Many of you will know, I work for Rackspace and sometimes we get up to some fun quirky stuff.
I’m most often asked if we actually do any work. Trust me we do, it’s work hard, play hard.

A year or two ago, very spontaneously, we bought a bunch of watermelons, a ton of rubber bands and sent out a dubious email, that went something like:
“The watermelon challenge!
Come to the back of the building at lunchtime, bring a spare tee!”
I was of course in on the action, we’d seen a clip, I think from the slomo guys, where in pairs you’d add a rubber band to the watermelon, till kaboom.
Watch their clip here:

and ours linked below;

Watching this video back, got me thinking, about #pressure, about how we always add it on and sometimes can’t cope and possibly explode like the watermelon.
A few days ago marked World Mental Health Day, a global day to promote awareness and advocacy against social stigma.

There are many things that can affect our mental health, I’d like to break some stigma and openly talk a little about #pressure and how it affects me.
It adds up right?
I think sometimes we do it to ourselves.
I resonate with anyone that feels like they are under pressure or when their small pressures in life just don’t go away.

I have an awesome job at a cool company and outside of work am involved in many national projects and charities.
Each of these takes up some of my time, which I willingly contribute.
When preparing for a workshop, event or a publicspeaking engagement, I get stressed, I fret, I’ll worry about particular logistics or the doom if everything goes wrong and pear-shaped. We all have some of these worries and its okay to have reservations.
During some of my prep, I’ll worry about the worst case scenario, play it through my mind, or procrastinate till I no longer become time efficient. Before I know it, a whole hour has gone, been wasted in just worrying. This stresses me out further. Can you see how this can turn into a never-ending cycle?

Generally, we are so harsh on ourselves. I am guilty of this. If I’ve made a small mistake or inadequately prioritised my time, or missed out on an opportunity, I beat myself up over it, over not taking advantage of a situation; I’ll really genuinely give myself a hard time, mentally.
It’s so strange that we decide to feel this way.

I urge you to identify times in your own life you choose to give yourself a hard time, at first become aware.

Some will not get this school of thought, as they are not necessarily harsh on themselves, but maybe they don’t give themselves enough credit either.

I can recall times I have worked on an event or certified in a new area, but not celebrated, not cared enough to have joy over the small things, I’ve moved straight onto the next chapter, to the next goal, to the next challenge. I’ve been asked hey are you not happy for what you have just achieved or pulled off and often the answer has been no, or that it’s nice, but much work is left to do. This isn’t healthy and more recently have learnt to celebrate the little wins, and be micro-ambitious too! It’s great to have large goals and want to be successful and make our way in the world, these large wins can develop from the smaller, quick wins.

Its okay to have ambitions to take over the world, let us not worry over the destination, enjoy the path and master our own minds along that journey.

Even if we know we are under the hammer, we don’t stop to add to the todo list, add those daily tasks, add to the unnecessary rigmarole or daily stress and strife of life.

#Pressure and stress can take many forms, and when we keep applying it, it can up and manifest itself as many ugly heads.
…. till one day we burn out, we have an outrage or we break down.
This happens to the best of us, even those amongst us who are tough cookies, humans are built to sustain, to withstand a hell of a lot.

If these feelings are not addressed, anxiety can build up, the whisper we sell ourselves, that sickening conversation about failure and inability to do well. The overall distaste that sometimes we let build up. It’s horrible and you don’t need to fall victim to it.
Breathe, take a step back, meditate, speak to someone, be proactive in stripping away these pressures.

I am aware also of a school of thought about the ‘snow-flake culture’. I get it, people aren’t sometimes as tough as they used to be, maybe that’s the problem, maybe the understanding of social pressures or not having someone to talk openly with has led to this culture. or maybe not? each case will differ, but what is for sure, is that we are all human with emotions and feelings and sometimes those get the better of us.

Let us all be aware of our friends and family and lend a shoulder out, get in contact with someone you haven’t for a while.
and just don’t be so harsh to others, we are all fighting our own battles, be a support structure in someone else’s life.

I enjoy listening to some music, some self-inflection and positive affirmations.
There are many projects you can call or text, maybe search online for World Mental Health Day for a handy article and never ever be ashamed to ask for help.
There are also some cool apps I like to use like SattvaHeadspace and Calm which you can use to help you through some tough times.

Don’t let the pressure add up, when you realise it, do something about it.
I’m always open for a chat, and if like me, you want to openly talk about stuff, get online, drop someone a text, drop a comment below.

Have you done the watermelon challenge?
When were you nearly at your breaking point?
Do you feel pressured?
What do you do to calm down and regain control?

Care to break some stigma and share your thoughts on mental health?


Swami Vivekananda

On this exact day, one month and 125 years ago, a young monk, with no money, in saffron robes, humbly, addressed an audience of over 6000 people at the Fullerton Hall, at the now Art Institute in #Chicago.

At the World’s first Parliament of World Religions and without any real credentials, this man received a standing ovation for his eloquent oration and impactful #speech on tolerance and universal acceptance.

I am honoured to have stood in the very room where this magic happened, as it takes great courage to not just stand in front of people, not just to convey a message, not just to be an excellent #communicator, but that too on a foreign land, with impeccable clarity and #philosophical substance.

Swami Vivekananda, in 1893, paved the way for modern societies to begin to understand the breadth and depth of our ancient civilizations and the vast knowledge, wisdom and Vedanta that is ready to be unlocked. His unprecedented success opened the way for dialogue between eastern and western religions.

As an aspiring public speaker and proud #Hindu, this room, this hall and the feeling within it spoke volumes to me, difficult to convey into text, yet a feeling within and a calling to grace such stages and impact #humanity for the greater good, with plurality, liberalism and an increased #dharmic aptitude.

Arise, Awake, Stop not till the goal is reached!



Early last year, I attended a  Tony Robbins conference called Unleash the PowerWithin at the London Excel with 10,500 people from over 60 countries.

It was quite literally an amazing experience; electric! Look this being up and see which of his life lessons you resonate with.

During one of the workshops we prepped, trained and executed a firewalk across hot coals as a literal metaphor for being able to overcome fears.

The only problems you have are the ones in your mind.
Stand up, be bold and walk all over those feelings, thoughts and constructs that are holding you back. Get out of your own way.



Empoword Workshop

Local award-winning spoken word group run a series of workshops to up-skill Slough creatives

Following the success of two recent workshops led by local poets, Award-winning spoken word group Empoword will welcome guest speaker Sumit Sharma (@SpreadWisdomUK) to deliver a Stage Presence workshop as part of an upskilling programme for Slough creatives.

Former Toastmasters’ president and public speaking coach Sumit Sharma said: “the workshop seeks to increase the confidence of attendees through impromptu speaking activities and public speaking exercises”.

He will be sharing the art of eloquent oration and tips and tricks on how to own the stage, to help local poets with their nerves and confidence when representing Slough on national poetry platforms.

By day, Sumit is a passionate Solutions Architect for a Cloud Computing company. Alongside his love of tech, he runs Vaani Speakers Academy, committed to the spirited learning, growth and development of public speakers.

The event will run from 3:30pm – 5:30pm on Saturday 1st September at the YES Shop in the Queensmere Shopping Centre, Slough.

Followed by an open mic session where members of the public have the opportunity to present to a captive audience in three-minute slots, the workshop has a handful of spaces left.


Follow @EmpowordSlough on all social media platforms for updates and to secure your place.


Paragliding in Rio de Janeiro

Earlier this year, I ran off of a cliff, whilst on holiday in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
It was not a suicide mission, but a planned activity with friends. We all went individually, with a guy tied to my back, crazy right?

With my life literally in this guys hands, I had to let go of all fear, let go of the idea that something may go wrong, trust in the present moment and just jump!

What a great experience it was, thrilling, to take in the beautiful landscapes, the fresh air and ride through the tense turns of the parachute, to the end of an easy landing on the beach

I’ve been asked a few times, if I was scared – honestly, No, I’ve been parasailing before, however the difference here is there’s no rope attached to no boat or the infinite sea below to break your fall, this was mad, just pure woodland and the hope that the air currents were on your side.

The experience was damn exhilarating, to literally run off of a cliff, catch a wind pocket and glide from the mountain tops of Rio de Janeiro down to the sandy shores. Some real movie life ish.

Watch the video to see my entire trip and excuse the occasional excited use of bad language!

Have you been paragliding before?
How did you find it?
Whats next?
I think I want to bunjeejump?