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60 Mothers Say “So Glad They Told Me”

So often parenting is seen as a competitive sport. If there was a Parenting Olympics, the medals would go to those more skilled in: Bitchiness, Giving Useless Advice, Giving Unwanted Advice, Doling Out Put-Downs (Disguised as Super-Helpful Advice, with an extra medal of extremely clever disguises), Showing Other Parents Why You Do It Right and They Do It Wrong, In …

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Make Friends With Your Inner Bully

“People who feel shame and self-judgement are more likely to blame others for their moral failures.” So says, Kristin Neff in her book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. Neff is a professor at the University of Texas, and has spent over a decade studying the effects of having or not having self-compassion. She says that anger …

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Conversations With My Father

Recently I wrote about a birth that came too early, that shook me up, left me scattered – and that somehow brought me understanding of things I’d never grasped before. This post is about a death that did the same. It’s a year today since my father died. He’d been in hospital just over two weeks and that day he …

Thankful for machines and love

I am thankful for: Ventilators C-pap machines Oxygen prongs Oxygen masks Oxygen monitors Doctors and nurses who specialise in neo-natal care TPN (total parenteral nutrition) Breast pumps Freezers that stored the milk till she could tolerate it Blood transfusions (7 in total) Doctors Edgar Rey and Hector Martinez of Bogata, Columbia. I have never been to Columbia, and never met …

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2 Picture Books to Introduce Mindfulness to Kids

Why introduce mindfulness to kids? If you already have a mindfulness practice – whether it is meditation, mindful inquiry, releasing or all three – at some point you may feel you’d like to introduce your children to your practices. With mindfulness we learn acceptance of feelings and thoughts that are often judged, punished and suppressed in Western culture. This releases …

A Celebrity Dies of an Overdose – Should We Care?

When a young mother dies, leaving behind two tiny children, it is sad. When that mother is a celebrity who dies of a heroin overdose, public reaction varies from sadness to condemnation. I don’t normally write about celebrities, but something about the death of Peaches Geldof and the information that has come out during the recent inquest, strikes me as …

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I need them to respect me – is it true?

A few weeks ago, a friend told me about a difficult meeting she’d attended, in which she hadn’t felt respected by one man. She considered making a formal complaint about this man, but she felt so angry she couldn’t find the words. As we talked, she began to see that maybe all wasn’t quite as she’d thought.

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Thankfulness is a breeze, and sometimes a hurricane

Sometimes thankfulness is barely noticeable, like the lightest of breezes on a hot summer’s day. It’s there, still making my heart beat, still flowing through the me-ness of me. But I don’t notice. I go about my day, taking life and gratitude for granted: picking up a small child, talking with that child – now grown – kissing my husband …

Let Go of Trying to be Better Than Your Parents

In the days and weeks just before my father died, we had many conversations. In some of those conversations he expressed regrets. He hinted that my sister and I have made a better job of parenting than he did. He thought perhaps he’d done things that weren’t kind; he said he hoped he could be forgiven. I told him that anything he had …

Self Compassion by Kristin Neff: a Review

You only need to read a few of the posts on this blog to know that I am not a newbie at self-development. I’ve attended workshops in The Work of Byron Katie, The Sedona Method and Non-Violent Communication. I’ve meditated, and released tension with yoga. I’ve also read copious books by other writers, psychologists, coaches and one by a hypnotherapist. …