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Does this “ping” ring a bell?

For the first time in over four years, I’ve bought a new mobile phone.

Unlike my old one, which moved at the pace of a dial-up modem, this one is lightning fast. Blink of an eye fast. It also tries to be helpful. So helpful, in fact, that I was buried under notifications for the first 48 hours.

It pinged with new emails, new updates and new messages. Did I want to know what the weather was like, it asked. You want to know what the traffic’s like right now, though, yes? Why don’t I tell you about the restaurants near here, yeah?

Stemming the tide was technological whack-a-mole as I unearthed and extinguished all these ever-so-helpful attempts to engage with me.

However, the most invasive ping I face is the one Todd Henry writes about in his excellent book, The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice; Continue reading “Does this “ping” ring a bell?”

LoveWeek #5 – For those who’ve lost hope

So it’s been a week of love – a #LoveWeek, if you will. And I hate to be a Debbie Downer on the last day, but I need to acknowledge the elephant which may or not be residing in the room.

To wit: love isn’t for everyone.

Now don’t get me wrong, it clearly is. Come on. Love makes the world go round.

(OK, at the moment it’s money, which probably explains the shit creek we’re in.)

But when I say love isn’t for everyone, I mean: some of us have given up on love. We’ve lost hope. Continue reading “LoveWeek #5 – For those who’ve lost hope”

LoveWeek #4 – When the going gets tough…

In an ideal world, of course, relationships would be easy. You’d find someone, fall in love with each other, and POW! – the “happily ever after” of fairytales comes true.

(The clue why they don’t is in the word “fairytales”, FYI…) Continue reading “LoveWeek #4 – When the going gets tough…”

LoveWeek #3 – You’ve found someone. Now what?

So you see love as a “collaborative work of art”. You’ve been discerning about who to spend your time with and found someone generous and giving, someone with whom you can be your truest self.

You’ve won! Here’s your medal! You can relax now!

Of course, life’s not really like that: nor is love. Continue reading “LoveWeek #3 – You’ve found someone. Now what?”

LoveWeek #2 -Looking for love

If love and relationships are a “collaborative work of art”, some of us need a partner to create with.

With the acceptance of online dating and the rapid rise of apps, we have more choice than ever. And with that choice comes indecision, disatisfaction and for some of us, overwhelm.

Between the advice to ‘settle’ and “marry him already” and the endless advice on how to “find your soulmate”, how do you choose who to spend your time with? Continue reading “LoveWeek #2 -Looking for love”

Holding onto what hurts us: what’s your pain protecting you from?

Let’s face it; who wants to be in pain?

It’s accepted wisdom that we want to avoid pain and suffering in our lives. And so we medicate the physical with a fistful of pharmaceuticals and the emotional with a fistful of, well, what’s your fancy; food, drink, sex, drugs, internet, a hellish schedule, maybe all of the above?

And yet, from time to time, I find myself in a chance conversation. I become honoured by someone’s trust and hear what only whispers in their heart; how quietly, deeply, unhappy they are.

I hear how painful their situation feels: how unloved, how unmet, how unheard or unfelt. How it racks them and fills them with hurt and confusion.

And almost every time, after all this pain has been laid bare, I know that they’re staying. That they are choosing, consciously or unconsciously, to remain in their pain. Continue reading “Holding onto what hurts us: what’s your pain protecting you from?”

A dirty job

Loving ourselves is a dirty job, which is why so many of us outsource it.

It can feel tough to wholly love and accept ourselves, made as we are of both light and shadow. It can feel vain to own the former and positively uncomfortable to be reminded of the latter. Continue reading “A dirty job”

In praise of doing nothing

The first month of 2016’s now done and dusted. One down, eleven more to go.

The festivities of Christmas and New Year’s Eve are naught but a hazy memory, replaced by endless sale offers, credit card statements, calamitous weather and scattered fragments of new year resolutions.

I’ve had a cough and cold virus for the whole of January (which is only now abating), so I feel I’ve pretty much done zero, zip, NOTHING so far this year. No playtime at the Museum of Happiness’s pop-up event, no tea with friends, not even further damage to my credit card in those darned sales.

I recently read that the cold virus is supposed to make us feel depressed and lethargic so that we don’t go out and pick up another infection whilst fighting the first one. Continue reading “In praise of doing nothing”