The Wisdom of Hindsight

When the prolific song-writer Jimmy Webb was 14, the very first single he bought was by Glen Campbell. He describes how he played the record so much that eventually it wore out and he had to buy another copy. He also describes how he dreamed that one day he’d write a song for Glen Campbell. A decade later he famously wrote Wichita Lineman which Glen Campbell recorded. Jacqueline du Pre was only four years old when she heard a cello being played for the first time. She told her mother that she wanted ‘one of those…’ and went on to … Continue reading

Knowing Me, Knowing You

He who knows others is wise; He who knows himself is enlightened. Lao Tzu How well do you think you know yourself? Sometimes our perception of ourselves can be at odds with how other people see us. This can be literally true — as illustrated in this fascinating video which was commissioned by Dove and explores the perceptions women have about the way they look. In the video a forensic artist sits and draws seven women. The women are sitting behind a curtain and so his sketches are based entirely on their own description of themselves. He then does a … Continue reading

Turn Up the Volume

Like an ability or a muscle, hearing your inner wisdom is strengthened by doing it. Robbie Gass  Some years ago a friend used an intriguing metaphor to describe what was happening to her. She explained that she kept hearing a certain message about what she should do next in her life. Because the message referred to a pretty radical life change — not something she wanted to take on board at the time — she kept trying to ignore it.  She kept ‘turning down the volume’ (as you would on a radio) so that she couldn't hear it any longer.  But, … Continue reading

What Went Well Today?

This month's tip is written with Thanksgiving in mind. It's a holiday I remember with great affection from my many years living in Southern California. Much has been written about the importance of gratitude: being mindful of, and appreciating, all that we have to be grateful for, even (and perhaps especially) when times are tough or particularly challenging. But in this tip I'm going to focus on the importance of appreciating ourselves and our achievements. Personally, I don't think we do enough of it. And when we do actually stop to consider what we've achieved — in a day, a … Continue reading

Pictures at an Exhibition

This week I went to the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. It's a unique exhibition, as it gives relatively unknown artists the opportunity to be exhibited alongside some of the heavyweights of the art world. It's also wonderfully diverse: painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, photography, architectural models, installations and prices ranging from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Wandering the galleries, it struck me that visiting an exhibition (especially one as varied as the one at the RA) is an excellent way to learn, naturally and instinctively, more about yourself. What do I mean? I noticed that … Continue reading