handsome man and an apology

First the dude. There. Done. Now a quick apology for a messy clusterf*ck of blog spewage that those who follow my RSS feed were subject to today at lunchtime. Some gremlin took over for a few hours and sent out draft and rejected posts and Lord knows what other flotsam. Needless to say I realised … Read more

who checks in on you?

This week I spoke at yoga brand LuluLemon’s national conference. It was a room full of people comfortable in their Lycra and a yoga hairstyle (bun up high on head; enables headstand and backbend poses). I was in comfortable company!

110218 8 600 who checks in on you?
photo by Neil Stewart

I spoke about How to Build a Good Life, based on advice gleaned from interviewing the Dalai Lama, tap-dancing from a plane with Sir Richard Branson, crying with Oprah’s life coach, and more, across¬† 758 blog posts and 130 Sunday Life columns. As well as from almost 39 years on the planet. At the end I boiled things down to this: what makes a good life is the struggle to find a good life. It’s the striving, not the arriving.

At the end, one of the Lulu people asked me a pearler of a question. She pointed out that I’d mentioned a number of experts and gurus I’ve interviewed over the years had life coaches, or spiritual mentors whom they employed to guide them. She then asked: who checks in on you?

I immediately got what she was asking. She wanted to know how I remained accountable. It hit me as all truly challenging propositions do: with a thud.

I’m a loner. I live, work and float about on my own, most of the day, most of the days. Therefore, my life can become very one-dimensional and self-referencing. I could kid myself I’m a generous soul…because who’s going to question it? I can
go about my various habits and indulge my foibles without ever being challenged to confront them or grow them or question them. I have no mirror held up to me. Or, rather, the only reflection I get is of myself.

By stark contrast, when you’re in a relationship you have a mirror constantly held up to you. When the other person’s behaviour shits you, it’s generally more a reflection of what’s shitty about yourself. And so you’re forced to grow. To be frank, I admire people in relationships for being able to endure this process on a daily basis. I truly do.

So who checks in on me? How do I ensure I’m held accountable? Who or what do I rise up to? The answer I gave was

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