What an 85 year old’s birthday can teach you about life

Sunday, 9, November, 2014 0 , , , , Permalink 0

Recently, I surprised my family by flying home for my Nana’s 85th birthday. It was a bit risky – surprising an 85 year old – but luckily Nana was thrilled and survived to tell the tale of her eldest (and, of course, favourite) granddaughter travelling cross-country to see her. The truth is - it was an easy decision. She's an amazing lady, my Nana. The epitome of class and grace, she knows every rule of social etiquette and is responsible for my table manners and ability to make pastry from scratch. She has the patience of a saint and an ever-so-subtle habit of being charmingly manipulative when she needs to be. She is a master of the long-lost art of letter writing. ...

Mindfulness: Existing vs Living

Sunday, 28, September, 2014 1 , , Permalink 1

Sometimes, I feel like I'm going through life on auto-pilot. I get so caught up in the routine of life - eat, work, sleep, repeat - that I stop really feeling it. And the scary part is, I don't realise I'm in that zone until something happens to snap me out of it. Have you seen the movie Crash? I always remember this line: In LA, nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something. I think that's the difference between existing and living. And I really noticed it while on holiday overseas recently. It was only a 2 week break ...

3 Lessons from the Girls I’ve Been

Sunday, 24, August, 2014 3 , , Permalink 3

You've probably heard the famous words by George Bernard Shaw - Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. I didn't always agree with this. A hopeless romantic at heart, I believe(d) in things like fate and destiny and reincarnated souls - life was about discovering the person that you innately are. Over the past 27 years, I've come to realise that this was perhaps a belief of convenience - a comforting thought that I alone was not responsible or accountable for how things turned out. Shaw suggests that we have the power to create who we are - that it is not necessarily predetermined or limited by fate, genetics or circumstances. We are in the driver's seat. A scary ...

Bring on the hard choices

Sunday, 3, August, 2014 2 , , , Permalink 0

Recently, I watched a TED talk by Ruth Chang (a lawyer, turned philosopher) on How to make hard choices. It has completely revolutionised the way I view major life decisions. I only wish I'd had this insight 5 years ago. Life - although I feel our twenties in particular - is full of hard choices. Where will I live? What will I study? Which job will I take? Will I marry him/her? Should I move to New York? Should I buy property? I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Ruth suggests that we have misunderstood hard choices. Rather than being a source of stress and anguish, she says that we should cherish hard choices as opportunities to step up and be active participants in ...

Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.

— Mark Jenkins