Conscious Strokes – A mindful, yogic, vegan, kayaking blog

What does recovery look like?

24 months ago, as I stood on a cliff top, I felt the cool lake chilled wind rip through my shirt. I looked down on the distant lakes and watched as waves rushed from the west across the disturbed surface. The intense Fall sun’s rays were not enough to overpower the...

If its so easy, why is it so hard?

There is no point in worrying about the past, or the future, as neither are in your control. Focus then only on the present. Oh, thank you, that was so helpful. If you had written that in the first paragraph I would not have had to read the entire tome. To an extent, I am not jesting. I have consumed with varying degrees of voracity numerous books about ancient and modern philosophies trying to educate myself on the inner workings of my, human, condition.


When my mind stops screaming and the pain within my chest subsides then the opportunity exists for happiness. Before happiness manifests there is a quiet time, a peaceful calm where the voices of depression are silent and rational emotion processing takes over. Happiness is a response, a physical and mental outcome, a manifestation of decisions made, a conscious and physical realization of emotions. 

Cogitating on Compassion

How can someone state they have compassion for the pain a circumstance creates, and then express a desire to not improve said circumstance and instead continue to worsen the pain? To me this seems counter-intuitive when one examines the definition of compassion: Compassion. /kəmˈpæʃən/ noun. a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Rolling with plants

My life’s journey has been taking me to Europe a lot lately, for work but also a little “play”. In a small alley near the Plaça de Catalunya in the center of Barcelona, there is an equally small restaurant that serves nothing but vegan food. Teresa Carles ( on the Carrer de Jovellanos has become my favorite restaurant out of any I have found during my travels.

Moribund morning elocution

Why is it hard to change the way your mind works? Why is it hard to do the things you know will bring you the most happiness? Why is it that depression is the easiest path? Why does depression want more depression and drags you to its depths?

Origin of Love

The Mika song “Origin of Love” is a permanent fixture on my phones playlist, it’s a very meaningful song for me. I was listening to it, while relaxing on a transatlantic flight from Dublin. The lyrics made me start thinking about my relationship to love and how it manifests in my life. And thus, this stream of consciousness was born.
From the air I breathe, to the love I need
Only thing I know, you’re the origin of love
– Mikka

The ascetic practices of Yoga and Greenland Rolling

It is a part of my DNA driven inheritance that when I do something I generally do it to an obsessive degree. As examples, I can’t just be vegetarian I have to be vegan, I can’t just practice the physical aspects yoga once a week I need/have/am compelled to do it four or five days a week. My obsessive-compulsive behavior inevitably extends to my Greenland kayaking too.

How I stopped losing my shit while kayak rolling

Stress makes one do strange things, instincts take over from sense. We react to rather than mentally process situations and stimulus. In my experience the threat of drowning creates all the necessary stimuli to fill me with stress. When I am upside down, under my kayak, my head under water, and things go wrong, my panic stress response kicks in strongly. I instinctively do anything I can to get my head out of the water so I can breathe.

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