A series of short articles on everything, from practical ways of getting things done, to how to handle your feelings and find peace in a hectic world.

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130. We All Need Encouragement

Apologies for the long time since my last email. I could cite not enough time, or other obstacles, but it might just be that I haven't been encouraging myself enough! A few weekends ago I was in Foyles, at a reading by Carol Ann Duffy, the current Poet Laureate. Short, stocky and not-to-be-messed with, she read from 'The World's Wife', a hilarious collection of poems about the wives of famous men - meet Mrs Midas, Mrs Faust, Mrs Aesop. (Imagine the alarm of Mrs Midas, when she observed that everything her husband touched turned to gold.... The encouragement by an avaricious Mrs Faust to the husband who was wavering on whether to sell his soul in exchange for riches... The aching boredom

No. 145. Open up to an exciting new year!

Yesterday afternoon I sent a text to my cousin in Canada. 'It's amazing,' said my daughter who was sitting next to me, 'how we can do this'. As someone who remembers when the concept of mobile phones was first mooted, it amazes me even more! But only when I take the time to think about it. The sad thing is that we are rarely amazed in our day to day lives. Habituation kicks in so very quickly. So, however appalled you may feel by the events of 2016, be thankful at least for feeling amazed, shocked, alive. It's not our fault that we're neurologically wired to ignore sameness and to pay attention to difference. It follows, though, that our attention and aliveness is in direct proportion to new