5 myths I don’t believe anymore after reading ‘You Are Here’ by Thich Nhat Hanh

picture by author

This article on Medium first introduced me to ‘You are here’ by Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced ‘Tick Not Hon’). The article spoke about a very short and simple meditation mantra that had resonated with me so much that I integrated it into my daily routine immediately. I ordered the book shortly after because I couldn’t wait to read more about it.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist who has established a number of practice centres around the world to spread his wisdom.

In his book, he shares what mindfulness means in the Buddhism doctrine and…


A reflection about fearing, hoping and daring to love — inspired by Delia Owens’ novel ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’

Book cover of ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens — picture by author

Delia Owens managed to bring Kya’s story — of fearing , hoping and daring to love— to me in such vivid detail that I could feel the girl’s emotions through the pages.

There aren’t a lot of books that allow me to fully grasp and appreciate the power that words can have when chosen wisely.

It is when I catch myself staring at random words on a random page, not knowing whether it’s been a minute or ten, that I know I’m holding one of these books in my hands.

Where The Crawdads Sing made me experience plenty of such…


A Story About Breathing, Resting and Arriving

In the early afternoon, I set out for a walk. I don’t have a plan this time but my legs are already conditioned to walk the usual streets that lead me to my favourite park.

I decide that today is an offline day.

I am glued to screens five days a week for work and currently, most of my personal connections can only be maintained virtually, too. Sometimes that gets overwhelming.

I weigh up in my mind whether I’m using this as an excuse. My unconscious could be trying to avoid something that I’m not yet ready to cope with…


Using the Example of Christie Tate's Memoir ‘Group’

Book Cover of ‘Group’ by Christie Tate — picture by author

One phenomenon I repeatedly encounter on my reading journey is that every book has its very own energy attached to it.

In fact, I found that there is quite a large spectrum of sensations we can associate with a story; while some leave you feeling breezy, upbeat, validated, heard or empowered others can go as far as making you experience resistance, sadness, grief, discomfort or anger.

Not too long ago, I was holding an exemplar of the latter category in my hands: a story that I found triggering and difficult to process.

It goes without saying that classifying a book…


And How We Can Break the Cycle as Beautifully Illustrated in ‘Paradise City’, a Novel by Elizabeth Day

Book cover of ‘Paradise City’ by Elizabeth Day — photo by author

Have you ever experienced sitting at your friend’s dinner table together with their family and thinking ‘Wow, I wish my family was this close’?

Or seeing someone’s Facebook post on how they had an awesome beach holiday with their partner and you feel the envy because you have no functioning relationship nor the money to travel to the beach?

This I learned to be the phenomenon of ‘comparing our insides to other people’s outsides’.

Since we will never be able to fully understand what is going on in someone else’s brain, we have to mostly rely on what of their…


About Bold Flowers and Fragile Hearts

Picture by author

The air is crisp this morning as I leave my house. It is a little before 8 am. I’m wearing a headband, a scarf, a jacket and gloves to keep me warm as the sun is still low on the horizon.

I am deeply grateful for the silence as I walk down the streets that are usually filled with cars. But not this morning. There is this precious window of time between the sunrise and the awakening of the city and I just managed to tap into it.

I feel lucky.

I change from the side of the street that…


The ECO Duvet Could Become Your New Best Friend

Picture: courtesy of the Fine Bedding Company

In early January I felt like I needed change. Immediately. So I gave in to a sudden impulse to get a new duvet.

I was craving more comfort. With spending more time at home than ever before, reading or watching my favourite shows from my bed, I wanted softness and warmth.

Ideally, it would also be a bigger duvet that would cover me and my whole bed regardless of how I moved in my sleep.

Additionally, I had recently made a deal with myself that I would be more conscious of the products I bought. …


Dismantling Communication Styles With Thomas Erikson — Author of ‘Surrounded By Idiots’

Book cover of ‘Surrounded By Idiots’ by Thomas Erikson — picture by author

I have to say, I found the title of this book way too catchy to not give it a second look: Surrounded by Idiots.

I smile a little as I think about all the times I felt the overwhelming urge to call someone an idiot. (Shout-out to everyone who ever worked in customer service!) Of course, I would never tell someone to their face, but I have no doubt that it could feel quite liberating to do so!

One thing I never quite questioned, however, is the reason why we describe others as idiots.

Spontaneously, I would say it is…


A Collection of Practical Ideas To Stop Our Planet From Dying by Seth Wynes in ‘SOS — What You Can Do To Reduce Climate Change’

Book cover of ‘SOS — What you can do to reduce climate change’ by Seth Wynes — picture by author

Climate Change. A term that makes many people roll their eyes and think to themselves ‘can’t we just all get on with our lives?’.

Another group of people feels panic rising up in their bodies that stems from a place of worry. Worry that we will fail to collectively change our actions and behaviours in due time allowing us to meet the global targets that will save our planet from dying.

As so often, I would position myself somewhere in between these two extremes.

Would my actions really make a difference anyway?

It’s a thought I’d have surprisingly often and…


Book cover of ‘I Quit Sugar’ by Sarah Wilson — picture by author

Earlier this year I stumbled across a podcast episode in which Sarah Wilson, an Australian journalist, television presenter and author, talked about her cookbook I Quit Sugar. It is designed to take the readers on an 8-week sugar detox programme accompanied with suitable recipes for each stage.

I’ve been debating the How bad is sugar really? question for a long time (no, that’s not true — for a very long time). …

Pia Barna

24 years, based in London. Interested in reading, writing, walking, gymnastics, music, podcasts, health and well-being and most importantly: squirrels!

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