The Big Brother of Millenials

“I consider him one of my thought leaders,” I overheard the man behind me say.

It was Friday evening.

After finishing a busy clinic, I headed over to the Union Chapel in Islington to catch a talk by Simon Sinek. Like millions of YouTube/Facebook users, I had watched his TED talk (third most viewed talk to date!) and his viral clip on millennials.

For those of you who haven’t caught it doing the rounds, here it is:

There I was in Union Chapel. What a beautiful architectural gothic gem of a building! The room was buzzing with excited chatter.

So why was I there? I was born in the early 80s, just a few years short of being labelled a millennial i.e. 1984 onwards. I was probably ten, eleven years old when my father (a gadget addict) came back one day with this big black brick.


“This is the future!” he proudly announced.

Dial up internet followed not too long after. Enjoy this soundblast from the past.

Where was I again? Oh yes, back to the Union Chapel waiting for the event to start. I was interested in hearing what Simon had to say about technology addiction.

Although my husband and I are what you may call ‘pre millennial’, we’re also parents who are occasionally (more often than not) guilty of pacifying our kids with iPads for a moment of peace.

Hypocritically, I get annoyed when my family whip out their phones at dinner to essentially Instagram the whole meal but then zone out on my iPhone when I get home from work.

Internet and technology addiction isn’t just limited to the young ‘uns. We’re all guilty of it. The first thing my parents, bless ’em, will now ask for in a restaurant is the wifi password instead of the menu. Apps, games, Facebook, all of that. It just sucks you in without us even realising it.

I was at my in laws over Easter and accidentally closed down Candy Crush on my father in law’s iPad.


He wasn’t too impressed with me…sorry Pops!

My thoughts were interrupted by an enthusiastic definite millennial who plopped herself down next to me.

“Have you got his books? He’s amaaaazing!” she chirped away, “He’s really changed my life. I didn’t used to be able to live without my phone. Now, I’ll go out for a walk and leave it at home”

Her chirping trailed off as Simon walked onto the stage.

In all honesty, there wasn’t anything new that he had to say which he hasn’t already mentioned in his previous talks. However, the importance of his message is something which needs to repeated over and over.

The internet, technology and everything that comes along with it is here to stay. It’s not going anywhere. It’s getting bigger, better, faster. Instant gratification is now so engrained in our normal everyday psyche that people have forgotten what patience is.

I don’t want to go on a huge rant about it so here are the top three things, this pre millennial fuddy duddy took away from the talk:

  1. Internet addiction can be scary. It damages self esteem (the younger you are, the higher the risk), strains relationships, stunts social skills and reduces patience levels.
  2. Despite the bad press the NHS gets, I feel lucky to be in a profession where I feel pretty fulfilled when i get home. It wasn’t always the case and certainly needed a change of mindset. The health service  is full of professional moaners and always will be. Note to self, focus on the great people you work with and the patients you’re trying to help.
  3.  Put that phone away! Mr iPhone shouldn’t be the first and last thing I interact with at the beginning and end of my day.

That’s it for now, the real world is calling! 🙂

You can catch Simon Sinek’s latest full talk here

Peace and all that,

Dr Ed xxx


“Adventure awaits!”

“So,” one of my colleagues said to me today, “You’ve gotten a bit reflective in your Facebook posts lately”

“Ummm, yeah,” I mumbled uncomfortably, “Just going through a reflective period at the moment.”

“Must be a phase eh,” he winked.

I nodded and quickly changed the subject.

We were all on a surgical course in Central London.

“Catch you guys after lunch,” I told them, “Going to find a bank”

I set off down Euston Road with Google Maps directing me to the nearest HSBC. The sun had made a brief appearance and office workers were sprawled on the lawn in front of the train station.

The GPS said to cross the road. I wasn’t paying attention to anyone around me, too engrossed in reaching my destination.

“Watch it!” someone exclaimed after I nearly walked into them.

I stopped and looked around. ‘Come on,’ I reminded myself, “Be present”

How had I never noticed the caryatids of St Pancras New Church before? I had walked on this road countless times but felt like I was seeing things for the first time. The four female figures looked down majestically,


I continued to walk, taking in the sights. The British Library loomed ahead. A building I’ve passed by numerous times but never really had a reason to go in. ‘Do you really need an excuse to go in?” I questioned myself.

The answer was simple. Of course not.

After finishing up my life admin, I quickly walked back towards the library. There were people everywhere. It was full of university students sitting in table booths, tapping away furiously on their laptops. What a great vibe. The thirst for knowledge was palpable in the air.

I didn’t have much time so headed towards a free exhibition entitled ‘Treasures of The British Library’.

It was indeed a treasure chest.

A collection of the library’s rarest finest books and manuscripts ranging from paper scrawlings of Keats, Jane Austen and The Beatles to an ancient bible from 1455. It was mind-blowing to see the Magna Carta.

What are words but vessels which carry meaning? The room was full of meaning. Full of the energy vibrations of geniuses and visionnaires past who had transferred their hearts through ink onto paper. People who had a message to share and dared to bare their souls to the world and in doing so, transcended time.

And here’s another awesome thing about the treasure room. There’s an audio exhibit where you can listen to The Beatles singing away whilst you browse around. If you so wish.

So in the middle of my lunch break, with a silent audience of ancient literature watching, I did what any hippie would’ve done. I slipped on a pair of headphones and grooved to my own silent disco of ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’.

Today, was a good day.

I made the choice to escape the monotony of everyday life. To break up the normal humdrum. I need to do more of this. To go on a daily adventure, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Take a different route home, finally wear the top I’ve been saving for ‘a special occasion’.

Doing something different, breaking our usual pattern, changes our energy. It alters the signal we’re sending out to the universe. It tells the world, “Hey, I’m here! Let’s make magic!”

I’m excited about what my adventure tomorrow is going to be. I hope you have your own awesome adventure too 🙂


“Physician, heal thyself”

Three unicorns pranced past me in a silent disco conga line.

I handed the stall holder some cash.

“Just to let you know,” he said, “All my t shirts are printed on 100% organic climate neutral cotton with water based ink.”

“Do you infuse all your shirts with reiki energy?” I asked him with a deadpan face.

“Excuse me?” he blinked wide eyed.

“Are all the shirts infused with reiki energy from Tibetan monks in the Himalayas?” I repeated.

He cracked up, “Nah man, my shirts are printed in Reading”

“Sorry” I laughed, “It’s my first time here. Finding it all a bit overwhelming”

Yesterday, I went to the London Mind Body Spirit Festival.

An awesome four day event in Kensington where hippies and new age hipsters come together to drink green juice and scoff down organic dhal. A bazaar of crystal jewellery, psychic readings and colourful yoga leggings.  The exhibition centre smells like frankincense and sweaty post yoga bods. An acoustic performer sings about karma in the background.

I walk past a queue of people waiting to have their Lipsology readings. That’s right. Lipsology. Pop some lipstick on, kiss a piece of paper and someone will read your lip print and tell you what type of person you are.

“Would you like a gong bath?” a pair of floral harem pants asked me, “I can scan you for energy blockages at the same time.”

I am slightly spun out.

My medically trained mind is at conflict with the room full of alternative holistic therapies which I haven’t quite made my mind up about. I make a conscious decision to stop resisting, open up my mind and heart and be in the now.

What do I see?

Everyone is happy. There’s a constant flow of laughter and an infective buzz in the air. The total opposite of a hospital waiting room where glum faces stare mournfully at the wall clock hoping their name is called next.

Smiling faces pose in photobooth made from a painted Vauxhall. Strangers are chatting in the pop up chill out tent in the centre of the room. That’s right. Strangers are talking to each other. In London. I really am in the twilight zone.

I reflect.

One of my medical colleagues told me a story about one of his patient’s who had a tumour in his large bowel that was causing a blockage. He needed surgery. The patient said he would have to run it past his crystal healer first.

Why did the patient trust crystal quartz over a diamond surgical blade?

Why are people happy to fork out £25 to have their auras read but gripe over the £8.60 NHS prescription charge?

I haven’t researched enough into complementary and alternative medicine to comment too much but what I do know is that I am becoming increasingly despondent in a system where we’re not connecting with patients on a human level anymore.

There was a time when doctors weren’t just physicians. They were botanists, nutritionists, philosophers, homeopaths, spiritual healers.

Somewhere along the line, a severance occurred where modern medicine evolved into the recognition and treatment of the body’s disease but neglected to acknowledge the dis-ease of the soul.

There’s been a huge shift in people’s subconscious in the past few decades. A recognition that the way we’re working, living, surviving is no longer conducive to a healthy fulfilling life.

All you need to do is walk into WH Smith and see shelves stacked with mindfulness colouring books. My Facebook feed is full of ads for life coaches and meditation retreats. I was in San Francisco Airport a few months ago and kid you not, there was an actual yoga room.

yoga room

However, things are changing slowly but surely. Take for the example the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, a service which is blazing the trail in bridging the gap between conventional and complementary medicine.

Sadly though, there is still a general mindset in the medical community that it’s all quackery. ‘There’s no scientific proof behind it,’ they say, ‘Where’s the evidence?’

But you know what?

Sometimes it’s not about the evidence. It’s about genuinely giving people your time and caring for them when they’re distressed. Sometimes the healing doesn’t come from the pills and potions but lies in the exchange of words and energy.

As Harold Becker said, “Each spoken word from the heart is a soothing balm of healing love.”


Peace Out Mankind x


Confessions of A Self Dev-Aholic

My friends and I are self development freaks. Self confessed self dev junkies.

Books, podcasts, courses, forums, talks, discussions over cake, hilarious WhatsApp outbursts, meditation. You name it, one of us has (probably) done it. We’re a bunch of misfits constantly searching for the answers to the endless questions in our heads, trying to recondition ourselves and calm down our monkey minds.

Except I had a secret that I never told any of them.

One day, I finally ‘fessed up.


My husband is probably reading this now, shaking his head in despair. I think it all started after our son was born but to be honest, I can’t remember. In the midst of the diaper changing and sweet potato pureeing, I yearned to find myself again, to stimulate my mushy mummy brain and sort out my equally mushy mummy tummy.

It started with a Children’s Storywriting course from Groupon. I stuck to it for 3 days.

The Pandora’s box had been opened. I was a sucker for everything I saw. The combination of dissatisfaction with my life and amazing internet marketing led to a downhill spiral.  I was convinced that by learning this new skill or following this programme, life would change.  For every insecurity or vague interest I had, the internet had a course to fix it!

‘Bye bye Mum Tum, fit into your pre pregnancy jeans again!’

‘How to be a Positive Parent-Learn to Speak To Your Kids So They Will Actually Listen’

‘How to Make and Sell Raw cakes!’

‘Be a Microsoft Excel Guru; change your organisational skills!’

‘Tapping for Wealth’

‘Meditate your way to a happy you!’

I think you get the picture.

By the way, don’t ever purchase an online course when you’re lying in bed at night browsing the web on your iPhone. It’s like grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Just don’t do it.

So that was ‘my thing’. My silent vice that I thought would finally make me ‘better’; a better parent, better at work, slimmer, healthier, happier. I was wrong.

Hundreds of dollars/pounds later, I have cake tins in the pantry that barely see the light of day. I’ve accepted low rise jeans and I just aren’t meant to be for now. I still ask my husband (who is an actual Excel whiz) to sort out my spreadsheets. I am still trying to master the art of which battles to let go of with our children. Does sleeping count as meditation?

We all have ‘our thing’. That car, those shoes, the beautiful clothes, that sum of money, the toned honed bod. The missing jigsaw pieces in our lives. Convinced that when we have ‘that’, we will be happier. Do we post inspirational quotes on Facebook and Instagram because we mean them or because we want the ‘Likes’ and comments?  We’re constantly searching outside ourselves for the answers, looking to the ones who have ‘made it’ to teach us how.

My husband and I were having a chat the other day, dissecting the household finances.

“You know what I can’t get my head around?” I said to him dismally, “We’re both busting our butts and there’s a guy out there barely out of nappies who makes a living out of eating friend chicken!”

Have you heard of the Chicken Connoisseur? Bloody poultry chomping genius.

Where was I again? Oh yes, looking outside ourselves for the answers.

I couldn’t sleep one night. My monkey mind was going bananas so I crept out into the living room, sat down on the floor and tried to meditate. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe ou….

I started gasping for air. The effort of having to concentrate on my breathing was suffocating me. I didn’t feel peaceful. I was angry. I was frustrated. I was overwhelmed with a tight sensation in my throat. Was this a panic attack? Tears streamed down my face and out it came. Spiritual emotional vomit.

“Help me! Hear me! I am desperate. Things need to change. I can’t go on like this. This world has weighed down too heavily on my heart,” I pleaded desperately to an Invisible Power within, who was silently watching the burning embers spitting off my raging heart.

“I’m not Elizabeth Gilbert,” my heart continued to rant, “I can’t just bugger off and leave my husband and kids and eat pray love my way through this. I need your help God and I need it now. My family doesn’t deserve this shitty ungrateful person who shouts all the time and loses herself in her iPhone whilst the kids are growing up before my eyes. My heart needs to feel again. Unnumb me!”

“I give up trying to do things the way that I’ve been taught to. To please people based on their authority and financial power. I need to stop swimming in these toxic waters. Please take over. I hand it all over to you!”

And just like that, a coolness came over me. My heart sighed in relief. I fell asleep on that floor in a mess of tangled hair and Primark pyjamas.

I can’t say that the world changed overnight but what i can tell you is that the feeling of joy that I received from lifting the lid on my emotions that had built up over the years was better than anything that I could have gotten from any of those courses. No Chanel handbag or fancy car could have given me that. I haven’t got it complete figured out yet. Where to go from here, what to do with my life next, but you know what?

It doesn’t bother me and that is friggin awesome.

There’s a certain type of magic that happens in the still of the night. When you choose to rise whilst others are asleep. When you truly connect with whichever higher force you have chosen to believe in. Make that choice to show up for yourself and give your heart the chance to speak.

You didn’t even have to pay me for that piece of advice 😉

‘You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that.’



The Day I Forgot My Umbrella

I walked out of the tube station.

“Crap,” I thought to myself, “I’m going to get soaked.”

London rain has a mind of it’s own. It flirts with you. Winks at you with a drizzle and makes you believe that you can venture out safely into it. You fall for it’s subtle charm, trust it and just like the person you should have never fallen for, BAM! It knocks you down.

Running across Westminster Bridge, I pass a group of tourists desperately trying to buy bright yellow plastic ponchos from the gleeful looking chap who runs the green wooden tourist tat stall next to the hospital.  People all around me are running around trying to escape the torrential downpour. I look at the smug faces of the ones who are whipping out their black pocket Totes which they keep in their bags 365 days a year.

In that moment, I realise that there’s no point resisting. I’m already drenched, brutally let down by my poor brolly substitute of a 5p Sainsbury’s bag. The sun is still out and a voice inside me whispers ‘Enjoy it.’

A childhood memory comes back to me.

I grew up on a gorgeous tropical island. One year, there was a particularly harsh drought complicated by a suffocating haze from trees being burnt down in a neighbouring state. It was the worst drought the country had endured for a long time. There had been no rain for weeks. Schools were closed due to a dangerously high pollution index. People went to work in masks. The hospitals were full of patients suffering from asthma attacks and breathing problems. The country felt constricted, suffocated.

Finally, after what felt like a lifetime, it rained.

You could feel the earth sigh with relief and the trees breathe again. A palpable joy pulsed through the land. I was in my bedroom looking out of the window, silently embracing the clear fluid treasure pouring out from the skies. A familiar figure walked past in the garden. It was my father. A man of few words but many big smiles.

He was walking on the grass, no shoes, no umbrella. The biggest craziest grin. He looked up at the sky relishing in the gift of life being poured down, soaking himself in the majesty and beauty of the moment. Transfixed, I stood watching him as he walked around the garden touching the leaves, wilted flowers and strong tree trunks. I have never told him I was watching him that day. It was his own private conversation between him and God.

Back to Westminster Bridge.

The  rain had stopped and the sun was beginning to set. I looked across towards the Houses of Parliament and smiled. Had I not stopped to embrace the moment, I would have missed this awesome masterpiece.


We all have our weird umbrellas; barriers that we constantly carry around with us that stop us from fully experiencing the beauty of life. When did we get so busy that we stopped enjoying the simple pleasures of raindrops falling on our head?

Mental note to self. Lose the umbrella, get out there and soak up the rains of abundance!

Now, here’s to betraying my age. Ladies and gents, I give you…



My ridiculously talented artist of a friend sent a survey around asking a group of women aged 25 and older what they would have liked to tell their 21 year old selves.

The general consensus was…


Sumo, you’re a genius x


Blue Flashing Lights

“35 year old female. Left sided weakness at 7pm this evening. Suspected stroke. Time till expected arrival, 6 minutes”

The ambulance raced through South London. I could faintly hear the sound of it’s siren in the background. I pictured the Saturday night traffic politely moving to the side of the road, at the sight of the incoming familiar blue flashing lights.

“We’ll be there soon,” smiled the paramedic kindly, “Don’t worry Doc.”

My mind was in overdrive. This can’t be happening to me. ‘Right,’ I told myself, ‘Doctor brain on.’

In medical school, we’re taught something called the surgical sieve. A systematic thought process employed to come up with potential diagnoses. I ran through it in my head ‘Vascular? Stroke. Inflammatory? The beginning of multiple sclerosis perhaps. Malignancy? Brain tumour.’

Maybe too much knowledge was a dangerous thing after all.

I closed my eyes and tried to pray. Images of my husband and children popped into my head. I hadn’t seen them the whole day. Just a quick kiss goodbye in the morning. Feelings of regret of not spending enough time with them flooded my body.

My phone rung and I looked at it. Unknown caller. It was probably the hospital.

“I’m still on call,” I said weakly to the paramedic.

“Not anymore doc,” she said “You’re a patient now.”

The rest of the evening was a blur of blood tests, examinations and scans. The CT of my brain showed nothing to suggest a stroke. ‘Probably inflammatory,’ the neurology registrar explained, ‘I can let you go home but more tests next week.’

What followed the week after was the beginning of my unravelling. I had more blood tests and an MRI scan. Nothing. They couldn’t find a cause. We call it ‘idiopathic’ in the medical world. A term used to suggest that all the serious things had been excluded but they just didn’t know. The symptoms went away after a few days. I didn’t take any time off, ‘choosing’ instead to fit my investigations during my lunch break. I use the word ‘choosing’ lightly because my conditioned mind told myself that I didn’t have a choice.

Word spreads fast. Colleagues were sympathetic. Management was relieved. I was shaken, trying to put on a brave face and make sense of it all. The bathroom became my refuge. See a patient, cry in the toilet, perform an operation, cry. Repeat. What was happening to me? ‘Help me God,’ my heart cried out, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’

“You know what the messed up thing is?” I remember sobbing to my husband, “When they said they couldn’t find anything wrong with me, I actually felt disappointed. Disappointed that I didn’t have an excuse to take a break from all of this.”

A friend who was going through her own journey recommended a book to me. Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell. In it, she mentions waking up convulsing ecstatically. She had medical tests. Perfect health. She also wrote about having problems with her left leg. That seemed familiar! Rebecca referred to Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. I did a quick Google search.

‘Illness however mild or severe is an indicator of your emotional state, caused by your thoughts and focus.’ -Louise Hay

Medical brain on and eager for answers, I emotionally self diagnosed myself from her book.

Left Side of Body=Represents receptivity, taking in, feminine energy, women, the mother.

Tongue weakness=Represents the ability to taste the pleasures of life with joy.

Arm weakness=Represents the capacity and ability to hold the experiences of life.

Loss of balance= Scattered thinking, not centered.

Depression= Anger you feel you do not have a right to have. Hopelessness.

Coincidentally (or not), the letter from my neurologist arrived the same day. ‘Normal MRI, I doubt we are dealing with serious underlying neurological disease. It is possible this is a form of migraine but unlikely.’

Diagnosis: A spiritual migraine

The cause? Magic FM solved this one for me.

‘What the world needs now is love sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. No, not just for some. But for everyone.’ -Burt Bacharach

I don’t want to be this for me, or for you. I can’t be another exhausted cog in the machine of modern medicine who doesn’t have time to love and nurture herself so that she can love her patients in return. This isn’t a story about an exhausted junior doctor. You can watch Channel 4 for that.

For years I’ve been a closet hippie surrounded by highly educated individuals who call alternative medicine quackery. Who secretly roll their eyes when you mention you’re on homeopathic treatment. Who have no idea that I am a Sufi who once travelled to the Atlas mountains of Morocco to chant and remember The Truth in the middle of a sacred dance in the desert.


This is an invitation to join me on my voyage to reconnect to The Absolute Oneness. To witness life being poured back into an empty shell by following the signs, no matter how subtle they may be. To be the alchemist of my own happiness.

Welcome to my modern day carpet ride.




Whatever floats your boat xxx