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I recently approached a Psychiatrist MD to understand how the medical society sees the relevance of complementary care, more specifically of holistic talking therapies for their patients' recovery and also for good mental health maintenance. I decided to reach out and have this chat, because for the past year, year and a half, I have had the feeling that people come to me expecting that just by being in the same room with me it will magically dissipate their problems and make their lives easier. I don’t want your issues to disappear magically. I want you to understand WHY they are a problem TO YOU. I want you to be able to see them through different eyes and fresh points of view. To learn how to identify in your own personality and life story patterns, also the triggers that are now making you suffer, to have and be in conflicts,. And ultimately, I want you to find a way to use that information to your benefit and stop that pattern. Do you see the difference? I see many people taking prescription drugs and forgetting about all of this internal work. Or even giving up on their medicine on the first sight of side effects, because they feel alone on this journey. Why are they not talking to a professional on a regular basis? Why are they feeling like a walking diagnosis tag, as opposed to a whole person, with an issue - or several - to work on? I’ve been asked why am I distancing myself from spirituality. Well, I’m not. And it’s not that I’m not happy with my practice. Spiritually is still an integrative part of the whole human being. I love my practice. I believe in it with every part of my being. I also believe that unless we unite forces and be able to bring knowledge about emotional education and emotional intelligence to more people, emotional wellbeing and mental health will always be bad words. I approached a doctor in search of how we ( by we I mean the medical class, psychotherapists and the so-called alternative or holistic therapists) can work together in making this (exploring emotions, talking about feelings) a common sense, given fact. To break the taboo and include people into processes of knowing themselves intimately, into trying natural therapies to help with side effects of needed allopathic medicine, and making feelings and emotions a common and easy conversation to have on our daily lives. Like brushing our teeth. Who's with me?

Photo by taylor hernandez on Unsplash

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A funny thing happened to me last week. I am currently studying the Enneagram, a personality profiling system very complex and fascinating. Between the residential intensive modules, we are encouraged to carry on with self-studies to enrich the experience and debate at panels. I have been carrying my books around and taking many notes. The other day, after I've finished with consultations, I took my studies to a cafe where I was cross-referencing a book on the Enneagram personalities motivations with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. It was late afternoon, so the cafe was getting empty and the restaurant portion of this venue wasn’t opened yet. Apart from me, there was a table with two ladies quietly chatting, and a man in his late 80s sitting on his own, making joyful conversation with the waiters. At some point, this gentleman approached me saying that I looked very interested in my reading. He asked what I was studying, and to make things easier I simply said Emotional Intelligence. His reaction was as surprising as his approach - he raised both eyebrows, waved his hands as if he was cutting connections and half laughing, in a polite way, said “Emotional Intelligence? Oh, I won’t come nearer then. I just wanted to say you look very attractive on your checkered jumper.”

Did he think that it was contagious? Or believed I was going to make him tell me his deepest secrets? Or confess to having emotions, perhaps? He was sweet and very kind, with his compliments, but the way he run from the word “emotional” does say something about our culture. I really hope that all this current media attention to mental health brings awareness to the importance of getting in touch with our emotions and those of the people around us to lead healthier lives and be able to interact better in this world. There must be a sweet spot between being a Snow Flake and building a Concrete Wall around. Wouldn't you agree?


#emotionalhealth hashtag#awareness hashtag#selfawareness hashtag#counsiousness hashtag#awakening hashtag#enlighten hashtag#personalgrowth hashtag#selfimprovement hashtag#spiritualdevelopment hashtag#insights

As we seek Personal Growth and Spiritual Development, we come across this beautiful thing that is Consciousness, as a result of pure awareness. We then become detached from the self, from our thoughts and from feelings, which grants us a state of peace.

But should we dismiss our human experience and feelings once we reach it?

Photo by Greg Rakozy

Much has been said about awareness and how the realisation of non-duality can help us be freed from suffering and all negative emotion by detachment of the self. Which is mind blowing – or should I say soul dissolving?


But what worries me is that the whole thing can be confused and applied as a denial or as a shortcut. I’ll explain what I mean.


It is liberating to realise that we are not our thoughts, we are not our feelings, that our circumstances are unchangeable and just a provocation for us to become aware that they don’t matter and that there isn’t, in fact, a separation – there isn’t I & others, there is only one and what we see as problems are actually mere illusions.


Right.


But every time we simply jump into that conclusion when we are confronted with our feelings and thoughts, we are missing the experience of existence.

The long way would be to first acknowledge what we are feeling. Acknowledge what we are thinking. And to feel our feelings and to think our thoughts. Next, we can begin to become aware of why we are feeling those feelings and thinking those thoughts. By being aware of what we’re feeling and thinking, and of why we are feeling and thinking that way, we can then become aware that whatever and whomever caused those feelings and thoughts, were not really the causes, and that we don’t actually know what others are feeling and thinking nor why they did what they did. They are mere triggers. A kind of “false-reality”.


That is a beautiful thing to experience, to become aware, and then become conscious. We realise that nothing is real and nothing is separate. It helps us release all sorrow, suffering, anger, resentment – for nothing is important, and nothing is real.


Now, my point is, you could jump straight into that state of consciousness when facing anything – pleasant or not – in life, but when we acknowledge our feelings and thoughts, rather then dismissing it upfront, we experience our human condition, our experience as a human being.


We were given this gift, this human experience, so why deny it? When we skip it altogether and go straight to the awareness of non-duality, we miss all of this experience. We miss the love, the joy, the bliss.


When we do that, we are either in denial (of the opportunity of feeling), or missing an important present we were given.


We could just “be peace” and not shaken by any hurricane nor tsunamis. But we’d miss the love, the flowers, the sun.


Of course, achieving expanded awareness is another beautiful gift. An amazing realization that will always help us to return to peace.


But let us not be numb. Let us allow ourselves to experience human existence, while reminded to keep a strong self-awareness and move in the pathway to pure spiritual awareness and consciousness.


Why not have a full experience of human existence while cultivating the awareness of non-duality at the same time?



#emotionalhealth #awareness #selfawareness #counsiousness #awakening #enlighten #personalgrowth #selfimprovement #spiritualdevelopment #insights