hearted manner.

My son also notice the constant negativity as later that day he commented on the lack of encouragement that this father was giving his son. I was impressed that he was aware of what was going on.

The sad reality is that this father  thinks he is helping his son. All he is really doing is making his son feel inadequate and that he is not good enough in the eyes of the person who means the most to him. The chances are this father’s own father probably treated him in a similar way.

So what has to happen to break the cycle?

We all need awareness and reflection.

I had a great reality check two years ago while fishing with my son. While reeling in his first fish, I recorded the action on my camera. I then replayed it a few minutes later to myself to check the quality of my camera work.

I will freely admit what I heard replaying the action was a sobering and important moment.

The audio when replayed features your truly continuously barking strained instructions while my son fought the fish, no words of encouragement, just do this, not that, be careful etc, etc.

Let’s say I just shut up after that and let him learn for himself. I changed to offering praise or encouragement after subsequent catches but also letting him make mistakes so he can learn for himself without me trying to constantly save him.

The father and son I had observed in the park the other day was that just a earlier version of me? …… probably!

Reflection with awareness being the key to a successful change.


Posted in Awareness, Parenting |
Leave a comment

Meditation – The best possible daily habit, it’s like flowering from within.

Meditation is something that anyone can do.

With practise it can be done anywhere, any time.

Once you are in the meditation groove ( this takes about six weeks of daily practise for around 20 minutes) you can easily get into a meditative state within a minute.

Meditation is the best possible habit to get into.

Taking time each day to meditate is ideal, the key is to enjoy and not to make a big deal about it.

Posted in Meditation |
Leave a comment

Awareness – The universal key to positive change

Awareness is required to break free of destructive habits / cycles.

Awareness is the universal key to change.

Awareness is the ability to disengage the auto pilot state we can find ourselves, highlighted when we are reactive in our actions.

We need to deliberately slow down to observe our actions, feelings, emotions and thoughts before we act.

Reflection adds to our awareness. Holding onto the need to be “right” is a major awareness retardant.

It’s a bit of a catch 22 situation, without awareness how do be stop ourselves from being stuck in behaviours that are not making us consistently happy or even profoundly unhappy.

The fact that we are unhappy and or depressed is a clear sign that we need to examine our behaviour and notice any patterns. Blaming others is also just another destructive behavioural pattern. So if we are so use to our current way of  feeling how do we get the momentum to even start to change.

Just the act of  reading this blog means that there is some awareness present and the opportunity for more momentum. Each enquiry we make adds incrementally to the awareness level in each of us.

For most of us it takes times to accumulate awareness and to notice positive change, appreciate it and want more. For some it happens faster than others. It is not uncommon when the awareness momentum is shifted due to a life changing event, possibly illness, an accident or relationship break up.

From my own experiences Meditation is the best accelerant to awareness and positive change.

The choice is yours alone.




Posted in Awareness, Meditation |
Leave a comment

Meditation – Starting with the basics

Meditation – Starting with the basics

While today meditation is part of my daily life, as well as sharing what I have learnt from experience with others I like most have not always enjoyed it’s benefits. For me it did not happen over night, though with the right intent, frame of mind and some assistance, meditation is an achievement within everyones grasp.

I was introduced at very young age to the concept of meditation, alas my thinking mind was too caught up in control, achievement and thought to really have any meaningful benefits or to be able to meditate at all in my youth.

One of the difficult aspects about grasping meditation is that it’s not about being strong willed or determined. It’s not about your ability to control and master a situation through sheer hard work and effort or about being spiritual, intellectual or clever. It’s the simple act of attention, awareness and presents, feeling and observation without judgement or labeling.

Some of the many benefits associated with meditation is that it is refreshing, restorative and calming but it is not a state of just feeling or being relaxed. There is no mistaking or wondering whether you have been meditating or not. Unfortunately if there is any ambiguity then it’s just not happening. Which is neither good or bad and happens to most in the early stages and even to seasoned meditators.

While we are all different we can all learn to enjoy and benefit from meditation.The most common barrier is trying too hard or over thinking the process making it in that instance an impossibility to meditate.

Our western world is full of all types of mental stimulation and in some cases even overload, poor diets, lack of exercise and not enough sleep. The ability to sit quietly still is so foreign that just attempting to start to meditate is a massive hurdle for many.

To embark on meditation half heartedly or because someone else is driving you to try it is likely to end in frustration or simply to confirm what you thought in the first instance, that you can not meditate or that it is just a waste of time.

The simple desire to meditate is usually not enough as the guidance of a suitably experienced meditation teacher in most instances is critical to experience a meditative state. For most joining an interactive group meditation lead by an experienced teacher is the best opportunity to get a glimpse of what it feels like to meditate.

A good meditation teacher will interact with those present to share both difficulties and triumphs in a non competitive manner as well as gently guiding those who are either blocked or lost in a daydream and fantasizing that they are meditating. Circumstances if not handled delicately unfortunately serve only to distract or discourage other learners in the group. Having visions, seeing colours or out of body experiences are all very real states of mind but they are not meditation.

Guided meditations are probably the best way to start and for most the best way to simply continue the practice of meditation either alone or in a group. Many teachers in group situations start by guiding the group into a meditative state before dropping their guidance and just allowing the meditation to flow in silence, occasionally breaking the silence to guide those in the group that may have drifted off into their thoughts or a day dream.

Very experienced teachers and attuned meditators can actually feel how the group is going during the meditation. They know when some gentle guidance is needed to get the distracted meditators back on track.

Back ground music can be helpful in guided meditations but is not essential and totally irrelevant when in a deep meditative state. The most successful background music usually does not contain singing and has a flowing tempo and mood that is both gentle and soothing in quality. Music is also used as a tool to guide the meditator as to the passing of time. If you only have 15-20 minutes then when the music is finished it gives you a clear marker for you to stop rather than give your mind another opportunity to interrupt.

Being comfortable is very, very important so that you are not distracted by your own discomfort. Firstly the process of meditation only occurs when the spine is upright so it is not advisable to be lying down. My recommendation is to be comfortably seated in a firm chair, back slightly supported, feet flat on the ground. Sitting crossed legged on the floors is the image that comes to mind when most of us think of meditation but that image is from an associate with ancient cultures that in many cases only sat that way and did so in comfort for hours. If seated cross legged on the floor is comfortable then by all means use it while meditating.

Falling asleep is not an uncommon problem for some and it is usually a sign that you are too tired from not getting enough sleep. If you are overtired then the chances of successfully meditating in the evening are limited. Try and arrange your day so you have some time set aside first thing in the morning to meditate

I hope that you find my own first hand observations on meditation of use in your own personal journey with meditation.

Posted in Meditation |
Leave a comment

Meditation – free guided meditation to try !!!!!

If you were to ask me what is the greatest skill I have learnt in my 50 years, my first thought every time would be the skill of being able to meditate.

Ideally it should be one of the first skills we are taught after learning how to talk.

Attached is one of my  old but proven meditations that works for all ages and even if you only ever do one meditation this one ticks all the boxes without getting too complicated.

Feeling the body as One   Free guided mediation !!!!!

Try it, next month I will have finished a number of meditations recorded in a studio so the audio quality will be a bit more polished. I will have portions available free but the full length version can be purchased via iTune or CD baby, I will add a page to my web site for ease of purchase.

I hope you enjoy my voice and meditative state guiding you through the “Feeling the body as One” meditation.



Posted in Meditation |

Hello world!

Welcome to the new Mind Body Change web site.

I will be regularly posting items and issues that I have found interesting and helpful both personally and with clients.

I will also post some free guided meditations that you are welcome to try for yourselves.

Like any new endeavour I have a steep learning curve in the initial stages but with time I will master this little challenge.

Feedback is always appreciated as we are all busy and your allocation of time is precious.



Posted in Uncategorized |
Tagged | Leave a comment