For most of human history, we spent our days hunting and gathering food, wherever we could find them. If a particular area was lacking in nutrient rich supplies, or if it was being made use of by another band whom we didn’t want to war with, then we would simply wander somewhere else and make hay wherever the nutritional sun shone.
About 10,000 years ago, our ancestors stumbled across the seemingly genius idea of domesticating animals and cultivating easy to grow foodstuffs so that we could experience plentiful supplies of essential foodstuffs without having to wander the savannah.
Climatic conditions at the time were ripe for this sort of development, and the Middle East began the trend by domesticating goats and cultivating wheat. Peas and lentils followed in the Levant, and later olives, horses and grapevines added a little variety to our newly sedentary lives. Meanwhile in Central America there were simultaneous movements towards the cultivation of maize, beans, potatoes and llamas and in the Far East, it was rice, millet and pigs.
The immediate effects of their work were greater overall supplies of food. However, the work was hard, and so these newly formed communities took advantage of the surplus food supplies by having more children who could share the load and work the farms. (more…)
For me, both musically, and lyrically, this is the unsung hero of Sgt Pepper. My 17 year old self felt close to tears when hearing this song. I remember poignantly listening to this track in my old bedroom, feeling every breath of the young girl who felt the need to leave her parents and abscond with her heart.
Inspired by a front page story of a girl gone missing, the song begins with a beautiful intro of a harp, and then some of George Martin’s trademark strings kicks in before Paul sets the scene with the tale of a young girl (whom we now know is called Melanie) creeps downstairs while her parents are sleeping, and leaves a note that ‘she hopes will say more’. The girl is obviously very upset to be taking this pathway, but equally obviously, doesn’t feel she has any choice but to leave the people she has felt so trapped by. (more…)
Humans are social animals. Having spent the majority of our history existing in small, close-knit groups of perhaps two hundred people or less, the vast majority of people are empathetic creatures who need to feel social connection in order to be happy. But despite living in an age where it’s possible to talk to a loved one on the other side of the world, it seems that we are getting lonelier. It’s in this context that we embark on National Hugging Day, the one day of the year dedicated to hugging. (more…)
Eyes flutter closed,
Like a playful stone the mind skips and dances across the surface of a sea of swelling consciousness,
Rippling, fleeing, wilful, yet ever decelerating, before sinking into the deep,
Swaddled in an embrace of stillness, nurtured and primed we wait (more…)
It has been reported that a third of all Londoners spend an entire work day commuting each week. In an end of year survey, 30% of workers spent an average of 8 hours and 45 minutes commuting, and another 31% spent 6 hours and 15 minutes commuting.
For most of us, commuting is fairly unpleasant even at the best of times. It’s time-consuming, physically draining, and has a negative impact on our stress levels.
The push and shove of getting in and out of the stations, and on or off the conveyance of choice, tends to kick our internal alarm systems – our amygdalae – into action and we get low level fight or flight activation. As the carriages get busier, the increased jostling tends to flip some people over the edge, creating an atmosphere that leaves everyone on board wishing they were anywhere other than here in this moment.
Superheroes are a pretty inspirational bunch, what with all their humanity-saving habits, impressive physiques and amazing abilities, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some pretty glaring character flaws. Whether they’re obsessed with revenge, emotionally volatile or so noble it starting to become a problem, there are definitely aspects of their personality they need to work on. Luckily there are few things that meditation can’t solve, so here’s a few examples of the superheroes who really need to meditate. (more…)
Given up the booze this January? Lasting the 31 days without a single glass of wine or a social beer can seem like a huge ask, but if you’re attempting Dry January you must already have the motivation to give it a go – all you have to do now is stick it out. Well, the good news is that it’s already a week into January! Congratulations if you’ve made it this far, but if you’ve had a slip up there’s no reason not to make it through the rest of the month. Luckily, meditation and other tactics can help you achieve this goal.
Dry January started as a campaign by Alcohol Concern, and while they still oversee the challenge, it has taken on a life of it’s own – becoming a big feature of the New Year. Last year, an amazing 16% of the population attempted to go tea total, showing just have much a cultural influence this concept has. (more…)
Here at Will Williams Meditation we’ve been looking at healthy Christmas tips to keep you a little less sullied during the festivities this year. The festive season is about fun, letting go and LOTS of food, so trying to be healthy at this time of year may seem like a bit of a non-starter. However, it’s easy to start feeling a bit cruddy after too many days of overindulgence. While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend embarking on a juice fast on Christmas day, we’ve come up with a few more things you can do to tackle this over-stuffed feeling.
And if you haven’t already, check out our Having a Healthy Christmas, Part One! (more…)
For many people, Christmas is about letting go of all the usual rules. The sensible bit of your brain which usually bounds in and announces “you probably shouldn’t shake a box of chocolates into your mouth after eating an entire stollen” is merrily ignored, lying in wait to bounce back with shame-ridden vengeance in January. However, does it always have to be this way? Maybe you’re getting a bit fed up of feeling sluggish and bloated this time of year, and would like a few small ways to cut down on Christmas indulgence.
Well, the good news it is that we’re here to help! Of course, if you want the kind of Christmas where you dive into every kind of extravagance imaginable then there’s nothing wrong with that – you must do what your heart (and Father Christmas) tells you. But if you’d rather not spend the New Year shifting festive pounds and want to have at least some days of the season hangover-free, then here’s some tips for a healthier Christmas! (more…)
With Christmas fast approaching and the whirl of pre-Christmas antics
and prep upon us, it’s worth putting some attention on that which
really matters most to each of us, and using this perspective to set
our intentions for the New Year.
The first thing to consider is what genuinely gives you deep pleasure
and fulfilment in life? Do you want to do more of this? If so, maybe
there’s a way to prioritise it more in your life? Are there trade offs
you can make that will optimise your life experience? (more…)