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Self-esteem is the best medicine

Bharat Savur | Updated on March 10, 2018

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Love yourself. With that love, heal yourself.

I’m a balladeer when I sing, a musician when I hold a guitar, a bard when I write, an orator when I address an audience… I’m one with Tagore’s “Songs taught me all the lessons I ever learnt, they showed me secret paths.” I vibrate to Yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar’s “When I teach, I am a scientist, and when I demonstrate, I am an artist.” (Confession: I’m nowhere as flexible as B.K.S.)

The point is, I’m everything; I’m packed with endless potential, enormous talents and skills — so are you. I define my self, my own life, because I’m the guy who has to live with me 24/7. In the same way, you define your self, your life. Don’t let anybody take that away from you; don’t compare. See life as a pure first-person expression and experience. That’s why my suggestions all contain the word ‘I’.

I love myself as I am. This is how you should think of yourself. You have this life gifted to you. Don’t blow it. Don’t throw it away with false, useless thoughts that undermine you. Loving yourself is being free. Lowering yourself is carrying around a burden called ‘poor self-esteem’. You’re way too intelligent for that.

I see life as eternal, and ecstatic as a beautiful attitude to adopt. It may sound paradoxical but, believe me, it is only when you sense the eternal quality of your being that you can give generously of your self to people, to creative hobbies/ activities without the spirit-suffocating “I-have-no-time” cliché. As that wonderful poet Emily Dickinson urges, “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.”

With love, I let go of the past. You’d be surprised how the unhappy past can have a grip on your joints. You can’t take a step forward into the present-continuous without resistance — that’s why joints creak. For this, do stationary cycling for 20 minutes daily to unblock the synovial fluid in your knees — let it circulate freely once again. Free your thoughts too: “I flow smoothly in the now, secure in the knowledge that every step falls on firm ground.”

I relax in my wholeness, completeness. This helps you breathe freely if you are a natural loner but are forced to mingle with people on account of your job. The congested feeling makes you prone to cold, fever, asthma. De-congest, and open your airways with long solitary walks in the great open outdoors. You do need your space and you have a right to it.

Being very contemplative by nature, I’ve begun to see that we are mind first, body second. And if we can fill our mind with beautiful, safe and secure thoughts, they seem to steadily heal and make whole our wounded physical parts. There’s a new school of alternative therapy that believes in cell regeneration through thoughts. Even our medications will be better absorbed and assimilated if our mind and body are receptive to their curative properties.

About half a century ago, a specialist of psychosomatic medicine had said, “We ourselves choose the times of illness, the kind of illness, the course of illness and its gravity.” Surely, then we can re-choose to become or remain healthy all our lives? We need to liberate ourselves from the ‘learned helplessness’ that we’ve fallen into. A family acquaintance, immobilised by severe arthritis, says she dreams that she is running around effortlessly. She must continue to visualise this beautiful self-image in her waking hours too and nurture it with thoughts of faith and positivity.

The secret is to never see yourself as victimised by fate, circumstances, people. No, no, no. Drop those dirtballs of resentment and self-pity that keep you isolated in your prison of illness. Remember this important and liberating truth — people love you the way they know how, not the way you want them to. So, focus only on one beautiful fact — that they do love you. What you focus on expands in your mind and stays. It’s about making peace with the way things are and surrendering our pigheadedness. And believe this, for I speak from personal experience: Once you make peace, once you accept the way things and people are, you step into a higher, healing, luminous consciousness.

Being at peace does not mean being resignedly passive, but living in the absence of resistance. Not only does the mind let go its obdurateness and relax in this state of peace; every body-cell lets go of its accumulated dross, becomes lighter, goes into a temporary soothing slumber, and is re-born in luminous, dynamic health. We reflect this happening when recuperating from an illness — we eventually fall into deep, healing sleep and wake up to a great feeling of well-being, our system perfectly balanced.

Remember, these healing vibrations of solace, sweetness and grace are set off by your own thoughts, your way of expressing, your attitude… So, make art, make music, make peace. Find your own secret paths. And in re-defining your self, refine your health.

The writer is co-author of the book ‘Fitness for Life’.

Published on June 06, 2013

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