toward Heartwards

I’m starting a venture called Heartwards, a small business offering personal training for integrative health and wellness.

This is the first time I’ve mentioned it here. I’ve mentioned it to a few friends and others in my networks, but otherwise it’s a very nascent thing.

Now I can mention it elsewhere on the socials and Kokoro 心 Heart and feel like it’s been mentioned before. It won’t be weird if you hear me refer to ‘Heartwards’.

I’m definitely not yet at the stage where I’m doing anything like formal marketing, but it definitely won’t fly if I don’t tell anyone about it. So here’s a banner, which is already out-dated as I develop and re-develop content trying to explain exactly the service I want to provide:

It feels weird, to be honest – starting something like this. I’m doubting myself, wondering why I think I should or could be someone to offer these kinds of services to others. I’m not the healthiest Jimbo on the block. I mean, I’m pretty healthy – much healthier than I was 20 years ago. I’m healthier than many, and less healthy than many others.

The answer(s) I always come back to are:

  • by supporting others to step into ownership of their wellness, I will strengthen the sense of accountability for my own wellness;
  • by teaching others, we deepen our own learning;
  • to be of service doing something I feel passionate about
  • by developing holistic-lifestyle training plans for others, I will be able to develop one for myself

Another reason for doing this is that I’m developing the sort of service I wish I could find and afford. Kind of like an author writing the book they want to read. I haven’t been able to find or afford a service like this, so I’m developing it myself – it’s easier to justify developing it for others than it is to justify developing it solely for myself.

There’s a lot more to it than that, but this is just my first public mention of the idea. I won’t go into much more detail here-now, because a) I’m giving up nicotine today and therefore am feeling super vague and fuzzy and weirdly noncommittal and b) I don’t intend to publish a lot about this until it’s more developed. I will publish here if doing so motivates me or helps to justify developing the content, structure, ideas – because publishing here will mean I feel less like I’m operating in a vacuum.

Otherwise, I’m really just mentioning it here so it doesn’t feel weird for me when I reference it in future posts.

I can share a bit of the content I’ve been developing for the business plan.


Our vision at Heartwards is a healthy and sustainable world, where every individual, group and institution is able to cultivate and promote genuine happiness and wellbeing, no matter the challenges we face. We believe a healthy world arises out of healthy minds, and that everyone can reduce suffering and increase happiness.


Our mission at Heartwards is to help facilitate this healthy and sustainable world by equipping individuals, groups and institutions with the resources, knowledge, means and support to cultivate the holistic/integrative health and wellness we need to cope in a world that seems increasingly difficult to navigate. Based on the Pillars of Wellness, we do this by providing one-on-one coaching and accountability support, workshops for groups, in-person and online courses, and resource packages for groups and individuals wanting to develop and maintain lifestyle practices that support their holistic/integrative health and wellness. We help our clients consistently and sustainably prioritise eudaimonic wellness (flourishing) rather than continuing to pursue hedonic pleasure even though we know it leads to suffering rather than happiness.

Our “unique selling proposition” is that Heartwards takes the cliche, happiness comes from within, and turns it into applied eudaimonics. That means we provide clients with the tools and skills they need to actually connect with this elusive treasure that is already within us. By meeting clients where they are at in their busy lifestyles, we help them to become sustainably accountable for their most-important priorities.

Our work is underpinned by the belief that spiritual awareness and health is the foundation of all other experiences of health and wellbeing. Bodhi’s background is Buddhist, but there doesn’t need to be a label from Eastern theological philosophy for us to understand that every individual shares the same deepest aspiration:

to be free from suffering and meet with the causes of genuine (inner) happiness

It is our goal at Heartwards to support others in the spiritual journey that facilitates the sort of wellbeing upon which all other wellbeing is founded – and this is our USP: we don’t mince around and try to leverage the wish for riches or professional success or to live your full potential to entice clients to our products and services; we go straight to the source and help individuals to activate a yearning they already know is there but cannot quite yet identify … the wish the be happy and free from suffering.

a PDF worksheet for emotional first-aid

Photo by Roger Brown on

On the Resources page here I have published a worksheet I use to process emotional episodes in a healthy, supported and guided way. It’s a practice of self-soothing and -regulation. Here are the .odt and .docx files if you want to modify the worksheet for your personal use.

The worksheet guides you through asking, What sort of things did you think, feel and do before, during and after the emotional episode?

Then there are some prompts for self-care and emotional first-aid you can try, and some reflection questions about things like, What are you grateful to have learnt from this experience.

I’m proud of this resource because it has helped me a number of times already when I needed to change the narrative around some event that was emotionally distressing. The worksheet is inspired by the work of Guy Winch, which was my introduction to this practice.

There are more resources on that page, such as Dr Kristin Neff’s website about compassion, and a compassion meditation guided by Sharon Salzberg.


My affirmation for today is that I am enough.

That should be enough said, but we all know I like to get a bit long-winded.

It is enough to just be a kind and present observer in and of the world, a being that brings laughter and lightness and other authentic qualities to their experience and to that of those around them. Or to be a kind and present observer who is grouchy. We don’t need to add or subtract anything from ourselves to be worthy of joy, happiness and love.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t do. Just being is not enough.

Is that a paradox? I don’t think so.

It just means that from our place of being enough, everything else we do comes with ease, is additional, expectation free.

It means that whatever I do today it’s because I choose to add this to my already-enoughness. It also means that if something gets in the way of what I want it doesn’t matter because I am already enough without getting to the thing I wanted.

Alan Watts has a nice quote about this:

photo by Felix Mittermeier

psychological first-aid

I have added a video to the Resources page on Kokoro 心 Heart, about psychological first-aid.

The practice of psychological first-aid falls somewhere between acute and long-term self-care. It baffles me that I was nearly 40 before I had it pointed out to me that we need to treat psychological wounds as they happen, the same as we treat physical wounds.

Here is the video by Guy Winch, which was my introduction to this practice.

may we become conscious of the unconscious

Ironbark Gully
getting back on the horse

Down at the Gully today, doing some writing work and thinking about getting back on the pogram … I’ll explain that word in a minute.

It’s been too long that we’ve allowed the situation with our tenant to derail us. I’ve been in damage-control mode and now it’s time to get back into live grow and build mode.

We bumped into Irish Ryan yesterday and he reminded us that we can choose how we feel about the situation. Remember Frankl (paraphrased):

man’s final freedom is the freedom to choose how he feels.

I choose to feel like I can resume my daily life and go back to cultivating contentment and wellbeing and happiness. I choose to use my time in the house as though This Person being is not a problem. (Such is the extent that I have been overwhelmed by their ongoing presence, that I hand-wrote their whole being as the problem. It’s time to take my mind and heart back from the person I have been allowing to occupy it for too long.) The advice columnist Ann Landers said,

Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.

I choose to reclaim the right to my mental and emotional space. This space is priceless, and my experience of it is a choice.

I’ve been meaning to start a document, something I can fold into a pocket somewhere, with the values and reminders I’d like to keep in the fore of my mind. This exercise helps me feel anchored to something, less dependent on retaining all my intentions in the brain. I’m getting on to this today and will share it here as some kind of practical resource when I’m able to get to that.

When I’m getting back on the horse like this, I talk about getting back on my pogram, which is a combination of program and pogrom, a program of personal re-education, of expelling that which holds me back and re-learning what makes me soar.

This idea of keeping a document on hand as a reminder has … reminded me that a key project of my pogram and the work at Kokoro 心 Heart is making the subconscious more conscious. By bringing my values and beliefs and positive “talk” to the fore of my conscious, I reclaim the ability and freedom to choose how I feel.

If 95% of our behaviour is motivated by the subconscious, then we need to become aware of the subconscious so we can be more intentional, less reactive, less likely to crumble when struck by unchartered adversity.

So that’s the theme set for the day and days to come. My battery is about to die, so I’m going to hit send on this missive.

The Book Vouch

I’ve started a page on Kokoro 心 Heart called The Book Vouch, a list of books I can vouch for. Imagine a TV show where people sit on a couch and talk about their favourite books, except there’s no couch, no video, and no talking.

This is part of my first crack at affiliate marketing, so you can buy books through this page and I’ll get some money for a coffee, at no extra cost to you.

update: meditation and employment

I’ve restarted my formal meditation practice today. It was nice to sit still on the cushion and give some time to just enjoying the breath and allowing thought to fall away before it takes hold.

I’ve been taking a break from maintaining all such habits since I quit my job a while back. I let myself go a bit because I just wanted to relax and go easy on myself with the routine and discipline. I’d been planning to get back to a more regular practice a few weeks ago, but then things blew up with our housemate and that destabilised us for a while.

That’s okay.

It’s all okay.

It has to be, or else despair sets in and there’s nothing more paralysing for me than despair. It’s worse than fear for me, which at least has a kind of energising power.

The work I’m doing now, since I quit my complicity in traditional exploitative employment, is here on this blog and internal, intrapersonal, work. I’m fortunate to live in a country that has welfare benefits, and I’m choosing to redirect that benefit to the investigation of our culture and the internal environment that creates that culture. I consider it a form of tithing.

What better service can I offer the community than investigating the true nature of reality? By sharing any insights I come across I hope to contribute to the work of changing the narrative around what we consider valuable at the heart of our culture: the acquisition and hoarding of material wealth, which divides us into haves and havenots, creates discord and harms the habitat of our planet; or the realisation of wisdom that unites us in the common journey toward equality, harmony and sustainability.

Of course we all need a degree of material wealth to survive long enough to conduct these investigations, and we can’t all depend on the welfare system forever. To that end, I am beginning to monetise this blog a bit, with affiliate links to things like books I can wholeheartedly recommend. Here’s one, in the spirit of trying this on for size — a fiction-ish memoir account of the ancient search for what the author calls Quality: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig.

I’ve always felt a bit suss about marketing and advertising, but I’ll try to make sure the way I do it here is not grubby. All recommendations will be as much on theme as possible, and nothing I wouldn’t buy myself. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a classic of philosophical ficto-memoir that has inspired my own metaphysical adventures endlessly, and is one of the few books I’ve read more than once.

I’ve got other income streams in mind, such as meme-coasters and other “merch”, as well as social enterprise ideas that will take a bit more time to materialise. I also want to produce a little chapbook of my published and unpublished writing, so stay tuned.

If this sounds like something you’d like to follow and get involved with and support, there are some links below.

Meanwhile, may your psychospiritual wellness be complete and your contribution valued. I’m looking forward to a bright future, and I’m excited and happy to be stepping into my purpose of compassionate communication about metaphysical adventure.

Nikki put this on the stereo as I was finishing the draft of this post (it’s Ben Harper’s “With My Own Two Hands”, in case the embed doesn’t work):

Very appropriate, and from an album I can highly recommend: Diamonds on the Inside by Ben Harper [link].

~ ~ ~

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