Page 1

UK EDITION

PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK

The UK’s biggest & bestselling mindful living magazine

J U LY 2 0 1 8

£4.30

RECLAIM YOUR LIFE Get rid of the toxic narcissists

Enjoy the magic Summer starts here

LET IT GO!

LIFE SCHOOL

How to take good risks ● Deal with email overload ● Stop being flaky and get some grit

The mindful joy of less

18-PAGE

DOSSIER

PROFILE

Shailene Woodley On greed, justice and being arrested

purpose Find your true

Discover what you really want to do with your life Why real meaning is key for mental wellbeing


®

Tess Daly

Photography: David Venni / Chilli Media

Original

50+

From , Superdrug, Holland & Barrett, supermarkets, pharmacies, health h stores and wellwoman.com

* UK’s No1 women’s supplement brand. Nielsen GB ScanTrack Total Coverage Unit Sales 52 w/e 2 December 2017.

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Contents J ULY 201 8

* COVER STORY

REGULARS

Page 26

Page 40 Page 31

Page 96

Page 56 Page 22

Page 130 Page 60

7

EDITOR’S LET TER

8

LET TERS

9 I’D LIKE TO THANK … 11

THE FIX

19 HARRIET MINTER 52 Cover: Matt Holyoak / Camera Press

E VENTS

102

THE WORDS

127

STOCKISTS

1 30

*

HAPPINESS BOOK CLUB

22 * PROFILE

Shailene Woodley Be part of our club!

PHOTOGRAPH: BONNINSTUDIO/STOCKSY

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.

E FFTRWE ORTH

£44!

GI

“The chance to make a change lies in the hands of every single person – we all have the power”

60 * THE DOSSIER

Find your purpose

FEATURES 16

PALE IN COMPARISON

Martha Roberts sees the purity of clean white in The Colour File 21

LISTEN WITH COMPASSION

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh on the art of real understanding 26

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YOUR SUMMER STARTS HERE

*

RISK FACTORS

Spiritual light dawns for Jini Reddy as she celebrates the solstice 31

62

Ali Roff unearths a new treasure map that leads to that elusive bounty – meaning 68

38

MY LIFE, MY WAY

Her vintage store is a labour of love for creative Michelle Regan

73

SHARED VALUES

74

The tries and tribulations of England rugby player Danielle Waterman

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO IN LIFE?

Emilie Wapnick says you don’t have to pick just one thing in your quest for fulfilment

70 Business guru Sháá Wasmund takes a chance on positive gambles 32

ARE YOU CHASING THE WRONG THING?

‘OUR VALUES LED TO PURPOSE’ Three

enlightened readers reveal how they found their way to a more meaningful existence IDENTIFY YOUR TRUE CALLING Coaching

questions from our online programme

WHY A MEANINGFUL LIFE ELUDES YOU

Take our insightful test to help you connect with your ‘why’ and discover your purpose

J U LY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 3


Contents J ULY 201 8

FEATURES 40

*

THE NARCISSIST DETOX

Recognise your role in your toxic relationship and find your own voice, writes Suzy Bashford 44

‘I’M OVERWHELMED BY FAMILY DEMANDS’

Agony aunt Mary Fenwick assists readers in turmoil 46

WOULD YOU MOVE TO BE NE AR FRIENDS?

Kate Townshend shares her experience of following her mates and the joy of living in their community 50

‘MY SOCIAL-MEDIA ADDICTION IS DAMAGING’

Our award-winning coach, Kim Morgan, guides a woman paying a heavy price for her phone habits 55

ORGASMIC LIFE: A NEW PARADIGM

Karla Newbey’s sexual awakening continues 56

*

INBOX WOES

Oliver Burkeman’s Last Word on email overload

THE RETREAT 10 6 LE ARNING THE TANGO IN BUENOS AIRES

Taking love to another level, writer Lucille Howe awakens fresh passions with her willing partner 1 10

4 8 HOURS: CULINARY TUSCANY

Leanne Bracey puts in the miles for her meal 113

116

82

THE PL AN

Expert advice in four holistic sections – Mind, Body, Spirit and Gut – for happiness, and pleasure

COASTAL COLOUR, SEASIDE CALM

Designer Phoebe Howard’s ocean-inspired rooms 122

#360ME

WIN A RETRE AT WORTH £ 2 ,00 0

Caroline Sylger Jones introduces the best retreats to help you plan your future

89

THE OPEN MIND

Our Wellbeing Director-at-Large, Eminé Rushton, shares her wisdom on balance in work and play

BEGIN YOUR GREEK FOOD ADVENTURE

Set your table for a Mediterranean island escape 90

HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A BRE AK

Dispel stress with expert Danielle Marchant

TITLE................ FIRST NAME...................................................................................

93

Ayurvedic living with Paul Rushton, who answers the question: is raw food really good for you? 95

96

4 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E J U LY 2 0 1 8

*

THE JOURNEY

A soul-searching Ali Roff realises that striving for society’s version of success brings a hollow victory

ADDRESS....................................................................................................................

POSTCODE..........................................PHONE NUMBER ........................................

WHOLISTIC WOMAN

Bestselling wellbeing author Henrietta Norton’s all-round approach to coping with endometriosis

SURNAME...................................................................................................................

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THE BALANCE PLAN

99

REAL NUTRITION

Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik warms the cockles of a healthy heart with beneficial chilli peppers

PHOTOGRAPH: GALLERY STOCK

IF YOU CAN’T always find a copy of this magazine, help is at hand. Complete this form and give it to your local shop. They’ll arrange for a copy of each issue to be reserved for you. They may even be able to deliver to your home – just ask!


OUR TEAM Editor-in-Chief Suzy Walker 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 Retreat Caroline Sylger Jones Health Hazel Wallace ADVERTISING & PRODUCTION TigerBee Media, Commercial Director Nikki Peterson (020 3510 0849) nikki.peterson@tigerbeemedia.co.uk Commercial Manager Clare Osbourne (07876 594762) clare.osbourne@tigerbeemedia.co.uk Production Manager Melanie Cooper (01733 363485) kelseylifestyle@atgraphicsuk.com Production Supervisor Dionne Fisher (01733 363485) kelseylifestyle@atgraphicsuk.com 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

CONTRIBUTORS

Meet three of the people who have taken part in the creation of this issue of Psychologies

Danielle Marchant Coach

An executive coach, Danielle has more than 13 years’ experience working with companies and leaders internationally. After realising that goals and ambitions could still be achieved when we allow the body and mind to pause, she adapted her coaching style to flow with, rather than fight against, the ups and downs of life. Read her tips to help us slow down, savour the moments and pause, on page 90.

Kate Townshend Journalist

Kate is a freelance journalist from the Cotswolds. She loves books, swimming outdoors and her rescue dog, George. On page 46 of this issue, she writes about why she moved across the country to be closer to friends. ‘Initially, I felt slightly childish for choosing to live near my friends,’ she says. ‘But now I wonder why more people don’t prioritise social connections when deciding where to live. I love my beautiful town and feel incredibly lucky to have the community around me that I do. ’

Jessica Huie

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; subs@kelsey.co.uk

Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Jessica Huie MBE is the author of Purpose (Hay House, £7.99). When she set up her first business, Color Blind Cards, it began a national conversation around diversity in retail, earning her invitations to Downing Street and an MBE for services to entrepreneurship. In this month’s Dossier on page 60, Huie helps you find your purpose. Today, a large part of her own aspiration lies in supporting female entrepreneurs to embrace visibility and promote their meaningful businesses.

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: data.controller@kelsey.co.uk or 01959 543524.

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editor’s letter

Connect with yourself and others

What stops us living a meaningful life? In our Dossier this month, Ali Roff investigates all the ways we can search for purpose. How do you discover what you value; what is truly important to you? Turn to page 60 to find out. I love Kate Townshend’s feature on page 46. She puts connection at the top of her list, gives up her job and moves across the country to live in the same town as her friends. We also explore kinship in romantic relationships in our travel section from page 106, when Lucille Howe journeys to Argentina to reconnect with her husband-to-be. Can the tango help their dance of intimacy? On page 50, our coaching columnist, Kim Morgan, helps a woman who is constantly looking for likes via social media to get in touch with her true self. And, if you want some space to rediscover the ‘inner, authentic you’, enter our competition with our Queen of Retreats columnist, Caroline Sylger Jones. You could win a six-day break, worth £2,000, at La Crisalida Retreats on the Costa Blanca. See page 113 for details. If you’d like to be inspired without going anywhere, join our Life Leap Club and wonderful online community. Free to all subscribers, you’ll get access to our masterclasses, coaching, podcasts and more. We hope to connect with you soon!

Subscribe today!

Get free world-class coaching through our Life Leap Club, plus we’ll send you a Tropic mineral sun care duo FREE GIFT WORTH worth £44 (turn to page 78 for details).

£44! Suzy Walker

Editor-in-Chief, with Oscar the office dog


Viewpoint

Send your letters to letters@psychologies.co.uk and tell us what you love about our magazine. You could win a six-month subscription, plus access to our Life Leap Club! Star letter

A HELPING HAND

Reading the ‘You are not alone’ Dossier (April) gave me comfort. I never thought of myself as lonely, yet this past year has been hard. Physical pain has taken over my life, but I wanted to carry on as normal and cling onto the busy social life I had. Embarrassed to admit I couldn’t keep up, I began making excuses. This cocooned me in a hermit-like existence, but I felt relieved that I was no longer a burden to anyone. Reluctant to admit that I was changing, I finally went to my GP for help. He set me on a path to get the support I needed. The world does not see loneliness as a health issue and neither did I but, as I’m living through this, I’m mindful of how serious it can be. Thank you for an inspiring and helpful article. Samantha

Share with us…

Share your photos and comments on Instagram @psychologiesmagazine, or tweet us @PsychologiesMag, both using #PsychologiesMagazine @Lorr74Finn: Loved @EIIen_ Tout article, ‘Beta female’: Definitely more than one light-bulb moment for me while reading it; especially liked the ‘How to thrive as a beta’ section. Thank you! #happytobeabeta

@SiobhanHRSheri: Challenge accepted… ‘The 30-day minimalism game’: #Day1 involved a book giveaway, much appreciated by my neighbours! @TheMinimalists @PsychologiesMag

@TheBabyBishBosh: Great @StaceyDooley article in Spring @PsychologiesMag: I remember you standing out of #BloodSweatAndTShirts documentary, highlighting what you saw.

@luciianngiftedart: This is a selection of my very favourite things! #psychologiesmagazine <3 #art #tea #cacti. Have a lovely evening.

@neens1972: Phase two complete… #Kitchen. I think the #declutter articles in @psychologiesmagazine are my new addiction! Four bags to take to the charity shop in a minute #thankyou #free

@sirkenrobinson: Sitting down with @psychologiesmagazine for their podcast. You can also view it live on Facebook by visiting their page.

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feedback Letter of gratitude

FEELING SPELLBOUND I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how much I enjoyed reading Jini Reddy’s piece about her trip to communicate with white lions in South Africa (May). I was captivated reading it, and through her wonderful words, felt I was sharing in her magical experience. I now feel thoroughly inspired to find out more and make the trip myself. Thank you so much for planting the seed of my next adventure and, of course, providing such a great read. Wendy

PHOTO COMPETITION

I’d like to thank…

My wonderful sister

You have always meant the world to me. But, over the years, our relationship has really blossomed and evolved into something so beautiful; one that I consider myself very lucky to have. I cherish the bond we share, the fun we have, the moments when we pick each other up, and I really value the laughter.

I took this photograph of my brother, Jacob, and my great-grandmother at a family gathering in South Africa. Nan is 91 and still going strong. She has four children, 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; her family is her greatest joy in life. This picture perfectly encapsulates the theme ‘Contentment’; the happiness and love on their faces lights up the frame and makes you smile and well up all at once. Lauren Walbeck

The little things make all the difference but, over the past 12 months, you have given me one of life’s greatest gifts. You donated your eggs to me, so that I might get the chance to experience the miracle of motherhood. I tried before, for the briefest of times, but my little boy tragically died. Now, once again, with hope in my heart, I look to the stars and I carry the most precious of gifts from you, my dear sister. ‘Thank you’ can mean so many things, and sometimes that’s all that is necessary. In this case, words fail to express my gratitude.

Your sis 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, plus you’ll receive a six-month subscription, and access to our Life Leap Club! The next theme is ‘Abundance’. Share your photo with us and explain its inspiration on Instagram @psychologiesmagazine with the hashtag #PsychologiesPhoto or email pictures@psychologies.co.uk by midnight on 20 July.*

This month’s gratitude letter, star letter and chosen photo win a six-month subscription to Psychologies worth £25.80, plus access to our Life Leap Club! Send your letters to letters@psychologies.co.uk

*

FOR FULL TS&CS, SEE PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK. OPEN TO UK RESIDENTS ONLY

Your utter selflessness humbles me.

IS FREE TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS. LEAP INTO A BETTER LIFE AT PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/LIFE-LEAP-CLUB-NEW-SUBSCRIBERS J U LY 2 0 1 8 P S Y C H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 9


britain v cancer

Britain V Cancer Jordan Desert Trek

Trek from the Dead Sea to ancient Petra and raise funds for the cancer charity or hospice of your choice.

19-26 October 2019

For more information and to register online:

www.dream-challenges.com For further information or to register please call us on

01590 646410 or email: events@dream-challenges.com


The Fix

News I Reviews

I Books

I Film

I

Art

I

Ideas

PHOTOGRAPH: SUMMERTIME SPLASH ©GRAY MALIN, GRAYMALIN.COM

EDITED BY ELLEN TOUT

great move forward begins with “ Every a leap of faith, a step into the unknown BRIAN TRACY

‘I’ve realised the feeling of escape is a shared experience, both physical and emotional, that nurtures our inner spirit,’ says photographer Gray Malin. ‘Whether it’s the beauty of a local park, a wondrous sandy shore or a candy-coloured swimming pool, there are infinite places near and far that relax the mind and help us unwind.’ Malin’s book, Escape (Abrams, £35), evokes this spirit of adventure with playful images, such as this shot of a water-ballet team, the Aqualillies, in Santa Monica.

J U LY 2 0 1 8 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 11


The Fix

Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts

OUR KINDNESS PROJECT

Head in the clouds

£8, Etsy

A HUG EVERY DAY

David Hamilton is an author and advocate of kindness, working for a more compassionate world. This month, he examines the power of hugs

HUGS PRODUCE oxytocin – the kindness hormone – also known as the love drug, the hugging hormone and the kissing chemical. Oxytocin is produced through any kind of positive, warm contact, often through hugs, kindness and even acts of compassion. In a study,* scientists compared the number of hugs shared in a group of women over a month. They found that the women

who had the most hugs had the highest oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is a cardioprotective hormone, which means that it protects the heart. It does this by reducing blood pressure, acting as an antioxidant and antiinflammatory in the arteries. So, when we produce oxytocin, we are doing good things for our heart. It might just be that a hug a day keeps the cardiologist away!

Join ‘Psychologies’ kindness tsar David Hamilton live on Facebook @Psychologiesmagazine for his free 30-day Kindness Challenge every month, next on 2 July at 1pm. For access to more like this, join the ‘Psychologies’ Life Leap coaching club, free when you subscribe to the magazine

Backpack, £30, and glasses case, £9.50, Paperchase PHOTOGRAPH: JESSIKA COKER. *HIGHER OXYTOCIN LEVELS ARE LINKED TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE AND HEART RATE IN PREMENOPAUSAL WOMEN, ‘BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY’, 2005; **S ESTEKY ET AL, THE INFLUENCE OF PHYSICAL ELEVATION IN BUILDINGS ON RISK PREFERENCES, ‘JOURNAL OF CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY’, 2018; †THE SCHOOL OF HEALTH, 2018; †† H ADAM ET AL, THE SHORTEST PATH TO ONESELF LEADS AROUND THE WORLD: LIVING ABROAD INCREASES SELF-CONCEPT CLARITY, ‘ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR AND HUMAN DECISION PROCESSES’, 2018. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 127

‘Choose to be kind’ print (frame not included),

Risk-seeker? New research** found that elevation in an office building can increase our willingness to take risks because it makes us subconsciously feel more powerful. Studying hedge-fund workers, researchers noticed that their actions were more daring when working on higher floors. In another study, people placed bets while travelling in a lift. Those ascending were more likely to take risks than when descending. That really is sky-high thinking!

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48%

OF PEOPLE SAY THEY PREFER TO TRY NATURAL HEALTH REMEDIES THESE DAYS†

VIVE LES VACANCES

Culture

Unexpected friendship

Jessika Coker always felt an affinity with nature. After volunteering to help animals for years, she met Juniper, a rescued fox unable to live in the wild and in need of a home (pictured). ‘In those first few weeks, I had no idea that our story would be one so full of love,’ she says. ‘Juniper gives me hope. She is my constant reminder that there is goodness, purity and unconditional love in the

world – there’s still a little bit of magic if you know where to look. She has given me so much joy, and she inspires me to give that joy back to others every day. She’s given happiness to millions of people, just by being happy herself.’ Read about Juniper’s moving journey in the new book, Juniper: The Happiest Fox (Chronicle Books, £12.99) and on Instagram @juniperfoxx.

Living abroad leads to a clearer sense of self and more confident career decision-making, a study found.†† Researchers say that travel triggers self-reflection, as we grapple with different cultural values and norms. This grows as more time is spent in one foreign country, not as more places are ticked off a list. It appears that the longer people live abroad, the more they develop an understanding of themselves, creating enhanced clarity about the types of careers that best match their strengths and values.

‘Travel the world’ money box, £16, Notonthehighstreet

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Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts

Raw ideas

Researchers* found that raw fruit and veg may be better for your mental wellbeing than eating them cooked, canned or processed. The study showed cooking has the potential to diminish nutrient levels, limiting their benefits to our emotional functioning – but eating them raw boosted mood, satisfaction and drive. The top raw foods linked to this were carrots, bananas, apples, leafy greens, grapefruit, lettuce, citrus fruits, berries, cucumber and kiwi fruit.

Audible books

Tropical fruit necklace, £40, Sugar & Vice

Our friends at Audible tell us why The Trauma Cleaner will be one of the most arresting stories you will read in a while

WE LOVE The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender-reassignment patient, sex worker, businesswoman and trophy wife. Raised in violence; excluded from the family home, she wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less: a woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for 40 years; a man who quietly bled to death in his living room. Richly detailed and humanely told, The Trauma Cleaner is not just a compelling story of one woman’s journey among lives of desperation, but an affirmation that we’re all in this together.

‘The Trauma Cleaner’ is available for £13.12 or free with a 30-day Audible trial. See audible.co.uk

8days IS THE AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL LEAVE THAT PEOPLE BELIEVE THEY DESERVE IN ORDER TO FEEL HAPPIER AND MORE SATISFIED AT WORK**

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LEAP INTO LAUGHTER

WHY AM I? WHAT AM I? I found my purpose the day I walked around London dressed as a banana. It showed me that being a clown; making people laugh is what I’m here to do. I gave myself permission to be brave; to not care what others thought – I followed my heart. To find your purpose, I ask you to listen to your heart, too: that small, or maybe loud, voice inside you that already knows exactly what you should be doing. We all have it. I wonder how many other fruits there are out there in the world? ES

FILM REVIEW: ELLEN TOUT. AUDIOBOOK RECOMMENDATION BY ELISE ITALIAANDER, CONTENT MANAGER AT AUDIBLE. *K BROOKIE ET AL, INTAKE OF RAW FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IS ASSOCIATED WITH BETTER MENTAL HEALTH THAN INTAKE OF PROCESSED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, ‘FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY’, 2018; **PURPLE CV, 2018. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 127

Our Dossier explores finding your purpose on page 60

Film of the month

The Bookshop

Directed by Isabel Coixet England 1959. In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) decides, despite local opposition, to open a bookshop. Based on Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel, The Bookshop follows this free-spirited widow as she puts grief behind her and risks everything for her business – the first such shop in the sleepy seaside town of Hardborough. Fighting local apathy, she struggles to establish herself, but soon her fortunes change for the better. By exposing the narrow-minded townsfolk to the best literature of the day, she opens their eyes

and brings about a cultural awakening in a town that has not changed for centuries. Her activities bring her a kindred spirit and ally in Mr Brundish (Bill Nighy), who is himself sick of the town’s stale atmosphere. But this small social revolution soon attracts fierce enemies. Florence draws the hostility of the town’s less-prosperous shopkeepers and also crosses vengeful Mrs Gamart (Patricia Clarkson), who dreams of dominating the arts scene. When Florence refuses to bend to Gamart’s will, they begin a struggle, not just for the bookshop, but for the very heart and soul of the town. ET

‘This is bananas’ T-shirt, £25, Notonthehighstreet

Join ‘Psychologies’ bananas clown-in-residence, Emma Stroud,

live on Facebook @Psychologiesmagazine every month, next on 16 July at 1pm. For access to more like this, join the ‘Psychologies’ Life Leap coaching club, free when you subscribe to the magazine

IS FREE TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS. LEAP INTO A BETTER LIFE AT PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/LIFE-LEAP-CLUB-NEW-SUBSCRIBERS J U LY 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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42% OF MILLENNIALS SAY THAT USING SOCIAL MEDIA IN A POSITIVE WAY HELPS ENHANCE THEIR SENSE OF SELF-WORTH*

The colour file

White out

Martha Roberts, creator of The Colour File, investigates how colour makes us think, act and feel. We take a look at wistful white

How much time is spent worrying about others… Will they call? How can I help them? Do they love me? Sadly, that’s a waste of energy. Instead, worry about things you can change, where there’s a practical solution. What’s top of your list now?

Life Clubs run fun and practical self-discovery

workshops. July’s workshop, ‘Relaxing Your Life’, will ensure you worry about the things you can solve so you can take back control and relax. Find out more at lifeclubs.com/locations

The colour challenge This month, find out how you can use white as a force for good in your home and life. Lees says you can do this by addressing some simple questions:

● Are there any dark or small rooms and corridors in your home? Consider using white to reinvigorate the stale energy in those spaces. ● Where do you like to unwind? ‘White can be used to help you become more mindful’, she says. ● Want to be more creative, plan career changes or tap into your intuition? Consider introducing white into spaces such as desk areas, maybe with white accessories, or a white wall. ● When do you most want to ooze confidence? ‘Get rid of darker shades and dress yourself and your home in white statement pieces,’ advises Lees. ● Are you at the end of a chapter, or embarking on a new one in your life? ‘How could you bring more white into your space to help you start over, mentally and emotionally?’ asks Lees.

To find out more about Martha’s colour journey, see psychologies.co.uk; colourfile.com; @the_colour_file; wuweiwisdom.com

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CARPHONE WAREHOUSE, 2018

DISCARD YOUR WORRIES

WHAT DO YOU THINK of when you hear the word ‘white’? For many, it’s the colour of purity while, in some cultures, it signifies death. Feng shui consultant and wellbeing coach Alexandra Lees says: ‘In feng shui, white is an energy reviver. In the home, it is a useful “cure” for troubleshooting in small and dingy areas where stagnant energy accumulates. Its restoring qualities can help support your goals, symbolising starting over and unbridled creativity. ‘So, if you’re embarking on a new chapter, introducing white into the spaces where you spend time focusing will help create the perfect setting for the positive to manifest,’ says Lees. ‘The beauty of white is in the feeling of space it brings with it.’

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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

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self LESSONS IN ADULTHOOD

“No longer the new kid on the block” Harriet Minter is dazzled by the bright young things, and inspired by the older ones

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hen I got to my 30s, I stopped marking my career in terms of years. My contemporaries also no longer said things like: ‘I’ve got five years’ experience in this role.’ It felt as though I had staked out my own little territory and was secure in it. Until, one day, I noticed new, younger faces stepping up, and stepping past. Suddenly, I felt less like a statesperson of my own career country and more like the old guard. How did that happen? This is particularly tough if you work in an industry that relies on social media. A cocktail of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is enough to give anyone a blurry idea of reality but, as much as you tell yourself that what you see isn’t the whole story, part of you wonders: am I past it? There are a lot of young women doing incredible things and, as much as I cheer them on, a part of me fears my time is running out.

work I’ve put in and the reputation I’ve built. My job now is to support the kids, while still recognising my successes. I’ve also started looking for older role models who are nailing it, and there are loads. They’re not afraid to take risks, and they’ll happily admit their offspring taught them how to use a new piece of tech. They don’t hide their age – they celebrate it, and they’ve given me the courage to do that, too. I don’t know if youth is wasted on the young, but I do know that I don’t want to waste my experience. While I may look at the youngsters with awe, I also know the insecurities they hide. We need each other, old and young, to inspire, challenge and support. Don’t fear the bright young things – join them. For weekly wisdom from Harriet, sign up for her newsletter at tinyletter.com/ harrietminter. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @harrietminter

PHOTOGRAPH: MARK HARRISON. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CAROLINE PIASECKI. STYLIST: KATE ANYA BARBOUR

You can’t keep a good woman down

As I watch yet another spring chicken share her life story on Instagram while trying to work out her stand on feminism and find a hot take on this week’s self-care must-have, I long to give it all up and retire, aged 36. It doesn’t help that our society idolises female youth. Men front TV shows at 80, but it’s newsworthy when a woman over 40 does it. Friends mutter about Botox and no one puts their age on their CV any more. All around us are signs that getting older means you’re past your best. It’s galling if you’ve worked hard. Not only are you put out to pasture earlier than guys, your place is taken by your younger self, unaware it will happen to her, too. If one more 25-year-old tells me she doesn’t think gender matters these days, I’ll scream. Talk to me when you’re 32 and your boss stops asking you to annual strategy meetings because he assumes you’ll be on maternity leave next year. But I’ve also started to find acceptance: I’ve stopped trying to compete with the kids and realised we’re just in different stages. They need to make their mark; I can appreciate the

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emotional intelligence HOW TO…

Really listen

Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, on how to stop talking and start listening

1

Listen to others.

We can only understand another person when we’re able to truly listen to them. When we do this with deep compassion, we can understand their pain. Listening deeply is another form of meditation; when we practise this type of listening, we restore harmony in our our friendships, family and community.

2

Listen to yourself.

3

Listen with compassion.

If you can maintain the energy of mindfulness and compassion while listening, you will be protected, and no matter what the other person says, it won’t cause any irritation or anger inside you. When people

listen to each other like that, they truly recognise the humanity and suffering in the other person.

4

Live with compassion.

When you’re sitting on the bus or the train, try to look deeply at the people around you; you will see their suffering. When you touch pain like that, compassion is born inside you. A week of practice can make a big difference in your life and in the lives of others. ‘How To Fight’ by Thich Nhat Hanh (Penguin, £5) is out now

WORDS: SUZY WALKER. PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES

Sometimes, when we try to listen to another person, we can’t

hear them, because we haven’t listened to ourselves first; our own emotions are just too loud. Sit with yourself, and listen to what feelings rise up, then let them pass without holding on to them.

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profile

Shailene Woodley

“ It’s been part of me for as long as I can remember… this sense of rising up against wrongdoing ” In new film Adrift, based on a true story, Shailene Woodley’s character is tasked with single-handedly sailing a yacht 1,500 miles to safety. Woodley echoes this kind of grit in her own life, as her career takes off and her activism makes changes in the world PHOTOGRAPH MATT HOLYOAK/CAMERA PRESS

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ince sensationally being arrested in 2016 during the North Dakota oil pipeline protest, Shailene Woodley is making her mark both as a rising star in Hollywood and as an eco and social justice warrior. But which does she identify with more? ‘They’re both part of me,’ Woodley says. ‘They’re what I do in my life.’ The actress’s career is still in its infancy – she has a handful of high-profile performances under her belt in The Descendants (2011) with George Clooney, The Spectacular Now (2013), The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

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– for which she won a Hollywood Film Award for best breakout performance – and Snowden (2016), as well as the little-known franchise, Divergent (2014). However, in this relatively short space of time, Woodley has become a dominant player in ‘Young Hollywood’, with her strength of opinion and campaigning for action garnering her respect from many quarters. It’s given her confidence in front of the cameras, too, and she was far from out of her depth in last year’s star-studded HBO vehicle, Big Little Lies. Her latest film is Adrift, the harrowing, true-life >>>


profile

>>> survival tale of Tami Oldham Ashcraft (Woodley) and fiance

Richard Sharp (Sam Claflin), who set sail in 1983 to deliver a 44-foot yacht to San Diego from Tahiti, only to find themselves in the middle of a catastrophic hurricane. With Sharp suffering life-threatening injuries, Ashcraft must find the courage to take control of the vessel and steer 1,500 miles to Hilo, Hawaii. While Claflin is an ongoing presence in the film, in reality, Sharp died in the storm, and it is very much a story of Ashcraft’s mental and physical strength in the most desperate of circumstances.

On men, women and equality…

“I hate injustice; I hate bullying; I hate greed. I think if you feel strongly about it, you should stand up for what you believe in”

In many ways, Adrift is an ideal follow-on from Big Little Lies – in which, alongside Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Kravitz and Laura Dern, Woodley was mesmerising as a single mother with a dark and violent past – for its lack of any discernible link. Such female-led projects are becoming increasingly prevalent among TV and film industry script submissions, much to the consolation of women everywhere, who feel the move towards equality is positive, albeit belated. Facebook Live as she live-streamed it. Woodley was protesting Indeed, Woodley believes that to reach the point of real equality, against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a controversial oil pipe we need to reframe how such films and shows are labelled. built on the Sioux tribe’s sacred ground. For Woodley, this issue ‘We need to stop referencing gender entirely,’ she says. ‘Big Little Lies was referred to as “a show led by five women”. was important, not just because it risked the water supply to When do we ever say, “Wow! A show led by 18 million people, but because it was yet five men, that’s amazing”? It describes the another act of cruelty against North ‘ADRIFT’ standard and level we’re still at, and America’s indigenous people. ‘It took Expected to be one of the most I want to work towards a moment when we me, a white non-native woman being distressing but inspirational films never think to question or advertise such arrested… to bring this cause to many of the year, Adrift is a survival tale a thing. I want it to be the norm, and it will people’s attention,’ she wrote in an like no other, based on the true story be the norm, but there’s a way to go.’ essay for TIME magazine. of Tami Oldham Ashcraft and That’s not to say Woodley didn’t enjoy her partner Richard Sharp, who ‘We all have power’ her experience on set with some of the attemped to sail from Tahiti to San ‘I’ve always hated injustice – I hate finest actresses in the business, particularly Diego to deliver a yacht. In the bullying; I hate greed. I hate anyone as the Golden Globe-winning series only adaptation, a hurricane leaves Sharp trying to gain from power whenever, came to fruition thanks to the devotion of and the vessel in bad shape, and wherever they want. And I think if you Kidman and Witherspoon, who developed Ashcraft must continue the journey feel strongly about it, you should stand and guided the project from the start. on her own, or risk certain death. up for what you believe in,’ she says. ‘They’ve reshaped the industry for women The film is based on Ashcraft’s Unfortunately, the protest camp at and continue to do so, so that actors like heartbreaking memoir Red Sky In Standing Rock was dismantled, and myself and Zoe can have that liberty to Mourning: A True Story Of Love, construction of the pipeline completed. express ourselves and thrive in an Loss And Survival At Sea (Simon & But Woodley remains undeterred, environment that doesn’t class us as Schuster, £15.99), which details how a minority, or devalue our worth due to insisting there is plenty that can be done Ashcraft sailed alone for 41 days our gender,’ she says. to ease the impact of mankind on the after Sharp disappeared in the This desire for equality and fairness is environment. ‘We can protest with our storm. Unfathomably brave, wilful a large part of what drives the Californian wallets,’ she says, ‘because the biggest and admirable, the author is living activist’s endeavours, and how she ended voice in all of this is money. proof that even when we suffer up being detained, along with 26 others, at ‘The chance to make a change lies loss while chasing our biggest Standing Rock Indian Reservation, while in the hands of every single person adventures, life can still offer tremendous joy on the other side. 40,000 people watched in horror on – we all have the power and it’s up to us

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Woodley alongside George Clooney in 2011’s Oscar-winning film The Descendants

WORDS: INTERVIEW HUB. PHOTOGRAPHS: REX FEATURES; ALLSTAR

With Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon in Big Little Lies.. Right, promoting the miniseries

whether we use it or not. It’s about creating awareness and maintaining the awareness of that power.’ Some prominent Hollywood stars begin their humanitarian work only after they have established their careers but, for Woodley, it is a calling that has shaped her lifestyle – and she recalls being an enthusiastic recycler even in her school days.

Creating change-makers

In 2010, she and her mother, Lori Woodley, a school counsellor, set up All It Takes, a non-profit organisation that aims to steer young people into leadership roles by teaching compassion, empathy and responsibility, giving them the tools to move through their lives with the power to create positive change. Woodley is also on the board of Our Revolution, a political organisation that offers people greater political agency and encourages progressive leaders – a continuation of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, of which Woodley was an ardent supporter. She says of her passions: ‘It’s been part of me

In new film Adrift, Woodley and Sam Claflin play ill-fated sailors Tami Oldham Ashcraft and Richard Sharp

Woodley’s breakthough performance was with Ansel Elgort in tear-jerker The Fault In Our Stars

for as long as I can remember… this sense of rising up against wrongdoing. I support the rights of others in need; I support our environment because it’s the only one we’ve got.’ In 2016, Woodley was honoured at the 20th Anniversary Global Green Environmental Awards, receiving a leadership prize for co-founding All It Takes and, in her parallel life, Hollywood has a kind of push-and-pull effect on her. On the one hand, she has found a platform to further her causes, and even took campaigner for Native American rights Calina Lawrence as her ‘plus one’ to the 75th Golden Globe Awards this year. Yet, unsurprisingly, Woodley’s eco tendencies have sparked in her a desire to move away from the trappings of success, and she has gained a reputation for her natural and holistic lifestyle. ‘I like to live as simply as I can. I’ve always been frugal, and I don’t want to own too many objects and material possessions,’ she says firmly, adding: ‘I’m happy being able to live in the present, and I want people to accept me for who I am, not for what I have.’ ‘Adrift’ is out in UK cinemas on 29 June

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Midsummer nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream The summer solstice resonates with spiritual meaning, and reflects our inner rhythms. Jini Reddy looks at ways to make it a special time of emotional renewal >>>


self

J U LY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 27


Circle of life

That morning left me with a feeling of spaciousness that lingered. It was the first time I had celebrated the summer solstice but since then, each year, I take this chance to catch my breath and remind myself of the many ways that nature has brought beauty and depth to my life; to give thanks to the sun for the warmth that fuels my spirit. It has also become, for me, an invitation to pause and quietly take stock of the first half of the year. If it has been a particularly challenging time, I give myself a mental

year, I take “thisEach chance to catch

my breath and remind myself of the many ways nature has brought beauty and depth to my life

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‘hug’. If I’ve been blessed with inspiration and a feeling of wellbeing, I offer my gratitude for this period of good fortune. The cycles of nature reflect our own life cycles – it’s easy to forget sometimes that we are part of nature, too. Last year, I spent a late summer’s day in Derbyshire with Glennie Kindred, an expert on earth wisdom. In her book, Sacred Earth Celebrations (Permanent Publications, £9.95), she talks about the significance of ‘plenty’ to the celebration, both in nature and ourselves: ‘The rampant growth period of the year has reached its peak and the natural world is in total manifestation. The trees are in full leaf and blossom; herbs, flowers and vegetables are flourishing; and the fruit and grain are beginning to swell. There is a sense of completeness and abundance. ‘The summer solstice is the peak of our expressive and expansive selves. It is also known as the Festival of Attainment and celebrates the fulfilment of the individual. It is a time to enjoy and celebrate what you have, who you are, and what you have achieved and manifested in the year,’ she says. This transitional time also acknowledges the return of the dark, in nature and us. It is an opportunity to ‘celebrate those vital hidden parts of yourself, often forgotten or undervalued, such as imagination, intuition, instinct and feelings, and all the things that help you grow from the inside out’ says Kindred. ‘Acknowledge your changing relationship to the dark, as fears give way to trust and a more balanced perspective.’ You don’t need a lot of know-how or effort to celebrate the solstice; walking to a nearby green space or stepping outside your front door can be enough; just find a place that faces north-east and watch the day break. ‘Give thanks for all the wonders of our beautiful earth and… name your new intentions for the new cycle,’ says Kindred. If you don’t have the energy to rise that early, she suggests putting aside the day to spend

special kind “ofAmagic will unfold

in ways you may not foresee when you take a leap and connect with the earth, and yourself

A

bout an hour before dawn, I rose from my yurt, grabbed a blanket and walked sleepily to a nearby meadow. My head torch picked up a scattering of ox-eye daisies blinking in the dark. In the Devon field, a warming fire was glowing and, together with a small, silent group of people, I sat awaiting the sunrise, which came as a burst of pink rippling through grey clouds. Despite the chill in the air and my drowsiness, I was struck by the intimacy and simplicity of the scene; the feeling of communion. The dawn chorus has rarely sounder sweeter, and I felt a delicious peace seeping into my bones. This was the summer solstice, the start of the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and a cause for celebration for millennia.

>>>

in nature: ‘Treat yourself to a retreat day, and get away from all your normal jobs and routines. Plan a trip somewhere special to you. Spend as much of it as possible outside in mindful communion with the earth.’ I particularly like these quieter ways of celebrating the midsummer. One year, I walked to the woods at the end of my street and quietly lit a candle in the hollow of a log – and that was enough. Another time, I found myself in a cottage overlooking the coast, near Looe in Cornwall. I stayed up late on the solstice eve, and could not rouse myself to meet the dawn, so instead I spent the day rambling amid wildflowers, my eyes to the sea, squinting in the brightest of sunlight, my senses drunk on the lushness that surrounded me – knowing, a little wistfully, that from now on the days would grow shorter and nature would begin gathering herself.

Breathe in the sunshine

Anna Hunt, author of A Shaman In Stilettos (Penguin, £8.99), suggests a meditation to try: ‘Find a quiet 10 minutes when you won’t be disturbed. Sit or lie down, resting comfortably.  Closing your eyes, take seven breaths, deepening the breath with each inhale and being conscious of the air filling your body down to your lower belly. Breathe in optimism; breathe out doubt. Allow the image of the sun to come to your mind’s eye. Rest in the sun’s light for a further


self

Where to celebrate Mark this significant time of year with a spiritual experience STONEHENGE SUMMERSOLSTICE FESTIVAL Festivities are from 18-21 June. See solsticefest.co.uk for details. For more information about visiting Avebury, go to nationaltrust. org.uk l WALK TO THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT SNOWDON A guided hike with spectacular views to greet the sunrise. See snowdon-walks. co.uk/discover/ snowdon-summersolstice

PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES; STOCKSY

l

seven breaths, trying to be conscious of the light on the front of your body. Let yourself be held by the light. For the next seven breaths, breathe sunlight into your heart and feel your chest expanding; on the ‘out’ breath, breathe from your heart; feelings of gratitude, back to the image of the sun in your mind’s eye. Rest. Feel light streaming down the front of your body. Relax. Slowly, when ready, open your eyes.’

Midsummer merriment

If you have a more extroverted nature, it is lovely to gather outside with friends, or members of your community, on the eve of the solstice. This celebration is common in northern-hemisphere

countries. In Tyrol, Austria, mountain fires are lit on the solstice eve and, in Poland, expat Anna Galandzij tells me it is the country’s biggest outdoor celebration, with Poles gathering on the river banks to celebrate it. Swede Tove Eriksson says that, in her country, people come together for food and drink and dancing. ‘In smaller villages, there is often a gathering where people dance around the midsummer pole,’ she says. In Britain, the most famous place to celebrate the solstice is Stonehenge. Those who’ve been either love it, or – especially if you shy away from crowds – find it too commercial. Charlotte Pulver, an apothecarist and lover of ritual, falls into the former

GLASTONBURY’S CHALICE WELL GARDENS Why not try a solstice meditation? For more, go to chalicewell.org.uk/ index.cfm/ glastonbury/Events. Details/event_ id/154 l LIVE WILD The site in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, is running a Wild Women weekend of solstice celebration, nature connection and bushcraft. For more, see livewild.org.uk l

camp: ‘There is a large standing stone at Stonehenge called the Heel Stone. I gather there with friends before dawn to pray and make wishes for myself, my community and the world,’ she says. Others head to Glastonbury, a place of pilgrimage for thousands of years, to see the sunrise from the iconic Tor. However you celebrate the summer solstice, know this: a special kind of magic will unfold in ways you may not foresee when you take a leap and connect with the earth, and more deeply with yourself, on this special day – and every day. This is nature’s most precious gift to us, and the most thrilling secret you’ll ever discover. glenniekindred.co.uk; annahunt.com

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work

How to take a good risk Author, speaker and entrepreneur Sháá Wasmund MBE tells us how to ensure we aren’t overstretching ourselves financially and emotionally

PHOTOGRAPH: MARK HARRISON. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CAROLINE PIASECKI. STYLIST: KATE ANYA BARBOUR

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atch too many YouTube videos of marketing gurus or ‘overnight successes’, and you’ll be blinded into thinking that all entrepreneurs are prepared to risk it all on black. Or red. We’re not. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I have a high propensity for taking risks; but only controlled risks. So, I’ll invest in training that I know will help me grow my business. I’m also happy to put money into marketing and hire people before I need them. However, if something isn’t working, I’ll cut my losses. I won’t do something foolish like take on debt that I either can’t service or have no idea how I’m going to pay back in the near future.  Let me be very clear, though – there is nothing wrong with taking on debt; financially or emotionally, as long as we know it’s well invested. That means, you have to have a clear outcome planned for how you’re going to be making the money in the future. The same applies to emotional commitments, as they are often equally draining! I think the biggest challenge we have as humans, in terms of overstretching ourselves, is the theory of ‘sunk cost’. This is where we feel like we have invested so much

into a project, person or business, that we refuse to see it fail. So, we keep ploughing our money, time, effort and love into something that resembles a bath with big holes in it. We’re so attached to the outcome, that we lose sight of the journey and the fact that we’re travelling down the wrong path.

Take off your blinkers

How many times have we, or others we’ve known, been in a relationship that we all know isn’t going to last, but we stick with it in the vague hope that it will somehow get better because we have put so much time into it? The same is true with a business. We desperately want it to succeed, because we’ve spent so much time trying to make it work. This is where we need to be sensitively ruthless with ourselves. Are we continuing to invest our time, money and emotions because we are certain that we’re about to turn a corner, or are we doing so because we can’t bear to admit to ourselves, or others, that we have taken the wrong path? Listen to your instinct; it will tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it. Now… act on it.  Sháá Wasmund 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 and dynamic Sháá Wasmund! For regular live coaching sessions

with Sháá, all you need to do is visit psychologies.co.uk/ Life-Leap-Club-New-Subscribers. It’s free to all subscribers.

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my life, my way

“The day my

shop opened was the proudest day of my life” Michelle Regan never planned on being a shopkeeper, but deciding to open her vintage store was the beginning of a labour of love and a journey that still brings her immense job satisfaction >>> WORDS DANIELLE WOODWARD PHOTOGR APHS LEANNE BR ACEY

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my life, my way

ABOVE AND RIGHT A mannequin wears one of the vintage outfits for sale in the shop. Michelle ensures

everything is presented in a way to make it a pleasant experience to wander around

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The displays have unleashed my creativity. I found a pair of 1970s roller skates and a glitterball recently, so the next theme might be a disco oneâ&#x20AC;? 34 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E J U LY 2 0 1 8


LEFT AND BELOW The shop is a treasure trove of vintage pieces; you’ll find your missing Scrabble

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letters here, plus everything from cake tins and handbags, to colourful clothes and decorative items

“The low points in your life can lead you to a positive place. I’ve never really known what I wanted to do, and now I’m happy in my work”

he window displays of Michelle Regan’s vintage emporium, Mabel’s Five & Dime, in Sydenham, south London are infamous in the area. ‘Everyone is excited to see what I’ll do next,’ says Michelle. ‘I enjoy creating them, although there is a pressure now to make each one better than the one before! The whole theme can start with just one object – my dad is a carpenter and he inspired the recent woodworking theme. I found an old tin and added some paint drips down the side. Someone came into the shop and said, “I’m loving the paint can – your window display is like an art gallery!” It made me so happy to know people get a kick out of little touches like that. The displays have unleashed my creativity, and I never thought of myself as creative before – I hope they catch people’s attention as they pass by. I rotate it every six weeks or so and am always making notes when I get inspired; I found a pair of 1970s roller skates and a glitterball recently, so the next theme might be a disco one!’ Michelle named her shop after her beloved dog, Mabel, who is happiest when sitting among the window displays, and ‘Five & Dime’ refers to the discount stores popular in America in the early- to mid-20th century. Opening in 2016, the shop had an interesting journey on the way to becoming the aesthetically pleasing treasure trove of goodies that you’ll see

today. ‘In August 2010, my mum passed away after a long illness and, on the same day, I was made redundant from my city job – it was the catalyst for me to step back and take some time out to reassess what I wanted to do,’ says Michelle. ‘I did some small crafting projects and, in April 2011, the West Norwood Feast monthly market launched, which was the ideal opportunity to have a stall and turn a hobby into a business.’

Selling cake stands and setting up shop

‘My partner, Ian, has an antiques shop called Maddison’s in Forest Hill, south London, and I was helping him with house clearances. At the time, we had lots of odd porcelain plates, which people didn’t seem to be buying, so I came up with the idea of using them to make cake stands. We drilled holes in the plates and got them ready so people could make their own. That was my first market stall and it was a success; after a few years, there wasn’t anyone in the area who didn’t have one of my cake stands! We hired them out for weddings and parties, then the opportunity came to set up a shop.’ Michelle’s in-laws owned the building that houses her shop today; it was previously used as storage for a plant-hire firm. ‘I made my in-laws a cheeky offer for the property and they accepted,’ smiles Michelle. ‘It needed a lot of work as it was >>>

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my life, my way

“My business is the ultimate in recycling. I’ve got a hairdryer from the 1960s that still works. Mind you, it might take you a week to dry your hair!”

>>> pretty derelict and it took about six months of building and

fixing before I could put my mark on it. My dad and brother are both carpenters and they helped out; it makes me feel so proud to look around and know my blood, sweat and tears went into creating how it looks now.’

Word-of-mouth business

Michelle remembers how scary it was when she handed over her life savings to buy the property: ‘That was a big deal but I knew it was worth the risk; even if the business failed, I’d still have a property to trade from, and I could team up with Ian if anything ever happened with his shop. I already had a following from the markets and, because I was surrounded by people in the antiques trade, that world wasn’t entirely new to me. The only worry was that the area wasn’t massively busy, but it was where the property was and I got it at a good price, so I decided to try to build up the area. Since I’ve been here, three new shops and a cafe have opened – it’s about getting the word out and supporting other independent traders. The day

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ABOVE The window displays always catch the eyes of passers-by; this was a carpentry theme, complete with original tools LEFT Colourful vintage tins are popular; they’re a great way to add a touch of nostalgia to a display

my shop opened was the proudest day of my life; it was such an achievement to walk in and think, “This is all mine.”’ Most of the stock for Michelle’s shop comes from house clearances that she undertakes with Ian. ‘Ian used to work for Sotheby’s before setting up on his own, and I credit him for getting me into vintage. I started to take all the kitsch stuff he wasn’t interested in – all the 1950s, 60s and 70s clothes, fabric, vinyl and bric-a-brac – and the shop just grew.’ The shop is open three days a week, but it’s a full-time job for Michelle: ‘I have to source all the products, store and sort them and Ian and I work with estate agents and solicitors and homeless charities, too,’ she says. ‘We pass on things that aren’t right for us; modern flatpack items, for example. It’s shocking how much is thrown away. I wouldn’t call myself an eco warrior, but I try and do my bit and my business is the ultimate in recycling – finding new homes for old things. I’ve got a hairdryer from the 1960s that still works. Mind you, it might take you a week to dry your hair!’ It can be an emotional job, sorting someone’s possessions


LEFT AND BELOW Everyday elements, such as cameras and black-and-white photos, tell a story about our social history and are worth preserving

“When someone comes into the shop and says ‘that reminds me of my gran’, and they leave happy, I’ve done my duty”

from a house clearance. ‘I have boxes of photographs at home because I find it hard to throw them away,’ says Michelle. ‘I decided to sell them individually – and whoever buys them will do so because they like them, which makes me feel better. It’s fascinating social history that we need to preserve for the future. Recently, I came across an original medicine prescription from the 1940s and a baby book all about the woman whose house we cleared – she kept it all these years and now I have a responsibility to let other people see it. It’s also sad when you find war medals that a family does not want to keep.’

Memories are made of this

Making people happy is a bonus for Michelle: ‘People tell me the sort of thing they’re looking for and it’s great to find what they need and see their faces light up. When someone comes into the shop and sees something and says, “that reminds me of my gran”, and they leave happy, I’ve done my duty!’ Michelle has thought a lot about how she presents the stock in her shop, so the experience of wandering around looking at

ABOVE Michelle loves being her own boss and is part of a local network of independent traders, who are making the area popular

everything is pleasant. ‘I wanted the effect to be tidy and nice to look at and not an overwhelming assault on your senses as you walk through the door,’ she says. ‘The window display has brought in people who’ve never come in before – it’s not about the value of the stuff, it’s about appealing to different people.’ Owning the shop has opened up a new world for Michelle: ‘I never thought I’d be a shopkeeper,’ she smiles. ‘It’s funny how the low points in life can lead you to a positive place; I’ve never really known what I wanted to do and now I feel happy in my work. The only drawback is that you never seem to switch off when you work for yourself.’ So, what’s next on the agenda for Mabel’s Five & Dime? ‘I decided to put the first two years’ profit back into the business and rebuild the basement so I can use it for storage,’ says Michelle. ‘My spare bedroom and garage are packed with stock and it would be nice to clear it all. Then, I’ll need to plan the next few months’ worth of window displays…’ Follow Michelle on Instagram and Facebook @mabelsfiveanddime and on Twitter @mabels5anddime. Visit the shop at 100 Kirkdale, London SE26 4BG

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shared values

Danielle Waterman England’s longest-serving international women’s rugby player talks about physical and mental wellbeing, resilience and confidence, and inspiring young girls to be their best selves INTERVIEW DANIELLE WOODWARD

I was lucky to have encouraging, supportive parents who were my role models – there weren’t many female role models in sport when I was growing up. It’s different now, with lots of amazing women in British sport as positive examples to young girls. I played rugby with boys until I was 12 and they never made me feel different because I was a girl, but I did feel different to other girls because I was the only one in my rugby club. I think both boys and girls need male and female role models. A guy sent me a tweet saying his son had watched the men’s and women’s rugby tournaments last year, and wanted to be as fast as Elliot Daly with footwork like Danielle Waterman! It meant a lot. The situation for women’s sport has improved, but there’s a long way to go. It’s about exposure; showcasing the women’s game in the media. The regularity of male sport allows the public to engage with teams and players, and that’s what women’s sport needs. It’s cyclical: more exposure makes it more commercially viable for sponsors, which feeds more money into the game, which allows more players to play professionally, which increases funding. The crowds and viewing figures show an appetite for it. I’m hard on myself and don’t like to make mistakes, but I’ve learned it’s the reaction to the mistake, not the mistake itself, that’s important. In league sport, you live in an intense bubble; everything you do is assessed – it’s a high-pressure world. You don’t get many minutes playing the game you love, especially in an England shirt, so you must make the most of every opportunity. A few years ago, I ruptured a ligament in my knee and was told I couldn’t play again, which was devastating. My mum

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always said, ‘There is no such word as “can’t,”’ so, when I was told, ‘You can’t play again,’ I thought, ‘I’m definitely going to!’ I resolved to get back to playing and to get to the Olympics for the first time ever. That’s when I really acknowledged the challenges I was facing mentally, as well as coping with my physical pain. Our team doctor told me that no matter how much I trained, I wouldn’t improve until I was happier and more confident. It was at that point that I realised I needed to get help for my mental health; and without that support, I wouldn’t have played again. Winning the World Cup in 2014 was incredible, and it was wonderful to share the experience with people who had gone through a lot to get there. It was also my first opportunity to play for England after I came back from my injury. I’d drafted a resignation email while I was injured, so to get through that, and have the opportunity to wear an England shirt again was special. Playing rugby is my passion; it enriches me. When I was injured, my dad said, ‘You’ve achieved a lot, you don’t need to carry on,’ but my instant reaction was, ‘I need to keep going.’ I’ve built up a lot of resilience and determination but it’s basically because I love what I do, so the enjoyment I get from it is worth it. As well as the physical side, there are many components to sport that are brilliant for a happy and healthy life. When I play, I challenge myself technically and tactically, I work with other people, deal with failure and overcome adversity – all these help develop resilience and confidence. I love mentoring children; it’s great to be able to inspire young people and instil confidence in them around achieving and self-belief. Being open-minded and tolerant are important values for me; you never know what’s happening in someone’s life. It’s unfair to judge when you don’t know the full story. Manners are also a priority; it costs nothing to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’; showing gratitude takes no effort and can mean so much. Find out more at nolliwaterman.com. Danielle Waterman is an ambassador for mouthguard company OPRO. For more information, visit opro.com

PHOTOGRAPH: JORDAN MANSFIELD/GETTY IMAGES

Having two older brothers taught me a lot about survival. I never thought of myself as different from them; we’d play rugby and there was never any leeway shown to me. It was a case of: ‘If she wants to join in, she’s got to be good enough.’ And that’s the mentality I had; if I wanted to play against my brothers, who I looked up to, I had to be good enough. It made me determined.


psychology

The

narcissist detox It is well known that a relationship with a narcissist can be toxic, but there is often another player in the drama – the echo. Suzy Bashford reports

G

reek mythical character Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection in the water and stared at it until he died, would be chuffed with the amount of talk about narcissism today. Drop the word ‘narcissist’ into a conversation and most people know the kind of person you are talking about: someone with an inflated sense of their own importance, a feeling of entitlement and a craving to win, or believe they are the best – and they are often charismatic with it. People are also becoming aware that a relationship with a narcissist can be damaging. However, there is another, equally important,

character in Ovid’s myth – from which the term narcissist is derived – who barely gets a mention: Echo. Cursed by goddess Hera, she is sentenced to silence forever, only able to utter the last words of another, meaning her existence is dependent on the person she echoes: Narcissus. While narcissists come across as confident, charming and caring, this is often a mask covering insecurities, and they rely on others echoing and admiring them for their self-worth. Typically, says psychologist Sarah Davies, who specialises in narcissistic abuse, the people narcissists are drawn to are caring, kind, generous and considerate. Relationships with >>>

J U LY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 41


because they’re unable to see that their partner’s behaviour is abnormal and end up thinking there’s something wrong with them. Normally, she says, this vulnerability to abuse stems from childhood, usually from a relationship with a narcissistic parent, with the person unconsciously looking to replicate that dynamic. ‘Narcissistic abuse is so widespread, it’s what 99 per cent of my patients come to me about, and the biggest issue is the way it affects self-esteem and self-worth,’ says Davies. ‘People can be left with no confidence or trust in themselves; a bag of nerves with a sense of not being good enough – but no one is good enough for the narcissist.’ A typical scenario, she says, might be that a couple arrange to go out and the narcissist doesn’t turn up. ‘The narcissist will give lame excuses like, “I’m busy and my work is important; if you loved me you’d understand,”’ says Davies. ‘The partner then starts to doubt themselves, thinking, “Maybe they’re right, maybe I’m too demanding, maybe I’m a diva.”’

‘Overpower me, please’

Until now, people in relationships with narcissists have generally been called ‘co-dependents’. But psychotherapist Donna Christina Savery believes they should be recognised in their own right. She uses the term ‘echoist’ and has written a book, Echoism: The Silenced Response To Narcissism (Taylor & Francis, £26.99). ‘There’s something in the echoist that is often predisposed to being in a relationship with a narcissist, which allows them to subjugate themselves to the other person and lose, or avoid having, their own identity,’ says Savery. ‘For some, life with a narcissist is a rollercoaster of abuse, where they feel they are unable to leave, and that they’re dependent on the very person who’s making their life hell.’ Indeed, one of the challenges when echoists come to therapy is that their identity is so tied to the narcissist, they

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Thinking of the echoist as the victim and the narcissist as the perpetrator isn’t helpful; for recovery, echoists must take responsibility

>>> narcissists can be more toxic for them,

struggle to speak about themselves, and are focused on the other person’s issues. Other signs of echoism are lack of self, keeping quiet while others take the limelight, feelings of being worth less than others and shame. ‘They may feel resentment, which they are not able to voice until it has built up to the point of them feeling they will explode,’ she says. Looking back on her relationship with her ex-husband, Jane* realises she was in a toxic narcissistic-echoist dynamic of drama and chaos, characterised by her husband’s explosive, erratic moods and her desire to ‘fix’ or please him. After an angry outburst, he would shower her with gifts, affection and compliments – but there was never any apology for his behaviour; it was always someone else’s fault; he always had an excuse or reason for it. This up-and-down, exhausting interplay was the foundation of their relationship until Jane learned he was having an affair and confronted him. ‘At first, he denied it. As usual, he tried to turn it around, making me doubt myself, telling me I was crazy. If I hadn’t had proof, I would have believed him and made excuses for his behaviour. But I did have proof. At that point, he just said ‘it’s over’. There was no empathy and no apology.’ Now in a healthy relationship, Jane sees that she had lost her identity during her marriage. ‘It was either amazing or terrible, but all about him. We’d only do things he liked and I was always trying to help him; I never had the space and time to think about what I needed.’

But thinking of the echoist as the victim and the narcissist as the perpetrator isn’t helpful, because recognising echoist traits and behaviour, and taking responsibility for them, is vital for recovery. Therapy helped Jane see that she was hiding behind her ex’s behaviour, so she could avoid dealing with her own issues, which is common. ‘Therapy was eye-opening; you have to deal with yourself,’ she says. ‘Being with a narcissist protects you from looking at yourself. It was more painful dealing with my own stuff than his.’

A way back to you

When echoists like Jane break away from narcissists, they often have to face uncomfortable truths – like the fact that they have been complicit in the dynamic by allowing themselves to lose their voice, opinion and confidence. Rebuilding these can be overwhelming. Jane returned to basics to do it, starting with writing a list of the things she enjoyed doing: ‘You feel you’ve lost yourself. It can be difficult making decisions on your own – even


psychology

Echoism basics How to identify whether you are an echoist and an action plan for healing THE WARNING SIGNS OF ECHOISM

Inability to set healthy boundaries – psychological, emotional and physical – in relationships l Having a narcissistic parent l Being a people-pleaser, which is often a coping mechanism that has been formed in childhood after repeatedly having to meet the needs of a narcissistic parent l Fear of another person’s rage, again usually formed in childhood and a result of being exposed to a narcissist parent’s anger l Difficulty saying no to people l Low self-esteem and confidence l Being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) who is empathetic, affected by others’ moods, sensitive to pain and easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells, loud noises and chaotic scenes l The feeling of being constantly shouted down, not heard, not listened to nor understood. Typical accusations to an echoist by a narcissist in an abusive relationship are: ‘you are too sensitive’ and ‘you are weak’ l

let go of the need “forIanother person to

validate me; I brought the power back to me. I am my own source of love, security and approval

*

NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED. PHOTOGRAPHS: GALLERY STOCK

ones like ‘what do I want to do today?’ I found activities like painting, which I hadn’t done for years, helped me come back to being more like myself again.’ One of the toughest things for Jane to admit, and give up, was the intoxicating excitement of being with a narcissist, which she was addicted to: ‘It was hard to enjoy a healthy relationship. I felt like it was missing something because the drama wasn’t there. Things were calm, easy and nice. It felt awkward. I had to learn how to relate to another person in a healthy way. Now, it’s wonderful.’

Learning what a healthy relationship feels like is vital for recovery, says Davies. If you suspect you have echoist traits, she suggests talking to friends as a way to gain perspective, something echoists lose. She recommends writing down behaviour you are concerned about because ‘there’s power in putting it in black and white and reading it back’. After leaving her narcissist partner, Sally* had to relearn how to relate to other people in a healthy way. She says it was gruelling but empowering, and that understanding her vulnerability to narcissists had improved all her relationships. ‘It woke me up and brought me home to myself,’ she says. ‘I learned to let go of the need for another person to validate me and brought the power back to me, so I am my own source of love, security and approval. If you can do that, you are not going into relationships with the needs that make you vulnerable in the first place.’ For information on help available for echoism, visit theechosociety.org.uk; drsarahdavies.com

WHAT ECHOISTS CAN DO TO BREAK THE PATTERN

Assertiveness training Learning to express themselves more clearly and confidently l Learning how to say no through strategies like role play or group work l Learning self-care – often echoists don’t know what this is because their life has been dedicated to looking after someone else – which could include exercise, joining a support group, volunteering or meditation l l

Source: The Echo Society

J U LY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 43


Our agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, offers a new perspective on whatever is troubling you

overwhelmed ‘‘byI’mfamily demands

My husband works abroad for two weeks out of four, and has done for a long time, but I find it harder to cope. We have two children – both have left school but are still living at home, a dog, and elderly parents on both sides who need care, and all of it falls on my shoulders. He would like the family to relocate to where he is, but I feel it is impossible for me to just leave. Also, I love living in the UK. What can we do? Name supplied

A

I imagine you rolling your eyes at the idea of an empty nest at this stage of life because your nest keeps getting fuller. I don’t think the solution is to teleport the whole shebang, although there must be days when you are tempted to fly away on your own. When you say it’s getting harder, it sounds as if, once upon a time, it was hard but acceptable, and that has shifted. My limits about what is hard are probably different from yours, and from your husband’s. I wonder how you would each answer the question, ‘What is making things harder right now?’ I’d be asking that question with the idea of getting a more holistic picture:

when was the last time you felt, ‘This is tricky, but it’s what I want’? You might feel impatient with that question, perhaps you’ve been in fire-fighting mode for so long that it no longer seems relevant what anyone actively wants. I hope we can assume that what your husband wants is for you to be happy. It strikes me that being physically separated in your marriage would add up over time, even without the extra factors. You are missing all the tiny daily gestures of affection or solidarity which are like savings in the bank when things get tough. If your husband is feeling the same, it will make you both feel less patient, and less open to new ideas. My magic wand scenario would be

MARY FENWICK is a business coach, journalist, fundraiser, mother, divorcee and widow GOT A QUESTION FOR MARY? Email mary@psychologies.co.uk, with ‘MARY’ in the subject line FOLLOW MARY ON TWITTER @MJFenwick

to explore what you each want, without rushing towards concrete solutions. One template is ‘the 36 questions that lead to love’, made popular by The New York Times. They start simple – when did you last sing to yourself? – and then get deeper – what, if anything, is too serious to be joked about? There’s even an app. I also recommend the backstory article written by one of the researchers, Elaine Aron (see link below). You’ve made significant joint decisions in the past, and this one calls upon what you’ve learned in your life together so far. psychologytoday.com/us/blog/attendingthe-undervalued-self/201501/36-questionsintimacy-back-story

PHOTOGRAPH: VICTORIA BIRKINSHAW

Q

‘‘

and feel all alone

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self

the life lab

“My messy divorce is grinding me down”

Q

My ex-husband and I are due in court soon and his statement is full of lies about me. I am so scared that the court will believe him and take my son away from me. I’m spending every day trawling through texts and emails to find the evidence to prove that he is lying, and am finding it exhausting and upsetting. I can’t sleep as I’m so stressed about the divorce and it’s ruining the time I do spend with my son. Also, some of the parents at school are supporting my ex and fuelling rumours. I’m so unhappy and can’t see the wood for the trees. What can I do? Name supplied

A

Divorce takes feelings that are already difficult – the reasons you are splitting up in the first place – and sweeps them up into a whirling mess. Let’s find ways to step out of the tornado from time to time. I often write by setting a timer for 20 minutes at a time. Could these boundaries work for you – 20 minutes to search texts for one specific thing, a break of 20 minutes and then 20 minutes on emails? If you spent just four hours of the day in this focused way, it’s likely that you would get more done than in 12 hours of panic. Your breaks can also be useful – you could have the most organised knicker drawer in history! Things like that can

give you a tiny smile on a difficult day. Other parents at school are unlikely to be your best source of support because they know you from a previous life. Maybe you could try volunteering to support a local cause – it will introduce you to new people, and give you a sense of achievement. First though, throw yourself a lifeline by connecting with Gingerbread, the charity for single parents. Membership is free and, when you sign up, there’s a category for those going through separation right now. It might be the most useful five minutes you spend today. You will get through this, and you’ll be proud of yourself and your son. gingerbread.org.uk

“I feel lost and don’t know what to do with my life”

Q

I am sitting my A levels this summer and, if I get my grades, will go to university – but my heart is not in it. My parents are supportive – they say I can do what I want as long as I do something – but I have no idea what I want. What do I do? Stay on the treadmill, and get a degree? The prospect is not awful; I can see it may even be fun and it’s what my friends are doing, but I just feel like I’ve spent years doing this and have never liked it. Name supplied

A

The fact that you’ve already found things you don’t like is useful – sometimes by avoiding one thing, we stumble across something else. You are unlikely to be active past your 80th birthday, so university now or in a year’s time does

not make a huge amount of difference. My slightly off-piste suggestion is to buy a newspaper every day for a week and read the obituaries. I’ve picked up one at random about Sir William McAlpine, who couldn’t peel a potato on his first day in the army. He died aged 82, after marrying twice, having two children, and building oil rigs in the North Sea. His passion, though, was trains, and he was proud to call himself a ‘trainsexual’. He might not have reached that point if he’d had a plan at your age. The Values in Action tool is a way to find your strengths. It will help you see what kind of people and environments bring out the best in you. Character strengths come with us, no matter what work we do, but sometimes they feel so natural, we can’t see them in ourselves. Either way, yes, do something – leave

home; get a job; volunteer. In another year, you’ll know more about what you like or don’t like. Journalist Caitlin Moran says everything turns out to be either a great experience, or a good story. See if she’s right. viacharacter.org

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/LifeLeap-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 J U LY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 45


society

Friends and neighbours We all love our buddies, but would you move across the country so that you could live in the same town? Ten years ago, Kate Townshend did exactly that

46 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E J U LY 2 0 1 8

them? That’s never stopped being appealing. This feeling taps into a deep human yearning for companionship and community. It is no coincidence that the key premise of many successful sitcoms, from Friends to How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory, is exactly this geographical proximity. The main characters are in and out of each other’s living spaces and each other’s lives with a confidence and familiarity that can only be borne out of physical closeness.

I will follow you

But, while we might romanticise this ideal, it’s not something people prioritise as adults. It’s acceptable to move location for a job, or to make a relationship work, or to give your children a better life in the countryside, but doesn’t it seem a bit immature to base your living situation around your friendship group? My answer to this question is a

resounding ‘no’, and I speak from experience because, 10 years ago, I did exactly that. I left a secure job and family connections to move to a town where the main draw was that some of my dearest university friends had already settled there. (Although the Regency architecture was definitely a close second.) It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. I spent my fair share of time worrying that I was giving in to the geographical equivalent of the teenage urge to study the same subjects as your friends at school. I felt guilty about my lack of ambition – shouldn’t I be heading for a big city, alone and unencumbered, to carve out a high-flying career? But, after some soul searching, I decided to do what I actually wanted, and moved to the place where I was choosing to spend every weekend anyway. Sometimes, things that look bad on paper are a very different prospect in >>> PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY

S

ome people look back with a shudder at the communal living of early adulthood. But where they remember squabbles over fridge space in student digs, and grim queues for the single bathroom in a shared house, I’ve always looked back with wistful fondness at the cheerful group cosiness of it all. I loved the spontaneity of always having someone to chat to and the ‘we’re all in this together’ approach to minor challenges of weather or DIY. Or, in more serious moments, where having people around you helps to dim the horror – I watched the Twin Towers fall in a tiny single bedroom in a shared house, eight of us squashed in together with identical expressions of shock and sadness. I’m not saying I need to live in the same space as my friends again – there are advantages to ditching that shared bathroom queue – but what about close to


society

>>> real life. Almost every leap of faith is

a leap of faith precisely because the odds are either against it working out, or entirely indifferent to a positive result. And accepted wisdom was telling me that this idea of friendship was a foolish thing to gamble on. After all, said the voice in my head, people might move on; connections might flounder… It wasn’t just the voice in my head either; plenty of people responded with a head tilt of incredulity when I told them my reasoning.

Comfortable companions

But the good news is, it worked for me. Ten years on, I am intensely grateful every day for the community around me – people with whom I share midweek suppers and weekend brunches and silent cups of tea in each other’s living rooms, accompanied by the soporific lull of Bake Off on the TV. Friends for whom I have lugged boxes and watered plants and gazed in perplexed frustration at flat-pack furniture. The same friends who have given me shelter when I’ve lost keys; who drove me to A&E and stayed with me when I woke up in terrible pain in the night. They are the friends who, when my dad died, didn’t just send me text messages, but showed up on my doorstep. Yes, it was because they cared, but also, importantly, because they could. Sometimes, I do the ‘friends’ houses’ equivalent of a pub crawl, straight from my front door, and return home several hours later, tipsier, smilier and enveloped in a cocoon of warm, fuzzy connection. I have keys to the majority of their homes, and they have mine. I am deadly serious when I say that I’d sooner take a pay cut or move to a smaller house than lose this life-enhancing setup. The thing is, modern life can scatter our peer groups to the four corners of the globe. Our school and university friendships are too often sustained via Facebook and Skype calls late at night to bridge time-zone differences, and snatched weekends into which we have to

48 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E J U LY 2 0 1 8

Circle of friends

Making this community work takes effort. Here’s how Kate Townshend does it: l Be honest. When people live just around the corner, they may gather at your house for long visits, so there comes a point when you have to ditch the social niceties. My friends know that, if I’m tired, I’ll go to bed and ask them to let themselves out! l Find low-key ways to spend time together. One of the nicest

things about living near your friends is that not everything has to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sometimes, it’s enough to watch a film together in a post-work haze, or to offer to cook halfway through a depressing week. l Give and take. Do the things people in communities do for each other. Offer to water plants, or feed the cat, or help them lug boxes across town. It really helps to make you feel a meaningful part of each other’s lives.

catch up on years’ worth of experiences. The best friendships will survive this – of course they will, some of mine have – but, let’s be honest, how much easier, how much lovelier, to have these best beloveds on our doorstep? My own little bubble of community has expanded since my move. My now-husband was easily persuaded that Thursday-night board games were an excellent reason for him to relocate to my town, rather than me upping sticks to his, thereby saving me from having to break the news that I’d have been fundamentally unwilling! Other friends, tired of living double lives driving halfway across the country each weekend, have similarly been pulled in, selling houses

and changing careers in pursuit of the priceless pleasure of an unplanned weekday coffee. Each time this happens, they make their own new connections and our social web stretches further. Sometimes, it feels like a tricky thing to talk about without sounding smug. I see those studies about how few friends many of us have as we enter our 30s and shiver with a combination of empathy and relief. I chose to move here to be close to friends, and that part of my life has flourished as a direct result. But I know I’ve also been incredibly lucky.

Worth the risk?

After all, no matter what we choose to gamble on in life, it’s always a gamble. And while a stabilising core of people have been here as long as I have, others have slipped in and out of my life as friends often do. I was right on many of the friendships I bet my location on, but others have gone catastrophically wrong. One toxic connection made a particular friendship group challenging for a while. And even though I’ve been married for four years now, I still bump into exes more often than seems fair! Occasionally, I still wonder about those lives not lived. Would the ‘career first’ version of me be doing amazing things right now? Should I have been braver? These aren’t questions I can answer with any certainty. One thing I do know, though: over the summer, my hometown friends and I found ourselves having regular post-work picnics, sitting together on one of the hills that encircle our town and watching the sunset. These things squash any lingering unease about the good sense of the decision – because when I’m old and grey, these are the moments I know I will remember. And, if I’m sharing a retirement home with some of my closest friends by that stage, even better. @_katetownshend


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“My social-media addiction has cost me a year of uni ” Our award-winning coach, Kim Morgan, gives advice to a woman who is constantly distracted by her need to be connected online ILLUSTR ATION ANDREA DE SANTIS

Naomi* had recently failed her second year at university. It had been a shock to everyone, as she was smart and conscientious. Naomi told me that she was now retaking the second year with people younger than her, while her friends had all started their final year together. ‘I feel like such a failure and I’m so ashamed,’ she told me, as she burst into tears. I asked Naomi, ‘What happened last year?’ She squirmed uncomfortably and replied, ‘I think I just overdid social media; it has taken over my life a bit.’ I asked her what she meant by ‘a bit’? She told me, ‘I check my phone as soon as I get up, and sometimes I wake in the night to look at it. If I don’t get enough likes, I delete the photo and I start thinking that people hate me.’ She spent hours choosing filters so

that she looked as good as possible. ‘If I am tagged in a picture by someone else, I am literally gripped with fear, in case I look rubbish.’ Sometimes, she did things she didn’t want to do ‘because they are good selfie opportunities’. ‘When I get a lot of likes, I feel fantastic, but that feeling doesn’t last. Mostly, I feel terrible – I’m paranoid about how I come across, and if I’m unfollowed, I feel physically sick. I can’t stop, though. I even made a whole Instagram campaign with #year2failure and got loads of new followers.’ I asked Naomi to do two things before our next session: find a time or a place each day to have a phone-free zone; and not to use our coaching sessions as another social-media opportunity. She looked embarrassed. It turned out she had already posted a photo outside my office with #seeingmyshrink and a sad face emoji. ‘It was too good an opportunity to miss,’ she said.

NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED

“I feel like a failure; I don’t know how to curb my digital obsession”

*

Session one

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Letting go of FOMO

I saw immediately that Naomi was very low. Talking to me about her addiction had made her realise just how serious it had become and how it was affecting her studies, social life and self-esteem. Naomi sobbed, ‘I’m sick of comparing myself to others. I try to show people that my life is as amazing as theirs and that I look as incredible as they do. They all have perfect lives, looks, homes, food, cute pets, parties and friends… and I don’t. Trying to live up to them is making me feel rubbish.’ ‘But do they really have perfect lives or are we all pretending?’ I asked. Naomi stopped crying, looked up at me and said quietly, ‘I don’t know.’ We talked about Fear Of Missing Out, or FOMO as it is referred to on social media. FOMO can cause feelings of anxiety by comparing your lifestyle to the one that you perceive others have. When we lack confidence, or we feel that reality is not living up to our expectations, it is easy to use social media as a quick ego boost. For a moment, we feel great, but it is often a downward spiral of disappointment. The rush of getting a like doesn’t last, we compare ourselves unfavourably with others, and deep down we know that there is a gap between our ‘real self’ and the self we are presenting to the outside world. I asked Naomi, ‘What one change could you make that would help you to feel better?’ ‘I think I’m going to go cold turkey; I am starting a digital detox from now until we meet next time.’

Further Limiting tech time sessions Naomi couldn’t wait to tell me what had

happened. ‘I feel much better about myself. I’ve read some books, been out with friends – I have actual things to talk about.’ She found that she’d slept better, exercised and studied. ‘I can’t believe how relieved I feel that I am not constantly feeling judged on Instagram.’ I was amazed at the change in Naomi’s energy levels. However, I recognised that she had a tendency to go to extremes. I was concerned that she’d give up all technology, which would be equally unsustainable in the long term. Naomi came up with some simple rules that she could stick to: designate phone-free zones, limit her number of posts and the amount of times each day she checked her accounts, and turn off alerts on her phone. She posted a selfie later that day with #lovemyshrink. Just for a moment, I understood that feel-good rush…

Coaching exercises – me, myself and I Useful ideas to jot down in your journal this month REAL SELF VS SOCIAL-MEDIA SELF On a clean page, draw two columns – one titled ‘My real self’ and the other, ‘My social-media self’. In each column, write a list of words and phrases that describe you, your life, your relationships, your appearance and feelings – how they are in reality, and how they are on your social-media posts. HOW DO THEY COMPARE? When you have completed both columns, compare them and ask yourself the following questions: ● How many of the same words or phrases appear in each column? ● What is the difference between the two columns? ● How do you feel when you look at the two sets of words? What does it say about you? ● What would someone else say if they looked at these two columns?

I feel much better about myself. I’ve read some books, been out with friends – I have actual things to talk about

Session two

coaching

the life lab

REDISCOVERING THE TRUE ‘YOU’ ● If there are a lot of differences, how can you move closer to your ideal self in the ‘real’ world? What changes could you make to become the best you? ● Or, if there are a lot of differences, how could you change your social-media posts to reflect who you really are? What would be the impact of doing this? For more from Kim, see barefootcoaching.co.uk; @BarefootCoaches

EXPERTS WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE. SEE PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/LIFE-LEAP-CLUB-NEW-SUBSCRIBERS


PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY

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events

Book now!

Join us for some inspiring

Psychologies events!

In partnership with NOW Live Events, channel your creativity with Jackee Holder, honour your true self with Magdalena Bak-Maier and become digitally aware with Laura Willis

Plus! Last chance

AUGUST WORKSHOP

to secure a place

Aligning heart and mind to heal and thrive DATE: 22 August 2018 VENUE: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL TIME: 7pm-8.30pm COST: £18 IRRESPECTIVE OF PROFESSION, age, culture or sexuality, the journey towards embracing who we really are can be the hardest process in life, and never ends. For over a decade, Magdalena Bak-Maier has been developing and experimenting with how to connect heart and mind, body and spirit for personal empowerment. This process creates lasting transformation, effective behaviour change and even healing. Her techniques are easy to learn and implement.

JULY ONE-DAY IMMERSION

YOU WILL LEARN: ● To choose

● How to stop

differently in the moment ● Ways to align heart and mind for best results

procrastinating ● Tools to turn setbacks and hurt into vital helpers

Magdalena Bak-Maier is a pioneer of integrative coaching and therapy, and a gifted teacher. Her work shows people how to operate with more ‘heart’ so they can connect with others and themselves. To dive deep into being your best self, see her DaVinci Programme at maketimecount.com/ davinci. Join us! See nowliveevents.org/events

SEPTEMBER WORKSHOP

How to have a healthy relationship with your smartphone DATE: 12 September 2018 VENUE: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL TIME: 7pm-8.30pm COST: £18 AS THE WORLD starts to wake up to the negative impact our 24/7 connected culture is having on us, join Laura Willis from Shine Offline, who will share her own journey from digital overload to breakdown and on to recovery. Laura will explore the latest research and help us to understand more clearly the role that our devices are playing in our lives. She’ll show us how to make positive changes to our relationship with tech, without chucking our phones in the bin and becoming a hermit.

YOU WILL LEARN: ● How to improve

management of digital distractions and enhance your wellbeing ● Practical tools that can be

implemented immediately to get your balance back ● How to set goals and explore solutions that will work for you

Laura Willis is founder of Shine Offline.

She and her colleagues work to empower businesses to understand the importance of a healthy and sustainable relationship with digital technology, delivering their learning sessions to organisations throughout the UK. Join us! See nowliveevents.org/events

Tap into your creativity superpowers and turn your ideas into reality DATE: 14 July 2018 VENUE: 42 Acres Shoreditch, 66 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LW TIME: 10am-5pm COST: £105 (early bird); or £125 DO YOU HAVE ideas that have remained a constant in your thoughts? Jackee Holder invites you to explore your creative potential as a superpower. Creativity not only boosts productivity but, when regularly accessed, increases your ability to problem-solve. The day will include writing and collaging, as well as small-group work. YOU WILL LEARN: ● How to tap into your creative superpowers ● How journalling and reflective writing boosts productivity ● Ways to navigate artistic blocks ● Tools to monetise some of those innovative ideas Jackee Holder is an executive leadership coach and author. She specialises in teaching reflective writing and journalling to organisations and groups. Visit jackeeholder.com. Join us! See nowliveevents.org/immersions

J U LY 2 0 1 8 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 53


TAKE THE FIRST STEP TOWARD A STRONGER, BRAVER YOU.

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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: ✔

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Tap into and build on the inner resilience you already have

React in a healthy way to problems and opportunities

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orgasmic life

The new paradigm Having begun her exploration into sexual fulfilment, Karla Newbey ponders what kind of relationship, and lover, she wants to attract

C

an you imagine a colour you have never seen? How do you visualise a thing that you can’t describe? How do you manifest something you cannot yet conceive? After years in a sexless marriage, my unprecedented forays into the world of casual dating seemed like a necessary stage of my awakening but, if I really wanted to explore my sensuality, I would have to establish some kind of relationship with a man. But what would that look like? I honestly had no idea.

ILLUSTRATION: JESSICA DURRANT/GETTY IMAGES

What did I desire?

I knew I didn’t want what I’d had in the past, where I’d lost my sense of self in obligation and fears. I didn’t want a man who was looking to live together; I was cherishing my own space for the first time in 15 years far too much for that. I didn’t want a man who was needy or jealous – I was exploring tantra, and I wasn’t willing to keep that secret. And I didn’t want a man who shouted at me. Ever. But this was only going to get me so far. I knew enough to know that knowing what you don’t want doesn’t get you what you do want – I needed to get clearer about what I desired. Desperate not to fall into old patterns, I examined my previous assumptions about relationships. Did they really need to be monogamous? Was I only attracted to men, or would I like to try a relationship with a woman? If I removed my cultural conditioning, what were my deepest desires, and was I prepared to follow them? I read More Than Two, A Practical Guide To Ethical Polyamory by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert (Thorntree Press, £21.99) and

The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy (Greenery Press, £14.99) in an attempt to broaden my mind and consider ideas that were unthinkable to my former self. I attended talks and a few nightclubs, where an open-minded attitude to sexual relationships was the norm. What I gained from this was surprising. Honesty and communication seemed to be at the heart of this culture. Boundaries were stated. People knew where they stood. It was an antidote to the common cultural paradigm, where couples promise fidelity, but end up leaving or cheating in secret. Although I have no wish to be polyamorous – life is complicated enough – I felt I wanted honesty to be at the heart of future relationships: real openness, where you can discuss anything. I added communication, conversation and friendship to my ‘Desire List’. Then I looked back with admiration at the women I’d known who’d picked kind men, rather than ‘exciting’ ones, as I had done, only to find that, once the excitement wore off, they weren’t the nicest men to be with. Pondering whether I would find such a man on Tinder, I picked up my phone, considering deleting my dating apps. A new message flashed up: a friendly, smiling face offering, by way of a joke, to do my shopping for me. I sent him my list, and we continued chatting daily – about art, literature, poetry and nature – for the rest of the week. When he asked me out on a date, I couldn’t help wondering if I’d miraculously manifested the kind, clever, funny lover I desired…

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 onâ&#x20AC;Ś

Dealing with email overload Be the master of your inboxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s destiny, says Oliver Burkeman. Plan, prioritise and gain peace of mind

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work

T

PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES

ime travellers from centuries ago, when looking at email, might assume we’d lost our minds. After all, it’s a technology that allows anyone to interrupt you, whenever they like, at no cost to themselves. Even if you turn off message alerts, email still functions as a to-do list that anybody in the world can add to. So, if you deal with it reactively, your time’s being managed for you by a giant committee that doesn’t have your best interests at heart. The path to peace of mind is setting up your own personal system of habits, rather than letting email control you.

First, declare a backlog. If you have hundreds of unanswered messages, pick a recent date – say, two weeks ago – and move every email received before then to a new folder, titled ‘backlog’. Then, treat clearing the backlog like a separate task. Meanwhile, start developing good habits with new email right away, rather than trying to dig yourself out of a deep hole. Use your inbox as an inbox. One sure recipe for stress is treating your inbox like a to-do list and a filing

cabinet. Instead, each new email should trigger one of four actions: delete it; archive it; reply, then archive it; or add a task to a separate to-do list, then archive it. Once it’s no longer ‘active’, it leaves your inbox.

Check messages on your own schedule.

If you check email frequently, you’ll constantly interrupt yourself, and it can take a long time to get back on track. So, choose a schedule for answering email – perhaps, an hour twice a day. Avoid first thing if you can. Instead, work on some other important project for at least an hour: you’ll find that you’re then in a better mindset to prioritise the important emails.

You don’t need to answer every email.

It’s not a crime to ignore a message. It’s a question of weighing the time spent answering against the costs of not answering. You wouldn’t ignore your boss or an old friend – but in other cases, the trade-off may be worth it.

Oliver Burkeman is author of ‘The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’ (Canongate, £8.99)

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Why does cheating happen?

New series

F

or so many, infidelity is a fact of life. Old and young, rich and poor, meek and powerful, none of us is immune. From presidents to film stars, to your friends, family and colleagues, those of us on the painful receiving end are in very good company. For UKCP psychotherapists, it’s one of the biggest and most burning issues in the consulting room. Betrayal, for there’s no way to sugarcoat that powerful word, is very hard to recover from.  I feel especially for young people my children’s age, in their 20s and 30s – millennials for whom the boundaries of fidelity may be a lot less clear than they were in the analogue era.

It’s a fine line…

‘Stop flirtin’ with Satnav Lady!’ said Denise, as she berated her on-screen husband for purring seductively to their in-car navigation system, in a hilarious scene in The Royle Family comedy series. We may laugh but, seriously, the late, wonderful writer Caroline Aherne was onto something.

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What are the parameters of cheating, when so much of millennials’ lives are conducted online? New encounters can be arranged as easily as ordering pizza these days. You can have sex without physical contact, or you can buy non-human, yet highly life-like, silicone surrogates that react and speak. In such a short time, we’ve come a long way since then-president Bill Clinton set his infamous yardstick of not having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. The thing is, the internet makes it much easier and far quicker to act on an urge. The rules are unclear and the opportunities for encounters, befriending, flirting and increasing grades of sexual engagement have multiplied. But, whatever the medium, it boils down to one all-too-critical thing, according to our psychotherapists – honest and open communication between couples. Easier said than done, though. Partners are often in disagreement over what it means to cheat. It’s hardly the most romantic conversation to be having during the early months, but you need to agree on definitions – whether it’s talking to an ex, visiting a strip club, sexting someone, or more – and what that would mean for your

PHOTOGRAPH: PÅL HANSEN. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CARL STANLEY

In our new column and podcast series, professor Sarah Niblock, CEO of UKCP, explores real-life challenges that affect all our lives and how therapy can help. This month, we take a look at infidelity, and uncover ways for relationships to find their way back from betrayal


in partnership with UKCP

ASK THE SEXPERT…

This month, Lucy Beresford, host of LBC Radio’s sex and relationships phone-in show, an agony aunt on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ and UKCP psychotherapist, advises…

Q

What are the main issues at the root of infidelity? There are so many, depending on the couple, but at its heart it’s usually about wanting something in your life that you’re not getting in your relationship. People often assume that ‘thing’ is sex, but actually sex is rarely the driving force. It’s more about things such as freedom, passion, respect, intimacy or rebellion – and often these have little to do with the relationship itself but what is missing in the person who has the affair.

Q

relationship. Is a live, in-the-flesh interaction still required, or does a webcam encounter with someone half a world away count equally?

PHOTOGRAPH: PÅL HANSEN. HAIR AND MAKE-UP: CARL STANLEY

You’re the only one who truly knows Not even the most highly experienced UKCP psychotherapist can present you with a definitive rule book – only you know the answers, and your answers may be different from everyone else’s, as an individual or as a couple. Infidelity is ultimately the breaking of a bond of trust by keeping secrets about sex. And it’s the ‘T’ word rather than the ‘S’ word that therapists tell me causes the most anguish. It makes not a blind bit of difference if the cheating occurred in person or online. The first tough talk we need to have is with ourselves, and this is where psychotherapy can be incredibly enriching and confidence-raising. It can help each of us as individuals and as couples to connect with our genuine innermost feelings and values, so that we can honestly determine and communicate our own boundaries.

Is it possible that infidelity can make relationships stronger? Relationships can definitely grow stronger after the revelation of an affair. An affair is the opportunity

for a couple to work out what they really want in their partnership and what was missing before, or what has got out of balance.

Q

How do you heal after an affair?

There are lots of things a couple can do, but improving open communication is crucial. The person who had the affair also needs to show remorse and take steps to end it and cut all contact, plus rebuild trust by being open about mobile phone and laptop use. However, the person who was betrayed also needs to do their bit. It’s never a good idea to go probing for information about the affair, as this will only be torture. Instead, you need to rebuild your shattered self-confidence. Couples and individual therapy are great at this painful time.

LISTEN TO THE TALKING THERAPIES PODCAST

Can you heal from an affair? To listen to the podcast of Lucy Beresford and Sarah Niblock in conversation, go to bit.ly/2L1kcgG

About the UKCP and how to find a therapist ● The UKCP Alongside professional support for our members, we are the leading research, innovation, educational and regulatory body working to advance psychotherapies for the benefit of all. Our 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 range of approaches for couples, individuals, families and groups.

● To find the right therapist,

log on to psychologies.co.uk/ find-a-therapist and look at our Life Labs Channel of experts who may be able to help, or visit psychotherapy.org.uk/find-a-therapist to locate a therapist near you.

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Dossier

The meaning of life

We like to ask the big questions at Psychologies and, this month, we invite you to consider what gives your life meaning and purpose. We explore how changing what you do can give your life significance, and how honouring your values brings fulfilment. Our readers lead from the front, inspiring us with major life leaps, from career changes to lifestyle overhauls. You know that living a life with meaning is key for mental wellbeing, but it’s not always easy to connect with your ‘why’ – take our test to find yours. For inspiration and guidance, join our Life Leap Club, free for subscribers, to access world-class coaches, masterclasses and the inspirational Psychologies community. Don’t take this journey alone – come with us! >>> PHOTOGRAPHS BONNINSTUDIO/STOCKSY

JOIN OUR LIFE LEAP CLUB. SUBSCRIBE NOW! GET FREE COACHING AND, IN LIVE VIDEOS, BE INSPIRED BY THE EXPERTS 60 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E J U LY 2 0 1 8


WHO CAN HELP US FIND OUR PURPOSE IN LIFE. GO TO PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK/SUBSCRIPTIONS


Dossier

Find your purpose

how to make it happen. I wasn’t alone. Many of us crave purpose in our careers; reports have found millennials, in particular, move from job to job, sometimes career to career, to find it. And, with millennials set to make up the majority of the workforce by 2020, the pressure for employers to understand what makes us tick is growing. Interestingly, it’s not necessarily a big pay cheque that wins us over; research included in Fortune magazine’s ‘100 Best Workplaces for Millennials’ found that those who had discovered ‘special meaning’ in their work were six times more likely to stay in the job long term. Is this resonating, but you’re not a millennial? Another study found that the older we get, the more purpose and meaning at work outweigh salary.* Annoyingly though, like many of us, I did not know what ‘special meaning’ looked like for me when I was 25 years old. I didn’t know what I wanted to do – all I knew was that it wasn’t what I was doing, to the point that my wellbeing was suffering. A few of my friends had turned to antidepressants, but I knew my unhappiness couldn’t be fixed by pills – what I was lacking was purpose. >>>

“Friends turned to antidepressants, but I knew my unhappiness couldn’t be fixed by pills – I was lacking purpose”

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*

S

taring out of the office window onto a concrete wall, I’m trying to get my head around how I got here; wishing I could be anywhere but here, doing anything other than this. It’s 2012 and I’m 25, working as an investment research analyst, interviewing fund managers about stocks and shares and bonds, so that I can advise rich people how to get even richer. It has nothing to do with the psychology degree I dedicated three years to, and I’m the most junior person on a team of economics boffs, steadily feeling like I’m going nowhere, probably because I keep nodding off at my desk through utter boredom. Fast-forward to 2018, and I can see now that, aside from my disinterest in the dull subject matter, I found no meaning in my job, no value, no passion and no pride. Even my free time was gobbled up by a feeling of emptiness. It was as if my nine-to-five was sucking the energy from my five-to-nine. On the outside, I appeared successful, but inside I felt like a failure; it wasn’t what I had dreamed of doing with my life. I knew then that something had to change, but I did not know

LINKEDIN PURPOSE AT WORK GLOBAL REPORT, 2016

YOLO! We all want to live a life of purpose, yet many of us feel that we do not. We aren’t able to pursue our purpose, or even figure out what it is – this elusive prize that we cannot find. But what if we’ve been chasing the wrong thing? Ali Roff has a new treasure map


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Dossier >>> ‘Purpose is our truth; our reason for being,’ says

Jessica Huie, author of Purpose: Find Your Truth And Embrace Your Calling (Hay House, £12.99). ‘It’s about living a life of meaning, but meaning in every sense. Purpose is stepping into the space where our life becomes “aligned”, not just professionally, but personally.’ Huie has also experienced dissatisfaction at work to the point of strain on her emotional wellbeing. Working in celebrity public relations, she realised she no longer found meaning in her job. ‘I felt a disconnection – my values were misaligned with that of an often-superficial industry. I was depressed, a workaholic and insecure. I think so many of us don’t live from a space of purpose and, as a result, we exist with feelings of conflict that create illness, depression and discontent, until we reconnect with ourselves and get to know who we really are, and what is truly meaningful for us,’ she says.

WHO KNOWS?

FINDING PASSION

Chelsea Dinsmore runs Live Your Legend, an international community that helps people find what they love to do and start doing it. She echoes Piper’s words: ‘Purpose is a heavy word – it can be paralysing,’ she says. Building on the idea of internal exploration, Dinsmore suggests removing some of the burden by replacing our focus on purpose with deeper curiosity. ‘What are the things that make you feel alive? “Feel” is the key word here – the moments that make you feel overwhelmed with joy or gratitude. Start there.’ For practica l tips on how to foster this curiosity, I talk to Fiona Murden, author of Defining You: How To Profile Yourself And Unlock Your Full Potential (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, £16.99). ‘Broaden your horizons; read about different topics, expand your fixed social-media feeds – these close down curiosity to an extent, because they lead us down specific paths that we’re already interested in; click on posts you wouldn’t usually read, and ask what your reaction to them makes you feel, and what it can tell you about who you are. Investigate; think of yourself as a detective in every situation – the more we explore, the more we realise what we are passionate about, and also what doesn’t interest us that much,’ says Murden.

“Looking for my purpose was destructive. It can leave you feeling lost if you haven’t found ‘the thing’. It’s such pressure!”

But what if we can’t identify our purpose? What if we don’t know what we want to do with our lives? I remember that awful feeling of yearning for meaning, and yet not knowing where to find it; where to even start looking. Psychologies ambassador Dav Piper had a similar experience: ‘For a long time, “looking for my purpose” was actually destructive,’ she told me. ‘We hear all these amazing stories of people doing wonderful things, but it can leave you feeling lost if you haven’t found “the thing” yourself. It’s so much pressure!’ So, where do we begin when we feel discontented, pressured and disheartened? Huie urges us to move our priorities away from finding purpose and towards a simple exploration of ourselves. ‘Vow to go on a journey to discover yourself,’ she says. ‘For me, finding purpose was a process of stripping back the layers to meet myself again, and rebuild from that space. It isn’t a decision about when to take a leap, it’s about exploring who you are.’ But how do we investigate who we are? How can we ‘meet’ ourselves again? ‘Meditation, yoga and being in nature – anywhere we can just be with ourselves when we aren’t at the mercy of doing. Busyness is a barrier to

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being with ourselves. When we finally connect with ourselves and the present moment, there is so much to be discovered in that space,’ she explains.

DREAMING THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM?

Once we’ve spent time looking within and listening to ourselves, Huie says the best way to begin finding our purpose is to disrupt our lives: ‘Start to do things that force you out of the status quo – do a new activity every weekend, read a different book every week, put yourself in new environments that will encourage fresh conversations to inspire differing mindsets. We need this in order to uncover what makes us tick and what lights us up,’ she affirms. What if we have found our purpose but can’t quit our job, take a pay cut, or travel the world in order to find >>>


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Dossier >>> more meaning? What if that’s impossible for us?

‘Sometimes, we discover what we feel is our calling and we can’t make that leap because of certain practicalities – and that’s OK, too,’ says Huie. ‘It’s not what we do but how we do it’. She says that, in these cases, we must look to our value system to find purpose. ‘When we know what we stand for; when we know who we want to be for the world – what kind of energy we want to give out – how we want to make people feel, we can bring that into our workplace, where we are now, and that can be an incredible transformation. In this way, you can start right here and right now.’

‘NOT ON MY RADAR’

“I decided that my purpose is to share the things that matter to me – kindness, compassion and gratitude”

Murden says we can also discover more about our values from what we don’t feel passionately about: ‘What upsets you, gets to you, or excites you? What are the things that don’t bother or excite you; things that other people seem to be passionate about? Those tell us where our values and passions don’t lie, which helps us identify what’s not true about who we are.’ However, life is about so much more than the hours we work; and talking to Dinsmore reminded me of how relevant that is. Previously, I had seen a TED Talk, ‘How to find work you love’, by her husband, Scott Dinsmore, who founded Live Your Legend after the couple graduated from university and decided their corporate jobs held no meaning. They left the rat race to start their new venture, but Scott tragically died in a climbing accident on Mount Kilimanjaro while travelling with Chelsea in 2015. Now, she runs the thriving Live Your Legend community and has a unique view on living a life of purpose that isn’t connected solely to career. ‘After Scott’s accident, I was grieving, yet presented with a similar feeling to the one I felt post-graduation. Scott had applied his work at Live Your Legend around the one life transition that he knew; our career path – but, in grieving, I realised that I needed to follow a different path yet again. Every day is a gift, and it can disappear in a matter of seconds. When Scott died, I had to find a reason, and meaning, to help me live my life each day.’ Did her personal tragedy change the way Dinsmore

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looks at purpose? ‘I think when you find a sense of peace around death, you begin to live your life differently. It takes away the sense of time and space, and you’re just here to appreciate it.’ And, for those of us who can’t leave our jobs, move cities or change other life circumstances, she asks: ‘Can you create a reason why you believe that you are on this planet, on the scale of something that you can do every single day? I decided that my purpose is to share the things that matter to me – kindness, compassion and gratitude. That is something that I can do every day – whereas, if our purpose is something too grandiose, we can sometimes stop ourselves before we even start. It’s beautiful to be able to dream big, but it’s the small steps that create a life filled with meaning.’

FLOCK TOGETHER

What if we finally figure out our purpose, but it looks different from the norm? There’s a fair chance people will tell you you’re deluded. ‘Our selfmotivation of willpower only gets us so far,’ says Dinsmore, ‘so it’s important to have a community of like-minded people behind you, especially if you are walking your path and everyone around you is trying to pull you from it. If you want something to be different, you have to do things differently. If you want more support, you’ve got to seek it out. The world provides so many mentors to follow – work to find the people who hold up your dreams and goals like it’s your full-time job,’ she encourages. For Psychologies readers, we’ve got that bit covered – subscribers to the magazine get free access to our Life Leap Club, a supportive online coaching forum. It’s where I catch up with Piper who, like me, was struggling with the profoundness of figuring out her purpose in life. She tells me: ‘I’ve decided that, for now, my purpose is to live my life to the full, and experience as much as possible; to be true to my values and myself.’ And, as I sit here writing this, having found a meaningful career six years after that moment of despair in the office, I can’t help but feel that this is the most authentic, raw version of living a purposeful life that there is for me. Follow Ali Roff @AliRoff on Instagram; liveyourlegend.net. Read Dav Piper’s blog at lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk


What’s getting in the way of you living your truth?

1

Author Fiona Murden helps us begin our journey of curiosity and self-exploration, in order to pinpoint our values and purpose Celebrate your strengths

The things that feel most natural to us are often the things that we don’t value, because we assume everyone must be able to do them. It helps to ask friends and family: ‘What adjectives describe me best; which things stand out about me; what are the things I talk about that get me the most excited?’

2

Don’t do what’s expected of you

Reflecting on the behaviour that does not sit well with our values or passions, or does not make our

hearts sing, can be the first step towards knowing that something isn’t right for us. We can all become trapped in doing things because they are expected of us, or because it was an easy path. Ask yourself: ‘What are the things that make my heart sing; that make me want to get out of bed in the morning; activities during which I enter a state of mindful flow? Am I doing enough of these things?’

3

Be authentic to your values

To an extent, our values are influenced by our upbringing. Look at yours and

ask which things your family and friends valued that you found difficult to connect with. You don’t have to be shaped by what your parents or friends say or think. What do your opinions tell you about who you are?

4

Create social wellbeing

Cultivating meaningful connections is a great way to open opportunities, and boost our health. The support of a network enhances our chance of living a rewarding life. Connect with our supportive and inspiring tribe when you subscribe. Go to psychologies. co.uk/Life-Leap-Club-New-Subscribers

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Dossier

Q+A

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Maybe you’ll never know… but perhaps you don’t ever have to decide. Ali Roff talks to Emilie Wapnick about her book, How To Be Everything

Q

If I’m reading this thinking, ‘yes that’s me! I still don’t know what I want to do’, am I normal? Or am I a failure? That’s a pretty natural response when you are raised in a culture that holds up this idea of specialisation as a shining example of how we’re all supposed to be – it’s natural to feel that if we don’t have that ‘one true purpose’ in our lives, then we’re failures or something’s wrong with us. The way you can start to unpack this and get over it, is to begin to see your complexity and multifacetedness – your multipotentiality – as the strength that it is. Start to look at the world through a new lens; you will see that there are people out there doing meaningful work, who are really successful and making a massive difference in the world. A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits. It comes from the word ‘multipotentiality’, which is a term in psychology that refers to people who display aptitudes across multiple disciplines.

Q

How do you feel about the amount of pressure that’s put on us, as children and then as adults, to ‘decide’? I think it’s really problematic – it can shut down curiosity, and it also contributes to the idea that you don’t matter unless you have a purpose – a career path and a job – and that’s a huge problem; to wrap up your identity in this one thing that you do for money.

“There are plenty of people out there who have an array of things they’re interested in and want to do”

Q

What if you feel that you don’t have one true purpose, but many? You’re not alone; there are plenty of people out there who have an array of things that they are interested in and want to do. It makes your life more exciting and richer, and there is a lot more potential there to combine disparate ideas and fields, to create something new, and forge a unique path for yourself.

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Q

Can multipotentiality actually be an advantage? Absolutely. A lot of us view it as a weakness, but I think you can really flip that around if you look at some of the strengths; for example, idea synthesis – where you take two ideas and blend them together to create something new – can lead to so many really innovative businesses, and solutions to complex problems. Multipotentialites are also fast learners; they love to learn, so they pick up things quickly. They are good at relating to people from all walks of life, because they’re both curious about so many things and have several backgrounds, so they can usually find something to connect through. This also means that they’re good at leading, because they can communicate between different teams. They tend to be big-picture thinkers, as they can see how everything is linked. I’ve noticed that they are quite passionate and want to do big things in the world – they bring all their skills together to make that happen. Those are just a few of their superpowers.


Q

What obstacles might multipotentialites face, and how can they get over them? There are three main areas that they tend to struggle with; the first is finding sustainable variety. The second is productivity – if they have many projects in their lives, how do they make progress in all of them at the same time? Spreading themselves too thin, they might not forge ahead, but if they focus on one thing, they’ll be bored, so it’s about finding that balance. Lastly, there is fear and self-doubt; they worry about what people think, or about having to explain their multipotentiality to those who don’t understand.

Q

jobs and businesses that you flit between in the course of a week, for example, the programmer, teacher or stand-up comedian. People who use this approach tend to enjoy each of their jobs, but wouldn’t want to do any of them full-time, and that’s how they get their variety. Then there’s the ‘Einstein’ approach. For a while, Einstein was employed by the government at the patent office – he had a secure day job with benefits, and he developed his theories on the side. This is what author Barbara Sher calls the ‘good enough’ job – which takes care of your financial goals, but most importantly provides you with enough free time to pursue your passions outside of work. Those who use this technique often tell me it removes the pressure of having to monetise everything they become interested in. Finally, there’s the ‘phoenix’ approach; this is someone who’ll dive into a career for a longer period – often five to 10 years – until they reach a point where they’re ready for a fresh adventure. They’ll shift gears and begin a career in a totally different field.

“Multipotentialites are very good at relating to people from all walks of life, because they are curious about so many things”

What sort of work would suit a multipotentialite? There isn’t one perfect job for multipotentialites, but almost everyone fits into one of four work models we use to structure our careers. These are: the ‘group hug’ approach, where several interests come together in one job, so you wear many hats in order to do that one job. Then you have the ‘slash’ approach, where instead of combining your interests, you keep them separate and distinct. You may have a few part-time

‘How To Be Everything: A Guide For Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want To Be When They Grow Up’ by Emilie Wapnick (HarperOne, £12.99)

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Dossier

“Our values led to purpose” Three readers tell us how they focused on what fanned their flames and found meaning in life INTERVIEWS RIN HAMBURGH PHOTOGRAPH SEAN MALYON

“If you’re not into plants, you might find me annoying, but my life feels real now” ALEX COLLINS, 37, GARDEN DESIGNER

HAIR AND MAKE-UP: JYN SAN

F

or 12 years, I worked in TV in an art department, sourcing props and designing sets. It was mostly short-term contract work and I was often based on location here, there and everywhere. The transient nature of the role meant it wasn’t easy to build genuine friendships and I found it difficult to put down roots. What’s more, the long hours and travel meant I always missed social gatherings and special events at home, from bank holidays to birthdays. It was an exciting job and paid well, but I realised I was slogging away at something that kept me separated from the things that meant the most to me. I desperately missed feeling like I belonged to a community, getting involved in local things, being around for events and day-to-day life. When my partner and I decided to start a family, I knew my days in TV were numbered. Childcare would have been a complete nightmare and I would have hardly seen my family. Luckily, in 2013, we moved into a new house that had an enormous garden. It was totally overgrown, which had put off other

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buyers but, for me, it prompted a light-bulb moment. I’ve always been interested in plants but, as the garden started to take shape, ideas buzzed and I fell in love with garden design. That’s when I decided to retrain for my new career. It wasn’t easy – for a start, I had to take a massive pay cut, and it took some time to retrain as my little boy was born by then, but it was more than worth it. Working for myself means being able to become established in my community. I can be at home with my family, I can have a cup of tea with my neighbours and see friends locally. I’m not constantly missing things. One of the joys of my new life is having the time to network with other freelancers, many of whom are also mothers, which really makes me feel part of my community; collaborating and throwing around ideas with people in all kinds of industries. I felt a bit empty in my last years in TV work, and now I feel full to the brim with enthusiasm – if you’re not into plants, you might even find me a bit annoying! My life feels so much more real now. alexcollinsgardendesign.co.uk >>>


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Dossier

“I’m fulfilling my dream to be creative, and helping people become more confident”

B

VIKTORIA KUTI, 36, PHOTOGRAPHER

eing creative has always been important to me but my parents encouraged me to go into business because that’s where the money was. I studied economics and ended up working as an air export agent for an international logistics company. After I moved to the UK from Hungary in 2007, I was promoted and was soon responsible for a team of 11. It was a great role in a fast-paced, exciting industry, but it was killing my soul. In 2010, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a shock, and a trigger for me to begin thinking about how short life is. I started to wonder whether it was worth sticking with something that seemed great from the outside but wasn’t what I truly wanted. I also read The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey (Simon & Schuster, £16.99). One of the things he talks about is starting with the end in mind: what would people say about you at your funeral? I didn’t want to be in a position where all that could be said about me was that

I moved boxes from one place to another! I started looking around for something else I could do, and considered what I enjoyed. Photography was my hobby, so I began organising as many shoots as I could with family and friends. The turning point was when I persuaded a couple of friends to pose for boudoir shoots. I loved seeing their transformation from being self-conscious to standing tall and seeing their own beauty. It was a huge confidence boost for them. I thought, ‘I want to see more of that!’ It took me another two years to start my business on the side, working evenings and weekends. Today, I’m still in transition, working two days a week for my old firm, but I’m so much happier. Not only am I fulfilling my dream to be more creative, and helping people become more confident, I’m also creating something to leave behind. Photographs are a legacy – of my work and of the people I’m photographing. There’s so much more meaning in that than moving boxes. viktoriakuti.com

“I am turning my need for flexibility and freedom into a lifestyle choice”

C

LIDIA DRZEWIECKA, 34, FOUNDER OF VISUABLE

atering was my first career in the UK and I did it for years. The shifts were long and exhausting, and the job made me miserable – I hated it. I had no flexibility; I was always working when my friends were socialising, and I couldn’t get time off to visit family at Christmas or Easter. I retrained in the creative arts and set out to find my perfect job – one that would fulfil me and give my life meaning. It took me six attempts at different things before I realised my passion and talent for branding. I started my company, Visuable, providing branding, photography and web design services for small businesses. Finally, I’d created a job I loved and I threw myself into it. But soon, I was consumed by my career. I was working 15 hours a day, with no breaks and no weekends. I forgot the world existed. It took me two years before a mentor pointed out how exhausted I looked, and warned me I was heading for burnout. I realised I needed to rethink the way I was running my business. At the time, I still

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saw myself as a freelancer who had to do everything – I had taken on staff but I was afraid to let go of creative control. I needed to trust them, or I’d never get any time off. Over the past year, I’ve been turning Visuable into a platform that supports a life that truly fulfils me. I’m turning my need for flexibility and freedom into a lifestyle choice. I’ve built a support team around me, and I have more free time, so I’m less tied to one location, which means I can live between the UK, Poland and Cyprus, where my partner is from, and have more sunny days in my life. It’s also giving me the opportunity for self-development – I’m learning to manage people and be a business leader. I’ve put boundaries in place – I don’t answer emails after 6pm and on weekends – so I can engage in new hobbies like horse riding and art lessons, which are just for me. I thought I’d find meaning in my business, but instead I’ve found meaning in a work-life balance. visuable.co


Free!

Coaching from our experts when you subscribe to Psychologies!

What’s your calling?

Are you grappling with what to do with your life? Journal around these coaching questions, taken from the Find Your Purpose online programme at our Life Leap Club, exclusive to Psychologies subscribers, and start to live a more meaningful life

1

IDENTIFY WHO YOU REALLY ARE

● Who are you? Can you sum yourself up in three words? ● If you were a brand or a business, what is your USP (unique selling point)? ● What three values do you live, or want to live, your life by? ● What do people thank you for; what ‘service’ do you provide for others? ● If you have just one role to fulfil on this earth, what is it?

2

DIG DEEPER AND FIND YOUR ‘WHY’

● Review the three values you live, or want to live, your life by. Why do these matter so much to you? ● What do you love more than anything else? Why? ● What would your nine-year-old self tell you to do with your life? ● What would your 90-year-old self tell you to do with your life? ● What does your heart tell you to do next?

3

WHAT’S STOPPING YOU FROM FULFILLING YOUR PURPOSE?

Whose opinion matters most to you? What might you do differently if that person supported you, no matter what you wanted to do with your life? ● What can you give yourself more credit for? ● What are you resisting? ● What’s the biggest obstacle standing in the way of you living your calling, and what can you do today to begin to move past it? ● ●

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J U LY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 73


Dossier Test

What stops you creating a meaningful life? You know that living a life with meaning is key for wellbeing, but it’s not always easy to connect with your ‘why’. Take our test to see what’s standing in the way of you finding your purpose

You tend to think about life’s meaning when:

♥ You’re having a rare break from your normal routine ◆ For once, you are feeling calm and anxiety-free l Someone close to you has started talking or thinking about it ■ You’ve felt inspired by a book, workshop or YouTube video

2

Deep down, you think life is about:

■ Making a difference ♥ Working hard and achieving ◆ Overcoming challenges l Building relationships

3

You feel at your best when you’ve:

♥ Ticked off an important goal l Connected with people you really

care about

◆ Managed to relax and stop worrying ■ Felt inspired by a new idea

4

People who love you are always telling you to:

■ Appreciate the here and now l Put yourself first ◆ Worry less ♥ Slow down

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5

Thinking about your ‘why’ tends to come second place to thinking about: ♥ Your next goal ◆ Your fears and worries l Other people’s problems

■ Your perfect fantasy life

6

Your main motivation in finding your purpose in life is to feel:

■ You’ve made a difference to the world ♥ Your hard work and efforts mean something ◆ Less hijacked by everyday worries l You’re being your best self

7

You find yourself looking up to people who have:

■ Have a focus and a future plan ♥ Work hard and push themselves ◆ ◊ Worry about what may go wrong

9

Your ideal self, 10 years from now, will be:

♥ Working smarter, not harder ◆ In control of your anxiety and worry l Confident about why you really matter ■ Doing something truly innovative or inspirational

10

Life feels unrewarding when you:

◆ ◊ Do too much overthinking l Feel taken advantage of

■ Get stuck in a routine ♥ Feel burned out or exhausted

♥ Used their success to create positive change ◆ Demonstrated the courage to live an unconventional life l Showed compassion and humility, no matter how successful they are ■ Had the clarity of thinking to know what really matters

8

Growing up, you believed that good people:

l Put others’ needs first

Circle the answers that most closely apply to you, then add up the symbols. Read the section (or sections) you circled most, to find out what is stopping you from finding your true purpose.

WORDS: SALLY BROWN

1

>>>


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Dossier

Reasons your life could be lacking meaning IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ♥

IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ◆

You need time out of ‘doing’ mode

You’re hijacked by your internal world

Life often feels purposeful when we’re working towards vital goals, or when our time is in demand. A full schedule can be seductive, making us feel useful. But a busy life is not always a meaningful one. Of course, there is satisfaction in stretching yourself, and getting things done. But ‘doing’ for the sake of it is a recipe for burnout. When you think of your life in terms of achievements to tick off, a sense of fulfilment can remain permanently just out of reach. Even when you acknowledge your hard work, and enjoy the praise it generates, you may find yourself asking, ‘Is this it?’ Sometimes, we only find our true calling by giving ourselves the chance to be truly drawn to something, rather than stuck in firefighting and reactive mode. Where could you make space in your life to allow a sense of purpose to flourish? If you start the day by running through your mental list of what you need to get done, could you try a morning meditation instead, or do some non-list-focused journalling?

Your fears or anxieties are taking centre stage right now. Ideas and new projects do come your way, but before you can allow them to flourish, you get caught up in an overthinking cycle; will this work out? If security was inconsistent in your childhood, you can grow up with your ‘threat radar’ stuck on alert mode. Or perhaps you’ve always been supersensitive, and feel like you’re missing a layer of skin that other people have to defend you against life’s blows. When you’re dealing with anxiety, having a sense of purpose can feel like a luxury or something to think about ‘when you feel better’. But the truth is, you won’t feel better until you’ve found it. On good days, you get snatches of a different way of living, one that allows you to connect with what matters, rather than being trapped by your fears and worries. Pin down those moments by capturing them in a journal, then think about what tiny steps you can take to move your life in that direction.

IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ●

IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ■

You’re side-tracked by people-pleasing

You’re not thinking flexibly enough

Living a purposeful life starts with finding what you love. But how often do you listen to that small voice inside you? Sometimes, shaky self-belief can mean you are unduly influenced by what others define as important, rather than listening to your own instincts. After all, if it goes wrong, it’s not your responsibility. Relationships are important to you and it’s likely that your life’s purpose is tied up in building connections with others. But if you spread yourself thin, or if your default mode has become people-pleasing, you can end up living inauthentically. How often do you find yourself telling people what they want to hear, rather than what you really believe, and saying yes when you want to say no? Of course, living with compassion, and spreading kindness and love in the world can give a deep sense of purpose in life. But if being too giving is generating feelings of resentment, then it may be time to be more discerning, and give more thought to where you direct your time and energy.

You’re convinced that everything will click into place when you find the one thing that gives your life meaning. But by fixating on the idea of ‘the one’, you’ve disregarded smaller sources of meaning that have come your way, because they don’t feel significant enough. But not everyone is driven by one clear overriding vision. For many of us, a sense of meaning is made up of a portfolio of elements. What you need to tie them all together is a sense of your own core values – if compassion matters to you, then every act of kindness you carry out, however small, will bring meaning. Sometimes, meaning is to be found in our everyday habits, rather than grand gestures. Give yourself permission to explore, try new things and follow your passions. Living a life of purpose can start right now by simply being present, engaged, authentic and brave – even if nothing changes about your life. Sometimes, your meaning is to be found in the details, not the big picture.

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#360me p82 The Plan / p89 The Open Mind Creating harmony in a busy life / p90 Real Wellness Step back from the madness and give yourself a break / p93 Balance Plan Is raw food good for you? / p95 Wholistic Woman How to manage endometriosis / p96 The Journey Why it’s not all about the next thing / p99 Real Nutrition Chilli heatwave

PHOTOGRAPH: JOVANA RIKALO/STOCKSY

EDITED BY EMINÉ RUSHTON

Play is the answer to the question: “How does anything new come about? JEAN PIAGET

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#360me

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.

body

bo

How to give youself a break pg 90

Managing endometriosis pg 95

A warm glow over chillies pg 99

All work and no play isn’t the way pg 89

These fantastic new books explore the essentials of good health

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#360 LOVES...

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.

SHARE YOUR #360ME JOURNEY

WHOLE BEAUTY by Shiva Rose (Artisan Books, £21.99) From Ayurvedic practices to health-boosting tinctures and tonics, this is a celebration of the simplest things, with self-care and love at its centre. ER

FRESH & PURE: Organically Crafted Beauty Balms & Cleansers by Jules Aron (Countryman Press, £12.99). Simple kitchencupboard recipes for beauty, bath and body products, with aromatic, effective and entirely natural results.

*

@eminerushton @psychologiesmagazine psychologies.co.uk

BOTANICAL BRAIN BALMS by Nicolette Perry and Elaine Perry (Filbert Press, £14.99) Written by experts in plant medicine and neuroscience, this evidence-led exploration of 56 of the plant world’s best health allies is instructive and insightful. ER

BOOK REVIEWS BY EMINÉ RUSHTON. PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES. SURVEY OF 2,000 PEOPLE BY TAYMOUNT, 2018. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 127

d

dy

m in

Gently transformative ideas for a happier body

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TRY BABY POSE This pose, also called child’s pose, is similar to the position we take as babies in the womb, hence its name. It stimulates the pituitary gland, and helps you to relax completely. If you have low or high blood pressure, or become dizzy, place a mat under your head or rest your head in your hands. Sit on your heels and rest your forehead on the ground. Rest your arms along the sides of your body with your palms facing upward. Close your eyes and focus on the ‘third eye’ between the brows. Breathe long and deep through your nostrils, relaxing in the pose for at least three minutes. Extract from ‘Everyday Kundalini: Yoga, Meditation, Mantras And Breathing To Empower And Transform Your Life’ by Kathryn McCusker (Watkins, £14.99)

ALL YOU NEED

Strawberry Lip Balm, £3.99, Burt’s Bees

BEE GOOD For every limited-edition Strawberry Lip Balm sold, 5,000 bee-friendly wild flower seeds will be planted in partnership with the British Beekeepers’ Association, to help our bee colonies thrive.

‘Love is everything’… no better mantra to emblazon across one’s heart space than this – and it’s in the comfiest organic cotton from my favourite conscious brand, Shanti Sundays.’ Eminé

‘Love is everything’ tank, £29, Shanti Sundays

“The fertile mindset is one where all is possible and, according to fertility author and acupuncturist, Emma Cannon, it develops when you focus your energy on the ‘5 Pillars of Fertile: Flexibility, Creativity, Nourishment, Transformation and Belief’. Her online programme guides women on how to ‘think, feel and be fertile, with daily videos, meal plans, fertility tips, guided meditations and recipes to bring fertility into your life’. There are also contributions from gynaecologist Adrian Lower” Eminé Rushton Discount for ‘Psychologies’ readers: Receive an exclusive 10 per cent off the full price of £90, paying £81 for the complete 90-day plan, when using the code FERTILE10. Sign up at emmacannon.co.uk/shop/90-days-fertile

60%

According to a recent poll,* this is the percentage of Brits who have never spoken about their bowel movements to another living soul – including their doctor! Given that so much of our digestive health and bodily function can be attributed to regular, painless and healthy bowel movements, and that 49 per cent of us have never examined our own stools, we think it’s high time we dispelled the stigma.

J U LY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 83

#360me

the plan


spirit Lift your spirit with these great finds and useful insights

50%

A study* of 4,765 older people, all with a strong genetic risk of developing dementia, found that those with positive beliefs about growing old were 50 per cent less likely to develop the illness than those who held negative beliefs about ageing. Positive thinkers had a 2.7 per cent risk, compared to 6.1 per cent for negative people.

RISE AND SHINE “‘Morning: How To Make Time: A Manifesto’ by Allan Jenkins is a lovely read: illuminating conversations with early risers, from Jamie Oliver to dawn-seeking fishermen, interspersed with diary-style essays. It made me want Morning: How To Make Time: to set my alarm a A Manifesto by Allan Jenkins full hour earlier” @eminerushton

(HarperCollins, £12.99)

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SHOUT, SHOUT, LET IT ALL OUT! ‘AS WOMEN, WE have “held it all together” and repressed our deepest truths for millennia. I love the concept of “screaming” for the pure sweet release of emotion that it brings. While clearing the throat chakra, you can physically feel the relief of muscles around the jaw, the back of the lungs, heart and thoracic region, as they open. The act itself is deeply liberating and gives me the validation that my soul has been

quietly speaking: that it is OK and, in fact, healthy to give voice and expression to our feelings. Women are naturally more empathetic than men, and pick up energies around us whether we are aware of it or not. So, if the children have been driving you crazy, you are hormonally peaking or you need to express what your heart is crying out for – enjoy the stress and tension release, and the peace that unfolds in your mind and muscles. Find a good place and scream freely!’ Larah Davis, Wellness Editor @ibizaretreats

PLAY YOUR CARDS… ‘Fans of Rebecca Campbell’s books, Light Is The New Black and Rise Sister Rise, will love her Work Your Light Oracle Cards, illustrated by Moonchild Tarot artist, Danielle Noel. Divided into enquiry, action, confirmation, activation and transmission cards, they offer a pause to reflect, consider, feel and respond. Let these cards be your incentive to do just that.’ @eminerushton

Work Your Light Oracle Cards by Rebecca Campbell (Hay House, £15)


#360me

the plan

mind “On Saturday, 30 June, I’ll be part of Octopus Publishing’s Nourish & Inspire Wellness Day, chairing a talk on ‘The Power of You: Small Changes for Big Progress’, with founder of Mindapples Andy Gibson, complementary therapist and author Georgia Coleridge, as well as author and founder of wellbeing brand Qnola, Danielle Copperman. We’ll focus on cultivating a more positive mindset by introducing simple, practical and tangible things into our lives, which can have a profoundly positive impact on our wellbeing. I hope you can join us!”

TO VEDIC OR NOT TO VEDIC?

Q

Why is Vedic meditation better than just breathing?

‘While breathing can be an effective way to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, the Vedic method is easier to practise, tends to be more enjoyable and, because it is more subtle than breath work, digs deeper into your subconscious. It also activates your wider nervous system in a more profound manner. It’s about finding the right practice for you, and the only way you’ll know the answer to that is to try different ones.’ Will Williams, Mind Editor @willwilliamsmeditation

33%

@aliandconnieroff

Book tickets: Cost is £10 for the single event and £50 for a full day ticket, including seven panel events and three bonus wellbeing sessions. Go to eventbrite.co.uk and search for ‘Nourish & Inspire’ to find us

‘Up to a third of British people suffer from insomnia,’ says Tobin James, MD of Tempur, which has teamed up with the Mental Health Foundation to highlight the problem, which has a direct impact on our wellbeing. They suggest a bedroom screen ban and avoiding exercise at night.**

I love the Pressing Pause by GabrielleTreanor, and Motherkind podcasts by Zoe Blaskey – inspiring, meaningful and comforting @eminerushton

PHOTOGRAPHS: STOCKSY. *'PLOS ONE', 2018; **THE TEMPUR SLEEP GUIDE CAN BE FOUND IN TEMPUR STORES, AND FOR FURTHER RESOURCES, VISIT MENTALHEALTH.ORG.UK. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 127

This month’s food for thought... Tell us how you get on by using #360me

NO NEED TO PANIC Soberingly, 11 million Brits have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The Anxiety Cure by psychotherapist Klaus Bernhardt combines the latest research in neuroscience with CBT, hypnotherapy and positive psychology to offer pattern-breaking mind-training techniques, to allow the reader to get a confident handle on their condition, once and for all.

The Anxiety Cure by Klaus Bernhardt (Vermilion, £12.99)

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gut Nurture your gut health for an overall feeling of wellbeing

CACAO WOW

COUNTING AFRESH Our new contributing editor, medical doctor Hazel Wallace, will share her common-sense guide to health, and answer a question every month. Let’s look at fruit and veg intake

Q

There is conflicting advice, so how many portions of fruit and veg should I really be eating a day? ‘We are advised to have at least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, but recent evidence suggests that consuming 10 portions greatly reduces the risk of developing certain diseases like heart disease and cancer. In the UK,

only 25 per cent of adults and 20 per cent of children manage five a day so doubling the recommended intake is ambitious. The bottom line is to aim for at least five to seven portions, and any more is a bonus. In short: the more the better.’ Hazel Wallace @thefoodmedic ‘The Food Medic For Life: Easy Recipes To Help You Live Well Every Day’ by Hazel Wallace is available now (Yellow Kite, £20)

25x

‘With rising awareness of nutritional gaps in our modern diets, interest in herbs, plants and food-grown supplements has also increased. Many women top up their iron intake monthly, but few know that nettles, raw cacao and moringa, which has 25 times more iron than spinach, are also great iron-rich additions.’ Eminé

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Eat Happy: 30-minute Feelgood Food by Melissa Hemsley (Ebury, £20)

‘I suspect my regular cup of hot cacao played a big part in helping me through this soggy spring, so I’ve happily invested in Viridian Nutrition’s gorgeous offering. It’s expensive, but is a totally organic blend of potent wild mushrooms and raw cacao, so I’m eking it out with half-teaspoon servings, warmed through oat milk. Tasty and health-boosting.’ Eminé

Wild Chaga & Raw Cacao, £29.05 for 30 servings, Viridian Nutrition

“I love hearty food and flavours, as well as embracing frugality and ease of cooking. That’s why I absolutely love Melissa Hemsley’s ‘Eat Happy’ – it’s the epitome of these things, perfectly combined, and her recipes are delicious and fuss-free, too. This is a book that is great for a novice or someone who is already a bit of a whizz in the kitchen!” Eve Kalinik, Nutrition Editor @evekalinik


#360me

the plan

BLACKBERRY BIRCHER MUESLI À LA SPRÜNGLI

PHOTOGRAPHS: CLARE WINFIELD, FROM ‘GLUTEN-FREE, NATURALLY’ BY CAROLINE BYRON; STOCKSY. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 127

This is based on the amazing Bircher muesli made at Sprüngli Café in Zurich – it’s simply the best, says Caroline Byron in ‘Gluten-Free, Naturally’ (Kyle Books, £18.99). I’ve taken out the cream, but you could add some to taste. I like it sweet, but you can reduce the amount of apple juice and replace it with more almond milk.

SERVES 4 l 150g rolled oats l 1 tsp linseeds l 1 tsp chia seeds l Pinch of ground cinnamon l Handful (70g) of blackberries (you can use raspberries, too) l 40g chopped almonds l 375ml fresh pressed apple

juice (not concentrate) l 125ml unsweetened almond milk l 125g plain yogurt l 1 apple, grated l ½ banana, mashed l 40g chopped pistachio nuts (I also love sugared hazelnuts, if you can find them)

1 Mix the oats, seeds, cinnamon, blackberries and almonds with the apple juice, almond milk and yogurt, and leave to refrigerate overnight. 2 In the morning, add the apple and banana and mix in. Serve with the chopped pistachio (or sugared hazelnuts) on top.

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#360me #

the open mind

Make time in your day to show gratitude for all life’s opportunities, says Eminé Rushton. Even when things feel busy and chaotic, it only takes a moment

Find your rhythm

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PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY

y heart knows precisely what it wants to do: sit in the sun, pick peonies, plait wreaths, sing with abandon, spend the day feeling beautiful without ever consulting a mirror… yet, a reminder pops into my inbox: copy is late. I have four deadlines today, so I’m sitting at my desk, windows wide open, the ancient wind chimes accompanying my keyboard taps, teasing me from the bottom of our wild garden. I cannot. Not today. I no longer leave things to the last minute. Being given months to do anything – from prepping a live speech to writing an entire book – has often caught me out. So, I began making lists. I bought one of those weekly desk planners, and committed to paper all of the hundreds of things I needed to do, refusing to move until I’d ticked off every last one. I became a machine; head down, speed typing, shallow breathing. What I could achieve in one focused day felt extraordinary: hundreds of emails, pages of copy, conference calls; all before the school day was over, and I slipped back into my other all-giving role of mother.

Free spirit vs sensible soul

My day is split into two halves; my heart, too, at times. When the sun streams in, redolent with outdoorsy japes and seaside escapes, I’m that teen again; struggling to revise for my A levels, bunking off to the heath with my mates. How do I offset the song of the spirit with the inbox,

mortgage and laundry basket? I say all of this to a wonderful Ayurvedic doctor: ‘My life can feel so busy; I have two, almost three, different jobs, and two children, and am the provider for our family of four. I love what I do, but I have so many things that need to be done every day.’ He looks into my eyes and smiles. ‘My goodness,’ he says, ‘what a blessing to have so much!’ Oh my. I dip my head and laugh. I knew this, of course – that I am blessed; with love, opportunity, creative pursuits and community. ‘It is not about time, you know,’ he says softly. ‘It is about rhythm.’ Ah, there it is. The wind chimes come in again, and remind me to make a cup of tea. Today, I leave the desk, and sit with my list, my laptop and my tea in the dappled light of the garden. I reassess the list and put a line through the things I thought I had to do, and focus only on the things I want to do. I find time to eat with my husband, the heart of each day, before returning to the list, and stop 20 minutes before my children storm-troop through the door, to catch my breath, clear my mind, and rub out that imagined line between the two halves. It is not all work, nor is it all play. That’s life.

Wellbeing Director-at-Large

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How to give yourself a break Executive coach and author of Pause Every Day, Danielle Marchant, shows how easy it can be to take a step back from the daily fray – to regain perspective and dispel stress before it escalates

Clarity

On days when you’ve lost your way and can’t think clearly, it’s an important reminder to consider your own needs. One way to do this is to pause and breathe before agreeing to any request, and to ask yourself: ‘What do I need?’ Doing this requires effort – and consciousness – until it becomes natural. To go deeper, you can reflect on the following prompts: ‘Why does that matter to me?’ and, ‘What would life be like with or without that?’

l Mix a couple of drops of lemon essential oil in a spray bottle with distilled water. Spray around your head and the back of your neck for increased mental clarity.

Calm

Rhythm and rituals hold us emotionally and support us to feel calm. Rhythm can be as simple as waking up at the same time each day, or leaving your keys in the same place. An accessible way of adding ritual into your daily life is to create a simple altar. It can be as effortless as a stone you picked up from a beach, or a collection of items with significance to you, such as a photo, candle and crystals. You might sit for a couple of minutes in the morning by your altar and set an intention for the day ahead.

l Add a few drops of geranium essential oil to a warm, Epsom salt bath to create a luxurious, balancing ritual.

Gratitude

With a gentle shift of perspective, a ‘micro-macro walk’ can easily be woven in as you walk from place to place. Rather than thinking about tasks and to-do lists, take a deep breath and

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focus your attention outside of you. Zoom in on the tiny details you can see, then gently zoom out to the bigger landscape. Alternate between these, each time savouring what you see, and finding gratitude in the ordinary aspects of daily life.

l Connect to gratitude by rubbing one drop of spikenard essential oil into your palms and inhaling deeply.

Vitality

Increase your natural energy with this exercise called ‘upholding heaven’. Stand with your feet comfortably apart, keeping your arms at your sides and eyes open. Focus on your breath, inhaling through your nose. As you inhale, raise your arms out to the sides, then up above your head. When your hands meet above your head, exhale and interlock your fingers with your palms facing down. Inhale. Now keep your fingers interlocked and rotate your hands so your palms face the sky. Exhale. Look up at the back of your hands. Inhale, then, if you can, inhale a little more, stretching upwards as if you are pushing your hands up to the sky. Exhale and let your arms float down to your sides. Repeat 5-10 times.

l If you feel tired, weary or burned out, inhale basil, the oil of renewal, straight from the bottle, to feel strengthened.

Technology

Switching off the tech has positive benefits physically and emotionally. An easy way to get started is to turn off smartphone alerts, and delete email access on your handheld device. Put your phone on airplane mode at a set time each evening, charge it overnight in a different room to where you sleep and use an alarm clock to wake you. Take it a step further by having your Wi-Fi set to come on and go off between certain hours.

l Rose is the highest vibration essential oil, and can be diffused to help balance your electromagnetic field energy. Add to baths, diffusers or inhale from the bottle whenever the urge takes hold.

‘Pause Every Day’ by Danielle Marchant (Aster, £6.99) is out now; @lifebydanielle

PHOTOGRAPH: GALLERY STOCK

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hese simple daily practices from Marchant’s book are not a set of demands or another list of ‘musts’ to add to your never-ending task list. They are kinder and more forgiving than that. These are ideas for you to play with, to get curious about and to accept or dismiss as you choose.


#360me

real wellness

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Measure the difference with Water Balance

HRI Water Balance tablets for the relief of water retention HRI Water Balance is a traditional herbal medicine used to relieve the symptoms of mild water retention. Take at any time excess body fluid causes a problem, either whilst slimming or before or during menstruation to maintain a normal, healthy balance. Based on traditional use only. Always read the label.

Certification mark

hriherbalmedicine.co.uk


#360me

balance plan

New series

Hear me raw

Paul Rushton tackles the age-old Ayurvedic question: is raw food good for you or not?

PHOTOGRAPH: ALI HARPER/STOCKSY

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ithin Ayurveda, cooking is considered better for unlocking the properties of food, making it easier to digest. However, those fresh shoots of spring and summer, eaten in as natural a state as possible, are providers of prana, our life force and vital energy. Too much raw, on the other hand, raises vata, those airy, ethereal elements of body and mind, which can make us imbalanced or depleted. Imbalance between the doshas of vata, pitta and kapha leads to ill health unless addressed. Yoga, the Vedic sibling of Ayurveda, emphasises raw food more in its dietary principles. This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disagreement but context: where Ayurveda is aimed at everyone and emphasises optimal bodily health, yoga seeks to move beyond the limitations of the physical body and body

consciousness towards self-realisation. For most of us, even if seeking a spiritual path, to jump to such a stage would be to the detriment of our wellbeing. For ordinary people and more casual yogis, the Ayurvedic diet is the best route to a balanced body, mind and spirit, and the ideal leg up on such a path. Raw food should be eaten apart from cooked food and at lunchtime, when our digestive fire is most aflame. We should source organically grown, seasonal produce in as fresh and natural a condition as possible, and eat it slowly and mindfully. Most of all, we should listen to our bodies and minds. When cold, dry, low or depleted, we should dodge the raw salad in favour of one comprised of cooked elements, or a bolstering summery soup. For more, visit balanceplan.co.uk; @thebalanceplan

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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:

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www.floradix.co.uk


#360me

wholistic woman

New series

How can I deal with my endometriosis?

Each month, bestselling author and speaker, Henrietta Norton, answers a health question and offers her professional advice. This issue, she looks at endometriosis and explains how sufferers can help themselves

O

ver the years, I’ve worked with many women crippled by endometriosis. This complex disorder of the female reproductive tract affects one in 10 women, and its challenging nature means there are many more who are either misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed. It is a condition that affects not just the monthly cycle, but the entire being; from the immune system’s ability to control inflammation and infection, to the efficiency with which the body can produce and use energy and, eventually, the spirit and confidence of women. Having been diagnosed with the condition myself, I know this all too well – but I am testament to the restorative power that diet and natural supplements can bring to either recovery or the management of endometriosis. Research published in Fertility And Sterility demonstrated that nutritional therapy through diet and supplements was more effective at obtaining relief from pain and improving quality of life than medical hormonal treatment post-surgery.

PHOTOGRAPH: GALERY STOCK

Steps towards comfort

Some gentle changes can help you make strides in your experience of endometriosis. ● Eat colour. Research shows that women who ate green vegetables 13 times or more per week – roughly twice a day – were 70 per cent less likely to have endometriosis. A study published this year concluded that carotenoid-rich foods, especially citrus fruit, also positively affected symptoms. Use smoothies, juices or soups to deeply nourish your body. ● Befriend your gut. Beneficial gut bacteria can reduce the

production of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that remakes oestrogen in the gut and can contribute to its dominance. Incorporate natural, organic live yogurt into your daily diet either on its own or use it to make dressings and sauces. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kefir are excellent sources of beneficial bacteria, or take a probiotic supplement with a minimum 10 billion CFU. ● Fats are crucial. Essential fats found in nuts, seeds and oily fish can reduce inflammation associated with endometriosis. Use of essential fatty acids are blocked by processed oils and margarines, as well as white flour, sugar, excessive animal and monounsaturated fats, alcohol, poor nutrition and stress. Keeping these to a minimum is vital to reduce inflammation. ● Be conscious of what you put in and on your body. Bleached tampons and sanitary towels are a controversial area in the endometriosis debate. Tampons use bleached paper products that contain dioxins, proven to have an adverse affect on the hormonal system. Chemicals such as parabens and phthalates found in toiletries and cosmetics have also been linked with the development of endometriosis. You can find more information from the Women’s Environmental Network. wen.org.uk

Our expert, Henrietta Norton, is a registered nutritional therapist, a women’s wellbeing writer and expert, and co-founder of foodgrown supplements brand, Wild Nutrition; wildnutrition.com; @wildnutritionltd

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‘‘I’ll only be happy when…’’ Ever wondered why, when you finally achieve something you wanted, you’re dissatisfied shortly afterwards, and eyeing the next prize? Ali Roff explains the law of diminishing returns

R

ecently, I returned home to find my front door bolted from the inside. I peered through the letter box to see my cat in the hallway, her big eyes telling me all was not well. Someone had been in our home. We climbed through the smashed kitchen window to find the place trashed. Everything we owned had either been taken, or carelessly tossed aside.

What do you really want?

Seeing our belongings strewn all over the place got me thinking: we spend our lives working towards the things we want – a home of our own, nice clothes, a car, pay rises and exciting work perks. We set our sights on these things because, ultimately, we believe that they will make us happy. But, so often – a week, a month, a year later – the things we now have aren’t enough; we want a bigger pay rise, a more expensive car. I remember writing my first article for a magazine; I told myself I’d frame it. But, by the time I saw it in print, I already had

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my sights set on a bigger, more important article – the thing I’d wanted was no longer enough to make me happy. In economics, this is called the ‘law of diminishing returns’ – the more you have of something, the less valuable it becomes. This concept can be applied to success and life – often, the more we achieve, and the more we have, the less satisfied we become, and so the more we want. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to achieve but, if we live by the theory ‘I’ll be happy when…’ then, ultimately, our happiness is linked to success in a way that never actually allows Questions us to be content. Enough is never enough. to ask But, what happens when perceived success ● What do you most is lost? Often, strangely, a sense of freedom fear losing? can be found. A friend of mine who was ● What external thing recently made redundant found herself in your life could you unexpectedly full of joy – she had lost her job, do without in order to yes, but also the fear of her dependency on it. find more freedom? I’ve seen now, that as soon as something ● Why are you putting belongs to us, whether it’s our dream job, off being happy? a fancy car, or a laptop, there is the potential that it could be taken away. So, we keep


Tip of the month

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature… Life is either a daring adventure or nothing

HELEN KELLER

AND BREATHE… Try this ‘Dirga’ or three-part yogic breathing technique to set a calming intention for the day. Inhale slowly through your nose, filling your belly first, then your chest, then your collar bone. Then exhale deeply through your nose, first from the collar bone, the chest, then belly. Continue for 10 rounds and feel a deep sense of calm connectedness to your breath. FIND YOUR VOICE

striving for more, thinking it will make us feel secure. But, in reality, the more we gain, the more we stand to lose.

PHOTOGRAPH: LAURA RICHARDSON

Nothing is permanent

Happiness is not something we can hold on to or own. There’s an ancient Indian verse, written by a teacher of yogic philosophy called Krishnamacharya, that reads: ‘Knowing all objects to be impermanent, let not their contact blind you. Resolve again and again to be aware of the Self that is permanent.’ In this sense, the ‘Self’ means not the ‘I’ that wants or does, but the ‘I’ that is. The ‘I’ that is aware – the one that observes the thoughts during mindfulness, rather than gets caught up in them. The one that doesn’t attach itself to the things external to us, but guides us from within. It’s that small voice in our head that finds beauty in the morning birdsong, without grasping to catch the bird, cage it and possess it for ourselves. Download Ali’s free five-day ‘How To Become A Self-Love Warrior’ online course at aliandconnieroff.com, and follow her on Instagram @aliandconnieroff

Vox: Silence Can Be Deafening by Christina

Dalcher (HQ, £12.99)

Imagine a world in which you lose the right to speak; where you are physically threatened, monitored and forced not to use your voice. This is the dystopian future created by Christina Dalcher, where women are catapulted into the restrictions of the past by force, and their voices taken away through word counters attached to their wrists – which administer electric shocks if one word more than their 100-word daily quota is spoken. This book is a thought-provoking read on the importance of communication in our relationships, the role we play in the world and our freedom. It’s a gentle reminder of how close we’ve been in the past to allowing our power to be taken away.

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the journey


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real nutrition

Feeling hot hot hot Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik warmly receives the health benefits of chilli

C

hilli peppers have been celebrated in cuisines the world over, from the fiery Scotch bonnet, a mainstay in Caribbean food, to the smoky chipotle in Mexican fare and the infamous bird’s-eye, typically found in Thai and Southeast Asian dishes. Chillies exist in a vast array of types, hybrids and level of heat, which is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU), with all peppers deriving from the capsicum species. And even though they exert a fiery hotness on the palate, they may have some more soothing qualities from a health perspective. This is largely down to their phytochemical compound capsaicin, the very property that gives them their spicy character, and that has been associated with analgesic effects – the reason why capsaicin has been used in formulas for pain and inflammation. It is believed capsaicin binds to and desensitises the pain receptor site TRPV1, which our brain also uses to detect temperature changes, and is the reason we perceive chillies to be hot. In this process, endorphins are also released which enhances the effect, and is why some fans suggest spicy food gives you a ‘buzz’. Capsaicin has also been linked to antibacterial actions, so may also help to manage a healthier gut microbiome – although, if you have any inflammatory digestive conditions, go cautiously, or avoid altogether if you are particularly sensitive. Studies have

PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES

Smoky

Steenbergs Crushed Chilli Chipotle, £2.55 – A great way to add depth of flavour: a sprinkling over avo on sourdough or poached eggs gives brunch a spicy kick (steenbergs.co.uk).

also linked capsaicin to helping to manage cholesterol levels and, as such, support cardiovascular health. Aside from this, fresh chilli contains high levels of vitamin C and beta-carotene that both have additional antioxidant and immune-support properties, although you’d have to eat a lot of them to tap into these, so don’t rely on chillies as your only source. Back to the burn factor, chillies do create local inflammation when eaten, which can vary from person to person and, of course, depending on their SHU score, can be stronger in pungency. Yogurt and coconut milk can counteract this heat and may be the reason these ingredients are also used in traditionally spicy cuisines, such as Thai and Indian. One thing that is certainly recommended is to thoroughly wash your hands after chilli preparation, before touching your eyes or nose – that may not be so pleasant and the hot stuff could leave you streaming rather than positively glowing. evekalinik.com; @evekalinik

Sweet

Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Chilli bar, £2.60 – Chocolate and chilli are a hot match and I love this sumptuous treat. Add a pinch of cayenne to your choc creations and taste how it further enhances the flavour (ocado.com).

Spicy

Biona Organic Kimchi, £3.99 – Try kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage that gives the heat of chilli with the benefits of gut-friendly bacteria. Tasty top brassica! (goodnessdirect.co.uk).

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The Retreat

Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a “flower and draws all good things towards you MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI

PHOTOGRAPH: SIMONE ANNE/STOCKSY

p102 The Words Make the most of the sunshine and take your page-turner outdoors / p106 Well Travelled Learning to tango in Buenos Aires / p110 48 Hours Tuscany: pasta and pastimes / p113 Explore With Queen of Retreats Caroline Sylger Jones / p116 Living Blue is the colour... / p122 Feasting Begin your own Greek odyssey

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Book of the month

New series

Why I write…

Poet and therapist, Jasmine Cooray, writer-inresidence at education charity First Story, tells us how she accesses wisdom on the page

W

hen I sit down to write, something inside me says, ‘Welcome home.’ It is the writing, greeting me. I don’t hear it all the time: only if I have begun with true openness to what might arrive. If I am using it to make me look clever, or if I try to force it into a shape it doesn’t want to take, the writing delivers dry, hollow words: husks. When I was a teenager with many feelings and no way to speak them, the writing was there, helping me to not explode, like a pressure valve. I didn’t see myself as a writer. I wrote because I needed to survive the waves that crashed around inside me. Writing gave me a way to hear myself when I didn’t feel heard. It gave form to the formless; helped me turn difficulty into beauty; and showed me that there can be something better in challenging times. When I started to share my work, I discovered that writing

didn’t just give me a way to communicate with myself: it spoke about things other people related to. Writing permitted others to admit that they also felt that thing; they too had those dreams and wounds. It can also be a way for people to understand viscerally what it is like to see the world through your eyes and, in this way, writing is a conduit to empathy. To people who want to write, I say: get out of the way of the words. Part of you has access to all your feelings, wisdom and magic, and it wants to speak without you muscling in; trying to make it rhyme; putting in obscure words; bleaching it of all emotion to avoid vulnerability. Think about how it feels when someone really listens to you. Be that person for your writing, and note down everything it has to say. National Writing Day is 27 June. If you have 10 minutes, write whatever is in your head. Listen. Try not to interrupt.

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. Our flagship project, National Writing Day, takes place on 27 June. For more, visit nationalwritingday.org.uk For more about First Story, visit firststory.org.uk or email info@firststory.org.uk; jasminecooraytherapy.com

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I WILL BE COMPLETE By Glen David Gold (Sceptre, £20)

‘For years, I didn’t write this memoir because I wasn’t sure of myself,’ writes Gold, ‘I was waiting for a specific perception to cascade down and surround; hoping it would feel like radiance: “Oh, now I understand why my mother did that…” I was waiting for the moment I would be a better person.’ Gold’s heartbreaking, brave book deals with his tangled, troubled and troubling relationship with his tempestuous mother and, with insightful introspection, he reveals how it has affected all his other relationships. It’s a shocking read, describing a shattered childhood, a complicated adolescence and an adulthood that finds him happy and whole.

LOST IN TRANSLATION

Kabelsalat

Language: German A mess of tangled cables – its literal translation is ‘cable salad’.


the retreat

The

words Pour yourself a cool drink, kick off your shoes and grab one of these literary dazzlers for an afternoon in the sunshine. Think of it as a dose of vitamin de-stress!

EDITED BY ALI ROFF. MAIN REVIEWS: EITHNE FARRY. PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES; STOCKSY. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 127

By Katharine Kilalea (Faber, £10) A strange but mesmerising book, full of gaps, silences and absences as a stalled pianist longs for his wife who has disappeared, but cannot find the emotional wherewithal to find her, nor the momentum to kick-start his faltering career. Set in South Africa in a functional house inspired by Le Corbusier, Mr Field is daydreamy and insular, yearning for something he can’t quite name, and haunted by the house’s previous occupant, who begins to have a worryingly obsessive effect on the bewildered narrator. A funny and beguiling read.

OK, Mr Field

She wondered if all the firsts in her life would go by so quickly, and be forgotten just as quickly JUDY BLUME, SUMMER SISTERS

Paper therapy

Monogrammed personalised notebooks, £12, Not Another Bill

GOING… GOING…

The digital era means once-common words, like ‘acorn’ and ‘magpie’, are disappearing from modern English. What ‘rare’ words do you recall from childhood? Dedicate a page in your journal or notebook to ‘Lost and found’ words, and think about how to revive them. Jackee Holder is an author, coach and facilitator. jackeeholder.com; @jackeeholder

Social Creature

By Tara Isabella Burton (Raven Books, £12.99) Like fireworks in the night sky, this explosive debut has darkness and glitz aplenty. It’s the tale of the twisted friendship between rich, glamorous Lavinia and poor, literary Louise – edgy with manipulation, excess, fakeness and glittery Insta posts. Both girls are relentlessly and brilliantly awful, sharing the victim and villain roles as they teeter between love and hate. It’s a heady mix of decadence and dread as their relationship deteriorates, and things take a turn for the deadly.

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books

the retreat

“10 o’Atclockaboutin the

Ready to read? The English Garden range, prices vary, HomeSense

morning the sun threw a bright dust-laden bar through one of the side windows and in and out of the beam flies shot like rushing stars

By Lauren Groff (William Heinemann, £14.99)

JOHN STEINBECK, OF MICE AND MEN

Florida

WORD OF THE MONTH

Crapulence(n)

Had one too many the night before? You might be feeling a touch of crapulence or, as we might otherwise say, a hangover.

There are panthers, snakes and hurricanes heading in the direction of the angry, lonely characters in Lauren Groff’s vivid stories, but the greatest threat comes from their own unwieldy feelings, as doubt, regret and dissatisfaction scupper all notions of emotional security. There are unmoored mothers, two small sisters abandoned on an island, a student spiralling into homelessness and a man haunted by his father, but they’re united by their fears for the future, desperate to escape ‘the hungry dark’ and their own self-destructive impulses.

How To Be Famous By Caitlin Moran (Ebury, £14.99) Funny feminist Johanna Morrigan is back: whip-smart and a tad hungover from her music-business shenanigans in How To Build A Girl. She’s still in unrequited love with a rock star, but her career is stellar – although she’s battling malicious rumours spread by a misogynistic comedian, while cheerleading the music choices of teenage girls, and working out the rules of how to be famous with integrity – in this rude, raucous and necessary book.

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Discover

JOURNALLING FOR JOY

For those of us who love words, writing therapy is a powerful tool, not just for healing around self-esteem and trauma, but to set goals, find awareness, and as a habit for wellness. Alexandra Badita shares her toolkit in Write Your Way To Happiness (Impressivity by Alexandra, £17.99). ‘Writing can save a person in many ways’, she says. Is it time to take your journalling to a higher level?


NENXTT H MO

Your energy makeover Recharge and revive yourself this summer

Plus… ●

It’s a sign!

PHOTOGRAPH: GALLERY STOCK

How to co-create with the world around you

“Let’s talk about this” Five ways to

Can you save your relationship in eight hours?

defuse conflict the grown-up way

We find out…

Don’t miss our AUGUST issue – on sale 10 July


Strictly tango

When Lucille Howe agreed to marry her partner of seven years, it was on the condition that they see what the tango could do for their dynamic. Two lovers, one week in Buenos Aires, and a population of 15 million with dance in their DNA…

T

wo people need to work on improving a relationship. And, as the saying goes, it takes two to tango – which is why, at 3pm on a humid Friday afternoon in Argentina, my partner, Rama Knight, has his size-nine brogue on top of my foot in an unfortunate misstep. Rama has two left feet. I have one of each. Rama is also accommodating, easily led and erratic. I am an alpha female: controlling, eager to please and slightly neurotic. This summer, we are getting married so, before we combine our sometimes opposing temperaments, we have decided to learn to tango, in the home of the dance, in a bid to rebalance our relationship, ready for marital bliss. Easy, right? On the outskirts of Recoleta, we meet our coach in

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this transformation, the legendary and formidable, Carlos Copello – five foot, six inches of Latin intensity, passion and authority. His slicked hair, Cuban heels and tailored suit enlarge his presence. ‘He is always a gentleman,’ translates his glamorous assistant, Maria Eugenia Brandulo, who, despite her beguiling beauty, insists that she has been single for as long as she can remember. ‘Tango is my lover,’ she says, sweeping her chestnut locks to one side. It’s clear, as soon as Copello demonstrates the basic eight-step – forward, side, together, back, cross, back, side, together – that I need to loosen the hell up. ‘Wait!’ Copello yells as he throws off my frame and paces like an angered bull. ‘Relax…’ Forget what tango is going to bring to my relationship, it’s >>>


travel

the retreat


travel

the retreat

>>> a personal growth experience dealing with such direct

criticism. The problem, as Rama notes from the sidelines, is that I’m anticipating the next move instead of allowing myself to surrender. Copello moves from the eight-step to freestyle, in which he guides my hips to help me pivot from one side to another. ‘Caress the floor with your feet,’ instructs Brandulo. It’s a sensual dance; intense, instinctive, held in a light embrace. Surrendering is not easy and I’m secretly fighting back tears. ‘Letting go’ is such a vulnerable state for me, it’s emotional.

Dance infiltrating life

Submitting to the tango does not mean being submissive. This is a culture, after all, that celebrates strong women, including the beloved first lady of Argentina, Eva Peron. Today, her portrait is outlined in 15 tons of iron on the Health Ministry building in the city. Her remains have been repatriated to Recoleta Cemetery, and it’s here that we reflect on our dance class in the narrow alleys of the crypts, where decay and faded grandeur remind us of our impermanence. ‘You don’t need to try so hard,’ Rama observes, as he offers to take a portrait of me against the setting sun. ‘I was proud of you – you picked it up quickly.’ This is a trip of firsts for us: the first time in this city, European in its sophistication and Latin in its passion; and the first time for a while learning a new skill. As I watch Rama document Buenos Aires in photographs, I’m reminded of how well he lives off his wits, how confident he is in a new place, how enthusiastic he is about new experiences. With no need to talk life admin or domestic obligations, we do a different sort of dance around each other, and it’s exciting. That night, we eat a pre-theatre meal at El Mercado, the restaurant attached to the Philippe Starck-designed hotel, La Faena, which is also where we see Copello in his Rojo Tango Show. The restaurant’s style is influenced by colourful markets – retro trinkets in cabinets and an ornate ceiling, made of gold panels procured from markets in Europe. On a bike tour, we learn that a plague of yellow fever in the mid-1800s drove aristocrats into the hills, so wandering gypsies hit the jackpot with vacant, furnished mansions to occupy. Luxury fixtures and decorations were looted and sold, and you can still pick up a swag of antiques and jewellery, alongside artisan crafts and bundles of holy wood, at the city’s San Telmo market. The spirit of tango finds its way into our dining. Rama chooses the drinks and orders our food with authority. In the spirit of newness, I eat meat for the first time in months; braised beef, cooked in a mud oven and served with creamy mash. Then, it’s showtime, and Dehouche, the bespoke travel firm behind our trip, have arranged seating in the orchestra pit. The experience is so sensory and visceral that, as the accordion player and double

bass player egg each other on with playful phrasing, I brush Rama’s arm with my nails. As professional dancers tangle their limbs and cut the air with legs like switchblades – tango, after all, was supposedly based on a knife fight between male rivals – I can see couples in the audience being affectionate. It’s a sexy dance. Rama is itching to learn to tango, too. ‘I don’t really have a dance sensibility,’ he says as a disclaimer, ‘but it’s time I got in the driving seat.’ What he lacks in coordination, he makes up for in bravado. ‘This dance is for a man’s man!’ he boasts, as he tries to keep pace with Brandulo. We agree it’s not in the British culture to be so close to our partner without an apology, but Rama is tactile by nature and, when I’m inserted as his partner, I feel safe in his hold. Finally, we’re dancing together and, while I’d like to say we seamlessly transfer from one step to the next in perfect synchronisation, we are, in fact, all over the place. While Copello despairs, we laugh and try harder. It’s testament to our confidence in our relationship that we don’t read this failure as a sign of incompatibility: I love that Rama doesn’t take himself too seriously, and I can be a patient teacher. ‘I want to buy you tango shoes,’ Rama later insists. Who am I to argue? Brandulo takes us to a store that sells the Maleva brand, and Rama looks on as she wraps the patent straps around my ankles. Shoes are a time-honoured fetish and, since they caress the floor, hook your partner’s thigh, and display the arch of the instep so coquettishly, we can’t help but flirt over the act of choosing them.

“With no need to talk about life admin, we do a different sort of dance around each other; it’s exciting”

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On our last night, we’re torn between traditional melonga, or tango dance hall, and a tip-off from staff at our stylish hotel, Hub Porteno. We go with the inside info and hit a show called La Bomba de Tiempo at the hip Konex theatre. In this performance, 17 percussionists respond to 70 coded signs from the conductor in an improvised riot of rhythm. Now that Rama and I are attuned, we pick up on each other’s moves: when we slow, when we speed. It’s tribal and intoxicating. Three hours of athletic dance is like 12 hours of therapy, and the endorphins leave us grinning like idiots. Whether it’s tango, tribal or tiptoeing around an issue, we all dance around each other daily. It may be the most open and honest way of communicating. Tango taught us to celebrate our genders and listen to each other’s bodies, but the experience and vulnerability of learning a new skill revealed our most authentic selves – and that’s who we fell in love with after all. With thanks to Dehouche, a British-run travel specialist, with offices in Brazil and Argentina, that offers personalised experiences of South America. For more information, call 0871 284 7770, email info@dehouche.com and visit dehouche.com l Lucille Howe stayed at Hub Porteno; 00 5411 4815 6100; email info@hubporteno.com; hubporteno.com; Legado Mitico; 00 5411 4833 1300; email reservasbsas@legadomitico.com; legadomitico.com l turismo.buenosaires.gob.ar; faena.com; rojotangoshow.com; bikingbuenosaires.com; malevashoes.com; labombadetiempo.com l

PHOTOGRAPHS: RAMA KNIGHT; AWL IMAGES; GETTY IMAGES

In sync and in love


travel

the retreat

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Passion and professionalism in the Rojo Tango Show at La Faena hotel; the city of Buenos Aires is awash with images relating to its iconic dance; coach Carlos Copello cuts a figure of Latin intensity as he takes a break for a mate, the traditional South American tea; many of the city’s pretty townhouses have a new lease of life as dance schools; resident dancers tempt diners to the city’s many restaurants; Lucille learns from the master himself; it’s a colourful city in more ways than one; street art pays homage to the tango

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48

travel

the retreat

HOURS

H

ot off the afternoon flight to Pisa, I journey an hour through the Garfagnana region of Tuscany. The Serchio Valley view, flanked by the Apuan Alps and Apennine Mountains, makes for a mesmerising sunrise after a night resting in silky sheets. I head to the Tuscan mountainside for a trek through its ‘lost’ villages, taking a slow, rocky, three-hour walk up a steady incline with just the gentle tweet of birds and rough turret of water for audio company. I saunter through some of Italy’s medieval villages and lose myself in the romanticism of life in Guzzano and Gomberetto, two such villages now occupied by only a smattering of people. Life is slow, very quiet and idyllic. Lunch is a hearty Tuscan cabbage stew, followed by some perfectly al dente pasta, before I rest my food-laden body by the pool and fall asleep during a massage.

Food, glorious food!

I long to understand Tuscan food, so I join a cooking class, making a five-course lunch over a glass of local wine. Pitiful basic ingredients are transformed into wonderful dishes in moments. We chop juicy tomatoes, dice the freshest garlic and roll out paper-thin spelt dough to make maltagliati, a local style of macaroni, before everything is devoured in seconds. I need a walk after, so I head to Barga, the nearest town, where life is on a steep hill or down cobbled steps. Barga is quiet, maze-like; utterly Italian. From afar, its imposing church is surrounded by a blanket of terracotta and saffron-coloured houses, falling down the hillside like a patchwork quilt. In just a few days, I’ve sampled a slice of Tuscan life and fallen in love with Italy a little bit more.

Leanne stayed at the Renaissance Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, a 180-room hotel perched on the hillside, with views over the Serchio Valley. It has a spa, treatment rooms and an outdoor pool, plus two restaurants serving authentic Tuscan food with accompanying cookery courses. Rooms cost from £240 per night on a B&B basis in a double room. For more, visit renaissancetuscany.com or call 0039 0583 7691

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PHOTOGRAPH: GETTY IMAGES

Sweet slumber


A culinary trek in Tuscany Walking, cooking and eating are the perfect combination for a weekend away in bella Italia, writes Leanne Bracey

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r u P o t P GeEE A FR

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explore

the retreat

New series

Which way now? This month, our new Retreat Editor, founder of Queen of Retreats Caroline Sylger Jones, explores retreats that help you plan your life

W

hat a luxury for us that there is such a thing as a life coach. There is no other relationship where someone is totally focused on you, what you want, and what will help you achieve it. Having someone listen to you who is unbiased, non-judgemental, intelligent and honest is hugely liberating, and experiencing this on a dedicated retreat is a perfect way to kick-start your life.  The best life coaches on retreats work with you to help you determine and achieve your goals by addressing every aspect of your world, from your relationships, career and lifestyle to your finances, personal growth and purpose. Mentors, guides and narrative strategists also run retreats to help you work out how to move forward with creativity and confidence. While coaches listen to you and ask questions in a clever way to help you ‘own’ your situation, mentors and strategists also share their own experiences and suggest solutions. A life coaching retreat is ideal if you are at a crossroads. You may be setting up your own business, dealing with a big

PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKSY

Win!

change, such as divorce, relocation or a new job, or you might just have a niggling feeling that your life isn’t quite right. They can help you work on a specific issue, such as courage or time management, or work out what is truly important to you.

Time to take life by the horns

You don’t have to have a ‘situation’ to deal with to benefit from a retreat of this kind. Coaching isn’t therapy – it’s for people who are ready to embrace life and act positively. Decide if you want a group retreat, or would prefer to have a bespoke arrangement. Always have a conversation with the coach before you book to check that you will take to coaching – it’s very much a two-way process – and that there’s good ‘chemistry’ between you. Overleaf are retreats run by coaches, mentors and strategists that myself or a writer I trust has reviewed and recommended. All offer after-care packages and the option of further coaching, or you could buddy up with someone you meet on a retreat to help you both make the changes you need. ● queenofretreats.com

A seven-night health and wellbeing retreat for two people, worth more than £2,000, at La Crisalida Retreats in Spain

La Crisalida Retreats is a holistic health and wellbeing retreat located on the beautiful Costa Blanca. As part of their Life Makeover

retreat, you can explore and reconnect with the inner, authentic you, while enjoying twice-daily yoga classes, meditation

sessions, daily guided walks, exercise classes and much more. For more information, visit lacrisalidaretreats.com and read our review at queenofretreats. com/retreat/la-crisalida-retreats

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Retreats to help you Queen of Retreats rates and recommends these energising and illuminating retreats

Realise dreams

A CREATIVE REBOOT

Mindfulness Journeys, worldwide

Strategic Space Retreats, France Create a plan for the next chapter of your life in Burgundy with talented narrative strategist Julie Hosler, who uses the transformative power of story to help you achieve bigger things in your life. Choose a four-night group Personal Strategy Retreat from 10-14 October at the gorgeous and luxurious Chateau de Mailly, or book a private retreat year-round in the fairytale village. You’ll leave energised and focused. Review: queenofretreats.com/retreat/strategic-space-retreats-worldwide ● thestrategicspace.com

REDISCOVER YOU

Space to reflect

Little French Retreat, France Refocus on an Autumn Cleanse from 27 October to 1 November at this charming haven, with twice-daily yoga, natural healing techniques, Ayurvedic food and coaching to give clarity and strength, and to help you let go of emotional blocks and move forward. The retreat includes Ayurvedic lifestyle consultations and there are woodland trails and a medieval town to explore while you reconnect with yourself. Review: queenofretreats.com/retreat/little-french-retreat-france ● littlefrenchretreat.com

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FIND YOUR WAY

Life in focus

Mindfulness Journeys provides authentic, intimate meditation, yoga and sound-healing retreats to give you the clarity you need to make the right decisions in your life. Choose group or bespoke retreats at curated boutique venues in Greece, Morocco and Italy. Expert teacher Brian Hilliard and his partner, Shannon van Staden, gently hold the space to allow deep connection, and all levels are welcome. Review: queenofretreats.com/retreat/mindfulness-journeys-retreats-worldwide ● mindfulnessjourneys.com

TRANSFORM YOURSELF

Make the change

Get Unstuck in Two Days, Spain Are you feeling stuck in your life or at a crossroads with big decisions to make? This totally private retreat with personable mentor and guide Jessica McGregor Johnson will help you work out what comes next, and how to achieve it in the wonderful mountain setting of the Alpujarras in southern Spain. Accommodation is in beautiful boutique B&Bs, and you can choose dates to suit you. Review: queenofretreats.com/retreat/get-unstuck-in-two-days ● jessicamcgregorjohnson.com


in partnership with Queen of Retreats

plan your future for those seeking clarity and answers in life

RELAXED REVIVAL

Time to think

Serenity Retreats, Greece Take a breath and refocus yourself on these wonderfully affordable beach-front meditation-based holidays for solo travellers on the laid-back island of Lefkada. Led by Zen Buddhist teacher Kim Bennett, they offer meditation sessions with the option to join other wellbeing sessions and enjoy treatments and trips. Rejuvenate with sea and mountain views, just a 30-minute drive from the airport. Review: queenofretreats.com/retreat/serenity-retreat-greece ● serenityretreat.co.uk

THE REAL YOU AWAITS

Life overhaul

La Crisalida Retreats, Spain You can arrive and depart on any day of the week and stay for as long as you need at this holistic retreat in Albir. Find the authentic you on a Life Makeover retreat by combining your choice of coaching workshops, yoga, meditation, walks, nutritious plant-based meals and a juice detox. This is the perfect chance to reassess your life, and you’ll leave feeling balanced and ready to take your next steps. Review: queenofretreats.com/retreat/la-crisalida-retreats ● lacrisalidaretreats.com

REFRESH YOUR MINDSET

Support and care

Witherdens Hall, England This delightful sanctuary in rural East Kent offers the tranquillity and space you need to reflect, reassess and reaffirm. Create an entirely bespoke retreat with a diverse group of talented local therapists, who offer mindfulness training, yoga, organic facials, massages, holistic treatments and life coaching. You’ll feel nurtured in a pretty converted self-catering cottage and have use of an infrared sauna. Review: queenofretreats.com/retreat/witherdens-hall-kent-england ● witherdenshall.co.uk

A NEW BEGINNING

Regain balance

The Pure Pause, Italy A chance to reconnect to the life force that is available to us all, this 10-day retreat from 4-13 February 2019 is led by psychotherapist Danielle Marchant at a luxury spiritual retreat. Cleanse your system with nourishing food, yoga and meditation; strengthen your body and find emotional balance with hands-on healing; and then integrate it all with coaching and facilitated group sessions. Review: queenofretreats.com/retreat/pause-retreats-worldwide ● lifebydanielle.com/retreats

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Ceramic fish plates hung on a wall create a whimsical composition that hints at flowing movement. A side table decorated with shells continues the coastal theme


living

the retreat

Colours of the sea Combine calming blues and greens in your beachside bolthole to create a harmonious ocean paradise >>> EDITED BY DANIELLE WOODWARD PHOTOGRAPHS JOSH GIBSON, TRIA GIOVAN AND LAUREY W GLENN

The soothing motion of sitting in a rocking chair is similar to the sensation of floating in the sea! Recharge and restore by sinking into a comfy seat and gazing at the serene blue horizon


T

he ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul,’ says marine life artist Robert Wyland, which goes some way to explaining why we are drawn to soothing shades of blue and green when decorating our homes. American designer and author of Coastal Blues, Phoebe Howard, explains the appeal of surrounding ourselves with shades of blue: ‘Blue connects us to nature and to worlds of possibility. We gaze out to sea, fantasising about exotic lands and stare up at the sky, contemplating the limitless universe.’ These rooms will give you endless inspiration; from a seaside-themed bedroom, to a light-filled dining space, with furnishings that exude a calm, coastal vibe. ‘Coastal Blues: Mrs Howard’s Guide To Decorating With The Colors Of The Sea And Sky’ by Phoebe Howard (Abrams, £26.99)

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THIS PAGE A green glass chandelier hanging over a bleached-wood table echoes the bottles on display nearby. Pale blue pairs well with light wicker and wood, creating a tranquil, airy atmosphere LEFT A gilt-edged mirror bounces light around the room. Art Deco-style light fittings continue the angular shapes and an unfussy sideboard is the perfect display point for artwork and fresh flowers


The shutter headboard, maritime charts and turquoise linens combine to create a restful seaside scheme in this bedroom


the retreat

living

Seaside print, £14.50, Of Life & Lemons Wood ornament, £19.50, Gisela Graham

Large Dorset reclaimed wood sideboard, £635, Modish Living

Shore Driftwood drum side table, £250, Alexander & Pearl

Ceramic shell ornaments, £16 for two, The Contemporary Home

LSA glass storm lantern, £46, Black By Design

Myakka Surin infinity table in Natural, £139, houzz

Rattan dining chair, £169, The Farthing

Opaque vase, £2.99, H&M Home

A blue and green palette is representative of nature; as Phoebe Howard says in Coastal Blues, ‘from above, our entire planet looks like an exquisitely marbelised sphere of those two hues’. These shades also sit next to each other on the colour wheel, so there is minimal contrast between them, and that subtlety makes for a relaxing, soothing feel. Add touches of greenery with fresh foliage, soft furnishings and glass to reflect the sea’s translucent shades. Team with aqua-blue backdrops and natural materials, such as wicker, to echo sandy tones, and mirror and glass to maximise light.

shell, £35, Display shell Sweetpea & Willow

Reader offer

Faux succulents in cement bowl, from a selection, The Farthing

Psychologies readers can buy Coastal Blues by Phoebe Howard (Abrams, £26.99) for the special price* of £22.99, including postage and packing. To order, call 01903 828503 and quote reference 50548.

*

Cushion, £14.99, TK Maxx

Glass carafe, £12.99, H&M Home

OFFER SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. PLEASE ALLOW SEVEN DAYS FOR DELIVERY. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE PAGE 127

The blue planet

Cushion, £12, M&Co

Syracuse table lamp, £118, där

J U LY 2 0 1 8 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 121


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A Greek food adventure Take a culinary journey to Greece with the new cookbook MAZI – which takes the best of traditional Greek dishes and gives them a tasty 21st-century twist RECIPES CHRISTINA MOURATOGLOU AND ADRIEN CARRÉ PHOTOGRAPHS NICOLAS BUISSON EDITED BY DANIELLE WOODWARD

W

anting to change people’s perception of Greek food and

update the cuisine, Christina Mouratoglou and Adrien Carré

KING PRAWN SAGANAKI WITH OUZO AND METSOVONE Saganaki is a blend of prawns, tomatoes, ouzo, melt-in-the-mouth feta and smoky metsovone. Instead of cooking the prawns in the sauce, we deep-fry them tempura-style.

opened their restaurant, MAZI, in London’s Notting Hill in 2012. ‘Mazi’

SERVES 6

means ‘together’ in Greek, referring

l

1kg tomatoes, halved

to people gathering to experience

l

400g tin good-quality chopped tomatoes

new flavours. The authors are inspired

l

1 red chilli, roughly chopped

by childhood memories and traditional

l

½ small white onion, peeled

customs, but add a modern spin to

l

3 garlic cloves, peeled

make their food special and surprising

l

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

in terms of texture and presentation.

l

1 tbsp caster sugar

l

1 shot of ouzo (2 if you want a more

‘Our dishes showcase the

powerful flavour)

gastronomic delights of the whole country; a rich variety,’ they say.

l

Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

‘Our recipes reflect the influences on

l

24 uncooked king prawns, heads removed, peeled and deveined

various regions through history, from the 400-year Ottoman rule to the

l

250g feta cheese, crumbled

Venetian possession of the Ionian

l

300g metsovone cheese or any yellow smoked hard cheese, crumbled

Islands, and the religious and historical holidays that shape the lives of

FOR THE TEMPURA BATTER

Greeks. We want each mouthful to

l

400g shop-bought tempura batter mix

transport our guests to Greece.’

l

600ml cold water

l

50g feta cheese, to serve

l

Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve

Read these recipes, and we defy you not to picture yourself in a beachside taverna, the sun on your skin and a glass of something cool in your hand, ready to tuck into a plate of delicious food.

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1 Wrap the 50g feta, to serve, in clingfilm

and place it in the freezer. Put the fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, chilli, onion,

garlic, olive oil and sugar in a food processor or blender and blend thoroughly, then pass through a fine-mesh sieve into a saucepan. Boil the mixture for 20 minutes until reduced and thick. Season to taste with salt, remove from the heat and pour in the ouzo. Transfer the mixture to an oval terracotta or ceramic baking dish. Preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, gas mark 6. 2 Whisk the batter mix and water in a bowl, cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 10 minutes. Heat the sunflower oil for deep-frying in a deep-fryer or saucepan to 170°C, 340°F. Season the prawns with salt and pepper, dip them in batter and deepfry in the hot oil, in batches, for 1-2 minutes until golden. Place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil. 3 While you are frying the prawns, sprinkle the cheeses over the tomato sauce in the baking dish and bake for 5-6 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the prawns on top, then sprinkle with parsley. Grate the feta from the freezer onto the prawns before serving. >>>


SANTORINIAN FAVA WITH CARAMELISED PEARL ONIONS Fava are yellow split peas mainly grown on the island of Santorini. This puree is a fantastic meze, and also goes well with seafood. SERVES 8 l

500g fava (yellow split peas)

l

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

l

1 large white onion, quartered

l

2 litres water

l

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

l

Juice of 2 lemons

l

Sliced crusty bread, to serve

FOR THE PEARL ONIONS l

Good drizzle of olive oil

l

200g pearl (baby or silverskin) onions, peeled

l

2 tbsp caster sugar

l

Pinch of salt

l

1 sprig of rosemary

l

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

l

200ml red wine

l

10g unsalted butter

FOR THE CRISPY FRIED ONIONS (OPTIONAL) l

½ onion, finely sliced

l

50ml milk

l

Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

l

25g cornflour

1 Rinse and drain the fava, then tip into a saucepan with the carrots and onion, pour over the water and cook over a medium heat for about 40-50 minutes until soft. 2 For the pearl onions, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onions and saute over a medium heat until soft but not brown. Add the sugar, salt and rosemary and cook until the onions are caramelised. Add the vinegar and wine and boil until much of the liquid has evaporated and the residue is syrupy. Add the butter and stir until it has melted and the onions are nicely glazed. 3 Drain the fava in a colander, then 124 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E J U LY 2 0 1 8

transfer to a food processor or blender. Blend on high speed and, with the machine running, add the extra virgin olive oil in a slow, steady stream, followed by the lemon juice and a pinch of salt and white pepper. Continue blending until the mixture is soft and smooth. 4 If you are making the crispy fried onions, soak the onion in milk for 10 minutes. Fill a deep pan halfway with sunflower oil, or use a deep-fryer, and heat to 200°C, 400°F. Remove the onion from the milk and pat dry with kitchen paper. Toss the onions in cornflour, then deep-fry till golden. Drain and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil. 5 Serve the fava topped with the pearl onions warm or at room temperature, garnished with the crispy onions, if liked. Accompany with crusty bread for dipping.

Reader offer

Psychologies readers can buy MAZI: Modern Greek Food (Mitchell Beazley, £25) for the special price of £17.50, including postage and packaging, by calling 01903 828503 and quoting the reference MB691.


ARMENOVIL A speciality of Thessaloniki, armenovil is a gorgeous semifreddo dessert with caramelised almonds and crushed meringues, over which a hot dark chocolate sauce is poured just before serving. SERVES 10 ●

3 egg whites

¼ tsp cream of tartar or ½ tsp lemon juice

180g caster sugar

¼ tsp vanilla extract

Butter, for greasing

480ml double cream

4 egg yolks

FOR THE CARAMELISED NUTS ●

150g caster sugar

150g whole blanched almonds, crushed

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE ●

200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

100g butter, diced

1 Preheat the oven to 130°C, 265°F, gas mark ¾. First, make the meringues. Put the egg whites and cream of tartar or lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Increase the speed and whisk in the sugar, a spoon at a time, whisking well between additions; then the vanilla extract, until the mixture is thick and glossy. 2 Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and grease it with butter. Place the meringue mixture in a piping bag fitted with a medium star piping nozzle and pipe small

rosettes onto the greased parchment. Bake for about 2 hours or until dry. 3 Meanwhile, make the caramelised nuts. Heat a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add half the sugar in an even layer and heat, without stirring, until it starts to melt at the edges. Swirl the pan to distribute the sugar so it doesn’t burn and to help it melt, then continue to heat until the sugar has caramelised. Add the remaining sugar and swirl the pan to distribute, as before. Continue to heat until all the sugar has caramelised. When the caramel is ready, add the nuts and toss them until well-coated. Transfer to a sheet of baking parchment and leave to cool. 4 When the meringues are ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet, then crush. Add the cream and egg yolks to the cleaned

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bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on high speed until thick. Add two thirds of the caramelised nuts, then the crushed meringues and mix together. 5 Tip the mixture into a deep round mould or baking tin about 20cm in diameter and 8cm deep, or a long rectangular mould or baking tin about 30 x 9cm and 7cm deep. Cover with clingfilm and place in the freezer for at least 24 hours before serving (you can store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks). 6 When you are ready to serve, melt the chocolate with the butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Dip the base of the mould briefly in hot water and turn out onto a serving platter. Pour the hot chocolate sauce over the top and serve immediately decorated with the remaining caramelised nuts.

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Top chop. Alex Liddy acacia boards, from £14.99 each, House

Sea-inspired crockery. Elena O’Neill plate, £15, ArtWow

Perfect for cocktails. Ceramic embossed fish jug, £18, Gisela Graham

Display the centrepiece. Pisces fish platter, £29.99, Dobbies Additions. Kettle Discoveries Patatas Bravas crisps, £1.99, Tesco; Vegan feta, £2.49, Violife; Cooks&Co Halkidiki olives, £2.29, Ocado; Yorkshire Provender Avocado & Super Green soup, £2, Waitrose

Opt for stylish storage. Oil bottle, £19, bottle, Printer + Tailor Tailor; Kilner jar jar, £4.50, John Lewis

Ideal for meze. Marble serving trio with brass spoon spoon, £45, Eclect Design

Isle be there! A decade after the first Mamma Mia! film, we’re poised for the sequel and, even if you’re not a fan, its backdrop of sunny Greek islands will have you dreaming of a Mediterranean escape. In the meantime, bring a taste of Greece to your kitchen with vibrant salads, fresh fish, meat and cheese and, of course, a glug of olive oil. Read Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik’s article on that Greek staple at psychologies.co.uk/wonders-olive-oil and, if you’re in London, visit MAZI restaurant to get a taste of this month’s recipes, and discover a modern take on Greek food that will either confirm what you already knew (that Greek food is fantastic) or change your mind forever.

FAR-OFF CLIMES Steal some exotic ideas from these tasty new cookbooks

1

2

3

4

1 The Curry Guy Easy by Dan Toombs (Quadrille, £12.99) 2 The Foreign Cinema Cookbook: Recipes And Stories Under The Stars by Gayle Pirie and John Clark (Abrams, £30) 3 La Grotta Ices by Kitty Travers (Square Peg, £18.99) 4 Zaitoun: Recipes And Stories From The Palestinian Kitchen by Yasmin Khan (Bloomsbury, £26)

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Blogger spotlight Nutritionist and writer Elena Paravantes moved to Greece after growing up in the USA and began her blog olivetomato.com to inspire fellow Greeks to fall back in love with the Mediterranean diet. Channels include Greek Food Basics plus Mediterranean Diet Resources, including posts such as ‘How to fry an egg in olive oil’, ‘Healthy cooking hacks everyone should know’ and ‘5 things most people get wrong about Greek food’. There are also plenty of recipes for your Greek foodie adventure!

PHOTOGRAPH: STOCKFOOD. FOR STOCKISTS, SEE OPPOSITE

Olives and bread for snacking. World of Flavours serving set, £14.95, Kitchen Craft


directory

Stockists sts t ts

Find out where to buy the products featured in this month’s issue

A Alexander & Pearl alexanderandpearl.co.uk ArtWow artwow.co

B Black By Design black-by-design.co.uk Burt’s Bees burtsbees.co.uk

D där darlighting.co.uk Dobbies dobbies.com

E Eclect Design eclectdesign.com Etsy etsy.com

G Gisela Graham giselagraham.co.uk

H

H&M Home hm.com HomeSense homesense.com House houseuk.com Houzz houzz.co.uk

J John Lewis johnlewis.com

K Kitchen Craft kitchencraft.co.uk

M M&Co mandco.com Modish Living modishliving.co.uk

N

Sugar & Vice sugarandvicedesigns.com Sweetpea & Willow sweetpeaandwillow.co.uk

Not Another Bill notanotherbill.com Notonthehighstreet notonthehighstreet.com

T

O

Tesco tesco.com The Contemporary Home tch.net The Farthing thefarthing.co.uk TK Maxx tkmaxx.com

Ocado ocado.com Of Life & Lemons oflifeandlemons.co.uk

P

V

Paperchase paperchase.co.uk Printer + Tailor printerandtailor.com

Violife violifefoods.com Viridian Nutrition viridian.com

S Sainsbury’s sainsburys.com Shanti Sundays shantisundays.com

W Waitrose waitrose.com

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essentials Summer School in the South of France. Improve children’s lives, change your own!

Fast track route to train as a Registered Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills and as a Certified Play Therapist.

15 days at our beautiful La Mouline centre in the Tarn area of France, starting 21!" July 2018. University and professional awards. Heated swimming pool. Air conditioned class rooms. Stay at friendly gites, with English speaking hosts. Make new friends. (from 29 countries in 2017).

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HYPNOTHERAPY CAN HELP YOUR MIND BOOSTYOUR HEALTH! Hypnotherapy is often thought of as a method to only help smokers quit or for weight-loss. Many people don’t realise that it is also linked with bringing relief to a wide range of other health problems too. Used for centuries, it often involves being guided into a deeply relaxed trance-like state, during which an experienced therapist encourages positive changes to help tackle your problem. Here are five problems you might not have realised hypnotherapy can help with. 1. Dealing with stress. 2. Coping with IBS 3. Pain management 4. Healing trauma 5. Overcoming phobias and bad habits As it grows in popularity, demand is growing for well-trained therapists. LCCH International has training centres across the UK offering a variety of courses. To find out more contact info@lcchinternational.co.uk, www.lcchinternational.co.uk, 020 3 603 8535.

IFEAL develops human potential through transformational experiences with horses. Workshops and Private sessions available.

Equine Facilitated Evidence-Based Accredited Facilitator Training • ‘The Next Steps’ 26th - 27th July • Taster Day 7th September • ‘Deeper Sense of Knowing’ Workshop 26th-28th September

www.IFEALqualifications.com 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: hello@honeyleafwriting.com or visit: yogawritingdayretreat. eventbrite.co.uk

TO ADVERTISE CALL NIKKI.PETERSON@TIGERBEEMEDIA.CO.UK 0203 5100849


Health, happiness and wellbeing, empowering you to live well. A selection of products and services to improve your month. SINGLE LADIES,ARE YOU READYTO MEET“THE ONE”? My name is Kelly Pretty and just two years ago I was single, soon to turn 30 and about to give up hope of ever settling down. I had just been dumped and after a decade of disastrous relationships life seemed a lot easier being single....sound familiar ? After looking within and through various other methods that I teach, I have met my soulmate and moved in with him. I currently have availability for my life changing 3 month programme called “Manifest your Soulmate”. If I can do it anyone can! Please email kelly@kellypretty.me to apply.

BECOME A RELAXATION TEACHER OR JUST LEARN TO RELAX YOURSELF THE ART OF FINDING STILLNESS AND CALM Relaxation and Daily Awareness Workshop A unique one day certificated teachers workshop with Buddhist monk VEN LAMA SHRI SADHU DHARMAVIRA (teaching since 1969) This unique workshop contains all the relaxation techniques needed to experience the wellbeing that comes through a life that is stress and anxiety free. 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.

Website - www.kellypretty.me

Booking now for workshops in London.

or contact Kelly at kelly@kellypretty.me

To ensure quality teaching, workshops are limited to a maximum of 8 participants To receive full details about the workshop and its benefits, please telephone: 01723 862 496 (calls taken between 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week)

VEN LAMA SHRI SADHU DHARMAVIRA

THERE IS ANOTHER WAY

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...please just ask. Complimentary wellness consultation - I will teach you how best to use the oils for you and your family. You will also get ongoing support. For more details or to get started please contact Laura Pople info@theessentialosteopath.com for FREE SAMPLES 07779416716 www.mydoterra.com/laurapople (for wholesale account click Join and Save)

LEARN TO MANAGE STRESS NATURALLY! Stress has a HUGE impact on our HEALTH, our WORK and our ENJOYMENT of life. A lot of people think they have to make mega changes to manage stress. But they don’t! Join us for a one-day workshop to learn simple, easy to use skills to: • Feel relaxed, confident and in control • Improve your ability to manage stress and challenges in life • Be revitalised and ENJOY life more with those you love Saturday 16th June - 10 AM to 4 PM - Waterloo, London For info and bookings, go to https://rfli.co.uk/client-options/client-courses or on eventbrite https://bit.ly/2IuDk9C e: info@rfli.co.uk

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for “Health, Balance & Happiness”

TO ADVERTISE CALL NIKKI.PETERSON@TIGERBEEMEDIA.CO.UK 0203 5100849


Happiness Book Club

How to cultivate authentic grit

This month, Vanessa King of Action For Happiness and author of 10 Keys To Happier Living, recommends Getting Grit by Caroline Adams Miller

ILLUSTRATION: LESLEY BUCKINGHAM

H

ave you ever stuck at something longer than you should have? Or perhaps you pursued one goal to the exclusion of everything else, or put all your energy into contributing to others’ goals, which left you little time to identify and work towards those that were important to you? These are issues that goal expert Caroline Miller explores and helps us resolve in her book. Her focus is on what she calls ‘authentic grit’, which is about finding the right long-term goals for us based on our strengths and passions, and pursuing them in the right way. Working towards important goals over time is hard and can be scary. That’s why we require grit; but it needs to be the right sort, at the right time. Miller warns that we need to be aware when grit is bad; when it’s stubborn or stupid, such as when we have invested lots of time and effort into achieving something, so we cling on to it, even when that goal is no longer serving us. Get it right and grit can be good for us. In fact, research has shown that it’s predictive of higher life satisfaction, less burnout and less likelihood of dropping out among students. Importantly, many of the ingredients that go into being authentically gritty are capacities that we can cultivate, and this book shows us how. Using a combination of questions, evidence-based activities from positive psychology and sharing real-life stories, it helps us identify our real long-term goals, and guides us in staying the course as we develop our grit in working towards them. Next month, we’re reading ‘A Year Of Living Mindfully’ by Anna Black (Ryland Peters & Small, £12.99)

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Getting Grit by Caroline Adams Miller (Sounds True, £16.50)

Questions inspired by this month’s book When you are looking back on your life from your deathbed, what will you regret if you don’t make changes now? ● What is the hardest thing you have done and what helped you succeed? ● We never succeed alone, suggests Miller, so think about a goal you’d like to work towards. Who are the people who could be on your team? Who would help make your dreams a reality? ●


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