In the company of books

There are moments,when I feel lost and what comes to my rescue is an idea,lines from a book and then the strength to move on.Some of us turn inward when faced with a crisis,or a depressing moment and then there are others who turn outwards to people,engaging with the community.Sometimes it is important to remember that Kafka,Rilke,Camus and Yalom have all the answers.I remember as  child I used to be immersed in books and continued to seek solace in their company.Strangely,these books have moved in to my therapy sessions and some clients need an idea,that cognitively resonates with them and then emotionally liberates them.For some of us, a writer is more magical than a therapist,it transports us to the hidden terrains within our own self,that sometimes are layered with so much conditioning.

Taming the Mind

Somewhere deep in the corner of all our hearts lies sadness. A little criticism,a life event, sense of rejection and sometimes the lack of inherent meaning of life triggers it all. Then all of a sudden,sadness chooses to reside in us,slowly becoming the permanent resident in our body.So where do we draw the line? Can we choose or learned helplessness it is? What you do with your sadness is a personal choice. I drown my sadness in writing and some drown it in running , exercising.The trick is to find healthy adaptive ways to be mindful of the sadness and yet allow it to pass by engaging with life.Sometimes choose to substitute sadness with pleasant memories and remind ourselves gently how resilient we are. Remember that sadness distorts us and our self esteem.I’m reminded of a song by Coke Studio,Madari Madari, we need not supress the emotions, but we can train the mind to happiness.The key to training our mind,lies within.

Friendships

Some conversations fill our heart with happiness. Strange as it may sound,there was a time couple of years back when I realized all my closest friends have moved out of the city or moved abroad. But what remains constant is our ability to connect with each other,no matter when we speak. We pick the phone and start from where we left.The boundaries of distance, time barely matter.May be with age, the perspective on friendship has changed. Now I feel the need to be around people who are kind, compassionate and warm.So the need for mere intellectual connections or people who validate myself is less.In these friendships, I find genuineness,deep sense of connection and most importantly realizing how our conversations flow. So whether we discuss Pink Floyd, Psychology, Children,or Life we deeply understand..and even the long the long silences which linger between two phone calls disappear in that moment.

World Mental Health Day

I started working as a therapist about 10 years back,not sure if the world even needs therapists.Now on the World Mental Health day I feel that all of us need to pause,look within and introspect about where we are heading. There are mental disorders and then there are lifestyle issues such as Digital addiction,Burnout, lack of resilience, the illusion of the social networking. Stop and ask yourself, if you have nurtured your mind and soul in a while, if not do it now. Life can wait.