Would you like to know what I have learned? Maybe, just maybe, there is a certain strength in weakness. Anyone who has had a family member with Cancer knows very well that this disease will push you to - and beyond - your emotional limits. But maybe such pain is a reality we must all be prepared to experience in some form?
I hope that by sharing my story and helping prompt the start of a conversation about bullying, other people may feel empowered to share their own story or make an effort to not turn a blind eye to bullying. One of the greatest maintaining factors of silence, making others aware of what's going on and seeking support can enable individuals to get through being bullied.
With more and more research showing that mental health is worsening in our schools and that this problem poses serious long-term costs of as much as £105billion a year, then now is the time to be innovative, look at what's working and act. It's time to start piloting mindfulness in our schools, and measure its success.
One of the most useful skills I learnt during over a decade in prison was to be thankful that things weren't even worse. In psychology this is known as comparing down and helps make you grateful for what you have. Comparing down was a skill that I learnt in New Zealand's toughest maximum-security prison, Paremero.
What do you think the purpose of education is? If you agree things need to change, what will you do about it? Whether you're a headteacher or a class teacher, at any stage of education, whether you're a parent, or a pupil, you have the power to make a difference in the small daily deliberate actions you take.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25th April left the country reeling, killing over 8,000 people, injuring more than 18,000 and leaving 2.8 million people without homes. There was much talk that this earthquake was expected, but it seems that no amount of preparedness will be enough to keep pace with the increasing disaster risk...
I have a bugbear, and that is the way resilience is described as simply bouncing back. Here is the thing. We all bounce back from the rubbish life throws at us one way or another. That in itself is not resilience. Resilience is the way we adapt and respond to the rubbish life throws at us. This will either strengthen or weaken your resilience over the years.
When I stereotype the American startup founders I've met in London, I notice the gene that they seem to share with Penny - that American go-getter "shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" mindset. (Somewhere, my British friends are rolling their eyes at that cheesy quote.) Americans don't seem scared of their own idealism, whereas in British culture, I find brazen optimism often equated with stupidity.