Ruby’s jewel of a show

Ruby Wax is one hell of an entertainer. In Sane New World, a headline show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, Wax shares the challenges of mental illness and how we can all benefit from realising that we do not have to be victims of our restless minds. Having faced the personal challenge of long-term depression, Wax enrolled herself in a course in neuroscience at Oxford University and last year graduated with a Masters Degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. I kid you not.

This London-based American comedienne is very serious about the power of the mind, and how an enhanced understanding of the way it works can benefit all of us when we learn how to prevent our thoughts from dominating our mental wellbeing.

If this sounds overly heavy, then fear not. Ruby Wax is an extremely funny woman. She is also very self deprecating about her own shortcomings – and fiercely sarcastic about those of others. A packed house at Melbourne’s Art Centre laughed and teared-up as she recounted multiple tales of her ongoing attempts to be ‘normal’. And below the laughter were some great ‘light bulb’ moments when she highlighted how we are all rushing around manically, being ‘busy’, wanting ‘more’ and practically driving over the top of others in our quest for something as mundane as a manicure.

Ruby Wax is a huge fan of the value of the practice of mindfulness in helping us to slow down, touch base with reality and simply ‘be’, rather than ‘do’. Her show is a witty, energetic and courageous testament to her deep understanding of how we might live a more meaningful existence. If you can’t get to Sane New World then grab a copy of her book of the same name – it’s a great read.

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