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positive thinking

Stepping out of the comfort zone

Picture framing

Conservation grade mounts Non-reflective glass • Canvas stretching

I enjoy working with local artists.

My particular interest is local history and I offer a large

collection of Chiltern street scenes and landscapes from Victorian times onwards.

I also specialise in local books, graphic design and publishing.

Please call to make an appointment. ~

Peter Hawkes

2 Laceys Yard, High Street, Chesham, Buckinghamshire HP5 1BU

01494 793000

As we get older, though, our parents need to start cutting us some slack. Mine were probably right to stop me buying the red sports car that I wanted in my late teens. The only mechanical skills I had were changing a bicycle inner tube and raising a saddle; it would have been a financial disaster, but the fact is that I still know next to nothing about car mechanics. I would have learnt a lot from my mistake. Our parents often project their own hopes,

dreams and fears on to us. How often have you heard of the young adult who wanted to pursue some interesting job, yet the parent was determined that they become a lawyer, a doctor or a banker? Perhaps they went on to toe the line and lived a life full of resentment, or they followed their heart and a great rift opened up for years between them. Limiting children with strict parental control, or wrapping them up in cotton wool to protect them from the real world, does nothing for their growth. Taking some calculated risks is a great way of experiencing life in its fullness. In my 20s I spent a


As we go through life, there are things we are so sure that we want, and when we don't get them we feel deeply upset and misunderstood. Quite often, in hindsight, we realise that it was for the greater good and that someone, or something, was simply trying to protect us; we were blind to anything beyond our own perspective. When I was a small boy, I loved the countryside and would walk for miles learning about plants and wildlife as I went. I was upset by my mother when she wouldn't let me carry around a 6 inch sheath knife in my belt. It was only going to be used to carve wood after all!

night alone on a mountain in New England fearing that I would be eaten by bears. In hindsight, it was one of the greatest adventures I have ever had. At other times I've been aware that one little slip would end badly, but making it to the top brought a great rush of adrenaline. Many times I've been too afraid to act and have deeply regretted not stepping forward; other times I've taken action without being prepared, and have experienced suffering, but it's the only way to learn and to grow, isn't it? School teaches us to memorise the facts that we

need to move towards a career, religion dictates the truth or moral code that we must follow in order to be good and medicine tells us what's wrong with us and which pills to swallow. So, what of our natural gifts, our innate wisdom, our life purpose? What of the child who loved music, dance or beauty and was told to become an accountant; the child who saw God in rivers, trees or mountains and was told to become a Catholic; the child who saw healing in nature, in art or in love and was told to become a doctor? We know when we're not living true to our heart,

because eventually our spirit begins to complain so loudly that we're forced to make changes. Fear can keep us stuck in the wrong place for years and we witness it in our steady emotional decline. The new paradigm encourages us to follow our inner compass and to listen to the callings of our heart and soul beyond the conditionings of society, but not without regard for them. This doesn't mean turning our back on the systems of education, religion and medicine and descending into anarchy; it means recognising the validity of our core feelings and pursuing a life with deeper meaning and greater purpose.

Peter Hawkes Publisher of Designs for LIFE magazine

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