When we asked people to give us advice about going to Brazil, everyone always mentioned Rio de Janeiro. Rio this, Rio that, just go to Rio. But no one really said much about São Paulo. It seemed like people didn't really go there much. As our cab weaved through traffic in São Paulo's city center, our virgin eyeballs take in the first impressions of this rarely recommended city.
It is also good to talk to your family and friends who will, I hope, give you an honest assessment of you as you are today. This is not always easy, but at the same time will show courage, humility and integrity. This may, in turn, be guided by what you have achieved in your schooling and early life.
As a therapist that deals with celebrities I'm fully aware of the added pressure that they encounter as part of their fame, whether impromptu marriages to all night orgies; fame isn't a reason to act beyond the normalities of everyday life, but a fantastic opportunity to better it.
Indeed, so magnanimous have some seen this spiritual Love to be, that an early follower of Jesus once said (emphasis added): "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
The emotions of want are heavily related to the emotions of connection, the more we are able to connect with others the less likely we are going to stand out and be alone - sadly this fake reality is something most will live up to, often failing to live life by their own consciously aware path, but more-so to comply with another's ideal of how life should be designed and lived.
Ego enables us to see shortcomings and weaknesses in others, but not in ourselves. And when we do see our weaknesses, ego hides them and claims to the world that we have none. How do you know when your ego is at work? If you feel insulted, if a criticism hurts, if you get defensive, lose confidence.... it's your ego reacting!
As a full-time journalist I'm constantly exposed to the shitty, bleak side of life. As a result, I've learned not to sentimentalise and that certainly benefits me in this role. Because there is no point in breaking down in tears while a sex worker tells you she has been raped or robbed or both. It doesn't help. What I can do is empathise. Provide a hug. Organise immediate, practical assistance such as food, clothes, medical care or arrange police intervention. Violence against sex workers is a huge problem and this is exacerbated by the fact that selling sex is, after all, illegal.
Sometimes we convince ourselves before we start that that, we shouldn't even try! All it takes is one small doubt to give up and to send our dreams and aspirations into a tailspin. Simply put, doubts sabotage you. They do not nurture or serve you.
I've struggled with negative body image my entire life. Born missing my left arm and then at 18 months of age suffering third degree burns to 14% of my body after knocking boiling water on myself while struggling to get used to a prosthetic arm. I grew up looking and feeling different - in a society where so much emphasis is placed on physical appearance and the desire for perfection - I felt isolated and alone.
Two reflections in the media that makes some parts of humanity seem as perverse as a creepy stranger peering down your top. They both involved sexual acts. They both involve social media. One of the instances involves rape.
I definitely don't walk around everyday thinking about how beautiful post-cancer life is, I think about that bastard who pushed in front of me at Upper Crust. You are allowed to grumble, it's cathartic, just don't stomp around acting like the world owes you one.
We filmed it at Scope's West Hampstead shop and had a great laugh making it. The other stars of the ad - the shop manager Cathy, volunteer Maureen and all the other people in the ad who react to my strip were great.
This week I'm not housesitting. Here at home in South Devon I'm writing, creating, running creative writing workshops and musing on one of my favourite topics: creativity. In particular I'm thinking about inspiration for writers. Looking for some suggestions to free up your writing/creativity? Read on.
I used to genuinely believe that being happy came from having money, being slim, being in love, but I found out that was SO not the case. Happy people are not always free of doubt, on the contrary, as they do not claim to be perfect, but here's the thing they have a different mindset to other people.
Rather than projecting assumptions of what should happen, I've found that rejecting such preconceptions is what helps open my mind to a divinely grounded expectancy of good. Doing this has proved practical to myself and many others in overcoming all kinds of limitation, including emotional and physical health meltdowns and even chronic identity crises.
You may be allured to the glittery thought of crafting your wedding from scratch but be warned, it may not be all you believe it to be. Do bunting fuelled arguments, mason jar breakdowns and glue gun ailments await? I address 8 myths surrounding DIY weddings.