Ruby Wax, a firm friend of the Findhorn Foundation, has been re-evaluating her life during the pandemic, just like many of us. ‘We’ve just had the wake-up call of wake-up calls – that our lives weren’t a rehearsal we were casually strolling through, with a lot of tea breaks,’ she wrote on her Facebook page. The turbulence of the pandemic is one of the reasons why she’s become a frequent visitor here at The Park.
‘I needed to get out of London because sometimes my head feels like it’s in a tight visor of pressure. I feel fear in the air but maybe it’s my fear about what’s next? I think now might be a good time to re-evaluate how we want to live our lives. [In lockdown we’ve] had to make decisions fast. Decisions we’d never had to make before, like: If we could only see three people, who would they be? Who did we want to go into lockdown with? Who did we want to get out of lockdown with? Who did we really care about and want to call? Who did we never want to hear from again? We even had to think about whether we had married the right person, whether we wanted to change our lives, make peace with anyone before it was too late. Many of us realised if we did nothing and just sat it out, we’d be living like snails smearing ourselves up and down the fish tank, pointing in any which way, going nowhere slowly.’
If we could only see three people, who would they be? Who did we really care about and want to call? Who did we never want to hear from again?
Ruby, world-famous comedian and master of mindfulness, has definitely not been just sitting it out. With a new book published and a course launched that promises her as your mental health personal trainer, it’s clear she’s not been sitting still.
It’s really lovely having Ruby here as part of our community in The Park. In fact she’s promised another fundraising event, hopefully in the Universal Hall, centred on her new book and course, A Mindfulness Guide for Survival. (Watch this space, or sign up for our newsletter to find out when.)
Ruby’s six-week online course offers feature-length episodes to watch in your own time, a week apart, with Ruby helping you ‘hold the rudder straight and keep yourself afloat, no matter how turbulent the waves’. Together you’ll explore how to identify critical thoughts, know your body, unlock the power of compassion and how to use mindfulness in your everyday life.
Her book – actually more of a work book – pulls together all she learnt in her life and mental health studies before the pandemic, as well as her practice during the pandemic. An ‘evolve-yourself’ book, rather than a self-help book, she says.
In August she performed her one-woman show Frazzled here in the Universal Hall, and very generously passed all proceeds to the Findhorn Foundation as a fundraiser. It was a sell-out. Ruby worked her magic and, as always, took comedy one step further, adding a layer of science, insight and understanding of mental health to the show, while still having us laughing in the aisles.
Here’s how she described her visit to The Park for the show – and why she loves being here:
‘I’m back in Findhorn eco community – sounds very hippie but it isn’t. If I saw a yurt I’d run a mile. It’s a very state-of-the-art, wind-turbined, solar-panelled, low-carb-emissioned neighbourhood lined with gorgeous American-style shingled wooden houses; some facing the forests on one side and sea on the other. There are homes with full-length windows where you can watch 60,000 geese fly back and forth (someone counted, God knows who).
‘I’m staying in the Sunflower bed and breakfast in the heart of a ’hood called Field of Dreams. I’m sitting next to a fire playing scrabble with my kids in a sitting room that hugs you with comfort. The owner, Maria, exudes charm as she makes the kind of breakfast I always dreamt my mother could make if she knew how to cook.
I never touched dirt before but here I pick like a demon with these earth mother types cheering me on.
‘While I was researching my last book, And Now for the Good News … To the Future with Love, I tried to find the ‘green shoots’ where people were changing the world in tech, business, education, and communities. I came upon the Findhorn Foundation community, loved it, and now visit often. I got sick of people in London at dinner parties yapping on about the environment and how not-green the gas is. I thought, get off the pot or shut up! So that’s why I come here – people walk the talk, leaving a very light footprint on the planet.
‘Also, they smile when they walk by you and like you because of you, not by what you do for a living.
‘I work in the vegetable garden picking tomatoes that go to food banks. I never touched dirt before but here I pick like a demon with these earth mother types cheering me on.
‘I think the working title for the book after this new one might be: What’s Next.
I’ll get back to you when I figure it out.’
We’re guessing we won’t have long to wait. Look out for Ruby’s new book at good bookstores, and sign up for her course.
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