I'm writing this on press night for my show Frazzled, which is running throughout June at the Leicester Square Theatre. This means the press come and write up their opinions online and in the newspaper. I am trying not to feel vulnerable this morning. I feel the echoes from childhood failures when my parents and teachers told me I wasn't good enough. I've honed and nurtured this show like a baby since my book A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled came out in paperback a year ago. I've toured it throughout the UK, Ireland and Australia and it's been the happiest time of my career; to be able to talk about something that comes straight from the heart and is something I completely believe in. I still write it in comedy speak because I speak that tongue, but underneath the wisecracks I cover what I find the most thrilling news on earth; how the mind works and how to tame it. Everyone I know complains about their wild minds and how distracted they are, too busy to be happy or content. I'm like that too so went back to University to find out who we are behind our name tags.
To me, the only way we're going to stay sane is to upgrade our minds as much as we've upgraded technology, which is doing just fine without us. We're now spending our lives trying to keep up with it. We built technology to have spare time. Now we ask what free time is? There is no meaning in the word 'spare'. There will never be a computer to tell you how to have a better life. It can only tell you how to have a faster one.
This science of the brain is not new age or something I made it up last weekend. If it was fluffy, why would it be taught at Oxford where I learnt it? Someday it won't be called mindfulness, which to me sounds way too vegetarian, and there will be more sophisticated ways to learn to lower or to raise your chemicals, not to stop feeling scared or anxious because those come with the package of being human, but we will be able to stop the anxiety about being anxious and fear about fear. It's that layering of stress that breaks us down, not the emotion itself. People complain about various crises in the world but we can't fix anything until we fix ourselves. We blame it on problems outside of us when inside of us ain't doin' so hot.
What's wrong with us? Why is it so many people (including me) feel we need to 'do' or 'have' something before we can feel happy or satisfied? I think it starts in school where you're forced to achieve something, even if you have absolutely no interest in it. And rather than teachers trying to figure out how to make something compelling, which can be done, they shove it down your throat even harder. So now you're getting used to chasing some rabbit that's always out of reach and if we got this caught it, we would have to chase something else because we're trained to always go after something. We should stop and think what that 'something' we're after is exactly. If someone writes a bad review it shouldn't matter because doing my show makes me happy and that should be enough.
But still I hope I don't get a terrible review.
Ruby is on tour in the UK throughout 2017 with her #Frazzled Show. Find her at the Leicester Square Theatre in London throughout June. Tickets are still available -
If you want to be the first to know more about Ruby's research into mental health when her new book is published, as well as exclusive news, special offers and other things that might be useful to you, just tell Ruby where to get in touch.
Want to learn more about mindfulness, and being conscious of your feelings? You can buy Ruby's no. 1 best selling book A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled online and from all good bookshops.