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…

Choose a Day, Define Your Ritual, Continue It and Pass It On

Photo by Nicholas Bartos on Unsplash

Gratitude. As our world has been in all sorts of crises for a while, such as COVID, climate change, fighting strategic racism — to just name a few — it might seem like an odd time to write about being thankful.

But hear me out.

At the end of last year, my wonderful friend sent me an unexpected message suggesting we start a gratitude ritual. ‘We’ve been feeling incredibly hopeless and frustrated for so long now, I think we need some positivity back in our lives’, she said to me one day in November.

She asked whether I could imagine…

Danielle! So good to read from you - super happy to hear it's encouraged you to keep going with the book. As long as you think there's value in it, I believe it's a good strategy to push yourself slightly :) let me know how the support-club goes with the friend who lent you the book x

About My Inspiring yet Disappointing Journey With ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki

Book cover of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ by Robert T. Kiyosaki — picture by author

I found myself agreeing with the theory of the Rich-Dad-Attitude and could relate to most of his hypothetical views. Just not with the execution.

It took me a couple of years of my adult life to find the intrinsic motivation of wanting to understand and take care of my personal finances.

The delay wasn’t due to an absence of smart and financially literate people in my family or due to an unwillingness to pass on their knowledge. In fact, they had extended invitations to educate me on several occasions but each time I had politely declined. …

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. …

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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