The UK’s biggest & best selling mindful living magazine
M AY 2 0 1 8
FIND JOY, LAUGH MORE
Feeling empty? Find true self-worth
DEAL WITH DIFFICULT COLLEAGUES
Boost your confidence LIFE SCHOOL
Beat phone addiction ● Stop binge drinking ● Move on from divorce
“Love is a precious & beautiful thing”
How to change
Make big transformation happen in small steps LET’S DO IT! 4 ways to convert ideas into action PSY-MAY-COVER_Rachel-McAdams-V4.indd 1
Photography: David Venni / Chilli Media
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Contents MAY 201 8
* COVER STORY
Page 46 Page 21
Page 50 Page 22
Page 59 Page 60
EDITOR’S LET TER
9 I’D LIKE TO THANK … 11
53 Cover: Jay L Clendenin/Contour by Getty Images
108 THE WORDS 125
1 30 HAPPINESS BOOK CLUB
22 * PROFILE
“It seems hard for people to sustain their love and appreciation for each other” Join our new club!
Our world-class online life coaching club is FREE and exclusive to subscribers. Get access to interactive videos, exclusive podcasts, downloadable workbooks and more. Plus, we’ll send you a fabulous welcome gift! See page 78.
HANG UP ON YOUR PHONE
Catherine Price’s four-week plan to cut time online and on apps 26
CREATING A NEW WAY OF THINKING
Julia Lalla-Maharajh on what she’s learned in her quest to end Female Genital Cutting 70
‘WE’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE’ Three
readers reveal how they’re being the change they want to see in the world
THE VALUE OF SELF-WORTH
Suzy Bashford finds her sense of self in a comparison-driven world
MY LIFE, MY WAY
Chef Thuy Diem Pham puts heart and soul into The Little Viet Kitchen
THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by society’s problems, says Ali Roff, but we have power!
Meet poet, writer, musician and activist Benjamin Zephaniah 32
THE RITE STUFF
Eleanor Tucker examines the importance of everyday rituals 30
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
Let’s change the world!
Martha Roberts looks at the regal shade in The Colour File
T FREE GIF WORTH
60 * THE DOSSIER
SETTING CHANGE IN MOTION Coaching
questions to help you get started
WHAT IS STANDING IN YOUR WAY?
Take our test to find out why you struggle to turn your ideas into positive action
M AY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 3
Contents MAY 201 8
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE GIVING UP
Business guru Sháá Wasmund on when we need to press on and when it’s time to change direction 46
* MAKE IT UP AND HAVE A LAUGH
Katy Regan has a confidence boost in the Comedy Room during a performance improv class 50
* ‘MY BEHAVIOUR IS SO E XTREME’
Award-winning coach Kim Morgan gives advice to a woman struggling with binge drinking 55
ORGASMIC LIFE: PLE ASURE PRINCIPLE
Karla Newbey’s sexual awakening continues 56
E VERL ASTING LOVE
Oliver Burkeman’s Last Word on relationships 58
* ‘I CAN’T GET OVER MY DIVORCE’
Agony aunt Mary Fenwick assists readers in turmoil
THE RETREAT 112
THE LIVING IS EASY
THE BALANCE PLAN
Make changes at home to complement your life Ayurvedic living with Eminé and Paul Rushton 120
IT’S HIGH TIME FOR TEA
Deletable teatime treats from chef Mat Follas
THE PL AN
Expert advice in four holistic sections – Mind, Body, Spirit and Gut – for happiness, and pleasure 91
PLEASE RESERVE/DELIVER PSYCHOLOGIES ON A REGULAR BASIS STARTING WITH ISSUE _________ TITLE................ FIRST NAME................................................................................... SURNAME................................................................................................................... ADDRESS....................................................................................................................
...................................................................................................................................... ...........................................POSTCODE...................................................................... PHONE NUMBER.......................................................................................................
Our Wellbeing Director-at-Large, Eminé Rushton, says we don’t need to know all the answers 93
FEEL BE AUTIFUL
Beauty-bag essentials for nourished, happy skin 94
Ali Roff realises that honouring our authentic selves will take us where we need to go 97
RE AL NUTRITION
Eve Kalinik relishes the wonders of the tomato 98
MY LIONHE ART
Jini Reddy communes with animals and nature in a spiritual corner of beautiful South Africa 102 4 8 HOURS: THE WRITERS’ WAY
Ellen Tout meanders through Hampshire’s literary past, in the footsteps of Jane Austen 105 WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK
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THE OPEN MIND
4 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E MAY 2 0 1 8
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OUR TEAM Editor-in-Chief Suzy Greaves Design Director Lynne Lanning Creative Director Laura Doherty Features Director Elizabeth Heathcote Wellbeing Director-at-Large Eminé Rushton Editor-at-Large Ali Roff Associate Editors Danielle Woodward, Anita Chaudhuri Features Writer and Digital Editor Ellen Tout Acting Picture Editor Leanne Bracey Production Editor Vee Sey Deputy Production Editor Leona Gerrard Contributing Editors Wellness Nicky Clinch and Larah Davies Body Hollie Grant Spirit Annee de Mamiel Mind Suzy Reading and Will Williams Gut Eve Kalinik Yoga Kat Farrants Nature Paul Rushton ADVERTISING & PRODUCTION TigerBee Media, Commercial Director Nikki Peterson (020 3510 0849) email@example.com Commercial Manager Clare Osbourne (07876 594762) firstname.lastname@example.org Production Manager Melanie Cooper (01733 363485) email@example.com Production Supervisor Dionne Fisher (01733 363485) firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGEMENT Managing Director Phil Weeden Chief Executive Steve Wright Chairman Steve Annetts Finance Director Joyce Parker-Sarioglu Publishing Director Kevin McCormick Retail Distribution Manager Eleanor Brown Audience Development Manager Andy Cotton Brand Marketing Manager Rebecca Gibson Events Manager Kat Chappell Publishing Operations Manager Charlotte Whittaker Print Production Manager Nicola Pollard Print Production Controller Georgina Harris
Meet three of the people who have taken part in the creation of this issue of Psychologies
Emma Stroud Comedian and speaker Emma calls herself a clown and loves to make others laugh. ‘Being silly and laughing is great for the soul – it took me years to realise that was enough, and was my calling,’ she says. It’s Emma’s aim to give others permission to experience more fun through her talks and performances. Emma sees many tears of laughter – and growth – when coaching and running retreats. She believes she’s the first bananaclad person to do a TED Talk! She begins her new gig as Psychologies’ clown-in-residence on page 15.
Mat Follas Chef and author Mat opened Bramble Cafe & Deli in Dorset in 2016. Winner of MasterChefUK in 2009, Mat often judges food competitions and events. He also runs cooking courses, as well as tutoring about foraging and wild plants. His new book, Afternoon Tea At Bramble Cafe (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99), is out now. Try some of his recipes on page 120. Mat is also author of Fish and Vegetable Perfection (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99 and £16.99), and lives in Dorset with his family.
SUBSCRIPTIONS 13 issues of Psychologies are published per annum ● UK annual subscription price: £55.90 ● Europe annual subscription price: £70 ● USA annual subscription price: £70 ● Rest of World annual subscription price: £76 ● UK subscription and back issue orderline: 01959 543747 ● Overseas subscription orderline: 0044 (0) 1959 543747 ● Toll-free USA subscription orderline: 1 888 777 0275 ● UK customer service team: 01959 543747; email@example.com
Coach An expert coach, Kim specialises in women’s development. This issue, Kim writes about helping a client who hit 50 and was contemplating a lifechanging decision. ‘Coaching is a powerful tool for managing the transitions throughout life,’ she says. ‘While many of us dream of when our children are grown-up or we can retire, midlife can be a trigger to re-evaluate our circumstances.’ Read why on page 50. Kim will be coaching us live every month in the Life Leap Club, free to all subscribers. See page 78.
Find subscription offers on our website: shop.kelsey.co.uk/psy Manage your subscription online shop.kelsey.co.uk/site/loginForm DISTRIBUTION & PRINTING William Gibbons, 28 Planetary Road, Willenhall, Wolverhampton WV13 3XT; 01902 730011; williamgibbons.co.uk Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT; 020 7429 4000; seymour.co.uk Psychologies is published under licence from Psychologies Magazine France. Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark. Copyright ©2002 Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark and is published monthly by Kelsey Media 2018 © all rights reserved. Kelsey Media is a trading name of Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden except with permission in writing from the publishers. Note to contributors: articles submitted for consideration by the editor must be the original work of the author and not previously published. Where photographs are included, which are not the property of the contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been obtained from the owner of the copyright. The Editor cannot guarantee a personal response to all letters and emails received. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher. Kelsey Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties. PRIVACY NOTICE Kelsey Publishing Ltd uses a multi-layered privacy notice, giving you brief details about how we would like to use your personal information. For full details, visit kelsey.co.uk, or call 01959 543524. If you have any questions, please ask, as submitting your details indicates your consent, until you choose otherwise, that we and our partners may contact you about products and services that will be of relevance to you via direct mail, phone, email or SMS. You can opt out at ANY time via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01959 543524.
GLOBAL EDITIONS Groupe Psychologies, 2-8 rue Gaston-Rébuffat, 75019 Paris, France. Tel: 01 44 65 58 00 President & CEO, Editorial Director: Arnaud de Saint Simon PSYCHOLOGIES FRANCE Editor-in-Chief: Laurence Folléa PSYCHOLOGIES ROMANIA Ringier Magazines, 6 Dimitri Pompeiu Street, Bucharest. Tel: +40 212 03 08 00. Managing Director: Mihnea Vasiliu (email@example.com) Editor-in-Chief: Iuliana Alexa (iuliana. firstname.lastname@example.org) Advertising Manager: Monica Pop (email@example.com)
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6 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E M AY 2 0 1 8
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Be part of the solution! Post Brexit, Trump and Weinstein, we seem to hear the word ‘disempowerment’ rather frequently – but change is on the horizon and it seems that, more than ever before, we’re stepping up to acknowledge the problem, as well as being instrumental in helping to solve it. Our Dossier gives you the low-down on how you can make the world a better place; from forging small changes in your community to founding a charity that will transform lives. How do you create a world you want to live in? Join us in the Life Leap Club – free to all subscribers – where you’ll be guided by top coaches and inspired by experts who are making a difference in the world, from 17 April. We also invite you to have some fun this month. On page 46, Katy Regan signs up to a comedy improvisation workshop, while Suzy Bashford channels her inner punk on page 32. Plus, meet comedian Emma Stroud on page 6, who must be the first person to conduct a TED Talk dressed as a banana! Emma will share her wisdom, love and laughter in The Fix, and broadcast every month in the Life Leap Club. In this issue, we’re asking you to tell us what you think of us. As the UK’s biggest and best selling mindful living magazine, our aim is to give you hope, strength and inspiration. But how are we doing? For the chance to win a two-night spa break for two with Hand Picked Hotels in your choice of location, fill in our reader survey on page 105. Thank you.
Subscribe today! Get FREE world-class coaching through our Life Leap Club, plus we’ll send you a luxury beauty duo from ESPA worth £97 (turn to page 78 for details).
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Suzy Greaves Editor-in-Chief, with Oscar the office dog
Send us your letters of gratitude and tell us what you love about the magazine. Our favourites could win a six-month subscription, plus access to our new Life Leap Club!
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
I was so heartened to read Harriet Minter’s column, ‘Your journey begins at home’ (April issue). I have been fortunate in my life and have travelled to far-flung destinations such as Japan, America and New Zealand, with many nights spent under canvas, too. After reading her article, I emailed a friend to say that I had decided not to accompany her on a city break because, nowadays, I find flying too exhausting and stressful. Harriet’s idea of a boutique hotel near the beach in Devon sounded blissful to me. Her column could have been written with me in mind, it was so timely! As I approach middle age, my wanderlust diminishes. Thank you, Harriet, for giving me permission to settle, and accept this fact without feeling guilty or having to provide others with an explanation. Here’s to exploring closer to home, in keeping with what feels natural to me these days. Rita
Share with us…
Share your photos and comments on Instagram @psychologiesmagazine, or tweet us @PsychologiesMag both using #PsychologiesMagazine @LoveHighcliffe Just had a very enjoyable and informative talk from Katherine Baldwin on how to fall in love with yourself, life and another @From40WithLove @PsychologiesMag in London. Well worth the ticket price and some interesting, thought-provoking topics came up. Thank you.
@exmoorjane Sunday slow day... New issue of @psychologiesmagazine dropped through the letter box yesterday. I have beautiful daffs from @heavenonearth.co.uk and @greenandblacks chocolate. So, I’m sitting down with a coffee in my favourite mug and... chilling.
@Charlotte_LucyG Love @HarrietMinter column in @PsychologiesMag this month. I too used to feel guilty about the fact that I didn’t want to see the world. Travelling sends my anxiety sky high and I much prefer a relaxing week in one place than island-hopping.
@mumbelievableuk Brilliant #confidence tip in this month’s @psychologiesmagazine. #womensupportwomen #confidentwoman
@west_lexham Beautiful end to a very enlightening and engaging weekend with this wonderful crowd. Huge thanks to our amazing facilitators @suzy_greaves #drtamararussell and @nowliveevents. And thank you to all who came and shared their stories, emotions, knowledge and bravery on their quest for inner peace.
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CHANCE ENCOUNTERS Psychologies caught my eye in my local shop and, on reading the magazine, I felt more positive and inspired than I had in a long time. On a recent trip to the doctor, I took it with me to read in the waiting room. After my appointment, I was approached by a lady who had noticed it sticking out of my bag. She had heard good things about Psychologies from friends and asked for my opinion on it. I was honest about how I came to buy my first issue by chance, and told her how inspiring I found the articles and people’s stories. She is now going to buy her first issue – and I have just subscribed! Thank you for such a fabulous and engaging magazine. Jules
PHOTO COMPETITION This was the view as I made my way to work one day – perfect for your theme ‘Morning light’ (April). I’m going through a bad time, recovering from the death of my beloved mum; struggling to find joy in anything. The simple beauty stopped me in my tracks. No matter what happens, the sun always rises; a reminder that, one day, things will get better. Rachel Travers
Letter of gratitude
I’d like to thank…
My earth angels I once read that earth angels are ordinary people who do extraordinary things, like helping someone in need without any expectation – making this world a little bit more beautiful by spreading kindness and love. This letter is for all the earth angels in my life, who I met during unexpected circumstances. Last year was challenging for me and I faced a difficult situation, in which I felt undermined and unappreciated by a colleague. It was during this time that I came across three of my earth angels in the form of my mentors. ‘Thanks’ is a rather small word for all the support and guidance that they provided, helping me to sail through the storm without too many bruises. There were times when my confidence was blown to rock bottom and the stress started impacting on my marriage. My angels were there to provide support, guidance and much-needed tender loving care. Above all, they listened to my problems without judgement and restored my faith in myself and humanity. They say there’s always a rainbow on the other side of the storm, and I am now in a beautiful place with success in both my personal and professional life.
Mano The winner WOULD YOU LIKE to showcase your photographic talent in ‘Psychologies’? Every month, we ask you to submit a photo on a theme. We’ll print the winner, and you’ll receive a six-month subscription, plus access to our new Life Leap Club! The next theme is ‘Contentment’. Share your photo with us and explain its inspiration on Instagram @psychologiesmagazine with the hashtag #PsychologiesPhoto or email email@example.com by midnight on 21 May.*
This month’s gratitude letter, star letter and chosen photo win a six-month subscription to Psychologies worth £25.80, plus access to our new Life Leap Club! Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR FULL TS&CS, SEE PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK. OPEN TO UK RESIDENTS ONLY
I owe this to them and thank them, with all my love.
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Fee eel el ins in nssppir pired red d ever evvery r day da ay
wear a mantra
ng, ree o r t e s irit f b y p bod my s I bre y a m d& y I bre the in a wil ath ca l M rt e o u mn ea h t st ess, y ress m
We create meaningful jewellery, designed to inspire and uplift. Each piece symbolises a specific mantra, intended to make a positive impact on the way that you feel.
READER OFFER 15% discount
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“I believe in the power of words to change your life. That’s why I love Mantra Jewellery” Suzy Greaves, Editor, Psychologies Use code PSYCH15 at checkout *Offer valid until 30th April 2018
Bar Necklace, £55 in Sterling Silver; Discs, £45 in Sterling Silver, £65 in Gold-plated Sterling Silver. See the website for our full range of inspirational jewellery. Discs can be personalised on the reverse, with a word, date or name.
Discover the world of mantra at:
News I Reviews
EDITED BY ELLEN TOUT
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all”
PHOTOGRAPH: ©UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Here, Dean Karnazes looks out over Töö Ashuu in the Kyrgyz mountains, halfway through his 525km run along the Silk Road – a route that connected East and West for more than 1,500 years. Of his journey, he says: ‘There is a commonality in running. My skin colour was different, I didn’t speak their language, I have a very different lifestyle but, when we run, we run the same way. When I passed, people would smile and wave; kids would run alongside me.’ Read about journeys like Dean’s in the new book Fifty Places To Run Before You Die by Chris Santella (Abrams, £18.99)..
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Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts
New research* shows that the great outdoors can boost our body image. Previous studies have found that nature helps our mental and physical health but, in this case, people surveyed in parks reported more respect for their bodies and less worry about aesthetic expectations. Researchers think this is because nature distances us from appearance-focused situations – and instead we appreciate the body’s functionality, while our attention is held by our environment.
William Morris gardening gloves, £17, V&A
OF MILLENNIALS SAY THEY’VE EXPERIENCED A QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS – BUT 50 PER CENT AGREE THAT SUCH STRUGGLES ARE CATALYSTS FOR POSITIVE CHANGE**
BRAVE ENCOUNTERS A first date is as thrilling as skydiving, a study has discovered.† It found that dating increases our heart rate and adrenaline release to the same level as jumping out of a plane. This suggests that our body’s response to a romantic encounter is surprisingly similar to free-falling! The research also found that a third of people have considered leaving or cancelling a date due to feeling anxious. Fortunately, 78 per cent said they found first-date nerves endearing in a partner. ‘I’d Swipe Right For You’ unisex T-shirt, £25, Notonthehighstreet
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PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY; GETTY IMAGES. *V SWAMI ET AL, EXPOSURE TO NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS, AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS, PROMOTES MORE POSITIVE BODY IMAGE,‘JOURNAL OF BODY IMAGE’, 2018; **ONEPOLL AND FIRST DIRECT, 2018; †UNIVERSITY OF WOLVERHAMPTON AND BEAR GRYLLS ADVENTURE, 2018; ††K OTAKE ET AL, HAPPY PEOPLE BECOME HAPPIER THROUGH KINDNESS,‘JOURNAL OF HAPPINESS STUDIES’, 2006. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Journalling a journey When Alexander Chapman Campbell undertook an ancient Norwegian pilgrimage, he discovered, purely by chance, countless pianos on the way. He composed music inspired by his walk on any piano he found – in churches, halls and people’s homes. His album, Journey To Nidaros, follows Alexander’s 650km journey from Oslo to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. It weaves a story of peaks, waterfalls and forests full of mystery. ‘The music became my journal, a reflection of a very personal and treasured experience in my life,’ he says.
Journey To Nidaros by Alexander Chapman Campbell, £10.56, Amazon
OUR KINDNESS PROJECT
GOODWILL HUNTING ‘Kindness makes us happier – this was the outcome of research†† that asked a group of women to count their “kindnesses”. Importantly, they weren’t asked to go out and do intentional acts of kindness, but instead just to observe their own normal behaviour and make a note of when it was kind. Simple though the exercise was, it had a large impact on the women’s lives: they all became happier and many reported being much happier. We can be our own harshest judges but, when we count kindnesses, many of us arrive at the conclusion that we are much kinder than we think, and that we make more of a difference in the lives of others than we realise – and that can be just the tonic we need.’ DH
JM Barrie kindness quote print, £18, Notonthehighstreet
Join ‘Psychologies’ kindness tsar David Hamilton live on Facebook @Psychologiesmagazine for his free 30-day Kindness Challenge every month, next on 2 May at 1pm. For access to more like this, join the ‘Psychologies’ Life Leap coaching club, free when you subscribe to the magazine
PSYCHOLOGISTS AND EXPERTS WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE. SEE PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/LIFE-LEAP-CLUB-NEW-SUBSCRIBERS M AY 2 0 1 8 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 13
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Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts
Audible books Our friends at Audible tell us why working women need to hear this powerful narration WE LOVE Not Just Lucky by Jamila Rizvi. Women still suffer from lack of confidence in the workplace – we often over-apologise, don’t speak up and explain away success as ‘luck’. In Not Just Lucky, author, presenter and political commentator Jamila Rizvi draws on detailed research and her own experiences to expose the structural and cultural disadvantages that rob women of their self-belief. Narrating the audiobook, Rizvi quickly becomes a warm, witty and wise friend, championing you to start fighting for your success, and for a more inclusive workplace for all. This unashamedly feminist career manifesto will help you realise that you’re not just lucky – you’re brilliant.
‘Not Just Lucky’ is available for £14.99 or free with a 30-day Audible trial. See audible.co.uk
Trainers, £44.99, Deichmann
Exercising in a group improves quality of life and reduces stress far more than a solo workout, a study found.* People who exercised together reported a 13 per cent boost to mental health and a 26 per cent hike in emotional wellbeing, plus their stress levels fell by 26 per cent. Those who exercised alone trained harder and saw an 11 per cent improvement in mental health, but their stress stayed the same.
OF PARENTS SAY THEIR CHILDREN ARE FOND OF READING, BUT 54 PER CENT BELIEVE THEIR YOUNGSTERS HAVE LESS TIME FOR BOOKS DUE TO PRESSURE FROM SCHOOL**
‘Go Away I’m Reading’ cushion by Karen Murray, £30, Art Wow
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Film of the month
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society FILM REVIEW: DANIELLE WOODWARD. AUDIOBOOK RECOMMENDATION BY ELISE ITALIAANDER, CONTENT MANAGER AT AUDIBLE. *AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION: GROUP EXERCISE IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE, REDUCES STRESS FAR MORE THAN INDIVIDUAL WORKOUTS, ‘SCIENCEDAILY’, 2017; **ONEPOLL AND EQUAZEN, 2018. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Directed by Mike Newell Based on the novel of the same name, published in 2008, written by Mary Ann Shaffer and completed by her niece, Annie Barrows, after Shaffer’s death, the film is a faithful retelling of the story. While living in post-war London, writer Juliet Ashton (Lily James) discovers a group of people whose love of fiction kept them going through the Nazi occupation of Guernsey. Juliet hopes to write about the Society and, when she travels to Guernsey to meet them, she is drawn into their world. With the complexities of human experience and the drama of war, the film is about everyday heroism; how ordinary people did extraordinary things in impossible situations. The film carries you along with quiet revelations, and heart-wrenching and humorous scenes aplenty. We witness the devastation of the Blitz, the glamour of post-war celebration, the ordinariness of island life and people rediscovering hope. Uplifting. DW
LEAP INTO LAUGHTER
BE A FUN GUY! ‘Fun means different things to different people, from catching up with a friend, to knitting or stamp collecting. To identify your kind of fun, take five minutes and close your eyes. Focus on the word “fun” and see what pops into your head. Jot it down. You may find you start smiling just at the thought. Now, get your diary and set aside regular slots to do your fun thing. Fun is a habit of permission. Go giggle!’ ES
Mr Happy coin purse, £10, Wild & Wolf
Join ‘Psychologies’ clown-in-residence Emma Stroud live on Facebook @Psychologiesmagazine every month. Next on 24 April at 1pm. For access to more like this, join the ‘Psychologies’ Life Leap coaching club, free when you subscribe
IS FREE TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS. LEAP INTO A BETTER LIFE AT PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/LIFE-LEAP-CLUB-NEW-SUBSCRIBERS M AY 2 0 1 8 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 15
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Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts
CREATE YOUR FUTURE
Do you feel unsure about what you want for the future? Trying to find your purpose? Every day this week, trust your intuition. Write a list of all the things you feel excited about doing and see where it takes you
Life Clubs run fun and practical self-discovery workshops. June’s workshop, ‘Knowing What You Want’, will enable you to intuitively create the future you wish for and set goals to move you forward. Find out more at lifeclubs.com/locations
The colour file
Martha Roberts, creator of The Colour File, investigates how colour makes us think, act and feel. Let’s look at heavenly purple
EARLIEST PURPLE dyes were made from crushed murex sea snail shells, and it took 12,000 to produce just 1g of Tyrian purple. Psychologist Karen Haller says: ‘Purple was considered regal because it was so rare. There was a time when only royalty could wear the “divine colour” because they were seen as God’s representatives on earth.’ In psychological terms, Haller says: ‘Purple relates to the higher self, truth and contemplation. We associate it with spiritual awareness and reflection.’ Add purple to your life for improved meditation and a sense of peace.
The colour challenge ● Opt for purple lighting. Pantone’s
color of the year is ‘Ultra Violet’, a rich, royal purple. Pantone says the shade is ‘associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from an overstimulated world’. Pantone recommends purple-
toned lighting in spaces where you meditate or in shared areas to energise communities and ‘inspire connection’. ● Surround yourself with purple flowers. These include anemone, purple hyacinth, verbena, hyssop, purple freesia, iris and lilac. Choose a different one each week and place it in an area where you want to contemplate things. ● Eat purple foods three times a week. Foods that are naturally purple tend to be high in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are linked to improved cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, dementia and longevity. A study** found that women who ate three or more half-cup servings of blueberries or strawberries a week were 34 per cent less likely to have suffered a heart attack than women who ate less of these fruits. Read more about Martha’s colour journey at psychologies.co.uk. For more on The Colour File, see colourfile.com; @the_colour_file; trendpulse.co.uk; karenhaller.co.uk
JOIN OUR CLUB! SUBSCRIBE AT PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/LIFE-LEAP-CLUB-NEW-SUBSCRIBERS
PSY_MAY_the fix.indd 16
* F ZSOK ET AL, WHAT KIND OF LOVE IS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT? AN EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION, ‘JOURNAL OF PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS’, 2017; **’HARVARD HEALTH PUBLISHING’, 2013
OF US SAY WE’VE FALLEN IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT – BUT LASTING BONDS WERE NOT TO BE WITH THE OBJECTS OF OUR INSTANT AFFECTION, ONLY WITH THOSE WE GOT TO KNOW SLOWLY*
ti inc all ck lu et si s ve fr om
Â£2 5.0 0
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70 EXPERT SPEAKERS VIA V I D E LI V E O LI N K
PROFESSOR PAUL GILBERT OBE President of The Compassionate Mind Foundation
DR KRISTIN NEFF
Co-Founder - Center for Mindful Self-Compassion
in clu ding :
MICHAEL CHASKALSON Founder & CEO of Mindfulness Works
DR TAMARA RUSSELL
DR PATRIZIA COLLARD
Director of Mindfulness Centre of Excellence, London
SIR ANTHONY SELDON
Vice-Chancellor University of Buckingham
*Price for one day only. Includes access to all seminars & workshops (subject to availability).
LESSONS IN ADULTHOOD
My not-so-lovely workmates What do you do when you can’t stand a person or people you work with? See it as an invitation to grow instead of groan, writes Harriet Minter
ell, it has been said, is other people. That makes an office, a place full of other people, which you only visit for money, a particularly hot corner of hell. Like family, you cannot choose your co-workers and, when you add professional pressures and varying priorities, it’s a recipe for conflict. Most of us have had to work with someone we didn’t like. They come in different packages but a common one is the colleague in competition with you. You’d probably get along but you’re both so desperate for your boss’s approval, you don’t realise how much you have in common. Another typical one is the person who doesn’t pull their weight, leaving you scrambling to finish the job. But, what do you do when there’s a person you can’t stand for no good reason? I’ve been there. She wasn’t a bad person, but boy did we clash. We’d pull each other up in meetings and respond to emails in a tone that was at best dismissive, at worst passiveaggressive. In hindsight, I see we were intimidated by each other’s strengths and feared they magnified our weaknesses. I worried her attention to detail belittled my ability to see the bigger picture.
PHOTOGRAPH: MARK HARRISON. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CAROLINE PIASECKI. STYLIST: KATE ANYA BARBOUR
It’s not you, it’s me
Often, if we find someone trying, it’s because they mirror parts of ourselves we don’t like, or have been told we shouldn’t like. As kids, if we’re loud, we’re told nobody likes a show-off. We hide that part of ourselves and so, when we see someone who revels in it, we react. If you’re frustrated by a bold colleague, ask yourself if you don’t like it because it distracts from work, or if the truth is: you’re afraid to be like that. But sometimes we work with someone who just annoys us. The most difficult is the person who’s happy to let others pick up the slack. The best thing you can do is let that slack lie and watch them trip over it. It’s scary to let something be below par but see it as a tiny step to a bigger goal: getting them to shape up or ship out! In the main, getting along with an annoying colleague means seeking their best points. Rather than seeing them as competitive, appreciate them for pushing you to do your best. Laziness is a reminder that we need to prioritise life outside the office, and aggression can be a sign someone is unhappy. You have to work with this person so, for your own happiness, make the best of it. You are cogs in the same wheel and you need each other. For weekly wisdom from Harriet, sign up for her newsletter at tinyletter.com/ harrietminter. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @harrietminter
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Break up with your phone Our phones and apps are designed to be addictive and the time we spend on them damages our ability to focus, think deeply and form new memories. Don’t panic, says author Catherine Price, here’s a four-week plan to cut ties Week one
Take stock. Assess your relationship
Change your habits. The beep of
Reclaim your brain to strengthen
From breakup to breakthrough.
with your phone: What do, or don’t, you love about your phone? What negative, or positive, changes occur when you spend lots of time on it? Install a tracking app and find out how much time you really spend on your phone. When you reach for it, ask yourself: What do I want it for? Why now? What else needs to be done instead of checking my phone? notifications rewards our brain with hits of dopamine, which activate our pleasurerelated receptors. Switch off notifications; then get rid of apps that suck you in and keep only those that improve life, like banking apps. Put your phone out of reach every morning and evening at a set time, and charge it downstairs at night, not by your bed. Create no-phone zones like the dinner table and bedroom.
WORDS: SUZY GREAVES. PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
its attention span. Practise mindfulness with the ‘stop, breathe, be’ technique. Stop what you’re doing, take a slow, deep breath and tune into the details of what you’re experiencing in that moment. Repeat. Practise meditating for 5-10 minutes every day. Try a ‘trial separation’ from your phone for 24 hours – switch it off and put it out of sight. Reflect on your separation. What did you observe about your behaviour and emotions? Try regular ‘phasting’ – phone fasting – and keep on track by asking yourself: What part of my relationship with my phone do I want to change? Catherine Price is an award-winning science journalist and author of ‘How To Break Up With Your Phone’ (Orion, £12.99)
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“Human nature is flawed and complicated” Award-winning actress Rachel McAdams talks about her new film, Disobedience, shot in London, which explores a lesbian relationship in an Orthodox Jewish community PHOTOGRAPH JAY L CLENDENIN/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES
achel McAdams is exceedingly polite and mild-mannered. She smiles when she greets you and has a seemingly pleasant nature. The Canadian actress, highly regarded for more than a decade, is best known for her work in The Notebook, Sherlock Holmes, True Detective, Southpaw and Spotlight, and she rarely plays the same sort of character twice. ‘I’m always looking to take on roles that push me further than I might like to go,’ says McAdams. ‘I don’t want to repeat myself and stay safe. One of the things I love about acting is how I never know exactly where a character is going to take me.’ That philosophy certainly applies to her new
film, Disobedience, directed by Sebastián Lelio, in which she plays Esti, a married Orthodox Jewish woman who has an affair with her former teenage lover, Ronit, played by Rachel Weisz. Ronit fled both their affair and her faith 20 years earlier, but the women’s passions resurface when she returns to their Jewish community in north London, following the death of her father, a noted rabbi. In order to learn more about that secretive world, McAdams tried to do some stealth research. ‘I went undercover in the Orthodox Jewish community in Los Angeles, but it didn’t go so well... People were very warm and helpful, though. They recognised me right away and, by the following day, everyone >>>
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>>> knew about everywhere I went. But they were very kind,
and I was even invited to a beautiful Shabbat dinner.’ Apart from the film’s groundbreaking depiction of a lesbian relationship within the conservative Orthodox Jewish community, it also created plenty of controversy at the Toronto International Film Festival, due to the torrid, uninhibited six-minute sex scene between McAdams and Weisz. Lelio was reticent about discussing the sex scene with the two Rachels until two weeks before shooting began in London. McAdams says: ‘We had been speaking about everything except that scene, so I gathered my strength and said, “OK, I think we should start talking about the sex scene.” I explained that, for me, it was the heart of the film. It had to be long, we had to find specific acts for them to do, because the real force of the scene would come out of that hyper-specificity of bold moments that avoided being exploitative... and make it unique.’ Born and raised in Ontario, McAdams graduated with honours in drama from York University in Toronto, which she continues to make her home today. She is currently in a relationship with screenwriter Jamie Linden, and is reportedly pregnant with her first child.
It’s rare that we see films explore Orthodox Jewish life... It was a fascinating exploration, which was part of the reason why I was drawn to the film; it’s a community that the world knows very little about. They’re so tight-knit, which is such a beautiful part of it. How did you immerse yourself in that world? I did a lot of research that took me all over London. I went to the deli, bakery and local supermarket, and everyone was welcoming; no question was taboo. The experts on the Jewish community who worked with us were incredible; they shared information on the culture and their homes. I also hosted a book club, focusing on the novel [of the same name] the film is based on, by Naomi Alderman, and I cooked traditional Jewish meals. What was it like co-starring with Rachel Weisz in this film? We had a wonderful time working together. I’ve been a fan of hers for a
“As long as I feel some sort of connection to the character, I’m willing to play almost any role” long time, but we had never had the chance to work together properly before. I was so happy to finally get to know her and have this opportunity. What I appreciated about her was her effortless way of working, even though there’s always so much going on behind her eyes. I tried to be as present as I could during each scene and just follow her lead. Was it important that the two of you got along during the production of the film, given the level of intimacy that your characters share? Even though the director was very supportive and sensitive the whole time, Rachel and I tried to take care of each other, and that helped us while we were filming.
‘DISOBEDIENCE’ Hot on the heels of Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, comes his English-language debut, Disobedience. Miles away from the electric fever of his previous film, this is a far more staid and restrained affair. However, the stakes are just as high for the film’s two heroines, Ronit (Rachel Weisz) and Esti (Rachel McAdams), childhood friends raised in an Orthodox Jewish community in London. As Ronit returns from New York for her father’s funeral, the pair can’t help but reignite their secret affair; a love which is as forbidden now as it was all those years ago.
Apart from your character in True Detective, this is probably one of the most daring roles you’ve had. Is it important to you that you play determined women? I’ve never worried about that. I’ve worked on serious dramas, such as A Most Wanted Man, and I also played a nasty woman who tormented Owen Wilson in Midnight In Paris. I judge projects by the people involved and the quality of the writing. As long as I feel a connection to the character, I’m willing to play almost any role. Something either clicks in your head or it doesn’t. You made your reputation starring in romantic films. Are they your natural preference? I do have a romantic side. I enjoy
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McAdams and Ryan Gosling in the surprise 2004 box-office hit The Notebook
In the 2015 American sports drama Southpaw. Right, at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in LA
WORDS: INTERVIEW HUB. PHOTOGRAPHS: REX FEATURES; LANDMARK MEDIA
stories that explore the nature of human relationships and especially what makes people want to be together and how they manage to stay together. Love is such a precious and beautiful thing, but it seems so hard for people to sustain their love and appreciation for each other. I’m just fascinated by films that offer insights into that process. What do you think your varied roles have taught you about life outside of the film industry? I think the biggest lessons I have learned are to be as honest and as present as possible. That applies to both acting and in my own life. We sometimes have an overly idealistic or romanticised view of the world, and then, when we try to experience that kind of life, we’re often disappointed. I have taken a much more realistic outlook on things and how people behave, because it’s better if you can operate under no illusions. Human nature is flawed and complicated, I find. You tend to stay out of the limelight, even though you’ve been part of some prominent films. Is that your nature? Maybe that’s my Canadian side showing. I like the sense of community and feeling I have from being in Toronto. I’ve lived in the same house for many years and I like to cycle
Playing Esti in Disobedience, a film about forbidden love within the Orthodox Jewish community in north London
As Owen Wilson’s fiancee in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, with Michael Sheen and Nina Ariande
around town and live a quiet life for the most part. Being in Toronto allows me to relax between projects, and you feel very far away from the fi lm business. I’ve never been interested in attracting attention to myself when I’m not working and, so far, that’s worked out pretty well. You’re a major advocate of eco-friendly causes. Are you eco-conscious in your private life? I ride a bicycle whenever I can, and I try to live responsibly when it comes to the environment. You choose to live in Toronto, rather than LA. Does that make working life difficult for you? No. I’m used to flying back and forth, but I could never manage to live in LA, except when I’m there for meetings or working on a project. I travel a lot when I’m doing films and I feel so much more at home and grounded in Toronto. I prefer living there because I’m close to my family... I also have a lot of friends there. LA can be a rather lonely place; I don’t know why exactly, but everything revolves around the film industry and people are always talking about business. When I go back home to Toronto, I can just forget about work and be myself. ‘Disobedience’ is out in UK cinemas later this year
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Make it rite Rituals are part of our day-to-day lives, whether we realise it or not. Eleanor Tucker explores their importance, and works out how to create new ones that feed the soul
he time is 6.50am and I’m in my pyjamas making packed lunches in the half-light. The radio murmurs in the background; not loud enough to hear properly, but any louder and I would be completely awake, and it’s way too early for that. And then I hear the shout, which I cannot ignore – and have no wish to, either. ‘Big bed!’ The day doesn’t get under way in our house without it: a cuddle in the big bed for all four of us is a punctuation mark between the old day and the new; the calm before the storm. Only recently did I discover that it is also something else – it is a ritual. And, as such, it is more essential than I had ever realised. How did I come to this awareness? A mother with children older than mine said something that echoed in my head for days: ‘The kids won’t do anything
new with me now, but still love doing the “old” things.’ And by old things, she meant eating dim sum on the last day of the school holidays, or going to the same country cottage during the Easter break. These things are ‘allowed’ by her newly independent teenagers because they are touchstones that they can come back to. They are family customs. They are rituals. Rituals, explains life coach Liz Goodchild, give us a chance to drop anchor in the turbulent seas of our chaotic lives, where we’re pulled from one thing to another without much mindful intention. In contrast to the chaos, rituals are intentional. They are – like the beer I have with my husband at the kitchen table on a Friday night to mark the end of the week – decisions to make time and space to do things that matter and feel meaningful. >>>
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steeped in familiarity, comfort and a sense of safety,’ says Goodchild. ‘And we are, as humans, on a primal level at least, driven towards these things. Think of how, at Christmas, we take the time to carefully and lovingly lay the table before we eat together, or how we play a particular board game – the same one we’ve been playing for 20 years,’ she says. ‘The truth is, we could do these things at any other time of the year, but tend not to, because underneath the action of the ritual runs something far deeper: structure and routine. These help us to feel grounded and emotionally balanced, and we often feel out of whack without them. Rituals help us to remember where we come from and who we are.’ This is why, I suppose, my friend’s children will still do the ‘old’ things; the rituals, but shy away from anything new.
Ritual designer and creative facilitator Tiu de Haan, a ‘non-denominational celebrant’ who hosts workshops for organisations as diverse as the Law Society and the United Nations, sees rituals as a way of appreciating the moments that make up our lives. She views them as a ‘container’ around
are “likeRituals home: they
are steeped in familiarity, comfort and a sense of safety. We, as humans, on a primal level at least, are driven towards these things
>>> ‘Rituals are like home: they are
periods of time. In her TED Talk on the subject, she tells her audience: ‘Imagine a frame in an art gallery with a painting inside it. Take that frame and put it into your imagination instead. Now, make it invisible, make it amorphous, and make it fit around a particular time and space, then fill it with light, colour, sounds, words, tastes, thoughts and intentions – then close it. Give it a beginning and an end. You’ve just created a ritual.’ The point of the practice, she explains, is to value the moment – to stop and notice, and be present in the beauty of life. Rituals ‘connect people to their creativity, to each other, to their heart, and to the possibility of wonder’.
‘It’s an ancient human need to honour life, love and death,’ she says – and rituals allow us to do that. She describes one she created to mark her late mother’s birthday, when she released a ‘Happy Birthday’ balloon from the top of Primrose Hill, and watched it disappear into the London sky. ‘I saw it dance over
How to create meaningful rituals in your life
Remember, there are no rules for creating a ritual that works for you.
Set your intention. Ask yourself: what do I most want to feel right now in my life? Once you’re clear on that, ask: what could I do that would help me feel that way?
Think of what your senses would be experiencing during a meaningful ritual, and work out ways, or actions, to enhance those sensations.
For example, if your intention is to feel relaxed, then maybe your
ritual involves a particular type of tea and a favourite mug. Or if your intention is to remember someone you love, maybe your ritual involves visiting somewhere that invokes happy memories of them, and doing something or touching an item that enhances closeness to them.
A ritual is more than a habit, it is something that you do intentionally, not unconsciously. So, after your ritual, savour it quietly and enjoy its soul-nourishing nature: it is a primal practice and unique to you. Remember its purpose in your life.
PHOTOGRAPHS: PREVIOUS PAGE, GETTY IMAGES; BORIS JOVANOVIC/STOCKSY
Life coach Liz Goodchild shares her ideas and advice for making the most of special moments
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The Psychologies team share their rituals
My son and I have created a Christmas Eve ritual of going down to Brighton Pier. We ride on the dodgems and eat noodles and candy floss. It’s something that we look forward to every year.
Suzy Greaves, Editor-in-Chief
Each morning, before I start work, I take one minute to look at the sea from my study window. I only get a glimpse of it, but it is enough to lift my spirits and put me in the right frame of mind for a productive working day.
Leona Gerrard, Deputy Production Editor
“ the buildings and drift away and thought, “That’s just like my mum.”’ De Haan also designs rituals for the workplace, to invoke creativity and clarity, and help people ‘shift perspective and see the world afresh’. It struck me that I also have a work ritual, for when I’m finishing an article. On my final draft, I work sitting in an armchair, and not at my desk. Maybe because that’s the point when what’s written becomes what’s read, and the chair is where I read.
Rituals, such as ‘big bed’, don’t have to involve other people. A personal rite is for you alone, giving you the chance to centre yourself, whether it’s in the morning to prepare for the day, or in the evening to ‘decompress’ from it. ‘Rituals don’t have to be complex or take up a lot of time,’ says Goodchild. ‘Perhaps a weekly walk to the shop to buy your favourite magazine, before flicking through it
over a perfectly made latte brings you comfort.’ I think about this as I head to my friend Annie’s house. We have the same hairdresser, Louise, and, a couple of years ago, started having our hair done together at Annie’s. I bring pastries, Annie makes coffee, and the three of us chat while Louise attends to our lowlights and highlights. It dawns on me that it’s not just a convenient plan, it’s a ritual. And, while I suspect my children won’t remember brushing their teeth in the morning, they will, I hope, remember our cuddle in the big bed. Similarly, I won’t recall the exact hair colour I chose, but I’ll never forget sitting at Annie’s kitchen table with my foils in, laughing until I choke on my pain au chocolat. As De Haan says, life is made up of moments – let’s celebrate them. Watch Tiu’s TED Talk at youtube.comwatch? v=umdZIyriW-U; tiudehaan.com. Meet Tiu at our ‘Psychologies’ event. See details on page 53
I’m not religious, but when I find myself in a church, I light votive candles for my mother, father and grandparents. I’m South African, and I’ve done this in churches all over the world. Somehow, it takes me home.
Vee Sey, Production Editor
On Saturday mornings, I wander around my home with my four-yearold, cleaning the leaves of our plants and giving them a stroke and sip of water. It’s a nice way to begin the weekend, which is usually full of comings, goings and necessaries.
Eminé Rushton, WellbeingDirector-at-Large
Alongside my friend’s birthdays, I keep a note of the anniversaries of the deaths of loved ones – my father; a couple of close friends – and on the day, I sit down for a few minutes in a sort of meditation, sharing things with them, and remembering them.
Elizabeth Heathcote, Features Director
Several times a week, I walk to my local shops and buy fruit and veg from the greengrocer and fresh sourdough from the off-licence (yes, really). It makes me feel connected to my town.
Leanne Bracey, Acting Picture Editor
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Benjamin Zephaniah The performance poet, writer, musician and activist talks about writing his autobiography as he turns 60, the importance of listening to others and how we all need more compassion INTERVIEW DANIELLE WOODWARD
I don’t like being thought of as a role model; if you put someone up on a pedestal, it means you can take them down again. I can’t think of anything I’ve done that I’m ashamed of; I’ve made mistakes in my life – I was a thief and spent time in prison – but I’m happy to admit my mistakes, because I’ve learned from them. Some bits of my autobiography were difficult to write, such as the time when my mother left the family home with me to escape domestic violence and we were homeless. Writing the book was like researching myself. When I had a fuzzy memory, I asked my mum and she’d tell me her take on it. I also learned that when my dad died, he was buried in Barbados, but in his British post office uniform; his job gave him a living and he stuck with the company all the way.
PHOTOGRAPH: PHILIPP EBELING/CAMERA PRESS
I wrote to Bob Marley when I was 15 and he replied; he inspired me to keep writing and performing. When I was young, there was an idea of what poetry was and it wasn’t for a young black kid. When I did use the word ‘poetry’, I’d say ‘dub poetry’ or ‘reggae poetry’; today, the spoken word is stronger than ever. When I want to say something to the public, I prefer to use my art to say it, because there’s an allowance for ambiguity. You can’t second-guess who’s going to be offended. I was talking to a woman the other day and was treading carefully around a subject, but I told her I was holding back and she said: ‘I’m really offended by that; you can say anything to me.’ You can’t win! Everything I talk about comes from my own experience, so when I’m telling someone about my life, they can’t tell me I’m ‘wrong’ because this was what happened. People labelled my politics as left wing, but I just knew I despised racism because I experienced it first-hand. I used to go on Question Time and face politicians who threw facts and figures in my face, but I just replied with the truth: this is where I come from and this is my experience.
The things I’ve spoken about are in the public domain, and for me to put it out there in the first place means I have to back it up. I’m looking forward to going on tour; it will be me on stage telling stories about my life, then taking questions from the audience. I just love the interaction. I was talking about veganism once and said how I try not to harm any living creature. A girl in the audience asked: ‘What about mosquitoes?’ I replied: ‘Well, I reserve the right to self-defence!’ If I have a disagreement with someone, I always wonder what makes them think like that? Once you try to understand what they’ve been through in their life and say, ‘I can see your side, come and see my side,’ something different happens. You’re not just shouting at each other; you’re comparing notes. A lot of people deny their spirituality and explain it away with science, but because I meditate, I’ve no doubt that there’s something greater than us; that I’m related to the trees, the earth. The amazing thing is that you can access this through meditation. It’s that time when I’m not thinking; where I’m just allowed to be. I’m passionate about being vegan; I remember when I used to go to vegan events, and I would be the only black guy there! I went to one recently and there were Muslims, Jews, Rastas, Chinese people and Buddhists, and I thought: ‘Yes, we’ve arrived.’ Compassion is my core value; if you’re arguing with someone, with compassion, you can see their point of view; if you have compassion for the planet, you can have a certain attitude to the environment. Compassion is not about giving money; it can be saving someone’s life, taking in a rescue animal, or just offering someone a cup of tea and making that connection. ‘The Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah’ (Simon & Schuster, £20) is out on 3 May. Book tickets to see Benjamin on tour at awaywithmedia.com/benjamin
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The value of knowing your worth How do you achieve a sense of self that does not rely on the judgements of others? Suzy Bashford seeks some expert help
ou’d think that someone who runs workshops on self-esteem and writes about that subject would have a healthy sense of self-worth, wouldn’t you? Yeah, so did I. That is, until recently, when my self-worth came crashing down and I ended up sobbing at my kitchen table with a good friend. The trigger was a tough week: stressful meetings with my son’s headteacher had coincided with the loss of a lucrative client and fallouts in some of my close relationships. This accumulation had exposed the stark fragility of my self-worth. While my head may have understood the theory of valuing yourself, regardless of how life was going, my heart wasn’t convinced. So, I enlisted the help of The Comparison Coach, straight-talking Lucy Sheridan, who specialises in helping clients live on their own terms. Immediately, she picked up on how much I link my identity to external validation, remarking that my
conversation was littered with ‘shoulds’ – a telltale sign. ‘To be a good mum, I should be serious and responsible’; ‘to be a success, I should earn more’. It didn’t surprise her at all that a week of things not going well had derailed me, and left me feeling worth so much less. She got to the nub of the issue right away: I’d become overly obsessed with other people’s opinions and, in the process, lost touch with who I really was. ‘We think we know our values [and value], but it’s so easy, especially in the tsunami of social media today and busyness, to get set adrift by other people’s judgements and ideas about what makes a worthwhile life,’ she said. Sheridan pushed me to truly consider what I value. She also nudged me to push past the stock answers that we all trot out and go deeper. She planted a seed to help me when she said that she could feel my ‘inner punk’ screaming to get out and express herself, but she was currently drowning under the relentless lists of ‘shoulds’ and ‘to-dos’. ‘Don’t >>>
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be afraid of your punk energy,’ she urged me. ‘It’s OK not to people-please. It’s all right to let some expectations go.’ I’d never thought of myself as rock ‘n’ roll before, but once I’d sat with the idea a while, I liked it. The more I journalled and read the books she recommended, the more ‘Suzy the secret anarchist’ emerged, and the more I realised how much the way I saw the world was in conflict with others around me. Some of the scribbles made me blush – there was a lot swearing – but Sheridan encouraged me to embrace this, rather than shy away from it.
Getting to know me
I wanted to be “a good mum, wife,
daughter and friend, but I also wanted to say ‘screw it!’ and jump in rock pools and drink too much
As I ventured on to explore this ‘darker’ side, I noticed a sense of relaxation flow through me, allowing another craving to bubble up to the surface: a deep desire to be more playful. Wild, even. Yes, I wanted to be a good mum, wife, daughter, friend, and an all-round good, healthyeating, deadline-hitting human. But hell, I also wanted to say ‘screw it!’ to all these pressures and jump in rock pools and drink too much and eat chocolate cake. It was refreshing, in Sheridan, to find someone who actively encouraged me to indulge in these things occasionally, as radical acts of self-love. As she called them: ‘nourishment not punishment’. I looked forward to our Skype calls, where I was free to be and explore my self without fear of judgement; a rare luxury in my hectic schedule and interactions with others. Our long conversations were punctuated by much raucous laughter and things you wouldn’t want your gran to hear you say, as well as a few tears. She helped me see the ridiculousness of some of the notions I’d absorbed about myself. Take my attitude to my body, for example. I discovered that I harboured this idea that I should do a HIIT workout every day and only ‘eat clean’ from Monday to Friday. When Sheridan interrogated me about why, I realised that I had some random idea about being thinner in order to feel good about myself.
She helped me come to the conclusion that my relationship with my body should be about me, and what I think of it, no one else. This was liberating and opened me up to be much more grateful for all the many things it does for me, rather than how it looks to others. The more I disregarded what I’d been told was important in life, the more I gained confidence in what I genuinely believe is important and fulfilling. Through journalling, it quickly became apparent that I’m at my happiest when I’m scribbling down ideas that excite me,
or walking the dog with friends, enjoying the breathtaking views where I live in the Scottish Highlands, or snuggling up with my family by the fire, wearing comfortable clothes and no make-up. The ability to fit these regularly into my life are my markers of success.
My kind of happy
To keep me plugged in to what I really value in life on an ongoing basis, Sheridan suggested that I create a blog which I could return to regularly as a way to ground myself, and stop myself getting derailed so frequently. For some people, things like yoga and meditation facilitate this but, for me, writing is when I detangle what I think from what others think. As Sheridan said: ‘Your self-worth is tied to being expressive. You have to own that, because self-ownership is linked to self-worth.’ My blog, bigjuicycreativelife.com, is a constant reminder that a ‘life of worth’ for me is one that is lived as
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How to make a ‘self ’assessment Tips on keeping your beliefs alive and maintaining who you are STAYING CONNECTED TO YOUR VALUES l Unfollow people on
PHOTOGRAPHS: JOVANA RIKALO/STOCKSY
social media, and set clear boundaries with those in the real world who don’t make you feel good. l Regularly reconnect with your values. It could be via a blog or journal, or you could take five minutes every day to read a reminder of what you value and the type of person you want to be. l Say no to people and events if they’re not in line
big, juicy and creative as possible. Another exercise was a ‘future self visualisation’, which Sheridan guided me through. My imagination conjured up an old lady called Wildflower who lived in a forest, loved wild swimming in her garish pink cap with her elderly mates, and didn’t give a hoot about what people thought of her. Now, when my confidence is floundering, I often find myself thinking: what would Wildflower do? Would she really care about this? The most challenging aspect of working with Sheridan was the realisation that, to protect my self-worth, I needed to set clearer boundaries with those around me. I’ve always prided myself on being open and not ashamed of being vulnerable. What I didn’t realise was that being so honest about my insecurities led to others thinking it was OK to offer up their, often critical, opinions, which had gradually been chipping away at my confidence. ‘From now on,’ said Sheridan. ‘Your
with what you value. Do it kindly, confidently and unapologetically.
DISCOVERING YOUR TRUE VALUES l Do a ‘future self’ or ‘inner mentor’ visualisation, to help you tap into the life you truly want to lead and the person you want to be. Author and coach Tara Mohr offers a free one on her website, taramohr. com/pbbookmaterials. l Identify role models you are drawn to and use
personal growth is not available for feedback. Remember: love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe.’ I started being more ruthless about who I gave my time and energy to, and being clearer about the type of behaviour I would, and would not, tolerate. I began changing the subject on the phone to friends when they veered into territory that didn’t support my newfound confidence, showing that I was no longer prepared to have those conversations.
Taking this tougher stance, initially, felt awkward, and there’s a bit more distance in some of my relationships. But, I’m hoping, over time, as this becomes the ‘new normal’, those will close again. A breakthrough came when I decided to take myself away on a writing retreat for a week. Before I’d met Sheridan, I’d have taken a very rigid, driven, punishing approach. Perhaps I wouldn’t even have gone, caring too much about the quizzical
them for inspiration. l Take some time out
on your own, to get out of your head, into your body, so you’re not just thinking about what matters to you but really feeling it, too. l If journalling to uncover your values, first free-write about the values of others around you, such as your partner, as well as the culture you live in. Doing this helps to identify and unplug from others’ values. Then journal about your values.
reactions I was getting on hearing my plans. (‘You’re leaving your family for a week to go to the beach on your own?’) Sheridan encouraged me to use the time to reconnect with my true self and go with the flow, rather than forcing the words out. I didn’t get as much work done as I’d planned, but I didn’t beat myself up and instead savoured my own company. I took long walks along the beach, listened to cheesy tunes, ate what I wanted and had impromptu paddles in my underwear. It was a genuinely life-affirming experience. I wasn’t striving to be someone else. I wasn’t wondering how my photos would look on Facebook, or how many likes they’d get. I was genuinely loving and fully experiencing exactly where I was and the skin I was in. As I belted out the words to Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love Of All while making my dinner, for the first time, I actually believed them. proofcoaching.com; bigjuicycreativelife.com; suzybashford.com
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“It’s my mission to be successful; to show my gratitude to my parents for all they’ve done” Chef Thuy Diem Pham’s Vietnamese background, together with her upbringing in England, inspire her to create dishes made with love. From hosting supper clubs to opening a restaurant and writing a cookbook, she’s paving the way for Vietnamese food to be centre stage
WORDS DANIELLE WOODWARD PHOTOGR APHS LEANNE BR ACEY
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my life, my way
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my life, my way FAR LEFT AND BELOW Fresh blooms and chandeliers make The Little Viet Kitchen a welcoming space. Thuy and her
husband, Dave, have put their heart and soul into the place LEFT Thuy's mission is to introduce people to Vietnamese food
“That connection and energy, when you have that many people enjoying your food – it ’s amazing”
hen chef and restaurant owner Thuy Diem Pham first travelled to England from Vietnam as a seven-year-old refugee, she was scared by the food. ‘They served us sausages and eggs and this brown liquid on the plane,’ she remembers. ‘I thought it would make us ill – it was brown! It was just cola, but I’d never seen it before; it scared me.’ Thuy remembered this when she was setting up her restaurant, The Little Viet Kitchen, and deliberately tried to make it as warm and welcoming as possible, to diffuse the scary feeling of trying different food for the first time. The decor is pale and light, with natural materials adding warm tones; chairs are covered with soft cushions, fresh flowers bring it to life and chandeliers twinkle from the ceiling. ‘I want people to feel like they’re walking into my home, so they are comfortable and enjoy the experience,’ says Thuy. ‘All my food is cooked with love; I learned this from my mum who wasn’t naturally affectionate when my sister and I were growing up, but she would spend hours cooking a broth, and making sure we had enough to eat – that was her way of saying “I love you”.’ Thuy lived in Vietnam until she was seven, when her father made the brave decision to travel to England by boat in search of a better life. ‘It was a risk; so many people didn’t survive the
journey,’ says Thuy. ‘When they ran out of food on the boat, my father must have felt like giving up. But luckily, a British ship found them and took them to England.’ Her parents are Thuy’s inspiration: ‘I knew I had to make something of my life, not only to make myself proud, but to make my father’s journey worth it,’ she says. ‘My mum, too; she used to go to the city to sell food when we lived in Vietnam and sometimes came home with nothing to show for a day’s work – but still smiling, putting on a brave face for her children. It’s my mission to make their sacrifices worthwhile; that’s where my drive comes from.’
A moment of clarity
After studying for a marketing degree and working in advertising, travelling all over the world, the light-bulb moment came for Thuy one day on the morning commute. ‘I was sitting on the train looking around at everyone else, and they all looked so unhappy,’ she says. ‘I realised that I’d look like that too one day if I didn’t step away from the rat race. I wanted to feel different; to do something that would make me happy.’ Thuy started cooking in her spare time and posting about it on Facebook; then ran supper clubs in her home with the help of her husband and sister. ‘Word spread and the supper clubs were sold out months in advance; I think if you >>>
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my life, my way
“Looking back, I don’t know how we did it. We’d turn our living room into a restaurant by moving the sofa and using some cheap flowers and printed menus” >>> believe in what you’re doing and you put enough of your
heart into it, everything you produce will be your best,’ says Thuy. ‘Looking back, I don’t know how we did it. We’d turn our living room into a restaurant by moving the sofa and using a cheap table and some pretty flowers and printed menus. It was valuable bonding time with my sister, too; if we made a mistake and burned the food, it didn’t matter; we had each other’s backs. It was great to welcome guests into my home; they make friends sharing a mutual understanding of how wonderful a dish tastes. That connection and energy when you have that many people enjoying your food – it’s amazing.’ When she began posting her food on Instagram, Thuy’s following grew. ‘I thought maybe this was the time to set up a restaurant, but I still doubted myself,’ she says. ‘I’d never cooked for more than six people before and the best cook I knew was Mum and she didn’t own a restaurant, so why did I think I could? But the encouragement I got from everyone was incredible. We began by organising pop-ups, where we’d
take over someone else’s restaurant for a night – the first time I cooked for 50 people with 11 courses was so hectic and crazy, but I knew then that I would do it again and again; when you feel like that, you know you’re on the right path.’
The value of a team effort
Family is crucial to Thuy and when she and her husband, Dave, decided to buy the property in London where The Little Viet Kitchen is now, they helped her overcome the challenges. ‘I do freak out when things go wrong,’ Thuy admits, ‘but that’s when my mind thinks of solutions. We ran out of money after three months, so Dave sold his house and we lived in my parents’ shed for a while – that was a definite challenge. But we were prepared for the hurdles; having done the pop-ups and supper clubs, we just learned how to get past them. I don’t believe there is a secret to creating a successful business, but having a supportive team around you really helps.’ Thuy has big ambitions for her restaurant paving the
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“One day, I would love it if going out for a Vietnamese meal was as familiar for people as an Italian or Chinese”
OPPOSITE AND LEFT Thuy is happiest in the kitchen, making food for people to enjoy. Fragrant herbs and spices bring a simple Vietnamese salad (top) to life
way for Vietnamese food in the UK. ‘I want to take everything I’ve learned from growing up in London, together with my Vietnamese background, and put that on a plate for people to enjoy. One day, I’d love it if going out for a Vietnamese meal was as familiar for people as an Italian or Chinese. My new cookbook shows how Vietnamese food is accessible and anyone can make it. I also get messages from Vietnamese people who have lost connection with their background and they ask me about a certain dish – if I can help others get in touch with their roots through food, it makes me happy.’
Turning failures into positives
It’s been a big learning curve for Thuy, since opening The Little Viet Kitchen in 2015, but she’s learned to deal with failure: ‘If I fail trying something new, it doesn’t matter; it’s how you deal with it, how you turn it into a positive learning curve, that matters. To fail now is better than being old and resentful and saying: what if? My values are being honest, hardworking and loyal, and they are key
points to creating a strong, powerful team. My company now has 15 people, and it’s demanding being the boss, but this is the path I’ve chosen, and I have to stick to it. It’s important for women to stay true to what they feel, no matter what society says; at the end of the day, you can’t teach someone to have drive and passion – when nothing goes well, it will be your drive and passion that wakes you up at 6am thinking of new dishes to try, and if no one eats them, then you try again. I have stories to tell and if I do have children one day, I want to be able to tell them about the failures as well as the successes, because it takes someone close to you to reveal the truth. It is not always nice to hear – but it’s what helps you learn.’ Ultimately, Thuy feels that she is lucky to love what she does for a living: ‘I never want it to feel like this is my job; the day my passion turns into just a job, I’ll stop enjoying it. I fear this and it’s what keeps me finding new ways to enjoy it.’ ‘The Little Viet Kitchen’ by Thuy Diem Pham (Absolute Press, £22) is out now. thelittlevietkitchen.com; @the_little_viet_kitchen; @LVK_ISLINGTON
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Do you need a therapist? Our psychotherapy service helps you match up with your ideal therapist – to support you through life’s ups and downs and teach you to be your best self. This month, we’re focusing on work-life balance and listening to our emotions
‘Psychologies’ and the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) are committed to raising awareness of the transformative power of psychotherapy. Every month in the magazine, we’ll look at different types of therapy, and how they can help you navigate life’s challenges. The UKCP has high standards of training and regulation, and all its therapists have a minimum of four years’ training. Our collaborative service will help you get to know each therapist via our Life Labs site, so you can make an informed decision about which one to choose. Editor-in-Chief
I have been feeling very stressed recently, both at work and home. Sometimes, I go into a rage at the drop of a hat, and I found myself weeping in the car the other day. What is going on with me? Julie, 38
Fee Robinson, a psychotherapist and EMDR therapist based in Durham, says: ‘Clients often come to therapy saying that they want to stop feeling the uncomfortable emotions they currently feel, and to start experiencing something more pleasant; perhaps happiness, calm or confidence. What could be more natural? We’re programmed to move away from discomfort and towards comfort – it’s a human
instinct. And yet, that very movement can itself become a problem, if it leads us to avoid, minimise or somehow undermine and doubt what it is we’re going through. It’s ironic that the most effective and healing way of addressing symptoms is to pay attention to them, without judgement, and to find out what it is they point towards. This frank appraisal, when done with a kind, loving touch, can set us free from symptoms becoming deeper and more persistent, because it enables us to sense and absorb what they have to offer. A good question when we have a clear need for things to be different is: what am I not yet noticing? What am I pushing away or minimising? Where is my attention being called? Working with a psychotherapist to explore the answers to these questions and create an accepting space to safely feel can be a vital step to healing. After all, who wants to experience the unpleasant for longer than necessary?’
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I’ve been stuck in a rut for the past year. Work was so busy, I stopped keeping up with my friends. The things I used to like doing – such as walks and eating out – have become too much of a bother. I know that I need to kick-start my life, but I have no idea where to start, as everything feels too overwhelming. Can you point me in the right direction? Becky, 35
Harley Street psychotherapist, Jacky Francis Walker, says: ‘It’s quite common for people to find their life shutting down like this when they get too stretched. It’s impossible to keep all the plates spinning, but what tends to get jettisoned is the good stuff we
actually need to stay resilient. But you’ve realised that you’ve been in hibernation mode, and are ready to start living again. I’d recommend planning small achievable steps each week to build confidence, and get engaged in life again. Try setting yourself a modest health goal to start with; perhaps a short stroll every few days to boost your mood. Treat yourself to something nice to eat, once a week; even if it’s just a good-quality ready meal. Make contact with a friend, if only to chat on the phone, or meet for a coffee. Get a friend, coach or therapist to keep you on track. Do a little more each week and, before too long, you’ll be back in the fast lane again.’
About the UKCP and how to find a therapist l The UKCP is the leading body for the education, training and accreditation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its membership includes more than 8,000 therapists and 70 training and accrediting organisations. Members work privately, in public health or third-sector organisations, offering a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches for individuals, couples, families and groups. l To find the right therapist, log on to
psychologies.co.uk/findatherapist and look at our Life Labs channel of experts who may be able to help, or log on to psychotherapy.org.uk/find-a-therapist to locate a therapist near you.
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What do you do when you want to give up? Author, speaker and entrepreneur Sháá Wasmund MBE tells us how to cope when it seems something isn’t working and we want to call it a day
PHOTOGRAPH: MARK HARRISON. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CAROLINE PIASECKI. STYLIST: KATE ANYA BARBOUR
his happens to all of us. In fact, I would say it happens to me at least once a year. The most important thing is to understand the difference between hitting a bump and being stuck on a dead-end road because, sometimes, they feel the same. A bump is something you can get over; you might need to work harder, climb higher, or take a different route, but you’ll get over it. A dead end is exactly that: a path to nowhere. If it feels like a dead end and looks like a dead end, then maybe it is one. Whether it’s your relationship, career or business, learning when to push through and when to give up is a hard, but valuable, lesson. The answer isn’t always to work harder – as the saying goes, there’s no point in flogging a dead horse. So, start by being honest with yourself. Is this something you want to fix and is it fixable? If yes, then what can you do about it and what help do you need to resolve it? If no, to either, then maybe the answer really is to stop. If you’re doing the wrong thing, then giving up can be the best thing you can do. If you’re exhausted, worn out, run down and disheartened, my instinct would say it’s time to try
something different. That might be a different way of approaching the same challenges, but if that still doesn’t work, then a different way might be letting go of it.
Just not meant to be
We often stay in situations long after we should have left because we’ve invested so much time in them. This is human nature but, if we’re looking at someone else’s life, we would have more clarity and no problem giving them the advice to walk away. In business, it’s called a ‘sunk cost’: the cost you’ve already invested into a business, friendship or relationship. What you learn in business is that no amount of sunk cost can make a bad business good. The same is true in life. Be frank. Are you giving up too soon? Do you need a different perspective? Is it really a dead end? Once you answer that, the next step is easier. If it’s a dead end, don’t spend weeks agonising over your decision. Rip off the plaster. No one wants to spend their life burned out and unhappy. Nothing is worth that, no matter how much time, love or money you have invested. Sháá is author of ‘Stop Talking, Start Doing’ (John Wiley & Sons, £9.99). Join her private Facebook group at shaa.co/freedomcollective
l Free coaching with the inspirational
Sháá Wasmund! For regular live coaching sessions with Sháá, see psychologies.co.uk/Life-Leap-ClubNew-Subscribers. It’s free to all subscribers.
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Just make it up A performance improv class was Katy Regan’s idea of a nightmare. But then she heard surprising claims about its mental health benefits, and bravely signed up
is constructed from openness, trust and acceptance – as in the relationship between therapist and patient.’ And, because you have to think on your feet – in fact, you’re positively encouraged to say the first thing that pops into your head – improv encourages the stamping out of self-censorship, which is rife in our lives, and corrosive to confidence: Did I say the right thing? How should I respond to that criticism? Its reliance on reciprocity in a judgement-free zone also means improv is fertile ground for listening skills and positive affirmation. Perfect then, for those with low self-esteem or suffering from social anxiety which, let’s face it, means all of us at some point in our lives.
‘Comedy Room’ gulp
These are fascinatingly high claims, so when Psychologies suggested I go to an improv class, I accepted the challenge, albeit with trepidation. I was hoping to get through the assignment with a sliver of my self-esteem intact, but not for a moment did I imagine improv would actually boost it. The class is run by The Free Association – which provides improvisational comedy training and shows – and takes place in a room on
the top floor of a pub. There’s a sign in neon pink on the door that reads ‘Comedy Room’. I feel quite sick. There are eight of us in the class – men and women of different ages. Our teacher is Alison Thea-Skot, who trained as an actor and comedian. She tried improvisation in 2012, and has never looked back. ‘It’s such a pure, positive community,’ she enthuses. ‘You’re all stepping out with the sole intention of trying to make one another look good.’ Our first exercise is designed to warm up our listening muscles – listening is a key component of improv. We stand in a circle. Someone starts by turning to the person next to them and saying, ‘Vroom!’ That person then has three options: to turn and ‘Vroom!’ to the person next to them, making the flow continue around the circle; to ‘brake’ – with appropriate screeching sound effect – stopping the flow and making it go back the other way; or to choose someone in the circle, point at them, and sing, ‘Cool rider! Take it easy...’ to which everyone has to join in. I am appalling at it. It’s like rubbing my stomach and patting my head at the same time. But it’s a good icebreaker and, once I’ve overcome initial cringing, I realise >>> PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
uring my 20-plus working years, I’ve done countless things to make your toes curl in the name of journalism. I’ve spent a week in a nudist resort (naked), I’ve attended swinging clubs, been a footballer’s wife, and an undercover work-experience girl on a lads’ mag. It’s fair to say I’ve been game, but one has one’s limits, and mine could be summed up in one word: comedy. What could be more daunting than being judged on your ability to stand up and be funny? Fast-forward to now and reports that improvisation – a form of live theatre in which the players make it up as they go along, and that I associate with TV comedy panel shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? – can work like therapy. Claims from psychologists and researchers boil down to the way that improv mirrors the therapist-patient relationship. There’s no rehearsal, so all participants start off on the same footing – with nothing – and rely on one another to make it work. ‘If all people play authentically to each other, the fear of failure loses its sting,’ says psychology professor Gordon Bermant in his paper on the subject, published in Frontiers In Psychology. ‘A net of support
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PIC NEE BOT
Next comes ‘the magic chest game’, based around the ‘Yes, and...’ theory of improvisation. ‘Yes and...’ is really the mantra of improv,’ says Thea-Skot. ‘It’s all about positivity and generosity; the idea that whatever you say or do, the others’ response will be a ‘yes’. For this, we work in pairs. My partner, Lucy, and I sit opposite each another with an imaginary treasure chest between us, taking it in turns to reach inside and – saying the first thing that comes to mind – producing imaginary items, announcing our finds to our partner, who must respond encouragingly with, ‘Yes, and...’ For reasons unclear, my finds take on a vanity theme. Me: (Reaching into chest) ‘A hairdryer.’ Lucy: ‘Yes, and...’ Me: ‘A lipstick.’ Lucy: ‘Yes, and...’ Me: ‘A mirror.’ Lucy: ‘Yes, and...’ Me: ‘A sausage sandwich.’ Slightly offpiste, but not as far as the pair next to us, one of whom I hear say, ‘Grandma’s spleen.’ It’s a revelation how having someone simply smile and encourage me, no matter what nonsense I spout, makes me feel buoyed and validated. The concept of there being no ‘wrong’ item; no idea shot down, connects improv and therapy.
Bouncing off each other
Bermant explains: ‘The idea of a therapist holding a client in “unconditional positive regard” describes a way of relating to others which is close to the “Yes, and...” affirmations of improv.’ I was beginning to see that improv wasn’t at all about being funny. Laughs happen, but as a by-product. In fact, ‘Going out to get laughs,’ explains Thea-Skot, ‘pops it like a balloon. Improv requires the opposite mentality: it’s about collaboration, not an individual; it’s about giving and receiving, more than performing, and the good feelings that come from that.’ The third exercise of the evening requires us to put into practice the ‘yes,
I feel entirely in the moment which, day-to-day, I’m not. Too busy thinking about what I have to do next, I’m always distracted. Improv places us firmly in the present
>>> how long it’s been since I played like this.
and...’ theory, but without words. We get into pairs and make a shape by simply following one another’s leads – no talking allowed. My partner and I have to make a chair. Then, as a group, we have to make a ship. To be honest, this is the point when I most feel like I’ve gone back in time to GCSE drama, but with all the crippling inhibitions of adulthood. But the exercise has something important to teach us: ‘It’s all about developing adaptability,’ says Thea-Skot. ‘It’s about saying, “OK, so this isn’t the chair I expected to be making, but my partner’s doing such-and-such, so I’m going with it; I’m saying yes.”’ It makes me consider the wider picture. In my daily life, could I be coming at things from a ‘yes’ basis more often? Would extra positive stuff happen as a result? Next exercise, my favourite, is ‘the ad agency game’. This, Thea-Skot says, is where we begin working as a team. One person – the teacher, in our case – is the advertising manager, whose job it is to guide and motivate the team in their tasks which, firstly, is to come up with a product. The rule is that whatever the first person suggests – ours is a Donald Trump wig that plays gospel music – we have to go with it. Thea-Skot then asks for a name, a jingle and a slogan, and anyone can make a suggestion at any time; all will be accepted. There’s no ‘that’s not funny
or original or good enough’. ‘You have all you need in whatever the person offers,’ she says. ‘Every player has equal weight and they need to be heard and valued.’ The effect of having your every idea listened to and respected is extraordinary. I realise I’m so used to my ideas being dismissed – normally by myself, I should add – that the sense of belonging and self-worth it gives me takes some believing. I also feel entirely in the moment which, day-to-day, I am not. Too busy thinking about what I have to do next, I’m constantly distracted. Improv places us firmly in the present, fostering greater awareness and, ultimately, joy.
Whose line? Mine!
The final exercise is our first foray into putting together a scene. Again, we pair up and are given a location (the gym) and an occupation (receptionists). Player one has to come up with a line and, whatever it is, I have to say, ‘Yes, and...’ and add one of my own. It descends into hysterics – it’s amazing what your subconscious comes up with when you’re fully relaxed. Laughter is uplifting on its own, but add to it the sense of wellbeing one gets from doing it in a group, and I was beginning to see how improv could become addictive. ‘When you’ve got several players in the house, it’s a joyful, positive place,’ says Thea-Skot. ‘It brings people together and grounds them. It also gives you a break from having to be “on” because it’s not all about you. It enables you to find a sense of joy and playfulness, in a safe and encouraging environment.’ After our two-and-a-half-hour lesson, I meet my fellow players downstairs in the bar. I had expected to feel many things after my first attempt at comedy: traumatised; exposed; self-esteem in tatters. Instead, I feel bonded in a human way, and warm inside. If that’s not as good as therapy, I don’t know what is. For more information or to try an improv class, visit thefreeassociation.co.uk. ‘Little Big Man’ by Katy Regan (Pan Macmillan, £14.99) is out this month. Read our review on page 110
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Ever wanted to make a difference and train to become a coach? With the Ollie School, you could be changing lives before you know it
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espite the very best efforts of our education system, it is struggling to cope with fully supporting the emotional wellbeing of our children within the curriculum. Ever felt that you would love to help, but were powerless to act? Well, here’s your opportunity to do something positive. The Ollie School has opened its doors, with plans to build an army of coaches who can make the world a better place, one child at a time. Ollie Coaching is an holistic approach that leads all our youngsters to a place where they can thrive in the chaos of modern living. So many schools are battling to provide an appropriate mental health environment, and busy parents are up against it in our fast-paced lives ruled by social media. That’s why Alison Knowles, who was challenged throughout her life
with undiagnosed dyslexia, decided to set up the Ollie School.
The Ollie methodology is all about empowering children to seek solutions and take control of their emotions, rather than be controlled by them. The Ollie School trains coaches in a blend of methodologies that brings together NLP, CBT, EFT and play therapy, to make sure they cover all bases. The Ollie methodology is all about personalisation and identifying which technique will work with each individual child – no one-size-fits-all approach here. The Ollie School graduates are awarded a certified qualification in NLP and a licence to work as an Ollie coach. If helping children and their families to be more emotionally resilient appeals to you, contact us for a prospectus and let’s talk about getting you with the programme.
Get in touch To train to become an Ollie coach, find a coach in your area or book an event, visit ollieandhissuperpowers. com, or contact us via email at info@ ollieandhissuperpowers. com. We would love to hear from you!
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Welcome to our new coaching club As Editor-in-Chief of ‘Psychologies’, I am happy to share the exciting news that we’ve launched a new online coaching club exclusive to our subscribers, and we’d like to invite you to subscribe and start enjoying the benefits – for free. With your monthly subscription, not only do you get our fabulous magazine, but a whole new level of support going forward; with live coaching videos from the top experts out there, practical downloadable coaching worksheets and access to the incredible ‘Psychologies’ subscriber community. Editor-in-Chief
Be who you want to be It’s time to reconnect with what you really want from life and our expert coaches are waiting to help you do just that. You may want to change your job, reinvent yourself or the way you’re living your life, or create a new business – whatever it is for you, our team of top coaches can help you get there. One of our tag lines at Psychologies is ‘your life, your way’. It’s about defining what success means to you, on your own terms. That’s why we’ve created our new Life Leap coaching club exclusively for you, our subscribers. Each month, you’ll get access to a coaching programme which sits alongside the Dossier in the magazine, to give you extra resources, such as workbooks and coaching videos, so that you can make real change in your life.
Stop procrastinating, start doing! DO YOU: ● Want to change your life but always make excuses? ● Consistently set goals that you never reach? ● Indulge in negative habits? ● Take on too much and never achieve your ambitions?
life leap club
Free membership for all subscribers! The all-new Psychologies Life Leap Club is an online coaching club, exclusive to our print magazine subscribers. Subscribe now or, if you’re already a subscriber, simply register today. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Join us!
Calling all digital subscribers
CLICK HERE to log in!
DO YOU WANT TO:
● Monthly check-ins with Suzy Greaves, Psychologies
● Set achievable goals and make them happen?
Editor-in-Chief and her team of top coaches ● An exclusive Facebook community forum where members can chat, interact and get support
● Build healthy habits that feed your energy? ● Live a life of inspiration versus desperation? ● Think differently, not just do something different?
If your answers are yes...
Subscribe today or, if you’re already a subscriber, simply register and get the professional support you need. At Psychologies, we believe that, with a little help and inspiration, it’s easier to make those changes. In our Life Leap coaching club, we have world-class experts who are going to be working with you over the next year; from Gabrielle Bernstein, who Oprah calls a ‘new thought leader’ to bestselling author and award-winning entrepreneur Sháá Wasmund MBE, plus many others. EVERY MONTH THERE WILL ALSO BE: ● Interactive coaching videos ● Downloadable workbooks and journalling prompts ● An exclusive podcast
Be brave, make the leap
In the Life Leap Club, we’ll be mostly encouraging each other to be brave. It’s not about being mindlessly positive, it’s about being kind to yourself and one another as we begin our journey towards creating a life that we truly love. We are setting ourselves up for a brave, bold and brilliant year. Subscribe today or, if you’re already a subscriber, simply register now – you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Register with the Psychologies Life Leap Club today to start benefiting from world-class coaching – totally free! Visit psychologies.co.uk/Life-LeapClub-Subscribers if you are already a subscriber, or log on to psychologies.co.uk/Life-Leap-ClubNew-Subscribers to subscribe.
You can still catch these DREAM CHALLENGES in 2018 - but be fast, time is ticking!
Mount Kilimanjaro Trek
7 - 18 Sept 2018
Hike the Himalayas
26 Oct - 4 Nov 2018
Britain V Cancer - Trek Cambodia
9 - 17 Nov 2018
You Kili-CAN-jaro and scale this impressive summit, taking in everything from glades to rainforests on our life-changing trek. We summit the quieter Lemosho Route, which aﬀords plenty of time to acclimatise to the high altitude. Our experienced mountain guides will lead you safely through the Lemosho Glades and up through pristine rainforest full of exotic ﬂora and fauna. Ascending further we trek across the Shira Plateau.
Intrigued? We’ll summit up: get set to experience pure Himalayan magic as you reach the heights of Nepal’s Poon Hill for sunrise. The challenge is on to raise funds for the charity of your choice. Our adventure takes place in the stunning Annapurna region with plenty of pure Himalayan magic! The highlight of the challenge is to summit Poon Hill (3,210 m), which will give us panoramic views of the highest peaks in the surrounding area.
Be the best of British and take on cancer one footstep at a time in Cambodia. Trek out jungle landscapes and iconic temples on the way. This amazing trekking challenge ends in a spectacular ﬁnish at the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. Along the way, there will be the opportunity to visit a local school and we will spend one very special night with a Cambodian family for a home stay.
Registration Fee: £399 Fundraising Target: £4,600 OR Tour Cost: £2,295
Registration Fee: £299 Fundraising Target: £3,000 OR Tour Cost: £1,495
Registration Fee: £299 Fundraising Target: £3,000 OR Tour Cost: £1,500
Choose your DREAM CHALLENGE we are ready to help you For further information or to register please get in touch:-
01590 646410 | email: email@example.com www.dream-challenges.com
Join us! In partnership with NOW Live events, we invite you to master your strengths and rise above life’s obstacles with Psychologies agony aunt Mary Fenwick. Plus, discover the power of ritual with Tiu de Haan
Book now! APRIL ONE-DAY IMMERSION
Mastering your strengths, overcoming setbacks and reshaping your future
Creating meaningful rituals for your wellbeing and empowerment
DATE: 28 April 2018 VENUE: 42 Acres Shoreditch, 66 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LW TIME: 10am-5pm COST: £125
DATE: 16 May 2018 VENUE: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1 4RL TIME: 7pm-8.30pm COST: £18
This one-day immersion with Psychologies agony aunt and coach, Mary Fenwick, will help you to identify your character strengths and make the most of them. In a world of ‘elevator pitches’ of our core qualities, we will look at something different – the good in you which is always there, and the key to feeling like your best self. Your combination of strengths is as unique as your fingerprint. Learning how to access them is beneficial both to you and your impact on the wider world.
YOU WILL LEARN: ● To identify your strengths and how to access them ● To pinpoint what gets in your way in life
● How to build solid
bridges to your future: What will you take? Who will you tell? What do you want or need to learn?
Mary Fenwick works with women in politics, business and the media. Her high-profile clients include the founders of political parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Libya. She is director of a not-for-profit organisation that works in countries in transition to democracy. See her TED Talk ‘What Works: When You Need To Recreate Your Own Future’. Join us! See nowliveevents.org/immersions
Read our feature on page 26
In this interactive event, Tiu de Haan will be facilitating an exploration of the transitions within our lives, offering us moments for celebration and reflection on where we’ve been, where we are now and where we’re going. Tiu is passionate about the power of ritual – acts as ancient as humankind. She believes creating them can be deeply meaningful and relevant. Join us to explore how to establish a memorable and dynamic ritual of your own, to connect you more deeply with yourself and others. YOU WILL LEARN: ● Simple techniques to honour beginnings and endings in your own life ● How to make your own bespoke ritual,
turning a moment into an art form ● Key tools to bring ritual into your life and work for a more fulfilled, empowered existence
Tiu de Haan is an Oxford-educated celebrant, creative facilitator and speaker. She designs bespoke ceremonies for people of all values and beliefs, as well as working with international organisations incorporating ritual into culture change. Join us! See nowliveevents.org/events
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TAKE THE FIRST STEP TOWARD A STRONGER, BRAVER YOU.
Adversity is an inescapable part of life, but it’s how you deal with it that really counts. Real Strength will show you how to: ✔
Feel more confident in your ability to overcome change
Tap into and build on the inner resilience you already have
React in a healthy way to problems and opportunities
Available in all good bookstores and online
Embrace where you are Relishing her discovery that younger men have a passion for older women, recently divorced Karla Newbey takes her mentor’s advice to have more pleasure in her life
allelujah! After five years without sex, my unintentional abstinence has been brought to a glorious end. After so much time in a sexless marriage, this seems an almost impossible feat. There was a moment when, after passionately kissing a young carpenter [last month’s column], that I genuinely questioned if I would remember what to do in bed. I needn’t have worried. With this beautiful Adonis; this gift from God – because I now know there is a God – I did exactly what I’d been practising: I followed my pleasure. Ladies, if you have any such fears after the end of a long relationship, give them up. It’s going to be OK. If I can do this, anyone can.
ILLUSTRATION: JESSICA DURRANT/GETTY IMAGES
An intimate affair
During my first women’s tantra workshop, teacher Hilly Spenceley advised me to simply allow more pleasure into my life. Initially, I was mystified: where would I begin? How could I practise what I’d learned without a partner? What I soon realised was that you have to embrace where you are, and start there. I took more pleasure in food, creating delicious dishes, even if they were just for newly single me. I took more pleasure in my body: walking, swimming, stretching and treating myself to massages, even the odd beauty treatment. I explored what I’d learned about my anatomy by myself. Yes, with a mirror I got to know how those 8,000 nerve endings in my vagina like to be touched. So, when it came to sleeping with a man other than my ex for the first time in 20 years, I was familiar with my pathways to pleasure.
It transpired that said carpenter was even younger than I’d thought (he had one of those trendy beards which made him look older). Our liaison continued for longer than I’d expected but, eventually, having also repaired my garage and put up some shelves, he settled down with someone his own age. No matter. His gift was given. With more confidence, I returned to online dating and, OK, OK, I got distracted exploring an unexpected phenomenon: ‘Would you like to have some fun with a younger guy?’ was a FAQ and, frankly, after my sexless marriage, yes, I would. Although it was liberating to discover that sex with beautiful men was freely available (having never embraced my ability to attract them, I had no idea) I quickly realised I was losing sight of my original intention. I didn’t just want sex, I wanted to explore a slower, sensual and even spiritual experience, and Tinder wasn’t going to get me there. To put me back on my path, I overcame my terror and signed up for a mixed tantra workshop. There would be men. Would there be creepy men? Would there be naked men? Would there be creepy, naked men? But, instead of an onslaught of hairy balls, I was greeted by a sensual feast: a colourful candlelit altar of flowers and fruit. What ensued was one of the most sensual, and safe, experiences of my life. By the end of the experience, I would have made one of the most important discoveries of my journey so far.
Karla Newbey is attending the women’s and mixed tantra programme with shaktitantra.co.uk. For more on Karla’s journey, visit yabyum.co.uk and follow her on Twitter @karla_newbey
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The last word on…
Creating a love that lasts Oliver Burkeman shares some insights on taking your relationship from good to great
PHOTOGRAPH: MIA TAKAHARA/PLAIN PICTURE
elf-help gurus and agony aunts are obsessed with two aspects of relationships: how to get one if you’re single, and how to cope if yours is in crisis. But when you’re nagged by the sense that your ‘perfectly good’ relationship could be far better, neither is much use. We assume that if we find our soulmate, endless romance will follow, or that ‘perfectly good’ is as much as anyone has the right to expect. But truly getting to know someone, long after you’ve paired up or had kids, can be far more exciting than dating. It just takes different skills.
Abandon the ‘romantic ideal’. As a culture, argues philosopher Alain de Botton, we’re fixated on the idea that the perfect spouse should share all our tastes, and make life easy. But that never happens. The best kind of partner is a source of healthy challenge, even (respectful) conflict, who pushes you to grow and confront parts of yourself you’d sooner ignore. Treat your relationship as part of a web. Research suggests that the healthiest couples don’t stifle either partner’s other bonds. That means spending time both as a couple, and apart, with other friends – and encouraging your other half to do the same. It’s been shown that when one partner gets
out more, depressive symptoms are reduced in the other partner, too, even if she or he stays home.
Don’t overlook the simple explanations.
We treat love as such a deep mystery that when a relationship isn’t as good as it could be, we assume the reasons must be equally mysterious. But if you or your partner is tired, unhappy at work or worried about money, the relationship will suffer, through no fault of its own. Fix what you can, and even if there are things you can’t fix, you’ll stop blaming the relationship, so it may improve anyway.
Don’t expect the steps you take to feel great at first. There are several research-backed
techniques to improve your relationship: for example, ‘active listening’, which involves focusing on the other person’s words and body language, and paraphrasing to check you’ve understood; regular date nights; and expressing dissatisfaction in terms of needs (‘I’d really appreciate it if…’) rather than judgements (‘I hate how you never…’) This may feel forced at first. As the saying goes, the trick isn’t to ‘think yourself into new ways of acting, but act yourself into new ways of thinking’.
Oliver Burkeman is author of ‘The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’ (Canongate, £8.99)
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Our agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, offers a new perspective on whatever is troubling you
How can I get ‘‘my lazy son to
I am concerned about my 13-year-old son, who is underachieving at school. He is not the brightest, but he is not stupid, and the problem is that he is quite lazy. If he does his homework, it is the bare minimum, and often he doesn’t do it at all. When we talk about his future, he just seems clueless and completely unmotivated. I’m getting really concerned that he is going to mess up his GCSEs. His older sister did well, but she is conscientious. We’ve never been ‘tiger parents’, pushing him and hovering over him, but I am starting to think we should have done more. How can we get him to work? Name supplied
The Clarice Bean books stick in my mind; when the parents discuss adolescent Kurt, ‘Mum says: “He’s at that difficult age.” Dad says: “He should try being 44.”’ It’s a tough time to be a teenager, and raising them is no picnic either. Our job remains the same as it has been for millennia – to keep our offspring alive while they find their own feet. Now the threats include mental as well as physical illness. At school, they’ll be saying: ‘Your performance now affects your whole future.’ At home, sometimes we need to look up at our gangly teen and remember that the toddler brain
might be in control at this moment. Many 13-year-olds will struggle to name the Prime Minister. They don’t know that jobs exist in studying ancient human poo, or social psychology could help you become a banker. They need a framework to take the next small step. The way adolescent brains develop is not new – Shakespeare talks about the wilderness between the ages of 10 and 23 – but we are learning more about the science. The wonderfully named book Get Out Of My Life: But First Take Me And Alex To Town by Suzanne Franks and Tony Wolf (Profile, £9.99), is an excellent start. The key thing for your son to learn is the relationship between cause and
MARY FENWICK is a business coach, journalist, fundraiser, mother, divorcée and widow GOT A QUESTION FORMARY? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, with ‘MARY’ in the subject line FOLLOW MARY ON TWITTER @MJFenwick
effect – if he puts in this amount of perceived effort, what result does he get out? You can’t force him to care about the outcome, but the chances are that he does, underneath it all. What you’re seeing as laziness could be fear or feeling overwhelmed, or not knowing where or how to start. He may hold back on his effort, so he has the excuse of ‘I wasn’t trying’. Anything you can do to reinforce simple habits will help. Could you have a dedicated time each evening where everyone sits down and works quietly, including you or his dad? Start with 30 minutes, or even 15 if necessary, but make it a habit. Take a look at the research on how to build concentration (see below); it’s like a muscle that you can exercise. theweek.com/articles/602738/5-researchbacked-tips-better-concentration
PHOTOGRAPH: VICTORIA BIRKINSHAW
JOIN OUR CLUB! WE’VE LAUNCHED A WORLD-CLASS ONLINE COACHING CLUB – AND MEMBERSHIP
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the life lab
“I can’t get over my divorce with his sister in the background”
Last year, after 16 years of marriage, my husband declared he was unhappy and wanted a divorce. It took me by surprise and hit me hard, but I’m slowly building a new life for myself. I have always been good friends with his sister, and lived with her for a few months after we separated. I’ve never discussed my true feelings with her, as she shares everything with my ex. I truly love her, but I am finding keeping the contact alive painful and stressful. For example, she has started tagging his new, young and beautiful girlfriend in social media posts, and it really hurts me. What should I do? Name supplied
There are definitely ways in which divorce is harder than bereavement. One of them is what you talk about here. At least I don’t get constant reminders from my dead husband having a fab time without me. It also helped enormously, on the days I couldn’t stop crying, when a friend said ‘with your tears you are honouring him’. So, my first suggestion is to honour your pain; do whatever you need to protect yourself while you heal. Part of that may be telling his sister you’re going to ‘unfriend’ her on social media for a while, to avoid seeing those notifications. The only explanation you need is ‘I hope you’ll understand, and this won’t affect our friendship in real
life.’ The second element is to find people with whom you can share your feelings. The Divorce Recovery Workshop (see below) is a national charity and volunteer-run self-help group. The basis of their work is that everyone involved has empathy, but is not pretending to have professional qualifications other than their experience. There’s a programme of six sessions, each with a different theme. The idea is that it’s relevant at any stage or age, and it can be quite powerful to have people who are further down the line, alongside those who are feeling very raw. We are designed to feel love and pain, and human connection helps with both. drw.org.uk
“What boundaries can I set for my annoying neighbour?”
We have new neighbours, and when they moved in, I took round a cake to welcome them, and they seemed very nice. The problem is that the woman keeps dropping in for a chat or to ask favours, and it’s getting on my nerves. We both work from home, but I think I work harder than she does! Basically, I don’t want to do her endless favours, and I only want her to come round when I ask. How do I confront her tactfully? Name supplied
There’s a saying ‘good fences make good neighbours’, and that’s what you need. The challenge is to redraw your boundaries in both time and space. Could you be proactive and invite her to meet somewhere for coffee? You may use the
excuse of introducing her to one of your favourite places. It would give you the chance to explain a bit about how you like to work at home, and understand more about the context for her. It may be that she needs social contact to feel energised, and assumes you’re the same. We all need those human connections, but if you’re more introverted, you’ll need to manage them carefully. Author Susan Cain (see right), summarises the keys to productivity in her book Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking (Penguin, £9.99). The most productive computer programmers have these factors in common: ‘privacy, personal space, control over their physical environments, and freedom from interruption’. In the short term, you could ask
her to text you for any favours (and turn off your phone notifications). And you may need to reinforce your message with actions – when she’s at the door, ask: ‘Is it urgent? I’m on a deadline.’ It’s worth building a relationship that works for you both – everybody needs good neighbours.
BE PART OF OUR TRIBE Join the Life Leap Club and receive free coaching from our experts. All you have to do is subscribe to access free coaching videos, inspirational resources and masterclasses. Go to psychologies.co.uk/ Life-Leap-Club-New-Subscribers. Watch Mary’s coaching sessions live every Tuesday at 1pm.
IS FREE TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS. LEAP INTO A BETTER LIFE AT PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/LIFE-LEAP-CLUB-NEW-SUBSCRIBERS M AY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 59
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Together, we can change the world
JOIN OUR LIFE LEAP CLUB! GET FREE COACHING AND, IN LIVE VIDEOS FROM 17 APRIL, BE INSPIRED BY THE EXPERTS 60 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E M AY 2 0 1 8
‘Disempowerment’ is a word that has been bandied around a lot in recent times. But change is afoot and people are not only acknowledging society’s problems, but becoming part of the solutions. So, what can you do when you don’t like what you see in the world? Our Dossier gives you special insight on how you can make a difference, from generating small change in your community or workplace, to creating a tide-turning campaign, or setting up a charity that will have a huge impact on people’s lives. Do you want to change your world? Join our Life Leap Club and let’s do it together!
WHO ARE MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. GO TO PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/SUBSCRIPTIONS
How to transform your world From starving polar bears to Weinstein, from Brexit to Trump; it’s easy to feel that too much change needs to take place in the world – and that we have too little power to make it happen. But something is afoot; you can feel it in the air, says Ali Roff
who was named Time Person Of The Year for 2017, #metoo became a way for women to speak up, speak out and find solidarity against sexual assault and harassment, particularly in the workplace. To see how this seemingly small act of sharing personal experiences had grown to completely take over speeches in Hollywood awards ceremonies, was a powerful example of how change happens in the world today.
“The #metoo movement has been an amazing example of how something as tiny as a hasthtag can sweep the globe”
‘THE YEAR OF VEGANISM’
And it’s not just women’s rights. Look at the growing vegan movement. It offers a beautiful triad of change; whether we want to improve our own health, are inspired to support animal welfare or feel motivated to tackle climate cha nge head-on, trend predictors are reporting * that 2018 is ‘the year of veganism’ in the food industry, and it’s here to stay, as more and more people become aware of its benefits for themselves and the world. There are movements all over the world that are taking great strides towards huge change, from removing Female Genital Cutting from every community on the planet (see page 68), to raising awareness around mental illness and high rates of >>>
PHOTOGRAPHS: PREVIOUS PAGE, PLAIN PICTURE; GETTY IMAGES; STOCKSY. * TOP TRENDS IN PREPARED FOODS: EXPLORING TRENDS IN MEAT, FISH AND SEAFOOD; PASTA, NOODLES AND RICE; PREPARED MEALS; SAVOURY DELI FOOD; SOUP; AND MEAT SUBSTITUTES, JUNE, 2017
his year had only just begun, when, at the Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey made a speech which became the final piece of evidence I needed to believe that 2018 could see big transformation. She spoke of a woman; young wife and mother Recy Taylor, who, in 1944, was abducted by six armed men, blindfolded, raped, and left by the side of the road. The men were never prosecuted and she lived with this injustice until she died late last year. As Oprah closed her speech, with the whole room on their feet, she said: ‘A new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women… and some pretty phenomenal men; fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say “me too” again.’ That’s when I realised 2018 would be a year of leaders. The #metoo movement has been an amazing example of how something as tiny as a hashtag can sweep the globe, from Hollywood superstars to everyday women of all generations. Coined by American civil-rights activist and senior director at Girls For Gender Equity, Tarana Burke,
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We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in our hands to make a difference
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suicides in men. Creating true change, whether in our own lives or in the world, can seem rather daunting. I chose to stop consuming dairy, eggs and meat after learning about industrial farming and its impacts on the environment in 2017. It was as if a switch was flipped in my mind – I watched the trailer to the Joaquin Phoenix-narrated documentary, Earthlings, cried for days, then devoured research and data on the harmful effects of factory farming on our planet as though it was my full-time career. It was a big change that I made in my own life, but sticking to my new lifestyle choice can be tough.
LIVE A LIFE THAT MATTERS TO YOU
So, how do we find the commitment and energy to make real, sustainable change happen? ‘When we feel angry or a sense of injustice, or passionate about something and want to bring more of it into the world, these are the emotional invitations that create the forward movement towards making change,’ says Neil Scotton, co-author of The Little Book Of Making Big Change Happen (Matador, £11.99). He suggests that creating real change requires us to live by our values. ‘Values are particularly associated with our emotions – if we get angry, it’s usually because something we care about deeply is being trodden on, hurt or threatened – and similarly, the things that make our hearts sink are indicators of what we truly value.’ For me, this has been one of the huge unforeseen motivators and benefits of my lifestyle change; I am surprised daily at how wonderful it feels to live a life that is aligned with my own beliefs about what I think is important in this world. ‘It can be worth looking at our behaviours; the things we spend our money on and how we spend our time, and reflecting on our values, asking: “Is this the person I want to be?”, because sometimes we can be led into following the ways of others, without questioning things,’ says Scotton. One great example of this is Fran Woodard, ‘another inspiring woman who is making big change happen,’ says Scotton. ‘Despite being involved in the incredibly complex world of cancer policy [for Macmillan], Woodard manages to make it all about real people.’ Her passion for
this is what motivates her to work with organisations such as the health service to ensure the experience of cancer treatment is as personal as possible for patients.
PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS
Mary Fenwick, coach and Psychologies agony aunt, suggests Martin Seligman’s Values In Action coaching questionnaire tool to help understand and put to use our own values and strengths, which she also believes are important when it comes to working out our potential for making a change. She shares this formula: ‘Potential, minus interference, equals our best performance.’ In other words, sometimes all you need to do is build up your potential – your strengths – and that will enable you to overcome the obstacles that stop you from making change. For example, when I feel tempted to eat cheese, I draw back on the fact that the livestock industry uses a third of the world’s fresh-water supply.* It reminds me why I chose to stop eating dairy and meat, and fills me with strength. Or sometimes, just removing a specific interference will enable you to realise your potential. Avoid buying cheese, and day-to-day life becomes a whole lot easier! But you ca n over use your strengths and get exhausted, warns Fenwick. David White,** a doctor from Kent, spent five months, from June to October, living in a bell tent in the woods with his girlfriend, in an attempt to reduce his energy usage and live more simply. He rented the land, bought a log burner, they collected water from a tap on the land owner’s farm and, other than that, he gathered wood and walked and cycled to work. He loved it for as long as the weather was warm and the days were long but, by October, they were waking up in the night, freezing, tired from long days at work and finding they had little time to do things like collect wood and cook as the daylight began to diminish. Despite his determination, his huge gesture of a complete lifestyle change became too exhausting to keep up. He’s now doing what he can from home; buying wholesale food and distributing it between friends to cut down on packaging consumption. And, in spite of our efforts, it can be easy to feel that they go unnoticed and make little difference in the
COWSPIRACY.COM/FACTS. **NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED
“Values are associated with our emotions; if we get angry, it’s usually because something we care about deeply is being trodden on”
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person can make “ Onea difference, and JOHN F KENNEDY
everyone should try
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>>> world. So, what’s the point in wasting all that time, energy
and sacrifice? ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’ Mahatma Gandhi said, although, sometimes, it feels as if this quote has been used so often that it’s lost some of its meaning; for example, a friend mentioned to me that they agree with the values of a plant-based, or at least, a meatreduced diet – she loves animals, cares about the planet and wants to be healthier. But, when I asked her if she wanted help trying it out, she shrugged and said: ‘It’s not like my tiny, solitary contribution would make any difference, so why bother?’ And I can completely understand this mindset – to this day, I have never shared a #metoo post, despite having been sexually harassed at my first job in finance as a graduate. When I initially heard of the movement, I felt exhausted by it; what would my story do, apart from remind me of how foolish I felt for not speaking up at the time? I can see now that this is the whole point; to raise awareness, so it’s less likely to happen to other women in the future. And that’s something I care about.
MAKE EACH STITCH COUNT
to see a pattern, then it becomes not just your problem. That’s when these stories become valid and validated in the media. All these women were empowered to add their stitch to the tapestry and the overall picture started to emerge. So an early step can be becoming more confident with your own story and finding ways in which to share it with people you trust.’ In this way, every woman who posted a #metoo story is a leader of change in their own uniquely brave way.
PURSUE SUCCESSFUL MODELS
Another, less scary, way of stepping up to become a leader of change, is to follow in someone else’s footsteps, encourages Scott. ‘There’s every good reason to copy something that someone else is doing in another country, but isn’t happening here. For example, a woman called Helen Sanderson is bringing the idea of self-care at home for the elderly to the UK, which started in the Netherlands. This can be a great place to begin.’ Sanderson found another organisation of nurses called Buurtzorg, in the Netherlands, which works in self-managing teams, with very high customer and employee satisfaction, and lower business costs. She’s been inspired to follow Buurtzorg’s already successful model in her own industry, setting up self-managed teams to support elderly and disabled people at home. It’s also important to see where change has already happened to stay inspired. ‘A lot of people feel that nothing ever changes. But it really does. It’s been less than 100 years since women have had the vote in the UK, and there is a long way to go, but the whole consensus has changed over time. If you think even about the ban on public smoking in the UK, it’s kind of weird to us now!’ says Fenwick. For Recy to have seen the #metoo movement begin must have been colossal. I only hope to see such change in my lifetime – and it turns out, even this can be cultivated. ‘Hope is not just this random thing that occurs to us – we can also build our own hope muscles, firstly by agency thinking; remembering the ways in which we do have power and can make choices. And by pathway thinking; what are the alternative routes I can see to make changes?’ explains Fenwick. ‘The optimum number of pathways to the future is six – so try and generate six small ideas that you could try, and you will have made yourself more hopeful.’
“A lot of people feel that nothing ever changes. But it’s been less than 100 years since women have had the vote in the UK”
So, how do we get around this feeling? ‘Few people spring onto the scene as fully formed big change-makers – most who have brought about sizeable change have started somewhere, usually somewhere small,’ says Alister Scott, co-author of The Little Book Of Making Big Change Happen. Scotton adds: ‘Sometimes, we can disempower ourselves by feeling we need to plan every step along the journey. Do something, no matter how small it is, then take the next step. And the next one and the next. Just start walking towards the thing you love or what you feel is important.’ So, is this how we step up to become leaders and change-makers? To begin with ourselves, and start small? ‘It’s the only way that the world does change,’ says Fenwick. ‘Every little stitch changes the tapestry.’ It’s also important to know that, as women, we might find taking that first step more difficult, explains Fenwick. ‘The unifying thing for women in particular is confidence; we ask: “Am I qualified to speak up?” or “Who wants to hear me?”. We worry that our voice isn’t right, is too quiet, or isn’t the proper accent. Sometimes, it helps to know that this is not just your problem. From that point of view, just the phrase “me too” is very empowering,’ she says. ‘When you add your personal experience to other people’s personal experiences, you begin
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The 6 big dimensions of change Follow these simple steps to transform your life
You need a clear, shared, inspiring purpose. How succinctly can you describe this?
Team. You need a cohesive, committed team with a range of capabilities. How can you create a team or find your tribe of people who believe in making change happen?
Engagement. How well do you
engage with people in the outside world to create change – investors, policymakers, customers, your staff, the environment, media and future generations?
You need a culture that matches the scale of your inspiring purpose. Where can you find this?
Results. You’ll need to be clear about the outcomes you want. What could be the indicators of progress?
Inner journey. You’ll
go on an inner journey that matches the outer journey. How can you learn as you go? What qualities can you develop in yourself along the way?
Adapted from ‘The Little Book Of Making Big Change Happen’ by Neil Scotton and Alister Scott, out now
Want to make a change in your life?
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M AY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 67
Valuable lessons from a big change-maker
Julia Lalla-Maharajh, founder of Orchid Project, a charity striving to help communities abandon Female Genital Cutting, tells Ali Roff what she’s discovered in her quest to forge empowering change for women
I discovered the scale of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) when I volunteered in Ethiopia. My first reaction was to look away because I was challenged. It was so difficult: how do you talk about other women’s genitals? How do you even begin to shift a taboo when you can’t talk about it? I had a ‘Road to Damascus’ moment when I met two little girls, and wanted to save them from being cut by offering to pay for their education. But I realised that I couldn’t do that, I had no right. The only thing I could do was make a vow to try to bring about change. Without having that huge vision of a world free of FGC within our lifetime, there was no way of getting people to see the bigger picture. So I moved away from wanting to make a small-scale impact to focusing on what the end goal might be. The big dream brought an energy; pulling in others to the movement and getting everyone engaged. We lose sight of the change that humans can be part of; there are all sorts of reasons for it to be impossible, but what helps me is knowing that foot-binding in China ended after 10 years of protests. Things do end and, when we’re overwhelmed, let’s ask: where can our energy go that will make a difference?
exponentially increased how many layers you get. When you get to the ninth fold, you’ve made 20,000 layers. Of course, change will never happen if we don’t put in the effort. But each time a community stops cutting, they will communicate that to up to five other witnessing communities. Realism makes others want to be part of the dream. We try to break down the puzzle; go to people with tangible actions, whether it’s holding governments to account, approaching donors, or working with survivors. Crucially, we work with communities at grass-roots level so they are making the choice to stop cutting their daughters.
“Without having that huge vision, there was no way of getting people to see the bigger picture”
People say, ‘In a country like Somaliland, 98 per cent of women are cut. How can you hope to bring change there?’ Take the example of millefeuille pastry, with its thousands of layers, for how you make exponential change: Actually, all you’ve done is fold the pastry six times, but each time you fold it, you’ve
When I heard about FGC, I had a visceral reaction to it. Why would a parent do this to their daughter? In most people’s discourses, it’s a barbaric, horrific practice. But what I knew from living with Ethiopian families was that they love their daughters. Empathy came from trying to understand how I change; and I certainly don’t simply change because other people tell me to change. This space of empathy was about me not wanting to impose my thinking about why communities practise FGC, but instead talking, listening and understanding their motivation. I try to work without judgement; a non-directive approach to form knowledge about the detrimental health impact of FGC. I want to get women’s voices into the open; to let them share what happens to them when they are cut, and for them to discuss within their communities why the practice is still upheld.
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“When in an open discussion, I discover time and again that people want what is best for others”
PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES/STOCKSY
Empathy is about giving the space to those who are holding the issue, so they can come to their own conclusions. Empathy is about trying to understand what unites us. All our work is based on a human-rights approach. If a community can understand that they have a right to health, to life, to be free from violence, they then explore what that means to them, and FGC comes into the discussion. They understand for themselves that this practice no longer serves them. We know if we can move people to a place of understanding, empathy and being part of the change, that is a space of incredible energy and uplifting hope and opportunity.
You have to have something that keeps you going through the dark times and, for me, it’s easy: in the past year, we’ve supported 247 communities who have chosen to stop FGC. Because of the work we’re doing, around 24,000 girls will not be cut. And their daughters will not be cut, and their daughters’ daughters will not be cut. The passion has to see you through the moments when it’s not working, when your funding is
low, when you’re being accused of being too woolly; that there’s ‘too much talk about love’. Being passionate is about forming a connection, too, and it’s interesting because I’ve seen as many men as women connect with this issue. And it can be a tiny amount of passion – mentioning it to friends at a dinner party, say. There are small actions that can shift consciousness.
People are fundamentally good
A Gambian man told me: ‘People come to our village and say, “Stop mutilating your girls,” and show pictures of bloodied vaginas, but this is the first time I am allowed to reach for my higher good.’ This is about creating a space where he felt he could speak openly. We don’t use the word ‘mutilation’ because communities asked us not to. If we say, ‘Why do you mutilate your girls?’ they feel judged. They don’t cut to torture the girls; they cut because they feel they’ve no choice: if you don’t cut your daughter, she won’t marry and will be socially shamed. I come back to this: what are our truths? Do we believe people are good? If so, we must mirror that. When I’m able to have an open discussion, I discover time and again that people want what’s best for others. orchidproject.org
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“We’re making a difference” Three change-makers tell us how they found their vocation – and put big ideas into action INTERVIEWS RIN HAMBURGH PHOTOGRAPH BRENDAN MACNEILL
“When you’ve got a purpose, you can smash through any obstacle” SUZY BEAUMONT, 42, FOUNDER OF CHANGE YOUR WORLD EVENTS
HAIR AND MAKE-UP: AMANDA MCCARTHY @GLAM CANDY
ine years ago, I met a life coach who transformed my life. Initially, I didn’t even know what life coaching was; he explained a little and then said, ‘You could use some coaching.’ I thought, ‘How very dare you!’ But he was right. Although I was successful at work, I was in an unhappy relationship, in debt and overweight; I was just existing. Things got worse when my mum and sister were diagnosed with terminal cancer within four months of each other. From there, I was hit with challenge after challenge – I’d never experienced that level of stress and pain before and I did have a moment when I just wanted to end it all so I didn’t have to feel any more. Thankfully, the personal development work saved me, and I was able to come through it and out the other side stronger than before. Change Your World started as a seed of an idea two years ago. I understood the power of changing myself and I had transformed my own life through personal development; now I wanted to inspire others to do the same. I was reading books about mastermind alliances and collaboration, and I thought, ‘I know so
many people who are doing incredible things and trying to make a difference in the world – what could we create if I just got them in a room together?’ So, I decided to hold a conference. I called anyone who had inspired me and said, ‘I have an idea, but I have no money and can’t pay you’ – and, to my surprise, they all said yes. We had nine amazing speakers, 155 attendees and 25 exhibitors at the first Change Your World event, and the feedback was incredible. It’s not all rosy. At the moment, I’m not getting paid and I’ve taken a sabbatical from my job to make it happen, so it’s scary. But, when you’ve got a purpose, you can smash through any obstacle. It gives you something beyond yourself. Momentum is building and my message is getting out there: if you change yourself, you will change your world. If you change how you think, you will change how you feel and what actions you take, and so the world around you will change. By simply showing individuals how to become their best selves, it’s changing the world. There is no better feeling than waking up every day knowing you’re making a positive difference. changeyourworld.me
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“A community asked for a school and I listened to their wish”
SIMON CROWE, 52, TRANSFORMATIONAL COACH
uring my first visit to Liberia in 2014, I took part in a leadership project with 400 teachers. While I was there, I met lots of people, but there was one girl in particular, Mekie, who I spoke to after a workshop and who stood out in my mind. I had asked everyone what their dream was, and Mekie told me that she wanted to be a medical doctor. Then she said: ‘Now I’ve shared my dream with you, I know it will come true. I know you will hold it for me.’ Her words stayed with me. Liberia is a poor country with a troubled past. It went through 14 years of civil war which destroyed most of its infrastructure – there’s no sanitation and no electricity. And then Ebola broke out. I wanted to send Mekie some money, so I got in touch with a contact of mine, Emmanuel, and he helped me to get money to her. My relationship with both of them developed and I got to know their families. One day, I was talking to Emmanuel on Facebook and he told me about his dream to build a
school. I found myself saying, ‘I’m going to help you.’ I don’t know why I said it, I just felt a connection, with him as an individual, and with his vision. I felt inspired. A lot has happened since then. The community has given us 50 acres of land for the school. It’s been surveyed, registered and now belongs to our The Big Idea project. An architect from Miami heard about what we were doing and offered her services. We went to Liberia together and met the deputy minister for education, and we’ve found a local architect to help put together a scheme of work. It’s very exciting to see it progress. People involved in changing the world don’t necessarily think of it in those terms – I don’t. I’m just being present; I listened to a call. The community wanted a school. They were asking and I heard them. I didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘I want to change the world.’ That would be so daunting, I probably wouldn’t have gotten out of bed! All I’m doing is taking one tiny step at a time. simoncrowe.com; thebigidea.space
“All we wanted was to kick-start awareness”
DANIELLE BATIST, 34, CO-FOUNDER OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE JOURNALISM PROJECT
ournalism was attractive to me for the same reason it is for many others – a sense of justice and wanting to tell people’s stories in the hope that we can change things for the better. But you quickly realise the cynical reality: chasing the news; the grind; the drama. After a few years, I worked as a reporter in southern Africa, and that’s when I saw the discrepancy between real life and the depressing picture people were seeing. Yes, there were problems, but there were also people trying to do something about them, yet editors weren’t interested. ‘Good news is no news’ is the mantra for a lot of mainstream media. Back home, I was drawn to working with publications that were telling the alternative side of the story, and it was eye-opening to realise there were loads of people like me. The moment you see this, you grow as an individual and as a collective, and have power, and that’s how we set up the Constructive Journalism Project in 2014. We work with three groups: newsrooms that need
to be educated about the benefits of constructive journalism, freelancers who can pitch differently to drive change, and students – the next generation. In the past three years, constructive terminology has become more mainstream. We got funding for a university tour and held workshops at 20 universities. Some journalism schools are including the topic in courses, and students have even done PhDs in it, so there’s research supporting the movement. Other networks are launching across Europe, and the first Constructive Journalism Conference was held last year. Even big players like The Guardian, Huffington Post and the BBC are getting involved. It’s an encouraging thing to see that an idea can become so much bigger than you. We’re just a group of people who care, not a massive institute. All we ever wanted was to kick-start awareness. It doesn’t matter who gets the credit, no one owns this, it’s about making a difference together. constructivejournalism.org
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WHERE COULD YOU BE?
● Where do you want to see a change in your life? ● How would this change benefit you? ● How would this change benefit those around you? ● What will you be able to do once you’ve made this change? ● How will you feel when you have made this change in your life? What will your world look like, smell like and sound like? Try to visualise it.
WHAT MIGHT GET IN YOUR WAY?
● What reasons or excuses can you think of to not make this change? ● If you couldn’t use these any more, how would you move forward? ● If you’ve thought of making this change before, what’s stopped you in the past? ● What might get in your way this time? ● Will this change require you to sacrifice anything in your life? ● What can you do to make sure you don’t get stuck going forward?
HOW WILL YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN?
Why do you want to make this change? What support do you need to achieve this (people, resources, money)? ● Where have you made a successful change before? What did you do? ● How can you apply this experience to what you need to do now to make change? ● If a friend was in your shoes, what advice would you give them? ● What’s one step you could take now that would show you were moving forward? ● ●
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M AY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 73
psy_MAY_dossier_1 PAGER.indd 73
What stops you from making change happen? If you struggle to convert your ideals into action, it could be your mindset that’s holding you back. Take our test to identify the shift you need to make change a reality
A friend disagrees with something you feel strongly about. You’re most likely to: ♥ Change the subject ◆ Do your best to sway their opinion l Try to see their point of view ■ Get over it and move on
You would most like to be known for being:
■ Friendly ♥ Compassionate ◆ Enthusiastic l Useful
A relative at a family gathering expresses views you find offensive. You: ♥ Feel so angry that you have to make an excuse to leave l Back up whoever challenges them ◆ ◊ Enjoy getting stuck into an argument with them ■ Change the subject to something more upbeat
You secretly admire people who:
■ Put others before themselves l Make things happen ◆ ◊ Come up with innovative ideas ♥ Stick up for their principles
l The confidence to really go for it ■ A guarantee it would work
◆ ◊ Talk about something that
■ Promise to help, but forget to follow up ♥ Agree to do more than you intended ◆ ◊ Be inspired to do something similar l Ask what you can do to help
You would find it easier to make a difference if you had:
♥ The support of those you care about ◆ ◊ A clearer idea of what to do
A good friend is fundraising to help the homeless. You’re most likely to:
Your usual way of supporting a charity is to:
♥ Sponsor people you know ◆ ◊ Fill in an online petition l Join a group of friends doing a fundraising race or event ■ Give your old clothes to a charity shop
Watching the news usually makes you feel:
l As though you really need to do something to help ■ Like switching it off and watching something less depressing ♥ Worried about the world we’re living in ◆ ◊ Overwhelmed at everything that’s going wrong
You meet your local MP at a social event. You’re most likely to: ♥ Smile and ask plenty of questions you’ve read in the news l Volunteer to help in whatever way possible ■ Say the first thing that pops into your head
The world would be a better place if more people could: ◆ ◊ Think outside the box l Be willing to get involved as much as they can ■ Believe in a better future ♥ Put their differences aside and work together
Circle the answers that most closely apply to you, then add up the symbols. Read the section – or sections – you circled most, to identify the key shift you need to make if you really want to create change in your life.
WORDS: SALLY BROWN. PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES,: STOCKSY: REX FEATURES
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Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have
M AY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 75
What you need to do to make real change IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ♥
Get comfortable with conflict
You’re not short of inner conviction and may have a clear sense of where change is needed most. But you also have people-pleasing tendencies, and a placating mode of being that you revert to when under pressure, or feeling unsure of yourself. Conflict is tricky for you, so you have become adept at stepping in as peacemaker. When it comes to the crunch, you’ll hold back on sharing your beliefs if there’s a risk they may create controversy. There are elements of your approach that are working – no one likes to be preached at, and modelling a more conscious way of living can have a ripple effect on those around you, without forcing it on them. But if you’re serious about bringing the change you want to see in the world, you need to get comfortable with disapproval and disagreement. It will also help you be more assertive in other areas of your life. Start small by listening to your emotional sense, and experiment with speaking out next time you feel you have to bite your tongue. You may be surprised that people aren’t nearly as shocked or offended as you envisaged.
IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ●
You’re not short of passion, ideas and conviction, but you tend to stop short of taking the initiative to make things happen. And being a reliable, useful pair of hands is part of who you are, and why people value you. But it also means that your own plans never reach fruition. It may even get to the point where you stop talking about your ideas because you feel embarrassed about how long they have been at the ‘drawing board’ stage. Your dreams are there, and they aren’t going away! If you’re really ready to take your passion and idealisation to the next level, it’s time to be more proactive about what you truly believe needs to change. It may be that you even fantasise about giving up your day job so you can devote your energy to what you are passionate about, but something holds you back from making the leap. Whether it’s fear of failure, or simply perfectionism, you are so aware of the risk of not getting it 100 per cent right, it can seem safer to not try at all. Ask yourself, if you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do, and what would be the first step you would take?
IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ◆
You can be a whirlwind of energy, and at times your brain is buzzing with ideas. You feel genuinely moved by many different causes, from poverty to the environment. There are times when you pinpoint one issue or cause to concentrate on, but then you become aware of another example of environmental short-sightedness or social injustice that can feel impossible to ignore. It’s not surprising that your global awareness of how much work there is to be done often leaves you feeling overwhelmed, and that your efforts are just a drop in the ocean. There is nothing wrong with feeling moved by many different causes, but much of your vital energy is being wasted on overthinking, rather than doing. You know that you can’t get involved in everything, so it’s time to be more focused. Start by getting in touch with your core values, and consolidating what really matters to you, to help you decide where to direct your energies. When you’re attracted to a new idea, try to hold off from throwing your mental energy into thinking about it. Ask yourself, is this the best use of your resources? Is this what you really care about?
IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ■
Consolidate your commitment
Even though you may have felt moved to tears at times by news reports of poverty and injustice, you rarely convert your concern into action. It’s not that you don’t care; in many ways, you care too much, and can feel deeply unsettled by humanitarian crises, discrimination or environmental disasters. But, as a way of protecting yourself, you tend to file those feelings under ‘things you are powerless to change’. And your free time and headspace can get used up by immediate concerns at work, or the lives of your friends and family. You are an optimist at heart; focusing on what is going well comes more naturally, and you can find it hard to sustain anger and outrage. And yet, you do have a sense that you could be doing more and would like to give back. You don’t have to save the world, but could you make a difference to a local charity? How can you put that natural upbeat approach to life to good use? Remember, altruism benefits the giver as well as the receiver, and just a few hours of your time a month could make a big difference.
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Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world
M AY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 77
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#360me p82 The Plan / p91 The Open Mind Into the unknown – and all’s well / p93 Feel Beautiful Top picks for comforted, nourished skin / p94 The Journey Design an authentic life / p97 Real Nutrition I say tomato! / p98 Well Travelled Finding a heart connection with white lions in South Africa / p102 48 Hours Peace and prose on The Writers’ Way
EDITED BY EMINÉ RUSHTON
Your mind will answer most questions if “you learn to relax and wait for the answer WILLIAM S BURROUGHS
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The plan Every month, the #360me team will be sharing our baby-steps approach to leading a healthier, happier life – expert-endorsed and real-life approved.
dy Feeling beautiful pg 93
The cherry on top: toma toes! pg 97
Animal magic in South Africa pg 98
Bed time ri tuals pg 87
54mins This is the average time a person in the UK spends on their daily commute.* Researchers in Sweden have linked commuting to a plethora of health issues, including poor sleep, stress, exhaustion and more frequent visits to the GP. To redress the strain, meditation apps, uplifting music and reading have all been shown to soften the blow.
Gently transformative ideas for a happier body
EASY, GIRL To feel your best, you have to consider the health of not just your BODY and GUT, but your MIND and SPIRIT too – this is holistic health in action. To help you, we’ve split all the advice in the plan into these four sections and, by spending a similar amount of time on each, you’ll be looking after your ‘self’ in a truly holistic way. Dip in and try one thing from each section. Or dive in and do it all. It’s here for you – to inspire, support and motivate. Share your journey with us @eminerushton and we’ll share ours too.
‘I take a really gentle approach to my health and wellbeing, so I like this laid-back tank, which flies in the face of the aggressive, overly adrenalised fitness messages out there!’ @eminerushton
SHARE YOUR #360ME JOURNEY @eminerushton @psychologiesmagazine psychologies.co.uk
‘No Sweat’ top, £40, Free People Movement
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SITTING COMFORTABLY? It’s wise to bring awareness to your alignment, explains our Body Editor, Hollie Grant
Extract from ‘The Model Method’ by Hollie Grant (Piatkus, £16.99)
I adore Neom’s first face oil – a multitasker that soothes skin at first application, and promotes a great night ’s rest
Perfect Night’s Sleep Face Oil, £42, Neom
Suzy Reading, Mind Editor
“It’s been heartening to see so many fantastic new books out this year – all focused on supporting and nourishing our bodies, as opposed to diets, regimes and extreme physical activity. Favourites** include ‘Well Being’ by Danielle Copperman, ‘The Self-Care Revolution’ by Suzy Reading, ‘Body Belief’ by Aimee E Raupp and the brilliant ‘Walk’ by Sholto Radford” Eminé
back muscles to support, so they become longer and weaker over time. Eventually, the very muscles that help us stand up straight lose their ability to do so and we can develop a kyphotic spine; less kindly known as a hunchback. As a consequence of our backs leaning forward, we have to pull our heads further back to look up at our computer screens. This creates tension in the back of the neck, which can lead to headaches, migraines and shoulder pain.’ @thepilatespt
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY; GETTY IMAGES.*’HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW’, 2017; **‘WELL BEING’ BY DANIELLE COPPERMAN (OCTOPUS, £25); ‘THE SELF-CARE REVOLUTION’ BY SUZY READING (OCTOPUS, £12.99); ‘BODY BELIEF’ BY AIMEE E RAUPP (HAY HOUSE, £18.99); ‘WALK’ BY SHOLTO RADFORD (QUADRILLE, £7.99). FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
‘Our mid to upper back, or thoracic spine, is naturally concave anteriorly; that is, the curve points backwards. This means we are designed to have a gentle curve in our upper spine, to counteract the shape of the lower back and neck, which curve the opposite way. If we spend too long leaning forward looking over our phones or laptops, we pull the spine into an even deeper curve. Gravity is also working against the upper back as it pulls us forward, closer to the ground. The weight of our upper body becomes increasingly difficult for our
JUST THE TONIC ‘Tanita de Ruijt’s fab book, Tonic: Delicious And Natural Remedies To Boost Your Health, is brimming with tasty, zingy, potent and powerful concoctions. Her recipes will shake up your tipples for the better – with all-natural substitutes for Night Nurse, Lemsip and cough syrup, alongside tea-based infusions to ease fatigue, and keep bugs at bay.’ @eminerushton
Tonic by Tanita de Ruijt (Hardie Grant, £12.99)
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spirit Lift your spirit with these great finds and useful insights
THREE WAYS TO FEEL BETTER Extract from ‘Self-Care For The Real World’ by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain-Phillips (Hutchinson, £16.99)
Remember that you don’t need fixing. There is nothing wrong with you just as you are. Adopt self-care practices as acts of kindness to yourself, instead of coming from a place of self-criticism or a mistaken belief that you somehow should be better than you are.
Learn to tell the difference between a want and a need. You may want to eat a huge bar of chocolate, but is that what you need, or are you trying to quash uncomfortable feelings? When you’re gripped by cravings, for food or anything else, ask yourself if it is a want or a need.
Switch off the notifications on your phone. It’s OK for texts, as that’s about being contactable, but do you really need to know when an old colleague likes your photo on Facebook? Let social media work for you by deciding when you’ll engage with it, instead of letting it dictate to you.
For all its praise of individual strength, Finland is a nation of togetherness. The country has 70,000 volunteer groups focused on hobbies, with five million members: exceptional for a population of 5.5 million. Learn how sisu, the Finnish attitude of resilience and tenacity, brings purpose and joy in Joanna Nylund’s SISU: The Finnish Art Of Courage (Octopus, £10).
“I am thrilled to be hosting my first five-day Reawakening Transformational retreat , which offers the chance to release any blocks or stagnation in our creative life, encouraging self-expression, and empowering and restoring our true voice” Nicky Clinch, Spirit Editor @nickyclinch For more about the retreat, which will be held at Puggiestone House on Dartmoor from 2-6 May and costs from £1,249, visit nickyclinch.com/event-news/ luxury-re-awakening-spring-retreat
ROOTED IN HEART
Yoga Support Collection, £39, Root & Flower
‘One of my loveliest finds so far this year has been the raw, organic and handmade products from Root & Flower. I love everything from their Chakras Anointing Oils to their beautifully gentle skincare. Their Yoga Support Collection with Mend, Motivate and Meditate Yoga Balms, and the blissful Yoga and Meditation Atmosphere Mist, to purify your space and encourage awareness, brings deeper focus, pleasure and intention to my practice. Wonderful for meditative moments, too. I adore this range.’ @eminerushton
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BLOSSOMING TALENT ‘The charming book Flowersmith by Jennifer Tran brings the glory of handcrafting to fullest life, with paper flowers that anyone can make with a few simple materials and a bit of practice. With 30 projects, step-by-step photographic instructions and templates to cut out and trace – plus tips on arranging your creations once realised – this glorious book will be one you go back to again and again.’ @eminerushton PHOTOGRAPHS: FROM ‘FLOWERSMITH’ BY JENNIFER TRAN; GETTY IMAGES; STOCKSY. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
‘Flowersmith’ by Jennifer Tran (Hardie Grant, £20) is out now
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BETTER TOGETHER When it comes to keeping active to support your physical and mental health, having a goal and focus can help you stay motivated â€“ not to mention moral support and camaraderie. Registration for Run Every Day (R.E.D) January 2019 goes live in October but, for now, feel free to join the incredibly supportive R.E.D community at facebook.com/groups/ runeverydayjanuary.
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mind This month’s food for thought... Tell us how you get on by using #360me
From sleep-tracking apps and wearable devices, to white-noise machines and wake-up lighting, 51 per cent of the British population have used a technology-based sleep aid – with almost a third of us using one every night.* With studies** suggesting sleep deprivation impacts our productivity and even curtails our earning power, it’s no wonder we’re obsessed with our sleep.
PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY; GETTY IMAGES. *SURVEY BY FURNITURE123.CO.UK, 2018; **’THE GUARDIAN’, 2017; †THE UPSIDE OF YOUR DARK SIDE’ BY TODD KASHDAN (PLUME, £4.51); ††’PUBMED’, 2017. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Embracing first-time wonder
CREATIVE FLOW, A YEAR IN MY MINDFUL LIFE by Jocelyn de Kwant (Leaping Hare Press, £12.99) ‘A lovely invitation to embrace a “beginner’s mind” again – to experience the wonder of doing things for the first time with mindfulness, focus and joy. This lovely workbook is an ideal gift for creative friends, too.’ Eminé
I keep waking up in the middle of the night and struggling to quiet my mind and go back to sleep. What can I do?
Our Mind Editor Will Williams says: ‘The key is to be proactive, not reactive. Waking up with a busy mind is due to an overstimulated nervous system, so have a pre-bedtime ritual that includes no screens for an hour before sleep, eating a light meal early, and a meditative practice. If you don’t have one, yoga nidra can help (Google it for guided videos) or listen to a binaural beats app’. @willwilliamsmeditation
“‘The Upside Of Your Dark Side’ by Todd Kashdan† explains the purpose of all human emotions (there is no good or bad emotion), and helps us make peace with our feelings, all of which have a time and place. We do, however, have a choice! The book helps me deal with anger and guilt and find ways to take action in service of my values” @suzyreading
Raw Freeze-Dried Blackberry Fruit, £10.04, Eclectic Institute
BRAIN BERRY A study, published in the Journal Of Agriculture And Food Chemistry, found that blackberry extract may have a protective effect on the brain, improving memory, learning and brain function, as well as slowing the decline in age-related memory loss, thanks to its high concentration of flavonoids.††
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WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE ‘I’m a coffee geek – for the taste, but also for the polyphenol gut benefits. However, I’m usually sceptical when it comes to fancy blends – why ruin a good cup of Joe, after all? Since trying Ancient + Brave’s Coffee + Collagen, £22, I had to eat or, in this case, drink my words! Made from organic Brazilian coffee with a nutty flavour, the other key ingredient is grass-fed collagen, which has other interesting benefits, including supporting the gut. It also contains Siberian ginseng, which helps to manage stress and roasted dandelion root to boost the liver. With vitamin C-packed baobab and subtly sweet cacao, it’s a blend I think deserves a mention.’ Eve Kalinik, Nutrition Editor @evekalinik
gut Nurture your gut health for an overall feeling of wellbeing
“I am impressed with the new home-testing kit service, Atlas BioMed, which looks at the microbiome and genetics with reasonable price points. It’s essentially allowing people to understand their health in more detail and I think that’s pretty empowering” Eve
Golden Shrooms, £17.50, Wunder Workshop
MUSH BETTER! ‘Adaptogens are herbs with restorative properties, which help the body in times of need. Wunder Workshop’s powder contains a bevy of them – cordyceps, reishi, turmeric, cacao and ginger – to counteract the negative effects of stress. Add to juice or smoothies, or mix with warm milk (my preference).’ @eminerushton
A green sheen on your bacon is due to a pigment reaction between nitrates, used in the curing process, and the meat’s myoglobin – and, yes, it’s cause for concern! With half of bowel cancers preventable by lifestyle changes, it’s believed nitrates produce chemicals that increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Opt out with nitrate-free: we like Finnebrogue Naked Meats, which include bacon, ham and sausages.
PICK OF THE MIX ‘Sisters Meera and Maya Shah have put their spin on Bombay mix – with buckwheat groats, coconut chips and split chickpeas, alongside the usual nuts, seeds and spices. Great with a glass of vino.’ Eminé Modern Bombay Mix, £1.99 for 30g or £5.99 for 200g, Dhikari
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SWEDE SPAGHETTI, MISO EMULSION, PARMESAN AND BRIOCHE CRUMBS I had a delicious meal similar to this in New York, writes Chantelle Nicholson in ‘Planted’ (Kyle Books, £25). I felt swede spaghetti, instead of pasta, added a sweet, slight crunchiness to the dish. SERVES 4 l4
l 2 tbsp white miso paste l4
tbsp extra virgin olive oil
l 100ml l Sea
light vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground
1 Preheat the oven to 150°C/
large swede, peeled
and spiralised l½
bunch of flat-leaf parsley,
leaves finely chopped l 50g
3 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Plunge the swede into it and cook for 2-3 minutes until just al dente. Strain the swede, then add to the saucepan containing the miso emulsion. Stir well, then add the parsley. 4 Share between 4 bowls, grate the ‘cheese’ on the top of each and crumble the brioche over, to serve.
PHOTOGRAPHS: NASSIMA ROTHACKER, FROM ‘PLANTED’ BY CHANTELLE NICHOLSON; STOCKSY; GETTY IMAGES. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
300°F/gas mark 2. Tear the brioche into small pieces and spread out on a roasting tray. Bake for around 20 minutes until golden. 2 Put the miso paste and oil into a large saucepan over a medium heat. When heated, whisk together and add the vegetable stock. Season well with black pepper.
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A Natural Approach To Menopause
No longer does tiredness and fatigue get me down, and in turn that lifts my mood as I feel energised and enthusiastic throughout the day. -Joanna
CleanmarineÂŽ MenoMin is a unique combination of Omega 3 Phospholipids, Folate, Biotin, B Vitamins and Soy Isoflavones that provides a complete natural solution for use during and after menopause.
#LETSTALKMENOPAUSE cleanmarinekrill.co.uk Vitamin B1 contributes to normal psychological function and contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism. Vitamin B2 contributes to maintenance of normal skin and contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue. Vitamin B6 contributes to normal psychological function, contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism, contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue and contributes to the regulation of normal hormonal activity.
the open mind
Trust in yourself and the universe to guide you in the right direction, writes Eminé Rushton. Let’s abandon urgency, stop seeking and practise acceptance
No need to know
efore the internet, an unanswered question would have been met with pause for thought. Do I know the answer, we would wonder? Is it logged away in the annals of my grey matter? If not, we would take a different tack, asking ourselves: can I work it out; what can I read; where can I go; to find the answer? Now, our quests for answers are met with instantaneous Google searches – and although that allows us to stop stressing over pub quiz questions that would have driven us mad – it disempowers us in other, more profound, ways.
PHOTOGRAPH: DARING WANDERER/STOCKSY
You see, we’ve come to expect immediate answers. It’s not enough that we place online orders before midnight and they show up on our doorstep the next day, but we’ve also become unaccustomed to waiting – for anything. When the Wi-Fi goes down, or we lose 4G, there’s a sense that we’re lost – without answers; direction; a safety net. Yet, once, that was just life – and we were good at it. Clearing out my study last month, I found my first London street atlas: a pocket-sized book, with all the places I had been marked out in yellow highlighter. I was in my late teens, finding my way around the city without a phone. I would have left in the morning and returned in the late afternoon – without checking an email, reading a text or Googling a question. Much of our lives would have
been lived uncertainly, yet, somehow, we were all the more trusting. There would have been both agony and ecstasy in the waiting – like handwritten love letters sent across oceans – all the sweeter for their longed-for, but unknown, time of arrival. The best things have always come to me when I’ve forced the least; asked the fewest questions; simply trusted their rightness and embraced them. Yet, for each of these sweet moments of serendipity, there have been myriad more that have spiralled into shadow. I’ve been guilty of letting my impatience get the better of me, steaming into a situation that would have worked out so much better had I simply left it alone; the times I’ve felt within touching distance of something magical, only to have it fall apart. It is only with hindsight that I see none of those things were meant to be. I don’t know what the universe has in store for me, but that map, with its highlights, shortcuts, crossed paths and missed connections, has shown me I’m moving forward. I do not need to push, or know where or when, I just need to trust that my steps are taking me in the right direction: map or no map; walking home.
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beautifully clear skin, naturally HRI Clear Complexion tablets help keep skin spot-free The natural active herbs in HRI Clear Complexion tablets treat your skin from within to help keep it clear from spots and pimples, or skin problems such as mild acne and eczema. This herbal medicinal product, based on traditional use, is available from Holland & Barrett, Asda, Tesco and leading Boots stores. Certification mark
Always read the label www.HRIHerbalMedicine.co.uk
CLEAN STATE I love a simple, inexpensive base oil in lieu of
Nourishing Coconut Body Butter, £7.50, Soaper Duper
a cleanser – grapeseed, coconut and jojoba
work brilliantly – which simply steam off with a soft damp flannel. Caudalie’s new offering is hearteningly unfussy, combining four oils in a natural formula, that cleanses beautifully, with no squeaky after-feel.
Eminé Rushton’s five beauty-bag essentials for nourished, happy skin
Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil, £18, Caudalie
Beauty Balm Tinted Day Cream, £18.95, Weleda
Rose Diamond Exfoliating Cleanser, £55, The Organic Pharmacy
GLOW ON THEN Luxurious, yes. Natural,
For anyone who slathers on The Body Shop’s iconic butters and likes smelling of sweetish edible things, this is an almost entirely natural alternative (98 per cent), and a delicious contender for best butter ever – my dry skin was transformed in three days.
The lower-cost diffusion line from Ila, Ilapothecary is a sweeping range of treatments and therapies to aid a happier, calmer and healthier lifestyle. From drops that go under the tongue in stressful situations, to diffuser oils, men’s shaving mud and aluminium-free deo, every nook of life is covered.
yes. Beautifully effective, oh yes. This rose-drenched balm from The Organic Pharmacy turns to a glossy milk, leaving skin silky, clear and radiant. I wouldn’t use it every day (I don’t think skin needs daily exfoliation) – but, twice a week, it’s a treat and treatment in one.
SOS Pearl Drops and Calm Butterfly’s Healing Balm, both from £15, Ilapothecary
we believe that how we feel is “ At ‘Psychologies’, more important than how we look
FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
I grew up in the 1990s, when tinted moisturiser was the big thing. I still find the blendability and skin-hydrating properties of a lightweight tint to be more flattering than heavier, high-pigment, foundations. Weleda’s new balms bring radiance, evenness and comfort (and make me feel like a 1990s kid again).
FOLLOW US #360me @eminerushton @psychologiesmagazine lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk
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It’s your duty to be yourself Ali Roff sees through the fog of societal pressure and realises that honouring our authentic selves and seeking meaning will take us where we need to go
PHOTOGRAPH: LAURA RICHARDSON
hile on a train recently, I took notice of the be leading us down a life path that’s not of our own design, adverts in the carriage: a tech firm explaining we often don’t know what we actually want from life instead. that I can now access my work emails I have a degree in psychology, and I’m fascinated by the anywhere; a print company showing a perfect image of a neuroscience behind wellbeing practices such as mindfulness couple Eskimo kissing; and a bank telling me I can finally – how it rewires our brains through neuroplasticity. I’m also follow my dreams with their higher interest savings rate. in awe of the many scientifically proven benefits of spiritual In the past, I wouldn’t have given these adverts a second practices like meditation and yoga on body and mind. But, thought but, nonetheless, their messages would have made in my study of these practices, I’ve also found insight through their way into my psyche, designed to encourage me to buy their philosophies, which disclose so much about how to live the things that would help me create what my life ‘should’ a happier life. And one very important principle found in look like. How did these subtle communications make me these teachings is the Sanskrit word ‘dharma’. feel? Worried. The kind of worry that eats away at you, Originating from the ancient philosophies of the East, in until you wake up in the middle of the night, essence, ‘dharma’ means ‘to uphold the natural panicked and thinking: ‘Is this it?’ Another ad Questions to law of things’. When applied to our individual read, ‘Chin up’ – consoling us that, despite our ask this month dharma, it can be understood as our life’s ‘duty’; stressful commute and boring job, tonight we ● When last did you feel in to maintain and support our unique qualities could forget our dreadful life during an episode love with your life? What and abilities, that help to define our life’s path. of The Walking Dead. You have to laugh. One ancient spiritual script, from the Indian were you doing at the time? Vedic philosophical period, The Bhagavad Gita, ● What are your top three But what do I want? tells us it is better to follow our own dharma ‘authentic skills’? What are you naturally good at? The problem is, even if we realise we’re imperfectly, than someone else’s dharma unhappy and try to escape through TV, perfectly. It explains that when we’re in love ● What is your definition of shopping or one too many glasses of wine; with what we do with our life, we serve the spirituality? What role does it play – if any – in your life? even if we do realise these messages might world and have therefore found our dharma.
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who you truly are, you will never know what you really want... You need to decide who you are for yourself
ROY T BENNETT
I have realised that ‘living my dharma’ means working with and embracing my authentic skill set, not those that society values. I have learned to champion my creativity and occasional scattiness, because the less rigid my life is, the more ideas I have. I moved from a job in finance to a more creative role in journalism. And dharma, like most things, including me, is unfixed – so my dharma evolves with me. Now, I am moving towards teaching mindfulness and yoga because my dharma, at this point in my life, is to share the practices that I love with others.
Connecting the dots
The Bhagavad Gita also tells us that dharma is ‘the practice of spiritual understanding’, and that even a little enlightenment can help us succeed in life. If dharma means both our life’s path and duty, and spiritual understanding, it stands to reason that the two concepts are intertwined. In striving to seek our authentic path, we must try to reach a level of spiritual understanding. In combining Eastern and Western wisdom, I find another arrow directing me to connect with ‘self’, gazing inward, on my journey towards a life of my own design. Download Ali’s free five-day ‘How To Become A Self-Love Warrior’ online course at aliandconnieroff.com, and follow her on Instagram at @aliandconnieroff
the journey Tip of the month
Today, try keeping a list of ‘non-feelings’. Become aware of the absence of sensations or emotions in an alternative gratitude list. For example: I’m not hungry; the pain in my back isn’t there; I don’t feel anxious; I’m not bored. Sometimes, it’s not the ‘having’ of things that can provide happiness, but the deficiency of them! WITTY AND WISE Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice On Love And Life From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed (Atlantic, £8.99) I’ve returned this month, as I often do for words of wisdom, to Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things – a collection of letters she answered during her stint as magazine agony aunt Sugar. One letter simply asks: ‘Dear Sugar, WTF? WTF, WTF, WTF? I’m asking this question as it applies to everything every day.’ She answers: ‘Sweet pea, the f*ck is your life, answer it. Yours, Sugar’. Strayed’s wit throughout is so entertaining, but it’s her ability to pack a punch with her insights into tragically sad or meaningful stories – brilliantly illustrating her desire for us to live life to the full, even in the tough times – that touches my heart and gives me perspective on my own problems, always. My copy is dog-eared and well worn, I thumb through it so frequently.
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Iron contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue • • • • • •
No preeservatives, colourings or flavourings Non co onstipating liquid formula Highlyy absorbable iron gluconate Vitamiin C to increase iron absorption Suitable for vegetarians Suitable during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Available from selected stores:
Tesco, pharmacies and health stores Subject to availability
I say tomato! Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik relishes the delicious sweetness of this vibrant crop
omatoes are bold, bright, juicy and naturally sweet. Even though they are typically used as a vegetable in cooking, tomatoes are actually a fruit, and part of the nightshade family. They come in a colourful array, from traditional red to yellow, green and orange, and also differ in size, from itty-bitty cherry to beefy varieties. They are also versatile in the way they are served, either raw sliced with mozzarella and basil as a caprese salad, diced into a piquant salsa, blended into ketchup or stirred into a classic bolognese. Beyond their sumptuous flavour, tomatoes contain myriad nutritional and health benefits. These include nutrients such as vitamins C and A – in the form of beta-carotene – as well as vitamin K. Vitamins C and A are both key nutrients for our skin, so you could say they give our complexion a rosy boost. Tomatoes also contain minerals, such as potassium and magnesium, that support healthy blood pressure, as well as providing a good source of dietary fibre, which nudges the gut along nicely, too. One of the most famous properties of tomatoes is the carotenoid pigment lycopene, a type of antioxidant that has been linked with heart health and may help to manage healthy cholesterol levels. It has also been associated with improved prostate health so tomato puree spread on sourdough with a
PHOTOGRAPH: ALBERTO BOGO/STOCKSY
Crops In Pots by Bob Purnell (Octopus, £14.99) – a useful guide. Tomatoes are one of the easiest crops to cultivate, and can thrive even on a small city balcony.
poached organic egg on top can therefore be a winning breakfast or brunch for chaps. Another antioxidant that tomatoes boast is lutein, which may have a protective role for our eyes and could potentially help to prevent age-related eye degeneration, so the winning tomato could keep our vision on the sharper side, too. Eating raw tomatoes will give you some of these nutrients but to really tap into their antioxidant properties, such as lycopene, it is best to eat them cooked or in puree form, which makes their benefits even more concentrated. Try to eat organically grown tomatoes since this increases the amount of antioxidants naturally present. evekalinik.com; @evekalinik
Nothing beats a classic tomato and basil combo – I love Daylesford’s Organic Tomato & Basil Sauce. It’s wonderful in a veggie ragu or with grass-fed lamb mince (ocado.com).
Duchy Organic Tomato Puree – versatile and in an easy-squeeze tube, I add this intense, flavour-packed concentrate to countless sauces and dips (ocado.com).
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Award-winning nature writer Jini Reddy communes with animals and nature in a spiritual corner of South Africa
oo excited to sleep on my first morning at Camp Unicorn, I rise early from my rondavel and wander along the dirt track. As I turn a corner, I come upon a family of vervet monkeys, gentle and wide-eyed. Around another, I nearly collide with a small, toffeecoloured antelope with big, silky ears – later, I learn it is a female nyala. I watch until she bounds off in a graceful, soundless leap, over a cluster of bright pink bougainvillea. It’s all so fantastically removed from the English winter I’ve left behind, and yet South Africa is my parents’ homeland – the country they left so many years ago, at a time when apartheid rule blighted everything. Theirs is a land I’ve only occasionally returned to, with mixed feelings, knowing the hardships they faced. And yet, when I have made the journey, the connection I’ve felt is undeniably deep and elemental and takes me by surprise. Lost in thought, it’s a few moments before I spot the enormous grey hide of an animal beyond the camp fence. The shape moves – and fleetingly I’m gazing into the eyes of an eland, a giant antelope with horns that twist and spiral magnificently. What might it be like to communicate with this antelope, or other animals in the wild, I ponder? This is the question which has brought me across continents this time: a nature retreat with a focus
on animal-human communication. The subject feels like a natural extension of my desire to deepen my kinship with nature – a kinship my parents experienced effortlessly, ‘in their bones’. The retreat, hosted by animal communicators Wynter Worsthorne and Safaya Salter, is being held at a special place: the Tsau Conservancy, home to the Global White Lion Protection Trust, in South Africa’s Greater Timbavati region.
Magical place, mystical creatures
According to ancient indigenous wisdom, this land sits on a ley line called the Nilotic Meridian, a sort of energetic heart line, on which many of the sacred sites of Africa – the Sphinx, the Pyramids of Giza, the Nile River, the Rift Valley and Great Zimbabwe – lie. It is also the ancestral heartland of the rare white lion, the only area in the world where they naturally originate. The white lions are revered as sacred by the local Tsonga and Pedi people: in their folklore, they are a gift from the stars – star lions – and their role is to restore balance to the ecosystem. Tragically, until recently, most of them were forcibly removed and held captive in zoos, circuses or worse: bred in captivity on canned hunting farms, and then shot for sport. The Global White Lion Protection Trust’s >>> founder, Linda Tucker, given the mantle of the
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‘Lionkeeper of Timbavati’ by indigenous teachers – due to her mission to uncover the mysteries surrounding the white lions – has made it her life’s work to protect them. She and her lion ecologist partner, Jason Turner, have created a conservation area for free-roaming white lions they have rescued – currently there are 12 – and their project supports the land, local culture and community, all of which are part of the ecosystem. Our retreat is an opportunity to learn the art of connecting with animals in this beautiful and serene eco-camp, with the bonus of heading into the bush to meet the lions – from the safety and respectful distance of our vehicles – and, amazing as it sounds, the chance to practise our fledgling skills on the animals. After breakfast, our group gathers in an open-air lounge. Wynter’s opening words excite me: ‘Interspecies communication is your birthright. It is innate. All you need is an open heart and mind. Unconditional love is the connection.’ To help us connect with our hearts, Safaya talks us through a ‘heart breathing’ meditation. Once we are in a calm ‘heart space’, we’re ready to connect with the lions, with their permission, of course, which we’re told we can feel as an intuitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The easiest way to get an answer, says Wynter, is to visualise a bridge of rose-gold light emanating from your heart to the heart of the animal with which you wish to connect. Try to convey a question using your mind, or simply stay open and receive the message the animal wants to share. ‘Answers may come as images, feelings or even words in your mind’s eye,’ she says. The crucial thing is to trust it.
moment we’ve been waiting for. In the savannah, we glimpse a herd of wildebeest, some impala, a herd of zebra – one of whom becomes a lion feast later in the week – and a jackal. Our ranger, George, points out leadwood trees standing sentinel, with whitebacked vultures perched on top of them. We spot lilac-crested rollers, yellow-billed hornbills, the hoopoe, with its vivid ‘mohawk’ crown, and chanting goshawks. Finally, in a clearing, we see a flash of creamy flank: white lion brothers Zukhara and Matsieng are sprawled out, their patrician faces in profile. Slowly, one of them rises, stretches and turns towards us. I am staring into a pair of blue leonine eyes, as dazzling as lasers, framed by a face of such nobility, that reverence and a deferential lowering of my own eyes is the only response. When you’re in the presence of the sacred, you know it. Slowly, they circle our vehicle, as if welcoming us into their world, and then drop down in front of it. For the next hour we, six humans and two lions, sit in silent communion. Cameras are banned: we’re not here to observe but to connect, and it’s a relief not to be distracted by the ‘click, click’ of an intrusive lens. Led by Safaya, we do heart breathing and, alongside us, the lions seem to be naturally embodying presence and heart-centeredness. The message we receive appears crystal clear: the brothers have invited us to enter into ‘lion time’; to be fully present in the moment, with them. As the week unfolds, conversation flows over our beautiful, healthy meals, and we alternate visualisations and meditations with visits to the lions. One day, we travel to Kruger National Park to connect with wildlife there. On another, we picnic under a giant fig tree, its roots impressively tangled, its girth enormous. On the final day, Wynter and Safaya invite us to hold a vision of harmony, for the sake of the lions, the land and the people, and for the earth and all her creatures. That night, the moon rises high in the sky and I leave my rondavel and lie on a hammock. I rock back and forth in the cool night air. In the distance, I hear a lion roar, a thunderous rumble that thrills me. The week has been one of intense learning, but I know I will not be able to pass an animal again without sending it love – and that is a precious gift.
In the presence of greatness
On our first afternoon, we have a fun attempt at posing questions to Madash, Linda’s beloved dog. I’m astonished when images come fast and freely to my mind. Maybe it’s beginner’s luck, but I’m encouraged. But, what about the times when a connection doesn’t come easily? ‘Remember to have no agenda, and no expectations,’ says Safaya. I take her words on board when we head off in open-topped jeeps to meet the white lions. It’s the
WHITE LION JOURNEYS
Plan your African adventure to talk to the animals
l For more information on the
to the Heart’ retreat at the Global
can travel the scenic route by shuttle,
Global White Lion Protection Trust, and
White Lion Protection Trust. For more
a six-hour journey, to Hoedspruit Airport
forthcoming retreats, visit whitelions.org.
information, visit whitelions.org/event/
with ashtonstours.com. Alternatively,
l To find out more about retreats
you can fly from Johannesburg with
hosted by Wynter Worsthorne,
lion-heros-heart or email
South African Airlines (flysaa.com)
or CemAir (flycemair.co.za).
l From June 9-18, Beth Duncan and
l Virgin Atlantic (virginatlantic.com)
Julie Lines will be hosting a ‘Connecting
flies to Johannesburg and from there you
Further reading: ‘Mystery Of The White Lions’ (Hay House, £15.99) and ‘Saving The White Lions’ (North Atlantic Books, £18.99) by Linda Tucker
PHOTOGRAPHS: PREVIOUS PAGE, JASON TURNER; OPPOSITE, DANIELA SCHOMMARZ; JINI READY; JASON TURNER; GETTY IMAGES
“I am staring into a pair of blue leonine eyes, as dazzling as lasers, framed by a face of such nobility”
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Majestic white lion brothers Zukhara and Matsieng, who were open to heartfelt communication with their human visitors; bougainvillea flowers surround the camp; writer Jini, back in her parents’ homeland with a special mission; a sturdy Global White Lion Protection Trust vehicle; the sacred creature of South Africa’s Greater Timbavati region; thatch-roofed rondavels are home for quiet nights in the veld; the sweet open faces of vervet monkeys; Jini’s comfortable accommodation at Camp Unicorn
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The Writers’ Way Ellen Tout meanders through Hampshire’s literary past, where a gentle walk follows the footsteps of novelist Jane Austen and naturalist Gilbert White
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etracing a writer’s footsteps sounds so romantic, but throw in a cosy shepherd’s hut with log burner in a beautiful rural setting and wonderful views of open countryside and starlit skies, and you truly feel like you’re time travelling. Our journey starts in Chawton village, on the edge of the South Downs. Here, in 1811, Jane Austen wrote in a letter to her sister, Cassandra: ‘The plan is that we should all walk to drink tea at Faringdon.’ And so we do. The five-mile route begins at Austen’s 17th-century home.
From the pages of history
I notice things I might ordinarily have overlooked – a plaque on the old school, cobbled walls and, across a meadow, St Nicholas Church. Tucked behind it, sit the graves of Austen’s mother and sister. We pass the home of her brother Edward, Chawton Estate, which Austen wrote their family occupied as ‘a snug half-dozen’ when visiting. In this valley lie springs that feed the River Wey, which the writer so admired. Across farmland, I see the village of Selborne, home to 18th-century naturalist Gilbert White, who has a walk dedicated to his lifelong investigation of the natural world. We follow a trail along the disused Meon Valley railway line back into Chawton and pass a large pond, about which, during ‘sad weather’, Austen wrote: ‘Our pond is brimful and our roads are dirty and our walls are damp, and we sit wishing every bad day may be the last.’ Pausing outside her house, I imagine her gazing out of the window, waiting mournfully for the rain to stop.
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES
And so to sleep I stayed at the award-winning Two Hoots Glamping, in one of two shepherd’s huts. The adults-only, ecofriendly site provides secluded, luxury camping. The log burner and king-size bed are a treat after a long day of walking. Huts from £95 per night and pods from £55. For more about The Writers’ Way and other walks, visit easthants. gov.uk/visit-east-hampshire. Read the full article at bit.ly/2D7N42J. twohootscampsite.co.uk; Jane Austen Regency Week, a nine-day festival of events, is from 16-24 June; janeaustenregencyweek.co.uk
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HowTheLightGetsIn the philosophy and music festival at Hay
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The Retreat p108 The Words Leave stress at the door and get lost in a book / p112 Living Little changes for a happy home that’s unique to you / p119 The Balance Plan Ayurvedic rituals for every day / p120 Feasting High time for tea
PHOTOGRAPH: CHRIS WARNES, FROM ‘THIS IS HOME’ BY NATALIE WALTON (HARDIE GRANT, £30)
PEDRO CALDERON DE LA BARCA
is the prime colour of the world, “andGreen that from which its loveliness arises
M AY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 107
Book of the month
Why I write…
Prize-winning poet Caleb Parkin, who is also a performer, artist and educator, is writerin-residence at education charity First Story
hen my GCSE English teacher referred to me as ‘another poet’ at a prize-giving in Year 10, it felt like being invited into some mysterious order; a secret society of poets. At that point, students could choose a piece of coursework – mine became a collection of poetry called Speck (perhaps because that’s how I felt then, and sometimes now). Writing that clutch of poems gave me an invitation to contain, and create order from, things I’d been noticing, feeling and thinking. As a sensitive, confused adolescent, poetry offered a space to communicate the ways I experienced the world, and myself. Poetry is a means of engaging with and unjumbling those emotions, perceptions and ideas within us. It’s also a sensory, physical way out – into the expansiveness, complexity, minutiae, beauty and injustices of the world.
In the past few years, I decided to put on my Proper Poet Hat and get on with it – to figure out what that long-ago offered role means to me. I enrolled for an MSc in creative writing for therapeutic purposes – invaluable for uncovering my processes, creative and emotional. It’s made me focus on creating spaces where groups get the most from writing, together. Poetry is a practice, a gift, as well as an art form or ‘industry’. The ‘ecology’ of poetry and poets is a generative network of creative and personal reciprocity and generosity – and it’s for everyone. Running groups with young people is a big part of my portfolio – but it’s more: it’s how I ‘pass it on’. Adolescence can be an immensely significant time of becoming – if we give young people space, they can discover the voice and creative energy that will buoy them through life’s challenges. Let’s, shall we?
First story The charity changes lives through writing, believing there is dignity in every young person’s tale. We bring writers to schools in low-income communities, to foster students’ creativity and communication skills. The majority of participants grow in self-belief and become more engaged with the world. For more information, and details of how to support First Story, visit firststory.org.uk or email info@firststory. org.uk. To find out more about Caleb Parkin, visit couldbethemoon.co.uk/where/publication
THE WORD FOR WOMAN IS WILDERNESS By Abi Andrews (Serpent’s Tail, £12.99)
Erin, 19, is on a mission to defy trends in exploration. Determined to ‘prove that solitude is as much mine as any mountain man’s’, she heads off from England for icy Alaska, travelling in cramped cargo ships and hitch-hiking across endless America. Erin is a captivating heroine: funny, feminist and intensely curious, she riffs on Bear Grylls, the beauty of the natural world and the pill as she makes her way to a cabin in desolate Denali, in this brilliantly odd debut.
It’s funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they’ll do practically anything you want them to JD SALINGER, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE
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words Are you too busy feeling stressed to find the time to immerse yourself in a book? Try practising the art of shouganai, this month’s excellent ‘lost in translation’ word
LOST IN TRANSLATION
Shouganai You Think It, I’ll Say It
EDITED BY ALI ROFF. MAIN REVIEWS: EITHNE FARRY. PHOTOGRAPHS: KELLY KNOX/STOCKSY; GETTY IMAGES. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
By Curtis Sittenfeld (Doubleday, £16.99) The 10 stories in Sittenfeld’s first collection are a treat – as funny, frank and fearlessly insightful as her novels, American Wife and Eligible. Here, her entirely relatable characters – disillusioned lovers, vaguely unhappy parents, dissatisfied employees – misread any given situation, misjudge other people, and are in the grip of laughable, delicious self-delusion. There’s an ex-lover jealously, zealously following an old flame on social media, a wife developing an inappropriate crush, and a gleeful exploration of the working relationship between a journalist and a presidential candidate – read Hillary Clinton for that role.
It’s not quite flip-flop weather, so keep your toes cosy in these Ruby+Ed viridian bee ballerina slippers, £40, Amara
Language: Japanese This word is aligned with the idea of fate: when there is something that can’t be helped; nothing can be done, and there’s no use worrying about it, because that won’t solve anything, and simply ruins the moment you’re in. The Language Of Kindness, A Nurse’s Story By Christie Watson (Chatto & Windus, £14.99) This tender, truthful memoir will break your heart into little pieces. Christie Watson, author of Tiny Birds Far Away, was a nurse for 20 years, and faced workdays that were rewarding, but also exhausting, emotionally and physically, as she tended to dying patients and watched over tiny premature babies. At some point, we are all going to need care, and we can only hope we’ll get someone like Christie, who understands the need for ‘sympathy, compassion and empathy’ in our most vulnerable moments.
M AY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 109
the retreat Paper therapy
Ritualise your writing or journalling practice in a tidy space, with the necessary kit to hand, prices vary, Amara
Creating rituals around our journalling can make it even more meaningful. One popular ritual is to copy out favourite poems or passages from novels into a journal or notebook. This is a smart way of unplugging, and helps to build focus and concentration. Many writers speak highly of it as a deeply satisfying practice.
Little Big Man by Katy Regan (Pan Macmillan, £14.99)
Katy Regan writes for us on page 46
WORD OF THE MONTH
Chasmophile(n) A person who loves nooks and crannies; like a bibliophile loves books!
She flicks her words like lit matches. They drop delicately, burning
Jackee Holder is an author, coach and facilitator. jackeeholder.com; @jackeeholder
Ten-year-old Zac is both tough and vulnerable, and decides to turn detective to find his father, who allegedly ‘did a runner’ before he was born. Zac wants to give him a second chance to be a better dad, but also to afford his mother the ‘happily ever after’ she deserves. It’s a story about being accepted, grief, the lies we tell and the terrible damage that they can do. Poignant, funny and heartbreaking, with a story that stays with you long after you’ve put it down. Warning: this book will make you sob.
KATE TEMPEST, THE BRICKS THAT BUILT THE HOUSES
A SPECIAL DELIVERY
Reading In Heels is a monthly subscription box, which includes contemporary literary fiction, plus lovely treat items such as face masks, scented candles, tea, chocolate and make-up – to add even more joy to your reading. Each box contains a review card, which you can fill out and post on social media, thereby joining the discussion in the Reading In Heels digital book club. Find out more at readinginheels.com.
Treat package, £9.95,* Reading In Heels
The Illumination Of Ursula Flight By Anna-Marie Crowhurst (Allen & Unwin, £12.99) Sparky Ursula Flight was born under a bad-luck comet, but is determined to shape her destiny, and not be confined by the rigid expectations of a well-to-do family in the reign of Charles II. She wants a creative life and takes to the stage – an ambition that is frowned upon. Ursula encounters ‘scoundrels, bounders... and heartbreak’ – troubles not confined to the annals of history – and deals with them with spirited aplomb, in this riotous coming-of-age debut.
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NENXTT H MO
Reinvent your life Be the author of your own destiny and create a thrilling story
We’re halfway through 2018! How
PHOTOGRAPH: STUDIO FIRMA/STOCKSY
are your resolutions going? Is it time for you to recommit?
Get lost in a daydream. ●
Why fantasy can transform the way you live your life
How to be all ears. Learn ●
to listen instead of just hearing what you want to hear
Don’t miss our JUNE issue – on sale 15 May
Although it can be stark, plain white is the perfect backdrop for splashes of colour from flowers and greenery, and soft teal and earthy hues of green in the crockery. Natural touches of wood and a hard-wearing jute rug warm up the space
The living is easy
If youâ€™re ready to make a change, what better place to start than in your home? Take it one room at a time and look at your space with objective eyes, to see what you can tweak to complement your life >>>
EDITED BY DANIELLE WOODWARD PHOTOGRAPHS CHRIS WARNES
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xamining homes from different countries, Natalie Walton wanted to pinpoint the quality that makes a home feel welcoming in her book, This Is Home: The Art Of Simple Living – ‘a love story about the home’ that ‘celebrates what we have and reminds us to nurture the space that helps make our lives possible’. The main sections are ‘create’, ‘live’ and ‘nourish’ and chapters include ‘expression’, ‘sense’, ‘belonging’, ‘balance’ and ‘kindness’ – some of Psychologies’ favourite words! We peek into the Amsterdam home of designer Irene Martens, who says home means ‘somewhere relaxed, with lots of plants, a chat and laugh with the people around me; joy and creativity’. If you want to live your best life, a good way to start is to make small changes in your home. As Walton says, ‘When we create a place that meets our needs, and expresses our character, we can enrich our lives.’ ‘This Is Home: The Art Of Simple Living’ by Natalie Walton (Hardie Grant, £30)
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PAGE 131 IRENE MERTEN HOUSE
LEFT AND THIS PAGE Bringing the outdoors in is important to Irene, who loves to be surrounded by plants and natural materials, such as clay and wool, which create a welcoming vibe, together with the spaciousness which, she says, makes her feel ‘relaxed and calm’
A roll-top bath gives the bathroom a luxurious feel and the cladding, painted in soft duck-egg blue, creates a seaside style. Wooden trinkets and souvenirs hang on the wall, adding character to the space
Tilly cotton rug, £229, The French Bedroom Company
Terracotta pots in wire basket, £16.45 for three, The Farthing
The Bath Co Dulwich roll-top bath, £279, VictoriaPlum.com Flo Fabergé art print, from £40, Oh What’s This
Artificial monstera plant, £225, Sweetpea & Willow
Cushion with leather handle, £74, Artisanti
Knitted cushion, £44, Sophie Allport
FAR RIGHT Blue bud vase, £13.95, Annabel James RIGHT Seventies glass vase, £27, Printer + Tailor
Be happy at home ‘Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes,’ said Carl Jung and, when you are creating a home, you need to look within – homes should enhance our everyday lives in the way that they function and feel. Happiness at home comes in many hues. Ask yourself what matters to you about home? Do you value privacy? Is entertaining important? Which areas get congested? Which are hardly used? And be realistic about your traits: are you neat or messy? Do cups and plates congregate around the sink? Where do you put your shoes when you get in? Use this knowledge to make decisions that will make your home more liveable.
Coy ceramic plant pot, £11.99, Red Candy
Mango wood cutting board, £11.99, Ian Snow
Artificial trailing fern, £16.50, Audenza
Grow XL mini greenhouse, £59.95, Abode Living
Mikasa Aventura cereal bowl, £10, Creative Tops
Reader offer Applaro three-seater sofa, £343, IKEA
Psychologies readers can purchase a copy of This Is Home for the special price of £25, including postage and packaging (RRP £30). To order, call 01256 302699, quoting reference PG8.
FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Sleepover cushion, £135, Loaf
M AY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 117
Start Your Career in Clinical Hypnotherapy
• Certificate in Hypnosis • Practitioner Diploma in Hypnotherapy • Stress Management Practitioner Course
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Food for thought New series
Paul Rushton brings Ayurvedic principles to the act of nourishing body and mind
mong the things that drew my family to Ayurveda was its insistence on an awareness and understanding of ourselves; the healing that comes from being in sync with our own rhythms. Where other systems can be homogenising, offering ingredients, regimes or medicines as ideals for all, or reduce us to our moving parts, Ayurveda considers each element of our bodily, mental and spiritual health under the wisdom that these do not exist separately, but dance endlessly together. When our lives are frantic, the space to be forgiving and attentive towards ourselves tightens. We move with greater freneticism, or attempt to blend the whole of our wellness into a quick cup to chug on the way. When depleted, we remedy symptoms rather than root imbalances, with pills that stymie the healing responses of our bodies so that we can keep going. We often miss the signals, the need for subtlety; stillness; to stop; spiritual replenishment – a slight shift away from the material, towards that which Ayurveda calls sattva – higher, truer, more conscious stuff of the soul.
“Small choices such as creating space for a nourishing, mindful lunch when our digestive fire is best stoked, bring pause to the day” TOP AND ABOVE Sit down to eat your meal and consider the journey that each ingredient has taken to reach your plate
PHOTOGRAPHS: EMINÉ RUSHTON; IMAGE SOURCE. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 125
Dining for wellbeing
Where to start? The answer, always, is right where you are. Ours was to reclaim small rituals and invite awareness into simple acts. Our main meal at lunch is the perfect time to practise this simple meditation aimed at developing our relationship with our food, and understanding that how we eat is as important as what we eat. We invite you to try it and consider its effect on your wellbeing and productivity. ● Sit to eat, be silent, breathe easily, and with awareness. ● Offer thanks to nature for the sustenance it has provided. ● Eat slowly. As you taste, consider the elements of the meal; the origin of each; the processes it has undergone. ● When you have finished eating, have a minute of stillness to witness your feelings and thoughts. balanceplan.co.uk
ABOVE AND ABOVE RIGHT Bracket the day with moments of gratitude and reflection, and give thanks to nature for her sustenance and beauty. Planner, £25, Ponderlily; eye mask, £55, Holistic Silk
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Everything stops for tea In his new book, chef Mat Follas has created some delectable teatime treats, which promise to tantalise your sweet tooth and allow you a mindful break
RECIPES MAT FOLLAS PHOTOGRAPHS STEVE PAINTER EDITED BY DANIELLE WOODWARD
inner of MasterChef in 2009, Mat Follas opened the Bramble
Cafe & Deli in 2016, near his home in
STRAWBERRIES & CREAM SWISS ROLL There are only three ingredients in a classic Swiss roll: flour, sugar and eggs. It can be a dry cake, so compensate with fresh fruit and indulge in a little extra cream.
Dorset, where he lives with his family. Despite growing up in New Zealand,
MAKES 1 ROLL
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Mat admits that the food he is drawn
FOR THE FILLING
6 tbsp icing sugar
to is ‘traditional English fare’, and
FOR THE CAKE
there is nothing more traditional
juice of ½ lemon
Icing sugar and fresh strawberries, to decorate
YOU WILL NEED
200g eggs, lightly whisked
45 x 30cm non-stick
with 150g caster sugar
Swiss roll pan, lightly
is a treasured childhood memory.
2½ tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
oiled and lined with
‘I remember having afternoon tea with
150ml whipping cream
150g plain flour
than afternoon tea which, for Mat,
my grandmother in a cafe in Auckland; it felt like entering another world, one where the pace was slower, the tea was served in teapots, and the cakes looked like little works of art,’ he says.
A perfect pause With the recipes in his book, Mat shows how you can create this ‘other world’ in your own home and enjoy the joy and escape it brings from the busyness of everyday life. You will find well-known classics, which Mat has evolved into ‘easy, foolproof, well-tested recipes’ – chapters include Cakes & Scones, Biscuits & Cookies, Slices & Tarts, Dainties and Patisserie, as well as Savouries & Sandwiches, together with advice on making the perfect cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Take a look at these mouthwatering creations for inspiration and get baking!
1 Preheat the oven to 140°C, 280°F, gas
mark 1. For the filling, hull and chop the strawberries. Put in a bowl and fold in the lemon juice and caster sugar. Leave for 30 minutes. Whip the cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar to a light, just setting, whipped cream. Chill in the fridge. 2 For the cake, take the prepared Swiss roll pan, oil the top of the paper and lightly flour the paper and the sides. Put the eggs and caster sugar in a bowl and mix for at least 10 minutes with a hand-held electric whisk or in a stand mixer, until it has tripled in volume. Add the vanilla extract and whisk. Gently fold in the flour, one third at a time, until just combined. 3 Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it to an even depth. Immediately place into the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Check the cake is cooked by touch; it should
bounce back when lightly pressed. If it is soft or it ‘crackles’ when touched, put it back in the oven for 2 minutes more. 4 Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 2 minutes. Cover a wire rack with some oiled and floured baking parchment and turn the cake out onto the rack. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then peel off the baking parchment. Gently cut halfway through the cake, across the width on the short side, about 1cm from the edge to help it roll up. 5 Starting from the side where you have made the cut, carefully roll up the cake and gently squeeze it to form the roll, before unrolling again in order to assemble the final cake. 6 Finish the filling by folding together the whipped cream and strawberries. Plaster the mixture generously onto the cake, then roll up to make a Swiss roll. Trim the ends and dust with icing sugar. >>>
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WHITE CHOCOLATE & STRAWBERRY TIFFIN Delicious with coffee, these tiffins are fun to make with children. Be inventive with swirly toppings and fillings. MAKES 18 l
120g caster sugar
6 tbsp golden syrup
200g milk chocolate
100g mixed dried fruit and nuts (such as almonds, sultanas and cherries)
100g fresh strawberries, chopped
450g digestive biscuits, crushed
450g white chocolate
YOU WILL NEED l
30 x 20cm non-stick brownie pan, lightly oiled and lined with baking parchment
1 Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup
in a saucepan and warm on a low heat until melted, stirring to mix together. 2 In a mixing bowl, grate 100g of the milk chocolate, then add the dried fruit and nuts, strawberries and crushed digestive biscuits. Pour in the melted butter, sugar and syrup mixture and fold together until thoroughly mixed, then spoon into the lined brownie pan. Smooth the tiffin base to make it level, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes. 3 Melt the white chocolate by breaking it up and heating three quarters of it in a microwave on high, using a microwaveable bowl. Use the microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring the chocolate in-between, until it is all melted. Now, add the remaining
quarter and mix together to form a smooth, just-melted chocolate. 4 Remove the tiffin base from the fridge and pour the white chocolate over the top. Tilt the pan until the topping covers the tiffin base and is smooth and even. Now, melt the remaining milk chocolate in the same way (melting three quarters of it, then adding the final quarter at the end). 5 Pour the milk chocolate over the white chocolate in thin lines. Use a toothpick to drag the milk chocolate over the surface to form a pattern. Return to the fridge for at least an hour, before removing and portioning with a hot knife.
Reader offer Afternoon Tea At Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas is available to Psychologies readers for the special price of ÂŁ11.99, including postage & packaging (RRP ÂŁ16.99). To order, call 01256 302699 and quote reference NR4.
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LAVENDER MOUSSE, BLACKBERRY & CINDER TOFFEE VERRINE This is a mini version of the pudding I cooked in the ‘MasterChef’ final. The flavours work together beautifully; the sharp blackberries in the base, the summery aroma of the mousse and the caramel crunch of the toffee, which fizzes when you eat it with the berries. MAKES 4 FOR THE BLACKBERRY COMPOTE ●
3¼ tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp white wine vinegar
FOR THE LAVENDER MOUSSE ●
450ml double cream
50g icing sugar
FOR THE CINDER TOFFEE ●
5 dessertspoons caster sugar
2 dessertspoons golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
YOU WILL NEED ●
4 verrine glasses, approximately 200ml each, to serve
1 For the blackberry compote, heat
the blackberries, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan until the blackberries just start to soften and break up. Mash them a little with a fork, then spoon into four verrine glasses. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. 2 For the lavender mousse, in a mixing bowl, whisk the cream, icing sugar and
a few drops of lavender extract. Taste it; you should be able to just taste the lavender, but not overpoweringly so. Add a few drops more, as needed. Finish whisking until the cream forms soft peaks. Pipe or spoon into the verrine glasses on top of the compote. Tap the glasses on a flat surface to level the top of the cream, then chill in the fridge. 3 For the cinder toffee, cover a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and put it somewhere flat and stable to minimise the risk of spillage, as the toffee will be very hot when poured onto the sheet. In a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan, just cover the base with a little water, before adding the sugar and golden syrup. Have the bicarbonate of soda
to hand and a whisk or silicone spatula. Melt on a medium heat until the mixture is turning a lovely caramel colour and smells of toffee. Add the bicarbonate of soda and whisk carefully, but quickly, to combine – the mixture will foam up to about five times its previous volume. Pour onto the greaseproof paper and leave to harden and cool. 4 To serve, break up the cinder toffee – I place it in a resealable sandwich bag and whack it on a flat surface – then sprinkle the shards over the tops of the verrines. Serve cool, but not cold.
Open up a box of delicious, colourful treats. Macarons, from £17, Pierre Hermé Presentation is key. The Chelsea Collection cake stand, £50, Sara Miller London
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Make it a centrepiece. Daan marble cake stand, £45, MADE
Get set… bake!
A lap tray to catch crumbs. Sara Miller London large tray, £20, Debenhams
Garden party? Watersmeet Wildflower Trail cake forks, £12 for four, National Trust
Keep cakes fresh. Daisy Park tins, £35 for three, Emma Bridgewater
A durable option on the hob. Fleur cast-iron chef’s pan, £179, Le Creuset
It doesn’t have to be a ‘bake off ’ when you’re planning a spread for friends and loved ones, but this is the time to make a luxurious occasion of it in the finest traditions of ‘high tea’. Dust off your best china, cover the table with a pretty linen tablecloth and napkins and a vase of fresh flowers to set the scene, and carve out time from your to-do list to focus on this special ritual. Invest in good-quality tea – check out the ranges of premium teas from We Are Tea and, if you want to be adventurous, try the funky flavour twists from Bluebird Tea Co – Rice Pudding or Jam white tea, perhaps? Then, have your cake and eat it!
Ingredients for a mouthwatering teatime
1 Organic Lavender & Echinacea tea, £2.49, Heath & Heather 2 Satsuma and gin marmalade, £3.75, Rosebud Preserves 3 Vanilla cake mix, £1.95, Green’s Cakes 4 GRADZ Bakery oats and flax sourdough, from £3.85, Ocado 5 Drink Me Chai turmeric latte powder (for drinking and baking), £3.49, Waitrose
Irish-born, US-based chef Gemma Stafford is behind biggerbolderbaking.com, where she blogs about her inventive recipes. Gemma says the ethos behind ‘bold baking’ is ‘taking risks in the kitchen; no fancy equipment needed, just a daring approach to making something impressive’. And there’s plenty to get inspired about – look at the amazing ‘meals in a mug’ channel, where you’ll find everything from omelettes, soups, lasagne, doughnuts, chocolate pud, cookies and cake – all, you guessed it, made in a mug!
PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE OPPOSITE
s. um 37.99 ttle 39, Tesco; dessert, s
124 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E M AY 2 0 1 8
Find out where to buy the products featured in this month’s issue
Abode Living abodeliving.co.uk Amara amara.com Ancient + Brave planetorganic.com Annabel James annabeljames.co.uk Art Wow artwow.co Artisanti artisanti.com Audenza audenza.com
Green’s Cakes greenscakes.co.uk
B Bluebird Tea bluebirdteaco.com
C Caudalie caudalie.com Creative Tops creative-tops.com
Heath & Heather heathandheather.co.uk Holistic Silk holisticsilk.com
I Ian Snow iansnow.com IKEA ikea.com Ilapothecary ilapothecary.com
L Le Creuset lecreuset.co.uk Loaf loaf.com
Debenhams debenhams.com Deichmann deichmann.com Dhikari dhikari.co.uk
Eclectic Institute iherb.com Emma Bridgewater emmabridgewater.co.uk
National Trust shop.nationaltrust.org.uk Neom neomorganics.com Notonthehighstreet notonthehighstreet.com
Finnebrogue Naked Meats sainsburys.com Free People Movement thesportsedit.com
Ocado ocado.com Oh What’s This ohwhatsthis.com
P Pierre Hermé pierreherme.co.uk Ponderlily ponderlily.com Printer + Tailor printerandtailor.com
The Organic Pharmacy naturisimo.com
Red Candy redcandy.co.uk Root & Flower rootandflower.co.uk Rosebud Preserves rosebudpreserves.co.uk
V&A vam.ac.uk/shop VictoriaPlum.com victoriaplum.com
Waitrose waitrose.com We Are Tea wearetea. com Weleda weleda.co.uk Wild & Wolf wildandwolf.co.uk Wunder Workshop wunderworkshop.com
Sara Miller London sara.miller.london Soaper Duper tesco.com Sophie Allport sophieallport.com Sweetpea & Willow sweetpeaandwillow.com
T The Farthing thefarthing.co.uk The French Bedroom Company frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk
M AY 2 0 1 8 P S Y C H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E
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WRITING THE BODY - YOGA AND WRITING DAY RETREAT Using gentle yoga postures and creative writing techniques, this unique combination will help you connect with your body to inspire and rejuvenate your mind. Ideal if you would love to get away from it all but have limited time. It’s ﬁne if you’ve never tried yoga or creative writing, this nurturing, rural one-day retreat is suitable for beginners willing to try new things. With space for you to rest, walk, think and dream, Tilton House is a magical venue immersed in nature and history, tucked away in the South Downs National Park, close to Charleston Farmhouse. ● yoga with Sarah Gott, creative writing with Mel Parks ● vegetarian lunch and refreshments included ● treatments may be possible on request Monday 8 October 2018, at Tilton House, Sussex Cost: £85. For more details and to book a place, email: email@example.com or visit: yogawritingdayretreat. eventbrite.co.uk
TO ADVERTISE CALL NIKKI.PETERSON@TIGERBEEMEDIA.CO.UK 0203 5100849
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This course was created for those who wish to teach others to be stress free. But, anyone who would like to attend for their own personal wellbeing, is very welcome.
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London, June 30th & July 1st 2018 Can we describe a ‘healthy mind’? In everyday life, we feel and think, remember and perceive, based on the ﬂow of energy and information. When we view the mind as a regulatory process, we are able to see how we can strengthen the mind and create mental health by stabilising the way we sense energy and information ﬂow, and the way we then shape that ﬂow toward a process called “integration”—the linkage of different parts of a system. We can learn to create mental health by learning to monitor our emotions with more stability and modify our thinking toward integration with our actions. Dr. Siegel outlines strategies to monitor and modify energy and information ﬂow with more clarity and power, and also describes how this concept of integration can serve as an organising principle that illuminates mindsight, harmony, resilience, and vitality. Discounts available for students and trainees. Register online at www.uk.international-isc.com or send an email to email@example.com for more information
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Happiness Book Club
Writing to heal
This month, Vanessa King of Action for Happiness and author of 10 Keys To Happier Living, recommends Opening Up By Writing It Down by James Pennebaker and Joshua Smyth
ILLUSTRATION: LESLEY BUCKINGHAM
here’s a saying that a problem shared is a problem halved, but what if it’s not something we feel able to talk about? Psychologists James Pennebaker, Joshua Smyth and colleagues have spent the last 30 years looking at the benefits of disclosure through writing. Their early studies asked people to write about a traumatic experience which they hadn’t shared with anyone. The results showed that while people felt less happy immediately after writing, longer term, they were happier and had fewer health problems, too. Keeping difficult experiences secret, feeling ashamed or constantly churning over unresolved issues takes psychological work, and over time that can take a toll on us. The process of expressive writing can help us gain insight, meaning and resolution, and so it reduces the stress on our bodies and minds. This isn’t about beautifully crafted essays or purely venting, but what the authors term ‘expressive writing’; writing about our deepest thoughts and feelings on an issue with focus, and without regard for grammar or spelling – just creating space to write freely, without stopping, for 15 minutes on four consecutive days. Importantly, we aren’t writing with an audience in mind; it’s for us alone and we may not even reread what we’ve written. The authors do point out that while expressive writing has worked for many people, there is no guarantee it will do so for everyone. They suggest approaching it like an experiment. Given that writing is both free and private, it could be a valuable tool to add to your wellbeing toolkit.
Opening Up By Writing It Down by James Pennebaker and Joshua Smyth (Guilford Publications, £12.99)
Questions to discuss at your book club ● Have you ever used writing
or another creative approach to help you process a past difficulty or work through a problem? What did you try and how did it help? ● How could you create space to reflect or write about things that are on your mind? ● What other creative ways of exploring issues or goals could you try?
Next month, we’re reading ‘Nonviolent Communication: A Language Of Life’ by Marshall Rosenberg (Puddle Dancer Press, £16.99)
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“How you look and feel comes from within, having that inner light. Whatever you do, give it your all, and be amazing.”
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