A letter to myself (to remind me how to take care of myself on the busiest days)

Dear You,

It’s really quite ridiculous that I have to send you this letter, given all the tools you have at your fingertips, and what you know and teach. But then again, I guess you are just a human being like everyone else, and things do tend to slip when you are busy. So here are a few reminders of things you can do to take care of yourself at busy times:

  • Get less busy (Check your list and cut, delegate or move anything that really doesn’t have to be done today. Then lose another 20%. Really, you can.)
  • Breathe (Close your eyes and breathe deeply for a minute)
  • Move (Yoga, walk, run, dance around the kitchen, it doesn’t matter, just get up from your chair)
  • Drink water (You often forget this one. Tea doesn’t count), remember.)
  • Laugh (It changes everything, remember. And you have two little experts in your house)
  • Use your freezer (One afternoon of batch cooking feeds you well for a week)
  • Put time between your screen and your bed (at least an hour to let your eyes rest and your mind settle – but ideally way more!)
  • Be clear when the busyness will end. Don’t let it drift on and on. (You are good in short bursts, but then need a break. Take that break)
  • Don’t forget to notice the world outside your window (it’s very beautiful, and today is only here today)



Comfort + joy in winter

Nourishing your mind at this time of year can look as simple as turning away from overstimulation—to-do lists, screens, loud music, bright lights, toxic conversations—and making your way into nature, open spaces, fresh air, peace and quiet. Try counting the shades of evergreens, inhaling the aroma of wild herbs, listening for signs of life. On cold, sunny days, look for berries, or different leaf shapes, or visiting birds. Seek out hardy plants emerging from cracks in the pavement. Make bark rubbings with a little person. Fill up a feeder for the birds. I find the ever-changing sky a powerful tonic for the soul. For you, it might be the nearness of water, or the bare bones of trees, stripped of their leaves. Seek whatever you need. Document your finds. Photograph them. Sketch them. Forage a few samples for your bedside table. Or nourish your mind with words—write about your day, take time out with an inspiring podcast or a good book, or settle in for a long conversation.

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With England heading back into national lockdown today, and tensions high for so many people, it seems like a good time to look for ways to find comfort and joy in winter. This week’s episode of The Calm Christmas Podcast is all about that, and it’s out now on iTunes, on Spotify or here on my website.

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I also invite you to join my Winter Writing Sanctuary, a two-week online class starting on November 23. Given all that is going on in the world right now I have decided to make this completely FREE. Book your place here and join me and hundreds of other writers from all around the world as we escape into a cosy world of words this winter. All levels welcome. Hope to see you there!

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Take good care
Beth Xx


On ignoring the doubters and loving them anyway

When I talk about doing what you love, some people get really inspired, and some people do a funny kind of snigger and say, “Yeah but I love watching tv and no-one’s going to pay me to do that.” Well actually there are plenty of jobs that will pay you to do that – from specializing in TV law to being an actor on Gogglebox, from being a showbiz blogger to being a novelist doing research for a new book about TV dramas… The point is, you can get paid to do ANYTHING in this world, but sometimes you just need a little more creativity and ingenuity to figure out how.

The trickiest part is that we are often surrounded by doubters, people who love us, but want to protect us from the risk of things not working out and so encourage us to stay safe and small in something THEY understand. But it’s a big wide world out there, full of opportunity (even in a pandemic-hit world), and it’s creative thinkers who will find their way out of this by forging new paths. The doubters can’t see those paths, and they are afraid for us about what will happen if we seek them out. We might get lost in the woods for a while, or follow the path so far away they get left behind, or in walking that path we might shine a light on their own stuckness. If you recognize that, you can be compassionate towards the doubters in your life, without taking their advice. You can love them without listening to them.

Remember, this is YOUR life. You get to choose.

On ignoring the doubters and loving them anyway IMG 6156Years ago I remember having that particular conversation about doing what you love and someone said to me, “Well that’s a nice idea, but I love Christmas and no-one’s going to pay me to enjoy that.” I beg to differ, especially today as my book Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year is published in the US and Canada.  In a non-pandemic world I’d probably be planning a trip to New York, where my US publisher Scribner is based in the Rockerfeller Center, home of that iconic Christmas tree, marvelling at how I get to do that and call it my job. Instead I am here in England on a stormy day, celebrating with a mince pie and some mulled wine, marvelling at how I get to enjoy that and call it my job.

So, my friend, if the doubters’ voices are ever too loud, you can always hop over and chat with me on Instagram @bethkempton, and I’ll remind you of all the reasons why doing what you love CAN work, and why in doing it you might just inspire those doubters out of their stuckness too.

Beth Xx

PS Here are a few readers’ thoughts about Calm Christmas… I hope you will read it too. Available here!

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#tinyautumnpoem daily poetry challenge for November – Are you in?

🍁I love autumn. There is change in the air, on the trees and often in our hearts at this time of year. It is often the time when we have a sudden burst of activity before winter moves in, and that is certainly the case for me, so I wanted to do something that kept me grounded in the here and now, so I didn’t miss the beauty of the season. ⁣
I have decided to set myself a little challenge, and you are invited to join in. Every day in November I am going to post a poem prompt over on Instagram @bethkempton, and then post my own poem in response to that. I’m calling it #tinyautumnpoem to take any pressure off. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. There are no rules. It can be a haiku. It can rhyme, or not. It can be a flow of consciousness with some kind of rhythm. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is to just take a moment to just write the thing. Something that you notice, or feel, or think today. ⁣
I’m going to spend no more than ten minutes on my poem each day, and I’m going to post it in a raw-is-ready state. Some might be lovely, some might be rubbish. I don’t care, I’m going to post them anyway, and let go of judgement! I hope you will join in and get into a poetry habit this month. (And if you like the idea of joining #nanowrimo but can’t imagine writing a novel in a month, we can make this #napowrimo instead!)⁣
I invite you to either post your own poem in the comments over on Instagram, or post it over on your account and share with #tinyautumnpoem and tag me @bethkempton so I can read what you came up with, that same day, wherever you are in your world and in your life. I might even share some in stories!⁣ Of course it’s also fine just to squirrel it away in your notebook. It’s the writing it which matters.
So here’s to paying attention, and writing it down, and sharing it, and calling that a #tinyautumnpoem. Are you in?⁣
Our first #tinyautumnpoem prompt for Day 1/30 is…⁣
You can read my poem in the comments over on Instagram @bethkempton❤️
Photo by Neil Shaw

Next year can be different

“I want 2019 to be different.

Less stuff, more soul.

Less hustle, more ease.

Less chaos, more calm.

Less complexity, more clarity.

Less bravado, more truth.

Less resistance, more resilience.

Less control, more surrender.

Less head, more heart.

More time for me. More time for creativity.

More time for life.”

Sound familiar? We’ll show you the way.

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For almost a decade we have been designing courses and workshops and writing books that transform lives. We have helped tens of thousands of people to follow their hearts, and live a fuller, more authentic and inspired life doing what they love. Every single one of those resources is based on extensive research and testing, personal experience and a deep understanding of the field.

We never promise it will be easy. We don’t sugarcoat the reality of making different choices. But we know the rewards and understand the challenges better than most. And we really, really want you to fulfil your potential, find a rhythm and lifestyle that works for you, and appreciate the beauty of your wild and precious life.

Once a year we have a huge sale on all our courses, to make them even more accessible and help you plan for the year ahead. This is that sale, and it is your chance to invite a different kind of future. You can get 40% off our powerful, life-changing courses or save a huge 50% off if you invest in one of our multi-course bundles: The Perfectly Imperfect Life Bundle / The Time For A Career Change Bundle / The Set Me Free Bundle.

Sale ends Monday November 26, 2018. This might be the most important investment you ever make. We are honoured to be your guides.

Beth + Paul

Founders, Do What You Love

I have a confession to make… (I wonder if you have done this too?)

This is a story about hiding what we have done well, and not celebrating our creative work. It’s a true story, about me. I am embarrassed to share it, but am going to, because I think we all do this to our detriment, and in doing so stop others accessing what we have created with love.

You might have noticed that I wrote a book which came out last month. It is a book about life lessons inspired by ancient Japanese culture and philosophy. What you probably don’t know is:

  • It has been #1 bestseller in multiple Amazon categories ever since here in the UK.
  • It hit the top 40 on the whole of (which has over 4 million books).
  • The Sunday Times Style called it “A truly transformational read”
  • The rights have been sold for nineteen foreign languages
  • Japanese people have said some incredibly kind things about it, such as “Beth is one of the great foreign writers who truly understand (wabi sabi and Japanese culture)” and “Beth has described (this philosophy) better than a native could”
  • Tokyo’s biggest English-language bookstore called it “a beautiful book about Japanese culture”

I could go on – there have been many many kind words from all corners – from interior designers to life coaches, and readers all over the world.

And yet since the day it came out, I have not sent a newsletter or even shared it very much here on Facebook, celebrating one of the best creative projects of my life. Why? I have told myself I have been busy, which is true – I have sold a house, been to America to teach, settled my family into a new home and town, and my eldest started school, all in the three weeks since the book came out. But still, deep down I know that’s not the real reason.

It’s because I didn’t want to brag, or show off. Know that feeling? But the whole point of writing this book was to bring this hidden wisdom out of the Japanese language, and share it with all of you so you could integrate its beautiful life lessons to live a more authentic and inspired life. And I really really care about that.

I only realised I had done this when I was stood in front of a room full of female entrepreneurs at the incredible 1440 Multiversity in California a week or so ago, answering a question about newsletters. I mentioned that I rarely use my newsletter or my groups on Facebook to sell things, because I prefer just talking to you about life, and sharing thoughts and inspiration which I hope are of use. What I realised was that I have written a book full of those things, which a lot of people have said is a really fantastic book, and yet I have hardly shared it with you.

So, as of today that is all changing! I am going to celebrate this piece of creative work in three major ways:

(1) I would like to encourage you, in no uncertain terms, to PLEASE READ IT. I promise you will feel more calm, tuned in, and appreciative of beauty in your own life as a result. You can get it in beautiful hard copy or on ebook here (currently at around 30% off on Amazon)

If you are in the US/Canada you can get it at 30% off with free shipping from The Book Depository here.

I wrote it as a precious gift to you and hope it helps you treasure all that is good in your life.

(2) If you have read it, I am going to ask you to PLEASE WRITE A REVIEW! Reviews make so much difference. I am so grateful to have over 200 five star reviews for my first Freedom Seeker, and know they really help people to decide if a book is a good fit for them.

GIFT FOR YOU: As a token of my gratitude for you taking the time to write a review, I would love to send you a small gift in the post, to wherever in the world you are. Please complete your review ASAP and then fill in the quick form here with your address if you would like some delightful personal snail mail from me.

Here are the links for leaving a review: Amazon / Goodreads (if you got it from The Book Depository) / Waterstones

(3) Over the next few weeks I am going to share some of my favourite snippets from the book and the ideas behind the and some personal stories about my journey to writing it, so stay tuned for those!

And I am going to stop being shy about celebrating the things I have worked so hard to create with love for you. I hope you will do the same – this week I encourage you to think about one thing you are proud of, and share it with someone in your family, friendship circle, online community or elsewhere, celebrating your skills, talents and dedication. Please feel free to leave a note in the comments and share it with us too!

Much love,

Beth Xx

I have a confession to make… (I wonder if you have done this too?) BethKemptonAugust2018 89

How to change your life fifteen minutes at a time

Big dreams take time, and sometimes can feel overwhelming. In the very last in the series of The Freedom Seeker Chronicles, I am chatting with Kelsey Murphy, who shares how we can achieve anything when we focus on it for fifteen minutes at a time.

Kelsey is a career strategist, certified life coach and founder of Whiskey and Work. Previously the Advertising Director for Nintendo and Elizabeth Arden, she now works with people all over the world to help them create a more fulfilling career and life. Some of her clients include the management of Facebook, Apple and TOMS. She’s also a snowboarder, a dreamer and a fresh air addict, and her positivity is contagious.


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Key Moments:

[4m 00s] Kelsey shares the power of 15-minute chunking

[7m 00s] Why you don’t need to choose just one passion to live an inspired life

[11m 00s] Why you might want to pop into a bookshop this weekend

[13m 20s] On living a one hundred year life

[13m 30s] How to think about your life in phases

[15m 30s] What Kelsey wished people knew about her

[21m 30s] The importance of acknowledging when you are living the life you once dreamt of

[24m 35s] What Kelsey had to let go of to discover the life she has now

[28m 10s] The three questions Kelsey most often gets asked by women trying to find their path

[33m 20s] Kelsey’s advice for building your confidence


Thank you to the many thousands of you who have tuned in for this last series. If you missed any episodes you can catch them all here. I’ll be back later in the year with a new series once I have moved house and found a new recording studio!

Beth Xx

Life lessons inspired by centuries-old Japanese culture

As the sun rises on the day that my new book ‘Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life’ is released into the world, I find myself transported back to a quiet temple in Kyoto, where I had been staying in simple temple lodgings back in March. I rose early for the morning meditation, then padded barefoot to a quiet room to interview the Deputy Head Priest Reverend Takafumi Kawakami.

One of the things Reverend Kawakami told me, which has stuck with me ever since, was this: “People think Zen is all about calmness and tranquillity and living in some blissed-out space of good vibes. But actually it’s about how you face your challenges: unhappiness, worry, loneliness, difficult emotions. It’s about learning to deal with what life throws at you, and acceptance of actuality is central to that.”

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This idea of acceptance is really at the heart of this new book, inspired by my twenty-year love affair with Japan. ‘Wabi sabi’ is intimately intertwined with the idea that everything in nature is transient – it’s all impermanent, imperfect and incomplete, as are we. Just think about that for a moment. Imperfection is our natural state of being. We are not supposed to be perfect. I don’t know about you, but that pretty much turns everything upside down for me, because so much of what we are taught tells us the exact opposite.

With this book I set about discovering the truth of the life lessons tucked away into centuries-old Japanese culture and aesthetics. It takes us on a gentle winding path through nature, deepening our appreciation of beauty and the gifts of simple living, and reminds us why this wisdom has never been more relevant than today. I hope you will read it, and soak it all up.

Researching and crafting this book has been one of the most wonderful creative projects I have ever had the pleasure to bring to life, and as I pick up my bag and head for the early train to London for a day of bookshop tours, full of gratitude to those who helped along the way, I am sending you a quiet wish on the breeze, that you will come to see that you are perfectly imperfect, just as you are.

Beth Xx

Got a book dream? Bring it to life with this advice

To celebrate the launch of my new book Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life next Thursday August 30, I did a Facebook Live Broadcast from the Headquarters of Hachette on London’s Victoria Embankment, talking about Bringing Book Dreams to Life with my Commissioning Editor Anna Steadman.


I know how the publishing world can feel impenetrable when you are on the outside of it, and I also know that many of you have a book dream, so I wanted to make the most of the opportunity of my book launch to lift the veil for you. Anna is the brilliant Commissioning Editor (Non-Fiction) for Piatkus, an imprint of Little, Brown Publishing Group, which is owned by the publishing giant Hachette – not only is she the one who put ink on the contract of my book deal, but also guided me brilliantly in many ways throughout the writing process.Got a book dream? Bring it to life with this advice BK WABI SABI PREORDER FBLIVE 2 800X400PXMy experience with Anna and Piatkus has been absolutely fantastic, and although I have been carrying around the idea for my new book for about two decades, I find it pretty staggering that we took it from concept (i.e. conversation with my agent over steaming bowls of noodles at a ramen bar) to the book being published next week in under a year.

In our ask-us-anything conversation, Anna and I will be talked about:

  • What makes a great concept for a book
  • Whether you need an agent
  • How to pitch your book
  • The steps involved in taking an idea from concept to publication and beyond
  • Why Anna commissioned my book Wabi Sabi


On love, art-making, friendship and all the things

For many people, making their living as a creative professional is a dream. For today’s podcast guests Kelly Rae Roberts and Mati Rose McDonough, it’s the life path they have chosen. It hasn’t always been easy, but their friendship has played a huge part in keeping them inspired and motivated through the good times and the tough times.

I am especially delighted to have them on the show, together, because of the pivotal role they have played in my life. Get yourself a cuppa and pull up a chair. You’ll feel like you are round the kitchen table with these inspiring ladies…


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