Read our posts about soul

What To Do When a Friend Dies

What To Do When a Friend Dies

I have lost a dear, old friend. And as my mother said, “you don’t find new old friends”. What can you do when a friend dies? We were probably never very obvious soulmates – Georgina Henry was intensely political, I spent years working on glossy magazines. But over the last 20 years we became very close, and she was one of the few people I felt safe sharing my secrets and vulnerabilities, disappointments and dreams with. As well as lots of laughs, gossip and shopping expeditions. Two years ago George was diagnosed with cancer of the sinus. Treatment was brutal...
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Seven Ways to Streamline Your Schedule

Seven Ways to Streamline Your Schedule

It can be easy to feel rushed off our feet or like we don’t have the time to do the things we really want to, because we’re just too busy. The solution, writes acclaimed author, journalist and clinical psychologist Linda Blair, is to streamline your schedule. It will cut out the clutter, let you do more of what you want and help you enjoy more of life. Streamlining presupposes a clear path ahead, so before you can make plans and expect your life to run smoothly, you will have to de-clutter. There are three types of clutter that hold us back: psychological,...
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Why Carmel Allen Founded Kiss It Better

Why Carmel Allen Founded Kiss It Better

Cosmetics can get a bad rap from serious-minded people, but sometimes a lipstick is much more than an indulgence. Carmel Allen has used lipsticks to help raise £800,000 for research into childhood cancer with her charity Kiss It Better, which celebrated its 10th birthday today. I remember where the whole thing started.   Carmel was a much-respected beauty director on the glossy magazine that I was editing. One morning she didn’t turn up for work – and phoned to say that she didn’t know if she could ever work like that again. Her baby Josephine, who was not even one, ...
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Meditation: My Journey Begins

Meditation: My Journey Begins

I have never had much time in my life for peace or quiet, and have never really craved either. My mind is a happy hive of perpetual activity, everything churning away up there all the time, day and night. My wife points out, with reason, that I never sit still, never stop. At night, I dream of work, and on holidays, thanks to technology, I take it with me. In sleep, I grind my teeth. The RSI I developed 20 years ago was put down to overwork, poor posture, bad habits, a lack of inner calm. My solution was to start swimming, every day. I swam fast, faster than people in...
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Culture tip: The Reason I Jump

Culture tip: The Reason I Jump

Knowing what we’re really thinking is an elusive enough goal, knowing what someone else has on their mind is harder still, and what if that person thinks in an entirely different way? That’s often how the minds of people with autism are depicted: qualitatively different and impossible to understand. The Reason I Jump breaks through a lot of the misconceptions surrounding autism and gives an insight into how the author, a person with autism himself, sees the world. Translated, and featuring a forward, by acclaimed author David Mitchell, the book is a combination of...
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Four Thoughts on Anxiety About Ageing

Four Thoughts on Anxiety About Ageing

1. Why are some older people described as 'still beautiful', as though age mostly erases beauty? Banish the words from your vocabulary, along with other self-deprecating remarks about ageing bodies, and admiring comments about people who don't look their age. Train your eyes to recognise and your language to include 'old and beautiful'. 2. We read so often about frail old people yet resilient, engaged, vital and outraged ones surround us. If they're not in your family seek them out as your friends, especially if you're young: it will help dispel the...
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Culture Tip: Searching for Sugar Man

Culture Tip: Searching for Sugar Man

Perhaps it’s because I am trying the sugar detox plan that I reached so readily for the DVD of Searching for Sugar Man this week. I am glad I did. It is a heart warming documentary following a quest by two fans to find out what really happened to their American musical recording hero of the late ‘60s, Rodriguez. Lauded at the time as writing lyrics to rival those of Dylan, Rodriguez performed only in North American dives and, despite the attention of celebrated producers, his records bombed and he disappeared into obscurity. That was in America. The story was very...
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What Lena Dunham's Girls Can Teach Us About Female Friendships

What Lena Dunham's Girls Can Teach Us About Female Friendships

In popular culture female friendships have often been portrayed either as giggly gossips or as catty and competitive, while girls (and women) themselves are on a quest for an ideal girlfriend - a soul mate who always understands them, with whom they share all intimate secrets and with whom they never argue. For giggly, think of the Sex and the City quartet doubled over in wicked laugher at the men they take to bed; for catty, think of Lady Edith doing her best to ruin Lady Mary’s chances for happiness in Downton Abbey, for the ideal, think of sweetness between...
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How to Access Your Creative Side

How to Access Your Creative Side

Creativity is one of the things that defines all human beings. It’s what got us out of the trees and it’s helped us change our world (for better or worse) ever since. So why is it often absent from, or pushed to the peripheries of, our lives? Mark Cass, founder of art shop chain Cass Art, has a plan to unleash the creative in all of us. “Everyone has an innate creativity, it’s what the right side of the brain is for,” Mark told us effusively. That belief has inspired him to open six London stores with the aim  of giving everyone the means, motivation and opportunity...
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Teach Yourself Empathy

Teach Yourself Empathy

Everybody’s suddenly talking about empathy, from the Dalai Lama to agony aunts, from business gurus to happiness experts. And it’s not surprising, since in the last decade neuroscientists have discovered that 98 per cent of us have empathy wired into our brains. The old story that we are basically selfish, self-interested creatures has been debunked. Our selfish inner drives exist side by side with our empathic other half. We are homo empathicus. The problem is that most of us haven’t yet learned how to switch on our neural circuitry and fulfil our empathic potential....
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