We attract partners equal and opposite to us.

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Photo by Morteza Yousefi

The concept of masculine and feminine energy blew my mind on first learning about it. As a feminine woman who grew up, worked and lived in a predominantly masculine environment (including training at a Big Four accounting firm) observing these dynamics has helped me to live a more authentic, empowered life, understand myself better and wildly improved my relationship dynamics.

What do I mean by “masculine” and “feminine”?

The feminine and masculine are equal but opposite sides, aspects or energies (I’ll use these interchangeably) that we all have, regardless of our gender.

We all show up somewhere on the feminine to masculine spectrum in our relationships. You could have a baseline preference to be very masculine or feminine with a partner, or sit more towards the middle. Although we culturally think of women as more feminine and men as more masculine, this is not always the case; there are masculine and feminine-dominant people of every gender and orientation. We tend to attract and be attracted to partners who show up on an equal level but opposite energy to us — regardless of our sexual preference. …

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Image by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Here we are, characters in the 2020 sequel none of us wanted, but apparently needed in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic — Lockdown 2. It sometimes can’t help but feel like our lives are being wounded in the same place again, after the first time they were turned upside-down.

With months of disruption to our lives clocked-up already — and the compounded financial anxiety; health-related stress; separation from our friends and family; and generally more limited freedom vs. …

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Photo by Bruce Mars

“Headline stress disorder” — it’s a thing. Coined in the Washington Post by psychologist Steven Stosny to describe the collective unease we felt helplessly watching the tumultuous politics of 2016. Fast-forward to 2020, and the news has not felt this anxiety-inducing in my lifetime.

It’s useful, interesting, and even responsible to stay updated on current affairs, but I like to catch the bare minimum from non-sensationalist sources. Beyond that doesn’t make for a happy life — research shows watching the news negatively impacts our mental well-being.

Instead of wallowing in worry, I joined the podcast party (admittedly late) in lockdown. I find it inspiring and informative to hear what some of the world’s greatest interviewers and their subjects have to say about their life stories, the workings of the world and our potential future; often in a far more honest, astute and creative way than the average politician, and in a neat 30–90 minute package. …

A guide to coming out of this mentally stronger

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Photo by Radu Florin

With an unprecedented proportion of the world’s population in self-isolation, many of us feel uneasy (to say the least) about the sudden, strange upheaval to regular life as we know it. There is no doubt that, on top of the serious physical respiratory health pandemic, a tsunami of associated mental health issues is rapidly sweeping the globe.

It is totally normal and understandable to flip between a multitude of mental and emotional states during the COVID-19 outbreak. Researchers recorded “fear…depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder” in China during the outbreak. …

Tips to prevent loneliness during the pandemic

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Photo by Mimi Thian

Healthy relationships are known to be key for our mental well-being.

A well-cited, 80-year study by Harvard researchers found that “our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health,”. Further research shows that people who engage in supportive, positive relationships produce more oxytocin, which can boost our immune systems, allow us to physically heal quicker, and mean we are less likely to experience the negative effects of stress, anxiety, and depression.

In this unprecedented time however, with vast swathes of the world’s population under some form of lockdown or self-isolation, we find ourselves unable to be physically close to many of those we enjoy spending time with. …

Social isolation and mental well-being during the coronavirus outbreak

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Photo by Christie King

Last night, the dark night air in my hometome of London felt heavy with uncertainty, and tinged with a sense of anxiety. As I walked down Portobello Road, I peered into the windows of local cafes and pubs — usually bustling with cheery faces. In scenes that I’m sure are being repeated around the world, just a few people sat alone or in small groups, alongside establishment owners who appeared understandably uneasy about what might lie ahead for their busniesses. …

Steps for when dating feels a bit aimless, or hopeless!

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

With recent research by dating service Badoo suggesting that British millennials spend 10 hours a week on their app, finding a compatible relationship partner can be time-consuming.

From my own experience, it can also feel demoralizing to downright depressing. A few years ago, my long-term partner and I realized we irreconcilably wanted different things in life, broke up, and went off on our own respective dating missions — trying to fill the emotional gap left by the loss of our close romantic connection.

I signed up to apps, met matchmakers, asked friends for introductions, revived old hobbies and joined new communities. I also went on a journey of self discovery: becoming clearer about who I am, and so the type of romantic partner I actually want. I got real with negative patterns I was repeating; learned how to give myself the emotional self-care I needed; and even took myself on some awesome dates (more on that later)! …

Reads that transformed how I relate to myself, others and life.

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Photo by Yanapi Senaud

Sometimes we want to explore the boundaries of our life experience, and take responsibility for how we can make it better.

As an ever-curious student of life — and after realising how much self improvement comes from the inside-out — I’ve read around 200 personal development books. A small fraction of these made a massive difference to the way I think, feel and experience life (and to the millions of others who have read them).

I see a good book as an object of carefully-edited, condensed wisdom, honed by the minds of world-renowned thought leaders; available for a fraction of the cost of a seminar. The insights and mental freedom that transformational books can give us are priceless, and we can read at our own pace — watching how our inner world responds to their words. …

With meaningful, successful goals for the new year

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Photo by Green Chameleon

“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream”. ~ Paulo Coelho

Throughout my adult life, I’ve set resolutions or intentions for the year ahead. The Cambridge Dictionary defines intention as “something that you want and plan to do” and resolution as — “a promise to yourself to do or to not do something”.

Here you’ll find tips to getting intentional with the new year, and decade ahead:

Making new year’s resolutions

My new year’s resolutions historically consisted of a page or two of my journal, filled with goals I wanted to reach by the following December — like “learn to drive”, “visit a new country”, “start meditating” or “read three books a month”. I would write them down, and stumble back upon the list every few months. …

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Photo by Eutah Mizushima on Unsplash

It’s no secret that modern life is hectic. Our smartphones and apps are designed to capture as much of our attention (and convert it to revenue) as possible, or even to addict us, with industry insiders (like ex-Googler Tristan Harris) going rogue to help improve tech industry awareness and regulation. Brits checks their phones once every 12 waking minutes on average (or 80 times per day for Americans), and usage-trackers, like iPhone’s “Screen Time”, or “Digital Wellbeing” for Android, highlight how much we subconsciously scroll.

Smartphones, and the increased general busyness of our always-on modern lives, fill in the natural pauses humans would have historically experienced throughout our day — perhaps where we would have connected with others in-person; watched a sunset; smelled a flower; or simply had some mental down-time. The complex machinery of the human brain may even be designed for such pauses, with research suggesting that moments of boredom can actually be beneficial to our productivity and creativity levels. …


Jessica Warren

Personal development & life learnings. Co-Founder @ Mind: Unlocked. Reformed accountant. Find out more www.jessicawarren.co

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