A recent environmental disaster, which resulted in a massive fish kill-off on the central coast of Vietnam, had many people rallying in the streets demanding protection of the environment.

“Use your head,” we’ve been urged when dealing with analytical problem solving, but as humans we tend to over-use our heads. Our lives contain more than mental equations. We are also emotional beings, and emotions are felt in the body.

When I look in the mirror I see the outward expression of who I am, the person I think everyone else sees. At the same time, I know there is more to me than the mirror can reflect. The following excerpt from Sylvia Plath’s poem Mirror expresses one’s desire to know their true self. “Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me. Searching my reaches for what she really is.”

In Hanoi, we’ve all seen them, flattened on the road or hanging from hooks. The lucky ones are scurrying across the street or along telephone wires. Rats. I have them in my yard and in my open ground floor space. I’m not impressed. My Reiki practitioner friend has encouraged me to look for the messages Rat is bringing to my life.

Invisivle Force

After a 10-year gap, I recently caught up with a friend I’ve known for 30 years. As our conversations shifted from the banal to the philosophical, we realised we were on opposite ends of the spectrum when we broached the topic of God.

We are conditioned to think me and you, us and them. This sets ourselves apart so much that sometimes we struggle to see common bonds.

Athletes often speak of being in the ‘zone’; a place where everything clicks and they shift to a higher level of performance. They often liken the experience to being spiritual.

“I could never live here,” I said to my friend who lives in Bangkok. I had just returned to her apartment after being out in the city’s traffic, concrete and high-rises. In town only a few days, the intensity of the large urban landscape was already affecting my psyche. By the end of my six-week stay, however, some of the edge had worn off. What had changed?

With summer's arrival come opportunities for basking poolside in the company of friends. I was doing just that recently when the conversation turned to protecting ourselves from the sun. We relied on our shade umbrella to diffuse the intensity of the UV rays and chose not to use conventional sunscreen. We didn’t want to put ourselves at greater health risk by applying toxic chemicals to our skin.

Follow your bliss, says Joseph Campbell. But what if our bliss has outmaneuvered us and the mundane routines of life have left us feeling less than joyful. How to get our mojo back? Better still, how not to lose it in the first place?

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