• Living

    Dealing with conflict at Christmas : taking a kinder path

    Sometimes, some people can really rub us up the wrong way. And there are moments when, consumed with our own thoughts, we’re more prone to taking other people’s offhand comments way too personally. Some days calm and kind feels natural and easy. Other days our emotions are raw, our thinking chaotic and our temper easily triggered. Facing what feels like criticism or judgement, we’re easily drawn into arguments and negativity. Christmas is a time for giving, for sharing and for family. Images of idyllic days enveloped in the loving embrace of said family fill our hearts, our minds and our screens. Expectations soar, while our resources may plummet spectacularly low.…

  • Parenting

    Enjoying Christmas without being good for Santa.

    There’s so much to love about Christmas. The efforts we make to spend time with those we love and check in with those we’ve not seen for a while. Shining lights brighten short winter days, while familiar festive favourites round an open fire warm our bodies and our hearts. But Christmas is an emotional time too. The joy of family gatherings and catching up with our nearest and dearest tinged with sadness as we remember those no longer celebrating alongside us. The weight of expectations, to produce the perfect meal, host the perfect party and source the perfect present. And for children, an added burden and pressure, as the chimes…

  • Living

    Why kindness is the ultimate superpower.

    Kindness can be loud and proud, an exuberant gesture of extreme generosity that wows a crowd. Or quiet and gentle, an unseen act melting the hearts of a solitary someone touched by tenderness. Sometimes mistaken for a weakness or condemned as an empty gesture, kindness is no easy option. In the face of provocation it’s hard to resist the fleeting sense of satisfaction that can come from lashing out in retaliation and spite. Yet the stakes are high as we risk damaging our connection to others and scarring our very souls. Kindness can demand extraordinary courage and a strong resolve. But there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that big…

  • Living

    You are enough (And why that’s so hard to believe)

    This is my entry for the writing contest: You Are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer.  http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-you-are-enough/ Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough? Worried any moment you’ll be exposed as a hopeless wannabe that can’t cut the mustard? Alone at our computer screens it’s easy to imagine everyone else has it all figured out. Yet we are far from alone. Wrestling with self-doubt is an occupational hazard. Agonising over every word, our insecurities looming, we’re easily ambushed by our negative thinking. Layers of anxiety and frustration, heaped upon doubt and despair threaten to keep us from writing at all. Yet this isn’t just a personal failing. It can affect any…

  • Living

    Reminders to be kinder : 7 fun ways to help you exercise those kindness muscles every single day (and be calmer and more patient too )

        Kindness is a gift. And like all the best gifts, it doesn’t matter if you’re giving or receiving, that warm fuzzy glow feels great. The benefits of kindness are huge. Yet some days, life just happens. We get busy, side-tracked and overwhelmed. And then we forget. On those days we could all use a reminder to be kinder. And today, just for you, I’ve got 7 of them. Some are physical reminders while others are habits we can build into our daily routines. All of them help to sew kindness right into the fabric of our day and help pull us back from the brink when we feel those…