Tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are: Bite-Size Wu Wei Wisdom – 001

tension is who you think you sohuld be, relaxation is who you are

This is a short extract from one of our new Wu Wei Wisdom online teaching webinars on the topic:  ‘tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are’.

You can listen to the bite-size teaching here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the transcript of the teaching below.

David James Lees:

….thanks everyone… so the topic is: ‘tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are’…. and this is a Twitter quote I did some months ago, and Alex has just picked it up.

I think it’s a really good quote and I’d like to expand on it, particularly because when we did the retreat a couple weeks ago, one of the ladies in the retreat I think misunderstood the teaching. She challenged me, which was really good of her…. and she was saying that she understood that I was saying you should ignore your feelings and really what I’m saying is TOTALLY the opposite:

You should INTERPRET your feelings, and this is a Taoist teaching that we shouldn’t ignore or avoid our feelings we should interpret what our feelings are telling us.

So, I use the word tension there, and I would have used my language a ‘red light’ because tension is just a name that we give a feeling. It could tension, it could be stress it could be anxiety…. it could be lots of things.

So that the first thing, to be really concerned about the words that you use, because if you use a word like tension: ‘I’m tense’…, ‘I’m stressed’… what that tends to do is to make you MORE tense and MORE stressed and you’re not getting to the root of the problem.

So the first step is what I always try and teach: that you have to SEPARATE your feelings away from your thoughts and beliefs that created those feelings.

So you acknowledge the feeling, and I would prefer you to say: ‘I am now experiencing a red light’.

Then the next step is to say: ‘What am I thinking; what do I believe that created that red light?’ …and then that allows you to follow those thoughts down, along what the Taoists call ‘the Golden thread’.

Once you do that separation between your feelings and your beliefs it allows you to ask the golden thread question of: WHY?… ‘why do I think that?’…. ‘why do I believe that?’ And for those of you who have worked with me, you know that most of the session is spent by me asking ‘why?’: ‘why do you think that?… ‘why do you believe that?’

And a little tip here: watch the mind. The mind will try and block you and it will give you an answer of: ‘I don’t know why!

And when you hear that you know that you getting towards the truth. The mind has blocked you and stopped you from going any further. That sometimes when you do need a little bit of help to navigate round that block to get to the reason.

So, if you experience tension – a ‘red light’, you KNOW that you are thinking or believing something that is incorrect; that is not in the spiritual flow of who you REALLY are.

So looking at it on the other side: if you experience relaxation, which is what I would call a ‘green light’, then you are now operating and functioning in the correct, balanced way, in what I would class as ‘wu wei’, that’s right for you.

So that’s why understanding the difference between the ‘red light’ and the ‘green light’ is so important, because it allows you to follow that thread down.

So the step is to acknowledge the feeling – try not to give it a label such as ‘tension’, ‘stress’, ‘anxiety’ –  just give it a ‘red light’ label…. then ask yourself: ‘why have I created that red light?’… and that takes you down to the reason, to the cause, to the belief.

And when you get there, this is a very sacred place in Taoists teaching, because this is where you will experience the ‘spiritual lesson’. Because there’s something there that you have to learn.

And if you DO NOT learn that lesson, what happens is that lesson will keep on coming back to you, on what the Taoists call the ‘Carousel’. The lesson will keep on being repeated back to you. It may be different people, it may be different times, but it will be the same lesson.

And so, when you get the red light it gives you the opportunity to go down and to find that lesson, and this can be the greatest blessing that you can really have….

Alexandra Lees:

We hope you enjoyed this teaching.

If you’d like more information or want to sign up for a free Wu Wei Wisdom teaching webinar or one of our new online meditation classes, please email us: info@wuweiwisdom.com

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Breaking the ‘Illusion of Confusion’: Mastering Your Emotions & Mindset for an Authentic & Purpose Filled Life (PART 3)


This is Part 3 of a three part teaching series where I explore three spiritual lessons:

#1: Learning how to understand and control your emotional feelings.

#2: Discovering why your beliefs, thoughts and words create your life direction.

#3: Understanding ‘who is talking and who is listening’ – this means taking control of your self-talk and your mind.

You can listen to or read PART 1  and PART 2 here.

You can listen to PART 3 here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of Part 3 of the teaching below.

Note: This final teaching provides an introduction to the spiritual subjects of ‘Oneness’ and ‘Inner-Child work’, which are covered in greater detail in my audio-album ‘Oneness ~ Harmonising Your Yin-Yang Energy and Inner-Child’ (learn more).


Hello, and welcome to the third and final instalment of this Wu Wei Wisdom teaching series.

In this session we’ll continue to unravel the ‘illusion of confusion’ and explore how you can reject the harmful misunderstandings, untruths and lies that your mind may sometimes offer you, so that you can start living a spiritually guided life of love, happiness and true purpose.

In part one we considered the first spiritual lesson on how to understand and control your emotional feelings; in part two we reviewed the second lesson on why your beliefs, thoughts and words create your life direction.

In this teaching we move on to the third spiritual lesson: understanding who is talking and who is listening, when you hear the dialogue that goes on inside your head, and how you can begin to take positive, loving control of this self-talk.

If not monitored and managed correctly, your mind can offer you all sorts of misinterpretations and lies about you and the world around you. Your self-talk will either align or disconnect you from your true potential.

If you’re ever unsure of the authenticity and intent of your self-talk, listen to it when you wake up in the middle of the night. I call this the ‘3am Mind’!

Think for a moment, when you’re lying awake and staring into the darkness, when has your mind ever said to you: “aren’t you doing well!”… “I think tomorrow will be a great day for you!”…. “there’s absolutely nothing for you to worry or fret about in your life right now!” – it’s never says this, in fact, it nearly always says the direct opposite!

An untamed and unbalanced mind can be very judgmental and incredibly, unmercifully critical of you. It will pick apart and belittle your achievements and negatively compare you against others. This includes people you know and people you don’t know (what I call ‘the faceless jury’!).

Does this sound familiar? When you hear that little voice inside your head chatting away, have you ever wondered: Who or what is talking to me here? Where is this voice coming from? And why is telling me this? What does it hope to achieve by being so negative all the time?

I’d like you to understand that when your mind talks at you like this, it’s playing a game with you. Once you pay attention to it and accept what it’s telling you, almost as if it’s an all-knowing, superior and critical judge that somehow knows best, the mind has now created the illusion of separation.

The Taoists teach that there can be no separation. Your mind and body (the human, physical part of you) and your authentic spirit or ‘Shen’ (the non-physical part of you), are one.

They then take this teaching one step further. They consider that it should be your expansive and creative, authentic spirit, higher-self and Shen that takes the driving seat in guiding your life and potential, not your human mind, which can be doubting and so restrictive.

The Taoists believe that your Shen should be the loving and nurturing Mother to the learning and growing Child that is your human mind, but the two must always work harmoniously together as one. And this is Wu Wei.

So what happens when you fall for the illusion of separation and start to let your human centred mind call the shots?

If you only ever perceive yourself through the narrowly focused gaze of your human mind, your life and the world around you becomes a very distorted and restricted place. Everything unknown or out of your control becomes an uncertain threat, a reason to doubt, a motive to stay to still or withdraw, rather than push forward, try new things, stepping out of your comfort zone, to learn and grow.

The human centred mind’s primary role is to keep you safe and protected, both physically and emotionally. Its role is not to help and encourage you reach your true potential and emotional freedom.

When you start to believe your mind is separate and that it knows best about what’s right and wrong, it will cause you to doubt yourself and your abilities more and more, this is what I call the ‘carousel of familiarity and despair’.

The mind will also always question and try to undermine the purpose and validity of you inner-spirit and Shen because of its non-physical, abstract and indefinable nature, which it cannot understand.

Your untamed and unbalanced human mind will instead encourage to stay on the carousel as it misguidedly believes this is where you are protected and safe. This is also where it can be more in control of what happens to you. It wants you to stay in your comfort zone, even though this comfort zone may be extremely restrictive and unsuccessful for you.

And you know what… when you are unsuccessful or unhappy because your mind has persuaded and guided you to do something that is inauthentic and goes against your natural path of flow and personal energetic expansion, it then blames you when things go wrong. How paradoxical and ironic is that!

So what’s the solution to all of this?

How can you retake control of your mind, become authentic and truthful to the wholeness and Oneness of you, and reach your highest potential?

The answer is: never allow your mind to trick you into believing that you cannot control it or that it knows best. Yes, it really is that simple!

Instead of constantly punishing yourself by becoming angry, self-critical or self-doubting, why not re-channel this energy into learning to discipline your thinking?

Try this technique: imagine your mind as if it were your Inner-Child, which needs love, support, emotional and spiritual education and guidance.

Remember the ‘Mother – Child’ relationship I spoke about earlier? You’re now going to work on developing the relationship between your human mind (the Child) and your inner-spirit and Shen (the Mother), so that it becomes a healthy, harmonious and blossoming loving partnership.

So first, learn to ‘sit with it’. What I mean by this is to enter into dialogue with your inner-child and that part of you that is restrictive, headstrong and wants its own way, and you do this through meditation and mindfulness. This can be challenging at first as your mind and Inner-Child may be used to ‘ruling the roost’ and it’s likely to have a temper tantrum or to sulk when you start to show it that it’s no longer in control.

No matter how difficult this process of opening up a dialogue may be, always support your Inner-Child and reassure it that you are there to help, not harm; you will listen; that you are not separate but are a team, at one with your divine inner-spirit and the Cosmos. This is the way of the Tao, this is your way of truth and love.

The process of quietly ‘sitting with’ your Inner-Child and the dialogue of your mind, will allow you to question the validity of your self-talk and the restrictive, comparing, critical and judgmental views of your mind.

Together you can begin to explore the broader landscape beyond the limited statements and options your mind offers. Here you will always find other, more authentic and truthful, perspectives and solutions.

With practice, this mindful process will transform your life and put you on the path to authenticity, emotional freedom and your true potential.

Over time, your restrictive, controlling mind and Inner-Child will start to truly believe that it can trust you to take control, that you can cope and manage challenging situations, and that your higher-self, inner-spirit and Shen can make profound decisions that are authentically right for the wholeness of you.

You are now a team with important roles to play for the greater good of the whole, this is oneness, and this is the Tao. Together you are a creative, resourceful and unstoppable force – mind, body and spirit… or as the Taoists say spirit, mind and body!

I hope you have enjoyed this teaching series and that it has empowered you to reject and step away from the mind’s tricks and illusions and the confusion, and towards your divine path of truth and love.

I wish you well on your journey…

Yi Tao Qi Tao

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Breaking the ‘Illusion of Confusion’: Mastering Your Emotions & Mindset for an Authentic & Purpose Filled Life (PART 2)


This is Part 2 of a three part teaching series where I explore three spiritual lessons:

#1: Learning how to understand and control your emotional feelings.

#2: Discovering why your beliefs, thoughts and words create your life direction.

#3: Understanding ‘who is talking and who is listening’ – this means taking control of your self-talk and your mind.

You can listen to or read PART 1 here.

You can listen to PART 2 here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of Part 2 of the teaching below:


Hello, and welcome to the second installment of this three-part Wu Wei Wisdom teaching series.

In this session we’ll continue to unravel the ‘illusion of confusion’ and explore how you can reject the harmful misunderstandings, untruths and lies that your mind may sometimes offer you.

The aim of this teaching series is to help you restore a sense of balance and inner-peace, and establish a deeper connection to your authentic truth, so that you can start living a spiritually guided life of love, happiness and purpose.

In Part 1 we considered the first spiritual lesson on how to understand and control your emotional feelings.

In this teaching we move on to the second spiritual lesson: discovering why your beliefs, thoughts and words create your life direction. 

I write daily quotes on my social media feeds and often get asked what is my favourite spiritual quote.

Well, one of my favourites is from an unknown author that reads:

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words;

Watch your words, they become your actions;

Watch your actions, they become your habits;

Watch your habits, they become your character;

Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” 

I really love this, and it encapsulates the second lesson of this teaching so well – I only wish I had thought of it first!

The paradigm shift for you to consider here is that collectively your beliefs, your thoughts or self-talk, and the words you speak, create a hugely powerful energy and momentum, that not only affect your life choices and actions, but also have the ability to attract, transform and influence all other energies around you.

Of course, everyone understands the simple equation that any action will have consequences, and this is because both the action and the results are often immediate and obvious.

For example:

I cut myself (the physical action) – so I bleed (this is the immediate and obvious direct consequence).

But it’s much harder to appreciate the potential and the consequences attached to what is going on inside your mind, both consciously (this is your self-talk or thoughts) and subconsciously (this is your core beliefs).

Now you may think that just because it’s all happening inside your head, that it’s all private, it’s only the secret stuff you tell yourself, and that if nobody hears what you believe or think, it doesn’t really matter… or does it?!

Well, I’m telling you it does matter – it REALLY matters!

Here’s an example:

Deep down I believe I’m not good enough and not worthy (this is my corrupted and inauthentic core-belief), and so I criticise myself all the time (this is the self-talk that comes from and reinforces my inauthentic core belief).

So what are the consequences here?

Well, the outcome of my inauthentic belief and self-talk can often be subtle and less immediate but their effect will be no less profound compared to… if I was actually physically self-harming myself.

The consequences are, that I then treat myself very poorly and disrespect myself, both emotionally and physically – and this makes me unhappy.

Because I believe I am worthless I also let other people treat me very badly – this then makes me unhappier and it also reinforces my original corrupted core belief: I now believe people treat me badly because I really AM a bad person, and not just because I BELIEVE I am a bad person – so I’m sending this energetic message out to everyone.

I am now stuck in a cycle of emotional self-harming that affects every area of my life. I call this the ‘carousel of despair’

Imagine that when you engage and release the energy of any belief, thought or word, it’s like dropping a pebble into an energetic pool – the energetic ripples expand outwards across the landscape of your life and into the wider Cosmos. This happens every time, with every belief, thought or word, PLIP-PLOP-PLIP, constant ripples of energy creating consequences, whether you like it or not!

So what happens when you put the energy of your beliefs, thoughts or words out there into the Cosmos? 

That expansion creates an intent or purpose the Chinese masters call ‘Yi’, and which I translate to mean intention.

In the same way a software programme controls the workings of your computer or a sat-nav system guides your car, your Yi or intention influences both your life direction and potential.

There is a Taoist proverb that says: Yi Tao Qi Tao’, which directly translated means: the way (Tao)…. of your intention (Yi)… guides the way of energy (Qi), and by this I mean ALL energy – so both your energy AND the energy of the wider Cosmos. Remember, the Taoist principle of Oneness dictates that you are an integral part of a singular pool or web of Cosmic energy.

Yi Tao Qi Tao is essentially describing the Law of Attraction and how energetic relationships and connections work. So, when you truly understand how energy works, you’ll also appreciate how your intention directly affects your health, your happiness, and your relationships with others, the Tao and the Cosmos.

So you can see how the energy of your intention, beliefs, thoughts and words are very important.

Once you understand this universal principle you can also begin to take positive and proactive SELF-RESPONSIBILITY for your part in this process. 

Many people ask me if practices such as meditation or following rigorous lifestyle habits encouraged by some spiritual or personal development teachers will help them get rid of the root problem by emptying their mind and consciousness of all the unhelpful and harmful stuff that’s going on in there.

In response I always share one of my favourite quotes from a master in the Wudang Mountains:

The mind without thoughts is like a pillow without feathers…. useless!’

What this means is that the essence of the all Taoist meditation practice and teaching, or indeed any form of meditation and spiritual teaching, is never and should never be about completely emptying your mind of all thoughts, or what many people talk about: ‘killing off’ or banishing the Ego. This is both impossible and unnecessary, and anyone who tells you otherwise is misleading you!

The aim of any spiritual practice should only ever be to harmonise your physical consciousness, that is your human body and mind, including your beliefs, thoughts and self-talk, so that it beautifully aligns with what the Taoists refer to as your ‘Shen’, this is the vital non-physical, spiritual and authentic part of you.

In doing this you will also automatically connect with the natural flow and energy of the Cosmos and the Tao.

Life’s journey is nothing more or less than this act of harmonising and rebalancing your energy with every life experience and challenge you encounter. This alignment is what the Taoists refer to as ‘Wu Wei’, and from this place of balance comes effortless flow, joy and personal expansion.

Your beliefs, thoughts and words are extremely important in this equation because together they are like a key that will open one of two doorways for you.

The question is:

Do your beliefs, thoughts and words unlock the doorway to a harmonious and deeply empowering connection with your Shen, inner-truth and the Cosmos… OR do they restrict your life by guiding you to a doorway behind which there are only lies and illusions that cause you to doubt your own magnificence and your divine relationship with the Cosmos?

This question is worth meditating on when you have some quiet time alone.

I believe we are all seekers of the ‘truth’, and this is an inherent part of our natural Yi or intention whilst in human form. But instead of looking outwards for the truth, I want to encourage you to refocus your intention inwards so you can reconnect to the spiritual source of knowledge and wisdom within you.

If, when working through this process, you recognise that you are holding onto inauthentic and harmful beliefs or thoughts, or you realise that your self-talk or the words you are using about yourself or others are coming from a place of fear rather than love, you’ll also know that you are knocking at the wrong doorway.

The good news is that you also have the power to change this situation, this is just temporary state, and that, no matter how misaligned your beliefs, thoughts, words or actions may be right now, and indeed, no matter how long it has been this way for you, this will never, ever, sever the energetic connection to your Shen and the wider Cosmos.

Yes, you may experience a whole lifetime of misalignment, imbalance and unhappiness if you CHOOSE to stubbornly hold onto inauthentic beliefs and thoughts and allow these to translate into harmful words and actions, but the eternal connection to your spiritual essence and source is NEVER lost. Fear will NEVER overcome love! …And you are love!

Verse two of the sacred Taoist text, the Tao Te Ching, says:

‘life begins without words; no one can possess or own it’. 

What this means is that although your current intention may be created by your misguided mindset and that this can strongly influence your life experiences, your human mind can never touch or affect your Shen or inner-spirit – this is the ‘life’ that is referred to here. This pristine and pure non-physical part of your consciousness will always be part of you and yet you do not own it. It existed before you were born and will go on after you die.

I find this truth about our human existence and capabilities both profound and extremely reassuring. Although it acknowledges the limitations of our physical consciousness it also points towards the infinite potential of our non-physical, spiritual self.

The only choice YOU have to make in this lifetime is whether to align or not align with this powerful, authentic part of you and who you REALLY ARE.

So how do you do this?

  • Well, firstly you can begin by rejecting the harmful beliefs or lazy, misguided and self-sabotaging thoughts and words that confuse, over-complicate and limit your life.
  •  Start to say ‘NO’ every time a critical or judgment thought pops into your mind or when you start to hear yourself comparing or speaking harmful words about you or others.
  • Don’t waste your precious energy making excuses for or trying to justify any inauthentic beliefs, thoughts, words and actions you hold onto as an adult. Remember: they belong to you and nobody else and you have the choice to keep them or reject them. Yes, the process of finding and weeding out that which does not serve you well may be challenging and uncomfortable at times, but you should never compromise your long-term self-worth for short term self-comfort!
  • Don’t fall into the trap of searching for validation or reassurance from others in the hope that this will somehow make you feel better and allow you to keep your inauthentic beliefs and negative self-talk in place. This will NEVER work in the long term.
  • And finally, never underestimate the power of loving and believing in yourself. Remember: you are love; you don’t have to earn or search for love. An ancient Taoist teaching says: ‘love and truth come from the same seed’, so why not practise being honest, truthful and acting with integrity.

All of these suggestions will guide you to a practice of what I callcompassionate self-discipline’. Once you learn to apply this on a day-to-day basis, it will stop the carousel of despair in its tracks, allowing you to hop off, move away from old self-harming habits, and move towards a life of emotional freedom, joy and abundance that is your birth-right.

I hope this teaching has given you fresh insight and clarity on why your beliefs, thoughts and words are so important, and that empowers you on your journey towards inner harmony, peace and fulfilment.

In my next and final teaching in this series, we’ll move onto the third spiritual lesson: the process of creating a deeper understanding of ‘who is talking and who is listening’, and how you may lovingly take back control of your self-talk and your mind.

So until we speak again, remember, don’t stop now you’re closer than you think!

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Breaking the Illusion of Confusion: Mastering Your Emotions & Mindset for an Authentic & Purpose Filled Life (PART 1)

Illusion-of-Confusion-Part-1 - David James Lees

In this teaching I’d like to share my Taoist Wu Wei Wisdom to help you master your emotions and mindset for an authentic and purpose filled life.

This is part one in a three part teaching series where I’ll be exploring three spiritual lessons:

#1: Learning how to understand and control your emotional feelings.

#2: Discovering why your beliefs, thoughts and words create your life direction.

#3: Understanding ‘who is talking and who is listening’ – this means taking control of your self-talk and your mind.

You can listen to PART 1 here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching below:



I’d like to talk to you about the ‘illusion of confusion’… so what’s that I hear you ask! Well, perhaps we can begin with some questions…

  • Do you ever experience violent swings in your emotions?
  • Do you sometimes believe you are lost in a maze of conflicting thoughts and feelings?
  • Do you hear yourself saying negative statements or affirmations such as: “I feel overwhelmed’, ‘I can’t cope’, ‘I feel vulnerable’…

These are all based on misunderstandings, or what I describe as ‘illusion of confusion’, and are just some of the tricks and games your mind can play on you if you let it.

Even though you may casually repeat these types of statements to yourself or others, remember they are NOT the truth!

I hear many confused and untrue statements just like these every day in my work as a therapist and coach and I take them very seriously indeed, in fact, I call them: LIES.

The ancient Taoist masters also treated them with great importance and reverence. There are several classic Taoist teachings that emphasise the importance of ensuring that your words and self-talk are both truthful and authentic – here are just two of the better-known proverbs:

‘The words you use, become the house you live in’


‘The beginning of all wisdom is to call things by their correct name’ 

…. Even my old grandmother addressed this issue when she told me: “Be careful of what you wish for….!”

The lies you tell yourself, do have a profound impact on you. Have you ever considered the harmful effect any negative affirmations have on your life and wellbeing?

The Taoists teach that ‘you can’t change what you don’t understand’, so I’d like to spend some time in this and my next two teachings, exploring some practical ways that you can begin to unravel the ‘illusion of confusion’, and reject the harmful misunderstandings, untruths and lies that your mind may sometimes offer you.

The subject of this teaching series is something that impacts everyone and this process will help restore a sense of balance, inner peace and a deeper connection to your authentic truth. I want you to choose to start living a spiritually guided life of love, happiness and purpose.

We’ll explore three main spiritual lessons in this teaching series:

Number 1: Learning to understand and control your emotional feelings.

Number 2: Discovering why your beliefs, thoughts and words create your life direction.

Number 3: Understanding ‘who is talking and who is listening’ – this means taking control of your self-talk and your mind.

Ok, so let’s explore the FIRST LESSON: how to understand and control your emotional feelings.

The most important teaching and personal meditation I want you to consider here is:

‘You are the creator of your emotional feelings, not the victim of them!’

This applies to all emotional feelings. Whether it is positive feelings, such as joy, happiness, bliss and love, what I label as ‘green light feelings’. Or it could be negative feelings, such as stress, anxiety, depression and panic attacks – these are what I label as ‘red light feelings’.

The point here is that emotional feelings do not float around like a virus waiting to attach themselves to you! They manifest from within you and they are a direct result of your thoughts and, on a deeper level, your core beliefs.

Understanding this principle is the doorway to emotional freedom – it really IS that powerful.

Once you accept this you can now CHOOSE to take control of your emotions and feelings.

First you need to learn how to mindfully separate your emotional feelings from the thoughts and beliefs that created them.

This may seem pretty basic, but it’s one of the most important and most difficult things to do. For instance, saying something as innocuous as: “I feel overwhelmed” creates a fundamental internal confusion between your feelings and beliefs, which actually increases your red light emotional feelings! Then, over time,’ I FEEL …’ becomes ‘I AM…’.

The reality is that there is no feeling called ‘overwhelmed’.

Remember, feelings are actually a physiological response within your body: sweaty palms; tightness in the chest, head, neck or shoulders; ‘butterflies’ or a churning in your stomach; weakness in your legs etc. These are all being created in response to your thoughts and mindset in any given moment.

A practical Wu Wei Wisdom technique that is very successful for my clients is to stop using the word “feel” … as in I FEEL overwhelmed, I FEEL unlovable, I FEEL not good enough’. Just ban the ‘F’ word!

Now, instead of saying ‘I FEEL’, replace it with one of these three more self-empowering words: “I THINK”, “I BELIEVE”, “I CHOOSE” … so for example: ‘I think I am overwhelmed’, ‘I believe I am unlovable’, ‘I choose to be not good enough’. 

Your thinking, beliefs and choices should never contradict your inner truth, Shen (or inner spirit) and your divine, personal connection to the Tao and the Cosmos. So revising these statements in this way will make any contradictions, much more apparent.

What you are seeking here is a harmonious alignment between the energy of your non-physical, higher or spiritual self and that of your physical human mind, your thoughts and beliefs.

When you practice this reframing of your internal self-talk, shifting from ‘I FEEL’ to ‘I THINK… ‘I BELIEVE’…or ‘I CHOOSE’, it becomes a very powerful form of mindful meditation. It allows you to refocus your attention away from the surface feelings or emotions and how uncomfortable or painful these are, and onto the origin of the emotional feelings: your thoughts and beliefs.

If you find yourself saying: ‘I think I am overwhelmed’, ‘I beleive I am unlovable’, ‘I choose to be not good enough’, or many other statements like this, which are actually totally misaligned with your spiritual truth, this then allows you to ask the profound self-enquiry question of: “why?”

The Chinese masters call this following the ‘golden thread’ to find the truth within. You just keep on asking “why?”: ‘Why do I THINK I am overwhelmed’, ‘why I BELIEVE I am unlovable’ – where is the evidence for this? …. ‘Why do I CHOOSE to be not good enough’ – why do choose to accept I am lesser than anyone else?

Never say ‘oh, I don’t know why!’ or ‘it’s just the way I am’ – this is an avoidance, and one that I hear often with my clients!

Like hunting for the treasure trove of the authentic truth within you, you must tenaciously keep on following this self-enquiry thread until you find the root misunderstanding or lie.

When you reach this lie, well, congratulations – this is a significant progress. You’ve now uncovered a huge personal and spiritual lesson that needs to be lovingly addressed and resolved!

This leads me to the second step in the process of learning to understand and control your emotional feelings 

I would like you to now drop your shoulders, take a deep breath and meditate for a moment on the paradoxical idea that your emotional feelings are actually a blessing!

I must confide in you, the first time I heard this teaching from my Master, I thought that I had mistranslated his words. But, with deeper study and reflection, I now also use this wonderful teaching every day in my work.

Please consider the idea that your emotional feelings are an indication of whether you are connected or disconnected from your Shen, your inner spirit and inner-truth, and the wider Cosmos.

So, when you experience green light emotional feelings, such as love, bliss, happiness, joy, this tells you that you are fully connected to your true Shen and living authentically in harmony with the Tao and the Way of all things. When you experience red light emotional feelings, such as anxiety, depression, stress, panic attacks, you have disconnected from your Shen and have created a misalignment and disharmony with the Tao and Cosmos.

Any uncomfortable surface level red light feelings that you may experience are the starting point that will always tell you if there is a ‘lie’ buried within your subconscious mind.

This is the lie that creates disharmony within you at every energetic level. It causes you to mistrust, doubt and reject your divine truth and purpose, as well as your relationship with your spiritual Source (whatever you believe that Source to be).

Now you can begin to understand how powerful these lies can be! And you can also begin to appreciate how your emotions CAN be a blessing. But only IF you use them as a starting point for deeper, more mindful and loving personal self-inquiry, rather than as a self-harming stick to beat yourself with.

This Wu Wei Wisdom process of understanding and learning how to control your emotional feelings is what I call practical spirituality. It may represent a 360-degree paradigm shift from how you may have been taught to view your feelings and emotions, and this is not uncommon in the West.

This process will give you empowering insight and the ability to take control of your feelings and emotions. Remember: your emotional feelings are not your enemy, to be avoided. They are your best friend, to be embraced and used effectively.

Taking the time to do this work is an act of pure self-love and self-nurturing! It is the first step in helping you create an authentic, spiritual connected and purpose filled life.

In my next teaching in this series PART 2, we’ll dig a little deeper to consider why your beliefs, thoughts and words are so important as part of this process.

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Meditation for a New Year


As we reach the end of the year I thought it would be a great idea to have a meditative review of the past 12 months and create a positive focus on the year ahead.

Every moment of our lives, even the most uncomfortable and trying times, holds an opportunity for new learning and growth and it’s so important to recognise this.

Equally, the coming months offer the potential for greater awakening to your truth and purpose and a deeper sense of connection and fulfillment. All you need to do is be open and ready to receive and welcome this energy of potential when it arrives.

The topics I will cover in this short meditation are profound and reflect the key themes of Taoist teaching and enlightenment:

  • self-love and self-nurturing, what the Taoists refer to as ‘Ch’ang’.
  • your beliefs, intention and the Law of Attraction, what the Taoists refer to as ‘Te’ and ‘Yi’
  • and finally, healing your Inner-Child and connecting to your true spirit, what the Taoists refer to as ‘Shen’.

If you would like to gain a deeper understanding of these teachings and learn practical techniques to apply them to your life we’ll be exploring these themes in depth at our Spiritual Awakening Retreats in Derbyshire next year and also in our extended Wu Wei Wisdom audio teaching series.

You can listen to the introduction and guided meditation here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

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Forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you


In this teaching I’d like to share my Taoist Wu Wei Wisdom on the affirmation:  ‘Forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you’.

I’ll explain the value of letting go of past hurt and injustices; why holding on to negative emotions will never work for you; and how to reveal the ‘spiritual blessing’ within every challenging or difficult life situation.

The teaching includes a short guided meditation with powerful affirmations to help you find the lesson within past events and move forward positively with your life.

You can listen to the full teaching and guided meditation here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching below:


‘Forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you.’

This is a translation of a wonderful Taoist teaching that encourages you to meditate on changing your perception of emotional pain and upset. Remember, you are the creator of your emotions, not the victim of them!

When you rigidly hold onto any negative feelings and emotions associated with a past situation or event this blocks you energetically. So instead of recreating the severe and intense historic pain, look for the blessing of the spiritual lesson that situation offered you.

If you do not learn this spiritual lesson it will re-present itself to you time and again until you do! The Taoists teach this as the “energetic carousel” and you may have noticed or experienced a repeating of a particular negative experience or situation throughout your life in this way.

You can apply this teaching to your life in a number of ways use it to meditate on and re-frame your understanding about any past situations. This could be an event that was profoundly negative and life changing, such as emotional, physical or sexual abuse, or it could be an injustice or unfairness that you encountered, which could be extreme or more subtle – either way the emotional energy of the situation may still linger with you.

Remember, you cannot change the past: what happened has happened, but once you learn the spiritual lesson being offered by that situation you CAN change and control the way you remember, perceive and deal with those events.

In doing this powerful mediation exercise you take back control of the past situation and in turn your energy now also begins to change as you as you reclaim responsibility for your own mind, body and life. You step off the energetic carousel of past events and walk towards your authentic fulfillment and spiritual potential.

Many clients have great difficulty letting go of feelings of hurt or injustice and I always ask them the same question: “why are you holding on?”

Holding on to these feelings will only keep you on the carousel of despair! And most of the time it’s because holding on has become habitual and familiar, not because it is what they would authentically choose to do now – it’s just that they’ve never considered being proactive and taking control of the situation and their emotions.

Once you are able to look past the emotional pain you will experience the awakening to the spiritual lesson being offered and your life and outlook immediately changes.

Your emotional feelings are very important so learn how to use them correctly. Take this opportunity today to step away from any righteous indignation and the “illusion of confusion” and the accompanying intense ‘red light‘ feelings such as: sadness, hurt, anger, guilt or injustice, that your mind creates to keep you trapped on the carousel.

Remember the old wife’s tale: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” The only TRUE compensation for injustice and unfairness IS the spiritual lesson being offered.

Never underestimate your ability to deal with and let go of past situations authentically or power of believing in yourself! No one can ever affect your spirit, only you! So, stop isolating yourself and creating a separation from the spiritual oneness of the Tao. Stop focusing on the past and instead align with the balanced and harmonious Wu Wei of being an optimistic realist. Focus on the spiritual radiance that makes you extraordinary, amazing and awesome!

The truth is you are divine, and no emotional pain can ever affect that truth!

Here are some powerful affirmations for you to consider when meditating on uncomfortable or painful life events. If you feel an internal resistance to any of these statements you know there is still a spiritual lesson to be learnt – I hope they offer you new insights…

  • People do not always act how I would like them to – I choose to accept this. I understand they are on their journey;
  • I cannot control other people or situations – I choose to let go and focus only on being the best I can be;
  • Other people may hurt my body and mind but they cannot touch my Spirit;
  • Fairness and justice is a Human concept, balance is Spiritual one – I will always seek balance and harmony in any difficult situation;
  • I will meet challenges in life but I will always cope and grow stronger as a result – I am a survivor.
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Be Mindful of Your Self-Talk, It’s a Conversation with the Universe

Be Mindful of Your Self-Talk it's a Conversation with the Universe

A lady from Montreal recently contacted us on Facebook and sent us a picture of her tattoo of one of our Wu Wei Wisdom quotes: Be mindful of your self-talk it’s a conversation with the Universe. She wrote: ‘Needless to say that your words really resonated with me…enough to put them under my skin forever. (freshly done) Thank you.’

Well, needless to say we were very moved by this. This little saying has attracted a lot of attention and many questions from followers and so we thought we’d spend some time explaining the meaning behind these words.

This post and audio teaching is the first of two parts.

You can listen to our full teaching here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching below:


‘Be mindful of your self-talk it’s a conversation with the Universe.’


This little quote has been very popular and we receive lots of questions about it, so I thought I’d grab David to see he could explain the teaching in more detail.

In a nutshell David, what’s the core message behind this teaching?


Well, I think everyone has an inner-dialogue with themselves throughout the day, but have you ever considered who is doing the talking and who is listening… or the deeper effect this self-talk has on you?

Your internal chatter and the way you talk to yourself is a form of energetic communication or vibration that extends beyond the moment that the dialogue happens as well as the confines of your private internal world. So, although your self-talk may be internalised, private, low-level chatter or background noise for much of the time, your self-talk will ultimately have a profound impact on you.


Can this effect be both negative and positive, depending on what I say to myself?


Yes, and what I’m saying here is that you should be more aware, mindful or careful of the words you use when you talk to yourself.

The Taoists teach that: ‘words are the bricks that build the house you live in’.

I want to inspire you to understand the power of your self-talk so that you can use it wisely and as a force for good in your life.


David, many people are unsure about the origin and nature of their self-talk… and I must admit I’M a little confused about this too. There seems to be several different schools of thought on where this inner-dialogue comes from – so I’d love to know your view on this?


Your internal self-talk is something that happens often without being fully aware of it. It’s your human mind and Ego creating the illusion that it is separate and the controller of you, and therefore somehow able to pass judgment. But how could this be possible because you are whole (I’ll explain more about this ‘wholeness’ in a moment).

Now, your self-talk isn’t always a bad thing, if it comes from a place of love and wholeness rather than separation or hierarchy. It can be used in a very conscious and positively motivating way. Think about athletes psyching themselves up as they prepare for the beginning of a race.


Ok…. this makes sense. I guess it’s also like when a tennis or golf player keeps a ‘winning mind-set’ and a positive inner-dialogue going, even when they may be lagging behind their opponent. Is this right?


Yes, and affirmations can also be used in the same way and can be very effective – if you fully believe what you are affirming and they are truthful.

The problem is that much of our inner-dialogue does not happen so consciously or in such a mindful or self-regulated way. More often than not the inner-voice of your human Ego mind can be very judgmental, critical and negative because it comes from a place of doubt about the unknown and its desire to keep you safe and protected.


I can definitely relate to this! I guess it’s our self-talk that will be saying things like: ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘your unlovable’, ‘you’re too fat’, ‘you made a mess of that’, ‘you’ll never do this’, ‘you’ll never make it’, ‘you can’t cope’…. Is this right?


Yes, this dialogue often goes on without you even being aware of it. Over time, this becomes a pattern of repeated thoughts and self-talk that becomes like a ‘carousel’ – it just goes round in circles endlessly like background music.

The best time to observe your self-talk in full flow is if you wake up in the early hours of the morning – this is what I call the ‘3am mind’. When you’re awake in middle of the night like this have you ever found yourself thinking things like: ‘oh didn’t I do well yesterday’, ‘aren’t I great’, ‘tomorrow I’m going to have a fantastic day’?!…


NO! The chatter in the middle of the night is normally really negative stuff! But then in the morning often everything can seem a lot better – so what’s the problem here?


Over time, and if not questioned and corrected this inner-conversation will cement any doubts about yourself: doubt your abilities and your many beautiful qualities… and doubt the essence, inner-truth and the divine spirit and power of you. When this happens you’ve fallen for the illusion of the human Ego mind – you’re under its spell!

So, you can see how this seemingly insignificant, private, internal conversation can have a profound effect on your health, wellbeing, emotional balance and also your life satisfaction and potential.


Ok, I think I and many other people will be able to recognise the sort of self-talk they have with themselves and that it’s not always very encouraging or helpful.

Many people still believe that their internal dialogue remains purely ‘internal’ though…. but if my self-talk is me just talking to me, how can it also be a conversation with the Universe?


Well, you have to understand that you are more than your human body and mind, and you are certainly greater than the narrowly defined artificial limitations that your human mind and Ego tries to label, control and restrict you with through your self-talk.

The Taoists teach that you are made up of: body, mind and emotions (what the Taoists call ‘Xin’, or heart-mind). These are your human centred or Yang qualities. But you also have a deeper essence, spirit, soul or higher-self – this is the Yin part of you and what the Taoists call ‘Shen’.

It is your Shen that remains your connection to your spiritual and energetic Source even when you are in human form. Remember: you came from Source, you will return to Source (whatever you believe that to be), therefore the essence of you is Source.


I love this concept of Shen David – tell me more!


Imagine your Shen as if it were a beautiful golden light of pure energy that resides within you and is a reflection of the Cosmos.  All the energy, love, abundance of the Comsos can be maintained through this connection IF you allow it. This energetic relationship with the Cosmos is your birthright, it doesn’t have to be earned and it can never be lost, but you do have free will and you can choose to ignore or devalue it.

And this is where your self-talk is vital: the inner-dialogue you have with yourself is also the means of communicating and harmoising with the Universe. It can either strengthen or pull your away from this natural partnership and energetic relationship.


Wow that’s a profound teaching! Let me see if I’ve understood this right: so when my human mind criticises me it’s actually criticising the very essence of me…and if I choose to listen to the negative self-talk or the lies of your Ego without question, this is when I begin to doubt my divine nature, my potential and also reject my relationship to what you call ‘Source’. Is this right?


Yes, and once this happens the natural positive flow of energy between you and the Cosmos that I have spoken about can become blocked and stifled.


So how does this work?


Well, if you accept the principle that everything in the Universe is made up of energy, you will also understand that every thought you have, every word you speak, and every action you take, also has a unique energy and a vibration. This vibration has a life, resonance and power that extends outwards beyond the moment. .

These energetic vibrations are the language and currency of the Cosmos, and your self-talk has an energy, positive or negative, that is received by the Cosmos.


This teaching on energy definitely ties in with modern scientific thinking and quantum physics David. I guess the big unknown remains for me is: what happens once the energy of my self-talk is out there on the Cosmos vibrating away!?


The Cosmos does not have an intelligence and so it cannot interpret, second-guess or pass judgment as to whether the energy and vibration of your self-talk is truthful, authentic or even healthy for you. It simply harmonises and matches with the vibration you send it and then reflects this energy back to you.

The Taoists teach that this is the way of everything in nature and the Universe.


Ok, so what you’re saying David is: you get back what you give out!… Is it really that simple?


Yes, and as my grandmother used to say ‘be careful what you wish for….’!

If you say to yourself ‘I’m useless’, I’m a failure’, ‘I’ll never achieve this’ etc. – guess what you’ll get back?!


David what you’re talking about here sounds a lot like the ‘Law of Attraction’ by another name! Is this right?


Yes, this is something that the Taoists understood and taught many thousands of years ago. They referred to this principle as ‘Yi Tao Qi Tao’, which can be interpreted as: where your intention flows, so the energy or love follows.

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How to Create Profound Life Changes


In this teaching I’m joined by Wu Wei Wisdom co-creator Alex Lees.

Together, we’ll explain how you can manifest real and positive change in your life. We want to give you the courage to step beyond fear and self-doubt.

We’ll offer you some practical tips and advice on how to eliminate the core beliefs that hold you back. Then we’ll look at how you can become clearer and more focused on your true purpose, life goals and dreams and the steps you need to take to turn them into a reality.

You can listen to our full teaching here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching below:



Clients often say to us:

‘I’m unhappy’, ‘I know I need to do things differently’, ‘I really want to change but…’, ‘…I feel stuck’, ‘…I feel overwhelmed by the size of the challenge…’, ‘…I can’t manage this…’ ‘…it’s all too much for me…’

Some believe they’ll never be able to transform their lives. They say things like: ‘I’m too tired to do this…’, ‘I’m too busy…’, ‘I’m not clever enough do this…’, ‘I might as well give up trying now because I’ll never get it right…’, ‘things always go wrong for me…’

Or they believe that they can’t change themselves and their behaviour because it’s their nature, or that negative childhood experiences have moulded them into something that fixed and stuck forever.

Finally, many clients are also fearful of what living THEIR truth may mean for their relationships.  They worry that their partners wouldn’t like it if they changed or that it may upset the people close them.

Do any of these statements or scenarios resonate with you? 

They are typical of the misunderstandings and lies that we all tell ourselves from time to time, so you’re not alone!

These are all incorrect thoughts and beliefs that stop you from living to your happiest, fullest and most authentic potential. So why not choose to let them go and speak your truth today? This power of choice and self-responsibility is yours – it’s a wonderful gift – so use it!

When you release your misguided and limiting thoughts and beliefs, you’ll experience a huge energetic shift to a place of inner-balance and harmony. This what the Taoist teach as ‘Wu Wei‘.

Wu Wei means:

  • Being enough and being at one. Accepting and loving your uniqueness. Not constantly setting unrealistic personal targets or criticising yourself.
  • Being creative, resourceful and able to authentically manage any life situation. Not undermining your self-worth and potential just so you can avoid uncomfortable the ‘red light’ feelings that unfamiliar or challenging life situations may present.
  • Being authentic and honest with yourself and others. Not compromising your truth, true spirit, or what the Taoists call ‘Shen’, just so you can please or placate others.
  • Living with integrity.

For some clients this shift can happen instantly, almost like flicking a switch. For others it can take a little more time as we may be uncovering decades or a lifetime of lies and misunderstandings and also dealing with the elaborate avoidance strategies they have created to protect and keep these incorrect beliefs. Once we’ve exposed these beliefs then they can then make the personal choice to let them go. They can choose to begin to live authentically and truthfully.

You too can do this right now!

Here’s some practical tips to get you started….

1] Be more real and realistic  

If you want to make changes in your life, first make sure your goals are REAL – by this we mean that they belong to you and reflect your authentic truth.

So they’re not what you think you OUGHT TO be doing when you compare yourself to you friends, peers or people you see in magazines. They’re also not what you think you SHOULD be achieving, to please others… to meet their expectations….or to ‘prove yourself’ to some kind of ‘faceless jury’!

Your life change or goal could be something really huge. Only YOU have the power to place limitations on yourself.  Never be intimidated by your own greatness.

Or your life change or goal could be really simple, stripped-back and low-key. Don’t think that you’re a lesser person for not chasing fame and fortune if it’s not your true calling. Remember you’re already divine and magical, so just follow your dream!

Once you have your goal set then it’s time to get REALISTIC.

Now we don’t mean compromising or chipping away at your dreams but instead stepping away from the bigger picture of the end goal and thinking: ‘OK what can I realistically achieve this year?….

Then break it down some more and ask yourself: ‘what can I realistically achieve this month, this week, today?’ Do this exercise truthfully and honestly.

By setting realistic targets like this you avoid overwhelming yourself with the size of the task and you start to achieve small but valuable steps towards success. There is great power in making and keeping a small promise to yourself every day!

You’re no longer setting yourself up for failure or feeling like you’re on a relentless uphill climb and struggle. You’re beginning to focus less on the destination and more on simply enjoying the journey And guess what? You’re now also pausing to take in the beautiful view along the way!

This takes us on to our next tip…

2] Be grateful

Recognising your progress and your successes, no matter how small, is vitally important as you begin to take self-responsibility for your change in your life. You need to become your own cheerleader and supporter on this adventure of self-discovery.

Equally important is taking the learning and value, or what the Taoists call ‘the blessing’, from anything that doesn’t work out quite as you expected or wanted, or the setbacks you encounter.

Keeping a daily journal is a perfect way to do this. Perhaps just before you go to bed take out your journal or notebook and write down the positives and negatives of the day. At first it will be much easier to write down all the negative stuff, but for every negative there must ALWAYS be a positive – this is the way of all things – this is Yin and Yang.

So take time to identify these positives – don’t stop until the list is balanced, realistic and fair to you. Then congratulate and be proud of yourself for any personal achievements or progress made no matter how small. Be kind and loving and supportive to yourself as you acknowledge any negatives. Take the learning – this is a learning situation. Ask where is the love in this situation or outcome for me?

And remember: life always offers you a second chance – it’s called tomorrow! 

And our final tip

 3] Be more mindful

By meditating or focusing inwards for even 5 minutes a day you can quieten the chatter of your mind, take control of your thinking and tap into your inner wisdom, creativity and resourcefulness.

Once you learn the simple practice of pressing the ‘pause button’ like this you’ll be able to empty your mind of all the misunderstandings, worries and fears that crowd out the voice of your authentic truth.

Over time you can also introduce some self-enquiry questions into your daily meditations – asking yourself just three letters: W-H-Y, ‘why?’…  This will start a dialogue with your softer ‘Yin Spirit’, your ‘authentic-self’, your ‘inner-self’, or ‘inner-child.

This is the part of you that has become quieter, more subdued and yielded to the misunderstandings, untruths and unrealistic and critical demands of your Yang Ego mind.

We can practice this right now….

So perhaps find a place where you won’t be disturbed for the next 5 minutes, then sit comfortably in your chair, drop your shoulders, breathe deeply and rhythmically.

Now start to observe and focus you attention on your breath…

If you mind gets distracted by any thoughts just allow them to float in but don’t hold onto them. They are not for now… let them go like fluffy clouds phasing in a blue sky…

When you’ve found a place of inner stillness and settled your monkey- mind chatter now you can begin a dialogue with your authentic inner-self…

Now you can start a dialogue with the magical divine part of yourself…

Ask yourself:

  • Am I reacting to life, external situations or other people rather taking control of my own destiny?
  • What are the harmful misunderstandings and lies are blocking me?
  • What is stopping me from letting go of these negative thoughts and beliefs?
  • Who would I be without these lies and misunderstandings? What would I be doing right now? What would my life be like?…. 


This is your life, you mind, your destiny. Achieving profound change in your life is not fairy tale or an unrealistic dream. Once you take control of your mind-set, your thoughts and beliefs ANYTHING is possible.

We believe in you – you can do this!

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5 Tao Tips for Summertime Health

8-Tao-Tips-for-Summertime-HealthFollow the advice of the ancient Taoists and attune your mind, body and spirit to the exuberant energy and bountiful qualities of the summer season.

Traditional Chinese medicine practices and the philosophical and spiritual wisdom of the Tao provide an abundance of guidance on how to self-nurture and harmonise with nature throughout the year.

Taoists associate the summer season with the forceful Yang Fire element, the energy of the Heart, Pericardium and Small Intestines, and the emotions of joy and passion. If attuned to correctly, summer can be a super-charged and powerfully positive time of year.

Be warned though: if your Yang Fire energy transforms into excess it can leave you feeling totally flat, burned out, restless, tense and irritable. So, like all energy, the Yang Fire of summer needs to be kept in check to ensure you navigate these months in your Wu Wei sweet spot of flow, harmony and synchronicity.

Here’s 5 simple tips to help keep you healthy, happy and in your Wu Wei balance this summer:

1. Work with the cycle of the sun

Take advantage of the longer summer days by rising earlier and going to bed later. Find harmony within this change of routine by also taking an extra power-nap or short rest around lunchtime – this creates a great opportunity for a midday mindfulness meditation pick-me-up! Practising the beautiful Taoist Inner Smile Meditation is perfect way to send nurturing love and attention to your Heart and all your other organs at this time of year. [Listen to my guided Taoist Inner Smile Meditation here]


2. Be in nature

Enjoy the finer weather outdoors and breathe in the sights, sounds and smells of nature at its most verdant. But don’t overdo it in the Yang daytime heat as this can also create an internal energy imbalance. Avoid strenuous activity at the hottest time of the day, seek out shade, cover up appropriately and keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Your sleep pattern can also easily be disrupted in the hotter weather, which in turn can affect your daytime energy levels and mood, so ensure you sleep well by adjusting your bedroom environment to cope with the warmer summer nights.

3. Eat in harmony with the season

Introduce cooling Yin foods to your diet as a great way to re-balance and clear the excess Yang heat of summer, reduce toxins and replenish vital body fluids. Crunchy green salads are perfect, as are fish and seafood in moderation. Avoid meat and greasy foods and try to avoid the temptation of an extra glass of chilled beer or wine as alcohol can be very Yang and heating.

4. Learn, grow + have (more) fun

Just as nature reaches its fullest potential in the summer, take time to reflect on your life and create opportunities for continued personal and spiritual growth this summer. Use your holiday time to start a new hobby or broaden your horizons and face your fears by doing something out of your comfort-zone. You can also nurture your summer Heart Fire energy by bringing more joy and laughter into your life. Enjoy simple and silly fun by reminiscing with old friends, sharing extra playtime with the children, or watching a comedy for some belly-laughs to stimulate your Heart Qi.

5. Rebalance & harmonise with acupuncture

If you need an extra boost beyond your own self-healing regime, acupuncture can be particularly helpful if you’re sleeping badly, are more emotionally unsettled around the summer months, or have allergies such as hay fever, skin irritations or rashes that have suddenly flared up. All are typical symptoms of a excess Yang Fire energy that can be re-balanced easily and naturally with acupuncture to help restore your inner and outer summertime glow.

[You can listen to my extended Taoist teaching on Summertime Health and harmony here]

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Letting Go of Your Emotional Medals of Honour


When you choose to hold onto and carry forward the thoughts and beliefs of negative past events you are creating an energy or a ‘story’ that becomes very familiar as it repeats over and over from your childhood and formative years, right into your present.

It’s like letting your immature inner-child dictate and restrict your current authentic potential and the many possibilities of your adult life. This can never, EVER, be helpful or successful!…

You can listen to my full teaching here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching below:


Do you hold onto uncomfortable, painful memories from your past and believe these events define and limit you and your self-worth today?

This is a misunderstanding of your true Tao nature.

Do you believe that the historic actions of other people, events and circumstances, perhaps from many decades ago, are responsible for your current life situation or happiness?

This is a misunderstanding of your self-responsibility.

Are you using your past negative experiences like a ‘badge of honour’ or justification that excuses you from taking full ownership of your true authentic potential?

This too is a misunderstanding of your truth, honesty and integrity.

If you can recognise any of these patterns of thinking or beliefs, the good news is that there are valuable spiritual and life changing lessons for you to learn within these misunderstandings.…

When you choose to hold onto and carry forward the thoughts and beliefs of negative past events you are creating an energy or a ‘story’ that becomes so familiar as it repeats over and over from your childhood and formative years, right into your present. It’s like letting your immature inner-child dictate and restrict your current authentic potential and the many possibilities of your adult life.

If this seems familiar to you, RIGHT NOW you are still living that old tired story!

This can never, EVER, be helpful or successful!

I was reminded of this important spiritual teaching by an elderly gentlemen client several years ago. This man had strained his back whilst working on his allotment and visited Peak House Practice the first time for an acupuncture treatment.

He was a well presented, tall, distinguished man with white hair wearing a black blazer, white flannels and highly polished shoes, but the most striking thing about him was the extensive rows of medals and ribbons he was wearing across his chest.

I could not help but mention to him that I’d noticed his impressive array of medals, and this gave him the opportunity to explain the story and significance behind each one in turn.

As the stories continued the gentleman became more animated and creative in his descriptions of his acts of bravery and the memories of his friends and colleagues involved on the battlefields.

After hearing these wonderful inspiring stories and experiences we continued with the appointment as normal. The treatment proved to be successful and I have never seen or heard from him since, but my military gentleman did leave a very deep and lasting impression with me on many levels.

Certainly, the opportunity to speak with someone who could bring to life the experiences of the young men who fought with honour and pride for their country, was very moving and poignant to me.

The other thing that stuck with me was the question as to why he felt it was necessary to wear all his medals to such a mundane medical appointment.

It was very noticeable that, as he recited his obviously well-rehearsed stories, he became more relaxed, animated, even joking about the grossly horrific scenes, as if that was the way he dealt with his fear of loss or dying – was this familiarity a form of avoidance, or testimony of the horrors he had experienced?

One of my most important insights from this particular session comes from the way my gentleman client so keenly held onto the story and energy of these historic and poignant life events and displayed them in such a tangible and graphic way.

Although few of my clients have been exposed directly to the horrors of war, many do still carry with them challenging, painful and unresolved personal and emotional turmoil associated with their early years. Perhaps we could also think about these experiences as their own ‘emotional battles’.

These experiences vary in their nature and severity and may include things like childhood physical, emotional or sexual abuse; a perception of being unloved or rejected in some way by their parents; being bullied at school; or encountering a situation that caused unsettling feelings of injustice, unfairness or embarrassment.

My clients may not bear the physical scars or have the medals to show for the personal battles of  childhood and adolescent years yet many do continue to hold onto and re-live these experiences as their personal ‘medals of honour’, but this time through their familiar, yet misguided thoughts, words and actions.

When these habits become entrenched they can also manifest in the more physical signs of self-abuse or self-harm associated with excessive eating, drinking, and drug-taking… perhaps these are now the modern-day ‘medals of honour’?

Holding onto the energy of their personal stories means my clients remain stubbornly blocked and locked into their past. Their history defines who they are: it becomes the excuse and justification for their present AND the ‘get out of jail card’ for their non-authentic future.

Think for a moment: are you letting your past negative experiences shape the person you are today, the relationships you have, the work you do, and how you live your life?

Do you use the painful memories of past experiences as a familiar story or ‘comfort blanket’ that you can retreat to when faced with the unknown, unfamiliar or potentially emotionally painful situations?

Can you recognise any of the following patterns of thinking in your mind-set or the mind-set of those close to you?:

‘If it wasn’t for that happening, or what he or she did…. then I could get on with my life…’

‘I’m not good enough’

‘I can’t cope’

‘I’m unlovable’

‘He/She made me feel like this…’

‘I just can’t let it go…  I can’t forgive…’

‘Life is unfair – this always happens to me…’

‘I deserve this.’

‘I’m not worth it’.

Although the things that may have happened to you in the past are profound, uncomfortable and even horrific, they do not and should not define who you are today.

You are MUCH more than your past; you are a loved, you are love; you are a reflection of the magnificent Cosmos that you are a vital part of; there can be NO separation, just a divine Oneness!

As an adult you possess the blessings of free-will and choice. You can now choose whether to hold onto the energy of powerful or painful past experiences or whether to LET IT GO.

Remember it takes a great deal of effort to hold on… and this will NEVER be successful!

Through the practice of mindful meditation you can now choose to question, rebalance and heal any childhood misunderstandings associated with the painful emotional feelings you still experience today.

You can choose embrace the spiritual lessons offered by past experiences so you can learn and move on.

You can choose release the harmful core beliefs, thoughts and stories that you have carried with you, perhaps for many decades, so that they longer impact your adult life today.

You can choose to cast off the familiar yet limiting comfort blanket of the past and authentically step into the unknown, trusting that you are not judged for you past, but are loved, held and supported by a Universe of love and abundance.

Meditate and consider:

Are you carrying painful memories and experiences from the past that remain your story and ‘medal of honour’ today?

What benefit are they to you?

Do they stop you from reaching your true, authentic potential?

Who would you be without these ‘medals of honour’ and life stories?

Who controls your thoughts and beliefs?

What would it take for you to let go of your inauthentic and unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, and create your new story that reflects the positive and divine energy of who you really are …

How can begin to do this today?

You have free choice…. I believe in you… You can do it right NOW!

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