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How I Developed a Daily Yoga Practice

I do yoga every morning. It wasn’t always this way. For years, I wanted to be doing yoga more frequently. I thought it would be good for me, for my stiff shoulders and neck as well as aches from an accident decades ago. I felt virtuous when I did yoga and guilty when I didn’t. I liked feeling virtuous. For a while, I …

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An Experiment in Positivity on Social Media

Okay so, though I am not a celebrator of New Year, I have made an intention to post only uplifting, positive, compassionate and/or healing stuff in 2017. This will not always be easy, but it matters to me that we treat people and the world with kindness and if I want others to do it, let it start with me. …

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New Year – Time to Celebrate or Reflect?

I might be alone in this, but New Year never seems a huge deal to me. Just because we switch the calendar from one number to another, why does that give license to burn thousands of pounds (or dollars) of fireworks? And what is the deal with getting so drunk you don’t even remember seeing those fireworks? Okay so I’m …

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How To Be Your Own Friend Through Sadness And Disappointment

When things are going well for us, it’s (mostly) easy enough to feel good about ourselves, and to feel compassion towards others. But when life throws us those old curveballs every other day, or several times a day, it’s not so easy. Yet that’s when we need compassion the most – both to feel it for others and to feel …

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How to Weather Emotional Dips and Negative Feedback

Focusing on compassion and blessing should automatically lead to feeling more gratitude and seeing the good in people, not to feeling irritable or getting into arguments. Or so I imagined. Um, no. In life, a few things are certain. We are all born; we will all sometime die. After a wave washes onto a beach, it pulls back again. Spring and summer are followed …

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When Someone You Love is Suffering – Be Real

A person I love works hard, against difficult odds, to achieve a goal. It doesn’t happen. This person feels disappointment. I feel it too, and regret: perhaps if I’d followed up on an idea I had months ago the odds could have been reduced, this sadness prevented. I allowed others to dissuade me, wasn’t sure. I’m still not sure, and …

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I am who I am because…

More and more these days, I’m not sure who I am. I don’t mean I’ve forgotten the name written on my birth certificate (not even the middle name I’d rather forget.) I even (usually) manage to remember that I have another name for the Health Services – the same surname as my husband and kids, which I never use for anything …

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Dear Inner Tyrant…

Dear Inner Tyrant, Your tactics don’t work. I realise you are trying to help me, that you hope by pointing out my mistakes and short-comings I will be able to correct them. But it just doesn’t work. All it does is leave me feeling inadequate and hopeless. You’ve been criticising me for over fifty years, so don’t you think that if …

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Can Mindfulness Be Harmful?

It was bound to happen. When everyone from recipe box delivery companies to knitting retreats are proclaiming themselves to be mindful and when government ministers are urging the rest of us to be (though perhaps not taking their own advice), eventually there had to be a backlash. Earlier this year, the Guardian ran an article Is mindfulness making us ill? …