On October 23, 2018, Bibi Baskin visited Gorey to deliver a motivational talk about life, wellness, wisdom, stress management and more.
The former TV presenter – the first woman to have her own chat show – grew up in Donegal, worked for RTE and on TV in the UK, and then took off to India for a three-week holiday. She stayed for 15 years, opening a hotel in the process. Back in Ireland for the last few years, she now lives in Cork.
Today, she’s a blogger, podcaster, motivational speaker, media and public speaking trainer, and newly appointed Ambassador of Inspiring, the women in business connections agency and news site for connecting women in business on the island of Ireland.
“I gave a TEDx talk in Louth and that got me into doing these talks around Ireland – focusing on bringing change into your life,” says Bibi. “I use the phases in my life to give hope and motivate others that they too can change.”
So, any life lessons to pass on?
“Don’t be afraid of failure, because failure is not the end of the world. Fear is what stops people from doing things, fear of failure, fear of what others will think – we can be afraid of so many things. When I started the hotel in India, I hadn’t a clue whether it would be a success or failure, but I didn’t care. But, in life, if you can nudge one little thing forward, it can impact on everything else.”
2. Give yourself a push
As the first woman to have her own chat show on Irish television, how does Bibi feel about gender quotas?
“I’m not in favour of gender quotas. When I left India, a developing country where women needed empowerment, I thought Ireland would be miles ahead. But it seems like it’s not. However, I’m not in favour of gender quotas. There should be enough confident and able women out there to go for what they want. Any of the obstacles apply to men as well as women. You just need to give yourself a push.”
A practitioner and advocate of Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems, Bibi is no fan of the ‘busy’ culture. “I love the shocked reaction when I say that people should do nothing, until I explain it to them. It’s very good to do nothing in a mindful state, because that helps you to still the mind.”
This is vital in today’s ‘always on’ culture. “I was away for 20 years and I came back with fresh eyes. And I don’t like the way people are working themselves to death, both physically and mentally. And we’ve made that heroic.
“But mindfulness, which is as old as the hills, is about to explode in Ireland. We’ve always needed it, but it’s more useful now than ever before.”
Interview and landscape images: Deirdre O’Flynn