My Therapy Stories (#1) : Inner Child Wounds

Beginning 2020 with a very personal, monthly series, called My Therapy Stories. Let’s break the stigma!

With all the talk about mental health, I decided to put together a new series about my experiences with therapy. The first aspect of my story, begins with inner child wounds from my time at school, and the ripple effects it had all the way through adulthood.

I hope to encourage more people to step up and take therapy as a lifestyle choice. And NOT something to look down upon. Let’s break the stigma!

DISCLAIMER : These stories aren’t always pleasant and they might trigger the parts of you that want to be healed too. But, I promise they have happy endings. And I hope these endings will inspire you. 🙂

Also, none of this is to disrespect or blame anyone. I am only recounting my experiences as a child, but also discussing how these experiences were healed.

How Schooling Effects Mental Health

My family and I stayed in the United States for a few years. Then, we came back to India, the motherland, once I was in 5th grade.

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Our family trip to the Grand Canyon, from nearly 20 years ago!

Growing up, my school life in India really challenged my mental health. While in USA, I was acing my classes, in India I wasn’t even in the top 10 (though yes, Indian classes are much bigger in ratio).

I often missed playing outside because even after school, I’d spend hours in tuition for all the subjects, catching up with the education system. There was a lot of culture shift. I struggled especially because I also had to learn to write Hindi from scratch, several years after other kids were already quite good at it.

Another difference? Getting told-off in Indian schools for my “poor handwriting” or “sloppy diagrams”.

I remember being asked to go home with the class topper’s notes and practice writing like her!

I didn’t realise things like these even mattered, that these qualified for a reproaching, until I started feeling the embarrassment flush in my cheeks for it infront of the whole class.

Uptil this point, I had always been known for my sincerity and diligence, and had never been called-out so blatantly. Never being very sport-oriented to begin with, now, my academic intelligence also came into question.

Inner Child Therapy for School

Recently, in processing my childhood through Inner Child Healing work, I unblocked some strong feelings of incompetency and guilt.

I realized the reason I never cut myself slack after growing up, was because I felt bad for not being able to prove my worth in school. I felt like I needed to work even harder, and that’s what my college and work life saw – grinding, extreme grinding.

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An intense capture from one of the workshops I attended back in college. Haha!

My parents never once asked me to do better, but I felt the guilt of not being good enough. I felt like I was letting them down.

Who knew, these thoughts weren’t coming from within me, but from a different source? Overtime, kids start believing the thoughts to be their own. And bam! Down goes their self-esteem.

Infact in 10th grade, right before my Board exams, I had a panic attack and started hyperventilating. I had to be rushed to our physician, and she made us realize that I was overwhelming myself with performance pressure.

Hypnotherapy helped me uncover and heal this guilt, after a decade! I’m also slowly learning to allow myself time to relax and enjoy, and to stop taking life so ambitiously.

How Creativity Helps Mental Health

My creative and artistic side rarely got the encouragement it should have, the way US schools provided kids.

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My Idaho state project as a kid, where learning and creatvity went hand-in-hand.

Infact an art teacher scared me to my very core, one year. She seemed crazy, a woman that yelled at us kids for forgetting our art supplies or for not painting as per her standards.

I too, got a LOT of heat from her once, and I became deeply terrified.

There was another rather mean, intimidating dance teacher who often yelled at me in front of other classmates, because I was too shy to dance freely. I probably looked incompetent inspite being trained in the classical dance form, Bharatnatyam

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One of my Bharatnatyam performances in Boise, when I was 8 years old.

Inspite studying from an academically sound school, many of the teachers were daunting, and mean to kids except the ones that scored perfect grades (not me). The rest of us were constantly reminded how we’re not good enough.

It never occurred to me to discuss this at home, seeing that this was a culture that everyone faced with me. Don’t get me wrong, there were some really sweet teachers. But there weren’t that many. Nope.

Trying to cope with all this, I missed out small hobbies, like completing my Bharatnatyam Arangetram and even smaller things like watching Harry Potter.

Inner Child Therapy for Creativity

Working on my childhood through therapy taught me to provide myself those experiences now, as a grown up, and to cherish my hobbies even if they are childish sometimes. In otherwords, ‘reparenting’ myself.

Only recently, in August 2019 did I, as a 25 year old adult, watch the Harry Potter series! What a classic.

These have all been tributes to my younger Self. Afterall, don’t we owe it to ourselves to live the quality of life we want to? It’s never too late!

This process is called reparenting. If you’re interested, do look it up (until I can plug in something written myself, haha).

Healing is also how I gained the confidence to dance front-row for my Salsa performance in office. And it was what empowered me to perform a Bharatnatyam-fusion at my engagement, whose video you can watch below.

I didn’t have that kind of confidence growing up. My heart was always pounding even though I had done several stage performances before. But now I do feel relaxed and capable of being carefree while on stage. And I’m proud of myself for coming this far! 🙂 

I also continue to expose myself to various art and recreation classes, that keeps my inner child happy and thriving.

Concluding Thoughts on Therapy for Inner Child Healing

I didn’t have any of these memories consciously. To me, I felt like my childhood was rather relaxed and happy.

But when you go into therapy, it turns out, you can uncover a lot of hidden pain that at the end is the reason your personality and choices are the way they are.

For me, spirituality and psychology have been a blend in my healing. They have both equally and substantially provided to my happiness quotient.

As Spirituality teaches us, we may not be responsible for what happens to us, but we alone are accountable for our healing.

So, the best thing that happened to me, was learning how to forgive each and every teacher, because they did teach me a lot, even if it wasn’t the kind of lessons my parents enrolled me for.

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Image courtesy : Pixabay, shutterstock

Gratitude : 8 Powerful Tips for 2020

Here are 8 simple techniques to live a life of more gratitude and joy. Practical ways to live a more thankful life on a daily basis.

Happy New Year! This year, if there’s one thing I want anyone reading my blog to be able to take away, it is the power of living a life of gratitude.

Ever since the 2000’s, the ‘gratitude’ philosphy has exploded. You might ask where to begin, and it’s actually easier done than you think. So, here are some simple examples that will help you enter into the mindframe of grateful living.

HOW TO FEEL GRATEFUL

  • Start your day on a positive note. How?
    Well, acknowledge the basics.
    You had a comfortable bed to sleep on (and an air conditioner/heater), you slept with food in your belly, you woke up to the opportunity to live another day.
  • Check-in with yourself, especially in the moments you’re feeling crappy.
    What are somethings that went RIGHT today? It could be something as simple as getting a cold glass of water on a hot summer day when you desperately needed it, or a receiving a smile/compliment from somebody that made you smile!
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Image : Ivory Mix Stock Photos
  • Identify the people and things that make your life easier, instead of harder.
    – Does somebody drop you to school/work everyday, to whom you forget to say thanks when you get out of the car, or to wish ‘good morning’?
    – Do you have a steady internet connection that lets you talk to that long-distance boyfriend/girlfriend you’re pissed off at?
    We take a lot of things for granted, especially people.
    Start recognising everything comfortable about your life, even in the situations that make you unhappy.
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HOW TO EXPRESS GRATITUDE

  • Don’t be shy to tell people they make you happy!
    Find ways to appreciate and compliment people, genuinely. Not only will this break barriers in the most unstable of relationships, it will help you see people for their goodness, not just everything that’s wrong with them.

Read More : 5 Ways To Be More Happy Everyday

  • Write about it.
    At the end of your day, take out 5 minutes and write yourself an email about the 5 highlights of your day! If you enjoy journalling, this could actually make a great journal idea too.
  • Return the favour.
    Give other people the opportunity to feel your gratitude towards them, for what they did for you. But in your own style. Sometimes, a small, handwritten note can go a long way, or buying someone a coffee. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just heartfelt.
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HOW TO CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT OF GRATITUDE

  • Be the change you want to see.
    This might mean being the person at work that always drops a mail to the whole team for their hard work (no matter what level you are at), or the person that converts tough situations at home by seeing the good in them.
  • Change your vocabulary.
    Start using words like “blessed” and “grateful” in your day to day conversations, and not just as an Instagram hashtag!
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Ultimately, gratitude is an attitude, and also a skill. It takes some retraining and inner reprogramming, but the more you practice it, the larger the ripple effect will be in your life.

Let me also take the opportunity to express my gratitude to you, for reading this and supporting my blog, in whatever capacity that you do. THANK YOU! 🙂

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10 Inspiring Spiritual Quotes

From my personal collection, my favourite inspirational spiritual quotes about Life, Relationships and more!

Jumping right into my list of all-time favorite spiritual quotes, no further introduction needed!

#1 – When you know better, do better.

By Maya Angelou.

We often hold a tendency to accuse ourselves and others, “why would you do that, ofcourse you know better than that!”. But the truth is, if we really, truly knew better, we’d do it.

For example, we all know we should go to the gym, eat healthy, be honest, etc. But not all of us can live upto even these simple understandings. Why? Because they haven’t truly integrated into our being!

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Once we have understood them at our core, it just becomes second nature. So the next time you or someone makes a mistake, let this be a reminder – if they knew better, they’d do better.

#2 – You wanna come with your cup full. What comes out of the cup is for y’all, what’s in the cup is mine.

By Iyanla Vanzant, this is one of the most unconventional spiritual quotes. We’ve all been taught to keep loving and caring for others unconditionally. We’ve been taught to put other first.

But it makes complete sense – how we can we be of service to others if we keep serving ourselves last (and thus, exhausting ourselves)? Self-love explained in the finest way!

Read More : 7 Daily Rituals for Self-Love

#3 – Let there be spaces in your togetherness.

Kahlil Gibran was ahead of his time in teaching us about healthy boundaries and interdependence in relationships. His book, The Prophet is a gold mine of spiritual quotes! But I’ll share the ones that really hit home.

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Whenever I find myself clinging to my husband and taking away from his personal time, this simple poem rings in my head like a reality check.

Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.


Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.


Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

While this quote pertains to romantic love in his book, The Prophet, it really extends to every relation.

#4 – You start where you left off.

This was an insight on suicide, provided by a spiritual teacher that communicates with Angels, and the deceased ones, Rebecca Rosen. It might seem out of place to some of the readers, but her work is extensive and has brought tremendous help to countless people.

With the growing number of suicide cases, I approach this heartbreaking subject with a gentle reminder that many books also provide evidence of.

We don’t really escape, we just come back here again and again, redoing all the ABC’s, toddler walks, teenage dating and more before we, once again, get the opportunity to deal with our life’s challenges.

Thus, the only way out of this, is through this, as the saying also goes.

#5 – Nobody should be anyone’s teacher for more than a few months.

By Dr. Brian Weiss, though this is lesser known amongst his other spiritual quotes, was what empowered me.

Every guru I meet may only walk a certain distance with me. The real guru lies within all of us, and within me too. It has thus helped me to never ‘settle’ for one kind of experience, and instead to go within to find the answers, as I experience life’s many flavors.

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#6 – Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, grow, grow.

By Talmund.

In your darkest times, even when you cannot see the Light and it feels impossible to believe, know that everything is divinely guided, even a blade of grass. The universe talks to all of us, we just have to listen. 🙂

#7 – Since the universe is self-organising and self-correcting, if anybody did anything to harm me, the universe is already on it [karma]. The universe has a way to make sure I get, whatever in the material world that person took away from me. We call that the ‘Principle of Divine Compensation’.

From Marrianne Williamson, in her video about Forgiveness.

The message is loud and clear – the Universe is our provider and that’s where our expectations should lie, not in people!

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#8 – 42.

On the face of it, a number doesn’t qualify as a spiritual quote. But here’s the essence.

In the book Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the number 42 is the “answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything” – calculated by a Deep Computer over a very, very long time. Though the meaning of this cryptic calculation is widely debated, the answer I read moved me deeply. Here’s what I found.

Software developers like to use 42 as a magic number, i.e. a number without any real significance, which you could replace by any other number. In other words, the meaning of life, is ANYTHING YOU WANT IT TO BE.

This has always humbled me, whenever I’ve been in doubt if I’m “doing the right thing”.

#9 – So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

Humbling eh? Don’t toot your own horn! This is actually from the Bible, Matthew 6:2.

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#10 – The Eagle does not fight the snake on the ground. It picks it up into the sky and changes the battle ground, and then it releases the snake into the sky.  The snake has no stamina, no power and no balance in the air. It is useless, weak and vulnerable unlike on the ground where it is powerful wise and deadly. 
Take your fight into the spiritual realm by praying and when you are in the spiritual realm God takes over your battles.  Don’t fight the enemy in his comfort zone, change the battle grounds like the Eagle and let God take charge through your earnest prayer. You’ll be assured of clean victory.
Pray without ceasing.

What are some of your favorite spiritual quotes? And how have they helped your journey? Let me know!

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