Tag Archives: #heal

Rare Stroke Survivor Shares His Story of Resilience in His memoir ‘One Fine Day’

Foreword

In One Fine Day, Sameer Bhide sends each of us a reminder about the preciousness of life. Bhide had an extremely rare hemorrhagic brain stroke which required two different brain surgeries and  30 days in a medically induced coma before he could even begin the years-long hard path to recovery. During this difficult period, he had to quit his work and he went through a divorce. At the age of 47, his life came crashing down and changed dramatically…But he chose to overcome and embrace his new normal with “grace and gratitude.”

One Fine Day recounts the traditional well-accepted scientific protocols and atypical treatments he used to heal his mind, body, and spirit. At the end of each chapter, Sameer shares the relevant lessons learned from his journey which he calls “Sameerisms”. One Fine Day is a good positive read for people to overcome any adversity or life changes and want to turn their life around and heal. He believes his memoir will help people to build resilience, express gratitude, find possibilities, and adjust to a new life that they may not have chosen. This book also looks at the unexpected benefits of supplementing cutting-edge Western medicine and care with holistic Eastern practices to heal.

Excerpt

Now, I was ready to get back to my new normal with my family. I was working to heal my mind and spirit, as well as my body. My regiment now consisted of a combination of Western and Eastern medicine, care, and practices. I took what I’d learned at Nimba and continued to use Ayurvedic medicines and oils. Meditation became part of my regular routine. Beyond specific treatments and therapies, the holistic approach to health and life itself influenced me in lasting ways, without overdoing it, though. I also continued with the daily journaling habit I’d begun at Nimba, along with writing down three things I was proud of and grateful for every day. Before I started doing this, I had been a big to-do list person but never documented my feelings on paper. I was surprised by how cathartic this simple practice was. To date, I continue to do it.

I am very grateful to be the beneficiary of both Western and Eastern systems of medicine and care. But I don’t believe one system is better than the other. Just as some people are overly dependent on Western medicine, there are people who only use alternate medicines, practices, and care, and shun cutting-edge medical innovations and technology. I am absolutely convinced that you need both in balance. Also, because I’m Indian, some people, both in India and in the States, assumed that I am in total support of Eastern medicine and care, especially Ayurveda. Nobody said so specifically, but I could sense it. I have to be honest: Ayurveda is not the answer to all the ills, as many folks believe, nor is Western medicine and technology. You need both. They complement one another well. I am living proof. 

Upon my return, I also resumed visits with my neurologist, Dr. Manem, and went to my internist, Dr. Rachel, for a blood test. I was happy with the results and sent them on to Dr. Shyam since I wanted to keep him informed about my progress. I got evaluated at Inova Fairfax Hospital for further physical and occupational therapy. I also started seeing my clinical psychologist, Dr. Susan, again. I shared with her what I’d done at Nimba and what I planned to do now that I was back home. She didn’t offer her opinions or judge me in any way. She listened and allowed me to confide in her. I’d never done that with anyone before. At Nimba, the meditation and holistic treatments had given me a stronger ability to accept destiny and relinquish the need for control. Back home, that process continued. I realized I had to accept a situation the way it is, not the way I might want it to be. My “it is what it is” mantra continued to develop further. I used to get angry over little things, like paying bills or dealing with bad equipment. Now I was becoming more patient and accepting while learning to look for realistic solutions to everyday problems.  The mantra “it is what it is” applies to so many things. It can be a difficult message to follow, but it has gotten easier over time.

For many years, I had been part of a reactive and competitive business world. In business, generally, you don’t look calmly at a situation and acknowledge how the other party sees things. Being empathetic is just not part of the business culture. Because of my stroke, I was beginning to take a very different view of life. I was becoming calmer and more compassionate and empathetic. When I return to regular work in the future, it will be interesting to see what my reaction will be. Maybe my sense of acceptance will flow into the business world.


Sameer Bhide is originally from Mumbai, India and migrated to the US 31 years ago. Currently, he is on Long Term Disability and lives outside of Washington DC in Vienna, Virginia.

Srishti Prabha is the Managing Editor at India Currents and has worked in low-income/affordable housing as an advocate for children, women, and people of color. She is passionate about diversifying spaces, preserving culture, and removing barriers to equity.


 

Loving Yourself During Challenging Times

Dear Reader,

Self-love is more important now than ever. The pandemic has added a layer of sadness, frustration, and uncertainty, and navigating the new normal is not easy.  This has made it extremely difficult to breathe or feel safe to do our everyday tasks. We are social beings and feeling hopeless, angry, and suffocated.  This continuous challenge of learning how to live life during this time and staying sane is the new normal. It is more important now more than ever to put ourselves first and love ourselves like our life depends on it.  Because it does.

When we love ourselves despite the outer conditions, we give ourselves permission to gain more life force and signal to our body, mind, and heart that we matter. We owe it to ourselves to create small habits that nurture and support us in the near and long term. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to replace a few bad habits with a few good ones and that makes a huge impact on our health and happiness.  Sometimes it means getting really creative like booking a hotel and finding some space to breathe with just our own energy.

Here are some self-care strategies for challenging times.

Take some time for yourself

This might sound difficult as you might be living with a family in the same home for eight months.  Can you walk outside in nature? Can you sit under a tree? Can you dance outside? Can you laugh or watch something funny?  Take proactive action every day to shift your energy to a positive state even if it is a 5-minute walk or calling a good friend.

Feel your emotions 

Many of us have internalized our emotions in the last eight months.  We have seen a series of uncertain events and haven’t had a healthy way to cope.  Take some time to journal your feelings and really tune into what your body is saying.  When we feel uncomfortable emotions, we allow healing to begin and start processing what is ready to go.  When the body opens up the release of these pent-up emotions through feeling, crying, or other ways, you can then welcome new energy to come into your body and psyche.

Start over every day and forgive yourself

It is important we forgive our actions, reactions, and habits of yesterday and start over every day.  With the current situation, we can be normal one day and in despair another. Be kind to yourself and if you made some mistakes in eating too much food or drinking, give yourself permission to start over again.  If you skipped your exercise, start again today.  Write down somewhere on your fridge or car, I forgive myself every day and start over every day.  I acknowledge every little thing I do to take better care of myself.

Find stillness within

Meditation, Yoga, and breathing are an excellent way to alleviate stress. A deep breathing exercise with eyes closed for a minute with one hand on your heart and one on your stomach can relieve anxiety and stress.  Youtube has a huge selection of videos of varying lengths to choose from.

Home remedies 

During these times it is important to keep doing natural remedies to stay on top of your immune health. Ancient Indian roots like ginger, turmeric, and probiotics like yogurt go a long way to support your immune health.

Praying for yourself and loved ones

Give all your challenges to God. Have faith in a higher power and pray for the same thing for a few months and notice the difference. Talk to God like a best friend and sit and listen after.  Miracles are real.  If you want to explore this further, pick up my book on finding hope, faith, and trust during Coronavirus.

Remind yourself of what is going right in your life

Make a list of things that are working in your life and place it where you can see it every day. In a world full of struggles, these simple reminders will surely bring a smile on your face and bring your focus on abundance vs. lack.

Let music and dance heal and uplift you

Have you ever started smiling when you hear fun music playing? Do you notice how it just lifts you up? I find music and dance are life-giving and inspiring. If there is a type of dance you have always wanted to learn, now is the time. All you have to do is Instagram or YouTube the type of dance and live zoom classes and you can have access to teachers Internationally.   

Make effort to connect with friends and family or new people

Most of us are missing engagement and social connection with the world.  Make an effort to call friends and family. If you don’t have any friends, message people whose energy you like and tell them something you like about them and see that turn around in kindness towards you.  

Let nature heal you

With a mask on, go for an easy walk or a challenging hike depending on your fitness level and feel the fresh air, sunlight, and wind. These elements of nature show us that we are a part of a greater universe here to support us. The soothing and healing powers of nature give us a new perspective.   Try to slow down in nature and listen to what it has to say.  Breathe.  Adventure into new trails and new cities.  Ocean, mountains, and forests are natural healers as are the sun and rain.

Get help 

If you are struggling with gaining weight or another life challenge, seeking help is a sign of courage and strength. It signals to the Universe that you are ready for something beyond your current struggle. Hire a therapist to talk about your problems or work with someone to get into healthy eating habits. People are working online and here to help you. A little support, accountability, and even google research goes a long way in making changes while finding health and happiness.

Acknowledge yourself

Make a list of 5 things you can acknowledge yourself even if it is eating 1 less piece of bread, walking 5 minutes, breathing more, or not shouting at your housemate.  A little self-encouragement goes a long way in building healthy and rewarding habits.

With these tips, I acknowledge you for putting yourself first and reading an article on how to love yourself better.  That is a sign of self-care too.  Remember it is the baby steps in a healthy direction that matter and forgiveness for any mistakes that keep you from moving forward.   It is a journey, not a destination.  A year from now you might be thanking yourself for how strong you have become during a very challenging time and that can enable you to support others during difficult times in the future. 

Be gentle, kind, and compassionate towards yourself and write to me at [email protected] about which one of these tips you ended up using and how it worked out for you.  I look forward to hearing from you. Keep dancing, smiling, and rocking. You got this.

Much love,

Manpreet Komal 


Manpreet Komal has a 150,000 social media following and is a Clairvoyant Healer, Life Coach, and an author of the book – The Universe Sends Helpprayers to find hope, faith, trust during the time of Coronavirus. She also uplifts, motivates, and inspires others through dance at Rang De Bollywood Dance Company.

A Poet Born Through Healing

Poetry as Sanctuary – A column where we explore poetry as a means of expression for voices of the South Asian Diaspora.

Poetry was never something I imagined to become this significant to me, it was not even a sliver of a dream of an unimagined future.

I spent the first 3 decades of my life trying to fit into the mold of a perfect, normal life. I moved to the US from India at a young age, always striving to keep a smile, raise 2 sons, and remain optimistic. Something still felt missing. I was drawn to the teachings of yoga & philosophy. That seemed to satisfy my need for continual answers to the meaning of life.

All of that came crashing down when I got afflicted with a brutal skin disease that attacked me in every single way – physical, familial, emotional – I was isolated from society for the next few years. Modern medicine did not have any remedy for me, so I chose holistic methodologies from ancient times to find my way back to life. My new normalcy turned out to be as brilliant, as painful it was to go through dismantling my existing reality.

With very few humans around to know and really understand the drastic choices I made about my healing, I was unaware there would be a subsequent spiritual awakening. The world did not make sense to me anymore. There was this ocean revealed within and I needed to learn to swim.

It took a while to befriend poetry as a gift. It brought alive my relationship with the Universe. I remember the exact moment and setting when the first surge of inspiration began and I started rhyming in my mind. I had to drop everything and type. It was a very strange yet powerful feeling. Even stranger was to look at my writing and think it was poetry. 

I thought each one that came was the last. I couldn’t own it or name the place it came from. I started sharing them on my blog and Facebook. I had people message me that these poems were helping them get through the day, giving them hope, peace, courage, guidance. As I stepped into the fourth decade of my life, poetry had become a living, breathing part of me.

People asked me how did you start writing. My reply to them came through this following poem:

Just how did the writer in me get born?

When drippings from a touched soul find their way in writing
A poet is born
When the beauty is undying and the joy so fulfilling
A poem is born
When feelings are heart wrenching and clarity is killing
A poem is born
When a surge comes as discomfort and words pour out
A writer is born
When the harmony felt is such that there is no choice but rhyme
A poem is born
When made-up words bring meaning and no-rhyme verse feels musical
A poetry is born
When living alive to feelings, words come to life
A writer is born
When clarity becomes more intense than the pain that afforded it
A writer is born
When no human around can suffice to contain the expression
A poetry is born
When a release is looking to flow out at an unearthly hour
A writer is born
When words choose the person as if a channel
A writer is born
When none can be planned to rhyme or reason
A poet is born
When human spirit gets broken to million-times-ten pieces, yet finds beauty
A poet is born
When Life decides to peel back layers of truth down to the core
A writer is born
When each level of façade is stripped down to bare soul
A writer is born
When all the suffering was a gift, lived through or let through
A writer is born
When there is no knowing if there is more from where it came from
A writer is reborn
When it comes from a place that is hard to own
A writer is born
When the essence of being is wrung out in best expression
A poetry is born
When it feels like a soft glove over the brutal thing
A poetry is born
When the loneliness in truthfulness is more than can enjoy yet
A writer is born
When inspirations come out of nowhere as if universal cues
A poet is born

So if you can just rest
In the drippings of the writer’s soul
Momentarily let go of the sufferings you insist on
A poet would feel content for being born.

– Pragalbha Doshi

After 4 years of this amazing adventure, I had felt a lot of grief when I thought poetry was leaving me. I did write some more after that, and the flow trickled to a stop. It was time for me to visit life in a different way. I trusted Poetry to know that – in time, it will come back to me.

My poetry found a voice and new life within a year when, at the beginning of the pandemic, I joined a local group called Poetry of Diaspora in Silicon Valley. Poetry is that gift and sanctuary that leaves out all supposed normalcy and brings us closer to who we truly are. 


Pragalbha Doshi lives with her husband and 2 teenage boys in San Jose, CA. As a yoga teacher, she facilitates therapy & change for people who struggle with chronic symptoms of stress, physical & emotional, and who want a productive & fulfilling life www.yogasaar.com