Author Archives: Zen and the art of living in Paris

About Zen and the art of living in Paris

It's been on my bucket list for the last 20 years and this year is the one that I finally get to live in Paris. I'll be living, writing and just 'being' by carving out my own corner of zen in Monmartre. I've been visiting Rue Ordener for as long as I can remember. Like all great gurus, they choose you, you don't choose them. Rue Ordener found me, I didn't go looking.

Halloween Special: 3 Signs That You’re a Scary Boss

We’ve all heard horror stories about scary bosses and the fallout from their behaviour. The old adage that people don’t leave organisations they leave bad managers is true – it’s the number one reason why people move on to new … Continue reading

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Mindful Nation: The new All-Party Parliamentary Report on Mindfulness is Out!

It’s official, Britain is set to become a ‘Mindful Nation’. The much awaited Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAAPG) has now been launched and sets out how it sees the future of mindfulness within the UK. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s forward even goes … Continue reading

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How to say ‘No’ at work (and still win friends and influence people)

We all know what it’s like, you’re trying to make it to the next level on the career ladder and the temptation to say ‘Yes’ to everything can seem overwhelming.

Do you find yourself;

Burning the candle at both ends?

Wearing the long hours that you work like a badge of honour in the hope that somebody somewhere will notice?

Giving up your weekend to get that report completed?

If you answered yes, it’s a dilemma that resonates with us all.
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Mindfulness: Living in the Here and Now?


Mindfulness. Everybody is doing it from Google to Price Waterhouse Coopers to Deutsche Bank but what is it and why are they bothering?

Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts describes Mindfulness as ‘The first step on the adventure involved in coming to our senses on any and every level…the cultivation of a particular kind of awareness known as mindfulness’. Put simply, mindfulness is being fully present in the moment, living life in the now instead of in yesterday or in tomorrow or worrying about what might happen, one day.

So how do you know if you’re experiencing Mindfulness? Ask yourself a few simple questions;

Do you compulsively faff with your Blackberry, iPhone or android, constantly responding to emails or compulsively checking to see what’s going on with Facebook?

Have you found yourself driving or taking the tube, arriving at your destination with no recollection of how you got there?

Do you frequently realise that your mind has wandered off during a conversation with a colleague or a loved one and you have no idea what has been said but still nod enthusiastically wondering what happened to those huge chunks of conversation?

Are you increasingly recognising that you ‘zone out’ on a regular basis missing out on huge chunks of your life?

Guilty as charged? If you recognise yourself in these scenarios then you’re probably not practising Mindfulness in your day to day living. We all zone out from time to time to varying degrees, it’s part of who we are as human beings and to some extent we couldn’t live without our autopilot. The downside of flying your life on autopilot is that mindlessness can also become a trap preventing us from truly experiencing and enjoying life. Mindfulness offers us as alternative. And it doesn’t stop at preventing you from zoning out.

Research shows that regular Mindfulness practice for as little as ten minutes a day can improve performance, increase focus, improve neuroplasticity, reduce stress and anxiety as well as increasing overall levels of happiness. For ten minutes a day that’s not a bad return. Want to know more? Here’s Jon Kabat-Zin talking about the benefits of Mindfulness and how life is right now….

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Cooperation, neurotransmitters & the Ecuadorian wren

Are we stronger and more effective when we cooperate or do we perform better when we work towards our own interests? It’s a question that you’ll probably find elicits an illuminating response one way or another. Research in this months … Continue reading

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Why taking 40 winks will improve your learning (probably) Does the prospect of taking quick a nap fill you with guilt at the thought of all the other, seemingly more pressing, productive things that you could be doing? Fear the … Continue reading

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All Heart. Can Happiness Protect Your Heart?

It’s well known that stress, depression and generally being none too happy with your lot in life has a huge impact on your health, but what about opposite states? Could the act of happiness and contentment help you to live … Continue reading

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