Why gardening mirrors your life

I spent a couple of hours gardening this afternoon and – at the end of a major weeding, pruning and watering session – it struck me how a garden is much like a body.

Bear with me – I know it sounds a bit far-fetched…

We all have a tendency over winter months to let ourselves go.

Bad habits creep in, we eat comfort food, and we don’t think about doing the best for ourselves.

As spring approaches, and the weather improves, something changes.

New thoughts and ideas flourish and blossom and it suddenly seems a good time to jettison the habits that are holding you back.

Are you beginning to see the metaphor here?

Over the past couple of months, I’ve pruned away a lot of dead/bad habits and hopefully given other things space to grow that were previously hidden or smothered.

Similarly I’m trying to weed out those niggly things that don’t seem significant, but given time can take over.

I’m not there by any means – I still have things to improve, seeds that hsve been planted haven’t quite yet come to fruition, but the signs are hopeful.

In other words (if you’ll allow me to stretch the metaphor to its limit), providing I tend to myself regularly and properly, I hope to re-flower later in 2019.

Ok, metaphor over. Essentially, though, I’m sure many of you will recognise how easy it is to forget to look after ourselves and it’s much easier to do a little bit regularly, rather than wait till we’re beyond repair.

Civil Resettlement Units: the post-WW2 secret that changed how we help refugees

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Last Thursday I went to a fascinating talk at the Wellcome Collection by Dr Alice White.

It covered the work psychiatrists and psychologists from the Tavistock Institute carried out for the British Army during and after WW2.

One part of this covered the selection process for choosing officers and how they helped introduce methods, such as non-verbal reasoning tests, word and picture association and leaderless group activity tasks.

Nowadays these are commonly used, but were fairly revolutionary in the 1940s.

Civil Resettlment Units

As interesting as these were, what I found truly amazing was the Civil Resettlement Units that were set up to help Prisoners of War (POWs) assimilate back into non-military life, following the WW2.
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Why genes mean little in how our children act

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I’ve read some eye-opening books during 2017, but none more so than Oliver James’ Not In Your Genes.

Subtitled “The real reasons children are like their parents”, the book reveals the truth about how little impact genes have on the way we turn out as people.

At the core of this is the seemingly-little-known revelation that genes play no part in things like mental illness, our skill at various things like sport or music, or what we enjoy learning at school.

The fact that conditions such as depression or ADHD are not at all genetic and inherently down to nurture is a bit of a shock.
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