Wednesday 30 November 2016

Where Company Values Actually Mean Something by Actually Meeting Personal Life Values

Nicki Edgell

Is this a list of self-improvement goals from a "how to be happy" blog? It could be for sure, but it's actually a list of company values from the amazing Buffer (I think they are some sort of Silicon Valley IT company where everyone chooses their workplace, salary and holidays).

Imagine working for a company (or with a company more to the point) with these values. How many companies have purely outward looking values based on meaningless customer service platitudes masking a thinly disguised profit motive? What is so refreshing about Buffer is these values are for the benefit of the internal staff in the first place, but with that in place I suspect they will lead to a happy workplace, great customer service, and a successful company too.

I would certainly love to work in such an environment and feel I personally would grow and thrive and offer a lot more. They even give new staff free books and a Kindle - right up my street! But my only proviso is would it work for everyone? From my experiences in more traditional office structures I have found that one or two errant staff have spoilt attempts to soften and modernise ways of working resulting in the company withdrawing privileges and returning to stricter regimes. I also realise that Buffer is staffed by young educated professionals in a cutting edge industry. Could such values work in blue collar manufacturing or factory environments, or very traditional hierarchical institutions like banks and schools for instance?

Have a look at the full article here

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Open House Events - Brighton, UK, 3rd - 6th December

Nicki Edgell

Stress, pain, low energy, poor sleep & environmental issues are on the increase. We have discovered all natural solutions to keep you healthy, energised and happy!

Come along to experience for yourself technologies to support your health and daily active lifestyle. We have fabulous alkaline, structured filtered water for you to try, magnetic jewellery and insoles and much more. And you'll have the chance to treat yourself and your loved ones to great xmas gifts that will bring health and vitality to you 365 days a year! We guarantee you'll leave energised, relaxed and recharged.

Saturday 3rd Dec (11-5pm), Monday 5th Dec (5-8pm) and Tuesday 6th Dec (11-7pm). Stanmer Villas, Brighton. Let us know which date you can come along to.

We will be launching the brand new NIKKEN KenkoTouch, a powerful massage device utilizing pulsed Electro-Magnetic fields, Far-Infrared waves and Negative-Ions to give you instant relief! 10% OFF at the events.

"I have two sons who are both extremely athletic and are usually aching in one way or another. I used the KenkoTouch™ on them for muscle discomfort and the results were excellent." Michelle Giangualano

" I love these technologies and have been using them for 8 years. I hope you'll be able to come along to find out for yourself about these great solutions for health" Nicki Edgell (energy expert)

FREE SHIPPING when ordering at the event.

We'll be getting into the festive cheer with mulled wine and gluten free mince pies.

FREE EVENT but please RSVP - call/text 07786 405366

Introducing the new KenkoTouch from Nikken

Nicki Edgell
This is a brand new Nikken product  - please contact me directly if you are interested to learn more.

"I have two sons who are both extremely athletic and are usually aching in one way or another. I used the KenkoTouch™ on them for muscle discomfort and the results were excellent." - Michelle Giangualano

Massage is a proven, effective treatment for muscle aches and inflammation. A deep-tissue massage can loosen tight muscles, ease discomfort, stimulate circulation and relieve stress. A good massage can produce positive results even for those who enjoy excellent health. KenkoTouch is a unique, advanced system that gives you a heightened magnetic massage experience.

Active surface promotes relaxation and relief with moving nodules that produce a firm, slightly yielding sensation.
The simple, reliable design eliminates the vibration commonly found in hand-held massagers.
Patented DynaFlux® Magnetic Technology increases area of magnetic coverage and extends depth of field for greater penetration, creating a multiplier effect not available in other magnetic devices.
Far-Infrared Technology with specialized reflective fibers can help soothe tense or strained muscles, tendons and joints with gentle, consistent warming.
Self-regulating, to prevent heat buildup and keep you comfortable.
Negative-Ion Technology helps refresh and invigorate by creating the concentration of negative ions found in forest air, to promote the feeling of well-being.
Advanced design for easy usage: ergonomic contour shape, adjustable and removable strap.
Massage speed is selectable, with three settings and automatic shutoff after 10 minutes.
Heat-sensing safety automatically switches off unit at 80º C/176º F internal temperature.
Operates on an internal rechargeable battery and USB connector.

Nikken KenkoTouch solenoid reciprocating massage, patented DynaFlux® Magnetic Technology (U. S. Patent No. 9,265,966), Far-Infrared Technology, Negative-Ion Technology

1600 gauss (resting)

3.7 volt DC battery, rechargeable
Recharging cable with USB interface

Ferrite magnets, ceramic-reflective fibers, negative-ion material, steel, light-emitting diodes, polyethylene, medical-grade silicone

12.5 oz / 354 g

£233.00 (+ p&p)

Turn the unit on and select desired speed. Apply unit to the desired area of the body (knees, wrist, neck, back, etc). The unit has a 10-minute automatic timer but can be restarted multiple times, according to your preference. An estimated 20 to 30 uses can be completed before recharging.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Finding Depth - More Pocket Philosphy from Gaping Void

Nicki Edgell
More thoughtful life philosophy from the excellent

The way you do anything is the way you do everything.
When trying to become your best person, it’s a holistic process; the people around you and the places you go and the things you read all become a part of how you define yourself.
So you have to develop a set of standards.

Find your depth, your emotions, what makes you excited and what makes you scared, and what you admire in others. Bring this everywhere with you, and watch your life become something worth talking about.

Monday 14 November 2016

The Mandorla - An Image of Hope for our Torn World

Nicki Edgell

Painting by Cicero Greathouse.

I have just finished reading a novel by Lindsay Clarke called "Alice's Masque". It follows a man's (hero's) journey and transformation to finding himself (or his bliss or sovereignty) through three parts entitled Outward, Inward, and Mandorla. Where the Outward and Inward are symbolised by circles the Mandorla is an ancient sacred symbol representing the intersection (and harmony) of the two.

"As symbols of the interactions and interdependence of opposing worlds and forces, the two separate Mandalas [the hindu term for circles] which must meet and merge to form the Mandorla represent the sacred divide between spirit and matter, masculine and feminine, self and other. The space wherein these apparently irreconcilable opposites overlap is an image of hope for our torn world, a healing place where we can reconcile our struggles with life and each other." Jean Raffa

Clarke's writing isn't to everyone's cup of tea forged of dream sequences and magic realism, puzzles and symbolism, requiring concentration and interpretation - if you like DM Thomas, or John Fowles - especially "Birthstone" and "The Magus" respectively, then you'd probably love this, along with his other similar works "The Chymical Wedding" and "The Water Theatre".

Tuesday 8 November 2016

A Delicious Immune System Booster - Turmeric Milk

Nicki Edgell

Turmeric is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It is strongly anti-inflammatory. It so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Watch the recipe video here courtesy of and learn how to prepare turmeric milk, the perfect anti-inflammatory drink!

Thursday 3 November 2016

Les Brown's Brilliant You've Gotta Be Hungry Speech in Just 7 minutes

Nicki Edgell
Brilliant motivational speech from Les Brown on how it can take a number of nos before the yes comes!

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Two Easy Ways to Lose Weight

Nicki Edgell

The two biggest changes I made in my diet to lose weight :

1. Less Bread
2. More Water

That's it.

Other things help of course like exercise, but when I was younger and a bit more weighty I ate loads of toast and sandwiches, and I barely drank any water. Now bread is a rarity in my diet (occasionally I may have some sour dough) and I drink heaps of water. Bread didn't really fill me up nor give me any energy. Water both fills me up and gives me energy.

That's it. Less Bread More Water.

So water is good but some is better and some is the best. To learn more about the best drinking water available please visit my sister site at

This App Changed My Life!

Nicki Edgell
I'm not one for apps really (I didn't even know how to spell them until I just looked it up now). I haven't got a smart phone and hope I won't ever need, or be forced, to get one. A lot of technology seems to me to complicate life rather than aid it. Don't other people see the advantages of not being on call 24/7 nor forever connected to the web?

A few years ago I was given a kindle for birthday present. To be honest I did n't use it much to begin with. I downloaded all the out of copyright free classics but didn't read many; I still preferred the paperbacks for many reasons - the paper feel, the covers, the tangibility.

I was also interested in reading articles of interest on the internet, often posted via facebook or twitter. However this also has disadvantages. Most online writing is cluttered with a lot of distractions - links, adverts, moving graphics, pop-ups, all kinds of annoyances. It also required reading at length off a computer or ipad screen often in an uncomfortable or inconvenient position - not conducive to concentrating on anything of any length or substance.

Then I discovered Readability. Readability is a free app you can download to your desktop (and probably other devices I'm sure). A red sofa appears in your browser and on clicking this the website you are reading is transferred to your kindle! What magic! Even more magic is all the clutter is removed leaving you with the text only. I can now therefore browse the internet and click the sofa each time I see something I want to read later, without the clutter, without the glare, and in comfort on the literal sofa, or arm chair, or bed, or bath. Often I hear about something or someone and just download the wikipedia page to my kindle via the app.

It has revitalised my reading (and in turn my education and knowledge) and given my kindle a new lease of life.

I realise tablets have superseded kindles for some. But there remains vital advantages to the kindle. It is generally not connected to the internet nor has a workable browser (have you ever tried reading Moby Dick on an internet connected device with facebook notifications only a click away?), so the instant gratification temptations of the internet are banished. The screen is also a very comfortable paper white or pale grey - very unlike a computer screen.

I now love my kindle, and love the Readability App. There are troubles in the world but when you can get things this good free...

Download your copy here

Tuesday 1 November 2016

The Dark and the Light and Everything In Between - Art to Make Life More Bearable

Nicki Edgell

I was recently invited to an exhibition of pottery work by local ceramics artist Nicky Bryant. Her pots were lovely - organic and pitted, uneven and rough around the edges and to the touch, extremely earthy in feel and colour. Nearly all were creams and browns and stone colours and some looked almost burned like charcoal. They were very tactile and I wanted to pick them up, hold them, run my fingers over them, and even taste them. They felt a bit pagan, female and sensually fertile. Some looked very old, like things that had been buried for centuries, reminding me of Roman water carriers or African earthenware. Most had little red sold dots on them indicating a successful exhibition.

Aside from the ceramics on display Nicky had mounted a personal bio about the exhibition on the wall by the entrance, about how it almost didn't happen, and what the achievement represented for her personally as an artist, and for creative women both in her home town of Lewes, and everywhere. The beautiful words struck me in their profound honesty and insightfulness; I took a photograph and reproduce them below with Nicky's permission.

This exhibition very nearly didn't happen...

As late as Monday evening, I wanted to cancel, to say, I can't do this, to apologise for wasting everyone's time and to quietly pack my work away without attention.

Creativity can be joyful, a finding of calm, a working out of ideas and a place to think. And for many amazing Lewes women, it is a chance to shine, to literally fly to foreign climes in the pursuit of their creative career and an Instagram feed filled with perfection.

That said, I feel strongly the need to acknowledge those for whom creativity is not the key to eternal happiness.

I know a stream of wonderfully talented women who make, in isolation, the most beautiful pieces of work that never get seen. Instead of flight, these makers can sometimes be weighed down with darkness and over-thinking.

Creativity without confidence is essentially a curse. It comes with self-doubt, self-criticism, an urge to apologise for not quite being good enough, a promise to do better next time, and a willingness to accept and take on any criticism that someone might like to offer. That these women continue to create, is what draws me to them, and makes me honoured to call them my friends.

For me, this exhibition is the marking of a line in the sand. A beginning.

These pots, while fewer in number than I had hoped, are the things that I have made in the space between the episodes and experiences that have made up my life over the last few months.

Being happy with who I am, as a maker, a mother, a friend, a socially responsible human being, and cutting myself some slack within that, has taken me a long while, but I think I am finally there.

Nicky Bryant

The Pursuit of Creation

I think so many people could relate to these words. We so often hear that someone is creative (and by implication someone else is overlooked for not being creative and is assumed incapable of ever being so). But so many of us are creative, or could be creative, without even realising. It's about going with your creation, whether it be painting, music, writing, origami, poetry, or furniture making.

But is it "good"? - it really doesn't matter. What is "good" anyway? Art especially is subjective and personal. Does it serve a purpose for you as a creator? Yes, it does. Humans have a desire to leave something behind, whether be it a novel, a painting, children, a building, or a memory at least, some kind of legacy. Nicky's pots will last - they have been created and will live on for hundreds of years. Some might even get buried and uncovered millennia from now after our current civilisation has long turned to dust!

Writer Kurt Vonnegut implored people to simply create - whether this be bad poetry or out of tune singing in the shower, creation is food for the soul and the pursuit and appreciation of art is "a very human way of making life more bearable... To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

I've dabbled in several areas of creation. I've created art, music, stories, websites, and a particularly rustic garden wall which gives me alot of pleasure and a sense of achievement everytime I see it and think of it's creation and how, like Nicky's pots, it should last for centuries. Even in my daily administration of emails and spreadsheets at the office I try to do something a bit creative with my language, layouts and fonts! This blog of course is another example - I don't know how many people read it but it provides a degree of vain pleasure and a cathartic form of expression like a personal diary or journal.

I have accepted what is 

Do I worry about how "good" any of it is? Yes, indeed, of course I want to be good and admired. But it's not so important as it used to be. I'm much more inclined just to go for it now and forego the neverending pursuit of perfection.

It used to have to be perfect. If I could not play a piece on classical guitar perfectly it wasn't worth playing. If I made a mistake in cricket and got out for a duck then I would brood for days and conclude I wasn't good enough and should just give up. But now I have reached a maturity where things don't have to be perfect for me to enjoy their creation. I'm not going to play for England, and I plateaued a long time ago in my abilities as a musician having never attained the goals I had set for myself in my teens and early twenties. 

But what of people who don't even try, or hide their efforts or talents? Nicky writes creativity without confidence is a curse. The curse of self doubt. Is it good enough to go public? Or is it better to just publish and be damned. Will you risk being publicly shamed or will you be surprised at the positive reactions? It is a common trait for people to hide and never reveal themselves. But despite the hard work and stress involved in many creations or pursuits I'm always glad I tried and I'm sure Nicky also feels a sense of satisfaction, achievement and contentment, that would not have occurred if she had succumbed to the last minute temptation to cancel.

Is Usain Bolt the Fastest Man on Earth? 

When I go to watch my local team Brighton play football, sometimes I look at the players on the pitch and think there must be someone in this crowd of 25,000 who could do better, but it's the ones on the pitch who have got themselves there, whether it be through talent, drive, hard work, vision or even circumstance (or most likely a combination of all of these). Is Usain Bolt really the fastest man on earth, or are there other people around who would be faster but haven't ever tried (or had the opportunity) so they (and us) will never know? 

The opposite of creativity without confidence is presumably non creativity with confidence. We all know people who are not particularly creative or talented or knowledgeable but have the confidence to project themselves and their work - essentially the confidence to "go for it" and it's their confidence that feeds their achievement moreso than the actual quality of their work.

I've talked mostly on art specifically here but in the wider context it's about going for it, whether your "it" is art, or anything else that makes you tick; following your passion, having a purpose, whatever that may be, is one of the best things you can do to achieve success and happiness. 

More of Nicky Bryant's work can be viewed at

The Power of UNcopyright by Leo Babauta

Nicki Edgell
Does anyone remember those anti-piracy skull and cross bone messages you used to see on the inside sleeves of records - "home taping is killing music!"? I always thought to the contrary it actually helped spread music. I discovered so many bands via home made C90 cassettes spread around school - many of whom I would never have heard otherwise, and many of which I went on to legitimately buy their official output. Of course today the "problem" is a lot worse with the proliferation of digital copies and the general expectation that what is on the internet is free (aside from piracy I am actually constantly amazed at how much great stuff is actually legitimately free on the internet - this blog service for example provided by Google's Blogger, many other online services and softwares free to download and use, such as the excellent photo editing program I used to manipulate the photo below (

Writer and zen guru Leo Babauta, the author behind the excellent Zenhabits website, has such a refreshing attitude towards copyright which I believe is all wrapped up in sharing and karma. What you give out comes back - the size of the pie increases and your absolute share does too.

How nice it is to read the article below instead of the sometimes threatening warnings about reproducing digital property, and dare I say on a wider global scale, the "batten down the hatches" protectionist and xenophobic attitudes purveying UK and US politics at the moment.

In the spirit and irony of the subject matter I reproduce Leo's article in full below, and hope, like the bands on the cassettes I used to share, it actually increases his reach and even his revenues by introducing readers who otherwise may not have found him.

Uncopyright by Leo Babauta

This entire blog, and all my ebooks, are uncopyrighted (since January 2008).
That means I’ve put them in the public domain, and released my copyright on all these works.
There is no need to email me for permission — use my content however you want! Email it, share it, reprint it with or without credit. Change it around, put in a bunch of swear words and attribute them to me. It’s OK.
Attribution is appreciated but not required.
I’d prefer people buy my ebooks, but if they want to share with friends, they have every right to do so.

Why I’m releasing copyright

I’m not a big fan of copyright laws, especially as they’re being applied by corporations, used to crack down on the little guys so they can continue their large profits.
Copyrights are often said to protect the artist, but in most cases the artist gets very little while the corporations make most of the money. In the 4+ years I’ve done this experiment, releasing copyright has not hurt me, the creator of the content, a single bit.
I think, in most cases, the protectionism that is touted by “anti-piracy” campaigns and lawsuits and lobbying actually hurts the artist. Limiting distribution to protect profits isn’t a good thing.
The lack of copyright, and blatant copying by other artists and even businesses, never hurt Leonardo da Vinci when it comes to images such as the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, or the Vitruvian Man. It’s never hurt Shakespeare. I doubt that it’s ever really hurt any artist (although I might just be ignorant here).
And while I’m certainly not da Vinci or Shakespeare, copyright hasn’t helped me, and uncopyright hasn’t hurt me. If someone feels like sharing my content on their blog, or in any other form for that matter, that’s a good thing for me. If someone wanted to share my ebook with 100 friends, I don’t see how that hurts me. My work is being spread to many more people than I could do myself. That’s something to celebrate, as I see it.
And if someone wants to take my work and improve upon it, as artists have been doing for centuries, I think that’s a wonderful thing. If they can take my favorite posts and make something funny or inspiring or thought-provoking or even sad … I say more power to them. The creative community only benefits from derivations and inspirations.
This isn’t a new concept, of course, and I’m freely ripping ideas off here. Which is kinda the point.

Counter arguments

There are a number of objects that will likely be brought up to this idea, and here are a few of my responses:
1. Google rank will go down. My understanding is that Google penalizes pages that have exact duplicates on other sites, when it comes to PageRank. But in 4+ years of uncopyright, I have had no loss in PageRank. Anyway, SEO isn’t important to me.
2. You’ll lose ebook revenues. If people buy my ebook and then distribute it to 20 people, and each of those distributes it to 20 more, and those to 20 more … I’ve lost $76,000 in ebook revenues. Perhaps. That’s if you agree with the assumption that all those people would have bought the ebook if it hadn’t been freely distributed. I don’t buy that. In this example, thousands of people are reading my work (and learning about Zen Habits) who wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s good for any content creator. Also: I’ve made more money since releasing copyright, by far, than when I had copyright.
3. Who knows what people will do with your work? Someone could take my work, turn it into a piece of crap, and put my name on it. They could translate it with all kinds of errors. They could … well, they could do just about anything. But that kind of thinking stems from a mind that wants to control content … while I am of the opinion that you can’t control it, and even if you can, it’s not a good thing. What if someone takes my work and turns it into something brilliant, and becomes the next James Joyce? Or more likely, what if they take the work and extend the concepts and make it even more useful, to even more people? Release control, and see what happens. People are wonderful, creative creatures. Let’s see what they can do.
4. What if someone publishes a book with all your content and makes a million dollars off it? I hope they at least give me credit. And my deepest desire is that they give some of that money to a good cause.
5. But … they’re stealing from you! You can’t steal what is given freely. I call this sharing, not piracy.

Leo's website can be found at where you can sign up to his mailings at the bottom of the page.

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