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

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…


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

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

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

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

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’

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’

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…


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). …


#7: I am approaching this day step by step.

Affirmations are not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s totally okay. I’ve read literature saying that affirmations are confirmed to be life-changing and make miracles happen and others that describe affirmations as a bit ‘woo-woo’.

And while it’s interesting to look at such studies and experiments, my opinion is that it doesn’t really matter whether affirmations ‘do’ anything or not.

Positive affirmations are what they say they are: positive.

And they have the ability to add a little bit of gentleness to our lives. So even if they don’t cause any magical transformations, we can console yourself with the fact…


My Revelation of Reading ‘Killer Diamonds’ by Rebecca Chance

Today’s Lesson Is About Blame and Responsibility

I chose Killer Diamonds as my first novel to write an article about because I detected a recurring pattern in the storyline with I think is extremely relevant to our nowaday society.

The main characters in this book experience a form of emotional neglect in their early childhood and subsequently suffer from emotional disconnection later in their lives. As a result of that, some of them develop a behaviour which — admittedly — I have been able to witness in myself at certain stages of my life. And maybe you do, too.

I’m talking about the refusal of taking responsibility…

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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