Ruby strutting her stuff, (well gently bouncing on a giant green exercise ball most of the time) but bringing to life her knowledge and experience of killing off her demons, her own tendency for depression and promoting her new book ‘Sane New World: Taming the Mind.’ She gives her take on our over-busy world, bombarded as we all are by the wonders of technology. Our leisure time is devoted to emails, internet shopping, endless news, including sombre world events over which we have no control.
Her anecdotes are really funny including compulsively reading emails and even engaging with her spam! She describes a ‘bombardment of bad news’ and hates so-called experts who use phrases such as ‘This is what I’d tell Putin’, dinner party chat which includes the ‘know all’s’ with yuk conversations based on the regurgitation of their knowledge of five minutes of history.
I loved her tales of women who ‘live off the fat of their husbands’ in an endless round of what would appear to be ‘me me me’ activities. Then there were memories of her interviews and reality shows ‘Celebrity Shark Bait’ during which it would seem that, even then, her brain was noting the promoters’ need for sensationalism and exploitation while actually taking part.
However, woven through these extremes she puts the key words of change on over her cartoon charts, talks about Neuroplasticity and reads at one point from a giant text book on Neuro-Science. All the time she makes it relevant to an audience which she implies is overloaded with ‘busy’.
She gives us a five minute taste of ‘mindfulness’ that she claims to have been a key factor in her own recovery from depression. Goodness, for me there were no thoughts just silence. I’ll be doing this tonight if I can’t sleep!
Ruby acknowledges that her lifestyle and background were partly responsible for some of her life issues/depressive illness, but how her study of Neuro-Science at Oxford University and mindfulness led to her new book. There is a long queue for her book signing organised by City Books who currently stock her book.
Next day I read an article in this month’s Mslexia ‘A Healing Flame’ which quotes a survey in 2012 which revealed that 69 per cent of woman writers have been treated for some kind of mental health problem. Frankly that comes as no surprise and I have suffered from depression on and off too.
But like creative writing, what an industry it has all become. Luckily for me I decided to do an MSc in Life Course Development (a day a week at Birkbeck for four years) and later became a Master NLP Practitioner. The latter was very much in the spirit of ‘physician heal they self’.
In retrospect, however. I regard my own depression as an inevitable part of a creative life. Currently I tend to allow it to surface only in the winter (SAD) when it is cold and dismal anyway.
At such times I endeavour to make less demands on myself, I’ll do creative things in very small doses, re-string a marionette, start an edit on a film, draft a new poem, get out in the light, write my blogs, (including one on SAD) take photos. If really desperate I’ll get out my butterfly tapestry. “Oh no” my mother used to say “when that tapestry comes out I know we are in for a dull old time.” I’ve no intention of ever finishing it!