Sydney Choosing Happiness all-day workshop

Sydney Choosing Happiness all-day workshop Sunday 1 October 2006 Stephanie will offer a one-day, very practical interactive workshop based on her most recent book, Choosing Happiness: Life & Soul Essentials. This will be suitable for people of all ages and stages and will focus on the key psychological and spiritual attitudes and skills that promote […]

The power of prayer

Monday, 6 March (2006), is World Day of Prayer.  For most people, I suspect, it will be business as usual.  Those who regularly pray will do so; those who pray only when pushed, will probably not.  Yet prayer remains a fascinating phenomenon. Certainly it is one of the most significant acts that links human beings. […]

Alcohol poisoning

The recent initiative (March 2006) to increase mental health spending is good news.  It makes sense, too, for increased attention to be paid to the effects of recreational drugs on mental health.  But in thinking about the correlations between drug use and mental health it is crucial that we don’t leave out alcohol, simply because […]

Reading lists

Long before I became a writer, I was buying far more books than I could afford. Because the number of book buyers in Australia is so small compared to Britain or the USA, I still buy as many books as I can in “”real”” bookshops to ensure their survival.  Nevertheless, there are temptations on the […]

The magic of beauty

At a time when beauty so often tips into fetish and may be considerably less than skin deep, it is worth remembering how genuine the human longing is for beauty. And that being in the presence of beauty can be healing as well as restorative. A socially conditioned sense of aesthetics pushes what we respond […]

The kindness effect: visiting Mt Abu

For the second time in less than two years, I have been on retreat in India.  I am aware that taking time out like this is a privilege. Getting up in the chilly dark for 4 am meditation was, in those circumstances, easy and a joy.  But the privilege that struck me most forcibly of […]

Supporting loved ones

“, Direct suffering takes a huge toll on many people’s lives.  But often the people supporting those who are suffering are also under considerable stress. ,”It may be that your loved one has a chronic illness; a disability that can only worsen. Perhaps your loved one has lost a job and can’t find another; has […]

Speaking up for friendship

Marriages or intimate partnerships are less often “”for life”” than they have ever been. Families are often small or scattered.  For increasing numbers of people, it is friends who provide essential comfort and continuity through an adult lifetime. Yet my hunch is that too little attention and even respect is paid to friendship. And too […]


“, It’s a bizarre notion that we generally expect people to be happy in their marriages or sexual relationships. Yet we don’t automatically expect single people to be happy – or happy most of the time. ,” The logic of this thinking would suggest that the greatest barrier to happiness is being on your own. […]

The power of giving

With only days to go (June 2005) until the end of another financial year, many Australians will be considering how to minimise their tax.  This time of the year is made harder when it seems that the very rich pay less tax, proportionately, than the rest of us.  That makes throwing a few hard-earned dollars […]

Ideal parents

Few human beings have or are ideal parents. As a species we are too complex to be ideal in any of our relationships, never mind that most exacting one of parent and child. Yet the vast majority of parents really do want to do their very best for their children and are hurt and bewildered […]

New parenthood

There are few shocks to the human system ruder than becoming a parent.  From one day to the next your own not entirely unselfish needs, desires and wants must be wholeheartedly surrendered to those of a human being who, while appearing to be extremely small, in fact looms extremely large.  You – and no one […]