NB: I know Cat Stevens has changed his name to Yusef Islam but as Cat Stevens was his stage name during this period, I've chosen to use that name. This is another musical treat. Cat Stevens wrote the sound track to an amazing, life-affirming film...

Chris Guillebeau was my first example of what was known at the time as 'lifestyle design'. A sexy little phrase which ultimately means designing your life, home, work, career etc to suit your own needs. A way of 'opting out' of the system. This concept...

Selina Barker is the ultimate cheerleader - a bubbling fountain of enthusiasm and encouragement. The reason she is included in this list is that she was the one who helped me to break down the 'book writing barrier' I had constructed in my head. Although...

I had Thomas Moore's incredible book Care of the Soul on my 'to read' pile for about three years before I actually got to it. And when I finally did pick it up, I couldn't put it down - I read it from cover to...

Susan Piver is the woman who finally got me to meditate. She runs a meditation programme called The Open Heart Project, where she sends out a 10 minute guided meditation twice a week. This has completely transformed my life - because of this wonderful generous...

I love Elizabeth Gilbert. I first discovered her when she wrote her insanely popular book Eat Pray Love - never one to do what everyone else is doing, I resisted reading it for as long as possible, thinking that it couldn't possibly live up to...