The healing power of nature

Our species, Homo sapiens, branched off from other species around 260,000 years ago and lived their lives in Africa’s tropical savanna, having migrated previously from the lush Makgadikgadi-Okavango wetland, in what is now Botswana.  Throughout the span of human history, humans have spent 99.99% of our time in natural surroundings and only 0.01% in built up […]

Counting Kindnesses

There’s a lot to be said about noticing what you do. Many of us go about our days largely unconscious, in that while we do the things we do, we’re not so present as we do them. Meditation helps us bring awareness to what we do and also to how we think. Meditation, for example, […]

As you give, so you receive

I have written a lot about side effects of kindness, that when you give you also receive. Sometimes receiving can be in the form of acts of kindness done for you, or of seemingly random blessings showing up in your life, but they also come in the form of physiological effects. I had an experience […]

Empathy Matters

Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to other people and animals. Empathy is being able to see the world or a situation from someone else’s perspective and also appreciate how they might feel. Empathy can even be in walking in someone else’s shoes, so to speak. It is the precursor to compassion and […]

Nature’s Catch 22

I’ve written a lot about the “side effects” of kindness. There’s five of them: Kindness makes you happier, it’s good for the heart, it slows ageing, it improves relationships, and it’s contagious. There’s talk sometimes where people say there is no truly altruistic act, that if you benefit from kindness then you’re being somewhat selfish […]

Can you visualise drugs working?

I recently chatted with a girl who has had rheumatoid arthritis since she was a child. Now in her late 20s, she’s taken painkillers for years. When she was first diagnosed, a nurse instructed her to imagine her painkillers travelling to her joints and then dissolving into little particles and spreading out over the joints, […]