Ten important quotes to take away from Ruby Wax’s ‘Sane New World’…

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I’ve just finished reading ‘Sane New World’ by Ruby Wax – personally I think everyone should read this book as I believe everyone needs a better understanding of what others are feeling and maybe even more importantly, understanding their own mind. (However, I do believe a lot of people need to work on their empathy skills.)

I can guarantee that you probably wouldn’t have read a book quite like it, Shakespeare, chick lit, 1920s American novel, Encyclopaedia – it’s unique, thought-provoking and a real page-turner.

If I were to pin this book down to one genre, I’d have to say biography, but this diminishes the ‘Sane New World’ as it is so much more than that… it’s scientific, it’s witty, it’s fascinating. Ruby Wax is clearly well read, incorporating quotes from a large range of literature, CEO’s, philosophers, psychologists, scientists… the list goes on.

If you can’t find the time to read this short book (you’re doing yourself an injustice) then lucky for you I have a listed ten quotes from Ruby Wax’s ‘Sane New World’ below, to give you a teeny tiny insight to what it’s about (but trust me, it’s much more entertaining that these quotes i’ve picked out)…

“I’ll say it again – mental illness is a physical illness. You wouldn’t consider going up to someone suffering from Alzheimers to yell, “Come on, get with it, you remember where you left your keys?” Let us shout it from the rooftops until everyone gets the message; depression has and nothing to do with having a bad day or being sad, it’s a killer if not taken seriously.”

“Why, when you have a mental disease, is it always considered an act of imagination? Why is it that every organ in your body can get sick and you get sympathy except the brain?”

“This disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you get sympathy.”

“It’s so common, it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it. And that makes everything worse.”

“For me this poem by Portia Nelson sums up the benefit of practicing mindfulness.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
i see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street. ”

“Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple and a mediator said, ‘Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – all these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.'”

“We can, with certain practices such as mindfulness, actually have some control over the chemicals in our brains that drive us to stress, to anxiety and even to happiness. This remarkable organ in our heads holds infinite wisdom but so few of us know how to use it. It’s similar to having a Ferrari except no one gave you the keys.”

“I’m wary about harping on about depression. Please glaze over; you can see them thinking, ‘Oh here she goes again, jawing on about “the darkness”.’ Once you couldn’t say ‘gay’ and before that it was the ‘C’ word and further back you couldn’t even mention you were a witch – depression is the latest taboo.”

“Part of the stigma lies in the fact the word ‘depressed’ depicts a kind of ‘down in the dumps’ sentiment. Depression is a whole other beast; it is not situation appropriate. Here’s something you get absolutely free with the illness: a real sense of shame; it comes with the package.”

“If the brain is damaged so is the mind and alterations in brain chemistry cause changes in moods, memory and attention. So why is there such a stigma when it comes to mental illness when we know its caused by genetics, disease, trauma or physical accidents?”

“What you think is not you…your thoughts do not define you…you’re not the victim of what you think.”

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