• The impossibility of being present (should we bother?) Says Soren Kierkegaard: “It is perfectly true, as the philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards.” This is, indeed, true. We are the only creatures that do this – live forwards, plunge into the future with an awareness of our inevitable finality. more
  • Let’s find an anxiety charity to support My book first, we make the beast beautiful is selling better than I thought. Which makes me very… relieved. And fulfilled. Off the back of this interest and the wonderful deep conversations it’s spawning, I’m being asked to speak at a number of corporate events, and I’ll also be organising a speaking tour shortly.  I want more
  • Good anxiety apps and sites you need to know about At the back of my new book first, we make the beast beautiful, I promised to share on my site a list of some top apps and sites for anxiety. This is that list.  It’s a simple list because I personally don’t rely on such tech things heavily. For some context it’s worth noting that very few studies have more
  • Dearest Everyone, I have to back off a bit… Writing and releasing first, we make the beast beautiful has been the most enriching, real experiences of my life. Not one of. The most. I set out to have a better conversation about anxiety and to feel less lonely myself. The dialogue the book has created has delivered this in spades. It’s come from the media, readers who’ve more
  • Five recipes that have helped my anxiety At the back of my new book, first, we make the beast beautiful, I promised to share on my site a few of my favourite meals and recipes that have helped my anxiety. This is that list. (Most of these recipes feature in I Quit Sugar: Simplicious.) As I explain in the beast, it’s best to eat more
  • Treatments that have helped my anxiety and where to find them At the back of my new book, first, we make the beast beautiful, I promised to share on my site a list of treatments that have helped my anxiety and where to find them. This is that list. Please bear in mind these are my own personal techniques and chosen brands. I’ve not been endorsed in more
  • Anxiety fix: have a shower We all need to know this – the anxious bit of the brain is a mono-tasker. It’s a bit like a fusty, gnarly old uncle at the end of the table who causes trouble…until he’s preoccupied by the footy on the telly. So, simply put, we can feasibly dampen the anxious brain by accessing other more
  • Science says this diet heals anxiety (and it looks familiar) A few weeks back I wrote about how quitting sugar helps fight anxiety. Now, a new study shows that another well-known diet can fight depression. The study was conducted by Deakin University here in Australia. It showed that after 12 weeks of what is essentially Mediterranean-style eating (see the details below), one third of folk reported more
  • A (boring) list of all the references in “first, we make the beast beautiful” At the back of first, we make the beast beautiful I promise to include references and links for all the science and studies I draw on in the researching of the book in a neat and tidy post. This is she. I didn’t want to include them as footnotes in the book proper. They’re not more
  • A polite note on how to write about mental illness I’ve got to hand it to the DailyMail.com. As I wrote my new book first, we make the beast beautiful, there was one line amid the 90,000 words I penned, that I just knew the site would hunt down, isolate, recast out of context and sensationalise to their heart’s content. It involved a build-up of more
  • Does quitting sugar help heal anxiety? The short answer is yes, without a doubt. The longer one requires me to rant. Let’s start with my experience, then flesh out from there. Me, when I got unwell with Hashimotos seven years ago, I was also suffering one of my most tumultuous bouts of anxiety. The two are very interrelated. I’ll explore this in more
  • The 9 best books that help heal anxiety I read widely and wonderfully while researching first, we make the beast beautiful, my book about my anxious journey. Actually, I’ve researched the topic for decades now and read many a fretty memoir, some more insightful and enriching than others. Here’s my pick of the bunch with short reviews. Because I did promise I’d provide more
  • Enough with the (hashtag) unicorns and rainbows! I was on a dating site recently. A guy who looked like Jesus (should Jesus exist today as a Swedish supermodel with a man-bun and a lot of photos of himself on jet skis)  flagged in his profile that he would flick left on anyone with a #blessed hashtag on their Instagram feed. Now, I more
  • I’m finding peace with being a constant mover Do you guys remember Hazel Boot? Gosh, she’s great. I love the story of how we “met”. The other day she reached out. And we did some really cool quote sharing. We worked out that we’re both people who need to move a lot. As in, exercise, hike, ride and traverse vast tracts of ground, more
  • There’s an octopus on the cover of my book because… …well, octopuses, as a motif, swam into my life during the process of writing first, we make the beast beautiful. From all kinds of angles. You see, my book is about anxiety. Anxiety is complex. So are octopuses (and yes, it’s “octopuses”, not “octopi”, the latter utilising a Roman suffix, which you can’t do on more
  • first, we make the beast beautiful. a new story about anxiety… This beautiful beast has been the biggest project I’ve ever worked on. I’ve lived through it, under it. It’s taken me down, down, down. But it also forced me to get clear. I had to with such an exacting team of (wonderful) editors. And a readership I give a shit about. Today, I wanted to more
  • Interrupt anxiety with gratitude I caught up with Danielle LaPorte the other day. I wanted to ask her a bit about anxiety. She gets it. She writes about it. I’ve followed her White Hot Truths for a while. And her career in the self-help-of-the-brutal-variety realm. (Note: Danielle tours Australia next month, with special guest Clare Bowditch. Details, and a ticket giveaway, below). A more
  • How is the state of your heart, in this breath? I ask, “How are you?”.  “Busy”. “Flat out”. “So much going on.” That’s what I get back.  We might be busy. But busy is a choice of mindset, if you think about it. It’s funny, busy-ness is what creates our aching need for more self-care and a deep desire to live a life we actually more
  • Leonard Cohen: The yearning at your core Leonard Cohen is a man who lived with inner anguish, but did so gallantly. He celebrated the melancholy of life. He planted the truth of our existence (we die, my friends!) before us without apology. He wrestled with all this, but, again, without apology. In the wake of his recent passing, you might like to more
  • To be a full person, you have to let nothing happen There was a lovely response to my I have my freedom today because nothing really happened post a few weeks back. Nicely, this pierced my radar – an interview comedian Louis C.K. did on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He discusses the same theme. Of being OK with nothing happening. He refers to our smartphone habit – more
  • Sylvia Plath’s purple figs lesson Hello. Are you like me? As in, do you really, truly struggle with making decisions?  I think many of you reading this blog do. As I’ve written before, decision fatigue sees us do dumb things, like reverting to default or safe options, or to making decisions that keep our options open…which just prolongs the fatigue. more
  • That moment you stop asking if you are going to be okay… I don’t know if I can discuss this further. If I can add to it. Cleo Wade is an artist, poet and speaker. She often shares her poetry on Instagram. She nails life when she does so. I guess the bravery she alludes to is one that we have to summon when the shit really gets real more
  • Here, my hacks for making less plans It’s a bit of a recurring rant of mine. In these modern times we are flooded with opportunities, commitments, options and invites. Where success was defined by how many contacts you could make, and how much information you could collate, today it’s defined by how much of all this “input” you can shut out. Right? more
  • Do you rumble with the truth? Brene Brown. I mean, how much do you just dig her? Of the various life experts that I’ve met over the years she is probably the most authentic. We cried when we met. You can read what she shared with me to prompt the tears here. Anyways, Brene shared this recently on Instagram: If we’re living more
  • Are you really an introvert? Ha! I quite love this. Just when we thought it was cool to be an introvert, we get a whopping great mirror held up to us that says, “get over yourself”. I’d been cringing about this for a while with my mate Rick, observing that everyone around us was suddenly coyly declaring themselves an introvert more
  • I have my freedom today because nothing really happened I’ve been reading poet David Whyte’s The House of Belonging. In it is a poem, “It happens to those who live alone”. Which is a grand title for anything right there. There’s a line in it that is particularly special… “I have my freedom today because nothing really happened and nobody came to see me.” more
  • Do you want to be right or to love? I’ve had reason recently to visit this idea again. A most powerful idea, beautifully brought to us by Rumi. Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. More than six years ago I wrote about the idea in detail. I’d read a New York Times Modern Love more
  • I’m tough because I give a shit What makes someone tough? Strong in the face of adversity? Emotionally sturdy? My literary crush David Brooks (catch up on my previous posts on him here and here) touches on this topic quite a bit. Recently in the New York Times he flagged the idea that emotional sturdiness “happens”. That is, we’re not born with it. more
  • I’ve been a nomad for six years. This is what it’s done to me. I’ve not lived in my own place, with furniture and belongings around me, for a good chunk of my life. I’ve never owned a fridge. Nor a washing machine. Nor an iron. Six years ago I gave everything away, reducing my belongings to two suitcases, and decamped to a (frugally furnished) army shed in the more
  • Trust your contradictions I’m on a roll with this theme: exploring beautiful ways to find challenges entirely rewarding. (Small admission: it’s sort of the theme of my latest book project). I covered the value of loneliness last week and hunting down difficulty to have a good life the week before. Now contradiction.  Again, Maria Popova at BrainPickings alerted me to a read more
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