Category Archives: 7 Holonics and LOHAS

Yoga In Ireland – groundbreaking analysis of market and practitioner behaviour.

Check out Pam’s article,  The Irish Yoga Market, published in Yoga Therapy Ireland Magazine, Spring 2015.

Pam’s ground breaking research acquired raw data on the yoga market in Ireland which was previously unavailable and focuses on why people do yoga.

The research included lengthy interviews with a number of teachers and leading yoga entrepreneurs, plus a wide ranging questionnaire filled in by hundreds of practitioners around the country.

As a yoga practitioner, teacher and entrepreneur herself she wanted to consider assumptions about why people do yoga, such as: “Is it for health or self-esteem or social fun?”

Her work explored  questions fundamental to an effective marketing plan:

  • Who is the target client?

  • How can the client be helped?

  • What attracts the target customer?

  • What new market segments can be developed?

These are not the first questions that pop into mind when you think of “yoga”, but they are important to sustainable business success.  The article offers insights in to how to grow your yoga business.

Please download the article from here.

Sapiens: Thinking, Stories and Ignorance, then choosing to die.

Yuval Harari’s brief history of humankind, weighing in at a meaty 400 pages, is enjoyable, provocative and very worrying.  The wide-ranging, scholarly story is easy to read and sensible.  I enjoyed the book from beginning to end, though I had to restrain myself from skipping to the last chapter: The End of Homo Sapiens.

For the first few chapters, the irony of our vain self-naming “sapiens” (wise in Latin) is palpable on every page .  We wiped out at least six other species of hominid, not because we were better, stronger or smarter, but because we believed in things that didn’t exist, imagined collaboration and ran amok.

Skipping to the end of the book, the stories that we’ve imagined (like a bearded man in the clouds) stand in the way of common sense.  We believe what we want to believe, not what we know to be true.  We believe advertisements instead of our own personal senses and experiences.  We believe in the virtue of power despite evidence that it is corrupt.  And everyday, with increasing speed, we choose a virtual reality of thinking machines and media devices which lead to a life without nature and the inevitable rise of cyborgs which are stronger, smarter and more emotionally astute that homo sapiens.  That time, presaged by the approaching technological singularity, is happening now.  In a few decades, humankind will be on the way down … unless we choose to live within the laws of nature.

Buy Sapiens and enjoy the story.  It’s about you!

Maybe system change will just be funny …

It sometimes difficult to be aware of what’s going on in the world because they’re not happy thoughts.

This time last week I was hearing about the dark web and bad pharma from a friend, Howard.  He runs a small cloud computing business with 30 million units invested in the technology and deals with a more severe IT security threat than your bank or insurance company.

Bad pharma is the unethical behaviour of your favourite pharmaceutical provider.  The big names, with the big drugs and the big money at stake.  Ethics get bent.

Dark web is the activity on the web by large, powerful organisations operating outside normal society – arms dealing, drugs, slavery, that sort of thing.  It happens.

Then there’s the ongoing wars mixed with greed, where people get killed.  Iraq, Iran, Syria, Israel, Palestine, …

Of course  civilian shootings (sometimes by cops)  and other crimes …

And, rather mundane, the financial crisis continues to confound most of us.  We are ok without growth.  But distortions continue in the way resources end up being shared.  Corruption abounds.

On Tuesday, my awareness was raised by an insightful address by President Higgins on the role of speculation in distorting the livelihoods of people who grow food.  It was unusual to hear a head of state talking about actual system change.

Generally, those at the top continue to turn a blind eye to lies.  So everyone feels the pressure.  Technology allows everyone to live without fear, yet most humans fear hunger daily.

It can seem sad.

So, let’s hope the change in the way we behave will seem funny, as we laugh at ourselves waiting so long to make teh change.  Then we could enjoy moving away from hierarchy, moving away from fear.

Education will be important.  Technology will help.  But if we are to outlive “the singularity”  we must choose a natural world over a virtual reality.  Let’s feel holarchy and enjoy nature.


You can’t outrun a bad diet!

The message is getting through.  Sugar is bad.  Bad for your body.  Bad for your mind.  Maybe even bad for your soul.

In an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, three international experts said it was time to “bust the myth” about exercise.

They said while activity was a key part of staving off diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia, its impact on obesity was minimal.

If you want to loose weight jogging isn’t going to help.  You must say NO.  You have to reduce the calories.  You burn about the same whether you’re walking or running and that’s about the same as standing too.  Yes sitting all the time will burn far fewer calories than standing, but if you want to lose the tub, reduce your intake.

Rules of thumb: 2,000 calories per day.  Carbohydrate (potatoes, pasta, bread etc) and protein (beans and meat)  ~ 400 calories per 100 grammes.  Fat – 900 calories per 100 grammes.  So you max out around 500 grammes or half a kilo.  In a day not a meal …

There’s more.  Sugar is more addictive than cocaine.  (Watch Fed Up.)  So it clearly messes with your mind and saying NO to cakes, cookies, biscuits, bars, chocolate, soda pop, etc becomes harder as you enjoy it more regularly.  It doesn’t just rot your teeth.  It rots your blood vessels and organs.  Cut back o sugar and you’ll feel better.

I’m  no saint, so I know it’s not easy.  But the best time to say NO is in the shop because if you don’t buy the cake, chocolate or soda pop, you don’t have to resist later – it’s just not there.  Good luck! :-)

BBC: Exercise ‘not key to obesity fight’


You’re NOT only human …

… you’ve got bits of bug in your DNA, and some of it is missing*.

These facts help appreciate the diversity of look and behaviour of humans, but looking deeper, it is the similarities in looks and behaviour, a.k.a. culture, which show that nurture is such a powerful influence on each of us.

Research published in Genome Biology suggest human beings have at least 145 genes picked up from other species – that’s why it’s fair to say we have a bit of bug and fungus in our constitution.

Now some might say that this evidence supports the rationale of genetic engineering.  But those would be people making money from GM.  A scientist without conflict knows that breeding is a hugely different, and natural, process compared to genetic modification.

The more relevant perspective offered by this data is that people’s behaviour is not so influenced by genes as by nurture.  The community and culture in which we mature is far more influential to our behaviour – how we dress, what we eat, how we treat one another, how we live.

The future that is now slipping from homo sapiens’ grasp is the diverse and stimulating, in spirit as well as body, culture that enlightenment offers.  The understanding of everything (you’ve heard of the theory of everything) is available and the resources to share the benefit of that understanding are present, BUT we all have to choose to move on.

It seems to be common sense, but somehow we continue to avoid the truths of our decadent modern age:- that civilisation is consuming nature.


Also see: The Economist: Genetically modified people.

* According to research that deduced the genetic code of the population of Iceland.  BBC:  DNA of ‘an entire nation’ assessed

Social, economic, intellectual capital and the memes of society: expectations determine wealth.

The emerging science of memes hold the key to modern business success.  Be a part of a growing meme and you win.  That is the aim of leading marketers.

What is a meme?  It is culture.

How do you measure it?  Using social, economic and intellectual  measures against a backdrop of psychology.

Getting data is not easy, though guessing data is everyone’s prerogative.  A UK study has produced extensive data which can help you understand yourself, your happiness and your life goals, whether or not you live in the UK.: Regional Personality Differences in Great Britain

The Big Personality Test worked out people’s “Big Five” traits. These are widely recognised and well-used scientific measure of personality.

  • Openness – To what extent you are receptive to novel ideas, creative experiences and different values
  • Conscientiousness – To what extent you are organised and exhibit self-control
  • Extroversion – To what extent you are inclined to experience positive emotions and how attracted you are to social, stimulating experiences
  • Agreeableness – To what extent you are concerned about the feelings of others and how easily you form bonds with people
  • Neuroticism – To what extent you react to perceived threats and stressful situations


ukpersonalityconscientiousness_464ukpersonalitynewextroversion The findings become more poignant when considered against socio-economic groupings characterised in  The Great British Class Survey completed a couple of years ago:

  • Elite: This is the most privileged class in Great Britain who have high levels of all three capitals. Their high amount of economic capital sets them apart from everyone else.
  • Established Middle Class: Members of this class have high levels of all three capitals although not as high as the Elite. They are a gregarious and culturally engaged class.
  • Technical Middle Class: This is a new, small class with high economic capital but seem less culturally engaged. They have relatively few social contacts and so are less socially engaged.
  • New Affluent Workers: This class has medium levels of economic capital and higher levels of cultural and social capital. They are a young and active group.
  • Emergent Service Workers: This new class has low economic capital but has high levels of ’emerging’ cultural capital and high social capital. This group are young and often found in urban areas.
  • Traditional Working Class: This class scores low on all forms of the three capitals although they are not the poorest group. The average age of this class is older than the others.
  • Precariat: This is the most deprived class of all with low levels of economic, cultural and social capital. The everyday lives of members of this class are precarious.

You can draw some broad insights:

  • You are likely to be happier anywhere if you are less neurotic.
  • Investment in social and intellectual capital gives equity to all economic profiles.

PLOS One: Regional Personality Differences in Great Britain

BBC: Where does my personality fit in?

BBC: The Great British Class Survey – Results

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded. – Terry Pratchett quotes …

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.

Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out til too late that he’s been playing with two queens all along.

I wouldn’t pay more than a couple of quid to see me, and I’m me.

[His response to a TIME magazine article crediting J.K. Rowling with reinventing the fantasy genre]: “Ever since “The Lord of the Rings” revitalized the genre, writers have played with it, reinvented it, subverted it and bent it to their times. It has also contained some of the very best, most accessible writing for children, by writers who seldom get the acknowledgement they deserve”.

[His response to J.K. Rowling saying she wasn’t aware that her “Harry Potter” books were fantasy until they were finished]: “I would have thought that the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns, and hidden worlds would have given her a clue?”

In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods. They have not forgotten this.

The baby boomers are getting older and will stay older for longer. And they will run right into the dementia firing range. How will a society cope? Especially a society that can’t so readily rely on those stable family relationships that traditionally provided one backbone of care?

“Twinkle twinkle little star….” What power! What wondrous power! You can take a billion trillion tons of flaming matter, a furnace of unimaginable strength, and turn it into a little song for children! You build little worlds, little stories, little shells around your minds, and that keeps infinity at bay and allows you to wake up in the morning without screaming!

They say that the prospect of being hanged in the morning concentrates a man’s mind wonderfully; unfortunately what the mind inevitably concentrates on is that it is in a body that, in the morning, is going to be hanged.

The freedom to succeed goes hand in hand with the freedom to fail.

Speak softly and employ a huge man with a crowbar.

There are those who say that sherry should not be drunk early in the morning. They are wrong.

You can’t make people happy by law. If you said to a bunch of average people two hundred years ago “Would you be happy in a world where medical care is widely available, houses are clean, the world’s music and sights and foods can be brought into your home at small cost, traveling even 100 miles is easy, childbirth is generally not fatal to mother or child, you don’t have to die of dental abscesses and you don’t have to do what the squire tells you” they’d think you were talking about the New Jerusalem and say “yes.”

Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil… prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Ultimate Doom (1993), no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon…

Go on, prove me wrong. Destroy the fabric of the universe. See if I care.

Everyone’s heard of Erwin Schrodinger’s famous thought experiment. You put a cat in a box with a bottle of poison, which many people would suggest is about as far as you need to go…

As a fantasy writer I create fresh gods and philosophies almost with every new book … But since contracting Alzheimer’s disease I have spent my long winter walks trying to work out what it is that I really, if anything, believe.

Evolution was far more thrilling to me than the biblical account. Who would not rather be a rising ape than a falling angel? To my juvenile eyes Darwin was proved true every day. It doesn’t take much to make us flip back into monkeys again.

I asked a teacher what the opposite of a miracle was and she, without thinking I assume, said it was an act of God. You shouldn’t say something like that to the kind of kid who will grow up to be a writer; we have long memories.

I don’t think I’ve found God, but I may have seen where gods come from.

If you have enough book space, I don’t want to talk to you.

It’s amazing how much of fantasy is rearranging the furniture in Tolkein’s attic.

They don’t teach you the facts of death, your Mum and Dad. They give you pets.

Goodbye Sir Terry. Grief and legacy.

A long sad sigh was felt around the world when Sir Terry moved on today.

Many are grieving.

His legacy began with time.  It is infinite.  Stories.

Funny thing though, I was talking to him today.  That’s the reality of the space-time continuum and modern technology.  I didn’t think that he’d not hear me.  Ever.  Selfishly, I feel a loss.  That’s grief.  Let it be, and then let it go.  And remember.

Once I wrote a chapter on death.  It seemed sensible and sanguine at the time.  It’s difficult to feel like that now.

Goodbye Sir Terry.

A chapter on death

Well sub-chapter.  From Common Sense.

Death Is a Part of Life

As my subconscious filtered the idea that weaknesses in our systems
occurred when we ignored nature’s example, I realised that we found
it difficult to deal with death, although it was clearly a part of

Death was important because fearing it is difficult to rationalise.
We don’t want to talk about it. It is even difficult to say the
word. “So and so passed away”, not “died”. We hang
on to our stuff till the end, even beyond, instead of letting our
children take it, or letting it go where it would be appreciated. As
we get old, we fear the loss of the career we enjoyed building so
much that we ignore the opportunity to learn new skills, see new
places, or spend time with friends.

The reality of death seemed to be important to understanding the
meaning of life. It seemed incompatible that we have such
sensitivity to death and treat it as such a tragedy, but we kill all
the time. We kill for food and we kill for power. The realisation
that to eat meat you are killing all the time made me stop eating
meat. A meat-eater promotes the killing of young, sentient animals.
That had to stop immediately. State sponsored murder is even more
incomprehensible. Even if you don’t make the connection between the
muscle on your plate and the cow in the field, everyone must see the
connection between war and the death and dismemberment of people. We
had to deal with death more intelligently. Continue reading