Podcast of the Month: Happier

As long-time readers of this blog will know, I’m a big fan of podcasts (you can check out some previous posts here and here). Honestly, one of my favourite parts of the day is walking the half hour to work, coffee in hand and podcast in the earbuds. And recently I’ve been really enjoying a new podcast, which I wanted to share with you today.

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It’s called Happier, and it’s presented by Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project) and her sister Elizabeth Craft. It discusses “habits, happiness and human nature” and has been really adding value to my life recently. Although a podcast called Happier may sound slightly superficial (in line with all those well-intentioned people who tell you to just think positive), Gretchen and Elizabeth show a real understanding for the difficulties of the human condition- everything from the depression we often feel after a big goal or milestone, to the anxiety of changing gym.

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The podcast is broken up into sections:

  • Try This At Home
  • Happiness Hack
  • Listener Questions
  • Demerits and Gold Stars

Here are just a few pieces of wisdom  I’ve received from the podcast over the past few months:

  • Sometimes things just suck- for instance, a breakup, or a bereavement. It’s okay to acknowledge that and just allow it to be.
  • Limiting your news intake can be helpful when it comes to getting depressed over current affairs, and print is shown to be less anxiety-provoking than video.
  • Doing something every day is easier than doing it some days- this has been really useful for me when it comes to getting up at the same time every day, even when my schedule can vary. It’s just easier to not have to think about it.
  • When you lie about something, it’s often because your reality doesn’t live up to your values- like for instance if you tell people you run 5 times per week, but often only manage once. In these situations, lies can act as a signal that you either need to change your reality (ie. the thing you’re lying about) or just fess up and be honest.

See, I told you these ladies were insightful!

Want to give it a listen? I would recommend one particularly insightful episode all about how to deal with depressing current affairs (spoiler alert: taking action helps). It’s just what we need in a Brexit and Trump-filled world.

Any podcast recommendations for me?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Five Minute Review: You Are A Badass

One of my aims for the year is to average a book a week, making that 52 in total. I want to capture at least some of them here, as I believe reading and learning is a key facet to mindfulness and living in a fulfilled way. But hey, we’ve all got busy lives. So in that vein, here’s your five-minute book review!

If I had to describe You Are A Badass in five words, it would be:

Wisdom, inspiration and no bullshit.

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This book really transformed how I thought about myself, my attitudes and the reality I create for myself. I listened to this on a long-ass coach journey back from my family home; my leg was in a cast, I was unemployed and generally feeling a bit shit. But honestly, this no-nonsense guide to making shit happen really lifted me out of my slump and motivated me to be proactive, relentless and to create the reality I want for myself.

 

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This is self-help, but not as we know it.

Marks out of 10: 9

Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes. So many words of wisdom, none of which are coated in pseudo-mystical bull. It’s an accessible and practical guide to getting what you need in life.   

That concludes the review.

Please tell me, have you read You Are A Badass? What did you think?

What books would you recommend I read this year?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

 

 

Five Minute Review: The Alchemist

As I mentioned in my 2017 Goals, one of my aims for the year is to average a book a week, making that 52 in total. I want to capture at lease some of them here, as I believe reading and learning is a key facet to mindfulness and living in a fulfilled way. The words of a book have been comforting to me at many a time in my life, and even more so right now that I cannot run. Nonetheless I am keeping these reviews short and sweet, as it’s a real but welcome challenge to accurately capture the essence of each book within a time restriction.

So, I’ve already wasted two minutes of my allotted writing time- let’s just jump in already.

If I had to describe The Alchemist in five words, it would be:

Every line filled with treasure.

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This is honestly one of the most exquisitely written books I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. The lexis and semantics are stunning, even when translated from the original Portuguese. A recurrent motif is that of destiny and fate, which could be read as being overtly religious, making the novel essentially a tale of a young man finding God. Nonetheless, not being particularly religious myself, I chose to interpret it simply as a piece on spirituality and being tuned in to the universe and open to opportunity. It boils down to this: it’s a gorgeous jewel of a book, no matter what your views on religion and spirituality.

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Marks out of 10: 9.5

Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes! A resounding yes!

That concludes the review.

Please tell me, have you read The Alchemist? What did you think?

What books would you recommend I read this year?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

 

 

Woman Crush Wednesday: Serena Williams

I love to share inspiration and motivation wherever I can, and I especially love championing fierce and fantastic ladies. This week I was inspired by Serena Williams’ open letter to women everywhere, and so I just had to share it. So this week’s post is a slightly different format; I’m going to let Serena’s words speak for themselves.

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To all incredible women who strive for excellence,

When I was growing up, I had a dream. I’m sure you did, too. My dream wasn’t like that of an average kid, my dream was to be the best tennis player in the world. Not the best “female” tennis player in the world.

I was fortunate to have a family that supported my dream and encouraged me to follow it. I learned not to be afraid. I learned how important it is to fight for a dream and, most importantly, to dream big. My fight began when I was three and I haven’t taken a break since.

So when the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts. I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you.

As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success. One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw. People call me one of the “world’s greatest female athletes”. Do they say LeBron is one of the world’s best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? They are certainly not female. We should never let this go unchallenged. We should always be judged by our achievements, not by our gender.

For everything I’ve achieved in my life, I am profoundly grateful to have experienced the highs and lows that come with success. It is my hope that my story, and yours, will inspire all young women out there to push for greatness and follow their dreams with steadfast resilience. We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.

Serena Williams


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I’m constantly in awe of how Serena handles herself in the face of ignorance or naivety from the media or the sports industry itself. She shines like a beacon of self-confidence, self-assurance and empowerment, and I think we could all do with being a little more like her.

So tell me, how do you strive for excellence in your life?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Monday Motivation: Question Madness

This past week, I’ve been contemplating why we do the crazy things we do. Why do we push ourselves to the limit, experience so much pain and frustration, and potentially risk failure?

We do it because we can.

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Being able to take on challenges, try new things and ultimately reach the limits of what we think is possible? That’s a gift. And it’s a gift we often take for granted. The failures, the stumbling blocks, the anxieties and the grind- it comes with the territory, and we need to remember that. Whenever things go wrong (which they invariably do), it’s so easy to rally against the world, and get frustrated that things aren’t going our way. But the fact that we’re even able to attempt such feats is a testament to our privilege.

Big, hairy, audacious goals are one of the biggest luxuries out there, even if they don’t feel like it at the time.

 

What’s inspiring you right now? Do you have a challenge coming up?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa