I have two more nights of performing Sane New World. It's like losing a child but the child is now 180 years old. I've done the show so often it's time I let it go, otherwise I'll be doing it in incontinence pants. (Not a pretty sight).
Last week I pushed myself too hard - I talk about knowing your tipping point and being kind to yourself in my show and, yet, last week I pushed myself right over the edge. I had done eight shows, a walk in session in the theatre and nightly book signings despite the fact I almost broke down at my friend Alan Rickman's funeral. I should have cancelled one of those things (as in signing books) but 'should' isn't helpful. Next time, I hope I can recognize when the engine starts to fail. I promise myself. I hope I listen.
In the next few months I'm starting to pilot my walk-in centres, I'm creating this mainly because people who feel 'frazzled' haven't got a space to de-frazzle. Just like AA, NA, SA, DA or any of the other 'A's' they'll have a place to meet where they'll feel safe enough to 'spill the personal beans' and compare notes. You don't have to be a 1 in 4, everyone feels the stress of living - and if it's not you ,it's a child mother, father, co-worker or friend (care-givers have almost as hard a time as the person they're caring for). I'm asked what can they do but I think you need to meet each other in the same situation, compare notes and advise each other. Half the cure is meeting your own people with the same pressures. I hope to create a buddy system so if someone wants to contact someone when things get tough, they'll be there. I'll be announcing when these centres will start to roll out so stay tuned.
Do I think I've given myself too much pressure? Yes and no. We all need a certain amount of pressure, and even stress, otherwise nothing would get done; we'd still be sitting on our prehistoric behinds, grunting at each other while sharpening our spears. I'm going to go slow with developing the walk-in centres, creating pilots to make sure the formula is right before it rolls out. I'll go slowly, slowly to make sure I'm not in my usual mode of high turbo mode where I might just crash and burn. I have to get these right and to walk the talk.
I'm also beginning to shape my book into a show, Frazzled to begin touring in April. It's pressure again but I'm passionate about mindfulness (and comedy) so I want to create that hybrid and take it on tour. I think people want to know how to cool down their brains and their kid's brains so they can act clearly rather than through that red midst of pressure where any action or decision is going to be half-assed. I hope to learn from my own shows. If it all works, it makes up for the pressure because if people watching are happy and I'm present not pressured, I'm happy. Keep an eye on my website for tour dates for Frazzled - I hope to see you all there. You are my tribe.
Ruby's new book - A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled - is out now and available in all good bookshops, as well as online.
Follow Ruby Wax on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RubyWax