The year of everyday kindness

Is this your year for learning something fresh and transformative about kindness?  Maybe you began the year with a long list of worthy things you ought to be doing: improving your mind as well as calming it; listening more appreciatively to your loved ones; making time for community, creativity, connection, fun – and some deep, […]

Sorry – why it matters

Something profound has happened in the inner life of our nation. And it is likely to affect the inner life of every one of us as individual Australians. That great word “sorry” was finally heard, spoken by our Prime Minister with a due sense of the sacred, the support of the entire parliament and with […]

Wisdom

Wisdom – especially when we feel anything but wise I feel so happy when I read the following words from the French writer, Marcel Proust: “”The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes but in seeing with new eyes.”” Wisdom is a way of seeing: a way of seeing ourselves, others and […]

“Good food, great moods (2004)

“, Many people suffer a great deal from fluctuations in mood.  And the people around them may suffer very nearly as much. So isn’t it odd that we generally pay so little attention to how directly our moods are affected by what we eat and how we treat our bodies? ,” Maybe thinking about food […]

Food and mood (2006)

When you think about foods being “good” or “bad” for you, it’s likely you are thinking more about your body than your mind.  Yet what you eat dramatically affects the way you feel, think and act. When your brain is short of vital nutrients or water it cannot function optimally – and nor can you. […]

Fidelity matters

Perhaps you are not married to or living with a leading sports player whose sexual habits make frequent front-page news.  Nevertheless, you are concerned about your partner’s attitude to sex. When you met, fell in love and made a commitment to one another, you knew that he (or she – this story does run in […]

Faith fundamentals

I’ve been turning over the Big Question for most of my life: is there meaning to our existence beyond whatever meanings we ourselves ascribe to it?  Clearly, I’m not alone in this. It has given rise to religions, philosophies and belief systems of all kinds throughout human history. My own faith background is Christian but […]

A celebration of open minds

Barry Marshall and Robin Warren are my new heroes.  It is not just that they are this year’s noble Nobel prizewinners in medicine, they are also shining examples of that glorious and possibly rather rare condition called the open mind. Of course most of us would like to believe we are similarly blessed: open to […]

Calm children

Lots of public parenting goes on in summer.  Family groups spend hours on the beach or hanging out with friends.  These are probably some of the best times of the year for many families. Less rush, fewer demands, looser schedules bring an ease that benefits parents as much as children. But, watching, I see that […]

Peace on earth

It is not just at Christmas time that most of us want peace for our world. Conflict between human beings causes our greatest sorrows. Peaceful connections bring our greatest joys. Yet beyond seasonal wishes, too few of us dare imagine how sustained peace might be achieved. Even the topic of peace arouses passionate feelings.  I […]

A happy plan

When we lose our capacity for happiness, our creativity plummets, our relationships suffer. One of the songs my children used to sing when they were little – and I imagine countless small children are still singing it – went, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” This line was repeated many times, […]

Interfaith

Interfaith ministry is an acknowledgment that there are many ways to seek meaning. A few weeks ago at a workshop someone asked me a tough question. We’d been talking about purpose and how painful our lives feel when we slip out of touch with what matters to us. Then one woman said, “How do I […]

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