Stephanie Dowrick thinks about work

Countless people draw on work for identity as much as income. But this can leave people feeling immensely vulnerable to others’ decisions and whims. Far greater freedom can come from consciously deciding that no matter what your work is, what most positively affects your wellbeing are the values you seek to express through your work […]

Anna Funder’s All That I Am

Stephanie Dowrick reviews Anna Funder’s exceptional debut novel, recent winner of the Miles Franklin (published by Penguin Australia). This review first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. What kind of people dare to dream of a better world than the one in which they find themselves? Ruth – one of this immensely fine novel’s two […]

Reading recommendations!

My on-line bookstore is administered and run by Seek/Collins and is less than exciting in design (I’m in their hands on this). However, because of their size it offers a vast range of books, many available immediately, and all at a minimum discount of 10% off the retail price. That means you can find for […]

Cheers, anyone?

One in 8 Australian adults drinks alcohol to excess. Fourteen per cent of our children live with at least one parent who drinks to excess. (And is frightening, sometimes violent and always unsafe and self-absorbed.) More than 3000 Australians die each year as the result of excessive drinking. Alcohol abuse and misuse is estimated to […]

Stephanie Dowrick on choice and freedom

Most of us talk a great deal about freedom. And regard it as an ideal. Living that ideal though – and the sense of choice and inner authority that it implies – is something else altogether. In my own life I struggle not to use the “slave” words: “have to”, “must”, “can’t”. And I try […]

A whole life

Thomas Merton: “If you want a spiritual life, you must unify your life. A life is either all spiritual or not at all. No man [or woman] can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.” Desiring,seeking: this means giving […]

Overworked? Make a list!

If the day feels impossible and it’s hardly begun, take charge. Make a list!  Invest a few minutes to identify and write down those “countless” demands. Look hard at them. Strike out any that are not 100% necessary. Consider what you could pass on to other people. Think creatively about how you could do something differently […]

Every day, a Valentine?

Your physical health as well as your emotional wellbeing is dramatically affected by the quality of your relationships. As we approach Valentine’s Day 2012, it’s worth thinking hard about the people on whom we most depend, and that may be your partner. An intimate relationship can so easily be overloaded with a mountain of expectations […]

Take charge. Stay calm.

1. Come into the present moment. When you panic, your thoughts break time barriers. You imagine, “This will go on forever.” Or, “Nothing will ever change.” Take as much time as is needed to move your awareness around your body, noting where you are in time and space at this very moment. Breathe slowly into […]

Writing (and reading) your life

There’ve been lots of questions in the twitter and Facebook spheres in recent weeks about why writers write. My own shortest answer would be: to know more. For me, there’s no better way to understand humankind as well as ideas in greater depth – and to use the gifts of mind and spirit that are […]