The main way that I consume news is through The Week magazine. I decided to subscribe
so that I wouldn’t feel like I needed to read the news every day to keep up, and so that I could read more global news and get different perspectives from a range of newspapers.
I was really struck by how many different stories about extreme weather events there were in this week’s issue.
In Sardinia, 1,500 people were forced to leave their homes as a result of wildfires. …
I’m currently doing a course with Charles Eisenstein called Living in the Gift, and this week he is challenging our assumptions about greed.
As humans, we have a tendency to complain about the way the world is and blame it on other people. One type of person things are often blamed on is greedy people. Corrupt politicians, polluters who care more about money than the environment and corporate executives who take all the profits for themselves and pay their workers as little as possible.
What is often missing in these discussions, argues Eisenstein, is questioning what the root cause of…
As you come back to work after lockdown, it’s normal to feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed.
As humans, we often find change uncomfortable.
You might be anxious about doing your job again after a break.
You might be worried about being more at risk of catching COVID by coming into contact with more people.
Maybe you feel anxious about having less control over your environment than you do when you’re at home.
Having a commute and a time that you need to be at work might be more stressful.
You might feel a bit tense being on display and not…
In a previous post, I wrote about how I think being an activist can do more harm than good.
One of the main things that drove me to want to be an activist was a desire for meaning. Growing up, it seemed there were so many things that other people valued that I didn’t think were meaningful at all. I found a lot of what we did at school pointless and boring. I didn’t understand why my fellow teenagers thought that getting wasted was so impressive, and I wasn’t excited about the idea of a career.
So, what was it…
One of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion, Dr Kirstin Neff, has found in her research that one of the biggest blocks to being kinder to yourself is fearing that it will make you complacent, lazy, and about as motivated as Homer Simpson on a treadmill.
The thinking goes that, in order to get fit, achieve professional success and make ourselves floss, work out and read a book a week, we need to beat ourselves up when we fall short.
We think that if we’re kind to ourselves and attend to our own needs, we will stay under the duvet…
Staring at a computer screen all day.
Feeling that your work isn’t well paid or meaningful. Not having work.
Sitting on a chair all day.
Feeling disconnected from community.
Feeling disconnected from nature.
Reading about war, murder, rape, lies and disaster in the news and feeling helpless to do anything about them.
Knowing that we are systematically destroying the natural world, piling up mountains of toxic waste, polluting the air, water and soil and disrupting the climate.
Knowing that our food production results in animal cruelty.
Consigning old people to homes and fearing we’ll end up there too.
Last week I was listening to the Today Programme, and the presenter was saying, ‘Are you suspicious about what happens to your recycling after it’s taken away? Well you’re right to be. A new report from Greenpeace has found British plastic piled high and partially burnt in Turkey. They found waste from Lidl, Sainsbury’s, M&S and Tesco dumped by the roadside, in fields, or spilling in waterways and floating downstream.’
I felt anger towards the corrupt people in government and in businesses who are responsible. I felt sadness, powerlessness and despair, that something I do every day, thinking that I’m…
Marshall Rosenburg (1934–2015) was as American psychologist who believed that it is in our nature to enjoy giving and receiving compassionately.
Given that belief, he attempted to answer two questions:
What happens to disconnect us from our compassionate nature, leading us to behave violently and exploitatively?
And, conversely, what allows some people to stay connected to their compassionate nature, even under the most trying of circumstances.
What a great pair of questions!
I feel that his work is now more relevant than ever, given the increasing polarisation we are seeing and how that involves dehumanising each other as stupid…
Since I wrote about not loving myself very much, I’ve been practising Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) a lot, and it’s really helped. In this article I’ll explain what it is and how it differs from mindfulness.
I’ve found the added emphasis on kindness to myself really valuable. It’s amazing how, even though being non-judgemental is supposed to be an integral part of mindfulness, the practice becomes so easily coopted into another way of judging ourselves.
The most common thing people say when I ask if they meditate is, ‘Yes, but I should do a lot more!’ …
When I was at university, being an environmental activist was such a central part of my identity that I was nicknamed Captain Planet.
The belief system I had was that polluters and exploiters cared more about money than the harm they were doing, and the average citizen cared more about an easy life than taking a stand, changing their behaviour, going to a protest or learning about the issue.
Eventually, I gave up being an activist, because it felt as though nothing I was doing was working. Trying to live a low-carbon lifestyle, protesting, encouraging people to save energy, signing…