Let's Talk About Mindfulness: What Happened at The Knowledge Guild June 2017
For those of you haven’t attended one of our events before, let us explain. The Knowledge Guild is a partnership event in which we combine the world’s top speaking talent with a beautiful venue and incredible cuisine. We invite our valued clients to spend an evening with us expanding their minds and dining in style.
Bringing together a panel of experts on a tri-yearly basis, our speakers discuss awe-inspiring ideas, introduce us to incredible innovative concepts and share their inspirational stories. Covering everything from the fields of adventure and sport, to business and politics, we aim to inspire our audiences and leave them with real takeaways that they can bring to their everyday lives.
This summer’s event took on a slightly different theme, as we asked some of our favourite speakers to share their mental health journeys with us. Finding time for mindfulness in this chaotic world is hard enough as it is, without the stigma that is attached to the topic. So, in an effort to begin the journey to break down this negative perception and give a platform to the important subject, we invited Bryony Gordon, Clarke Carlisle, and Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan to give a voice to what has remained silent for too long.
Polynesian Paradise at The Brewery - the venue for the summer Knowledge Guild
On Monday night, we lucked out with the weather and were treated to the Brewery’s Polynesian Paradise marquee. The tropical palm tree paradise and poke bowl pairing kicked the evening off in style. After we'd sipped our dark n' stormy’s and dined on the sashimi, we took to the King George room for our speaker showcase.
Joanna Gosling, our host for the evening, kicked off the event, as she shared with us that 70 million days are taken off sick for mental health reasons, which is half of all days off work in the UK per annum, and it costs the country £2.4 billion. Opening the audience up to a candid discussion, she asked us all how many of us thought there was no shame in saying that they were off work due to a mental health related problem – and only three people put their hands up.
Joanna’s question was a real-life indicator as to why we need to speak about what is going on and why giving a voice to the problem can help break down the taboo. On this note, the BBC presenter introduced the panel to share their own experiences and help us all with some tips and tricks on improving wellbeing in the workplace.
Joanna Gosling - our host for the evening
First up was Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, the sleep expert, who summarised three decades of research in 15 minutes with us in order to educate the audience on how to sleep beautifully. After stating some commonly recognised tropes of poor sleep - such as feeling tired all day but then not being able to sleep at night; waking between 2-4am; and sleeping through all night but feeling like you haven’t slept at all - Nerina gave us her 5 non-negotiables for amazing sleep:
- Eat within 30 minutes of waking up
- Have a break from technology before you go to sleep and as you wake
- Stay hydrated – drink lots of water
- Do not consume caffeine after 3pm
- Go to bed early, 3 to 4 nights a week
It was pretty safe to say that Nerina stunned the audience. With the nods of agreement and murmurs of enthusiasm, it was clear that she was speaking to those who recognised the struggles behind sleeping soundly.
Clarke Carlisle was the next speaker to take the stage. As a former professional football player, his life seemed to glitter from the outside - he had it all. But on the inside, he was struggling. Having always fought with depression and anxiety, Clarke candidly told us that his battle with mental health didn’t truly get the better of him when he first tried to take his own life, but rather when he boxed up that attempted suicide and buried it.
Clarke bravely admitted that the worst of the battle for him was not seeking help and not speaking about his problems. Instead, he just let them grow inside of him. His truly heart-rendering story brought tears to the audience and hopefully encouraged us all to realise that telling someone about your own struggle can really make all the difference.
The audience were thoroughly impressed by the bravery of our speakers
Similarly, our last speaker Bryony Gordon shared her own journey bringing heart-felt tears to many eyes. Journalist and author Bryony explained how she had written all about her party girl escapades, but she couldn’t bring herself to put down what was behind all this – her struggle with OCD, depression and anxiety. However, when she did put pen to paper, the floodgates truly opened and readers everywhere were sending her thank you letters, encouraging tweets, and even a jar of marmalade.
This was the start of her journey which led Bryony to set up Mental Health Mates, a walking group for people with mental health. She went on to run this year’s marathon for Heads Together. Bryony showed the audience that there are all tips and tricks we can do to help ourselves and know that we aren’t alone when struggling with our mental health.
Following Bryony, Joanna hosted a brilliant Q&A from the audience. Combining questions from twitter and comments from the audience, she managed to bring the panel into a dialogue on the issues discussed. Joanna helped tease out answers from Nerina, Clarke and Bryony on how to ask a colleague if they are ok, how to notice the behaviours of someone struggling, and the tips and tricks for sleeping through the night.
The resounding atmosphere in the audience was positivity - so a success all round, we feel!
Some of the Speakers Corner team - we are already looking forward to the next Knowledge Guild event!
To book, or for more info. on any of our speakers, call us on +44 (0) 20 7607 7070 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.