Book Review: Standing At the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet by Joan Halifax

Book Review: Standing At the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet by Joan Halifax @jhalifax

Genre: Non-fiction, spirituality, Zen buddhism, psychology, philosophy. Publisher: Flatiron Books Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Halifax with the Dalai Lama Standing At the Edge is a once in a lifetime kind of book. I don’t say that lightly either. It’s a life-changing and life-affirming book that combines philosophy, Zen Buddhism, psychology, and much more…

odd quirky emotion Book Review: Consolations:The Solace, Nourishment & Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words by David Whyte

Book Review: Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment & Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words by David Whyte

Genre: Non-fiction, Spirituality, Philosophy Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 1/2 stars *Contains no spoilers In this slim and elegant volume of philosophy and inspiration, writer David Whyte tackles the big topics and words that rarely get any airtime in our society, the kinds of things that haunt people but that are difficult to resolve and so…

Barry Schwartz and the Tyranny of Choice

Barry Schwartz and the Paradox of Choice

"We laud our almost boundless freedom of choice as if it were a good thing per se, irrespective of what the choice is between. This is of course absurd because any rational person would prefer to choose between two good things rather than between a thousand bad ones. But, under these circumstances, how do we…

Book Review: How to be A Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery

Book Review: How to be A Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery

Genre: Non-fiction, conservation, nature, spirituality. Publisher: HMH Books Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 *No spoilers This is an extra special book. It’s filled with nourishing and kind-hearted stories of one woman’s relationships with a lifetime's worth of unique and amazing creatures. Author Sy Montgomery’s relationships with animals mirrors so many other people's stories and…

Pagan date: Litha

Comforting Thought: From ‘harder, better, faster, stronger’, back to circadian rhythms and rituals

"The cycles of nature and the cycles of time predate the modern world. The world we currently live in is linear and about more, more, more or ‘harder, better, faster, stronger’. This way of thinking dictates that we should not miss out on anything. We are encouraged to grow throughout our lives, as a part…

Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Comforting Thought: Ep’humin et ouk ep’humin

Ep’humin et ouk ep’humin (from Greek) Things that are under our control and things that are not under our control. Of things that exist, some are in our power and some are not in our power. Those that are in our power are conception, choice, desire, aversion, and in a word, those things that are…

Book Review: Standing Firm: Resisting The Self Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann

Book Review: Standing Firm: Resisting The Self Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann

‘Standing Firm’ in the sense of this book means to counter the incessant drive towards more, more, more of everything. It’s a call to action to resist and stand firm against ‘improvement culture’, not just self-improvement and personal development, but also the constant acceleration and growth in our economic systems, and the overuse and destruction…

Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Comforting Thought: Disruptive Creators Versus Custodians & Curators

"If we were all disruptive artists all the time – nothing in society would be coherent. No one would be obliged to do anything other than follow whatever short term whims took their fancy. Fortunately- many people are instead curators. Those who set up permanent exhibitions based on unifying themes and help to rein in…

Poetry and music from the film 'Wings of Desire' (Der Himmel uber Berlin)

Ancient Word of the Day: Weltschmerz

Weltschmerz: n: (literally) World Pain (from German). The feeling of sadness at the suffering that surrounds you in the world. The pain of being an empath and sensitive to all despair and distress in the world. An ill-defined weariness at the burdens carried universally by all of humankind. The Sensual World of The Unseen By…

If we want to do something well, we cannot do it all

Comforting Thought: If We Want to Do Something Well – We Cannot Do It All

"Opt out of the relentless pursuit of personal optimisation of our lives. Opt-out of picking and choosing a new partner when we get bored of the person we have been with for many years simply because we are bored. Opt out of trying to become a social media influencer with a million friends on Instagram…

Tracey Emin. About Neon Art and Loneliness http://wp.me/p41CQf-aU

Comforting Thought: The appetites of the soul by Aldous Huxley

Two great appetites of the soul – the urge to independence and self-determination and the urge to self-transcendence – were fused with, and interpreted in the light of, a third – the urge to worship.~ Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception and Heaven & Hell Entrance to the Night by Michiel Schrijver We live together,…

A roadtrip through the Bay of Plenty and Eastern Cape of the North Island

Comforting thought: A 10th century Japanese poem about courage

Although the wind Blows terribly herethe moonlight also leaks between the roof planksof this ruined house ~ Izumi Shikibu, 10th Century Japanese poet Izumi Shikibu More inspiration Remember that if you wall up your house too well you will stay dry, but you will stay moonless. We should strive to let the world into our…

A friend of mine told me that she doesn't believe in COVID yesterday....

A friend of mine told me that she doesn’t believe in COVID yesterday….

As though she was speaking about the boogeyman, Easter Bunny or Santa. I am baffled as this is a normally intelligent, coherent and sane person who gives sound advice to me. She (along with everyone else) has been living in a place (Melbourne, Australia) which has been under one of the world's most harsh lock-downs…

Every Picture Tells a Story: Lake Menteith in the fading light of a winters night

Comforting thought: The World of Terrifying Beauty By Karl Ove Knausgård

I remained where I was, standing with one hand in my pocket and the other around the handle of the pram. The triviality of the ketchup and mustard bottles, the blackened hotdogs. The camping table where the soft drinks were lined up, was almost inconceivable there beneath the stars, the dancing light of the bonfire.…

Comforting thought: You shouldn’t want it all

You shouldn't want it all by Piet Hein You shouldn't want it all You are only one part You own a world in the world You need to make it whole Choose just one path, and be as one with it. Other paths must wait. We always come back. Don't hide from troubles. Confront them…

Inhumans of late capitalism

How to Counter the Anthropocene: Frugality and the ‘Joy of Missing Out’

"The main threats to humankind were once posed by the forces of nature. Now they are self-inflicted. We are the cause of our own problems and they can only be solved at the level of the society that created them. One help would be to collectively rediscover the ancient virtues of frugality, moderation and the…

Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

How to deal with bullies by Marcus Aurelius

"When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you." - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.

The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann

Book Review: The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann

Book Review: The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann This book could have become a shallow antidote to the internet term for FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. Yet the Joy of Missing Out is brimming with exciting, novel and interesting ideas. It’s a slender book of around 90 pages that’s jam-packed full of…

Ancient Word of the Day: Love-Drury

Comforting Thought: We see into the life of things

“Wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.” ― William Wordsworth, The Excursion 1814 “Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.”― William Wordsworth “With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.”― William…

A Compendium of New Zealand Woo, Cults and New Age Claptrap

A Compendium of New Zealand Woo, Cults and New Age Claptrap

New Zealand is no stranger to woo, religious cults and strange pseudoscientific 'cures' for various ailments. Have a look closely at this vintage 1932 poster from the New Zealand Railways, advertising Rotorua as a 'health spa destination' and peddling all sorts of odd 'miraculous' treatments! Then learn more about the unusual cults that are tucked…

Starlit Woods by Ulla Thynell

10 uplifting and quirky things I found on the internet this week #15

A Love Letter to my dog by Leena Henningsen Empath and spiritual seeker Leena Henningsen's videos all have a cosy, gentle and inspirational vibe. She moved from the stressful bustle of Hamburg to rural Norway along with her beloved dog Aivy and her partner. In this intimate and moving short film she talks about why…

Quirky Facts About The Kea: NZ's Alpine Trickster

Comforting thought: The silence of the bird and the lily by Søren Kierkegaard

Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) implored people to learn from the silence of the lily and the bird. In other words to learn to refrain from speaking. He believed that we should learn this because we humans possess the power of speech and so we should learn the art of silence. According to Kierkegaard our…

Travel: Weird subway ads in Japan

Seven Unique and Moving Fictional Books Set in Japan

Japan is a country close to my heart and since I first went there a few years ago, I have become a big fan of Japanese fiction and Asian fiction translated to English. Japanese fiction tends to emphasise the liminal and fantasy aspects hidden at the edges of everyday reality and also exploring the inner…

Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner

Ten Quirky and Mind Expanding History Books

Here’s a collection of the best and treasured history books that I don’t think I could ever part with. They are quirky and delve into a little known aspect of history making them delightful lazy weekend reading. I hope you can get a hold of them, if you do...please let me know what you think…

Entrance to the Night by Michiel Schrijver Michiel Schrijver

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #12

1. Haunting and cinematic Norse music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aMKnHkeJEQ&feature=youtu.be 2. Tatsuya Tanaka's tiny whimsical worlds Each of these mini masterpieces represent a vibrant and quirky aspect of Japanese life (both past and present) made from the flotsam and jetsam of our everyday world. https://twitter.com/tanaka_tatsuya/status/1278810685984522240?s=20 https://twitter.com/tanaka_tatsuya/status/1272407163709739008?s=20 3. The price we pay for awareness With every level of consciousness…

Book Review: The Recovering Intoxication and its Aftermath by Leslie Jamieson

Book Review: The Recovering Intoxication and its Aftermath by Leslie Jamieson

The Recovering is a memoir about alcohol and how it runs rampant in the lives of writers and artists throughout history. It’s seen through the lens of the book’s author, Leslie Jameson as she navigates her way through life and the being drunk and being in recovery. Jamieson clearly has a knack for the written…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #10

1. Subterranean murmurs and echoes from beneath the ice Two hours of haunting, swirling and otherworldly sounds as ice crackles in a frozen river in Sweden. This is a nice lullaby for going to sleep. Although you may have strange vivid dreams! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd-CwJa1SHE 2. Jessica Baumgartner on how to find balance on a global, local…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #9

1. Olan Ventura's surreal splashes of colour in Still Life With Golden Goblet Here is a quirky kaleidoscope of things that inspired me this week, I hope you enjoy them. Let me know if you have any things of your own to share...Much love Olan Ventura, Still Life With Golden Goblet, 2019, acrylic on canvas,…

Hold the shell of your consciousness to your ear

Wherever you are, whatever stresses you are feeling, just remember the free and beautiful moments and memories from your world, relish and collect them and hold them close to you. They will sustain your heart when it feels fragile and sustain your soul when you are riven with fear. You have oceans of love inside…

10 Uplifting Things I Found on the Internet This Week #8

10 Uplifting Things I Found on the Internet This Week #8

Here are some randomisities both old and new that I found this week and wanted to share with you. Take 1 or two with a cup of tea and a few buttered scones and have a good lie down if you want to have a break from the world for a while. 1. In the…