Sex is better than guns

"Violence" and "sex" are often in the same bucket. Films are not appropriate for children if they have too much violence, but they are outright forbidden if they have steamy sex scenes.

It puzzles me how society came to put these two complete opposites within the same box. A gun kills, sex creates life. Weapons bring devastation and misery, sex brings joy and life.

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Are we good enough?

The other day, scrolling through inspirational/ cheesy/ outright frustrating phrases on social media, I encountered one that particularly stroke a chord. In pretty handwriting, written over textured papers, the words read as follows: “I need to change. I’m not me yet.”

This sentence says, quite clearly, one of the main messages of this day and age. Adds, social media, newspaper articles, celebrities with good intentions - they all keep telling us that we are not good enough. This idea that I am not me yet – I need to perfect myself towards my fantasy self – is a very profitable one, from a business point of view. We are promised we can achieve our fantasy selves if only:

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Buy to live, don't live to buy

I worked hard to save for a pair of shoes. Now, I finally have that pair of shoes. What for? Just to have that pair of shoes.

Brands give us the impression that, if we acquire a product, we get a step closer to our fantasy self, a perfect version of us. Therefore, we are often caught in buying things not for the thing itself, but for the feeling it gives us. A feeling that is often very fleeting.

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A Year of Sobriety

New year, fresh page. I look back at the last years, spent in London, the city of luxuries and endlqess work hours. 

It is a sophisticated trap, a window of wonders. You can have any lifestyle you want, it promises. You can be happy.

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Mindful presents

Y. N. Harari, in his book “Sapiens”, says that consumerism is the modern religion. Christmas illustrates this perfectly - while most religious traditions have a celebration around this time of the year, it is the consumerist festivity that speaks the loudest. Every year, from November onward, we are bombarded with the “festive spirit” - shops, billboards and ads create an atmosphere of forced merriment that says only one thing: “Buy! Buy! Buy!”

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Why I don't believe in "fake it 'til you make it".

One of the most widespread career advice I hear is the “fake until you make it” mantra. It has become common for people to admit how they didn’t know anything about their job when they started, and how they pretended to know until, eventually, they were able to understand what was going on.

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Choose a notebook as your companion.

It is very interesting to notice the popularity of Bullet Journals over the last couple of years. A Bullet Journal, named by its creator Ryder Carrol as “The analogue system for the digital age”, is a diary/notebook/planner/tracker/etc., which anyone can produce with only one notebook and a pen. All over the internet, we can see people who jumped at this opportunity to express their creativity in a physical medium. Websites such as Little Coffee Fox and Boho Berry show very creative ways of doing your own Bullet Journal.

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"The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks."

English Oxford Living Dictionaries


It is easy to get lost in the practical aspects of life. Organising our finances, doing the weekly shopping, making sure the home is tidy… all of that is important, and it can make our lives better. However, it is paramount to bear in mind that adulting is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

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On prejudice

When I think of a prison, what comes into my mind? Barred windows. Why is that? Have I ever been in a real prison? No. Have I ever even met anyone who was in prison? Not really.

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Dealing with criticism

For some artistic minds, one of the big stumbling blocks is the fear of failure. We may want to do things differently, experiment and play, but big question marks pop up above our heads

What if I am ridiculed?

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How can I find extra time in my day?

In a world where access to new information and ideas is so easy, where thousands of options are within reach, many of us feel that our limited time is stopping us from reaching our full potential. If only we could have 48 hours in a day, to be able to both house all our projects and spend leisure time with people we love!

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"I hate my life" and other useful feelings

During the day I am invaded by a variety of emotions that drive the way I act. Sometimes those emotions are recurrent and change the way I perceive myself.

If my job has been too demanding lately, I feel anxious and frustrated.  If my relationships are in a good shape I feel I am invincible. If I am away from the people I love I may feel unable to cope, fragile and threatened.

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I am Joana and my alter ego is Jo the Monster. 

I often feel that life doesn't allow enough space to be silly. Even working in a fulfilling and creative career such as architecture, a big part of my day is spent in onerous tasks. Taking time aside to be Jo The Monster gives me a happiness boost - it allows me the pleasure of pure creative work and helps me understand myself and the world better.

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