Inside our mind there is hidden place that contains the mind within the mind. There, you will find another version of yourself that may be your true self. We do not find that self by travelling, by searching. We find that self by sitting still, being quiet and looking inside. Ask yourself: who am I? And your true self will answer.
When I was 6 I wanted to be a nurse. When I was 14 I wanted to be a spy or a lion tamer. When I was 16 I wanted too be a highwire walker or an acrobat. Or maybe a clown with a white face. Then I gave up wanting to be anything other than what I am and what I am is a woman with a woman's needs and a woman's desires.
Our brain is a circuit board with neurons and terminals ready to be wired. We are born free, then programmed to obey our parents, to tell the truth, pass exams, pursue and achieve, love and propagate, age and fade unfulfilled and uncertain what it has all been for. We swallow the operating system with our mother's milk and sleepwalk into the forest of consumer illusion craving shoes, houses, cars, magazines, experiences that endorse our preconceived dreams and opinions. We grow into our parents. We becomes clones, robots, matchstick men thinking and saying the same, feeling the same, behaving the same, appreciating in books and films and art shows those things we already recognize and understand.
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To realise your ambitions, you must take a few minutes each day to meditate on your ultimate goal, not doing anything, just thinking about it. You must try to imagine how you will feel when you achieve your dreams, and that feeling is like a memo in the mind reminding your subconscious to stay the course.
Everyone talks too much. We are walled in like hostages behind words that come at us like rifle fire, an endless barrage from the net, the news, in texts and tweets, from the mouths of friends, in people's overheard conversations on mobile phones, in announcements on the bus and Tube. We are not living life, we are listening to it, interpreting life through what everyone else has to say and through our automatic responses. We are echoes.
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I had avoided writing about love. I had never sensed that rush and buzz that comes with love, the release into the brain of body chemicals, pheromones and dopamine - the taste of love to which I was becoming addicted, his spearminty tongue when we kissed, his male sweat, the outdoor vanilla tang of his semen.
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When it happens it happens instantly. It's like diving into a pool of warm silky water, like flying through the air on invisible wings, like shedding an old skin and growing a new one. When you fall in love the spirals of your DNA unwind and rewind in the opposite direction. What was black becomes white.
The moment he left the warm sheets and the door clicked shut, I had that feeling you get when you are lost in a strange town at night. I curled into the chair where he had watched me undress and tears wet my cheeks. Then I dried my eyes, I looked in the mirror, and I said these two words. Never again.
If character is destiny, I was fated to be carried off into the desert. From the deck of the ship I had imagined my own ghost and seen my unvanishing footsteps. When you don't belong anywhere it doesn't matter where you are or where you go, if you stay or move on. You arrive at a place where the view forwards and backwards is the same, where the sun rises in the east one day and the west the next, where you stop planning and live like the birds and beasts by intuition and instinct.
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Beauty is a burden as well as a gift. Beauty puts other women on edge. It torments men. Man is born adoring beauty and carries, just below the surface, a predisposition, a gut feeling, that beauty should be profaned and destroyed. The first thing conquering armies do is burn the library and rape the virgins.
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I told her the clitoris is like a Bonsai tree that needs constant tending and the g-spot is an unexplored island waiting to have a flag pinned on its peak. She laughed and said I should be a poet. Then we went to bed and crossed the sheets as if it were a new continent we had just discovered.
The kiss is the greatest of gifts, a miracle, uniquely human. A kiss beneath the mistletoe. A kiss after midnight. A kiss before dying. The devil's kiss. As a picture tells a thousand words, so a kiss says everything that's important. I am told prostitutes never kiss their clients. It is too personal, too human. We kiss to say I love you. We kiss the rings of the self-important. The feet of conquerors. The rich dark earth when we reach the promised land. We kiss our hands and wave as loved ones begin a journey. We kiss strangers before dawn in the first hours of a New Year because our wintry lips are incomplete until they are oiled by a kiss.
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Making love requires no thought. You move as the fronds of a palm tree move in the breeze. It is all instinct. All wonder. When you love someone, your lips are incomplete until they are oiled by a kiss. You can say 'I love you' a thousand ways but you can say it better with silence and a kiss.
Two spacemen touching in anti-gravity is like a kiss. But then, there is nothing like a kiss. A kiss is a rare bird. The first sip of champagne. The fleeting glimpse of a shooting star. The kiss is uniquely human. We exchange bodily fluids with a kiss. A great kiss is like eating melon on a picnic. Like diving into a warm sea. A French kiss is a battle of tongues where everyone wins.
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Girls love kissing. Our lips replicate the lips we discreetly hide. We redden lips to show the health and allure of our labia, the welcoming of your tongue in our mouth a foretaste of lips moistened and blood-gorged by desire. Some kisses last forever in our minds, some kisses are best forgotten. Every kiss is unique and kissing lips is uniquely human.
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The kiss is the greatest of gifts, uniquely human. A kiss before midnight. A kiss before dying. The Judas kiss. The kiss of the devil. A big wet smacker beneath the mistletoe. More can be said with a kiss than a book full of words. We kiss to say I love you. We kiss the rings of the self-important. The feet of the conquerors. The rich dark earth when we reach the promised land. We kiss babies' cheeks to soak up their innocence. We kiss the foreheads of loved ones as they begin a journey. We kiss beautiful strangers in far away places because on hot July nights with the music of the sea and the stars above your head your lips are incomplete until they are joined in a kiss.
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There are many ways to live, to love, to aspire. The mountain only has one peak but there are limitless paths that you can take to reach it. The secret, they say, is to find your own path and stick to it. What they don't tell you is that the path is invisible. If you find it, or imagine you've found it, you follow the path in the dark with nothing to guide you but self-belief.
There is a sense that we are waiting for something, that however wonderful something is, there is something else waiting to tempt us; however perfect someone is, someone else might be better, more suitable, more fun, better in bed. Whatever road you chose you may just have easily chosen another.
Inspiration comes from your writing. Thoughts meander subliminally through our subconscious, at night when we sleep the brain is working. In the act of writing, phrases come out and you think: wow, did I write this? Did I have that insight? Sometimes you know something is good, good within your own limits, and those parts make life worth living.
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I gaze out of the window at the lanes of red taillights streaming towards the hills, the city laid out in anonymous grids and quadrants, the view confirming that I was much more alone than I thought, and all those red lights inspired nothing more than a sense that I, too, should be fleeing somewhere.