Age is not the Issue

I like the message that age in itself is not a barrier. No one knows how long we have to live (actually, not potentially) at any age, what matters is being fully ourselves in the present; for some this may mean throwing ourselves into entrepreneurship, for others it’s creativity or learning or adventure or whatever launches your boat, maybe all of it.

Sometimes it’s harder when we’re older because (usually) there is less physical energy and health, sometimes it’s easier because of the experience and resources we’ve accumulated. In any case are where we are and it’s the only place we can move from.

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t do it for me even though I’ve registered a company, but this evening I attended an Aikido class, on Wednesday evening I’m at a Tai Chi Chi class and on Thursday evening a Wing Chun class. It’s painful but it’s part of a path I’m drawn to and the pull to do it has become more powerful, and more of an expression of my being, than the resistance to doing it.

Tai Chi

I did a very short japa meditation this morning. During the day I had a meeting at the Friends Cafe, on Barking Road about a project that we plan to run. After this I went into the Newham Bookshop next to the cafe and bought three books that looked both interesting and useful. At home I did a bit of preparation for the Creative Writing after school club before going to meet the group at their school. Three hours of fairly intensive Tai Chi/Qigong at Stratford Circus and then back home stopping to buy a bottle of pear cider and Doritos because I needed or just wanted the indulgence. Not a bad day.

Shinrin-Yoku or Being in Nature


A study conducted across 24 forests in Japan found that when people strolled in a wooded area, their levels of the stress hormone cortisol plummeted almost 16 percent more than when they walked in an urban environment. And the effects were quickly apparent: Subjects’ blood pressure showed improvement after about 15 minutes of the practice. But one of the biggest benefits may come from breathing in chemicals called phytoncides, emitted by trees and plants. Women who logged two to four hours in a forest on two consecutive days saw a nearly 40 percent surge in the activity of cancer-fighting white blood cells, according to one study. “Phytoncide exposure reduces stress hormones, indirectly increasing the immune system’s ability to kill tumor cells,” says Tokyo-based researcher Qing Li, MD, PhD, who has studied shinrin-yoku.

This Huffington Post Article doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t know. I think we all know how good being in nature is for us but the scientific research is a good reminder of the necessity to plunge into nature as often as possible. Too, remembering that I’m not just going for a walk I’m practicing Shinrin-Yoku .. being there with awareness, is probably going to add something beyond pretentiousness.


Miyoko Shida’s performance is a meditation that demonstrates that it is possible to bring balance to the different elements of our lives through cultivating patience, stillness and attention. The structure she creates is a visualisation and expression of inner quietude, balance and harmony and we are grateful that she has, even for a moment, recalled us to the understanding that creating space for these qualities within is at least as important as anything we can create externally.

Miyoko’s act is called Sanddornbalance. She did not originate it:

For more than 15 years .. Mädir Rigolo ..[was] the only performer until he took the decision to share his experience and transfer his knowledge to a small number of selected artists who .. now on carry on the tradition of Sanddornbalance in their own individual style and adaptation.
Thus, nowadays there is a celebrated Sanddornbalance at Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, performed by Mädir’s daughter Lara Rigolo (Nestruck’s Top 10 in 2012). Or the powerful and energetic interpretation by Memet Bilgin Rigolo in Australia. We meet the mysterious elegance presented by Japanese dancer and choreographer Miyoko Shida Rigolo. We listen to and watch Naima Rhyn Rigolo who enriches the performance with the sonority of her voice.
Mädir Eugster himself will not stop performing himself – no way – but will surprise audience with a new creation Wings in My Heart in 2014.