(And why a gratitude journal didn’t)

To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking…

Encourage them to think outside the box — and explore the world beyond their preferences.

Imagine this scenario. You, an adult, have a new job. Your manager is showing you the ropes, and you interject:

“What’s your favourite bit of the job?”

“Uh, well — probably liaising with clients.”

“Who’s your favourite client?”


“Your favourite.”

“Um, I’m not sure — “

“You’re only allowed…

The more you try to “fix” yourself, the more broken you feel.

I was 25 years old and I’d just fallen out with a friend. We’d both said things calculated to hurt one another, but when I reached out to make a half-baked apology (of the ‘if you’ll say you’re wrong, I’ll say I’m wrong’ variety) she didn’t take the bate. She…

A word of warning for my daughter

I hope my daughter is spared the kind of teacher who takes her aside and in a hushed voice tells her she’s special: she’s not like the other kids. That she’s got something. The kind who turns off the lights in his office after school — so anyone looking in…

We couldn’t afford to buy into modern life, so we opted out — and we love it.

‘Family’ can’t truly thrive unless we start viewing the rest of the world as family too

I wouldn’t call myself a hippie, but here I am: living in community, among people who care about our planet, about living green, sustainable lives whilst interrogating what it means to be human, and…

(And start making radical changes to your life)

As a teenager, I’d always felt “wrong” for being so anxious and unhappy — I saw these feelings as a sign of my failure to fit in, and as long as I felt them, I thought I would never be the well-adjusted person I so wanted to be. If only…

(Your fear of being different is holding you back)

Family folklore says that toddler-Me had a lot to say. My aunts, who were teenagers at the time, like to remind me that on babysitting nights I’d talk so much at bedtime that they’d shut me in the cupboard to try to get me to stop — and I’d happily…

Maybe we need to stop being so defensive.

I was speaking with an older and wiser friend recently — a mother of three grown children — and I mentioned a prickly interaction with a family member who thought I was overindulging my three-year-old by letting her co-sleep with me. …

(It’s part of the creative process)

How the myth of creative genius is failing you.

I used to be one of those people with a drawer full of abandoned first drafts. Writing meant the first part: scrawling pent-up confessions in the middle of the night, or the breathless beginnings of novels that seemed like a sure thing until I saw them in the unforgiving light…

I feel like it’s finally time I got my license — but I don’t want to.

The only car I should be driving is a driverless one — and I’ve been saying this for as long as I can remember, and long before, I imagined it would be a real possibility in my lifetime. They’re overdue now — the Guardian predicted we’d all be “permanent backseat…

Anna Valerie

Naturally secretive, trying to be brave. New to Medium. Words in Curious & Modern Parent, & you can join my email list here: https://www.annavalerie.com/

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