Blog Archives

Celebration obligation

“I saw this and thought of you” is, for me, the loveliest reason for buying a present, and usually brings the most happiness.  In contrast, “I bought this for your birthday” began to ring hollow quite a while ago.  I have noticed a real dimming of enthusiasm on my part for annual celebrations of most sorts. 

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Hairy Godmothers

I wrote about a paradox around happiness a few weeks ago.  I found I was subsequently asked “What does make you happy then?”  At the time, my only answer was that it feels like the wrong question.

On reflection, maybe a better question to ask myself is “What am I doing to discover what makes me happy?”

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The pursuit of unhappiness

The great paradox of our age: the things that are generally understood to make me happy, make me completely unhappy.

Is it possible that almost any piece of “common sense”, any piece of general advice, anything other than what is discovered by me, on my own, through hard searching,

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Queen Elizabeth’s face

I was interested to find out a few facts about Queen Elizabeth I’s famous and celebrated face.

When she was a young adult, she suffered from smallpox, which left her face scarred for the rest of her life – partly due to the disease, and partly from the mercury she was treated with,

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Roar!! What’s masculine energy?

What is masculine energy?  I’m beginning to suspect that whatever it is, it isn’t being experienced sufficiently, and this might Cause Trouble.

I don’t see masculine energy referring to a gender.  Mature men and women surely need to channel both types.  Maybe that’s why I admire Amazon women,

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The noble act of disobedience

I often mistake an internalised cultural voice for my own voice.  In many ways we live in a free society where the code is that, within what’s legal, every individual has the right to do whatever he or she wants.  It’s a liberating concept that gets vigorously defended.

But what I have noticed is that freedom only tends to exist within the boundaries of the cultural fences,

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The plant or the pot?

The plant I bought in spring is sad and wilting and brown.  I have tried everything.  I changed its pot from a boring white china one to a lovely red metallic one from Harrods.  I moved it from the coffee table to the mantlepiece.  Nothing.  I just don’t understand.

I recently moved with my family out of London and into Sussex. 

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Telling the stories that don’t get told

Last month I had a pretty special experience.  I am on a course where I am learning the wonder of the woods: first for myself, and then how to take other people there to share the magic.  One thing we have particularly been encouraged to do is to offer stories at the fire pit,

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Rules of engagement

I sometimes get asked when I plan to re-engage with the world.  The question is, was I properly engaged in the world before?

engagement in the cafeSince I have not retired in silence to a cave, my suspicion is that ‘engagement’ is often linked with employment, being busy in some economically useful way.

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Other People’s Content

A “megatrend” often talked about is customisation: especially the scope technology provides to ‘make yourself unique’, find your own voice and expression.

On the surface, this looks like a much needed step towards diversity.  But the consumer trend is actually called “mass customisation”, which is a bit funny when you think about it. 

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