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Showing posts from May, 2015

Life is precious, so please hang on!

Sometimes I question why I want to write for this blog, or want to join the effort to spread hope. I question what I possibly have to offer. How can I convince someone to hang on?

When I was a medical student I accompanied two doctors and a nurse as they went to tell a young man that his cancer had returned, and that it was pretty bad. We were all squashed in a tiny room. His little kid crawled on his lap while another toddled around. The room was too hot. He didn't say very much, but he didn't have to. He had just been given a death sentence.

There's something about the fragility of life that evaded me for many years. I didn't respect the fact that I was alive. At all. When I was sick with a mental illness that has the highest mortality rate, I couldn't connect to it. My life seemed irrelevant. I had no fight in me. Dying seemed almost a welcome reprieve.

There's very little a person can do when they have cancer, beyond taking their medicine, having surgery an…

Needs Must.

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Throughout our day to day conversations, we regularly punctuate our dialogue with our various expressions of need. How often do we find ourselves saying things like – ‘I need a drink/smoke/snack/nap? Maybe we feel like we need a new job, a change, a holiday or at the very least a 7-day weekend?! Our minds can wander off chasing countless ‘needs’, a mélange of tempting possibilities that we feel will enhance our lives. Occasionally this chase actually just leads us away from what’s truly necessary. We’re numb to what we really require and lose ourselves in the search for perceived fulfilment.
The definitive line between needs and wants is easily blurred so how can we figure out a way to genuinely satisfy our needs? I did a little looking into it and then got a little passionate about it and here’s what I’ve found.
Maslow had an interesting approach to our needs as a means of achieving self-actualisation. Within his hierarchy of needs he ticked off the basics and encouraged our progress f…

Are you for real?! - The Importance of Authenticity

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Looking around the heart of any city, it’s easy to see that being authentic is something worth bragging about. Be it food, drink or clothing, the vendors know that people want the original; the real deal. There’s something about the word itself that has a homely, wholesome feel, there’s a sense of real, honest value in it.
The word was dancing around in my head and led to me exploring it in terms of people. How authentic are we? Or are we afraid of being authentic? Why are we not boasting our original individuality too? Trawling through shops, we often seek out the originals, the authenticity; because we know it’s likely to be the best version.  Sometimes we just don’t want to settle for the cheap knock off. But when it comes to ourselves, are we choosing to settle?
Growing up, that age old advice consistently given was ‘Be yourself’.
Dr Seuss put it perfectly ‘Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you.’
Personally, I wanted to be just about a…