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Archives for May, 2011


Mindsight: Three Therapeutic Ways to Look Within (and Find Yourself)

When was the last time you took a close look at your mind?

It can be quite a tricky thing to ‘see’ – elusive, maybe even evasive sometimes – for we’re used to seeing with it, rather than looking at it. But there are ways you can catch it in action and get to know it better.

And, if the latest neuroscience is right, it’s well worth doing.

For not only is the...
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Existential Issues

Finding the Things Worth Living For (and Thanks to Oprah)

Recognize what’s in the photo?
“Brown paper packages tied up with string
These are a few of my favorite things”…
Oprah Winfrey’s a woman who knows a thing or two about favorite things. And over the last 25 years of her inspiring career, she's shared hundreds of them with us.

“I know you shouldn’t love things, but…” is pretty much how Oprah began her final Ultimate Favorite Things show.

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Looking Through the Keyhole of Loss

What are you like with endings?

Just cast your eye over your shoulder for a moment and have a look back at some:

Endings in relationships
Endings at workplaces or in your career
Endings of places you might have lived in
Maybe even endings of the lives of loved-ones

Are there any similarities to be found here – any patterns you can detect in the way you handled these times?

For instance, do you tend to anticipate endings long before...
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Bowen Family Systems Theory

What About the WHITE Sheep in the Family? Showing Your True Colours

It was after a couple of posts on the ‘black sheep’ of the family that Mary (a reader) posed a great question:

What about the ‘white’ sheep?

What about those of us who wrestle with a role that seems to almost shine or shimmer in the light (a bit mirage-like)? Who might feel the pressures to keep surpassing family expectations. Or the need to be the constant peacemakers, the bridge-builders, the...
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Bowen Family Systems Theory

Excavating Your Mental Health and Finding Buried Treasure

Mental health.”

They sound like pretty dull words.

And it seems we know best what they mean when things go wrong with them. We hear general statements about what mental health ‘should’ (or ‘shouldn’t’) look like for everyone. So it often seems like a kind of one-size-fits-all expression.

But if you dig a little deeper beneath their surface, buried within these two words lie all manner of riches. And there’s meaning...
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The Small Things in Life and the Psychology of Happiness

I was sipping tea at a café, when this rusted, busted air vent on the wall across the street caught my eye. Or rather, its shadow did. Somehow, with the sun at that angle, it was like the brokenness had wings.

Divinity is in everything,” my companion said.

The rust.
The edges.
The hard places and the soft.

The small things in life that hold the bigness of it all…

Yet how easy it is to gloss over...
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How Death Can Bring You To Life: Existential Writing Exercises

There’s a well-known existential exercise that’s supposed to really ‘bring death home’ to you. And in so doing, really bring life home…

You might already know it. Basically, you take a moment to imagine your own headstone in a cemetery. And then you write what it would say about you. How it would capture a snapshot of your life as it is (which can sometimes highlight the gap between there and where you might...
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What’s Your Worldview? And Is It Shaping Your View Of You, Too?

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul.

That’s a long way to see in…

But the thing about windows is that they work both ways. So they’re not just about seeing into; they’re also about seeing out of. (Or not).

And that’s sort of what happens with another kind of window – your “worldview”. It’s also like a window, but one that frames what you see in the world, and how...
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A Mindful Mother’s Day – Embracing Both The Pain And The Joy


If you believed all the red and pink gift cards in the shops, you’d think Mother’s Day was (only and always) a day of joy and gratitude. Of celebration. Of unrelenting happiness.

And maybe for some, it is.

But for many of us, there’s also other undercurrents to a day like this…

For instance:

If your mother has died (as this heartfelt blogger shares).

Or if you’re yearning to become a mother, yourself, but haven’t...
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