1. My body is a temple: I do believe that in order to appreciate life and live it to the fullest, we need to take good care of our bodies. Good health is not about following fad diets but being sensible and taking responsibility. Mental health, as the ancients understood long before us, is connected to what we eat. I eat like a peasant- simple, unrefined, unprocessed food and where possible, seasonal produce. I walk a lot with my hound to keep the pounds off and eschew gyms. I don't want to be so lean that I freeze in the winter and frankly, life is too short to be obsessed about anything, including our weight.
2. Be able to tell a good joke: laughing is a precious remedy to banish the blues. I laugh a lot, mostly at myself. The day I'm too miserable to tell or laugh at a joke is the day I know that something is seriously wrong. A sense of humour is a sign of well-being, plus it's free.
3. Be a good person: religion is not terribly popular these days and I won't talk about my beliefs but surely, we can all aspire to be good, kind and empathetic towards each other? I got rid of the TV many years ago because a) the standard of programs was getting more and more inane and b) reality TV makes me cringe and kind of breaks my heart - it celebrates cruel, nasty behaviour and anyone who considers that entertainment is frankly, slightly deranged. It also affects one's thinking on a subliminal level and I prefer to be in control of my brain.
4. Value life: why hurt anyone or anything knowingly? I fish spiders out the bath every morning and they willingly hitch a ride onto the saucer I lower towards them (they've figured out the alternative). I used to throw them out into the garden until one day, a spider that had been left behind and was still in the bathroom, literally pursued me angrily- you see, I'd thrown out his mate. Now I merely move them elsewhere in the bathroom and they decide the rest.
5. Less is more: possessions, money, things, the latest fashion, trends, keeping up appearances, are all meaningless. Life is an illusion. Contentment, the biggest prize of all, is inside our heads.