Not only is it a New Year today; depending on how you look at it, it’s also a new decade.
Yowsa. Hello, 2020.
I guess a little reflection and planning is in order?
This month, I’m going to share something very different.
One of the first pieces I ever had published was a poem, and yet I rarely read them – and the last one I wrote was five years ago. But a friend who lives overseas was struggling recently, and I wanted to keep in touch through loving voice messages.
I didn’t want to add to his mental load by chit-chatting about my day, though. So what could I say that would be short, helpful and meaningful? Continue reading “For a friend who is struggling”
Intimacy is crucial for our well-being. So can a workshop on non-sexual touch be an act of self-care?
It’s hard to open up the (metaphorical) newspaper these days without a report telling us how bad loneliness is for our well-being. From shortening our lives more than smoking fifteen cigarettes a day or obesity, to underpinning depression, it’s as bad for your health as having a long-term chronic illness.
It was my birthday last month. And, like many people, I usually feel a bit flat in the run-up to celebrating another revolution around the sun. There’s nothing like getting a whole year older to remind you of how short life can be!
As someone who lives alone with only a couple of friends and zero family members living nearby, plus everyone’s busy work or family schedules, finding a way to celebrate with others can feel tricky. Continue reading “Letting love in”
It’s February, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and my website has the word “love” in the title. So I’m *checks, nods* yep, contractually obligated to write about love.
I joke, of course. There’s nothing I enjoy more than thinking and writing about matters of the heart – even if such matters continue to confuse, baffle and vex me. Continue reading “Four Noble Truths of Love”
I’m writing this a week after Black Friday/Cyber Monday, the US discount-frenzy that’s firmly planted itself into British culture. I’d like to say I was immune but, with Christmas fast approaching, I bought a couple of gifts for friends and loved ones. Hey, I’m human.
It’s hard to know what to give people, though. Most of us have too much stuff already. And, because it’s been hard for us to meet up for a while, I know that I’m in danger of exchanging physical objects with some friends in lieu of physical presence. Continue reading “The Gift of Presence”
In a world which can feel more and more disconnected, it’s important to have a place of refuge for true connection.
For me, one of these places is an Awakin circle or retreat held by ServiceSpace.org, an “incubator of gift economy projects”. Continue reading “From me to we: supermarkets, singing, Sufism and sobbing strangers”
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, for sure. Why don’t I tell you about the restaurants near here, yeah? Continue reading “Does this “ping” ring a bell?”
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”
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…”