Sane New World- Ruby Wax

Books, People

sane new world

‘When you get to the end of your rope. Tie a knot and hang on.’ – Franklin D. Roosevelt

I promised a separate review on Ruby Wax’s book as it deserves one. I feel, (correct me please if you think I’m wrong), that mental health and well-being  is completely underestimated and neglected in society.

So how the hell do we address the issue? Individual responsibility? Education? Change in attitude? Awareness and media coverage? Change in policy? All of the above perhaps.

This is why I feel that Ruby Wax, her show, her book and public presence is doing something so fundamentally important as it works on these actions simultaneously. It’s candidly written from intense and dark personal experience, so rings painfully true at points and she doesn’t hold back which allows the reader to fully accept the reality for those living with mental health illnesses.

Once on board you are given, the fascinating and eye-opening facts about the brain and how it functions, how mental health issues develop and why it is so difficult to over come. What I found most intriguing is the section about mindfulness based cognitive therapy. The way it helped Ruby herself, how it is always accessible and completely in control of the individual and the potential positive impact it could have for those suffering. Though it may be a constant battle with yourself, its curiously simple and easy to start.

This is essential reading, not least because it is peppered with Ruby’s unmistakably candid humour. It is a great summary for any one suffering with poor mental health, who knows someone with mental health issues or those just curious to understand better.

Also check out her TED Talk and UK tour of Sane New World, links below:




In coversation with Arianna Huffington

Events, London, People, Uncategorized

Camera dump 08.06.2014 008

‘There is more to life than increasing its speed’ – Mohandas Ghandi

So I got to listen to Arianna Huffington speak last week. As one of the 100 most powerful people in the world, when she has something to say, its going to make waves. Hosted by the School of Life, she was interviewed about her new book ‘Thrive’ by the remarkable Tazeen Ahmed, the BAFTA nominated broadcaster.

What defines success in our modern society? Money and Power it seems. Arianna Huffington suggests there is a 3rd element often neglected. It might sound obvious to say, but what about mental and physical health and well-being? What good is money is you have no time to spend it because you are working 14 hours a day to earn it? What good is power if you’ve worked yourself into exhaustion and barely have the energy to get out of bed?

Camera dump 08.06.2014 007

Arianna Huffington had both money and power but had a rude awakening when she came to in a pool of her own blood having collapsed from exhaustion. This is not a success. What are we willing to sacrifice to obtain money/power?

So she went back to the drawing board. Retreating into the ideas of the great philosophers and inspirational figures in her life, her inspiring mother for one.

The result of all this pondering was ‘Thrive’, for which she spoke passionately and convincingly. I’m sold, life is way too short to neglect your mind and body. Thrive is on my reading list, if its on yours let me know.

Her talk will be added to the School of Life’s youtube site soon:

In the mean time check out her TED talk on the effects of sleep!

Also take a look at all the other brilliant events hosted by the School of Life here: