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Explore remarkable stories of resilience in our new podcast, The Resilience Files

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Ep 13: How to find resilience and healing in times of tragedy and uncertainty with Andrew Morris Listen, follow, rate and review the full episode on:
This episode – ‘How to find resilience and healing in times of tragedy and uncertainty’ – will veer from our usual format on The Resilience Files. Today I will not be conducting the interview – but instead, will be the interviewee. Andrew Morris – friend, advisor and supporter of both Resilimy and iheart, will be the one asking the questions. Business leader, entrepreneur, philanthropist and author, Andrew has an incredibly rich and accomplished professional and personal history. He was a leading figure in the media and events industry for over 30 years, and launched the innovative Business Design Centre in Islington in London which became the most successful boutique venue in the UK.
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His impressive CV includes leading the management buy-in of Earls Court & Olympia, followed by CEO of the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, one of the largest events venues in Europe, where he transformed the culture from ‘council’ to ‘commercial’. He is also the former owner and CEO of the Academy for Chief Executives, is the Chairman of a highly impactful charity and a published author of two books. I have been interviewed by Andrew once before in a different context. So I know that he will ask tough questions, though will no doubt be fair and considered in doing so. The subject matter of this episode is both sensitive and highly relevant in light of recent events in Israel and Gaza, and the impact it is having on us here in the UK and around the world. Many of us feel confused and overwhelmed by the scale of human loss and suffering that we have witnessed. It has touched a raw place in most of us. How do we feel hope amidst so much pain and loss? When we come across the worst and best of humanity, it can be difficult to locate a North Star, an anchor. But we need that anchor if we are to progress through this. Not only to get through it, but to emerge as better people. I don’t have all the answers. And some of my answers will no doubt feel inadequate. But I, like so many of us, am learning from and during this time. I’m sharing the little I know and hoping that together we can become more aware of the light and fortitude within us, and at the same time, more willing to challenge the darkness and confusion that threatens to obscure it. I hope you find this meaningful and helpful at such a challenging time for so many.
Ep 12: ‘When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.’ A conversation about finding light following the recent events in Israel with Rabbi Yaakov Klein Listen, follow, rate and review the full episode on:
We have all been stunned, in light of the recent tragic events in Israel, by the barbaric brutality and extreme lack of humanity displayed by the Hamas terrorists. As our minds grapple to try to make sense of actions that are beyond human comprehension, it seems as if we have no words.
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Yet words are important to attempt to integrate what happened – and is still happening. Trauma is often a response to pushing away events as a protective mechanism, rather than integrating. We will address this in our discussion today. This podcast was quickly and spontaneously arranged as a way to begin to psychologically and spiritually anchor ourselves in this confusing and uncertain moment; to attempt to uncover our own resilience, even as we hurt deeply. And we thought the perfect person to have this dialogue with is Rabbi Yaakov Klein. Though young, he is wise beyond his years. Rabbi Klein is an author, musician, and lecturer devoted to sharing the inner light of Torah and chassidic wisdom through his books, music and lectures. Along with his wife Shira and their two beautiful children, Yaakov moved to the UK to join Jewish Futures as the founding director of Eilecha, a new organisation focused on creating opportunities for spiritual growth and experiential education in the local community and beyond Before we begin, I want to emphasise that in keeping with the theme of The Resilience Files podcast, the purpose of this conversation is to focus on investigating resilience in the face of extreme challenges. Therefore, we will not be commenting on the specific events that occurred and are still occurring. 03:39 – Our feelings on hearing the news for the first time 13:26 – Limiting how much media we watch 21:02 – Embracing feeling lost and scared 25:42 – This is a moral conflict 36:36 – Conquering darkness with light and love 50:03 – Dealing with transient and confusing feelings

Ep 11: “I don’t need to seek belonging externally, because I have this love, this abundance within me.” – A philosophy of life that embraced me, with Mitesh Sheth

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My guest today is Mitesh Sheth, MBE, the Chief Investment Officer at Newton Investment Management. Mitesh was suggested as a podcast guest by various colleagues of mine after delivering a resilience training programme at Newton, which Mitesh himself attended.
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Mitesh obviously made an impression and when I met him a few weeks ago, I understood why. Not only is he an incredibly smart and accomplished individual, but he is a person who despite – or perhaps because of – some very significant challenges he experienced in his early life, is committed to learning, evolving and bettering himself and the world around him. That said, Mitesh is a wonderfully understated, humble and unassuming leader. He is what I would call: “A gentle changemaker.”

Mitesh qualified from the London School of Economics with a BSc in Actuarial Science. After graduating, he spent a year in India studying at a monastery/school of philosophy. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and a member of the Diversity Project’s advisory board. Mitesh has been recognised for creating one of the industry’s most open, innovative and inclusive workplace cultures and for putting diversity at the top of the agenda when he was the CEO of Reddington. As a result, in part, of Mitesh’s efforts in this area and his committed leadership, Reddington was one of the first companies in financial services to close its gender pay gap in 2019. Unsurprisingly, Mitesh received an MBE in 2022 in recognition for his contributions.

This conversation spans a childhood in environments as diverse as Bolton and India; being a member of a gang; spending a year in a monastery struggling to belong and be comfortable in your own skin; grappling as a teenager with mental health challenges; and being an impactful senior business leader in a successful financial institution.

00:00 – Introduction
03:16 – Not fitting in during childhood
15:32 – Desperation and finding faith
24:39 – Learning to live simply
36:45 – Spirituality as a foundation for life
47:10 – Supporting, rather than burdening children
01:03:45 – Opening up and revealing yourself
01:14:47 – Allowing children to experience their lives

Ep 10: “I don’t want to be angry” – Forgiving parents after childhood traumas with Jasmine Hanson

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One of the early Resilience Files episodes featured the powerful story of Max Gleason. Max movingly described his search for meaning and love after tragically losing his wife and two small children when their car was intentionally struck head-on by a man attempting suicide.

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At the time of that podcast, Max asked me if his girlfriend Jasmine – and now fiancé – could join our conversation, as she herself was on a profound healing journey having experienced intense turmoil, abuse, and neglect as a child and young woman. I really connected with Jasmine during the podcast and we have since become friends, and met up online where she has facilitated some incredible deep-breathing yoga sessions. The more I learned about what she went through, the more I felt that Jasmine’s full story needed to be heard. So, I have invited Jaz back to tell her story in more detail; it is a remarkable testament to the innate capacity we have as humans – not only to heal from past trauma – but to find peace inside ourselves, after desperately searching for it outside ourselves. 3:15 – Living with an abusive and drug addicted stepmother 12:17 – Feeling responsibility for parents 20:39 – Not being protected as a young person 23:53 – Parents losing their way and finding forgiveness 29:50 – Teenage years: hyper-anxiety, binging, insomnia and substance abuse 39:15 – Is addiction genetic? Realising we are not stuck 50:45 – Making changes and the power of yoga 1:08:19 – Forgiving and loving https://www.jasminehansonyoga.com/

Ep 09: “I had this sense that I was going to be okay” – Overcoming MS with Linda Bloom

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Our guest today, Linda Bloom, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 28 and was told by the doctors to prepare for a debilitating life bound by care. However, as the defiant daughter of holocaust survivors, Linda could not accept that her situation was beyond help.

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Unconvinced that the medicines being offered were right for her, she took the bold decision to look beyond traditional medical interventions. Having attended a retreat with Professor George Jelinek in Melbourne, Australia, Linda soon started following the Overcoming MS Program, and remarkably, within a year, her symptoms improved dramatically. Linda attributes her healing to this evidence-based approach based primarily on lifestyle changes. Linda subsequently moved to the UK and established the Overcoming MS charity which is a resource for thousands of people with MS. Linda is also a trustee of The Bloom Foundation which looks for effective ways to address social issues and to empower people to help themselves. Linda is also the wife of Tony Bloom, owner of Brighton & Hove Albion FC, the Premier League football club which is doing absolutely brilliantly at the moment! 4:15 –   First symptoms of MS and diagnosis 12:36 – Reconnecting with spirituality 21:38 – Resilience found in being the daughter of holocaust survivors 28:28 – MS and Professor Jelinek’s research 38:50 – Persevering with lifestyle changes and noticing the difference 47:35 – Becoming a mother, relapse and starting Overcoming MS charity 57:31 – Being trapped in Australia during Covid and separated from husband 1:02:39 – Learning from suffering 1:06:28 – Being the wife of a football club owner 1:11:00 – Security lies within and making a positive impact Imagine Overcoming MS | Overcoming MS

Ep 08: “Oli’s death could have been avoided” – A mother on a mission to prevent child suicide, with Michelle Leigh

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Our guest today is Michelle Leigh, who set up the Oli Leigh Trust after she lost her beloved son Oli at the age of 16 to suicide. The Oli Leight Trust provides grants which support small charities to deliver suicide prevention and mental health training.​

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Oli had so many wonderful traits: he was polite, confident and full of love; his friends looked to him for both inspiration and support. Always the perfect gentleman, Oli could fill a room with his personality and charisma. Sport played a big part in Oli’s life: he played football for the London Lions and played rugby for Harrow RFC. And for most of his short life, he excelled academically at school, especially at mathematics. This was a boy who had everything going for him and had so much to contribute. In Michelle’s words: “Suicide is preventable. As a society we need to do more to stop this epidemic.” Conversations like this can be hard to hear, but we absolutely need to have them and not shy away from debating the issues. We owe it to our children. 0:00 – Introduction 4:01 – Myths about suicide 10:38 – Oli’s childhood 17:20 – Recognising poor mental health 34:17 – The day Oli died 37:49 – Trying to deal with grief 50:16 – Schools need to address these issues 1:02:33 – Hands-on/off parenting https://www.theolileightrust.org/#/

Ep 07: “My heart felt broken.” A professor turned acclaimed children’s author talks loss, love and making changes with Professor Anthony Kessel

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It’s my absolute pleasure to introduce our guest today, Professor Anthony Kessel. Anthony is a longtime friend, colleague and trustee of iheart, the Chairty I founded. During this episode we cover a range of subjects relevant to almost all human beings: how to deal with change; loving what we do; confronting our ego; our need for validation; the pain and learning in going through a relationship breakdown; and dealing with the darkest moments in our lives.

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It was no easy task whittling down what has to be one of the most impressive biographies I have ever come across. But what’s even more impressive – as you will no doubt hear in this conversation – is what a humble, down to earth, curious, openhearted, honest and genuine person Anthony is. Professor Anthony Kessel is a public health physician, GP and academic. He is currently  working part time as Clinical Director at NHS England. Prior to this, Anthony worked for a decade as Director of Global Public Health at Public Health England and National Director of Public Health Strategy. He is also currently Senior Public Health Advisor to the Football Association (FA), and advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) on public health. Anthony has over 100 publications in areas of public health, environmental health and the medical humanities. He has trained as an executive coach and writes a personal column exploring his leadership work. And then came a major transition: Anthony is now the author of the 4-book adventure series for children-  ‘DON’T DOUBT THE RAINBOW’. Threaded throughout the series is a unique and profound approach to support the mental health and resilience of children and young people. The first book, The Five Clues, has been short-listed for several national and international awards. The second book, Outside Chance, was published in July 2022. 0:00 – Introduction 4:00 – Becoming an author and loving what we do 16:08 – Overcoming fear to change 25:46 – Innate qualities of wellbeing 29:28 – Learning through loss 39:02 – Separation: Discovering that my heart can’t be broken 49:27 – Universality of resilience in personal suffering 55:39 – Societal mental health and wellbeing 1:15:27 – Creativity in mental health education 1:20:24 – Living in the present You can find links to Anthony’s work and books in the notes below. Buy The Five Clues – Don’t Doubt the Rainbow Buy Outside Chance – Don’t Doubt the Rainbow 2

Ep 06: “I was willing to fall in order to fly.” Overcoming the obstacles to become a Cirque du Soleil performer with Shellie Epstein

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My guest today is Shelli Epstein, author of Flying High: Life Lessons from the Big Top. Shelli went to see the Cirque du Soleil at London’s Royal Albert Hall when she was just eleven years old.
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Mesmerized by the show, Shellie decided then and there that one day, she would be up there performing on the world’s biggest stages as a member of the troupe. This dream came true a decade later when Shelli became the running woman in Cirque du Soleil’s critically acclaimed show, ‘Luzia’.

In today’s podcast, Shelli and I investigate and explore the immense grit, sacrifice and discipline that often seems to be lacking in our youth today. We delve into the resilience and the perspective she was able to discover as she came up against rejection; being told to lose weight or lose her contract;  finding herself without a job during the covid pandemic; and facing debilitating, career ending injuries, which led her to ask herself : “If am not a circus performer, who am I?”

Shelli is an inspirational example of a young woman who had a big dream, and was willing to fall – in order to fly.

The link to Shelli’s book and website can be found in the notes.


0.00 – Introduction
2:07 – Childhood dreams and sacrifices
14:01 – Disappointment: Missing out on the Olympics
36:18 – Being told to lose weight
43:17 – Pinnacle: The Running Woman
47:41 – Dealing with praise and criticism
51:44 – Covid and job loss; what came next
55:34 – Injury and Identity crisis
1:00:52 – Leaving the Cirque du Soleil
1:09:55 – Resilience and life lessons



Flying High: Life Lessons from the Big Top

Ep 05: “Daddy, I am going to die.” One Million Strong founder reflects on his daughter’s heroin addiction with Paul Jones

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In 2014, I was humbled to meet Paul Jones at a conference in Cape Town, South Africa where we were both invited to speak. His incredible story moved me deeply and left me filled with immense admiration for his presence, passion and purpose. 

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In listening to this podcast, you will understand why he has spent almost 30 years years traversing the globe as an in-demand public speaker, advisor and thought leader. You will hear his moving story of his daughter Candice’s heroin addiction battle on the inner city streets of Hillbrow in Johannesburg that led to the creation of One Million Strong – an organisation committed to raising the next generation of leaders in countries across Africa. Yet, there is a tragic twist that is revealed discover as we probe and investigate Paul’s story. Just as he and his family thought they had finally found peace, they were confronted with more heartbreak, unexpected loss and grief. This inspirational story of struggle, courage, and remarkable resilience is one of the most moving you will ever hear. 0.00 – Introduction 2:30 – One Million Strong 8:34 – How it all started 22:04 – Tough love parenting 26:33 – Taking personal responsibility 33:44 – Be part of the solution, not part of the problem 43:10 – The strength to say yes to the right things – and no to the wrong things 49:40 – Candice’s recovery and subsequent illness 59:09 – Dealing with grief 1:07:45 – Intentionality and congruence Click here to view One Million Strong’s Website

Ep 04: Our child didn’t want to live but we got through it – Becoming OK with being imperfect parents A conversation with Jacqui and Julian Bull

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This podcast on parenting and family features Jacqui and Julian Bull – a powerful husband and wife duo with a great amount of experience and knowledge to share.

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This podcast on parenting and family features Jacqui and Julian Bull – a powerful husband and wife duo with a great amount of experience and knowledge to share.

Ep 03: A man who lost everything he loved… and a woman betrayed by those meant to love her. A conversation with Max Gleason and Jasmine Hanson

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If this conversation doesn’t touch your soul, then we need to speak. Max Gleason is an artist based in California where he was living with his wife Vanessa and his two young children until a few years ago.

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On October 25th 2019, Max’s life changed forever. Vanessa, a talented musician, their two-year-old daughter Luiceinne and four-month-old son Desmond were heading to a family gathering but tragically, en-route, their car was intentionally struck head on by a man attempting suicide. After the murder of his family, Max went on a journey to understand why and how this could have happened and what life and death means to him. In this conversation, Max shares his profound and heart-breaking story with his new partner Jasmine.

Ep 02: Instagram helped kill my daughter – Ian Russell holds the tech giants to account

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Our guest today Ian Russell, the leading campaigner for online safety for children. Ian set up the Molly Rose foundation in 2017 after his beloved daughter Molly tragically took her own life. Molly, who was only fourteen-years-old at the time, had been constantly bombarded by social media algorithms consisting of harmful and horrifying content. Completely unbeknownst to her family, Molly had been sucked into a virtual world that glorified self-harm and suicide.
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While trying to come to terms with the tragic loss of Molly, Ian decided to investigate how this tragedy could have occurred. His persistence led him to the realisation that some of the world largest technology and social media companies had to be held to account. If you or your family engage with social media, this is a conversation that you need to hear. As Ian asks; “If we don’t understand this new space we are co-living in, how can we use it responsibly and safely?”

Ep 01: The path from eating disorder & self harm to thought leader…

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Welcome to The Resilience Files, our brand new podcast! During this series, Terry Rubenstein, author and inspirational thought leader, will be investigating stories of struggle and triumph in the quest to explore the true nature of wellbeing and a resilience that lasts.

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In this first episode, Terry shares her deeply moving personal story of battling with chronic depression and anxiety, acute anorexia, and extreme self harm that began in her early teenage years. At the age of 29, already a wife and mother of five young boys, she attempted to take her own life. Following her release from hospital, Terry unexpectedly discovered the ‘invincible summer’ and innate resilience that resides within her. Even more unexpected was the extraordinary discovery that this invincible summer exists within all human beings. Inspired by this life-changing knowledge, Terry went on to found iheart – a global non-profit dedicated to sharing the message that we have everything we need inside – not just to survive life, but to thrive in life. “Our mission,” explains Terry, “is to educate all people that they do not have a resilience deficit. Rather, we empower them with the confidence that they can uncover their built-in mental health, wellbeing and resilience so that they can overcome their challenges and realise their extraordinary potential.”