I was just listening to a bit of Tina Turner on YouTube, when I noticed an advertisement for another video in the right-hand feed.

It said: “10 Hacks Every Woman Should Know. Airy Vagina. Boob Pump. Power Posing.”

What the actual fuck? What does this even mean?

I did not click on that video.

Instead, I put together 10 More Hacks Every Woman (And Man, For That Matter), Should Know.

1. You do not have to pose to feel powerful. You are already powerful.

2. Your body is yours and yours only. Look after it. Be kind to it. Love it. You do not need an “airy vagina” (what is an airy vagina?) or “boob pump” or “bikini body” or “six-pack abs” or whatever else magazines and your Instagram feed (and a weird YouTube ad) says. You have a body, and in it houses the organs that keep you alive. Appreciate your body. It does so much for you with hardly any fuss.

3. The odds of you being born are something like 1 in 400,000,000,000. I am terrible at maths but man, that’s a lot of zeros right there. We’re all going to die at some point. It’s a weird feeling, to know that, isn’t it? SO BE ALIVE WHILE YOU’RE HERE. Wake up and notice and LIVE your life. Don’t let it pass in a blur of exhaustion and boredom and indecision and BLAH. 1 in 400,000,000,000! You could very nearly not be here in this beautiful, fucked up, complex, scary, wild world. But you are, you lucky sod.

4. There are no hacks to anything. Not really, anyway. You cannot hack your way through life. If something’s worth doing, then take the long way round and work at it. Hacking usually cuts corners and the middle bit. The middle bit is the most important bit in doing anything. Because it’s the bit that will teach you exactly who you are and what you’re made of. The middle bit is boring and tedious and shit-scary and challenging and you’ll probably want to give up 50 times over. Don’t. The middle bit is SO WORTH IT, even if you don’t get to the end goal. That’s why we set goals, really, right? For the middle bit, the journey, the lesson in it all. The goal is merely something to aim at. Anyway, I’m rambling: You can’t hack your life.

5. You always have a choice. In what you say. What you do. How you react. No-one can make you feel anything. Not really, anyway. Take responsibility for your actions and behaviour and the things you say (to yourself and others). Also: Integrity is everything. Do what you say you are going to do. The people in your life are worth way more than your flakiness. Flakiness is boring. Show up.

6. No-one is going to come and save the day for you. You have to figure things out. People can support and guide you, but ultimately? Your life is your own and it’s up to you to make the decisions about what you want it to look and feel like.

7. Most things that ‘happen’ in life are neutral. Until you have a thought about them. Even really awful, terrible things like death and redundancy and all the other stuff that life throws our way—are kind of neutral. They just ‘are’. It’s our thoughts and actions that create the drama-rama and emotion and that THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED feeling.

8. Most WORST THINGS THAT HAVE EVER HAPPENED are not the worst things that have ever happened. Nothing is nearly ever as bad as it first seems. EVEN THE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WORST STUFF. Remember that.

9. You are not your job or the amount of followers you have on Instagram. You are not your recent half marathon finishing time nor are you your recent pay rise or demotion or terrible Tinder date. You are your kindness. Your funny-ness. Your gentleness. Your fierceness. Your weirdness. Your complicatedness. Your braveness. Your quirky-ness. Your shit-scared-ness. Your humanness.

10. Get outside more. Breathe more—we really do not breathe properly, most of the time. Right now, YOU, reading this. Take a big deep breath, and another and another. Feels good, doesn’t it? Ok, so yes, get outside more. When creativity has dried up, when you’re unsure about which way to turn, when you just don’t know what to do, when you’ve had ENOUGH, when you’re at your wits end, when you’re sad, when you’re lonely, when you’re bored, when you want to curl up on the sofa and mainline Netflix, when you’re tired of the world, GO OUTSIDE and get some air and take some big, deep breaths. Give your brain a break. Sit in your garden or a park and look at things—other than the Twitter feed on your phone—you know, such as the trees around you, the sky, or that bird that keeps hopping up to you to say hello. Really look at them. Notice them. Even if it feels really fucking weird to stare at a bird. Your brain and body need the rest and the change of scenery. And so do you.

Over and out.

ps: If anyone has, or knows, what an airy vagina or boob pump is, do tell. I’m intrigued.