Writing

Sunset at Aït Ben Haddou, Morocco

The Journey — David Whyte

Above the mountains the geese turn into the light again, painting their black silhouettes on an open sky. Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that first, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. Sometimes with the bones of the black sticks left when the fire has gone out someone has written something new in the… Read more

The author. The beach at Little Dip Conservation Park.

Time Left Alone — David Whyte

… tired of ourselves … But tired of land, we open ourselves to oceans, tired of time we give back all that we’ve taken, tired of ourselves we open ourselves to ourselves at last, sensing the waves and great abyss of the sea beyond, the ocean stretching on sand and the long view on the still sea that leads to another life. From Time Left Alone: in ‘River Flow: New and Selected Poems’ David Whyte

Land Rover on a barren gravel road in Northern Iceland 1972.

The 50s: Flourishing or Floundering?

When I was in my 20s I met the work of a Dutch psychiatrist and educator named Bernard Lievegoed. He was well known in Holland and abroad, having founded the Netherlands Pedagogical Institute and written numerous books. He won a national award — the Gouden Ganzenveer — for his cultural contribution through the written word. What registered most strongly for me was his work on stages of development — particularly in adulthood. Although his work seems quite outdated now due… Read more

Young man looking into the distance from a rocky cliff

Fathers, Be Good to Your Sons

Many of us look forward to weekends, but more and more I’m saddened by a particular phenomenon. It’s the great number of young men out with their children with no mum in sight. It’s pretty clear that most of these men no longer live with the mother of their children. There would be as many reasons for this as there are couples, but one factor would be the man’s inability to be soft and vulnerable. I’m not one to absolve… Read more

Boy running through a field of flowers toward an urban background dotted with mosque spires

4 Parenting Tips to Live By

Every child is as different as every snowflake, so let’s get it straight from the start. Our job is to get our small self out of the way and let them grow. Children need to be raised to be who they are, in all their uniqueness. If you end up raising three children who are very different from one another, then hats off to you. The first trap is a hard one to avoid. With our first child, we tend… Read more

Two hands up, fingers spread on a radiant forest background.

The Human Capacity for Greatness Is Immense

Carl Jung was one who saw our collective possibilities. He considered that growth was an innate principle, both of the individual and the universal. He considered the development of individuality as a microcosm of human evolution. He called this immutable process individuation. It’s the big picture. We don’t look forward and imagine it. We don’t look back and long for it. The growth of individuality, with all its stresses and strains, is the process and substance of the lives we… Read more

Suburban streetscape with the neon trail of speeding car lights

On Parenting

I just read a great article by Lori Gottliebabout the perils of raising kids today. Not what you might think — stranger danger and screen dreaming — but rather our lack of perspective and failure (my words) to reflect on our own lives as a context for considering how young people might develop important life skills. What I see is a sociological thing playing out. In raising children, we will often compensate by trying our damnedest to ensure our kids… Read more

Two figures in a studio lit up by the screen display of a grid test pattern

The Beloved Son

I wrote previously about the father-son archetype in therapy, with my views that men need to exorcise their demons and embrace their gods through meaningful conversation with other men. My thoughts on this originated through my ongoing work in a group of men, witnessing how they were affected by other men’s accounts of their relationships to their fathers – as if they were their own – regardless of what their actual relationship to their father was. This is how I… Read more

Kodak-framed photo of five lines of messy "i have waited" sentences

The Winding Road of the Middle Years

As a trainer of psychotherapists and career counsellors, I’ve had to come to an understanding of developmental stages in adult life. It just won’t do to assume all grown ups have similar needs, irrespective of age. The things that move and motivate us shift as we grow older. As a friend of mine is inclined to say in regards to the mindset of aging — more and more matters less and less, but what matters, matters more and more. But… Read more

Golden sunset reverse warrior yoga pose

Just for Today — Frank Crane

Just for Today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life-problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a lifetime. Just for Today, I will be Happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from Within; it… Read more