Welcome to my website! My name is Ali and I’m an educator, blogger and freelance writer, with a passion for understanding what we mean by wellbeing, and how we can achieve greater harmony and wellness. After ten years researching and lecturing in Higher Education, I recently left academia to pursue opportunities outside the ivory tower. Here, I will be documenting my somewhat unusual journey through Higher Education and exploring some of the reasons why I left. My research background is in the history of mental health and wellbeing, and my aim is to offer new insights about how we might improve health and wellbeing at work and in our daily lives.
I returned to university as a mature student at 29. My route to academia would be considered non-traditional, since prior to university, I worked as a hairdresser for ten years. While fellow university students went out socialising, I returned home each evening to two young boys, four young step-children, and a gargantuan pile of dirty football kit. To supplement income, I drove the ‘butcher’s van’, delivered pies and served hog-roasts for my husband’s business. Nine years (and many domestic crises) later, by some miracle, I finally received my PhD in the history of medicine, and embarked upon an academic career. I believe my unconventional journey has kept me grounded and given me a unique perspective on education. I look forward to sharing some of my insights - alongside some of the laughter and a few of the tears.
As an educator, my extensive research into the history of mental health and illness has led me to conclude that, as a society, ‘wellbeing’ seems to be in short supply. How did we get here? What can we do? How can we cultivate kindness and connect with ourselves, our environment and each other more effectively? I have learned much from my research and teaching, but far more from ‘listening’ and ‘understanding’ in various roles over the last ten years. I’m increasingly interested in exploring holistic, complementary health practices and look forward to opening interesting conversations about the ways in which we might foster greater wellbeing and positive health. As a historian of health and medicine, I’m increasingly drawn to ancient Eastern and Western concepts of ‘balance’ and health, and interested in distilling some of the wisdom recommended by predecessors about the importance of balance in lifestyle, rest, diet and emotions.
Here you will find details of my past work and the ideas I’m developing for the future. You will also find my blog - imbued with a sense of humour, which has been my ‘medicine’ through recent years. Please feel free to contact me via the contact form.
MY objectives are to:
Empower communities to generate health and wellbeing instead of sickness and therapy
Reduce isolation by promoting the values of ‘community’: goodwill, understanding and empathy
Promote the value of non-clinical approaches to health and wellbeing