Invest in loss

18 Feb


Ok, it may seem like madness, but invest a minute, what have you got to loose?

‘Invest in loss’ was a saying of the great martial artist Chen Man-Ching, he maintained to win one needed to invest in loosing.   The idea comes from Taoist philosophy, yet the heart of the concept is found in cultures around the world.

Chen Man-Ching

Investing in being wrong

Holding on tight to being right without exploring the possibility of being wrong, what a waste!  Scared that you may be wrong?  Loose the fear, you may find out you were right all along, but now you will feel more sure and relaxed.   And if you find you were wrong, you have saved time, money and emotional energy not investing in something that was bound to fail.   Invest in being wrong and loosing face…it’s good for you!


Investing in not knowing

Don’t even think you are supposed to know all or even most of the answers.  If you don’t know, admit it to yourself and go find out.  This admission of ‘not knowing’ will lead to learning something new and ultimately ‘knowing’.

However creating the illusion of knowing puts a lot of pressure on you.   You may fool other people and even your self for a moment, but not for long, and the consequences are not good, one ends up looking foolish and wasting a lot of energy.


Investing in unknown opportunities

Invest in letting go of what you don’t need.  Spring clean your home, office, head!  And loose the old, unwanted, unused things you have been holding on too.  Invest in a spring clean and enjoy the space for new opportunities it brings.

Invest in loosing what you don’t need

Investing in losing the ego

The unchallenged and unrefined ego can get us in an awful pickle.   It can be very resistant to our human development, and its desires can lead us into trouble.  The benefits the ego seeks are necessary on a very base human level, but once one has a little self confidence one can start the process of weaning our self off its cravings, cravings not unlike the body’s cravings for sugar and caffeine.  Invest in loosing the grip of your ego, and deepen your experience of your inner nature.


Invest in non resistance

Create a space and time in which ideas can flow you don’t have to take them up but don’t stop them coming or stop others expressing their ideas to you.  If you resist ideas, emotional tension builds up, performance is hampered and energy is wasted in the conflict.  On the plus side, one or two of those ideas them might be amazing.


Invest in loosing your best ideas

 Can your ideas withstand the application of pressure to them?  Or will they buckle.  Are your ideas strong enough to withstand a hammering?  Take your formed idea, apply some pressure, and re form the idea as necessary until it can easily withstand huge pressures without weakening, loosing its structure or folding.  Stress test your idea by investing in loosing it.


Investing in letting go of preconceptions

Virtually every moment of are existence is coloured by our preconceptions, and honestly, a lot of it is plain nonsense.  Invest in letting go of these preconceptions and experience things as they are.  How?  Observe your chattering mind right now…..what is it on about?   Practice the letting go exercise below.

Invest in loss – letting go exercise

 Take regular breaks in your day, morning, noon and evening, not too long 5-20mins.  Close your eyes, take three deep breaths, with each breath feel like your awareness is sinking deeper and deeper into your body.  Focus on the centre of your hands, as you breath in imagine you are applying pressure to them with your thumb, as you breath out let go and feel the area expand, do this for 20/50/100 breaths.

 Chris Shaw teaches stress management and wellbeing workshops in the UK, he live in the English lake district.


Under Pressure….Yes?

19 Jul

Good ; as pressure can provide the ideal stimulus for inner growth.

If dealt with effectively, pressure can lead to an increased ability and competence in the task that one is engaged with. However, if dealt with ineffectively, one can often buckle, feel stressed, with a higher likelihood of suffering from illness or injury.

Stress is a part of our modern world, there are many ways to understand and positively grow through the pressure which we experience.


Trees in the wind.

Young trees require pressure from the wind to establish them. Trees require the wind to become strong. Trees require flexibility to deal with the wind, an old tree becomes stiff and brittle, and its limbs snap easily, a young tree is flexible and full of sap. The same can be said of humans too!


Responsibility as Educators.

It is up to us to take on only the amount of pressure that we can deal with, not too much, not too little. It is also our job to look out for friends, colleagues and family.

The Body and Brain needs pressure.

The pressure from gravity is necessary to maintain a health body, without it we get muscle atrophy, bone density loss and less blood. The brain needs problems that are not easily solved, that require work and patience to keep our minds fit and healthy. Without this pressure our brains weaken, however by dealing with mental pressure we forge new neural pathways.

The Emotions need pressure.

When we experience times of extreme emotional anguish we can become distraught, fall ill, and sometimes look for extreme methods of reliving this pressure. The pressure felt from these ‘very hard’ times, if dealt with effectively can lead to profound positive emotional changes, a re evaluation of our lives and our values. They can ultimately make us more balanced, stronger and emotionally resilient. People who have not experienced moments of extreme emotional anguish can often lack the necessary emotional capital needed in human relations, they can be at a disadvantage.

Oh *@”%!

2 Dec

Profanity as pain relief or “stress-induced analgesia”

Researchers at Keele University, UK found that moderate use of swear words can deliver short term pain relief, however over use of swear words in everyday life lessened their effect when it mattered.

See the article:


Strong outburst have long been used to focus the mind and body, you may have heard participants at a Karate class Kiai or listened to the Haka of the All blacks Rugby union team.


The important bit……


Limited outburst’s of vocal energy can release tension, provide pain relief and focus the mind.  


Many people are too noisy and disperse their energy, while others don’t let go enough and build up too much tension.   If the former is you try some quiet time, if you are one of the quiet ones then go on….make some @#*%!$^ noise!

Power Posing

24 Jul

Stress levels rising?

Then strike a pose……

Chris Shaw's embrace posture. A Posture to enhance energy and power.

“a person can, by assuming two simple 1-min poses, embody power and instantly become more powerful has real-world, actionable implications”

Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance

Dana R. Carney1, Amy J.C. Cuddy2 and Andy J. Yap1

Power postures or  Zhan zhuang has been used in China for thousands of years to develop physical power and a calm mind.  Why not try it your self?

Here is martial arts master Wang Shu Jin practicing ‘stand like a tree’ posture….

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, feet parallel, soften behind knees and sit as if on a high stall.  Now imagine lifting up from the top of your head and maintain a straight back.  Bring your hands up to below your shoulders and soften your eyes.  All you have to do now is breathe and imagine you are gently squeezing and releasing, hugging a big tree.

The Harbourmaster

18 Dec

The Harbourmaster is careful not to invite the polluting ship into the harbour.

He is aware that the harbour is only a small part of the great ocean;  and knows the harm the pollution could do to the harbour if allowed in.

He lets the polluting ship pass and the great ocean dissolve its contents.

The Harbourmaster is clear of his role.


Simon Rodway Harbwr

Harbwr 17/12/10

Pressure: The benefits. Part 1

22 Nov

By Chris Shaw


O.K. so we don’t like pressure, do we?    Or shall we look at this question slightly differently…..

Do we enjoy the satisfaction of overcoming obstacles, realising potential and strengths we didn’t realise we had?

That’s pressure, or rather benefiting from pressure.


Pressure dealt with effectively is beneficial,  pressure dealt with ineffectively makes us feel ‘under stress’ and can have serious impact on us.


Let’s think physically for a minute: Carrying a heavy weight

If a weight is loaded onto our backs appropriately and our posture is correct, we can become stronger by carrying the weight. We become psychologically stronger through completing a difficult task and physically stronger by strengthening our body. If our posture is poor or the weight is too much for us we will buckle under the pressure and may be harmed from the experience and less likely to take risk a pressurised situation in future.


The weight we load onto our backs can increase over time, as we become stronger we can handle more weight


Ultimately it is our responsibility how much pressure we take on, how we increase the pressure over time and how we benefit from it.   Refusing to take on a highly pressurised task if you are not up to it is part of dealing with the pressure, if it is to your benefit as a whole then take on the task, if it will weaken you and make you less able in future then ditch it. We should look out for our colleagues in pressurised situations, is their load appropriate for them at this time; is their posture correct and are they fit enough for the situation.


Pressure is inevitable; our bodies are already under about a tonne of atmospheric pressure (NASA). We all have to deal with pressure, how we deal with it is the important stressfactor.


16 Nov

A little thought for the day:

Stress is tension
Tension is opposition

What is it that I am opposing?