As my learning and growth continue, I am finding something interesting. I am coming across the same lessons over and over again. Now you might think this means it’s because I am not learning what I need to learn, and to be honest yeah that is the case sometimes, but then there are other lessons that I am being shown again but at a deeper level. Or maybe its me being able to see the next layer of meaning more clearly.

One of these recurring lessons is that of reflection.

I am talking specifically about how the world around us is a reflection of what is happening within us. I know I have written about this previously in my post “Where are you looking” and way back in 2020 in my post “As above, so below” but this time I want to talk about how it relates to our habits and addictions.

When I took this photo of a rockpool and saw my daughters face reflected in the water, I was reminded of my previous understanding of how our external world often reflects our internal world. I then got to thinking about how this reflection is also seen in our habits and behaviours.

As some of you may know from my recent Facebook post, I have been off alcohol for 5 months now. A little further back (about 2 years) I gave up smoking as well. In addition to these substance habits/addictions, I have also struggled in my time with addictions to thought patterns and emotions (yes that is way more common than most people realise, and probably a good topic for another post).

When I gave up smoking, someone very close to me told me that addictions were often just a symptom of something much deeper. At the time I agreed but didn’t delve too deeply to find out what my deeper issue was. I think subconsciously I was afraid of what I might find.

I successfully quit smoking and as I mentioned, more recently gave up drinking. It was when I gave up drinking that I was forced to take that deeper look inside to see where these habits were coming from. As I no longer had my usual crutch to lean on, my ‘go to’ escapes from reality, I knew I had to find that core wound, the deeper issue that the habits and addictions were distracting me from.

What I found was not easy to accept. I won’t go in to detail here because this post isn’t about my personal experiences. This post is about bringing the conversation to the fact that when we want to make a change to our habits like drinking, smoking and eating, yes we can do many things to stop the behaviour but if we don’t address the underlying cause, the actual root of the problem, then that habit or behaviour will only be replaced by something else that, in time, will become equally as destructive.

This may sound like it’s all doom and gloom but it’s not. There are many ways to overcome these root problems without having to be confronted by past traumas or painful situations that sparked the problem in the first place. And like I said we can always simply get the patches or the gum and stop the behaviours on the surface level.

But from my personal experience, it is much more liberating to take the hard road. Face your demons head on. When you do, you might be surprised at how long they have been hanging around and how many different forms they have taken over the years.

Most habits and destructive behaviours began as a way of surviving a particular event or situation. It was our Mind’s way of protecting us or giving us what we needed at the time. But now, we want to move out of survival mode and into thriving mode and these behaviours are no longer appropriate for the job.

That is all it is. Outdated modes of operating. They are reflections of what we are holding inside ourselves.

If you want to change, you can. It can be easy. It can be lasting. And for those who are really keen to clean up their crap, it can be extremely freeing.

If you want to chat about making changes for yourself, taking control of your habits, get in contact with me. I am passionate about helping people improve their life and I have the experience and skills necessary to do that.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my thoughts. I hope to hear from you.

Dan O’Keeffe

BEing and the State of Empty Spaciousness

Empty Spaciousness and BEing. Two concepts that I have to admit, confused the hell out of me at first.

How can I be happy when I’m empty? Aren’t I supposed to be ‘doing’ something…. filling the emptiness I feel?

Because after all, this is what we are shown and taught as we grow. We have to ‘go out and get what makes us happy’. And our experiences back that up. When we sit around and do nothing, boredom sets in, or worse, depression. When we are active and interacting with others, excitement and fulfilment are often found.

In addition, from a young age we learn that if we don’t claim a stake in the prize pool of life, someone else will get it first. Competition and achievement drives a lot of our lives even at a subconscious level.

I believe that while this is true, the confusion can happen when we attach that happiness and fulfilment to the activities and people outside of us rather than with the energy we bring to the situations ourselves.

Our society and culture is one that values achievement over process. The end result over the journey. And so, we all strive for that achievement, with the process just being a necessary part, often over looked or seen as something to ‘get through’ on the way to the prize. The relationship, the house, the perfect job, all balanced with enough time for the fun hobbies and recreation.

I don’t know about you but when I have come across those inevitable rough patches in my life, I find myself questioning this, asking “what is the fucking point?”

When these things that are outside of myself fall out of my life or seem like it’s all too hard, I am left scrambling for something else to fill the gap, to fill the void of happiness that those things did. For me, it was alcohol and cigarettes and various other addictive behaviours.

As I’ve gone through a massive shift in my own consciousness, that started with me looking at ‘how I am’ and ended up with a much deeper…. ‘Who I am’, I’ve found that while I am who I’ve always been, I am also so much more and at the same time, I’ve cast off a whole heap of shit that wasn’t me.

In that process, I have come to an understanding of BEing. Something that we are conditioned out of aiming for in today’s busy life of doing. It wasn’t an easy transition and one that I need to be aware of daily. It’s a mindset shift. To realise that the present moment is the the only real reality and there is a vast difference from ‘being’ in the present moment and simply ‘doing’ in the present moment.

And while I’m not there 100% yet, I am moving towards that place of empty spaciousness. It may be different for everyone but for me, it is a process of accepting who I am (the good as well as the parts I’ve hidden), letting go of past wounds as well as expectations or anxieties surrounding the unknown future.

And here’s the strange thing, the less I ‘do’ and the more I ‘Be’ I find myself feeling happier.


The more layers I shed and the more spaciousness I allow, then the more of what I actually want is finding it’s way into my life.

And this is the best part, that question that I always had when shit hit the fan and I lost what I thought made me me, that ‘What’s the fucking point?’ question… The answer to that starts to become clearer. Life stops being so much a competition and race for the prize and becomes something much more fulfilling.

A life that is so simple and natural and easy that it seems illogical (and anyone that knows me personally will understand why it took my logical mind so long to accept these concepts).

It’s such a paradox but one that I’m coming to enjoy.

So if you’re not sure about taking on the concepts of ‘Empty Spaciousness’ and ‘Being’, but you are sure that you want more ease and flow in your life, I highly recommend considering it.

As usual, feel free to comment or share. And definitely get in touch if you have any questions.

The Dark and the Light

I’ve been holding back on writing about this topic for a while. Reason being, it is extremely personal, raw and exposes parts of me that I have worked so hard to keep hidden for so long. But I feel it is time. I did touch on it in my last post but I held back. After reading this post you may understand why.

I feel I need to write this out now for two reasons. Partly for my own growth and also I hope that by sharing, others may be able to accept themselves in ways they had not previously thought to be possible.

I wrote a poem a few weeks ago and posted it to Facebook. I have added the poem below to start this topic.

The beauty and strength of the forest.

The beauty of the forest doesn’t come from just one tree.

It doesn’t come from just the moss or the fallen branches it clings to.

It doesn’t come from colour in the bird’s feathers or even the sounds of their song.

It doesn’t come the sunlight filtering through the leaves of the canopy.

The beauty of the forest radiates from all that the forest is.

It is the forest that gives the tree it’s strength.

It is the forest that gives the moss it’s softness.

It is the forest that gives the birds a reason to sing.

Every part, every element working in harmony, in ebb and flow, cycles of life and death and rebirth.

The moss doesn’t blame the tree for blocking out the light, it thanks it for creating conditions that are right for it.

The tree doesn’t look upon the bird with judgement and envy of its colours, it appreciates it for the joy it brings and welcomes it with a place to shelter.

The fallen branch doesn’t sit grieving for the life it used to have, it gives the moss a place to grow and life to begin anew.

The beauty and strength of the forest.

While I still stand by this concept, I brushed over one very important part. I did originally have it in there in more detail but then I got scared of the implications I was making about myself, so I toned it down.

Above all else that gives the forest it’s beauty, one aspect is mostly overlooked.

The Darkness.

Not just the darkness but the interplay with the dark and the light. The sun and the shadow. The day and the night. The open areas and those hidden from view.

And we as individuals are the same.

So much of what we value ourselves as being, is based on what we have been conditioned to, and accept as, what is right, or good, or beautiful. Our light.

And that is ok. Our light is important.

But what about our Dark?

What about those parts of us that we hide from the world?

What about those beliefs, thoughts, behaviours and desires that we have been conditioned to see as bad or unacceptable or not to be shared? What about our Darkness?

We all have it. Just as much as we have our light. It is inevitable that with light comes shadow. And it is this shadow that most of us are either unaware of or scared to share.

But just like the forest, what gives us our true beauty, our true sense of wholeness, is understanding that it is there and accepting it as part of us.

This may not sound like a good idea. I mean, why would we accept those parts of ourselves that we don’t like? The reason is because it is there, and it won’t go away through ignoring it. I also believe that a lot of the problems that arise in our life can be the direct result of our shadow aspects trying to be seen. Trying to be acknowledged.

This does not mean we have to act on thoughts or behaviours that go against our core values just because they are there. It doesn’t mean we have to accept limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves. But I do believe we need to see them. Give them attention. Bring those shadow aspects into the light. Examine them, ask where they came from and whether or not they deserve to stay hidden. Or even if they are still valid at all. We need to love these shadows in order to accept them and ultimately transform them.

In doing this you may find some interesting things can happen.

Firstly, what was once thought to be a darkness, something that shouldn’t be shared may actually be a strength that has gone unrecognised. Others may be old stories that simply no longer apply to the person you are today. Others may still make you uncomfortable but the simple act of bringing them into the light can reduce the weight of the darkness they carried.

And here is where I take the massive risk. And this is as raw as it gets for me. My own Light and Dark. Keep in mind that this is a process and I am not claiming to have cleaned it all up yet, or that it is a job that is ever really finished. But I hope that by sharing in this way, I have shone so much light on the parts of me that I have hidden for so long, they will find new life and purpose. In addition, it may allow others to see their own light and dark and accept themselves as a whole Being in the process.

My Light. The mask I wear. How I want to be seen.
My Dark. The Mask I see but try to keep hidden.

Some of my Light is true and I do believe it. Some of it is an illusion I hold to hide the shadow aspects of my Self. Holding up this illusion is tiring and often leads people to exhaustion as we try to keep up the facade.

But it is the Shadow that can cause the trouble in our life. That can keep us stuck. That can stop us from moving forward. For me personally, after a lot of Self exploration and guidance from others, I can see how my Shadow aspects have been at the core of some of my life’s biggest heart ache and struggle. This is not shifting blame, as it is me. It is in accepting that it is part of me that real healing and growth can begin.

That healing and growth can only start once the Shadow has been brought into the light.

This can be a big task. For some aspects, simply writing them out and reflecting on them can help but others may be deeper issues that need further support and guidance from professionals. But either way, seeing them and acknowledging them is the first step.

It can be uncomfortable, extremely uncomfortable at times to come face to face with your whole self. But it is a journey that is worth taking if you are brave enough to be all that you can be.

What are your Light and Dark? How do they show up in your life? Can some be integrated from the Darkness into the Light? Can some be let go of all together? Will some simply be given love and acceptance so they don’t force their way into the light in inappropriate ways or times?

There is lot’s of information out there on how to work with your shadow. Feel free to contact me if you want to ask any questions or share your thoughts.

Dan O’Keeffe

If this post brings up triggers for you, I strongly suggest talking to someone. It could be me, a trusted friend or a counsellor. Your shadow aspects are your own and while I have stepped out to share mine, I suggest you do only what you feel is right for you.

Where are you looking?

I have always felt like I didn’t belong. Like I was a different and just didn’t fit in.

As I have grown and experienced more of life, I have learnt a lot about myself and the world around me.

One thing that I have learnt is that for all those years that I felt like I didn’t fit in with anyone else or didn’t belong, I was not alone.

I now realise that as I looked around at other people, it was my assumption that everyone else had that sense of belonging that I was missing.

What I didn’t see is that most people are trying to fit in, trying to find their place. They were also feeling different or out of place to some degree.

Rather than being focused on finding that sense of belonging in the outside world, I now believe the first, and most important goal, is to find it within ourselves.

When we can do that, when we truly accept ourselves, it doesn’t matter so much what’s happening in the outside world, or who’s there, or what we have, because we will already be living in a state of self love. And when that happens, we attract all those other things to us while still being content with what we do have and where we are in life.

True happiness, true belonging, true acceptance will always be completely within ourselves.

Being comfortable, not only in our own skin but also in our own soul, is a constant cycle of acknowledging, shedding, growing and loving every single layer.

Do you truly love yourself?

Success! You're on the list.

Circling around or spiralling up?

2022…… who knows how this one will go?

Sometimes our lives can feel like they are circling around, always coming back to where we were before with no real progress. The reality is we are never exactly where we were before because we can’t unlearn the things we have learnt. We can’t ungrow the growth that has been made. So instead of assuming that our lives have come full circle, I think of it as an upward spiral. Yes we can see some familiar patterns, people or places. These may be good or not so good. However we are not the same within ourselves so our experience doesn’t need to be the same this time round. But it needs to be a conscious choice to move upward. To recognise past mistakes, as well as embrace the learnings, to shift higher.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions but what I do every 12 months is take a look at the year that was and see what I am happy with and what growth I have made. I look at where I am at, where I am heading and think about any changes that need to be made to help me get there.

This post is about sharing with you some of my own personal goals for this upcoming year.

All the usual things can go in here. I am looking forward to getting back into surfing. Not only for my physical fitness but it is also such a spiritual connection and ‘time out’ for me.

I have already stopped drinking alcohol (since early December) so I will continue with that. I will eventually get back to enjoying a drink occasionally but won’t be going back to the level I was before. The change in my body in just 5 weeks is amazing. It will be interesting to see how much more change there is over the next few months.

To help with the physical change I am also making more of an effort to eat better. Not going on a ‘diet’ or anything like that. No set goal as far as body size or shape but simply being more aware of eating fresh food more than processed.

But above all of this my main goal for 2022 is to bring more balance to the way I think and the choices I make. This may sound odd but hear me out.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with how I have been thinking. But just like our habits, our thinking and our choices need to be looked at occasionally to see if they are still in our best interests.

My personal goal for this area in 2022 is to connect more with how I feel as opposed to what I think. My rational, analytical mind has served me well through out the years and it definitely has it’s place. It is now time though to bring in the balance with the other side of me. The emotional, feeling side. Some people describe it as being heart centred. I like the idea of that.

So 2022 for Dan is all about feeling and being, rather than thinking and analysing.

What are your goals for the next 12 months? Will you circle around or spiral up?

Success! You're on the list.

As Above, So Below

As above so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul. Ok so this is a little more deep than how I would usually start my posts but stick with me and I will explain. Let me start by acknowledging that this quote is not my own. You may have heard it before (or a version of it) as it has been around a very long time. Without going into a drawn out discussion of it’s origins, for the purpose of this post I am happy to attribute it to Hermes Trismegistus.

Now you may be wondering why I am quoting the work of an ancient philosopher when I should be talking about goal setting and finding happiness. The answer is quite simple. This quote has been floating around in my head for about 2 weeks now so I figured I’d give it some time and thought. It eventually hit me. This quote perfectly sums up my last 8 posts. As within, so without, as above, so below, as the universe, so the soul.

No matter if you agree or not with my point of view on happiness, self improvement and my ideas on our Three Sides To Self, if you take nothing else from my posts at all, I ask you to at least think about this. If we are searching for happiness in our lives, if we are looking to change or improve our situation, we would be wise to remember this quote.

As we move in to the new year, many of us begin to make plans of what we want to achieve in the next 12 months. Some call them New Years Resolutions (I don’t but I’ll talk about that next time), others simply have loose ideas of what they want to do. No matter where you fall on that continuum remember our quote.

No matter what it is we are looking for, no matter what we want to change in our lives, we must always begin within ourselves. Our reality is simply our perception of reality. Or we could also say that our reality is a mirror of our perception. Our life and everything in it is highly influenced by our thoughts, self talk and values. Once we realise this, we can understand the importance of starting within, not without. Before we start setting goals to bring us happiness and contentment, we need to be happy within ourselves. Before we can love another person, we need to love ourselves. Before we set about changing the world around us, first check that it is not ourselves that need to change.

And so, I will end this year sharing the quote with you:

‘As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.’

Thanks for a great year everyone.

Keep an eye out for my posts in 2021

Dan O’Keeffe


Welcome back readers. As promised last time, today we are going to be exploring the idea of values and talking about why they are important to our pursuit of personal happiness. Lets get into it shall we?

Well maybe before we start talking about values, we should first come to an understanding of what I am talking about. For the purpose of this discussion, I’m using the word values to mean ‘the things that are important or good in life’. We all have values even if we haven’t given much direct thought to them. And yes, our values differ from person to person. What I think is important may be different to what you think and that is totally ok. The main thing is that we take some time to understand what our own personal values are. Once we make our values explicit in our mind, we can then set about ensuring that the life we live and the actions we take day to day align with our values. I personally believe that this alignment between values and action go a long way in creating happiness.

A handy exercise to help figure out what your values are, is to simply write down the things that are important to you. Now, if you’re anything like me you may just sit there staring at the blank paper for a while not knowing where to start. To help with this, I have included a link at the end of this post to a checklist of values that may help to get you started. As you will see I have divided these values into 3 different categories and given a short explanation of each. Again, I just want to say, this is simply my own view, not an exhaustive list. It is there to help as a guide if you need it.

Let’s look at the three categories I use for defining values.

Some values are the things that we do. We can value spending time with friends, we can value building things, we can value being creative, we can value working hard on something. I call these our Physical Values. The things we physically love to do.

Some values are not what we do but rather the way we think or personality traits that we feel are important. I call these our Character Values.

Some values are things that we can actually get or achieve. These can be physical possessions or more abstract concepts. I call these Achievement Values.

So now we know what I’m talking about the question remains, how do values affect our happiness? Well the way I see it is it’s not so much values alone but rather the alignment between our values and our actions. When we are living a life that not only aligns with our Character Values but also gives us plenty of time to engage with our Physical Values and opportunities to achieve those things that are important to us, we are providing harmony between what we are doing and what we believe to be right and good.

If we find ourselves feeling unhappy with a situation or some part of our life (work, home, relationship), it may be useful to examine how well our values are aligned to what is happening. Looking for ways to improve the alignment may help to improve the sense of satisfaction we get from that part of our life or situation.

And this bring us to goal setting. You see, values are just as important to our goals as they are to our current situations. When I look at my own past, I know there have been times when I have set goals, achieved them and not felt the fulfilment I would normally feel after success. Looking back I can see that those goals did not align with my values. This does not mean they were bad or wrong to do, they just didn’t hold the level of importance needed to bring me a sense of lasting happiness.

In my next post I will explore goal setting a little deeper but for now, whether you already have goals set or are planning new goals to work towards, take some time to think about how those goals align with your values. By doing so, you will be ensuring that your time is being spent on what is really important to you. And this my friends, is one of the keys to true happiness.

As usual I like to finish with a question. So here we go.

What is important to you? What are your values?

I look forward to hearing from you all and don’t forget that if you need help getting started with your values list, have a look at mine here.

Thanks for reading



Welcome back readers. Yes it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. No excuses needed, it’s just how life is. With all intentions of posting regular weekly blogs, life got in the way and my focus shifted to other things. I am now in a space where I am able to put down my thoughts for you to read once again. Which made me think about this particular topic, BALANCE. You see its for the reason of balance that I haven’t posted in 7 months. Now that might not make sense straight away, I mean after all if my life was so perfectly balanced then I should have time for everything right? Wrong.

We have all heard that we need balance in our lives. Many people think that this perfect state of balance happens when all areas of our lives receive the same amount of attention. Or as the old saying goes “having all our ducks in a row”. But balance is a dynamic process. Think of balancing an uneven load or a tightrope walker, constantly moving and adjusting to compensate for the weight in any given area at any given time to ensure everything stays upright. Life balance is similar. Some days our focus and effort need to be on work, sometimes it needs to be on a loved one and sometimes it needs to be on ourselves, but it’s always changing.

So I guess my main point for this post is that no matter what we are doing, whether it be balancing our Three Sides of Self, maintaining a work/life balance or juggling the needs of loved ones and our own personal needs, trying to be everywhere at once or everything for everybody is not maintainable. Balance is not an end goal that is ‘achieved’ it is an ongoing endeavour. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don’t. But by recognising what is important to us, we can make sure our energy is placed in the right spot at the right time.

It is in this ‘recognising what is important’ that the secret to balance and happiness lies. To understand what is important, we need to first understand what our own personal values are. Once we know our values we can align, not only our efforts in day to day life but also our goals for the future, with what is most important to us. In doing so, we are creating a life that not only prioritises you, but stays true to who you are.

So to end this post I ask, how do you balance your life while staying true to you?

P.S. Keep an eye out or sign up below for my next post where we will explore personal values a little more.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for reading,


3 sides to Self Pt3: Social Self

A simple ride with friends is sometimes all that is needed.

Welcome back to the third instalment of the series, 3 sides to Self. If you haven’t already read the previous posts, take the time to have a look at my introduction to the topic (follow the link above) and also part 1 Spiritual Self and part 2 Physical Self.

This week I will explain my view on why it is important to have social connections in our lives and how this helps fulfil a basic need as well as being a source of personal happiness.

Humans have evolved over thousands of years and I believe that a lot of what drives us today, began with our ancient ancestors.

Looking back through history, there was a very real need for individuals to belong to a group. The group provided the individual with support, safety and a sense of worth. Everyone had a place within the group, a role to play in the survival of the community as a whole.

Fast forward to today. Although we have evolved in many ways and it is quite possible for an individual to survive alone (indeed many people prefer it that way), there is still an ingrained side to us that gains fulfilment through meaningful interactions with others.

As usual it is different for everyone but I would like to talk about a few different areas that we can be mindful of in our search for happiness.

To begin, a common social group that many take for granted is family. Family groups come in all shapes and sizes. Family may not even be biologically related. The strength within a family group relies on trust and communication. Within a family group, we can find guidance from more experienced members (yep, I mean old people, sorry Mum and Dad hahaha), support from others with different skill sets than our own and most of all, friendship gained from years of getting to know someone.

Not everyone gets along with their family, and that’s ok. There is no need to allow people in our lives simply because they are related. Especially if they are harmful for our own physical or mental wellbeing. If this is the case, we can find family bonds in other social circles. Friendship groups can play just as big a role in our life as family. Sometimes, our friends know us better than our relatives.

The third way we can prioritise our Social Self is to be an active part in a community. Now this may be in the form of a religious group, an organised community of likeminded people (social activity groups such as riding, art and craft or sports) or it may be your local community support groups that look out for those less fortunate.

Being part of a community strengthens our feelings of self worth. And as an added bonus, we place ourselves in a position to help others with our own form of support and guidance.

I truly believe that making time for our social Self needs to be a priority. You see, a few years ago I struggled with depression. At the time I wasn’t even aware of it. Now as I look back I can actually see how, as my depression deepened, I slowly withdrew from all of the social groups I’ve just talked about. I hardly spoke with my family, I stopped meeting up with friends and didn’t renew my membership from the local board riders club. Eventually, I did seek professional help (and I can’t stress enough how important this is when dealing with depression). My doctor reminded me of all the supports that I actually had at my finger tips.

Fast forward to today, I speak with my family almost everyday of the week, I look forward to my time with my mates and truly appreciate the people in my life.

Now, this is an important point. In no way am I saying that our happiness depends on others providing it. No. Not at all. We are in charge of our own emotions, happiness included. What I am saying however is, that social interaction is a necessary part of life. By making sure you give time and thought and gratitude towards that, you are prioritising you’re social Self.

So I ask you, when did you last make your social Self a priority?

Thanks for reading, and as usual let me know your thoughts.


3 Sides to Self: Pt 2 Physical Self

As the sun sets on another day ask yourself, is my physical self and surroundings on my priority list?

Welcome back to our usual topic. Last week I took a side trip to address what is now a global concern (Covid19 pandemic) in hope of helping people cope with the inevitable change we are going through. This week, I will be continuing on the topic of prioritising you and looking a little more into our 3 sides to self. We have already discussed my view on our Spiritual Self, and now we move in to looking a bit closer at our physical Self.

As with all my writing, this is simply my view on things. I hope it helps someone find clarity and direction and the inspiration to begin putting yourself first in order to be of service to others.

To begin, lets look at what I see as the elements of our physical Self. The first thing that usually comes to mind is being fit and eating healthy and yes, that is a large part of it but I will take it a step further. I also think that when we are looking at prioritising our physical Self, we need to also include our physical environment. The spaces where we live, work and play.

Once again, the recurring theme of balance is what I see as being most important. I have to confess (and I don’t want to mislead anyone), I am not the fittest, strongest person on the planet. I also don’t live off chicken and steamed vegetables. I do have some bad habits (as most of us do) however I do try and live a balanced life. I can’t stress enough, the importance of maintaining a balance in all things we do.

Now that I have set the scene, and you are not waiting for me to tell you to throw out the junk food and join a gym, let’s get into it.

Physical fitness is important. Studies of one of the worlds longest living communities (Okinawa, Japan) show that in order to maintain overall health and wellbeing, we need to be physically active. For some people, going to the gym is their thing, and I am not saying it is a bad thing at all, I just think it is important to understand the key factor in physical fitness is regular movement not simply pushing ourselves to the brink of exhaustion daily. Regular movement needs to be maintainable for it to stay regular, so when you start to set yourself physical goals, make it something you enjoy. Walking, gardening and recreational sports are all perfectly fine ways to keep yourself active. Just remember that key word “Balance”, if your diet is not quite as fresh and wholesome then you may need to increase the physical movement to compensate.

And that brings me to my next point, our diets. There is so much information out there about what we should be eating, how much and when. A lot of this advice can also be contradictory too. So how do we know what is good for us and what we should avoid. Well my opinion is, if we want to make lasting change to unhealthy lifestyles, it needs to be maintainable. We eat to obtain the fuel our body needs but that is not the only reason. We also eat as a cultural activity (celebrations of almost all kinds are accompanied by food the world over). We can sometimes also eat as a way of dealing with emotions or even out of boredom. So what do we do. If you struggle with eating in anyway, I suggest talking to a health care professional. There is help out there if you need it. If you don’t struggle with food in those ways but rather, simply don’t know what advice to take, I suggest trying as best as possible to stick to the key word Balance.

I know that ideally we should be eating whole foods including fresh vegetables (and depending on your personal preference, protein and fats from animals). I do try to include these things as much as possible and it is a personal goal of mine to be able to move towards being self sufficient in the production of my own food however, I still live in a modern world with all the modern conveniences around me. I have children and a job and some days it is just easier to reach for the packaged products or call for fast food. It happens.

I do also know though that our food intake greatly influences our mental process and sense of happiness. The old saying, “you are what you eat” has some truth to it. If we regularly eat crap we feel crap, either physically, mentally or both.

The ultimate goal may be to have a diet without processed foods, but it is important to move towards this goal with realistic expectations. Some people may have already achieved this and to those, I salute you. For the rest of us though, I think rather than trying to make sweeping changes all in one go, it is better and more maintainable to strive for balance as you move towards whatever health goal you set for yourself.

While diet and exercise are the most common talking points when discussing our physical health, I think it is important to also explore the idea of how our environment also impacts our physical Self. Remember my aim here is to help you prioritise your Self. I have introduced the idea of Self as being comprised of 3 areas; spiritual, physical and social. All three of these areas are affected by our immediate environment however I have chosen to talk about it here as I see it as being our physical spaces. Our home, our work, the places we go.

As part of prioritising You, don’t forget that you always have some degree of control over your physical environment. It may be your home in need of a clean out, declutter or revamp. It may be the places you choose to visit. This is possibly one of the easiest areas to create change. If you are renting or living with others, your control of that space may be limited however it is only you who can choose where you spend your free time (obviously this current time of mass quarantine is a hurdle but it won’t be like this forever). Or it may be your job that needs some attention.

Ok Dan, how the hell do you expect me to change the environment of my workplace? I can hear what your saying. The workplace is the physical space and yes it’s true, it’s unlikely you can just go in and move things around. What you can do though is change how you interact with the people within that space. If you are not happy with your job chances are, others there are also feeling similar. Make it your mission to bring joy to the people within that space and I guarantee that while the physical space stays the same, the energy it contains will change.

Positive thoughts have such a profound influence on your body and mind. If you change the way think, you change the way you live.

So there you go, Dan’s view on some aspects of our physical Self that we can look at to prioritise You and bring more happiness, wellbeing and contentment to your life.

As usual, I would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or send me an email at

Thank you for reading. Stay safe. Stay active. Stay positive


%d bloggers like this: