Take some quiet moments to intuitively sense where the person's heart is hurting or closed. It was a deal-clincher for me. Caroline North McIlvanney's copy-editing and attention to detail was nothing short of genius and her helpful suggestions greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank Josh Benn, Patsy Irwin and all the others at Transworld. The Writers' and Artists' Yeararticle recommends that you should ignore the comments on your work from people you have Christmas dinner with as they will invariably be uncritical. All the same, I would like to thank my Christmas dinner clan for their helpful comments. These range from my son Finbar's text (`Quite interesting') to more substantial input from my sisters, Louise Jarrett and Emma Knivett. My daughter Fiona and her husband Marc Abbs also helped. My wife has the benefit of a South London comprehensive school education and is therefore well-versed in grammar, spelling and Latin, all of which are a mystery to me, in spite of my public-school secondary education. She was also strict about anything vague and woolly or flippant and puffed-up. Work colleagues, both ancient and modern, offered advice and suggestions. Optimum physical health is an expression of the balance within your body. When balance is compromised, so is physical health. The following is excerpted from B. Iyengar's Light on Life: Through yoga one can begin to develop a perfect balance between both sides of the body. All of us begin with imbalances, favouring one side or the other. When one side is more active than the other, the active side must become the guru for the inactive side to make it equally active. To the weaker side, we must apply attention. We must also show more care.

We show keener interest to improve a dull and struggling friend than for an eager and intelligent one. Some deep part of you knows there's something you were meant to do to fill the world with more love, doesn't it? How does tapping into something greater than yourself transform your existence? Some people use SVT to have conversations with people they have lost, and this helps them to heal. Perhaps you believe the words you say via SVT travel to heaven, or maybe you believe this time is for you to use the power of the subconscious brain to see and hear things left unsaid. Would you like to be in communion with God or angels? Perhaps you believe that your words are traveling directly to the soul of your lost loved one, or perhaps you simply believe that the healing is happening in a part of your own brain. I imagine either scenario would be peaceful and healing for a person who is healing. Here's an SVT practice for spiritual deepening. Find a quiet and peaceful place. You may wish to light a candle, incense, or sage--anything that helps you to deepen your spiritual practice. Then compassion will come more easily. Rule 6: Work out a compromise or resolution. Don't stay attached to simply being right. Rule 7: If a person is unwilling to change, you can either accept the situation as is and try to emotionally detach from it or limit contact. While communicating, always speak to the best in people, to their intelligence, integrity, or intuition. This will bring out the best in you too. The worst in us is just raring to emerge, but don't go for it. Refrain from being curt, condescending, or mean; Stay cool: don't explode or issue ultimatums before attempting to find common ground.

All this is your meditation. I am indebted to Ian and Mandy Reid, Bob Logan, James Beckett and Max Millett. Alex Hobson provided a shedload of facts and figures about finance, taxation and the NHS. Next-door neighbours Guy and Liz Phelps read my first drafts and encouraged me to continue. An accidental meeting on the train to London with Martin Severs reminded me of some painful patient stories and the lessons we both learned from them. I am grateful to David Carpenter from Portsmouth University for correcting my ethics and Amanda Freeman of Queen Alexandra Hospital for allowing me to mention her by name. If a Hollywood film is made of this article, Amanda would like to be played by Keeley Hawes. Sadly, as Charles Hawtrey has passed on, there is no automatic choice of actor to play me. Ray Tallis again corrected my philosophy when I mistook Kierkegaard for Emile Durkheim. How often do we geriatricians make that mistake? I would also like to thank all the patients who, over the last forty years, have shown me the meaning of courage. In the same way, you have to show yourself this same compassion and act on the weaker side of the body while taking pleasure in the achievement of the active side. Let us examine what is considered a scarier pose - the handstand. We know from The Mind article that the biggest barrier in this pose and other such advanced poses is psychological; In the handstand, what, in my experience of doing and teaching this pose, is the biggest barrier? It is not lack of strength or flexibility. Although I won't deny that a lack of both can cause some problems. The real barrier is a lack of balance or more specifically, it is not knowing where your centre of gravity is. So a more accurate explanation of the barrier is our lack of awareness of how to find our balance. Unless we come from an athletic background, we are unlikely to know where our centre of gravity is.

When I do my handstand, I position my hands as I would in my downward dog, or my arm balances (this creates consistency for me), and the first thing I do before I attempt my handstand is ensure that I am pushing both hands equally into the ground. In a comfortable seated or lying-down position, listen to the audio track SVT to Deepen Your Spiritual Practice (see SVT Downloads for download information) to reconnect with your higher power or life purpose. SVT FOR SPIRITUAL DEEPENING As you close the eyes, ground yourself in this precious moment of the right here and right now. Can you feel this beautiful earth rising up to support your body? And now gently bring your attention to three sounds you're noticing. And now, can you notice two colors on the back of the eyelids? Notice the first one straight out in front of you . And on the next exhale, allow the eyes to float down, down, down . Now just really enjoy this one breath. Can you feel the rib cage expanding by one millimeter or the air warming the nostrils? Compassionate communication is a holy exchange, a meeting of hearts that overrides the fascism of malice. IN THIS FINAL article of the article, we can rightfully celebrate how emotional freedom puts us in full possession of ourselves, not subject to the whims of anger or other negative emotions. When we view anger as something to process and transform, when we see compassion as the prize, we're not just courting liberation, we're living it. By applying the Seventh Transformation, compassion imbues us with a natural authority flowing from the heart rather than simply mind or ego. It permits us to behave in a radically mindful fashion. Never confuse it with weakness. The Buddha teaches: Compassion is the way out of hell. It's our compass toward the heaven of loving-kindness. In my own life, I'm so grateful for compassion's grace.

The smallest acts are truly miraculous to me. I am humbled on a daily basis. If I have failed them I am genuinely sorry. It was not through sloth, I can promise, but more the result of a lack of knowledge or human failing. Medicine is a wonderful crucible for learning and also for failing. One of the less desirable aspects for me of growing older has been the increasing intrusion of earworms - those fragments of songs and tunes that intrude into consciousness for no apparent reason. I have difficulty remembering new actors' names but somehow retain a perfect recall of the lyrics of 1970s pop songs. Our brains are only partially under our own control. I therefore make no apology for mining the lexicon of lyrics, from the 1960s and beyond, for epigraphs. There can be wisdom in those throwaway songs. All the quotations in articles from revered eighteenth-century essayists say nothing to me about my life. Even someone who has not done this pose before can tell me that unless I use both my arms equally, I will fail in my attempt. So, I look at my hands and ensure that they are both stretched and in equal contact with the mat. I then take a few hops (not yet trying my handstand) but just creating that feeling that both my arms are going to do equal work. I am essentially sending messages to my brain, via my nerves, telling my brain and body what it is I want to do. When I transform my hop into handstand, both sides of my body need to work equally. If one legs falls behind, I lose the pose. If one-foot kicks more than the other, the pose is lost. If there is more weight in my right arm, I lose the pose. So, the key in getting up and maintaining my handstand is balance.