Stories to strengthen the Mind | Nathasha Kumar, Jigar Vora & Varun Pande
After six years of being in a committed relationship, when Jigar’s marriage hit the rocks, no one asked him what he was going through. Today, at 36, he is steadily and consistently learning to build up his self-worth.
When Nathasha went against her parents’ wishes to come to India and build something by herself, she couldn’t have foreseen the turn that life took. Recovering from an accident, it took about three months for the first ray of sunshine to come along.
In life, challenges are the only constant. As creative professionals, we face them in some very complicated ways, or perhaps being so in tune with our intuition makes us that much more susceptible to pain and suffering.
May is Mental Health Month, and we’re using this opportunity to talk about mental health as that spectrum that falls well outside clinical diagnosis. We’re talking about those blues that just won’t go away, but don’t get worse with time either, the constant self-talk that takes you down a bad rabbit hole, and of course, the external commentary that makes you wonder if indeed there’s something wrong, and if you need to do something about it.
Over time, several residents at BHX have shared their mental health challenges. These are their stories.
For a very long time, I didn’t quite know who I was. It didn’t help that social conditioning was very strong while I was growing up.
It took me several decades of soul-searching and the institution of marriage to discover who I truly was. By then, one may say that it had been too late.
But that’s the thing! These experiences and the constant self-doubt has led me to believe that we can be in charge of our self-talk. It does seem ridiculous at first, but come to think of it- would you ever be as harsh to someone else as you are to yourself?
“Oh, I just tend to forget everything!”
“I just cannot be on time, no matter how hard I try.”
“I’m just not that good.”
We say these statements to ourselves in one form or another and the underlying message we’re giving ourselves is clear- “I am not enough.”
But you are! And that’s where there’s so much scope for transformation. I haven’t undergone therapy in the typical sense of the word but I have worked with life coaches professionally and I’ve begun to realise that it all starts with you.
Quote: On day one, saying something like, “Oh I did so well on this project” may seem utterly unbelievable, but I have just one piece of advice for you- keep at it, until it becomes believable enough. That’s the only way to make it true.
Achievement is such a strong motivator, but there comes a time when it can turn on you. I went well against my parents’ wishes when I chose to come to India and start something by myself.
All my life, I kept hearing the same thing, “She can do it. She can do anything!”
Now, one would argue that that’s a really good thing, but here’s some food for thought- there’s no guarantee that any kind of messaging, positive or negative, will have the desired impact on a growing child. In me, this created the insatiable need to be good, to be better.
In some ways, it drove me to create a thriving business but in others, the need to always be better eats away at me.
When I moved to India, I had a fire-related accident and I knew then that this was the point of no return. From there, I could go on do something truly phenomenal but my instinct drove me into sadness and depression instead- just a protective mechanism at play, I guess.
After three months of suffering and agony, all it took was one person coming out and asking how I’m doing. He didn’t have to do it and there’s no saying what my life would’ve turned out to be, but he did and that made all the difference.
Quote: When you’re in a bad space, reach out. And if you suspect even mildly that someone else is in a bad space, reach out. Be kind. Pay it forward. Overall, we could really use a culture of acceptance over one of shunning people, and ridicule.
We all have periods of self-doubt, times when we question everything, and phases when nothing seems to get better. That’s the rabbit hole and I daresay it isn’t one you really want to get to the bottom of.
Oftentimes, being in a bad space could be a product of not stimulating the mind in new and different ways. Personally, I believe that physical fitness and mental stimulus go hand-in-hand. Research, too, shows that being consistent with physical activity releases the happy hormones. But be sure to commit to something you truly enjoy.
Also, life isn’t a race. You don’t have to get anywhere, and you certainly don’t have to do it on a tight deadline. Chalk your own path, and never feel like you have to explain it to anyone. Easier said than done, I know!
But we need to collectively take a stand against social pressure and refuse to follow the straight-line path.
Also, if you’re really afraid of failure, it means that you also really, really want to succeed. Focus on that instead. Fear is a good thing- it gives you boundaries. But don’t let it control what you do and don’t do.
Quote: Do you remember the time when you prayed vehemently to have the things that you do today? They say change is the only constant, but perhaps growth is. You will grow. Trust that the process will work.
The Beachhouse Project is where fifteen creative minds meet in one secret villa for seven days. The result? Magic. We are now a tribe of over 150+ creatives who continue to learn and grow from each other well after their residency ended. To apply for your chance, go on over to https://bhx.theexperience.co