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As we begin a new year, perhaps the first thing we should consider refreshing is ourselves, says our editor-in-chief Michelle Ogundehin: and she doesn’t mean with spa treatments.

There is a proverb that says ‘Give me a boy until he is seven, and I will give you the man,’ the sentiment being that our characters are fully formed in those crucial early years of life: and it’s a theory backed up by contemporary psychological research. More specifically, some say our characters are dictated in those formative years by behaviours copied from our parents, or primary caregivers. Why? Because, before the age of seven, we learn intuitively, absorbing that which we observe on an emotional level, imitating without the benefit of a filter to decipher good from bad. As life progresses we accept these characteristics as ‘ourselves’. Teachers of the Hoffman Process, a personal discovery and development programme (it’s also been dubbed a psychological detox) founded by Bob Hoffman in California in 1967, believe that as a result of this, many of our adult emotional struggles are due to the disconnection between those intuitively learned behaviours and our true natures. We are not born impatient, angry, anxious, judgmental or with an inability to love; they say we are born ‘pure’ until someone teaches us to behave, or believe, otherwise.

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