We are Nowhere & it’s Now

Relationships are seen as the pinnacle these days. The constant rat race to pursue the perfect one. To feel the breath on the back of your neck whilst you sleep. The beat of reassurance that your mood is untouchable.

I feel that with age I’ve either become wiser with my choice (not likely) or more picky. It’s no secret that divorce rates are sky high, and people break up because they aren’t right for each other to begin with. So what’s the point? It’s the same point everyone is labouring…

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 21.54.20.png

I hate this feeling of being forced to pick a man. When I go out its like I’m a rose in a vase. I’m not sure if I have a lot of water left… There are loads of other flowers around me… I just can’t be bothered moving face into the sun anymore.

I refuse to admit I have become a cynic. I want someone to laugh that I’ve put my underwear on inside out (it happens). I want someone to tell me to come home safe after travelling with work.

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 21.58.29.png

Charlie Munger (American Investor) has some great thoughts about relationships: I’ve noticed in a long life time that the people who really love you are the people who help you during difficult times, and you jointly got through it. In the end these people will love you more, than those people who you’ve just shared an uneven prosperity through the whole thing

The truth is a good relationship works because they have got through something awful together, and are tied together with that bond. Its the crap relationships that fall apart at any hurdle (first hurdle to even get a text back!), or you don’t even share these hurdles with them.

I have come to learn to filter out people’s advice. I used to desperately seek it. I wanted someone to agree with my great desire to stay with this one man. To the point I was talking to online therapist from India (red flag right there!). I used to think he was “the one”, and I had to do everything to impress him. I swallowed any pain he caused. In the end I was using 95% of my time and the effort wasn’t producing 1% happiness. This switch in thought process, moved him from a sword in my side, to a thorn in my paw.

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 21.51.07.png

One thing to have in mind is that everyone has different experiences and these are not your fairy tales to live out. You can build your own.


Blank Page Empire

Let’s just cut out this “New Year New Me” bullshit right now.


Every year we have this quick scuffle to the gym, to try and lose some non existing love handles that no one else sees. Instead of enjoying what is awesome about ourselves, before girls use their tits as scarves, and guys have to use a little blue pill!


Please stop the worrying about that box of celebrations you ate today, or the fact you went to the gym twice and not three times. Enjoy the moment, because these are the moments you look back on and think… “God I’m hilarious” (I am though!) or… “I was fit”… “Why didn’t I use my talent then when I didn’t have arthritis?!”

One thing New Year is good for is sparking the use of reframing a situation. Take this quote from Jane Hirshfield:

“I moved my chair into sun

I sat in the sun

The way hunger is moved when called fasting”

I do hate feeling at a loss of control in any situation. If I reframe it’s like suddenly realising I’m reading fact not fiction. Most of our lives our brains make up fiction. Maybe this year we can go through with it with a healthy dose of facts instead.


They Spun a Web for Me

Every once in a while, I (like other people) get caught in a web. Going over and over all the stupid things I’ve done. I found out recently (believe it or not) we are hard wired to be happy?!

Studies show three months after every earth shattering event (with some exceptions), it has had little effect on our happiness. Dan Gilbert talks about why we don’t know this about ourselves:

  1. We don’t see our minds doing this
  2. We are built to be strangers to ourselves (so we try to save our relationship or our job)

After the major life event, we “reframe” our views on the world for the better e.g. after breaking my leg I’m always thankful that I can run/walk/drive every day.

Whilst someone is in those horrible 3 months it is good to have someone to listen to you. Some of the best ever advice I have heard on active listening is below. This advice not only gives someone with depression/anxiety the space to heal, but it is great advice for two people with extreme views to communicate.

If you don’t get this right… Well I don’t think I need to explain…


  • Don’t multi task; be present (no phones!)
  • Use open ended questions (who/what/where/when/how?)
  • Go with the flow (thoughts will come, let them go. Not everyone loves hearing about Dave Grohl)
  • Don’t equate your experience with theirs. It is never the same.
  • Listen.

Celeste Headlee

I really want to highlight that no one’s experience is the same. If you are constantly outdoing each other with “who’s job is more stressful” you could be there all day and no one feels better for it. The greatest healing will come from that person from feeling fully listened to and understood.

If the person likes or respects you they will leave a forum for you to give you space to air your views/experiences.

Ps always remember your facial expressions particularly when listening to adverse points of view.




What were we Talking about?

What is the secret to happiness?

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has found the answer the answer:

Hold on a second…There’s some science I have to tell you, so you can piece it all together.

“Our nervous system is incapable of processing more than 110 bits of information per second. In order to hear me, and understand what I’m saying. You need to process 60 bits per second. (That’s why you can’t understand more than 2 people talking to you.) When you are really involved in something you cannot feel that you are hungry, tired or remember your problems at home. Your identity disappears from its consciousness.”

This is called a “Flow” experience. Here are some examples:

  • Playing Music
  • Listening to Podcasts
  • Life Drawing (got to make sure I don’t make eye contact)
  • Looking at Dave Grohl (I get lost in his eyes)



  • Writing a Blog
  • Making sure I don’t die at PE
  • Having that conversation about nothing and losing time


Bin off your phone. It takes 20 mins to settle back into the activity/Flow moment you were in, once you have put your phone down. Was it life changing what you have just looked at? Did Geoff just text you? No! Should you care? No, he’s a massive bellend!


Even if you aren’t an artist/muscian/gym goer/podcast listener, having these moments where you are lost in deep conversation are priceless. Your nervous system is lost in a sea of words, where it doesn’t feel hunger or sadness from your own life.

“When we worked so hard to pull all those weeds out, what were we talking about?”;  Neva Dinova


“It doesn’t matter to me
I tell myself repeatedly

What a nightmare it seemed
To honestly think anything

I won’t leave indentions of me
I won’t leave intentionally” – Manchester Orchestra

The above encapsulates how I really felt during the worst of my depression. I wanted all these horrible thoughts (I wasn’t even sure what they were anymore) to leave. I wanted to “reset”. How I wanted to reset, was the messed up part. I didn’t want to “leave intentionally”, but I knew when someone said “see you on Monday” I might not be around.
I’d smile and leave my friends and drive straight to A&E. Or I would spend an evening on the phone to the Samaritans being talked down from whatever state I’d worked myself into.
If you are going through this, then there is help. You can walk into A&E and talk to someone. You can call your GP and see them every week if you can’t get a therapist.

FullSizeRender (28)
The most important thing I learnt from this, is to always be kind, because you have absolutely no idea what is going on in a persons head. Also, the petty bullshit you deal with on a day to day basis… Does it really fucking matter?

“There’s a ghost and it knows what I know.
So I let it go, there’s no ghost, there’s no ghost” – Manchester Orchestra

After all this, I have learnt to let go (most, always working on it) of my anxieties. Like the rings I wear on my finger. I try to get through life with some “grace”, and I always have a “choice” in what I can do/how I act. No one can “make me feel” a certain way. I choose how I feel and react. That’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever had.

Come as you are

Since 1/3 to 1/2 of the population are introverts (and I’m 100% one of them) I feel we should talk about it. First off lets establish that an introvert isn’t someone who is “shy”. It comes down to one simple thing: stimulus. An introvert needs hardly any stimulus and an extrovert needs constant stimulus to stop them from falling asleep at their desk.

FullSizeRender (25)

So how do you spot an extrovert?

An extrovert would be talking really loudly on their phone, whilst listening to the Foo Fighters (we can all hope), texting themselves on the other phone, and trying to give you a hug. (You get the idea). An introvert would be trying to avoid their gaze (and any body contact), and hoping they go away as quickly as possible.

FullSizeRender (26)

In terms of a conversation between an introvert and extrovert:

Me (introvert): Yeah I spoke to Geoff, I think when you catch him on a bad day he can be a little difficult.

Dave (extrovert): That’s what I said, he’s a dickhead!

Introverts use more complex language, whilst extroverts are more direct.

So what does this all mean? Firstly, (as Susan Cain points out) all schools and work places are geared towards extroverts way of working. (open plan offices, pod desks) This doesn’t allow deep thought in which creative ideas are born.

FullSizeRender (27)Secondly, introverts can switch to become an extrovert for a short period of time. For example; I will do this blog and talk about it, or present at work. However, I will have to have a period in which I’m under-stimulated (sitting with my headphones in by myself). The only thing that allows me to do this is passion for what I believe in.

Some of the greatest leaders have all been introverts – Gandhi, Rosa Parks. They both have been noted to be softly spoken, but they fought for what they believed in. That’s what I feel makes an introvert as a valuable leader/manager/teacher.

Many of Horror

I tell my friends this quote all the time:

FullSizeRender (18)

Unfortunately there isn’t enough time to psycho analyse me, so we’ll just stick to the blog. Whether your last relationship ended because “you refused to be mine, but you made me yours” (Lena Dunham).

FullSizeRender (19)

Or for some other reason…

FullSizeRender (22)

We are all in this together. To illustrate this Helen Fisher asked two questions:

  1. “Have you ever been rejected by someone who you really loved?
  2. Have you ever dumped someone who really loved you?”

95% of college students answered: “Yes”

Clearly this effects a lot more of us than we may realise. Researchers in the State of Columbia University scanned peoples brains after unwanted break ups. They looked at physical, as well as the obvious emotional effects. The areas in their brain lit up similar to having a hot probe on their arm when shown pictures of their ex partners.

“These findings are consistent with the idea that the experience of social rejection, or social loss more generally, may represent a distinct emotional experience that is uniquely associated with physical pain,” Ethan Kross, an associate professor at University of Michigan told University of Michigan News in 2011.

Through all of this I really haven’t become a cynic (I promise). I will always fight for a relationship that I believe in. However, sometimes I am given some pain in a neatly wrapped bow. I go and hang out with the ones that make me smile (and forget about Geoff), in a little while I’ll be just fine. You will too (if not my door is always open)

FullSizeRender (24)


Everything’s Not Lost

From a young age we get taught that pain can equal love. Take my cat for instance, when he paws at me with his claws, that means that he loves me. Or if a boy pulls at your pig tails that means he likes you. It’s odd that from such a young age pain is taught to equal love.

This is something that was subconsciously etched into my brain from being so little. Ten years ago I tried to break up with my ex boyfriend, he got so upset I ended up being yanked out from underneath the bed – like a child who was late for their bath time. Before I knew it I was in a choke hold, and the finger mark bruises I traced on my throat in the mirror equated to the most peaceful feeling of slipping away.

For some reason I went back to him (until I realised he probably would kill me in the end).

Any relationship that I have formed since then I have been very careful with.

FullSizeRender (16)

Why didn’t I just leave? Well, domestic violence always happens in; intimate and interdependent relationships. Its incredibly dangerous to leave an abusive relationship. Over 70% of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship (because what do they have left to loose?)

How didn’t I see it coming? At the beginning part of a relationship it’s the charm, the flowers etc. Then it’s the isolation.

What do people think? My personal experience was that people thought I was lying. Some people get branded as “Damaged goods”

So what can we do to change this? Well Esta Soler has already helped by outlawing domestic violence in 1984, which one politician called “Take the fun out of Marriage Act”.

To this person I have this for you:

FullSizeRender (15)

Abuse thrives in silence. So now like Leslie Steiner I am breaking the silence. I used to tell just close friends, now I’m telling total strangers.

Do not Adjust

I realise that other people hide their flaws in different ways. When you think of yourself, are you your flaw? When I think of myself, I constantly see feel my glasses falling down my nose so I guess I’m this guy:


To me what really makes a person beautiful is seeing their flaws, and their vulnerability. Mirroring those qualities back to a person that aren’t linked to what is seen in a mirror, is the formation of a true connection.

The standard “You’re fit”, will always mean less than: “I like how you fight for what you believe in” and “I like how you squeeze my hand when I’m sad”. Never settle for a connection based on something superficial, as it’s the deeper ones that will keep you fed for longer.

FullSizeRender (13)

This legend Winnie Harlow has it down: “The real difference isn’t my skin. It’s the fact that I don’t find my beauty in the opinions of others”

FullSizeRender (12)

Talking of superficial lets take a moment and play have you ever:

  1. Have you ever realised your fly is open after being out of the house for over an hour?
  2. Have you ever looked across at someone in a bar and thought “not even Scarlett Yohansson has got a chance”?
  3. Have you ever caught yourself saying “You’re an idiot” to yourself?
  4. Have you ever had a peaceful moment (mine are all out in the park/lakes) and realised none of this matters we’re all human and we’re all the same?

What I take from this is that: We are all trying to become someone else to achieve something (usually acceptance in one form or another). However “Each time we fail to become authentically like someone we perceive as better than us, we become more like our authentic selves”. (TED – Who am I) We should always strive to be our authentic selves even though that isn’t what we were hoping in the first place.

FullSizeRender (14)

Another point I wanted to highlight from the above is; if someone said to your best friend that they were “useless”, “ugly” and “no one wanted to speak to them” you would correct them (well I hope so!). So why do we tell ourselves these things? If we aren’t willing for it to be said to our friends? We are stuck in a loop of being so self critical, that we don’t actually realise that the person we are is actually pretty great.

Do not adjust yourself, you’re just fine.

Love more Worry Less

Hmm how to write to be happy in 500 words?! When I was younger I could pick out certain things that I thought would make me happy (a certain job, a family). I feel that we should go back and pinpoint exactly where we become unhappy, for some this is a really obvious event. For others it isn’t.

FullSizeRender (9)

I love a good bit of data, and this scientist (Matt Killingsworth – TED Talk) gathered data on when our mind wanders:

  • 65% Taking a Shower/Brushing your teeth
  • 50% working
  • 40% exercising
  • 10% Having sex (I hope this is to images of Dave Grohl!?!)


Basically our minds wander to around 30% of the time. Unfortunately our brains usually wander to the time that dickhead in work got one up on you. Or the moment your ex left without any answers, and you didn’t ask any questions.

FullSizeRender (11)

How do we stop our minds from wandering?

  1. Meditation – This is exercise for the mind, it really helps to gently push away those pesky thoughts. If this is new for you try the app Headspace
  2. Walking in Parks – Worries seem less significant whilst at the top of a hill: “Does Geoff really fancy me?”… Who cares?! Check out the view!
  3. Visit Friends – Having the right circle of friends to talk about what is bothering you really helps
  4. Podcasts/Reading – I’m more of a podcast listener. You can’t focus on either unless they have your full attention.
  5.  Rain Rain App – When I couldn’t even sleep, the sound of rain and thunder really helped me relax.
  6. Turn your phone on silent/off vibrate – On average it takes us 20mins to completely refocus after looking at our phones. Try and be present in the moment.


Gratefulness = Happiness?

One particular piece of advice I was told when I was depressed was; I should be grateful for my health, my job and my home. I brushed this off, as I was too busy counting my woes. After listening to Brother David Steindl-Rast’s Ted Talk I now understand that:

  1. Grateful people are happy people.
  2. We must open our hearts to opportunities in that moment, and learn from these opportunities e.g. to stand for something, to learn patience.
  3. If we fail, we will always get another opportunity.

In other words a method for living gratefully:


STOP: Don’t rush through life, take some time for your mind.

LOOK: Once you have an opportunity, this is your chance to look for the moment to be grateful.

GO: Once you have found that opportunity, seize it. Really do!