Emotions last 90 seconds so why am I still freaking out?!

Here’s the phenomenal nugget of information that dropped into my lap last week (the original source was Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Peace is Every Step; neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor also writes about it in her book My Stroke of Insight): emotions last about 90 seconds. After 90 seconds, the feeling has been metabolized. What lingers…

Who are you when you’re free to be yourself?

“What about you?” asked the other parent, on the sidelines at karate, having just shared how much she loves sewing. “What is your hobby?” My inside-voice did a quick stocktaking: that week, I’d been watching mini-documentaries of forest gardens and permaculture success stories. I was still stuck on the idea of the Divine Feminine rising…

Sweat your prayers

I walked tentatively into the temporary dance space. Dozens of people were there already, sprawled on the floor, stretching casually. I could tell from looking at them that they were “body” people, the type of people who naturally gravitate towards a 5 Rhythms movement workshop, “a moving practice for Freedom” promoted with a photograph of…

How to be a checklist Ninja

The first item on Alexandra Franzen’s to-do list for Thursday was drink two big glasses of water. We overlook the easy wins when crafting our to-do lists, says the author of the newly released The Checklist Book, and we shouldn’t: when we accomplish something, even something small, that feeling of satisfaction stimulates the body to…

Bucket List Goals for Adventurers of a New Decade

The list is out. I have a beautiful hard-cover book on my desk to prove it. The Lonely Planet has announced the “Best in Travel 2020” – the results of an annual search to anoint the best places to visit in the year ahead. The list was whittled down, via fierce debate, from a longlist…

Unearthed

Sometimes when I tell myself to breathe, it triggers panic – as if by drawing attention to this innate, unconscious, automatic action, breathing in and out suddenly becomes improbably difficult. Meditation, swimming laps, yoga… all these experiences often contain a few extremely panicked moments when I gasp, unable to catch a breath that has suddenly…

Finding the right outlet

A month ago, I drove through Pemberton and one of the most beautiful 14 year old kids I know, was standing in the middle of the roundabout, shaking a sign and punching his fist in the air. The Climate Strikes had come to Pemberton. Nice work, gang, I thought. Good for you. I honked my horn in…

Riding Back in Time

As we rode away from the trailhead, the guide turned back to throw a cheerful bit of advice over her shoulder. “You might as well turn your phones to Airplane Mode now. Save the batteries for the camera.” Searching for a signal would drain them dead, since there’s none to be found once you ride…

Imperfect, but adapting to it

It’s an ugly truth. When I first encountered climber Craig DeMartino, I felt a little bit sorry for him. He was inspiring, for sure. Remarkable in his resilience, absolutely. But, with his right leg amputated below the knee, I saw the absence more than his remarkable presence. DeMartino was a professional climber and one of…

Gratitude: attitude or platitude?

Is gratitude the fix-all it’s made out to be? I was invited to start a gratitude practice — by someone I admire immensely, an unlikely pusher of positive psychology. I had resistance to the idea. To the very phrase, actually, and its ubiquity. Despite my squinty-eyed reaction, I agreed to participate in a daily gratitude…