Learning to Be: 6 Tips for Starting a Meditation Practice

Recently I wrote a lengthy piece that touched on the topic of meditation. You can read it here. I wanted to accompany it with some more practical, brief tools and advice, on how to begin a meditation practice. Here are my top tips for getting started:   Be Long-Term Meditation has a less “instant” effect…

At the Speed of Dreams: Contemplation in the Between

“Tibetans discern six ‘betweens’: the intervals between birth and death (‘life between’) sleep and waking (‘dream between’) waking and trance (‘trance between’) and three betweens during the death-rebirth process (‘death-point’, ‘reality’, and ‘existence betweens’).” Robert A. Thurman introducing his translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, otherwise known as The Great Book of Liberation…

Body Lessons 5: In Two Minds

My friend Daisy said something to me recently that got me thinking. We were checking in with each other during lockdown as we do most days; we both have baby girls the same age and in this strange time it is a relief to share the sort of shorthand that is only possible when somebody’s…

Body Lessons 4: Know Your Power

I have a five-month-old baby girl, and winter is setting in. The dark November evenings are long. The sun is always low. I am indoors a lot. I am that strange kind of alone-but-with-a-tiny-baby a lot. Few things are quite so intensely ‘up and down’ as motherhood has the capacity to be. There is no…

Body Lessons Part 2: Ella’s Birth

I have thought a lot about whether I should share Ella’s birth story. It involved almost everything that I had not wanted to happen, and a few things I had long considered ‘my worst nightmare’. Despite this, I don’t consider it a negative birth story, nor was it traumatic in any way. I do not…

Body Lessons Part 1: Yoga in Pregnancy

This piece is purely focussed on yoga; I am writing a separate piece about pregnancy that is more general. I hope that my gratitude for the fragile luck of our fertility and conception is evident. I have never taken it for granted.   “Throughout pregnancy, your body is your unborn baby’s universe. You are the…

Low-Frequency Love: 4AM Freedom

Every hour of the clock has its own personality, its own character and flavour. From the crisp, fresh, lemon-yellow optimism of 7am, through the heavy, lethargic grey wasteland of 3 in the afternoon, to the tailing-off-winding-down navy blue of 9pm. Their colours change depending on the season, on whether you are awake or asleep: 10pm…

All of Yoga Exists Within the Breath

“When you experience the vibration of your breath…when you feel constant change in all that is going on around you right now, then you have deep insight into the meaning of life.” Richard Freeman – The Mirror of Yoga   When I first started practising yoga, I noticed that the simplest way to find calm…

Making Space for Writing

At this slightly chaotic and twinkly time of year, I am studiously ignoring my pile of unwritten Christmas cards (sorry everyone) as I attempt to complete the planning and plotting of my second novel. Finding myself at this early stage of the process again, has brought me back into close contact with that half-forgotten weight…

‘Waking’: Inspirations

——————————————- Abridged excerpt from ‘Waking’ – ‘Do I know you?’ ‘I saw you outside the pub the other day.’ ‘I know. I meant from before then.’ ‘I moved here recently. Maybe you’ve just seen me around.’ ‘Before that.’ He smiled. ‘Before here.’ He swung his hand around through the air, his fingers making circles in…

Wait, where’s my filter?

In the wake of the EU Referendum devastation, I have a sinking suspicion that our perception of the world we live in is horribly distorted, fed entirely through our own filters. Social media may be dividing us further, not bringing us together.  For me, and all of my friends and colleagues, the last few days have…