What am I pondering?

Anyone for a forest bathe?

Anyone for a forest bathe?

Can you feel how the energy in a wood is unlike that of the urban ‘jungle’? Do you feel different when you are in nature: more calm and more embodied? Perhaps you’ve noticed that your breathing slows, your thoughts are less scattered? If so, you are not inventing things. Because it has been scientifically proven that being around ‘greenery’ (in any form) reduces the risk of depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, stress and many other scourges of our modern lives.  …

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Happiness is a choice…

Happiness is a choice…

Unlike kids, who seem to be able to return to a state of uncomplicated joy so easily – being pushed in a swing high and hard (see photo) is pretty much guaranteed to do the job –  adults can find it a little harder to get back to their inner happy place. There just seem to be so many more barriers in place. But because I’d been in a bit of a grump about various things on and off for…

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On celebrating…

On celebrating…

I used not to be very good at celebrating my successes. I’d take for granted all the hard work that had gone into achieving something and move right onto the next potential goal. I got a kick from the constant forwards momentum, not really knowing what to do with the downtime in between. So I made sure there was no downtime.  I went from one thing to another, ticking them off the list, not really stopping for breath and definitely not…

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On embracing your beauty…

On embracing your beauty…

Me and my big, goofy smile. That takes over half my face. I’ve always had a big mouth – physically and symbolically. “Shy, retiring violet” would not be the label most would give me. And yet, I used to wish it was. I wanted to be less visible, less opinionated and have a smaller mouth. Most kids have a temporary gap when their adult teeth first come through but mine became a permanent feature. And big lips, a big mouth and…

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On breaking the rules…

On breaking the rules…

To the mamas in the house: would you wear this dress down the pub? This Dolce & Gabanna meets granny-going-to-a-funeral dress to a casual, school parents’ social? I did. Sartorial code dictates that one wears jeans to the pub and cocktail dresses to a party. But the more I thought about this, the more I realised how ridiculous it is that there are dress codes for certain types of venue. And that how you choose to portray yourself at any…

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On trying to ‘connect’ as a family and why hygge doesn’t work…

On trying to ‘connect’ as a family and why hygge doesn’t work…

This Sunday was declared ‘family day’. It was an attempt to put aside at least one day a week where none of us was distracted by other things: no kids’ sport lessons/parties or homework were scheduled and no parent keep-fit/yoga/work or socialising was allowed. That might sound a little draconian to you, easy-going folk. But unless we do that, I find that none of us actually connects properly. When we were exploring as part of our year-long travel adventure, spending time…

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How to tame your ‘should monster’…

How to tame your ‘should monster’…

Sometimes I like to pick a tarot card for myself. Even though, officially, I know that you are not supposed to. I shuffle the pack, ask the question “what do I need to know, right now?” and pick the one that is winking at me. And usually, I find it confirms or guides me towards an insight or message that I had already clocked – deep down – but perhaps hadn’t fully admitted to my conscious self yet. The card…

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What is keeping you stuck in your box?

What is keeping you stuck in your box?

Isn’t it just SO damn easy to get caught up in the day to day routine of life: work, juggling chores and kids – and then use that as an excuse that you are too exhausted to do anything new?  At least, that’s what I do… For me, the thought of going out is usually never a good one – my inner protector tells me I should stick to the familiar go-tos: staying in to rest, catching up with my…

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Is it time to reboot and recharge?

Is it time to reboot and recharge?

This week marks the rekindling of self-care. Which has lapsed considerably over the school holidays. Indeed pretty much since June. Which not only shows, I can feel it in my body. I feel tired, lacklustre, my skin is a bit rubbish and I’m once again resorting to wine a little too much in order to zone out. I feel like I’ve had adrenaline coursing through my body for weeks on end. And even though I’ve known that I need to take time…

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A new chapter…

A new chapter…

It’s on days like this that I feel super grateful for the place I live in. A city that is architecturally beautiful in its own right but also dotted with meadows (containing actual, live cows) and crossed by a beautiful river (populated by houseboats, punts and rowers). This was our first ever family bike ride – 5 people, 5 bikes – and not a cargo bike or stabiliser in site. It felt amazing! I might be mourning the loss of…

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