Now some of you may have never heard of Ruby Wax so bear with me here while I fill in the blanks. Ruby is an American comedian who has become increasingly popular due to her mental health campaigns. She has written two books on this topic in mind, Sane New World: Taming the Mind (2013) and A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled (2016) and her tour coincided with her most recent book.
Mum and I went to the showing at the Warwick Arts Centre on Wednesday and I have to admit I was a little unsure of what the evening would entail, considering I had not read her books at this point. The event was definitely an eye-opener for those who don’t suffer with their mental health but for those who do, served as a gentle reminder that they are not alone. The first half allowed us to get to know Ruby with some family stories and history including a few extracts from her book. She didn’t have the best of childhoods and has struggled with her mental health for the majority of her life but she uses this as her ‘marketing’ strategy to teach others about the importance of looking after your brain.
The snippets of comical sketches about Wax’s mother who has OCD were hilarious but also an example of how people react differently to difficult situations.
“My mother had a fear of dirt and spent most of her life on her knees chasing dustballs. Her method of child-rearing was based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales, in which children are cooked in a pie for not washing their hands before dinner, after having their thumbs snipped off for good measure.” (A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled, page 2)
Her books focus on the use of mindfulness to help bring yourself back to the present. Contrary to popular belief it is not the usual rubbish that we would expect it to be – sitting on a mountain top in the middle of nowhere meditating, nope it really isn’t that at all! Like many of us who seek help through counselling, CBT and psychotherapy Ruby wondered what benefit attending these sessions actually had. It’s all good and well trying to get help but do you really know if you are seeing the right person (yep that worried me too!) So Ruby being Ruby decided she would go and seek out the developer of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and met Professor Mark Williams at Oxford University. This encounter led to her studying a Masters at the university but I am going to be that person and say you must read her book to find out more!
During the interval, Ruby spent some time signing books and chatting with people who had come to see her. Mum and I waited right until the end as we hummed and aahed about whether to get a book, then decided at the last minute and got a quick photo!
The second half of the talk allowed for a more informal session as we could ask Ruby questions. It was a little awkward, to begin with, it went quiet and everyone looked around hoping someone would pluck up the courage to speak but thankfully a man at the front asked what her favourite colour was and it broke the ice! Many questions were incredibly deep and struck hard with how some people are struggling in silence each day. It was moving that these individuals felt that this environment was the perfect platform to make their voices known.
Ruby’s Tour Information
Website – http://www.rubywax.net/tour.html
Until next time,
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