listen

Have you ever noticed how awe-inspiring, joyous and rewarding life can be? 

Well, it can also be really f**king hard, desperate and crushing. Let’s face it, the only constant any of us have is ourselves. So how the hell are we going to make the most out of what we’ve got? 

As I’m writing this, the world is lurching, agonizing step by step, towards the second summer of a global pandemic. A few countries, thanks to either rigorous early measures or the vast wealth required to implement a comprehensive vaccine regime, are giddily anticipating free trade, freedom of movement and music festivals. Those nations less fortunate continue to be cowed under one crushing COVID wave after another, health services strained or snapping.




Meanwhile, impatience with lockdown restrictions mount alongside the death toll. Unrest simmers everywhere. People protest against inequality, oppression, environmental crisis. Governments around the world respond by clamping down: some brutally. Social media fuels conspiracy theories, politicians and corporations manipulate the messages, and no-one really knows what is going on – let alone what the future might hold. Humanity goes up on trial. And it’s on our watch.

Of course, what we need is a revolution. But where is that going to come from? Where’s the ideology you’re prepared to stake the future of your family on?

O. M. F. G.

listen

Have you ever noticed how awe-inspiring, joyous and rewarding life can be? 

Well, it can also be really f**king hard, desperate and crushing. Let’s face it, the only constant any of us have is ourselves. So how the hell are we going to make the most out of what we’ve got? 

As I’m writing this, the world is lurching, agonizing step by step, towards the second summer of a global pandemic. A few countries, thanks to either rigorous early measures or the vast wealth required to implement a comprehensive vaccine regime, are giddily anticipating free trade, freedom of movement and music festivals. Those nations less fortunate continue to be cowed under one crushing COVID wave after another, health services strained or snapping.

Meanwhile, impatience with lockdown restrictions mount alongside the death toll. Unrest simmers everywhere. People protest against inequality, oppression, environmental crisis. Governments around the world respond by clamping down: some brutally. Social media fuels conspiracy theories, politicians and corporations manipulate the messages, and no-one really knows what is going on – let alone what the future might hold. Humanity goes up on trial. And it’s on our watch.

Of course, what we need is a revolution. But where is that going to come from? Where’s the ideology you’re prepared to stake the future of your family on?

O. M. F. G.

Have you ever noticed how awe-inspiring, joyous and rewarding life can be? 

Well, it can also be really f**king hard, desperate and crushing. Let’s face it, the only constant any of us have is ourselves. So how the hell are we going to make the most out of what we’ve got? 

As I’m writing this, the world is lurching, agonizing step by step, towards the second summer of a global pandemic. A few countries, thanks to either rigorous early measures or the vast wealth required to implement a comprehensive vaccine regime, are giddily anticipating free trade, freedom of movement and music festivals. Those nations less fortunate continue to be cowed under one crushing COVID wave after another, health services strained or snapping.

Meanwhile, impatience with lockdown restrictions mount alongside the death toll. Unrest simmers everywhere. People protest against inequality, oppression, environmental crisis. Governments around the world respond by clamping down: some brutally. Social media fuels conspiracy theories, politicians and corporations manipulate the messages, and no-one really knows what is going on – let alone what the future might hold. Humanity goes up on trial. And it’s on our watch.

Of course, what we need is a revolution. But where is that going to come from? Where’s the ideology you’re prepared to stake the future of your family on?

O. M. F. G.

Pause.

Grab your own oxygen mask.

Take a deep breath.

Despite this backdrop people continue to do great things, amazing things, things that make the world better, more interesting, more accessible.

And that’s what this magazine is about. Sharing stories that inspire us to be that little bit braver and better ourselves. People like Kelly Smith MBE who lived through the darkest imaginable places whilst being touted as one of the world’s greatest footballers. People like Sophia Leone, battling prejudice and personal challenges in her attempts to succeed as an actor and writer. Or Darren Holtom, a postal worker in rural England, who followed his passion and now creates album art for the legends of Hip Hop.

There are the pioneers like Phil James, the founder of & Sons clothing – a brand that is challenging ‘fast-fashion’ head on and James Willstrop, a published author, singer and actor who also happened to become number one in the world at squash.

Then there are those that refuse to accept the status quo, whatever the potential cost to themselves. Alicia Barrett, Team GB Hurdler, in her article, ‘Protest In Pictures’, recollects the Black Lives Matter Protests of the summer of 2020 – and the echoes she felt of the Black Panthers movement founded, half a century ago, in the aftermath of Malcolm X’s assassination.

In ‘Selling Your Soul For Sport’, Sonia Randev throws down a challenge to a new breed of female boxers: athletes who she feels are eroding the hard yards won in the battle to gain respect and equality, in a male dominated sport, by using their sexuality to get attention at the expense of their sporting prowess.

And with Dr. Dave Alred, one of the worlds’ greatest performance coaches, we explore what it really means to refuse the limitations placed on you by others. I promise, you’ll never forget about the ‘Semmelweis Effect’ once you’ve learned his tragic story.  

These are all people, stories and ideas that inspire us. They show that you don’t have to be boxed in, labelled or controlled.  That you can cross the tracks so many times there becomes no wrong side.



However, there is a challenge when it comes to inspiration: what do you do once you’re inspired?

We’ve all heard the popular answer to that question: if you want to make things better, you start with yourself.   But that is not always easy.  “It’s important for everyone to have their own safe space”. That’s what Julien Smith, author of transformational book, ‘The Flinch’, said when I interviewed him about facing down our own fears and following our heart. I think what he meant was this: it may be important to push yourself, but it’s critical to rest, to reassess and to recover.  It’s hard to recollect a time in living memory when so many of us, at the same time, have had our capacity to thrive (or simply get through each day) put under so much pressure.

We all need to find a safe place to build our own resilience.

Back at Dair HQ we’re calling this Pilot the: ‘Oxygen Mask Edition’, because there’s a lot to be said for grabbing that mask as it drops down and taking a deep, deep breath before you try anything else.

That’s why we look closely at the medicinal power of music, explore the real goal of meditation, introduce the ancient art of QiGong and interview University professors about how to improve our Wellbeing.  For anyone with the courage to challenge themselves we’re inviting you to have a conversation with yourself and to confront your own prejudices. And when you’ve done all that we’ve thrown in a ‘feel better for free’ guarantee.

In short, we’ve done our best to pull together articles that, metaphorically, enable you to grab your own Oxygen mask. After all, the better equipped we are to help ourselves, the better equipped we are to help others.

Which brings me back to why we’re doing this magazine. Partly because we want to uncover, curate and share some amazing stories, people and ideas with you. But also, because it’s so unbelievably exciting and liberating to jump into something that sets your belly on fire, gets your mouth dry and sets your hands tingling. And if, in the process, we make a positive impact on someone then maybe we’ll have achieved something meaningful. 

Despite this backdrop people continue to do great things, amazing things, things that make the world better, more interesting, more accessible.

And that’s what this magazine is about. Sharing stories that inspire us to be that little bit braver and better ourselves. People like Kelly Smith MBE who lived through the darkest imaginable places whilst being touted as one of the world’s greatest footballers. People like Sophia Leone, battling prejudice and personal challenges in her attempts to succeed as an actor and writer. Or Darren Holtom, a postal worker in rural England, who followed his passion and now creates album art for the legends of Hip Hop.

There are the pioneers like Phil James, the founder of & Sons clothing – a brand that is challenging ‘fast-fashion’ head on and James Willstrop, a published author, singer and actor who also happened to become number one in the world at squash.

Then there are those that refuse to accept the status quo, whatever the potential cost to themselves. Alicia Barrett, Team GB Hurdler, in her article, ‘Protest In Pictures’, recollects the Black Lives Matter Protests of the summer of 2020 – and the echoes she felt of the Black Panthers movement founded, half a century ago, in the aftermath of Malcolm X’s assassination.

In ‘Selling Your Soul For Sport’, Sonia Randev throws down a challenge to a new breed of female boxers: athletes who she feels are eroding the hard yards won in the battle to gain respect and equality, in a male dominated sport, by using their sexuality to get attention at the expense of their sporting prowess.

And with Dr. Dave Alred, one of the worlds’ greatest performance coaches, we explore what it really means to refuse the limitations placed on you by others. I promise, you’ll never forget about the ‘Semmelweis Effect’ once you’ve learned his tragic story.  

These are all people, stories and ideas that inspire us. They show that you don’t have to be boxed in, labelled or controlled.  That you can cross the tracks so many times there becomes no wrong side.



However, there is a challenge when it comes to inspiration: what do you do once you’re inspired?

We’ve all heard the popular answer to that question: if you want to make things better, you start with yourself.   But that is not always easy.  “It’s important for everyone to have their own safe space”. That’s what Julien Smith, author of transformational book, ‘The Flinch’, said when I interviewed him about facing down our own fears and following our heart. I think what he meant was this: it may be important to push yourself, but it’s critical to rest, to reassess and to recover.  It’s hard to recollect a time in living memory when so many of us, at the same time, have had our capacity to thrive (or simply get through each day) put under so much pressure.

We all need to find a safe place to build our own resilience.

Back at Dair HQ we’re calling this Pilot the: ‘Oxygen Mask Edition’, because there’s a lot to be said for grabbing that mask as it drops down and taking a deep, deep breath before you try anything else.

That’s why we look closely at the medicinal power of music, explore the real goal of meditation, introduce the ancient art of QiGong and interview University professors about how to improve our Wellbeing.  For anyone with the courage to challenge themselves we’re inviting you to have a conversation with yourself and to confront your own prejudices. And when you’ve done all that we’ve thrown in a ‘feel better for free’ guarantee.

In short, we’ve done our best to pull together articles that, metaphorically, enable you to grab your own Oxygen mask. After all, the better equipped we are to help ourselves, the better equipped we are to help others.

Which brings me back to why we’re doing this magazine. Partly because we want to uncover, curate and share some amazing stories, people and ideas with you. But also, because it’s so unbelievably exciting and liberating to jump into something that sets your belly on fire, gets your mouth dry and sets your hands tingling. And if, in the process, we make a positive impact on someone then maybe we’ll have achieved something meaningful. 

THAT’S OUR REVOLUTION

THAT’S OUR REVOLUTION

There are too many people to list who have helped Mark, my partner in crime, and me bring this magazine to life but of all the friends, family and colleagues that have been instrumental in turning our dream into a reality, my most heartfelt thanks go to Flora and Rachael, our wives.  You have been our rocks. To everyone else, and you know who you are, thank you: truly and deeply.

I hope the people and pages in this magazine inspire you half as much as they’ve inspired me. Maybe they’ll light a spark in your belly, so you stop doing what you’re told when it really doesn’t sit right, maybe you’ll stop doing what you know is not helping you and start following you heart and your head to being a better you. And maybe, just maybe you’ll start your own revolution. 

A BIG P.S.

One last thing before you dive in. Of all the growing inequalities that exist in our times, few have the potential to wreak such long-term damage as the digital divide.  The irony of providing our magazine free, yet online, is not lost on us. That’s why we’re committed to playing our own part in narrowing that divide to help as many people get access to the internet as possible. And we’re encouraging you, our readers, to do the same.

You can help right now by signing up and encouraging just two friends to sign up too. That’s how revolutions start. Thank you.

For now, it’s about you. Take a weight off: your feet and your shoulders. Grab the oxygen mask. You deserve it. And so do those around you.

There are too many people to list who have helped Mark, my partner in crime, and me bring this magazine to life but of all the friends, family and colleagues that have been instrumental in turning our dream into a reality, my most heartfelt thanks go to Flora and Rachael, our wives.  You have been our rocks. To everyone else, and you know who you are, thank you: truly and deeply.

I hope the people and pages in this magazine inspire you half as much as they’ve inspired me. Maybe they’ll light a spark in your belly, so you stop doing what you’re told when it really doesn’t sit right, maybe you’ll stop doing what you know is not helping you and start following you heart and your head to being a better you. And maybe, just maybe you’ll start your own revolution. 

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  • Pilot Edition – Editors Letter 00:00

You, You and the Pandemic

It’s never too late to have a conversation with yourself.

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