• When wellness friends get caught up in QAnon conspiracies: some resources Earlier this week I decided to write an oped for The Guardian about a phenomenon plaguing many of us – how people we know, mostly “loose” friends from Facebook who, more often than not, are wellness warriors or spiritual types, have suddenly bought into QAnon-inspired conspiracy theories. I wrote the piece because I was really more
  • I pull apart the Covid “bliss bubble” I feel cautious around all the “Covid-19 is a beautiful corrective experience”-speak. Not because I don’t wish that such a sentiment was signifying a substantive shift in the Zeitgeist. I want it more than anything else on this poor, bedraggled planet. But is the point. We want a correction. We want more of the stuff more
  • A Charles Bukowski wisdom on finding peace in iso-ordinariness Sometimes reading another’s words regarding a mindset that we are aching for, or are ready for, can take us to that mindset. In mere pithy paragraphs. In the considered placement of phrases of care by the writer we can be drawn down into peace, stillness, mindfulness, what matters. The act of considered care from the more
  • Virginia Woolf portends an age of angry men I finally read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. Can I implore you to (re)read it in these modern times? It remains insightful and in being so, is quite a reflection of our lack of evolution. Or perhaps a reminder that some themes may always pervade. Woolf asks big questions about women and writing, more
  • Has wellness reached peak Goop? Did you catch this profile on Gwyneth Paltrow and the cult of Goop recently? It’s worth a read. Although, I do find these kind of articles moments in low-hanging fruit piñata-ing. I mean Gywn provides sooo much easy ammunition. I’d love to see someone actually get to the hoary nub of what the woman is about more
  • Nike just made life a bit less boring and ugly. You know how Nike just launched it’s new billboard campaign with Colin Kaepernick and the line “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”? Yes, as in Colin Kaepernick the American football quarterback who protested in support of Black Lives Matter and against racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the US national more
  • The First, We Make the Beast Beautiful book club guide is here One of the reasons I wrote First, We Make The Beast Beautiful was to start a new conversation about anxiety. Every chat we have about anxiety –  with loved ones, friends, colleagues, strangers – brings us in closer, and making us feel less lonely, which, as I explain in The Beast, allows us to do more
  • We need a new moral code. Here’s my reading list. This is where I think we are going wrong right now. We lack inspiring, spiritual guidance. I’m going to rant for a bit, and provide some interesting links and reads for you. Then ask you to cite what guides you, with links. Cool? In the olden days, we had ritual and religion and social morays more
  • The sisterhood of pain and PTSD…an interesting perspective I just read Sebastian Junger’s Tribe. Junger is a war journalist who posits that post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans is mostly an issue with homecoming. That is, the most devastating and longterm psychological stress doesn’t come from the horrors of war so much as from the cold contrast of reintegrating into a society that more
  • Parenthood makes you mature. But what if you don’t have any kids? I’ve been thinking about this a bit. Maturity. I realised I’ve not really grown up. But I’m getting there. At 44. I was swimming across Bondi beach (where good thoughts often come to me), reflecting on a chat I’d had recently with my friend Rebecca. She has three kids, a full-time job, writes books and more
  • It’s called continuous partial attention… I read this Atlantic article about the dangers of screen time on kids. Yeah, blah, blah. But, no! This article turns things around. The bigger, broader, scarier issue (bigger than the direct effects of kids’ screen addictions) is the impact of parents’ screen addictions. Yeah, we’ve all been projecting. We always do when we experience shame, which reminds me more
  • What I’m giving away…my new wage manifesto. Bam! Hi. Hope you are well. I’ve taken a few months to map this notion out in my noggin and in my heart. As you might know, when I closed my business, I sold off some of the assets and gave the lot to charity. I set up a philanthropic trust. See below for the gist more
  • Kanye is bipolar. And he’s a narcissistic bigot. I’m being asked a bit about Kanye’s recent album Ye, which I listened to over the weekend as part of my “remain pop culturally relevant in my 40s” project. (I read recently we stop exploring music in our 30s…I wish/beg to differ; I’m also resisting increasing the font size on my phone, but that’s another more
  • It’s hard for me to love a weak character Existentialist Hannah Arendt famously coined the phrase “the banality of evil”. She used it to describe what she felt was the most extreme failures of personal moral awareness –  not thinking and not responding adequestly when the times demand it. You know, sitting back and doing nothing even though the world is falling apart. And more
  • I’m doing “cool loneliness” I’ve had cause to think about loneliness again lately. A journalist acquaintance brought it up over breakfast – she was surprised to read in first, we make the beast beautiful that loneliness is such a theme in my life. “But you come across as someone who doesn’t need other people.” Which is a lonely person’s more
  • A note from a 16-year-old that blew my mind Do you mind if I share this lovely note with you? Sarah L. reached out to me with the letter below. I get hundreds of letters and messages daily in response to first, we make the beast beautiful. I’ve had to employ someone two days a week to help me answer the questions and provide more
  • As you make 2018 resolutions, remember this my anxious friends… …we’re not all that bad to have around. And we might not have to turn ourselves completely inside out to become better people. We come with a swag of good points. You know? It occurred to me as I sit here writing my next book that we need to remind ourselves that we don’t have more
  • The #1 thing to share with loved ones (if you have anxiety) This is a quick little tip from first, we make the beast beautiful. I’ve found it to be one of the most popular and follows on from the post “Three ways loved ones can actually help us when we’re anxious as f*ck”. I followed a thread on an anxiety site one day that discussed the more
  • Three ways loved ones can actually help us when we’re anxious as f*ck In this post last week I follow up on an edited extract from first, we make the beast beautiful in which I outline all the contradictions inherent in why we need people, but push them away, when we’re anxious. Today’s share is the antidote, geared at at our loved ones; you might want to tag them in the more
  • Don’t be nervous, work joyously. I came across Henry Miller’s “11 Commandments of Writing” in a review of a book of his essays. The book was written around the time he wrote Tropic of Cancer. The commandments seem to be a bunch of Edicts To Self to remind the writer to not lose sight of what life is meant to more
  • Why we need people, but push them away, when we’re anxious This is an edited extract from my book first, we make the beast beautiful that picks up after an anxiety attack in the presence of my ex-partner “The Life Natural”. I tried to sum up the weird contradictions and paradoxes and baffling inconsistencies inherent in our need for/inability to cope with people when our heads more
  • That’s the way real men behave. Good night. What do you make of this take on masculinity? Or, if you prefer, this take on the importance of certainty. Yes, this is another post inspired by Zorba the Greek. See my rant about uneasiness and letting go, too, if you like. The two nomad friends must part ways in the morning. The “Boss” can’t more
  • Be unavailable for a day. Can you do it? I am always so on. Engaged. Reaching out. Helping. But this creates a situation where everyone expects a response. Now. Same for you? People know when we’ve read their Facebook message (and our texts if we’re dumb enough to leave that “read”  function on). And if they can see we’re online, more
  • I’m clear about what I’m hungry for. You? I ate at Gabrielle Hamilton’s Prune in New York about six years ago. I didn’t realise the story behind the woman. I do now and have been watching her “Mind of A Chef” series on Netflix recently. She shares in this interview her bold thinking about everything. She sticks it up complacency. Me, I’m very more
  • What to do when hopelessness sets in While I was in Crete two loved ones reached out to me in a lot of pain. It’s one of the benefits of being in a wonky time zone – you can talk to family and friends at intimate hours. Both of these special people are experiencing deep hopelessness – that point where you feel there more
  • A noble case for sorting your anger, soonest Frank Bruni in the New York Times the other day, in response to Yet More Sad Trump Guff: Today’s partisans have made anger into an industry — using it to run up the number of listeners, viewers and hits. Our language is growing coarser. Our images, too…Madonna fantasizes about blowing up the White House. Kathy Griffin more
  • Greece is teaching me “philotimo”… an unfathomable kindness I’m drawn to Greece. I’ve spent a lot of time here. I keep coming back to absorb the incredibly kind energy of this raw, honest, story-steeped land. For, when I do, this energy seeps into me and I become a better person for it. Greece and Greeks have many lessons to teach me. As I was more
  • I love this definition of true love When you’re single you find yourself looking at your peers ensconced in romantic relations and you try to decipher the secret to good, true love. You know, love that’s fruitful, growth-precipitating, kind and able to foster the spread of kindness beyond the couple in question. Often, sadly, I find my answer in opposition to what I see my more
  • Freedom is always available. Will you pay the price? Freedom is always available. One need only pay the price for it. – Henry de Montherlant How much do you want it? How much will you pay for yours? I seek freedom from the constraints of “having to do something that makes no altruistic or elegant sense”. The price I pay? I live a largely lonely life. more
  • Fire the f*ck up! There is a piquancy in the air. A sense we’re on the precipice of something. That we can no longer afford to be complacent. And yet. We’re sitting back. Aren’t we. Waiting. For the right moment? For the red carpet to be rolled out? For someone else to take the lead? To that I say, more
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