2014 ramblings

London

Am I deliberately craving attention or am I looking for a self destruct button to let me out?

We are all the same yet so different. Every fractional indistinct difference that can be explained as minutae, yet still we don’t know how to decipher eachothers reaction.

You don’t get to control another. Not truly. Not if you are to be authentic as they say. You know when you try how guilty you actually feel.. how its empty and doesn’t sate the need buried within. That craving for something real and whole and unforced. Truly worth having and a true struggle. How to pick the battle, the good fight? Maybe ignorance is bliss you know. To start simple over complicate and then re simplify would be the dream, but how many truly escape the over complicated middle one the first step is made? Its intoxicating…. So many false promises. Happiness around this final corner, just jump this last huddle. It will taste so sweet. You know it will be worth it. Blind leading the blind of course. Devil leading the weak and weary, desperate and dreary.

Do I fear loss or failure or incompetence or lack of omnipotence? I know that all these are correct even now so why fear what is not hidden? Its known. Perhaps the scarier is what is known, potential being fulfilled. The thought that actually, you know what there is no dividing line. You walk were ever you place your feet. One small step. All it takes is one small step.

One foot in front of the other. Just define that step and make it boldly. Imprint in the dirt and rubble, so it is known you tread here. Perhaps not one has tread here before. How magically terrifying would that be. Charting the unchartered. To look or to close ones eyes? Random or considered? Big risk equals biggest reward and biggest failure and heartbreak. One must not be afraid to put every last heartbeat out into the world for it to be seen, because when that energy reverberates off the universe it creates a vibrancy. You are what you put out into the world, more simply the energy you allow to escape you. Don’t be selfish. Get it out there are let it impact and shape. Where you stand and allow your energy to mould, you will be left here. Don’t be only impacted. Take the ying and the yang. Give and receive. Embrace the duality and the unity, the paradox. The weakness in strength.

Change you mind and change it often young mind. It’s to be stretched and tested and blown and battered. See how you fare. You can’t truly be stuck to anything if you never do what you fear. Be that freak. Own it. In every way.

~~~

Streams and streams of consciousness. To write is to record, to place importance on what is happening, to notice. PAY attention. Live through it, breath it. Pull on that thread.. see if it sticks. Yank. Dare to tear it apart and unravel to whats underneath.

Punish me. I can take it. Let me build my strength against your cruelty and coldness. I’ll build a Furnace in ode to you. It will warm and burn bright. In opposition to you I will love deeper and cleaner and clearer. My light will shine brighter and whiter and electrify every corner of the space between. You won’t even be able to look away, with my back to you. Walking away and towards my brighter light. You crawl and clamber in this direction. You dig those nails in. I will LOVE you. With every finger tip and inch of my skin, a love you cant even place nor replicate nor question. There for the taking, the breaking. Test it, shake it. Rip it through, revel in the destruction of its beauty, because you cant snub it. It will never wither. The truth of it will outlast me and you and us and will define this space I am.

What is this desperate yearning? Why is I never enough? I want more, how can I be so naïve and foolish. I have never encountered such battles. I fight desperately not to be overcome, to be engulfed by the grey taste of failure and darkness. How do I describe this pain? This desperation. Not being able to fix, to soar to where I want to be? Focus inwards. Inwards. Inwards. There is nothing out there for you until there is nothing left inside to wrestle. Fragile please. I want to stay that way. I don’t care if it hurts more. To harden would be the ultimate failure in my eyes. To fear honesty and truth and shattering.

When one has an experience like the one this past weekend its difficult to know where to go from there. I feel like a moron or a drama queen even trying to explain the significance of thinking in such a different and uninhibited way. The dots connected in a way that I could barely comprehend. Everything just made sense. I saw everything as it was and as it should be and emotionally was able to comprehend it all too.

Constantly overwhelmed. Sometimes I consider if ignorance is bliss? To live unmoved by the plight to better oneself and to test and forge yourself.. Perhaps. But there is no turning back now.

TURN INWARDS. COMPETE WITH YOURSELF. Remember the 2 wolves darling. The one that wins is the one that you feed. Feed yourself. Build yourself, shine bright and bold and brave ok?

~~~

Also reading into the occult… I see what Kugan wants here.. to be party to the hidden. For only some folk. He is striving for meaning and belonging just like the rest of us ey. Turn inwards I say. And be wary of trying to hold onto anything… My eye opening experience showed me that much. The clearest thing was the ever changing cyclical, futility of everything. As soon as you try to grab hold you encounter struggle and pain and expectation and desire and the illusion of safety. When actually the seriousness of it all is that its all a dark joke. There is nothing if you keep looking. It’s a void, an abyss. Which in and of itself is a relief, a release no? You can surrender without expectation, and roll with it and enjoy the meaningless futility whilst doing what you can and what you want. It is such a relief I must say.

~~~

And here I am back again… circular. It is all circular. No motivation. I’m sure it will all be fine later.. with a bit of distraction. Why does it feel as though my guts have been compressed and yanked up into my throat?

Its cruel. Who created us this way? Huh. All I ask is a little rest… a moment to breath. I’m well aware that it is all a test.. but what is the prize? I don’t want it.. is it Immortality? Death? Freedom? Love? Power? Fear?

Those  eye openers ey… opening up all these doors. Stepping into the unknown each time.. maybe I should tread into the known.. it is safe and quiet there? Or have I gone too far? Opened the can of words? Let it all gush uncontrollably out. Under the compression of the bell jar. So much now makes sense.. some tragic and some beautiful, and yet they are just the same thing. 2 sides of the same coin no doubt. The futility and the significance.

Always finding a new thing to suffer through. I need to focus on satisfaction no? authentic ways to be satisfied? Happy with myself? How do I do that then ey?

  1. Hold still. Turrnnnn inwards. There is no need to explain your actions. Just do what you have to do. Be brave. Take the step. Move on… It is what needs to happen. For now. Cut out the toxic part of you. Be free and alone. Can you do it? I think you can. And this may well be the only way to find out. Will it tear you apart? Only time will tell.

~~~

To be here.

To see

To accept

Is to love.

I am.

Act out of fear or out of love? To force or to hold still? To become aware? I think its too late. I am a curious creature… I want to push the limits of my reality. I maybe want to go insane? To go insane is to see your true limits. Not to be confined by one realm, by one dimension. Turn inwards. Your power knows no bound. You learn quicker than you can possibly manifest.

Is there even a right or wrong way? We are the creator and the created.

The world we want to live in has not been created yet. We need to create our own reality, not the one superimposed by the people we allow to rule us and to impose the reality that serves them.

Be the change you want to see.

Give me a place to stand and I will move the world.

The pen is greater than the sword.

That’s a lie.

You can create post destruction. But why not skip the destruction and move straight to the creation.

Awareness is a beautiful thing. To awaken is to take responsibility.

Those who hold the pen hold the power.

Once you begin… there is no turning back. Don’t allow those who are aware strip you of your awareness. That power struggle need not exist. We can all be collectively conscious. There is no battle, no competition. Its an illusion a separation from the self, unity, oneness. I don’t know what happens when we are all aware. I would like to know… to believe to understand.

Yet, at the same time I’m aware that I am exactly where I need to be right now.

I am in complete power and control.. yet I cannot change a thing. The wheels have been set in motion for the biggest adventure.. experiment… play time that could possibly be conceived.

Everything in this universe feels beneath.. like repetition.. like what could be learnt has been and that the pace of learning could be hastened by throwing myself head first into new and scary.. that juxtaposition of fear and desire. Grounding you to the spot. Only when the time is right. I trust by purest form, my aware being that I am.

From every moment, if you are present, for I mean that is all that truly exists, if you are here, the learning becomes greatest. And to look within yourself.. the learning becomes purest.

To meditate. To create the awareness of the self.

All of this writing… leaking, dribbling, falling out before I can catch it. I can’t stop the motions now. I’m excited for the ride. Facing my fears as the reach out for me. I’m pretty determined.

I worry that I have maybe constructed this reality as a way to be content, to justify my actions and inaction, a purely subjective perspective. Not to push myself but to accept. If that freedom or ultimate imprisonment? Does it even matter?

So can I even begin to explain, will my perception change? Of course it will. I know nothing. I know myself. I know that there is no such thing as the self. Peculiar. What is even left then I’d ask? Just ultimate awareness. A decider. All possible outcomes are available until a choice is made. And we are now aware of our choices. But would we even make different choices if we knew we had a choice?

Just be here. Like water? Formless, but able to take on and shape any vessel we see fit. Ultimate control, with ultimate freedom. To freeze is to hold force and power and the ability to destruct.. to evaporate… is to form into chaos. Deliberate but no pressure. Just where it needs to be. Oh bruce lee. :)

I quite like to treat everyone as manifestations of myself. It reinforces the idea that you need to love all and love yourself, because they are inseparable. A universal truth, the golden rule. The key? The key. Move with, not against the flow. WATER.

I’d like a clean bill of health.

The revisionists dilemma.

To read and write of ones own free will is a gift of true freedom if there ever was one.

~~~

My theory… once a human has created a new thing, a new process. Automate. Machines are made to repeat. Humans to consciously create. Until we create human machines, that is. Creul? Maybe. Inevitable. I feel so. To hold on to anything even our human form is just to create suffering. Empower people to replace themselves.. to destroy themselves.??! Well it doesn’t have to be destroy. It could be limit the destruction and increase the productivity and creativity so as not to need destruction. To make way for a something beautiful.

The world we want to live in has not been created yet. We all have the power and responsibility to create our own reality. To start a new tribe? Are all tribes doomed to fail?

Can we learn from block chains? No central service… mathematical proof… central services are on their way to obsolescence.

Silence speaks a thousand words.

~~~

Writing… on a blank canvas feels like freefalling. The excitement and the sheer unknown. Nervousness and anticipation. True, pure creativity pouring out unabridged. I can think of no simpler freedom and pleasure.

Input, output, perception, reflection…

In breath, out breath,, to see. Complete unity and balance. Oneness. It is breathtaking.

Mercury in retrograde.. what a great time for reflection. No decisions to make. Just observe the mind scramble. And unwind.

~~~

Don’t be a writer, be writing…William Faulkner.

Theres a balance that needs redressing. Why do I find it such a leap of faith to begin? I think part of me refuses to believe that it is this simple. Just how simple life truly is. Input, output, reflection, perception.

My writing is not what I’d ever imagined. I don’t even understand where the form came from. It is to convince myself that I exist.. that I am a creator and that maybe is enough. If your heart is broken create art from the pieces.

There is pain and torture behind true art… A story so to speak. Even if that is the anguish of inadequacy, feeling as though you don’t have a right to tell your story.

Admitting that you know nothing and are not trying to express what you do not know… that’s when you can see true art.

You create a space between us.. which I continue to fill creating myself in your vacuum. Perhaps there is no use in kindness. I mean how would I ever learn. I pray for a inch of attention, a side ways glance and warm embrace… and I never find it. But I learn to embrace myself. For some reason the warmth eludes me though. Perhaps that is the next lesson.

It is the tension that creates motion.. the force of energy that propels me. So perhaps that is why I knock myself against it time and time again. Without it I feel empty and void and blank. That’s what scares me the most.. that the light fades so quickly alone. The feelings become mere echos until I don’t even remember what created them in the first place, let alone feel them.

It’s the silence… the calm the being that feels scary. Suspended, weightless. Hyper sensitised. Knowing that I am the ultimate controller of the next moment. Its easier to create force by crashing into new and shiny. To spiral, vortex away. Carried away. You’ve let go.. and you let the wind pick you up and fling you to anywhere.

Whats not so easy is to sit. In the silence and feel like an immense dead weight. The inner battle to make yourself move.. and be completely accountable for each step. That’s paralysing.

12/11/2014

Today feels hard. :( I think I’m going to have to hibernate a small part of myself as it recovers.. I just feel a bit tired. Weary. Silly. I don’t do silly things. But I did the silliest thing apparently. I’m only here. And it is exactly where I need to be. The steps being taken feel cyclical and without heart. A calm glide.

I can’t know. And even if I could it doesn’t matter. Why are we confined to this realm even as we become aware and start to push out. Surrender to a higher power. Impatience is a foolish arrogance. Everything you need is right here my sweet. Every decision you’ve made, everything that you have impacted has been a necessary footstep on your unique path. Refrain from being petulant. Stay grateful for what you have. Recreate your history… tell yourself a new story. How will you look back to here?

It was the most stimulating, growth period of my life. All good things arose from this year. Every foundation was laid. Diligently lay each structure with purpose and intention and care. With love. You are pure awareness. A benevolent graceful observer.

02/12/2014

Supremely grateful for everything that I have at this moment. The clarity, the resources, the opportunities. We seem to be destined for exponential connectedness and unity in the near future. At least as I see and feel it. The tumbling, rolling, gathering pace. From every source, once defiant and stubborn.. power is being minutely relinquished in even the most unexpected places. I do have faith. This is the cycle of all things. Its so reassuring that the world works in such beautiful perfect form. Such predictability if only you truly see all that is there at every level in every moment. There is merely an illusion of imbalance. In fact we are blindfolded, calm, present, walking along confidently. If only we return to what we know. That I am.

~~~

To write. Be writing, not a writer. So I shall begin. Not knowing where I am going particularly, just wondering, wandering. My mind stalls. Each time I contemplate. Unfamiliar with the concept of just allowing the words to stream out like the glugs of wine into a crystal clear vessel. Why stalling? Self-indulgent perhaps. Maybe I’d like to know the destination. I would like some guidance please? Anyone… no. all alone. So I guess I will just have to travel and create this all on my own. Laziness. What defines this? I feel like it’s a falsehood. All it is, is the prioritisation of things. These grubby grapes need washing.. but I’m not yet hungry enough to get up and do that. Should I? Need I? Must I? No. nothing is compelling me one way or the other. And that is ok. Other people’s expectations define what should and shouldn’t be done and when, but when you take a second and ask yourself what you actually must do right this second I find nothing. Just a blank canvas. Each action tumbling, moment by moment. Zeno’s paradox. Movement is an illusion. So perhaps each moment and the moments that pre and proceed it are illusions. Given time may be one of our dimensions we observe travel along an axis. A linear plane of time, past present, future. From the 5th Dimension… one could observe all of space and time in one glance. If those beings can glance that is. The film interstellar was a mesmerising representation of this. Our perceptions are so incredibly strong. They have convinced us of our limited place in this universe and confined us to it. History is the story of information becoming aware of itself. That seems to follow. As we bound along the meta-knowledge.

So, as always people question the relevance of these philosophical musings. The problem is that the answer to that question is a compounding paradox that leads you into the circle inside the square inside the circle. There are no answers for us in the conventional sense. To continue to look outside your own awareness is a futile. Not futile. I take that back. But it is an equivalent method to looking within. Both methods are equally futile perhaps!

Maybe we are asking the wrong questions. It is not why? In fact I don’t know what to replace that with. Perhaps asking questions in and of itself is not the answer. The question is the answer, the answer is the question. So often we see 2 equal and opposites from the perspective of just one. We see the good, not bad, light not dark, mystery not clarity. When in fact they are one and the same thing. Within one you find the purest form of the other. Within the black hole you find the singularity. Defiant of all reasonable separatist logic. We seem unwilling to let go. To take our minds to the ultimate extreme. Murphy’s law. We want to hold on to something we feel we know. Safe in some knowledge right? When we know deeper down that we could ever articulate that the wisest acknowledge they know nothing… and that all we can possibly know is that we are aware and present. I am.

Language seems to me to have the ultimate power but also its own crippling inherent weakness. It attempts to cross a chasm for which it is not equipped. The best start building bridges. Create moments of pure connected consciousness where the secrets of the universe are revealed to the discerning perceiver. Many are fleeting, only noticed by the subconscious. Drowned out by the intense and suffocating material mirages, these subtleties lay dormant waiting to be uncovered, reconnected.

~~~

Virginia Woolf. I’d like to dive into her work.

Oceans feel symbolic to me at the moment. They seem to be a perfect metaphor for consciousness. With the waves of emotion.. the cyclical churn of the material self.. at the surface. Endless depths below, which when fully immersed the surface waves barely noticeable. The beauty, serenity, peace and unity as you sink below. Having let go. It need not be a raging battle to stay afloat. No need for fear of the unknown darkness. Nor need it be a desperate race to the bottom, using every last ounce of strength to ‘win’, only to find that there is nothing to be won, just more infinite depths to travel. Instead let it be a paced and perfectly released float into oneself, as we are ready, no sooner, no later.

In the vein of the obstacle is the way… my favourite imagery of sadness, depression even, is that of a black hole, a sphere of impenetrable darkness in our hearts. A sphere which cannot be squashed no matter how hard we try. Our expended energy wasted. The first thoughts from dearest Hanita which pulled me out of the depths of sadness was if the hole cannot be shrunk that expand its context. Create a life, a world around it that is so vibrant and fulfilling that the black hole pales in comparison. This truly worked for me temporarily. The faint melancholy was still there.. but like a black hole the closer I got to it.. focused on it the more it wanted to drag me in, deeper still. Perhaps then the key is to let go… to allow yourself to fall into the black hole, into the unknown and that, that is where you will find your singularity, your salvation. Contained in there is the universe. Nuit & Hadit. Returning to the creation of the black hole… it is a gravitational collapsing. Quite astounding and on an emotional level beautiful and compelling. To be able to create such a thing in the first place would require a dying star. Breath-taking to consider.

~~~

08/12/2014

Listening to Tim and Rolf this morning, I felt sad and perhaps a little guilty as they discussed their experiences as writers. The personal struggles they feel trying to ‘bash’ out their thoughts. Perhaps I’m doing it wrong, or what I’m producing is not of the quality or resonance they strive for, but my experience of writing so far is the complete antithesis. Surprising myself even, the words and thoughts and feelings flow as though a voice speaking to me/through me and form naturally in front of me. I am not restricting myself in anyway, however, so our end goals are very different. They are trying to convey, connect, and relate information in a way that helps as many people as possible. To tell a story. It perhaps cannot afford to be a meander through the woods, along a stream, pause to feel the grass in between their toes. Optimising for efficiency comes to mind. I guess my approach so far is of vagabonding through my writing. Collecting experience as I go to, weave into my consciousness and my story. Ultimately it is my playground, my experiment and any benefit to others is secondary. Perhaps this will change as I evolve. I do very much want to improve my writing, of course. There is just something in being present in writing too, to allow what is to be, and not to will it to be something from the past or expect it to provide for a future.

There is such a wealth of untapped knowledge that I seem to be finding by simply reading/writing/listening. I am so grateful and relieved even to understand the ways in which this allows me to unravel and remake myself in my own little mental laboratory.

~~~

There is a little hollow,

I can’t quite locate.

I stumble into it occasionally,

As if it were fate.

I catch myself curious,

Willing myself to peer in.

Against some other judgement

My reflection leering.

Equal parts curious

Terrified and daring.

Eyes shut, diving in,

Taken under my own wing.

~~~

I worry but then I don’t. flit between micro emotions, between breathes maintaining balance. I think it’s dangerous how similar depression is from contentment is to psychopathy. The blankness, the emotional blankness. The minutest difference in perspective really. Disempowered to accepting to rational self-satisfaction. I feel the reality between these are far closer than we could possibly imagine. We have so much more in common that we often hope. The egg dialogue. Just a mind bendingly simple way of understanding that we are merely a separation of ourselves.. of god and the entire journey is just to become ourselves and become one once again. So much left to learn, to experience, and when were through we begin once over. The ultimate cycle of reincarnation.

So for now I fill my brain with all the things. Soak up and trust in my intuition to guide through this journey of a thousand faces.

The impenetrable fog that engulfs me right now. I weighs heavy on my eye lids. Sedating and immersive. My mind is contradictory. There is the urge to help and serve others. Yet the understanding that we are all where we need to be, and given a true understanding of the nature of our universe, we are mere awareness traversing these paths. The content does not change, we take the path least travelled to fill in the own growing collective consciousness. To get us closer to being reborn. Are we entitled to know the secrets of the universe? Is it for us to know?

The sea in which we’ve dipped the toe of perception is vastly inadequately equipped to handle such depth and awe. Even fully submerged, in this place we are not made to understand. Perhaps collectively we evolve to, and to Sheldrake’s point as a species we expand our blueprint. There is a memory that is ever expanding to accommodate the exponential accumulation of information. We are chronically alone, yet can only succeed in unity.

~~~

Sometimes I have a surge of gratitude for the people in my life.

I look deep in to the future… what do I feel, what do I see?

I think mostly it’s a sense of freedom to exercise my will.

To have crossed paths with people who have touched me and connected in the space between.

I see a richness of experience and wisdom interwoven with courage and grace and humor.

A fulfillment of my potential and a deep understanding and awe of the universe and my place in it.

Wonder at the little things, quick to help and quick to forgive.

I want to have curiosity always, willing and able to listen and learn in every moment.

To leave a legacy of sorts… at least a better world than I entered.

Magicians control over my states and that of those around me.

Deeply wondered over the face of our world, travelled as many paths un touched as possible.

Making smaller circles.

Its interesting what comes back round to make sense in a whole new way.

2 things define us in life. Our patience when we have nothing and our attitude when we have everything.

~~~

14/12/14

Today I am sedate. Carb loaded and heavy. I feel worried about disappearing down a rabbit hole and loosing grip of the rope that I found and have been inching up, slowly, towards the light.

I’m almost at the point of subconscious submersion once again. Where my instincts are primal and less combative. I am not wrestling as much with ideas and challenging and reworking each iteration. Perhaps this is the process of making smaller circles. At some point you have to let go, get sucked back and see where you land. From this new place how long can you walk without being disturbed?

I was mad today for a while with Hanita. An accusatory snap at my presumptuousness had me reeling. It wasn’t unfounded, but I took real offense at my intuition being questioned. I have absolute faith in that part of me that just knows, but its moments like these that reminds me that there is no obligation for others to follow. That is where the art comes in. That is part of why I feel an intense pull to share as I write, not churn in self-obsessed circles. Perhaps that is my newly discovered extrovert component. My energy to continue comes from some aspect of validation. I don’t care much for what others think, but intrinsically I want to share rather than hoard, no matter what the consequences, partly because it echoes my need to truth and honesty in every instant possible.

It disappointed me, mainly because I am aware that my empowerment and esteem comes from within as I firmly hold and for it to slip so fast indicated that are many more facets yet to unpick. Every time I consider if I can pause, I am given reassurance that if my curiosity is still as potent, there are numerous more doors to open. Exponential growth. Always. There is so much that still burns a passion so deep.

I crave connection, but it’s becoming more controlled and disciplined the more I play. Each encounter I feel is rounding out my nerves and I am excited for what the future potential holds. I have many a lesson to take. I have seen and felt the furthest potentials capable. I just plan to tumble in their genera direction and see what I pick up on my way.

One thing at a time… Make smaller circles. Discipline. Going deeper… part of me wants to sink into one thing more deeply… and my natural state wants to skim the surface across an ocean. Perhaps there is no right answer with this. I’m certain there isn’t.

There was a real tension today that I didn’t admire in myself. I’d like that to dissipate quicker next time.

~~~

22/12/2014

Is there a time that one shouldn’t write? Or is it a given that it will always be a way of revealing yourself.. and that is no bad thing? I get this rusty reluctance sometimes to do anything that my will does not draw me to enthusiastically. I worry that I am striding off into a direction on a whim not certain if it’s to find something or lose something.

My desires and fears are calmed to a slight simmer. The cards reassure me that abundance is due. I lean in dutifully to the inner tranquillity to explore and understand. I wonder if The Head (Kugan) is wrong about joy. That it is the natural state for us. I think its perhaps closer to acceptance and wonder. The mind is a fickle companion. It will sooner work for you as against.

There is something in being able to train both mind and body for the on demand discipline and release that is the potential of our pure awareness. They are merely tools to be optimised and vessels to be filled for a greater purpose. Neither my mind nor my body seem to be working in my favour right this moment. My body is lethargic, undisciplined and anticipating. My mind observant and dormant. Dormant is the right word.

There is a lot of settling to be done in my mind and just so many depths of myself to traverse. I think I may need to connect with gratitude and joy again.

  • Think of the year ahead. There are countless opportunities to excel through a dizzying vortex of experience. Much in line with the last but more in my own control and awareness.
  • Explore new places, with new people. That excitement of falling in love with things. Like NY or Berlin

09/01/2015

Thoughts

I think that our reality in time and space is a sedative for the truth about what we are actually universally experiencing.

I am shaking, clammy. Is there such a thing as over stimulation? Or a reality that we are just not meant to know, that we cannot handle? Not for us.

About 10 minutes ago, standing on the escalator up at London Bridge station I had the distinct and alarming suspicion that I was going to evaporating, disintegrate, absolve into the apparent space around me. Having read the first few pages of the introduction of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, I was overwhelmed with absolute certainty of the universal truths.

I’m convinced that there are infinite ways to experience this now. Not just meditation. Sorry vipassana. You’re not my only way. You are not the way. Also perhaps you are not the complete way. I guess I will have to find out.

Comments re: deification

God created us in his image. Wrong.

We created god in our image. Sneaky feeling that this is more likely.

When once we created such distant creatures as Zeus, Thor etc. Entirely narrative, external conceptual, mythical. Absolve us of all our power and responsibility.

Next we deified Jesus, prophets, Buddha. Slightly more of this world. One step removed from complete imaginary fiction (excuse my poor attempt to articulate this). Perhaps attainable, recognisable. These icons endured for millennia.

Now we are peeling, cracking these a tad further. Rather than figures of the past, saintly, pious ones we pedestal the likes of Ghandi, Mother Teresa right down to Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah etc. I mean they are real. You can almost touch them. In the one reality we slowly focus our perception, melt away our illusions.

Here’s a prediction for you. Our gods will become closer… and closer… and a little closer still. Until, we accept and are conscious of the truth that we, me, you, all of us are our own creators. That they are just a reflection of what we chose not to accept within ourselves. That the universe is a pure reflection of itself, just a separation from itself.

Don’t mind me… just pivoting this blog thing.

London

Like water.

The thoughts gushing through my head,

Physical surges, uncontrollably pulsing through each limb

I know how to do this, don’t I? Yet I am reluctant to allow myself to compose.

Why do I allow this torture to manifest?

Logic slips through my grasp as though liquid, never contained

Insanity. It must be. My one chink. The crevice through which the darkness peers

To fail is to succeed? So I allow myself to fail. Over and over and over and over and over.

Heaviness locked into the space around my chest. Compressing, enclosing, suffocating.

Time is not waiting. Why won’t it wait for me to learn this lesson?

It is unfair. Cruel to trickle away so sneakily. No compromise. Like water boiling and evaporating into the ether.

I worry, I think, I project. Everything a reflection of my weaknesses and sweaty palms

To scare oneself each day is a good thing no? I’m not sure I can handle it nor he.

Interview part. 2

A little about me

The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.’ – George Bernard Shaw

Hello lovely folks out there. Hope this post finds you well. I thought it was probably time for another interview with myself. Mainly for myself to take stock of where I am and how things are going, so here it goes. (Kenan and Kel flashback: Just in case you’d like to relive it. I just did.)

Me: Welcome back!

Metoo: Why thank you, its rather nice to be here, where ever we are pretending here is.

Me: Well, we could say we were anywhere right? So I’ll say we are in a tree house, in a Scandinavian Forest, at dusk.

Metoo: nice.

Me: so how are things? Whats the craic?

Metoo: you know what, mad busy. But great! I feel like I’m on an accelerated learning curve at the moment and everyday just seems to throw another great opportunity to take something from. Which is great, but I have not stopped. Saturday was the first day in about 3 months where I just stayed at home. With no plans. Did nothing. It was bizarre. I felt the need to schedule my free time… I worry myself sometimes. 

Me: you worry me too. You need to learn how to relax and appreciate the down time. Whats been keeping you busy?

Metoo: Well as I previously mentioned, I’m planning on leaving my current job in September, so I have been racing against myself to have a bunch of things to do then. I’ve also been socializing a hell of a lot. Specifically, I’ve been going to a bunch of Esc the City events, for whom I now guest blog and help host events, which has been awesome. I’ve also been looking for work that inspires me. So applied to a cool start up, looked internally where I am, for a role more suited to what I want to do (education based), chatting to all my wonderful friends about my ideas etc. Reading a shit ton. Like I can’t actually read enough right now. I’m writing this post as efficiently as possible so that I can get in a solid hour of bedtime reading.

Me: geeze. do you ever stop?! What are you reading at the mo/have you read in the last few weeks?

Metoo: Well I’m currently reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington which is amazing. Packed full of wisdom about how to redefine success (so far I have taken 3 things from the book. meditate, sleep and walk; maybe basic, but completely underestimated and wonderfully simple to incorporate in to our lives). I just finished Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull the co-creator of Pixar. Seriously, it is now my management ideal bible. If I never read another management book again it will be ok, because this defines the environment I want to work in and cultivate where ever I end up. I also finished Sane New World by Ruby Wax and the Escape Manifesto by the guys who set up Escape the City. Another 2 exceptional reads. I really need to get back into reading some fiction though. So once I’m done with Thrive and then Risk by Dan Gardner :$ I will be taking a little break from non-fiction.

Me: dare I ask whats on your reading list at the mo…?

Metoo: seriously do not. There are about 40 books on there right now and I keep adding to them. I downloaded 5 more books on to my nook over the weekend. I have a habit. I need help. Is there a self help group for obsessive readers? :S But as a little sneaky teaser (mainly because I’m lazy and may never get round to writing blog posts for them all, soz guys.) I will be reading A Moveable Feast by Earnest Hemingway, Margrave of the Marshes by John Peel, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia MarquezThe Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin and On the Shortness of Life by Seneca… after Risk… at some point. Maybe I need to take a year out of life and just read solidly.. is that a thing?

Me: erm… it is a thing. But most people will judge you and think you’re a bat shit cray my friend. Listening to you is exhausting! Does your mind ever stop?

Metoo: No. not really!

Me: hmm. what do you do to relax?

Metoo: well I started yoga this year which has been utterly trans-formative. It opened up the door to meditation and general connecting the mind and body so I really hope to continue/increase my practice A LOT. I am currently appallingly inflexible. Boo. Also I listen to a lot of music. Omg. you musttttt check out some Nils Frahm. Seriously. Stop what you are doing right now and listen to this:

Nils Frahm- Says

Me: okokok! I’m listening…..

Dam. I have no words.

Metoo: I know. I KNOW. He is playing the Barbican in the Autumn and the tickets are sold out. I am gutted. Oh one other weird thing. Or at least everyone I’ve told seems to think its weird. I’m considering/am planning on going on a 10 day silent meditation retreat later this year. Where you meditate for 10 hours a day… you don’t speak to anyone else. You aren’t even allowed to bring writing/reading materials with you.

Me: not going to lie. sounds freaking weird bud, like you’re torturing yourself. Why are you going doing this?

Metoo: well. I want to learn to meditate. Well. Intensively. The more you do it the better, you can’t over meditate. So the discipline of the center will force you to be comfortable with yourself, face the parts of yourself that you usually mask or run away from. I’m curious more than anything…

Me: ohh kayyyyyy. well you let me know how that goes won’t you!

Metoo: of course :)

Me: a couple of final questions my friend. 1. How are you feeling about all the imminent changes about to happen in your life? 2. Is there anything you’re going to miss about this old life?

Metoo: hmm. well 1. How I’m feeling now is approx. 70%- relief/excitement/enthusiasm and 30%- like I’m standing on the edge of cliff about to jump off, not knowing if I’m going to figure out a way to sprout wings before I hit the ground. It’s completely exhilarating and nerve wracking in equal measure, but I feel that I’m slowly getting addicted to that bizarre feeling. So much so that I try to do something that scares me each day and I deliberately do things differently just to see what happens. It’s fun. :) for example I gave away an £80 ticket to Blogstock today for free to a lovely lady who I spotted on Twitter who wanted to go and could no longer afford it. Felt right. What can I say. Sure its a bit mental. But as a wise friend always reminds me; ‘It’s only money, right?’. Right. 2. I am going to sorely miss the people that have pulled me through the last few months. I am surprised each day by their kindness and wisdom and support. I give my firm something, they pick the good eggs. Other than that, honestly, no. The money, security, the kudos just doesn’t excite me. I’m worried about not having it, sure, but its not the end goal I want so it doesn’t motivate me at all. 

Me: I lied, one more question; What are you looking forward to over the next couple of months?

Metoo: Oh wow, so many things, Hanging out with my awesome comic book artist friend from the Backwards Burd guys this weekend to work on a little creative project, Transpride next weekend who another brilliant friend is co-organizing, Boomtown in a couple of weeks, working with the Escape the City team hosting and blogging. The list is endless! I’m lucky and happy and looking forward to blogging more too perhaps. Completely failing at the semi regular posts thing. You’re lucky if you get one a week out of me! I’ll try do better I promise :)

Me: I’ll hold you to that! As always its been grand. Oh god Nils Frahm, I think my life changed the moment I listened to that. It was tangible. WAIT can we have a picture of you? Can we oh can we?!

Metoo: and you think I’m dramatic. Erm. ok Creepy McCreeperson:

Also RIMA

Me: ahhhh. Lovely. even if I do say so myself. Till next time! :)

Follow Me on twitter here: @rimapatel7

How to Start Your Own Business – An Evening with Female Entrepreneurs

Events, London

Female entrepreneurs

‘The Future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams’ – Eleanor Roosevelt

Esc the city launched its first event in the ‘She Series’ last week, which Adele reassured us was not a women’s event, at least not like the ones that we have become accustomed to.
There was a real buzz of energy and excitement in the room as we heard from Emilie Holmes (Good & Proper tea), Harriot Pleydell-Bouverie (Mallow & Marsh), Victoria Eggs (Victoria Eggs), Lizzie Fane (ThirdYearAbroad.com) and the girls from Broad Minded.

Escape the City’s thoughts
Initially against the idea of ‘women in business events’, a dinner with the ladies from broad-minded convinced Adele that there is a need for opportunities for women to get together and inspire and motivate each other. What makes the She Series different to other women’s events? These ideals:
– Passion and talent are gender equalizers
– It’s not a competition. Not against men, not against other women. There is space for everyone to succeed
– Get your map, compass and supplies in order! (map=your network, compass=you core values and supplies=information and allies)
– The aim is not to turn us all into business women, CEOs, stay at home mothers, adventurers or a juggler of all of the above. It’s about finding out what you want and working together to get there.
– There are no rules. Think outside the box.
– These events are here to excite, engage, inspire, motive, unite women, but they are what you make them, so get stuck in and give as much as you take.

Victoria Eggs (Victoria Eggs)

Victoria Eggs designs premium quality home ware and gifts celebrating Britishness, all handmade in the UK. Founded by its namesake in 2011, Victoria Eggs evokes a true sense of British spirit through playful and punchy designs which bring a smile to the face. Fine Art graduate Victoria has been awarded many critically acclaimed accolades, including winning ‘Gift of the Year 2012′. In addition to featuring in publications such as The Sunday Times, Living Etc, Marie Claire and Time OutVictoria Eggs is also stocked in Selfridges, Southbank Centre and West Elm UK. The Aprons have even made their TV debut on ITV’s This Morning!

Some of her key bits of advice:

– Define your Unique Selling Point
What are you really selling? Think bigger than your product/service.
Who are you selling to?
Brand positioning– are you high end or low end?
Margins– ultimately you have to be making some money to continue operating
Manufacturing– gets a great supplier and have back-ups just in case!
Be realistic– if your product is handmade and takes a day to make what happens if you get an order for 100?
First impressions count.
Marketing
o Trade- make their life easy, include a call to action
o Customers- social media is a must, engage with them
o Press- make an impression. Be the purple cow
Keep in touch with key suppliers, customers, contacts
Be persistent!
Have fun and be flexible: be prepared to change some of your initial ideas

Harriot Pleydell-Bouverie (Mallow & Marsh)

Harriot studied Fine Art and photography before leading emerging market research for a headhunting firm. She then founded De Bouverie, a fine jewellery website making independent designers more accessible. As a business, this became the learning ground for almost every mistake in the book, and is what she now refers to as her ‘MBA for Entrepreneurs’. She was then light heartedly challenged to make marshmallows and founded Mallow & Marsh, which has gone from strength to strength and is now carried in selected Sainsbury’s stores. Since the launch Mallow and Marsh has been ranked in this year’s Startups100 and Harriot has been shortlisted for Management Today’s 35 women under 35.

Advice from Harriot

Be prepared to fail; it really is how you learn. Accept and embrace it.
Don’t over think it. It’s so tempting to spend weeks, months, and years meticulously planning your idea. Don’t.
Stop talking and start doing! ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now’- Chinese proverb
Cut your budget in half. Check out the Lean Start Up by Eric Ries for proof, or come along to the Escape the City Start-up MBA.
Feedback is critical. Be a sponge and adapt.
Micro test your idea– give your customers what they actually want not what you think they want
– Be the best, be remarkable.

Lizzie Fane (ThirdYearAbroad.com)

Lizzie studied in Italy as part of her degree course and, based on the problems and wonders she experienced, she founded ThirdYearAbroad.com in 2006 to support other students through the process and give them a place to pass on advice. The site is now the UK’s biggest network of students who study or work abroad and new high-growth products are designed for the target audience, such as YearAbroadInsurance.com and a Careers Platform. Lizzie is an Academic Associate of The Higher Education Academy and Communications Director for Speak to the Future: the UK’s Campaign for Languages.

Key bits of advice from Lizzie

Solve a problem. What bugs you? Don’t complain, fix it!
– If you don’t know how to do something, learn.
Don’t underestimate yourself or overestimate others
– There are so many resources out there to help new entrepreneurs not least your old university’s business/start-up/ entrepreneur societies.
– Also check out Smarta.comaskstarting.com and hang out at Google campus

Emilie Holmes (Good & Proper Tea)

In 2012, Good & Proper Tea founder Emilie Holmes decided to take off her corporate advertising hat and don a trader’s apron, bringing her obsession for tea to the people of London and beyond. Leaving a successful career at Ogilvy & Mather, Emilie had a vision for tea done right. She parlayed her corporate advertising savvy into establishing a new “classic” brand that restores quality and craft to this quintessential component of British culture. She bought herself a stylish 1974 Citroen H van, had it fitted out for the tea trade, and opened her side window to London’s tea lovers. And the people of London are better for it. Emilie makes a mean cuppa.

Key bits of advice from Emilie

You don’t have to do it right, you just have to do something!
– Be prepared to change
Question every decision, based on your initial goal
– ‘Cash is King’- you’ll hear it repeatedly in the world of start-ups but it’s true.
Get some perspective. Talk it out with someone you trust.
– There is no such thing as ‘I don’t know’ Google is your friend.
Switch of from external negative forces.
– There is no how to manual, each person’s journey is different, that’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur, so get out there and just does it!

A little on Broad-minded

Broad Minded are a group of women who have formed a network to support and encourage each other as individuals and professionals. There three main aims are to:

Inspire: Regular dinners with inspirational speakers and the chance for us all to share ideas and network. We feel there’s a real opportunity here for us to create a voice for women of our age and position.

Educate: The opportunity to sign up for talks or courses on anything from managing your finances to leadership skills to presenting skills.

Motivate: An out-reach program through which we go into schools and universities to offer talks and the opportunity for mentor matching with students.

Click here to for their Facebook page.

Penny Wing & Ollie Codrington – How to Start & Sell a $15 Million Company

Events, London, People

Image

What man actually needs is not a tension-less state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.’- Viktor Frankl

As always another fascinating Esc event last night (if you didn’t take a detour via the Eton boys entrepreneurs club) led by serial entrepreneur Penny Wing and her recent escapee partner in her new venture, brojure.com; Ollie Codrington. If you are looking for a simple 10 step program explaining ‘how to start up and sell and $15m business’, you may be slightly disappointed. Granted, Penny Wing has built and sold 3 successful group travel businesses from scratch and sold each of them in turn, the most recent having sold for $15m. However, that was through her own personal circumstances that led her to be in a position to take advantage of opportunities when they came knocking, which are difficult to distil down to a formula for others to follow and replicate.

Instead, I personally learnt about more practical insights about the nature of successful entrepreneurs and the wealth of wisdom that both Penny and Ollie had to offer based on their own journeys.

Key thoughts:

  • Do something different. Be creative, be brave, think outside the box.
  • Failure is inevitable. The secret is to fail fast, fail often and fail as many time as it takes to succeed
  • There is no harm in having the intention to aim high
  • Do not underestimate yourself- ‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are usually right’- Henry Ford
  • Micro test your ideas
  • You can’t be good at everything. Surround yourself with people who are good at what you are not
  • Do your research
  • Don’t sell; solve problems

As a brief summary, Penny started out as an engineer with an educational background in math but through pure chance, was sat on a plane next to someone who owned a travel company and who happened to think that Penny’s frequent travel (she had lived in 36 different places before the age of 21) meant she was suited to a job in a travel company. By the end of the flight she’d been convinced to join his company and never look back. She spent 8 years in the industry working for someone else, honing her skills and understanding of the industry and then started her first company in 1988, in her living room, with $30,000 in savings. Three businesses later, each more successful than the last, she is on to her next venture brojure.com with Ollie, who coincidentally, she met on the Start-up MBA course run by Esc.

What struck me as the root of so many of her successes in her many roles was the bold and courageous actions based on Penny’s belief in herself and the willingness to do things differently. From the get go she approached things innovatively, refusing to follow her competitors by creating lengthy proposal documents when pitching for business. Instead, trying something new, she created simple visual one pagers, which appealed far more, stood out from the crowd and secured her loyal multinational customers.

One creative new idea led to another. From a need to be able to create these visual pitch documents wherever and whenever she wanted to, she hired a software developer to create a program for her. She then realised that these ‘brochures’ could be used by a multitude of different businesses; wedding planners, photographers, event planners, yacht brokers even, so decided to set up a software company, brojure.com to sell the program, despite no previous technical background.

You don’t always need to have the exact relevant skills to create something successful. For one, don’t underestimate yourself. Whatever your background, you will most likely have transferable skills that are highly sought after in any new venture. Whether that’s the ability communicate professionally, be organised, manage a team, build great relationships you are more skilled than you think you are!

On this note, an interesting point was raised about the benefits/disadvantages of MBA programs. Adele shared some of her thoughts having spoken to numerous escapees over the years. The choice to complete an MBA is personal and down to the individual, but question your motivation first. Do you want to do an MBA because you don’t know what you want to do yet and in effect is another form of procrastination? Do you have that nagging fear that you don’t have the skills to do what you want to do? Is it worth the time and money if you aren’t sure what specifically you are going to get out of it? Are there alternative ways to get the same information but from a less costly/time consuming resource? I like to think so personally. I feel that I learn in a far more constructive and efficient way by simply speaking to people, reading great books and experimenting in small ways with my ideas. One other thing, I think, is that to be truly entrepreneurial you need to do something different, be creative, be brave and there are so many people doing MBAs, perhaps it’s no longer a differentiator.

If you really don’t have the required skills for your idea, no bother! Surround yourself with people that do. Penny’s strengths are in starting a business, growing them big, growing them fast and then selling them. She has no long term desire to run one company; she prefers to focus of winning big, high value sales contracts. Recognising this she started looking for a partner to run the business. Cue Esc the city and their brilliant start up MBA program. Interestingly both Penny and Ollie may not have been there. Penny was initially discouraged as she seemed on paper to be over-qualified, and Ollie was reluctant to come along as he didn’t have a business idea. Well, Penny convinced Adele and Adele convinced Ollie and as fate would have it they were on the same course and have been working together on brojure.com ever since. If ever there was a case study for there being no rules in life and for doing something different, this would be it.

Ollie- ‘I Can’t remember wanting to be anything but be a lawyer since I was 15, until I was one.’

Ollie was a lawyer as of 4 years ago, but knew someday he wanted to run his own company. The problem was that didn’t have an idea. His quote above stuck with me as often we have an idea of what we want to and hold on to it so tightly. When we eventually get there it may not be what it first promised or what you were actually looking for in the first place. This, to me, highlights the value of micro testing your ideas. If you want to be a lawyer, go speak to a lawyer first or shadow one for a week. Figure out what you’d be doing every hour of everyday and the realities of the job before you commit to a degree or training focused on Law. Similarly with any other venture, if you think you want to be a chef, cook, write recipes, go volunteer in a kitchen, start a food blog. All low risk, low commitment, but will allow you to explore an idea before fully commit to it in an expensive, ‘can’t go back now’ way.

What do Penny and Ollie attribute to their success? One of the things that came through strongly is to focus on your strengths and what excites you. Ultimately you can’t be good at everything nor can you be passionate about every type of task involved in your business. Penny is excited by aiming high, going after the big million $ contracts and is great at it. So why should she also invest time running part of the business and targeting the ‘low hanging fruit’, the small business owner, tasks she has no interest in. She recognises the value in it, but acknowledges it just isn’t what she wanted to focus on so brought on a partner, Ollie, who was excited, and good at doing just that instead.

There is also no harm in aiming high. You have nothing to lose by having the intention to aim big. By leaving yourself open to all possibilities you are more likely to spot opportunities that you may have otherwise shut out. Case and point, brojure.com’s focus is service industries looking to pull together great visual material to show clients/customers. However, Ollie had a friend who had a friend who worked at British Gas, Centrica, and thought there was no harm in an introduction and a chat. As it happens, British Gas regularly pitch for work using presentations (who knew?!), but there is a lack of consistency across the various different pitching teams. Brojure.com may well be just the solution to their problem. The power of speaking to people and a ‘what’s the worst that could happen? attitude’ can’t be underestimated and clearly paid dividends for Penny & Ollie.

Another thing to note is that failure is inevitable. Both Penny and Ollie have failed as has pretty much every entrepreneur I have ever heard from. The lesson here is to fail fast, fail often and fail as many times as it takes to succeed. Also, consider your risk appetite and personal circumstances. Everyone’s different; one person’s shaking hands with a stranger may be another person’s skydive. Just honestly assess occasionally if you feel you are being too risky or too risk adverse.

When asked what they would change looking back on their journey so far, both agreed that they needed to have far more software industry knowledge than they first anticipated. They wished they could have ‘seen the road ahead more clearly’. They recommended spending time with people who know what you want to know and learning from them and getting experience in you desired field or industry in any way you can. Penny remarked that today there is a lot of pressure to grow businesses fast and to make as much money as possible as quick as possible, but maybe there is some value in slowing down and doing a little more research.

As an aside, Ollie brought up a really interesting point around status. As a lawyer he enjoyed being able to walk in to a room and others valuing his opinion and presence. There are a lot of added benefits to do with security, ego, and self-confidence that come from having what is defined as a traditionally successful profession. Even those closest to us find it difficult to accept when you do something less well defined/non-traditional sometimes; Ollie quoting his mum; ‘But what do you do? What are you going to be?’. ‘I’ll be your son?’ He suggested. Sometimes people just won’t get it and that can take a toll on your confidence, particularly if it’s someone you care about. Ultimately though, Ollie realised ‘we all want to be able to look back and have fantastic stories to tell our grandchildren’, to inspire and excite, no matter if we fail or succeed, we’d just like to be able to say we tried and had a great time in the process.

What becomes clearer to me every time I go along to an Esc event or any else new for that matter is that difference between success and failure boils down to people who do and people who don’t. If you never stop learning, experimenting, challenging yourself, finding out what excited you and that you’re passionate about, you will always eventually find things that make you happy and fulfill you.

Hey, look, no-one said it would be easy or without some tough decisions, but it’s dawning on me at least, that it really is as simple as getting out there and doing.

Resources:

Penny and Ollie

http://brojure.com/

https://twitter.com/brojure

https://www.facebook.com/brojure

Start up MBA:

http://startupmba.escapethecity.org/

Books:

The lean startup- Eric Ries (how to start a business in the leanest way possible)

Creativity Inc.- Ed Catmull (how to create a truly creative and collaborative working environment, based on the incredible story of Pixar. I want to work for Pixar!)

4 Hour Work Week- Tim Ferriss– (A must read for all escapees. Whether you want to start a new business, become more productive in your current job, do something different, challenge you assumptions about how you work, there is something in here for everyone)

Me:

Post also featured on Esc the City blog:

http://blog.escapethecity.org/2014/07/01/notes-night-start-sell-15-million-company/

https://twitter.com/rimapatel7

Sane New World- Ruby Wax

Books, People

sane new world

‘When you get to the end of your rope. Tie a knot and hang on.’ – Franklin D. Roosevelt

I promised a separate review on Ruby Wax’s book as it deserves one. I feel, (correct me please if you think I’m wrong), that mental health and well-being  is completely underestimated and neglected in society.

So how the hell do we address the issue? Individual responsibility? Education? Change in attitude? Awareness and media coverage? Change in policy? All of the above perhaps.

This is why I feel that Ruby Wax, her show, her book and public presence is doing something so fundamentally important as it works on these actions simultaneously. It’s candidly written from intense and dark personal experience, so rings painfully true at points and she doesn’t hold back which allows the reader to fully accept the reality for those living with mental health illnesses.

Once on board you are given, the fascinating and eye-opening facts about the brain and how it functions, how mental health issues develop and why it is so difficult to over come. What I found most intriguing is the section about mindfulness based cognitive therapy. The way it helped Ruby herself, how it is always accessible and completely in control of the individual and the potential positive impact it could have for those suffering. Though it may be a constant battle with yourself, its curiously simple and easy to start.

This is essential reading, not least because it is peppered with Ruby’s unmistakably candid humour. It is a great summary for any one suffering with poor mental health, who knows someone with mental health issues or those just curious to understand better.

Also check out her TED Talk and UK tour of Sane New World, links below:

http://www.ted.com/talks/ruby_wax_what_s_so_funny_about_mental_illness

http://www.rubywax.net/tour.html

@Rubywax

Me:

@rimapatel7

Seoul Bakery

London, Restaurants

Image

‘The best way to get approval is not to need it. This is equally true in art and business. And love. And sex. And just about everything else worth having.’ – Hugh MacLeod

The reason I live in London is places like Seoul Bakery. I never tire of finding new places with a completely unique definition of success and style. Off the beaten track, yet about a minutes walk from Tottenham Court Road, ordinarily I would have walked straight by without a second glance. Luckily I was with someone who knew better.

One might mistake this place for being painfully hip, but it genuinely isn’t trying that hard. Walk in to fairly nonchalant staff, a tiny area with enough space for Maybe 12 people to sit, walls absolutely covered in scribbles, notes, messages from of previous visitors, its obvious that these guys aren’t looking to impress you with its carefully curated decor or attentive care.

Instead everything falls away and allows you to focus on what is truly important, to me at least, when out for a meal; the company, the food and the memories. The food screams authenticity and is by far some of the most delicious Korean food I have ever had. Speedily served and remarkably cheap (2 of us ate for less than £15), perhaps catering to all the local students, it was perfect for a satisfying weekday evening meal and to be honest I felt pretty darn hip.

Check this one out and don’t forget to leave your mark, if you can find space that is!

Seoul Bakery

55 St Giles High St London WC2H 8LH
020 7240 0877
@rimapatel7