NAIL Freedom and Flow


Thank you to all you who were able to attend our NAIL Freedom & Flow practice session and for your inspiring and invigorating participation and presence. Here are some touchstones…and extending the invitation to everyone else…

Between the stimulus and a response,

Is a space,


In that space

Is our POWER and our FREEDOM
~Viktor Frankl


Find my 'practice run" of the 3 Gifts NAIL Freedom & Flow session on youtube as I prepared for my session. You can journal along with me.

Again, a reminder… this was an IMPROV-session, I recorded and am sharing. The 3-Gifts practice is at minute 21.

In a LIVE SESSION there is more practice, interaction, sharing, Q&A, etc.


Thank you partner practitioners for your joyful commitment to our practice session. May you feel centered and energised as you meet your day. Here are the 3 questions we used for our transformative journaling and embodied awareness practices. I have included the slide on our integral intention around WAKING UP.

abbrev. DP = Daily Practice

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”

– Voltaire


Today, we focused on radical acceptance— the “A” of N.A.I.L.

Thank you my compassionate and curious practice partners. This session is always a welcome opportunity for me to ‘return home’ to my inner Sage and I hope you had a positive experience too.

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf
~Jon Kabat-Zinn

When you notice yourself feeling unsettled, surf your senses and sensations to return home… This mind fitness practice will help you return to your senses and create a wise response. Here’s a nice infographic to contemplate which of these ‘reps’/ embodied awareness you will bring to an upcoming challenging situation.


Greetings NAIL Partner practitioners, our session with month will be on 27/7 (27 July, Tuesday). The calendar will be updated shortly so there will be a link available to join.

I look forward to practicing with you, before our August break!



Thank you partner practitioners for bringing your STRENGTHS to the table today.

And remember, when you find yourself blaming/judging yourself, others, circumstances, let it go with this PALETTE CLEANSER

Whatever this is or isn’t,

Should or shouldn’t be…

Whatever that is or isn’t,

Should or shouldn’t be…

I am…


Inquiry to break free from cravings

It is always an inspiration to experience the meeting of science and wisdom traditions. Neuroscientist and addiction psychiatrist, Jud Brewer, offers this powerful practice of inquiry to wake up from the trance we are in when we are eating yet another piece of chocolate, for example.

The inquiry to nail freedom and flow?
Notice (step out of automatic pilot) and then shift gears by asking a simple question:

What do I get from this?

I call it the “disenchanting question”, as the spell is broken and we can more clearly witness, without judgment a habit that does not serve our best interests.

Set the intention to notice when one is eating something full of sugar or saturated fat, reaching for an electronic device (social media), reaching for that cigarette, etc and then ask the question: “What am I getting from this?”.

I’d love to hear your experiences with this. Good luck.


Yeah, that’s a great technique.
I think I do something similar with beer. I used to drink pretty regularly. What I get out of drinking 6 American Beers (2 liters or approx 4 European beers) is disassociation / disconnection with lethargy the next day.
Disassociation isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s a bit different than “fun”, for example, or “relaxing”. It’s clearly just putting off unpleasant feelings for another time. So if I consciously want to do that, I can, but what I find is wandering through the store with that understanding it’s much less likely the beer will be in my cart when I leave the store. Lets say by a margin of 100:1
It will be interesting for me to do the same thing now today with a food dish. I’m kind of having a craving for a large takeout meal. What it will give me is a feeling of fullness but also lethargy. Where does my desire or need for fullness come from? A feeling of lacking, perhaps going back to childhood and teenage poverty and the unavailability of food at the end of the month followed by a feeling of fullness when food was again plentiful at the first of the month - or also a need for community shared fullness and relaxation / lethargy during North American hedonistic feasting rituals.
The desire underneath the desire for fullness from food is a desire for security and belonging / community.
It’ll be interesting to ponder this as lunch time approaches and I haven’t eaten breakfast.


Thank you Ray for generously sharing your reflections and insight and hats off for the courage to jump right in and put it into practice!

You shifted from first gear (noticing what you are doing), to second gear (accepting, okay, this is going on and…) popping in the liberating inquiry. And then third gear is receiving the insights that mean yes, implementing on these insights.

Truly an integral practice!

Any of these wise efforts are worthy of celebration. Stay strong and remember to celebrate your awakening.


Thank you to my Practice Partners for your curiosity, interest and courageous presence. Today we practiced an integration of NAIL Freedom & Flow and a HOPES Up in 3 process, also called 'Creating Change in 3 Steps".

May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears.

  1. Here is the slide to help you focus on your Highest Hopes for yourself

  2. Here is a slide to support your reflection of the 3 steps

I feel honored to have had the opportunity to facilitate the session and practice with you.

Thank you


To all of you who came and held the space to support our co-creating contemplative practices, thank you for doing this heroic work.

Today we explored transforming suffering with NAIL Freedom & Flow.

We tapped into Greek mythology to help us inquire into how we are like Sisyphus … especially in relation to ourselves.

Through inquiry and reflection, we shone a light into our thoughts about ourselves and how these feel in the body.

I offered a question I learned from Diane Musho Hamilton in the face of self-criticism: “What’s right with this?”, helps us recognise that like Sisyphus, we are engaging in futile efforts in an attempt to meet our needs.

Follow this reflection with the inquiry: “What do I need?” (the “I” in N-A-I.L where we inquire into our real interests). This frees us to look at more useful efforts to meet our needs such as safety, connection, and independence.

Finally, you are invited to harvest your memories of those times you did show up for yourself and develop this memory into a resource. Play with some “I AM…” statements that will help you be more resourceful and free.

May you be safe and well.


Greetings again, partner practitioners. Thank you for your dedication to your integral life practices.

Today’s focus was on integrating aspects of our lives. In this session, the aspects were: Presence, Observation; and Reconnecting to Self (and Recovering from Reactivity). We created an impression of a Power Guide, starting with a symbolic representation of someone who embodies these qualities.

Here are the steps of this guided visualisation that is also a daily practice.

Integrating the Aspects of One’s Life

  1. Steady mind and body
  2. Create the Composite (compose symbolic representation)
  3. Release attachment to shortcomings
  4. Encapsule aspects (create new “iconic” symbol)
  5. Elevate aspirations
  6. Notice, note and name thoughts &feelings (journal)
  7. Strategize (set intention for an upcoming activity)

Find details on these aspects/strengths in Pathways to Liberation, by Jim Manske et al (available as creative commons resource)


Bringing it Home: Integrating Presence

If you feel so inspired, for the next week, pause regularly to connect with your intention to be more present.


Being attentive to what is happening right now. Not lost in thinking, emotional reaction, etc.


Relaxed alertness to what is happening in each moment, with a sense of purpose & choice; openness to what is, with resourcefulness, interdependence & a perspective of past & future.

Your presence is the most important gift you can give to another human being.
~Marshal Rosenberg (founder of Non-Violent Communication NVC)


**Visualise Yourself Flourishing**

Looking forward to practicing with you at our upcoming session, where we will have the opportunity to contemplate on our aspirations, dreams and desires for our lives (personal and/or professional), what support we can hope for, and what is necessary to transform, to be better aligned to our intentions.

Within our dreams and aspirations, we find our opportunities.
~Sugar Ray Leonard


Thank you for creating this community of practice and your generous and inspiring sharing. I love this reminder from Tibetan teacher, Nyoshui Khen Rinpoche

Why is your sense of possibility, your sense of aspiration so small? Why is it so blunted? Why is it so meagre? Why not aspire to be a fully liberated being for the sake of all beings? Why not?

May you stay well and safe as you transition into the New Year. May you always elevate your aspirations, welcome the support that is possible for you, surrender what gets in the way of your flourishing.


MSC: Mindful Self-Compassion

In our upcoming session where we will explore how NAIL Freedom & Flow corresponds with the 3 core factors of compassion: Mindfulness, Common Humanity and Kindness. In particular, we will practice befriending ourselves.

I look forward to practicing with you.


Thank you to all who showed up with a commitment to freedom and flow! Your presence and participation is deeply appreciated.

An important aspect of self-compassion is to be able to empathetically hold both parts of ourselves, the self that regrets a past action and the self that took the action in the first place. The process of mourning and self-forgiveness frees us in the erection of learning and growing. In connecting moment by moment to our needs, we increase our creative capacity to act in harmony with them.

(Nonviolent Communication, p. 134)

~Marshall Rosenberg

Evidence That It Works

Shapira, L. B., & Mongrain, M. (2010). The benefits of self-compassion and optimism exercises for individuals vulnerable to depression. Journal of Positive Psychology , 5 , 377-389.

Participants who wrote a self-compassionate letter every day for a week reported lower symptoms of depression and greater happiness three months later than they had beforehand; they also seemed happier and less depressed three months later than participants who had written about an early memory every day for a week. Their increase in happiness persisted six months later.


FOCUS OF THE DAY: A Daily Self-Inquiry Practice
NAIL Freedom & Flow reflects foundational questions I have gathered over the years as I studied the questions successful people ask themselves throughout their day.

Notice & Note
In this practice, when we notice the Judge of Self (inner critic) and make a gentle non-defensive ‘note’, which is as simple as telling oneself: “there goes the inner critic again!”, - we develop the habit of disarming self-judgment.

We deepen the practice by bringing in some embodied awareness practices e.g. noticing ‘what is present’ -… the thoughts, sensations, feelings one is experiencing in the moment. This is also a loving act of self-liberation that moves you from self-judgment to self-understanding.

In our upcoming session, we will practice the Inner YES Method, a daily self-inquiry practice of pre-eminent scholar and negotiation expert William Ury (Getting to Yes with Yourself, How to get What you Truly Want).

There are 6 sets of inquiry. Here is a taster of the first YES…
Put Yourself in Your Shoes

I hope you will give it a go: noticing and noting the inner critic at work and bringing curiosity, and care to the experience.

I look forward to practicing with you.

*Notice & Note is the “N” of NAIL which then extends into the “A” of NAIL i.e. acceptance of what is happening - the inner critic is at work, these thoughts are happening, these feelings are here now… attuning into the feelings as a source of liberation and feedback.. the “I” of NAIL has levels of inquiry - this being the first level.


In our upcoming NAIL Freedom & Flow session, we will test drive a daily self-inquiry practice called the Inner Yes Method by William Ury. There are 3 yeses to get to daily in the negotiation with oneself:

  • Saying Yes to Self
  • Saying Yes to Life
  • Saying Yes to Others

And, yes, this makes it more likely to get what we truly want in life.

I imagine that YES is the only living thing

~E.E. Cummings

*Inner BATNA - Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement. I use my term VISOOO = Victory In Spite Of Objective Outcome! Whatever the other party does or doesn’t do, even if one cannot come to the desired agreement, there is still a win within!


There is seems to be something going on with the link. The session is still taking place. I will check with Corey to double check.

Finger’s crossed