Two people talking over a table.
Photo by Linkedin Sales Solutions

Like most of us I have come across a fair amount of bad advice from many different stages in my life from all kinds of people — doctors, teachers, managers, friends and family. Some of the advice I recognised was immediately questionable upon hearing it, it just felt wrong (more on that below)! But some of the pearls of unwisdom I have received took a while to dawn on me, sometimes only after it led me to experiences that felt inauthentic or more often to a lack of experiences that I still regret. …


My name is Vanessa, I’m 34 and I’m a recovering self-help addict.

A stack of books
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The kind of self-help I am referring to are the books, workshops, seminars and videos propagated by life coach type gurus guiding an user to improve their life in a specific way. Self-help in the vein of how to feel confident in 30 days, how to conquer your fears and live your best life, how to realise your full potential, how to live in bliss and joy, how to quit your 9–5 and find your passion, how to manifest your perfect life. …


[This piece was written last year pre-covid-19]

I found myself in a familiar frame of mind, a sense of superiority flooded over me, I had figured something out, I was separate and I was better. I was in a local cafe in Haringey, North London which according to Time Out it is one of those areas that is always meant to be ‘coming up’ but never actually does. …


I thought I would write a piece about my own personal experience growing up bi-racial, as it’s not something which I come across very often, particularly in regards to the East Asian female experience. I want to talk about my experience as a mixed race Chinese-Singaporean and Italian female born in London.

My experience as a young child was for the most part positive when it came to racial identification, as in it was, consciously at least, a neutral experience, where I don’t remember my race being a major feature of being in the world. I went to a local…


What does it mean to live in a modern society absent of awe?

Photo by Jonathan Chng

I realise the pious quality the title of this blog takes on, I realise there are pockets of spirituality in very many forms all over the globe and I realise there is not one definition of spirituality in order to make an assessment so harsh and sweeping.

Having said all of this, ‘we are living in a spiritual wasteland’ is a phrase that came to me recently while sitting on the bus. Perhaps it’s because the bus was driving through Tottenham Court Road in London past myriad…


I recently attended a talk hosted by Yanai Postelnik, a Buddhist minister in the insight tradition entitled Love in the Time of Extinction. Before the talk began I noticed an unusual wooden figure of the Buddha that Yanai had brought with him, it was the Buddha standing with one hand raised resembling a stop gesture. Yanai later told us the significance of this Mudra (symbolic gesture) — the Abhaya Mudra. It represents fearlessness or as Yanai liked to translate it — courage. …


This blog is going to be about the topic of distraction. The most obvious thing to say about distraction is nearly all of us retreat to it in one form or another. Distraction can take on many shapes, to name some of the more popular — phone use, specifically email, messaging apps, social media use, TV watching, consumption of media, including the news, cleaning, endless life admin and list making, shopping, talking, worrying (yes worrying), drug use, drinking, eating, you can kind of see that nearly every act could be classed as distraction, although of course it isn’t always.

I…

The Unknown Stuntwoman

Writer on psychology, philosophy, spirituality, art and creativity.

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