Read our posts about soul

Culture Tip: All in the Mind

Culture Tip: All in the Mind

I had to stop the car when I was driving home from the Tavistock clinic recently. There was nothing wrong with me, or the car, I just needed to focus on what was happening on the radio. A young woman, Sally, suffering from long-term depression and what she described as a ‘constant state of disassociation’ was telling presenter Claudia Hammond why she was nominating her friend, George, in the individual category for the BBC All in the Mind 25th Anniversary Awards. She read out part of the email she had sent to the programme in support of her nomination. Anyone who...
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How to Stop Feeling Stuck

How to Stop Feeling Stuck

As a psychotherapist, I meet people all the time who are feeling stuck. Motivation and interest elude them and they’re unhappy. I wanted to help people get back on their feet, not just to survive, but to thrive. Life gives us an opportunity to become the person we’re meant to be by fulfilling our unique purpose. But many people feel out of touch with their purpose. Instead of moving forward with energy and joy, it’s as though they’re caught in an eddy. Even if they knew how to get moving again, they wouldn’t know which direction to go. Somewhere along the...
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Culture Tip: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

Culture Tip: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

This week's Culture Tip is the first, and may possibly be the last, to incite in me an urgent need to increase dental flossing. Joshua Ferris’s new novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour follows anti-hero, Paul O’Rourke, who is a Red Sox fan, an avowed atheist and an acclaimed New York dentist with a thriving practice. He is a man who cares deeply about oral hygiene and his pain at his patients’ dental deterioration is palpable. He is impotent in the face of a prolific alter ego who, it seems, might just be a kinder, nicer and far from agnostic him. Paul...
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Why I Left My Enchanted Cage

Why I Left My Enchanted Cage

I am standing on a bench in the Green Dragon and waving a black handbag. You have to guess what three designer items I am wearing, I say. Everyone laughs as they look at my wintry gear: yak jumper, cashmere jumper, alpaca coat, zigzaggy pony skin belt. We’re at a Green Drinks night in a free house in a small market town called Bungay in Suffolk. It’s a monthly event in which my local Transition Initiative, Sustainable Bungay, discusses environmental issues within a frame of social change. Tonight I’m the ‘expert conversationalist’ and the topic is Give and Take...
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How to Surrender to Uncertainty

How to Surrender to Uncertainty

Surrender is a positive, healthy state. Being a surrendered person does not mean one is beaten down and so hopeless he or she has "given up." It's quite the contrary. Surrender is a state of living in the flow, trusting what is, and being open to serendipity and surprises. As I write in The Ecstasy of Surrender, adopting the behaviors and habits of surrendered people helps us improve our relationships, feel love and gratitude, get healthier, give up destructive people and behavior patterns, and become more successful and influential in our lives and careers. And...
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Middle-Aged Women: Ignored or Liberated?

Middle-Aged Women: Ignored or Liberated?

I do not know any woman who has not felt discomfort negotiating the shift from young to not young.  Such difficulty does not stem from superficial vanity; it registers the changed social meanings women encounter as they become middle-aged. The brilliant writer and critic Carolyne Heilbrun was the first to point out that women, once they entered midlife, were considered story less.  Past the age in which they might drive the plot of a standard romantic narrative, they disappeared with a few words into settled, fixed characters, to whom nothing interesting would...
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Why Envy is Toxic

Why Envy is Toxic

A very wise friend who was also a psychotherapist had just listened to my litany of complaints about a female colleague.  I was bothered by how little interest she took in things I had done, how little acknowledgement of my  work, and most of all by her constant put downs and snide remarks  about activities I was involved with. ‘Envy’ said my friend.  ‘Classic envious behaviour.  She doesn’t want you to have anything and what you have got she wants to spoil .’ It was obvious that  the two of us might be competitive.   We were in the same area of work, both trying to...
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Help Beat Depression by Reading Poetry

Help Beat Depression by Reading Poetry

We are sent what we need. So it proved recently when I finished an eight-week mindfulness course with the inspirational Anna Black, teacher and author of Living in the Moment with Mindfulness Meditations. I suspected she believed in the healing power of words as she had introduced several poems on our course. As I was leaving her class one rainy Tuesday evening recently, I told her that I shared her enthusiasm for poetry.  It transpired that she had written a dissertation looking at the therapeutic role of poetry in the teaching of mindfulness as part of her Masters...
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Culture Tip: The Martin Creed Exhibition

Culture Tip: The Martin Creed Exhibition

Turner prize winner Martin Creed’s boundary annihilating art has been brought together for an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in the first major survey of his work. Creed’s irreverence bleeds into every aspect of this multi media exhibition. From listening to music in the lifts to watching  a girl defecate on screen (we’ll get to that later), What’s the point of it? is an immersive, and at times invasive, cultural experience. Creed’s art endeavours to celebrate the unsung heroes of daily life. He deconstructs and rearranges our everyday experiences to allow the...
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Celebrating Springtime

Celebrating Springtime

Spring is the season of hope where we see the early signs of the labour of the winter months come to life. What a good time to notice the parallels in our own lives. Whether our New Year hopes and plans have failed or stalled, spring reminds us that there's still time to start over again. Spring is here I woke up this morning to find the patio outside my kitchen door scattered with big, thick, clumps of fiery green moss, fallen debris from the guttering where the magpies are making their nests, the first hints that spring is on it’s way. Researchers are...
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