New Zine! Staying with feelings

A topic I’ve written about on here quite a lot is the idea of ‘staying with’ feelings. After the Pixar movie Inside Out I wrote all about how important it is to get in touch with all our emotions. I’ve also written about the value of noticing how we feel with kindness and curiosity, and about how to stay with other people’s feelings.


In this new zine I discuss both why we get so shut off from our feelings in a wider culture which values some emotions far more highly than others, and how we can go about shifting our patterns of avoiding and fighting some feelings, and craving and grasping for others. It covers both therapeutic and spiritual practices for staying with our emotions.


You can download or read the zine here.


Oliver Burkeman and the future of self-help

Last week I gave a talk on self-help books to literature students at UEA and, thanks to the marvellous B. J. Epstein, I had the thrill of having my own self-help book read and discussed by a class full of students. You can view the presentation I gave here.


As you can see, the session gave me an excuse to delve a little deeper into the history of self-help books, to understand more why they came to be the way they are and what is so problematic about that. I also managed to chart one potential future trajectory of self-help, building on this criticism. For this I particularly considered the writing of Oliver Burkeman: one of my favourite discoveries over the last couple of months thanks to his entertaining and radically different approach. I’ll outline some of his ideas here so that you can see what an alternative to conventional self-help might look like.

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For anyone who enjoyed my recent post here about the trouble with happiness, there’s a great piece over on Social Mindfulness by Steven Stanley about the same topic, which was written as an introduction to the new documentary ‘Happy‘.