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Journaling for Self-Care

Self-care: intransitive verb – to attach importance to, to look after and provide to the needs of the self.
Alternatively: To Instagram your green juice.

I just made that up.

But what is self-care? Seriously. Is it another fad to encourage us to be even more individualistic, self-obsessed and keen to protect our own interests? To go out and buy more anti-wrinkle cream, lest we should actually show signs of natural ageing.

How To Reinvent Yourself In the 21st Century

Have you ever had a novel written about your life? Have you been the main character of a successful TV series? Have you divided public opinion with a controversial testimony of your life? I have. All of the above, and more.

Why Dreams Can Be A Nightmare

Have you ever had a stone in your shoe?

You’re walking down the street, you’re in a hurry but you’re making good progress. And yet with every step forward you take, you’re reminded of the foreign object digging into your foot. It’s deeply unpleasant but you keep going – you’ll just ignore it for now.

Carrying dreams can feel that way.

You have a nice life, great friends, a home, a job – you’re on an upward spiral, but there’s a stone in your shoe. “Remember, you were going to be a concert pianist?” And all the joy is sucked out of your picture. The pride of what you’ve accomplished is soiled by a “should have”.

Teenage Dream – Part 4

So I was in. I was the drummer of a band. Something I’d dreamt of for years, and never really expected would happen. (If you’re picking up the story here, you may want to take a few minutes to read part 1, part 2 and part 3.)

Teenage Dream – Part 3

When was the last time you achieved something you didn’t think yourself capable of?

Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
– David Bowie

A fortnight ago, I told you how I’d decided 2017 would be a year of “musical performance”.

Teenage Dream – Part 2

I must admit something. When I turned up to the Drummer Factory for the first time, part of me just wanted to prove to myself that there was little to my love for the drums. I thought “I’ll give this another shot and if I don’t enjoy it or if I’m really no good, I’ll put it all to bed.”

But fate threw the wrong teacher my way for that to happen. Enter Sass – an outstanding musician – a cross between Yoda, Jerry Seinfeld and Stewart Copeland (the drummer of the Police). The walls of his studio were covered in instruments – many which I still can’t name. I laid out all the reasons why I shouldn’t pursue drumming, felt terribly embarrassed at my lack of skills but before I knew it, I was playing again. Sass was just the teacher I needed. I couldn’t have been luckier. I wasn’t going to give up this time.

Teenage Dream – Part 1

What were you dreams as a teenager? Did you aspire to become an actor? Maybe you wanted to be a famous singer, or a tennis champion? Maybe a ballerina? Or a famous chef? A TV host… or all of the above?

As the newsletter readers will know, I’ve been dying to share my latest adventure with you, but I was so scared I’d jinx it that I’ve held back until now. Until after the realisation of one of my greatest teenage dreams. And boy am I thrilled to finally tell you about it!

Journaling through a break up

A few years ago, I handled a break up really badly. I left my boyfriend seven times in a year. Yep, seven! And each time, I was in pieces. The thing is, we got along like a house on fire. He thought I was great fun but didn’t want anything serious, so I’d leave him, he’d find it cute and then if he had no plans for the weekend, he’d sweep me off my feet again. I caved in every time. Every single time, my mind would erase the reasons why I’d broken up with him in the first place.

What should I do next?

Do you ever wish someone could tell you exactly what steps to take next?

“Wow, Virgo!!! Just… wow!!!! THIS IS IT”, exclaims the fortune-teller. “July is going to be your month. Lucky you! I’ve never seen anything like this!”, she continues, overwhelmed with excitement at the sight of her Tarot card spread. My slightly random, unorthodox consultation at a summer festival has suddenly left me sizzling with anticipation.

State of Wonder

On a grey and windy afternoon, I escape to one of my sanctuaries.

I step away from my worries, out of time, and dive into a whole different world. A story told by a lady who, in the 19th century, embarked on an exploration of the flora of far-away countries. Sounds slightly random, but humour me…

The Great Spring Clean

I’ve been busy Spring cleaning.

A few days ago, I woke up coughing. I decided it was the dust so I got my hoover out and unintentionally entered into the most blissful state of flow.

I don’t generally enjoy cleaning; I’ve always loved tidying up – putting things in order, creating symmetry and ease of use. Untangling cables, buying neat folders and making every day life a little bit smoother…

Angry Birds to Save the World?

I shouted a few days ago. So loud! So loud, I was shaken like a baby after it’s had a loud hiccup, when its face crumples and it looks around for reassurance before going into an incontrollable burst of tears. I found myself shaking and wondering where the sound had come from…and who had made it.

Where had this sudden eruption of rage come from?

How to be a good friend to yourself

“Aren’t you a pretty little girl! Give me a twirl – show me your beautiful dress!”, Granny says. Young Holly complies dutifully, turns her face up and gives her proudest and largest grin. Compliment accepted!

Holly is five years old. For now, the feedback she’s receiving about her defining attributes is overall positive. Her behaviour sometimes calls for adjustment, but generally, she’s pleasing to society…

Tuning in to your voice in a world of noise

I lost my voice. Completely. A couple a weeks ago, I lost my voice for eight days.

At first, I was angry. I had to cancel all my meetings, I could no longer discuss complicated ideas and issues with anyone. I was alone with myself and had to find the answers within.

I thought I would go crazy – I like talking and nothing brings me greater joy than singing in the shower. Was life going to be in black and white until I got my voice back?

Winter Cruise or Winter Blues?

January is a tough month for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere. The frantic run-up to Festive Season is over, the winter has only just begun and suddenly you feel ten years older as your body tenses up in the cold weather. You feel more lethargic. It’s as if you’d become a different person overnight.

You’ve probably set goals for the year, but suddenly you can’t see a metre ahead, so how could you possibly plan to achieve your targets within the next twelve months? The very thought of your New Year’s resolutions quickly seems punishing.

Why creativity keeps us sane

“I’m not creative,” says Sarah. “No, really. I’m just not. I really envy people who are, but I don’t have an ounce of imagination. I’d love to draw or write, but I don’t have the time. I’m too busy.”

“But, how about that party you organised?” I ask. “You thought it up so well. You took the time to come up with a plan for all your friends to have the best possible time and you executed it with flying colours. That’s creative.

Where do I begin?

Do you ever go through periods of time where ideas or tasks stack up?

You’re considering a career change, you want to start writing a book, to change careers altogether, maybe even countries.

You look at your list with a sense of panic and feel defeated.

Hello darkness, my old friend!

Halloween is lurking around the corner with its scary characters and the suspense of strangers ringing the doorbell for treats. Days draw in and monsters of all kinds run amok in the dark.

It’s all very cathartic for those who like joining in the celebration, but it can also be quite a chaotic and unsettling time. Halloween marks the entry into the darker months and brings to our attention the invisible or imagined souls – good or evil, which surround us.

Must I suffer to be happy?

Happiness. It’s a big word. It’s charged with meaning, with connotations. It’s aspirational and yet very intimidating to those who don’t get enough of it.

Some people seem to be born happy, whilst others need to work hard for it. Why does the search for happiness sometimes seem like a chore? Should we even strive for it? In fact, what is happiness?

Is fear holding you back?

You want to ask for a pay rise, but what if you ruined your career in the process? You want to write a book, but you’re afraid of making a fool of yourself in public.

Fear can be a beast; it enters into our minds and sometimes won’t let go…

Is self-awareness self-indulgent?

Have you ever felt like you had nothing more to learn about yourself, and that by now, you must have figured out your life? Then shied away from decisions, telling yourself that you must stop over-thinking…

Change – turn and face the strain

We all have our pain points and it’s good to try to work them out. For me, it’s the month of July. It begins with goodbyes, and ends with August. Living in a city and working through most of the summer, I find that everyone’s away in August and then September comes. I’m a year older …

Have you lost your self?

Have you ever returned to the landscape of a story you’d loved and imagined breathing the air, hearing the sounds, feeling the sun on your skin in that space? I have – many times, and I’ve always found it very healing.

Welcome to Curativity

A few years ago, I stepped away from a job I had loathed. It had only been a short stint, but the relief of handing in my resignation was huge. It had been a nerve-racking few months in an office where people were so afraid of being replaced, that they fought…

Journaling for Self-Care

Self-care: intransitive verb – to attach importance to, to look after and provide to the needs of the self.
Alternatively: To Instagram your green juice.

I just made that up.

But what is self-care? Seriously. Is it another fad to encourage us to be even more individualistic, self-obsessed and keen to protect our own interests? To go out and buy more anti-wrinkle cream, lest we should actually show signs of natural ageing.

How To Reinvent Yourself In the 21st Century

Have you ever had a novel written about your life? Have you been the main character of a successful TV series? Have you divided public opinion with a controversial testimony of your life? I have. All of the above, and more.

Why Dreams Can Be A Nightmare

Have you ever had a stone in your shoe?

You’re walking down the street, you’re in a hurry but you’re making good progress. And yet with every step forward you take, you’re reminded of the foreign object digging into your foot. It’s deeply unpleasant but you keep going – you’ll just ignore it for now.

Carrying dreams can feel that way.

You have a nice life, great friends, a home, a job – you’re on an upward spiral, but there’s a stone in your shoe. “Remember, you were going to be a concert pianist?” And all the joy is sucked out of your picture. The pride of what you’ve accomplished is soiled by a “should have”.

Teenage Dream – Part 4

So I was in. I was the drummer of a band. Something I’d dreamt of for years, and never really expected would happen. (If you’re picking up the story here, you may want to take a few minutes to read part 1, part 2 and part 3.)

Teenage Dream – Part 3

When was the last time you achieved something you didn’t think yourself capable of?

Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
– David Bowie

A fortnight ago, I told you how I’d decided 2017 would be a year of “musical performance”.

Teenage Dream – Part 2

I must admit something. When I turned up to the Drummer Factory for the first time, part of me just wanted to prove to myself that there was little to my love for the drums. I thought “I’ll give this another shot and if I don’t enjoy it or if I’m really no good, I’ll put it all to bed.”

But fate threw the wrong teacher my way for that to happen. Enter Sass – an outstanding musician – a cross between Yoda, Jerry Seinfeld and Stewart Copeland (the drummer of the Police). The walls of his studio were covered in instruments – many which I still can’t name. I laid out all the reasons why I shouldn’t pursue drumming, felt terribly embarrassed at my lack of skills but before I knew it, I was playing again. Sass was just the teacher I needed. I couldn’t have been luckier. I wasn’t going to give up this time.

Teenage Dream – Part 1

What were you dreams as a teenager? Did you aspire to become an actor? Maybe you wanted to be a famous singer, or a tennis champion? Maybe a ballerina? Or a famous chef? A TV host… or all of the above?

As the newsletter readers will know, I’ve been dying to share my latest adventure with you, but I was so scared I’d jinx it that I’ve held back until now. Until after the realisation of one of my greatest teenage dreams. And boy am I thrilled to finally tell you about it!

Journaling through a break up

A few years ago, I handled a break up really badly. I left my boyfriend seven times in a year. Yep, seven! And each time, I was in pieces. The thing is, we got along like a house on fire. He thought I was great fun but didn’t want anything serious, so I’d leave him, he’d find it cute and then if he had no plans for the weekend, he’d sweep me off my feet again. I caved in every time. Every single time, my mind would erase the reasons why I’d broken up with him in the first place.

What should I do next?

Do you ever wish someone could tell you exactly what steps to take next?

“Wow, Virgo!!! Just… wow!!!! THIS IS IT”, exclaims the fortune-teller. “July is going to be your month. Lucky you! I’ve never seen anything like this!”, she continues, overwhelmed with excitement at the sight of her Tarot card spread. My slightly random, unorthodox consultation at a summer festival has suddenly left me sizzling with anticipation.

State of Wonder

On a grey and windy afternoon, I escape to one of my sanctuaries.

I step away from my worries, out of time, and dive into a whole different world. A story told by a lady who, in the 19th century, embarked on an exploration of the flora of far-away countries. Sounds slightly random, but humour me…

The Great Spring Clean

I’ve been busy Spring cleaning.

A few days ago, I woke up coughing. I decided it was the dust so I got my hoover out and unintentionally entered into the most blissful state of flow.

I don’t generally enjoy cleaning; I’ve always loved tidying up – putting things in order, creating symmetry and ease of use. Untangling cables, buying neat folders and making every day life a little bit smoother…

Angry Birds to Save the World?

I shouted a few days ago. So loud! So loud, I was shaken like a baby after it’s had a loud hiccup, when its face crumples and it looks around for reassurance before going into an incontrollable burst of tears. I found myself shaking and wondering where the sound had come from…and who had made it.

Where had this sudden eruption of rage come from?

How to be a good friend to yourself

“Aren’t you a pretty little girl! Give me a twirl – show me your beautiful dress!”, Granny says. Young Holly complies dutifully, turns her face up and gives her proudest and largest grin. Compliment accepted!

Holly is five years old. For now, the feedback she’s receiving about her defining attributes is overall positive. Her behaviour sometimes calls for adjustment, but generally, she’s pleasing to society…

Tuning in to your voice in a world of noise

I lost my voice. Completely. A couple a weeks ago, I lost my voice for eight days.

At first, I was angry. I had to cancel all my meetings, I could no longer discuss complicated ideas and issues with anyone. I was alone with myself and had to find the answers within.

I thought I would go crazy – I like talking and nothing brings me greater joy than singing in the shower. Was life going to be in black and white until I got my voice back?

Winter Cruise or Winter Blues?

January is a tough month for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere. The frantic run-up to Festive Season is over, the winter has only just begun and suddenly you feel ten years older as your body tenses up in the cold weather. You feel more lethargic. It’s as if you’d become a different person overnight.

You’ve probably set goals for the year, but suddenly you can’t see a metre ahead, so how could you possibly plan to achieve your targets within the next twelve months? The very thought of your New Year’s resolutions quickly seems punishing.

Why creativity keeps us sane

“I’m not creative,” says Sarah. “No, really. I’m just not. I really envy people who are, but I don’t have an ounce of imagination. I’d love to draw or write, but I don’t have the time. I’m too busy.”

“But, how about that party you organised?” I ask. “You thought it up so well. You took the time to come up with a plan for all your friends to have the best possible time and you executed it with flying colours. That’s creative.

Where do I begin?

Do you ever go through periods of time where ideas or tasks stack up?

You’re considering a career change, you want to start writing a book, to change careers altogether, maybe even countries.

You look at your list with a sense of panic and feel defeated.

Hello darkness, my old friend!

Halloween is lurking around the corner with its scary characters and the suspense of strangers ringing the doorbell for treats. Days draw in and monsters of all kinds run amok in the dark.

It’s all very cathartic for those who like joining in the celebration, but it can also be quite a chaotic and unsettling time. Halloween marks the entry into the darker months and brings to our attention the invisible or imagined souls – good or evil, which surround us.

Must I suffer to be happy?

Happiness. It’s a big word. It’s charged with meaning, with connotations. It’s aspirational and yet very intimidating to those who don’t get enough of it.

Some people seem to be born happy, whilst others need to work hard for it. Why does the search for happiness sometimes seem like a chore? Should we even strive for it? In fact, what is happiness?

Is fear holding you back?

You want to ask for a pay rise, but what if you ruined your career in the process? You want to write a book, but you’re afraid of making a fool of yourself in public.

Fear can be a beast; it enters into our minds and sometimes won’t let go…

Is self-awareness self-indulgent?

Have you ever felt like you had nothing more to learn about yourself, and that by now, you must have figured out your life? Then shied away from decisions, telling yourself that you must stop over-thinking…

Change – turn and face the strain

We all have our pain points and it’s good to try to work them out. For me, it’s the month of July. It begins with goodbyes, and ends with August. Living in a city and working through most of the summer, I find that everyone’s away in August and then September comes. I’m a year older …

Have you lost your self?

Have you ever returned to the landscape of a story you’d loved and imagined breathing the air, hearing the sounds, feeling the sun on your skin in that space? I have – many times, and I’ve always found it very healing.

Welcome to Curativity

A few years ago, I stepped away from a job I had loathed. It had only been a short stint, but the relief of handing in my resignation was huge. It had been a nerve-racking few months in an office where people were so afraid of being replaced, that they fought…

Journaling for Self-Care

Journaling for Self-Care

Self-care: intransitive verb – to attach importance to, to look after and provide to the needs of the self.
Alternatively: To Instagram your green juice.

I just made that up.

But what is self-care? Seriously. Is it another fad to encourage us to be even more individualistic, self-obsessed and keen to protect our own interests? To go out and buy more anti-wrinkle cream, lest we should actually show signs of natural ageing.

read more
Why Dreams Can Be A Nightmare

Why Dreams Can Be A Nightmare

Have you ever had a stone in your shoe?

You’re walking down the street, you’re in a hurry but you’re making good progress. And yet with every step forward you take, you’re reminded of the foreign object digging into your foot. It’s deeply unpleasant but you keep going – you’ll just ignore it for now.

Carrying dreams can feel that way.

You have a nice life, great friends, a home, a job – you’re on an upward spiral, but there’s a stone in your shoe. “Remember, you were going to be a concert pianist?” And all the joy is sucked out of your picture. The pride of what you’ve accomplished is soiled by a “should have”.

read more
Teenage Dream – Part 4

Teenage Dream – Part 4

So I was in. I was the drummer of a band. Something I’d dreamt of for years, and never really expected would happen. (If you’re picking up the story here, you may want to take a few minutes to read part 1, part 2 and part 3.)

read more
Teenage Dream – Part 3

Teenage Dream – Part 3

When was the last time you achieved something you didn’t think yourself capable of?

Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
– David Bowie

A fortnight ago, I told you how I’d decided 2017 would be a year of “musical performance”.

read more
Teenage Dream – Part 2

Teenage Dream – Part 2

I must admit something. When I turned up to the Drummer Factory for the first time, part of me just wanted to prove to myself that there was little to my love for the drums. I thought “I’ll give this another shot and if I don’t enjoy it or if I’m really no good, I’ll put it all to bed.”

But fate threw the wrong teacher my way for that to happen. Enter Sass – an outstanding musician – a cross between Yoda, Jerry Seinfeld and Stewart Copeland (the drummer of the Police). The walls of his studio were covered in instruments – many which I still can’t name. I laid out all the reasons why I shouldn’t pursue drumming, felt terribly embarrassed at my lack of skills but before I knew it, I was playing again. Sass was just the teacher I needed. I couldn’t have been luckier. I wasn’t going to give up this time.

read more

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