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Body, mind and beyond

ISSN 2277 5153 VOL X ISSUE 4 FEBRUARY 2016 ` 100 PAGES 102

The dangers of sitting

too much
Help your teenager


Confessions of an army
Hidden meaning behind
your dreams



The two sides of a coin


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Editors insights

Stimulating ideas
bhishek Sohni looked stressed out. He had conded in his counsellor
Ravi Mazumdar that lately he just couldnt get himself to focus on his
work. Abhishek loved to work; he was the driven type who regularly
went beyond the call of his duty. Over the years, he had become known
for his work ethic: the guy who never complained about excess work. Not
surprisingly he had risen up the ranks quite early in his career.
How could someone like Abhishek suddenly lose all interest in his job? At rst
Ravi thought it was a case of exhaustion. Aer all, that is what his symptoms
lethargy, lack of focus and a general disinterest at workpointed to. But digging
deeper he discovered that the cause of Abhisheks increasing sense of dissatisfaction
was not excessive stress but the lack of it. The work that once challenged him now
made him weary. He no longer derived any sense of satisfaction from his job,
so much so that he had started thinking of retirement although he was only 44.
Abhishek was suering from a dierent kind of burnout, a phenomenon that results
from boredom and lack of eustress or benecial stress.
We tend to associate the term burnout with too much work-related stress. But
this is a limited view of a much broader phenomenon. In this issues cover story,
Dr Steven Berglas tells us the other side of the burnout storywhen lack of enough
stress and paucity of challenges leads to extended boredom which, in turn, causes
burnout. According to him, no maer how good you are at your job and how much
you enjoy doing something, aer a while you will get bored of doing the same thing
over and over again.
Giving examples of athletes who compete against top competitors, salespeople
who exceed quotas, and managers who beat deadlines, he says, Humans are
innately challenge-hungry organisms who are rewarded [at a neurological level] by
doing something beer every day however, should an Olympic-calibre athlete
compete against a high school student in his preferred sport, or a salesman reach his
annual quota in a few months simply by ling orders from repeat customers, neither
individual will derive eustress.
One could say that true happiness and bliss result from good stress, which absorbs
our aention thoroughly and makes us feel worthy. On the other hand, not being
challenged enough is bound to make your feel disengaged, causing boredom which
ultimately leads to burnout. He calls such burnout Supernova Burnout.
While explaining the concept of Supernova Burnout in detail, Dr Berglas oers
a few unique techniques to address it, should you face such a problem in your life.
Use these techniques to keep boredom in check while nding new ways to keep your
work stimulating and challenging. Because, monotony isnt good for your wellbeing.

Manoj Khatri

No maer how
good you are
at your job and
how much you
enjoy doing
aer a while
you will get
bored of doing
the same thing
over and
over again
Vol X Issue 04 FEB 2016
Body, mind and beyond




RNI No. MAHENG/2006/21415

EDITOR | Dr Grazilia Almeida-Khatri
ASSISTANT | Mitali Meelan




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24 | Trending this month

Boredom And Burnout
The two sides of a coin
Burnout is not necessarily caused by excessive stress. On the contrary, it
is often the result of boredom due to a paucity of challenges that test your
mettle. According to research, work that has stopped engaging you can be
harmful to your wellbeing. But it is possible to insulate yourself from the
phenomenon that affects millions of unsuspecting executives
By Steven Berglas






Jamal is an
author, highly
sought-aer motivational
speaker, author and coach.
His dynamic and inspiring
Corporate Su message has
been heard by over one million
people around the world and
his work has been recognised
by Deepak Chopra, Wayne
Dyer, Jack Caneld and Ken

Kiran Shete,
MS [Ortho],
PGPM [ISB], is the founder and
medical director of Pune-based
Spinalogy Clinic.

is a journalist
and creator
of the blog
Being married to an Army
ocer, she is fully enjoying
her nomadic life, which is a
shaken and stirred cocktail of
adventure and anxiety.

is the bestselling author
of The Element
Encyclopaedia of 20,000 Dreams
[Harper Collins] and Sunday
Times best-selling author of
An Angel Healed Me [Simon
and Schuster]


34 | career & workplace

53 | parenting

Authentic leadership endures

because it exists as a function of
the individual rather than a crowd
of borrowed opinions
By Brian Tracy and Azim Jamal

A counsellor and author shows you

how to navigate the tricky waters of
your childs teenage years
By Phoebe Hutchison

How to be an authentic leader

36 | exercise

Sit at your own risk

Prolonged sitting is linked to many
serious health concerns including
diabetes and heart disease
By Kiran Shete

40 | skincare

7 Ways to help your teenager

thrive and survive

56| relationships

The Aikido of communication

Where are your communication
difficulties? Do you find yourself
accommodating too often, shutting
down, taking anothers comments
personally or being overly
competitive or argumentative?
By Judy Ringer

Regain your glow

Our skin loses its sheen due to
many factors. Here are some things
you can do to restore its lost glory
By Sudhakar Grandhi

45 | food & nutrition

Papaya pleasures

60 | marriage & intimacy

Life with an AS partner

Marriages where one partner

has Asperger Syndrome can be
painful and challenging, but help is
By Eva Mendes

Papaya can be cooked in

interesting ways too. We share four
must try healthy recipes that will
call out to your taste buds.
By Anjana Devasahayam

50 | parenting
No childs play

While playschools are an important

phase in your toddlers growth
and development, choosing the
right one needs some serious
By Sidharth Balachandran


63 | mind & emotions

Should you broadcast your

life online?
At this very moment, as you read
this, millions of people have just
shared some minute detail about
their life with millions of others.
Every second of every day there
are Tweets, Facebook updates,
Instagram images and a host of
other social media activities that
document our daily lives. But is all
this constant updating healthy?
By Graham Jones

66 | self-help

Mood Is your choice

How to find lasting happiness by
choosing your emotional response
to any event
By Sarah Williams

68 | self-help
It pays to play

Find out how play can enrich all the

dimensions of your life
By Marianne St Clair

72 | consciousness
The unknowable self

The deepest mystery of existence is

the phenomenon of knowledge
By Osho



79 | yoga
Yoga for PCOS
Did you know that besides affecting
fertility, PCOS increases the risk
of heart attack, diabetes, stroke,
anxiety disorder, depression and
uterine cancer? Fortunately, PCOS
can be cured with the help of yoga
and lifestyle changes
By Shammi Gupta

90 | travel

Voluntourism:Travel with a
When you choose voluntourism,
you not only enrich your life but
also the world at large
By Shraddha Gupta

94 | travel

A sojourn to SAPA

83 | sleep

What are you dreaming of?

Presenting the nine most common
dreams and what they are trying to
tell you
By Theresa Cheung

86 | Q & A on health
Epilepsy explained

A neurologist explains the brain

disorder that causes seizures
and offers useful advice regarding
the same
By Anil Venkitachalam

88 | living spaces
Neat and chilled

An efficiently arranged refrigerator

can help you save time, plan your
grocery shopping better and is
pleasing to the eyes
By Nithya Govindarajan

Explore a breathtaking hill station

in Vietnam and experience the
culture of an authentic hill tribe
By Archana Singh


10 | Events
12 | Talkback
14 | Happy happenings
20 | Write notes
76 | Confession Booth
93 | Month freshener
98 | New kits on the block
100 | Reections

Events this month

One week workshop on Kalaripayattu

This workshop will focus on functional training,
locomotion workouts, basic body movements and body
postures of Kalaripayau, including bhaav [expression].
Kalaripayau, like any other martial art, synchronises the
physical and mental energy, ultimately producing a body
that is spontaneous, yet full of aesthetic expression. The
trainer, Vipin Lagarto Kazhipurath, is an accomplished
and commied martial artist with 12 years of experience.
When: 14th 19th Feb, 2016
Where: Andheri, Mumbai
Fees: `3,000 before 10th Feb and `4,500 aer 10th Feb
Contact: 9930029265

Under The Peepal Tree festival for dad and child

This is a unique and rst-of-its-kind event for kids and their dads. Kids
aged one to eight years can spend outdoor fun time learning and bonding
with their fathers. The activities will kindle their interest and intelligence
and develop trust and condence in them. The father-kid duo will get to
spend an entire day outdoors in nature; they will participate in multiple
activities that are aimed at stimulating all the nine intelligences. Some of
these include relive the story, theatre workshop, pretend play and
grassroots games.
When: 20th 21st Feb, 2016 [10am 4pm]
Where: Maharashtra Nature Park, Bandra Sion Link Road, Mumbai
Fees: ` 800 [one adult, one kid]; Extra kid: ` 650; Extra adult: ` 150
Contact: 9819554496 / 9820487124 /

Kala Ghoda Art Festival

The 17th edition of the nine-day annual festival that celebrates music,
dance, theatre, photography, literature, food, cinema, architecture and
design, all under one roof, is back. The festival will include heritage
walks, street food stalls, books with amazing discounts, literature and
other workshops, visual arts, a dedicated section for children and stalls
selling eco-friendly, handmade art and cra wares. It is also known for
showcasing giant art forms using recycled material. People from all over
the country and overseas are aracted to this nine-day event celebrating
Indian culture and art.

Frozen river trek in Ladakh

This is a challenging frozen river
trek over Zanskar River. This trek is
popularly known as The Chadar
Trek. This river is located about 50km
from Leh. You will travel by vehicle to
the highway junction of Zanskar river
and then trek over the frozen river.
For six days, you will travel up and
the next six days you travel down the
river. Experience living in caves, facing
temperatures as low as 100 C or 150 C.
Though this trek does not have much
altitude gain as compared to other treks,
it is a test for your mind control over
your body.
When: 12th 20th Feb and
19th 27th Feb, 2016
Where: Ladakh
Fees: ` 25,000
Contact: 7774037070 /


When: 6 14 Feb, 2016

Where: CST, Mumbai
Fees: No entry fee


AHA! Little Cloud Story

Telling Sessions
Let your child celebrate every
February weekend this year
listening to Indias rich folk takes.
Ranga Shankara presents Lile
Cloud Storytelling sessions for kids
between 4 6 years of age. The
sessions will be held for an hour
every Saturday and Sunday where
dierent storytellers will read
out famous Kannada, Hindi and
English stories including Freebie,
Truth Prevails, Aaina, From Father
to Daughter, For Beer or for
Worse, Munasib Batwara and many
more. Reserving seats is mandatory.

7-day intensive workshop on Mural Painting

Explore the magic and freedom of turning a poem into a painting under the
guidance of noted mural artist, Shri Sasi Edavarad. The focus of the workshop
will be: beer understanding of ancient paintings; learning to draw the human
body, other shapes and forms using traditional measurements; learning dhyana
shlokas and their usage; painting and colouring the mural way; and meditation.
The cost is inclusive of material and food. Your paintings will be exhibited on
the last day of the workshop and you get to take home a nished piece of work
that you made with your own hands!
When: 21st 27th Feb, 2016
Where: Visthar, Hennur, Bengaluru
Fees: `12,000 including food, accommodation, materials and course
Contact: 9447114482 / 8156895207 /

When: 2nd 24th Feb, 2016; every

Saturday and Sunday
[10 11am]
Where: Ranga Shankara,
J P Nagar, Bengaluru
Fees: ` 50 per child, per session

Jash-e-Rekhta 2016: Urdu Festival

Jashn-e-Rekhta, a rst-of-its-kind Urdu festival held in
India, made its debut in 2015. The second edition is being
held in the heart of New Delhi. The festival will celebrate
the quintessential spirit of Urdu, its creative richness and
linguistic heritage through Mushaira, Qawwali, dastangoi,
drama, discussions, dance, ghazals and more. For three
mesmeric days, some of the Urdus nest poets, authors
and artists will come together to bring alive Urdus
lyrical beauty and resonating eloquence through live
performances, panel discussions and interactive sessions.
Check hp:// for the schedule.
When: 12th 14th Feb, 2016
Where: IGNCA, New Delhi
Fees: No entry fee but registration is mandatory
Contact: 9999341607 /

Complete Wellbeing is not associated with any events listed here unless otherwise stated. This information is provided only on an as-is basis;
interested readers may verify the information directly with the event organisers.
To have your event listed on this page, email us on Complete Wellbeing reserves the right to refuse
publishing information about an event, without providing any reason whatsoever.



letters and comments from readers

lucid manner. There are articles that

pertain to all aspects of health and
not just the physical.
The magazine, with its simple
language, is great for leisurely
reading for both patients and
professionals. It is highly
recommended by me!

Highly recommended magazine

I wish to mention that I have been
an avid reader and subscriber of
Complete Wellbeing magazine. I
eagerly look forward to receiving
the issue every month. The topics
covered are very relevant and
useful in the day-to-day life for the
The hallmark of the magazine
is the fact that the articles while
scientific are written in simple
language and are easy to understand.
Issues that are otherwise
technical are handled in a clear and

Dr Avinash De Sousa, Mumbai

Few things I loved

I gifted a copy of The Ive no time
to cook book [seen in your Jan 16
issue] to my daughter who is living
alone in a different city. She has just
started to cook with the help of this
book. The cover story featured in
January issue was very inspiring with
funny, uplifting stories. Also, I always
make it a point to buy and read the
books that are reviewed in the Write
Notes section.
Neelam Ramani, Madurai

Topics that are relatable

Im a subscriber and I religiously read
this magazine every month. I liked
Sidharth Balachandrans article 6
lessons from a toddler; I think he is
amazing with words. I am a mom to a
five-year-old. Whenever I take my kid
to the playground, I witness all that
he has mentioned in the articleonly
he has put everything I feel in better
words. I look forward to reading more
articles from him.
Smita Deshmukh, Dehradun

Getting over my insecurities

I have not come across a magazine
like yours, in India at least, that covers such important issues which we
all face in our day-to-day life. I didnt
realise I had imposter syndrome until
I read about it in your magazine. In
fact, I did not even know that such a
condition exists and I am sure I am
not the only one who feels this way.
I have done very well in my job and
surpassed my colleagues too, who
had joined around the same time as
me. I would often feel guilty about
this and think it happened by chance.
But now I know half the world population has experienced similar guilt
trips and I dont feel alone.
Rekha Bose, Surat

Send us your experiences, ideas, opinions,
comments and suggestions. Write to
us at
Or post your comments on



Happy happenings

Officers kindness helps an 82-year-old homeless man ind a home

Picture courtesy:

AT MORRISONS MCDONALDS, Alex Fischbach saw Sergeant George Depuy walk a

homeless man from his car into McDonalds.
The oicer told the man it was a good place
to stay warm in the chilling winter and explained the situation to the employee at the
counter, who was happy to let him in.
The oicer then handed some money to
the man. When the man tried to refuse, the
oicer said, Im not asking you to take it, Im
telling you to take it. And with that, he left.
Alex was touched by his utterly selless
gesturea law enforcer who did not look
for any recognition. He quickly clicked an
in-action picture of the two when they shook
hands and shared the story on his Facebook
The story instantly went viral, with channels and newspapers reaching out to Alex for
interviews. But according to Alexs updated
post, Oicer Depuy declined an interview
[with KWQC 6] because he said he was just
doing his job.
A few days later, the homeless man ended
up at Open Bible Church in Rock Falls, IL from
where he was taken to a homeless shelter in
Sterling. The pastor at the church recognised
him, as he was wearing the same coat as he
had been, in the shared picture.

Pilot turns the taxied plane back for a distressed family

A FAMILY FROM PHOENIX had less than 10 minutes to board a connecting ight between Phoenix
and Tennessee. Their ight at Phoenix Sky Harbor
International airport was delayed by an hour and
a half, which limited their time at Minneapolis to
catch the next ight. Tragically, that was the last
ight from Minneapolis airport that day.
As they reached the airport, they found that the
plane was already taxiing towards the runway and
there was nothing they could do.
I was just crying. I couldnt believe we were
gonna miss that ight, said Nicole Short-Wibel
to Fox10 later. Nicoles brother was screaming
through the glass, trying to signal the pilot, while


their mother, Mrs Short and her daughter were in

They were headed to aend their fathers funeral. Their father, Jay Short, had just succumbed
to cancer and his burial was to take place the next
morning, in their hometown.
Miraculously, the pilot Adam Cohen, saw the
desperate man waving at him. When he learnt
about their plight, he took a turn on the runway,
something that is unheard of, and let them in.
Thanks to this pilot of Delta Airlines, the family
could reach their father in time for a last farewell.
We were very, very thankful to those pilots,
said Nicole.


Picture courtesy:

Group of people
paint giant Under
Flyover pillars,
transforms city
THE UGLY INDIAN is an anonymous group of people
with a simple moo, Kaam Chalu Mooh Bandh [Only
work, no talk]. Their sole purpose is to clean up Indian
cities through Spot-xing. The group chooses small
segments of road or pavements to clean and repair.
They have, till date, transformed over 250 places.
Their latest target in the New Year was to paint
and transform 22 pillars, covered with promotional
posters, lth and dirt, under the Bhadrappa Layout
yover, in Bengaluru. The team of BBMP welcomed
over a hundred enthusiastic citizens [The Ugly

Two young medical

interns save a man declared
dead by the public
Savitri Devi were returning home in
Hyderabad when they noticed a crowd
around a road accident victim. The
spectators declared the man dead and
clicked pictures while looking on.
But the two girls quickly got down
to helping him. They did not carry
instruments, so they used a pen to
keep his tongue out and a rolled-up
newspaper to blow air into his lungs.
They also gave him chest compressions.
They sustained his life for 25 minutes
until an ambulance arrived that gave
the victim necessary irst aid and rushed
him to the hospital. The man was saved
thanks to the efforts of these two
doctors in the making.

Indian team, residents and volunteers] and together

they painted the 22 pillars in two days. The citizens
contributed their time, eorts and the cost for
materials to this self-funded cause. The initiative
saw kids as well as senior citizens coming forward to
The multi-coloured 3D pyramid designs are not only
aractive, but they easily discourage illegal advertisers
from using the pillars as a means of marketing.
Visit their website for more

Girl celebrates her wedding by

spreading awareness about education
INSTEAD OF HOSTING LAVISH feasts and splurging on celebrations, a
22-year-old MCA girl, Nishadbanu Vajifdhar, decided to put the money
that was set aside for her wedding to good use. On her wedding day,
she decided to honour all the teachers responsible for her education.
She presented each of them with a shawl and a souvenir and she also
felicitated the students who completed their higher education, to
spread awareness about the importance of education.
Setting an example for a lot of young girls in her village, she told TOI,
In our village, the level of education is very low. My father too wants
everyone to be properly educated. So, I decided to spend the money
on felicitating those who taught me from nursery to MCA. We will also
donate money to institutions that made me an educated human being.
She is the daughter of a farmer and resides at Haldharu village. She
had the complete support of her in-laws and family in this endeavour
and they donated `10 lakhs to Nishads school. In all, 75 retired teachers and a number of bright students who shared a similar passion for
education were felicitated at the unusual wedding ceremony.


Happy happenings

An act of kindness makes this Target cashier a hero

Picture courtesy:

SARAH OWEN BIGLER, an Indianapolis woman, had

planned on a quick stop at Target, before heading home with
her children. When she reached the check-out counterwith
only an old woman ahead of her at the cashier deskshe
started to arrange the items in her cart at the conveyor.
When she was done, she realised that the woman in front
of her was taking quite a while to make her payment. She
saw that the old woman was counting out change, paying
in loose coins and purchasing each item separately. A lot of
people behind her started to move to other queues that were
long, but at least moving.
Sarah was geing impatient and frustrated, but then she
saw the young cashier. He was reaching over and helping the
woman count her change while repeating, Yes, maam as
he spoke with her. When she asked if she had enough to buy
a reusable bag, he nodded and went to fetch one. Never once
did Sarah see the employee grunt, complain or show any
sign of frustration.
Sarah then noticed that she was not the only one
observing this kind and patient man. Her daughter, Eloise,
was also looking onwitnessing compassion. Realising that
this was teaching her daughter a valuable lesson, she pulled
out her camera and clicked a picture of the duo. When she
shared the story on her Facebook page, it went viral, with
over 20,000 people sharing and talking about it.
This made the employee, Ishmael Gilbert, instantly
popular and he received a token of appreciation from Target.
Gilbert was humbled, but while the fame was unexpected
and exciting, he said that this was how he treated all his
customers and the old woman was no exception.

Distraught waitress gets a hefty tip and kind message

from a generous customer
waitress at Cheddars Scratch Kitchen, started
chatting with the customer at table 43, she learned
that the woman she was chatting with was a
criminal psychologist who dealt with the sorrow and
struggles of other people almost daily. She mostly
meets with people for juries, but said that she was
also going to interview people that come back from
the war [who had] PTSD, Schelsteder said. She said
they come back, and its really hard for her, because
her brother was killed over in a war.
Their conversation veered towards Heathers


grandmother whom she lost in November last year.

Since then, Heather had been struggling to move on.
Both teary-eyed by then, they just kept talking
until the next customer came in and the woman
had to leave. But before leaving, she left behind a
$100 tip for a $27 meal. Along with that, she also
left a heartfelt note for Heather that read, Have an
amazing new year. It gets better.
She made me realise there are still people out
there that do care. Thank you. I didnt get to thank
her, said a crying Schelsteder later in a HumanKind


Happy happenings

Fitness trainer carries a 280-pound injured hiker to safety on his back

Youngest parent to adopt an

abandoned special needs child
THE NEW JUVENILE JUSTICE bill passed by the government
changed the minimum adoption age in India from 30 to 25.
And no one could be happier than Aditya Tiwari who, aer
a long wait, was nally able to adopt a child suering from
Down Syndrome.
Binny, born to a rich family in Bhopal, was abandoned at an
orphanage when his parents discovered that he not only had
Down Syndrome, but also suered from hearing problems and
had a hole in his heart. Aditya Tiwari met with his parents later
and was shocked to discover that they were capable of caring
for Binny, but simply didnt want to, because of his condition.
Aditya decided to take him under his roof.
Aer several lengthy legal procedures, Aditya was able to
adopt one-and-a-half-year-old Binny and was christened the
youngest bachelor in India to adopt a child.
Aditya gave Binny the name Avnish and although he had to
deal with the initial resistance and reluctance of his family, when
he nally brought Avnish home, they welcomed him warmly.
Its a proud moment for us. We are grateful to God for
giving us a son like Aditya and now a grandson like Avnish,
said Adityas parents.

Picture courtesy:

DR DAN REARDON AND his girlfriend were on a holiday hike around Escondido Falls when
they noticed a man struggling to walk. Mark Martinez wanted to descend from the mountain in
Malibu, California, and was pitiably hopping around on one leg.
He was limping quite badly. He looked like he was in a lot of pain. He was quite pale and
sweaty, said Reardon. He had family members, sort of helping him move along. But it was quite
clear that he was struggling.
Dr Reardon and Dina Zaky oered to help him. The young doctor who is also a tness
enthusiast and the founder and CEO of FitnessGenes pulled the 280pound man over his back and spent two hours carrying him down.
Dina, on the other hand, ran down the hill to call for help. When she
couldnt nd anyone, she borrowed a phone from the nearest home and
called an ambulance. When the paramedics arrived, Reardon had carried
Martinez two miles down to safety. They found out that Mark suered
from a broken ankle and an injury in his lower leg bone. According to
Dan, however, the incident brought him and his girlfriend new friends
in the new year and brought the families closer.
We were able to help out someone who needed our help. And hopefully, weve demonstrated a positive message of geing t in 2016,
Reardon told TODAY later.

Deaf man rescues deer

caught in ice water
WHILE DRIVING BY the Kettle River in Minnesota,
Steven Peterson noticed a deer struggling to come
out of the rivers ice hole. Peterson wanted to do
something, but being deaf, he realised that trying
to communicate with emergency operators would
take time and might cost the deer its life. So he took
matters into his own hands and turned back to help.
He carried a tree branch over to the deer that
was struggling to get out of the water, spread
weight across the ice and loosely tied a yellow leash
around the deers neck. He then slowly and successfully pulled it out of the freezing water.
The deer, covered in ice and unable to stand up,
suffered no major injuries. Peterson then pulled out
his camera and narrated the incident with the deer
lying behind him in the frame. He stayed with Miss
Ice River, as he named her, for another hour.
Im happy the deer is safe now, he signed in
the recording before unleashing the deer and
signing off.

If you have an inspiring or heart-touching story or incident to share,

email us at and well publish your story here.





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books, music, movies and more

Rising strong from our failures involves a threestep process:

1 The Reckoning: Walking into our story and
recognising that a buon has been pushed and
that we are about to explode with negative or
undesirable emotion.
2 The Rumble: Owning our story by being honest
about what we tell ourselves, by admiing our
deeper emotions of shame, guilt, blame, and
being willing to revisit and challenge these selfnarratives to arrive at the truth of who we are
and how we engage with others.
3 The Revolution: Writing a new ending and
changing how we engage with the world on a
permanent basis.

Rising Strong
By Dr Bren Brown
Published by: Vermilion
ISBN: 9780091955038 Pages: 288 Price: ` 599

The triumph of vulnerability

he books cover states, The physics of vulnerability is simple: if we are brave enough, oen
enough, we will fall. Being brave and falling helps
us grow and changes us for the beer.
Social scientist and best-selling author Dr Bren
Brown has spent several years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame. While
her previous two books are a call to arms to
wholehearted living, this third book is all about
acknowledging the desperation, the shame, and
the vulnerability that comes along with failure,
and rising up to own our story.
When Dr Brown talks about failure, it is not
just in some large-scale professional endeavour,
but also the personal heartbreaks and catastrophes
in our lives. She addresses the complex nature of
failure, reminding us that we tend to gold-plate
failure and grit, sugar-coating the process and the
pain involved in falling and in deciding to rise
again. The book is not about the tired clich of
failure being the stepping stone to success.


Of these three steps, the Rumble is the messiest:

the place of the greatest struggle, and, a non-negotiable part of the processto become aware of
the story were telling ourselves about our hurt,
anger, frustration or pain. In an eort to come out
smelling of roses, we tend to glorify our recovery
and the redemptive ending while casting o the
emotional darkness that engulfs us when we are
down, face-in-the-dirt, struggling.
The book suggests that we write down our raw
emotions and feelings at this stage of rumbling
what is called the SFD [shiy rst dra, as per
the author]without ltering the experience or
worrying about how our story makes us look.
Then we examine our self-defeating assumptions
by asking:


What do I know objectively?

What more do I need to learn and understand
about the other people in the story?
What more do I need to learn and understand
about myself?

Now we can look for the deltaor spacebetween the story we make up and a more objective
Vulnerability is not winning or losing; its having the courage to show up and be seen when we
have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is
not weakness; its our greatest measure of courage.
As with the previous two books, Rising Strong
is rich with anecdotes from Dr Browns own life.
Early in the book, she shares a story about a tough
moment that surprised her while swimming across
a lake with her husband during a family vacation.
Her self-doubt, emotional reaction, anger and pain

will resonate well with readers who have had a

similar experience. Instead of painting herself into
perfection, Dr Brown tears apart that experience to
seek the truth about her story and learn to own it,
and thereby engage from a place of understanding
and compassion.
We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we cant have both. Not at the same time.
Our thoughts, actions and feelings are like a
three-legged stool, each equally important to make
a positive change in our lives. Positive thoughts
combined with negative feelings will not lead to
positive actions. O-loading, bouncing, or numb-

ing our hurts, or even stockpiling or boling them

up, or simply denying them, is not the way to deal
with our deep dark pain.
Borrowing from Newtons Third Law of Motion,
Dr Brown proposes that for every emotion we feel,
there is a denite response elicited in us. When
angry, we can mindlessly lash out or we can be
aware of what were really feeling and adjust how
we respond. We learn that to be vulnerable and
resilient is the best way to engage with the world
so as not to be paralysed by fear of failure or hide
behind the veil of perfectionism.

New releases
Ramayana: The Game of Life,
Stolen Hope [Book 3]
By Shubha Vilas
Published by: Jaico Publishing house
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This fast-paced, heart-racing third book
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The book has a short synopsis of preceding books to
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When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi
Published by: Bodley Head
ISBN: 978-1847923677
Pages: 256 Price: `449
What makes life worth living in the face
of death? What do you do when the
future is no longer a ladder toward your
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another fades away? These are some of the questions the
author wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely
observed memoir.


By Sheela Preui

At the age of 36, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi was

diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a
doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient
struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his
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chronicles Kalanithis transformation from a nave medical
student into a neurosurgeon at Stanford and finally into
a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.
Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book,
yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. This
book is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the
challenge of facing death and on the relationship between
doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.

Urmila: Recapturing the mythical journey of

love and longing in contemporary India
By Pervin Saket
Published by: Jaico Publishing house
ISBN: 978-81-8495-666-5
Pages: 298 Price: `350
This book is a modern-day story retelling of
an overlooked mythological character from
Ramayana and wife of Lakshman, Urmila.
Urmila Karmarkar is a talented,
passionate woman living in Mumbai in
the modern century. She is married to a wealthy, politically
connected man who abandons her to follow his brother in
Dubai on an unavoidable prolonged trip. Feeling rejected,
Urmila battles with her loneliness and finds solace in her art
and dreams of love and motherhood, all the while patiently
waiting for her husbands arrival.


Trending this month




Steven Berglas is an executive coach and management

consultant and was the faculty of Harvard Medical Schools
Department of Psychiatry for over 30 years. Fortune Magazine
honoured his book Reclaiming the Fire by naming it one of the 75
Smartest Business Books ever written. He holds a BA, cum laude,
Phi Beta Kappa, a PhD from Duke University, and he completed
postdoctoral training in social psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.


The two sides of a coin

Burnout is not necessarily caused by excessive stress. On the contrary, it is oen the result
of boredom due to a paucity of challenges that test your mele. According to research,
work that has stopped engaging you can be harmful to your wellbeing. But it is possible to
insulate yourself from the phenomenon that aects millions of unsuspecting executives

By Steven Berglas

IF AN EXECUTIVE LAMENTS, I am so burnedout, he is conveying lile useful information. Like

all psychological constructs that make their way
into popular parlance, burnout is ill-dened and
regularly misused. Most people believe that the
statement Im burned-out conveys the fact that
they are six-sigma more stressed than they have
ever been or should ever be. Not true. In the same
vein, most people believe that CEOs do not
suer burnout owing to the commonly held belief
that those who sit at the top corporate hierarchies
give stress; they dont get stressed. If stress and
burnout are close cousins, then CEOs are, logically,
Sadly, just the opposite is true. 75 per cent of
my coaching clients are CEOs, and my practice
has been that way for decades. As for giving
rather than geing stressed, who cares? Burnout,
particularly among C-level executives, has lile
if anything to do with stress. I should say, more
accurately, that burnout has virtually nothing to
do with distress, the noxious psychological state
that occurs when a person is forced to cope with
demands that exceed his capabilities.

Heres an example of stress: Youre the CEO

of a company that is bleeding red ink and your
star salesperson tells you, I need a raise or Ill
be forced to leave. With no money to pay this
peak performer and the awareness that without
her youll never be able to stay in business, the
circumstance you are in is prototypically stressful.
Youll do all you can to save your saleslady and
your business, work round the clock to nd a way
to keep her, but unless you nd the resources
for that raise or reach a rapprochement with
your invaluable employee, you will experience
unabated stress.
This circumstancea demand that exceeds your
competence levelis not the sort of occurrence
that precipitates burnout. On the contrary: Burnout
is born from a lack of stressor, actually, the
absence of eustress, the good stress we feel when
challenged to meet goals we can and do achieve.
Athletes who compete against top competitors and
win feel eustress; so, too, salespeople who exceed
quotas, and managers who beat deadlines under
budget. Conversely, however, should an Olympiccalibre athlete compete against a high school

student in his preferred sport, or a salesman reach

his annual quota in a few months simply by ling
orders from repeat customers, neither individual
will derive eustress.
Working in circumstances akin to shooting sh
in a barrel are, paradoxically, far more harmful
than pursuing goals you have to sweat to achieve.
The reason why this is so is simple: Humans
are innately challenge-hungry organisms who
are rewarded [at a neurological level] by doing
something beer every day. Ask yourself:
Would you go to Switzerland to ski and restrict
yourself to the Beginners slope, or would you
progressfrom Beginner to Advanced to Expert to
the Black Diamond slopeeach time you mastered
the preceding level of diculty? Note that you are
not paid for seeking ever-more-challenging slopes
to ski, nor are you forbidden from hanging-out on
the Bunny Hill with children. When free to choose,
virtually all humans crave a chance to prove their

worth and chafe at being kept ightless like a bird

in a gilded cage.

The core cause of burnout

To truly grasp how burnout undermines and oen
destroys careers, it is important to get a beer
handle on when and how people feel eustress
deprived at work. Specically, you need to
understand how rewards are dispensed and the
manner in which they psychologically impact those
who receive them.
Rewardsmost notably salaries and
bonusesare administered according to a simple,
straightforward formula: More is beer. If I build
one widget I get one reward unit; two widgets get
me two units, and so on. Sooner or later I will have
all the reward units I need to live happily ever
aer, but because I am so procient at building
widgets the company I work for continually gives

Burnout ensues when you are

deprived of eustress at work


me fancier titles and more of the same sorts of units

I receive as a trainee. Its like eating your favourite
ice cream day aer day aer day. If you consume
limitless amounts, the experience grows boring.
Aer months of having the same ice cream for
dessert, most people would pass on dessert rather
than eat a formerly delicious frozen treat.
Years ago I coached one senior soware
executive at a huge IT company.1 His trek
from engineer to senior executive soware
engineering EVP was meteoric because of
his ability to create easily understood user
interfacesthe steps we take and things we do
to access an IT function on a computer or PDA.
Amish loved working in IT, but when I met him
he was starting to suer burnout: Im the Dean of
Dumbing Down soware and its killing me. I see
my colleagues designing cuing-edge applications
and all I do is convert what was complex into
simple; a process that, I promise, is simpler than
you would believe. Im bored witless!
Amish told me that he oen asked to be reassigned to dierent design teams, and was
routinely told, How can we replace you?
Together he and I designed a simple strategy to
help him add eustress to his careerAmish would
groom two Amish-like substitutes who could create
user interfaces as well as he did, and demand that
they replace him so he can be freed-up to pursue
challenging opportunities within his company. The
paradox of this treatment for Amishs burnout
was that increasing his workload signicantly [by
doing extra mentoring and training] was stressreducing. How? Because he was working toward
removing the shackles that bound him to a job that
caused him non-stop feelings of ennui.
When I discuss cases of burnout like Amishs
super-successful, lavishly rewarded individuals
who want to quit their jobsIm invariably
confronted by someone yearning to escape from a
mountain of demands that seem insurmountable;
who feels a need to tell me that Im full of crap: Let
me get a few eortless wins, a few days when sh
jump into my boat rather than me having to sh for
them, hell say, and I guarantee Ill feel nothing

All names and job descriptions used in this piece are craed in
a manner that preserves my clients true identity.


but blessed. This belief makes intuitive sense, I tell

my detractor, but it is 100 per cent false.
As TE Lawrence [aka Lawrence of Arabia]
observed, There could be no honour in a sure
success. For any pursuit to aord eustress, it must
test your skills or mele. If your chosen vocation
does not enable you to derive eustress from task
completion, it is only a maer of time before you
will suer burnout.

The two kinds of burnouts

What is uniqueand damagingabout burnout
is that it impacts the rich and not-so-rich, the
experienced and novice, equally. To help people
grasp this notion, I divide the world of burnout
suerers into two.
The largest cohort of burnout victims suer
what I call Generic Burnouta syndrome of
emotional exhaustion and cynicism characterised
by symptoms ranging from chronic fatigue to
anger. Those who suer this form of burnout feel
they are trapped in a job that has ceased to provide
them with personal gratication or a sense of meaning.
In essence they prove the commonsense notion
that being in it just for the money is never truly
The other cohort suers what I call Supernova
Burnoutthe type of burnout caused by eustress
deprivation aer a person has enjoyed bountiful
successes. This form of burnout is paradoxical to
those who endure it since their belief that a history
of success would protect them from suering
emotional distress. Supernova burnout proves that
just the opposite is true: High achievers are actually
victimised by a history of success that exposes them
to several dierent noxious experiences.

If your chosen vocation does

not enable you to derive
eustress from task completion,
it is only a matter of time
before you will suffer burnout

First and foremost, a history of success at a

particular trade sets a person up to suer boredom
as a result of amassed prociency. All successful
white-collar professionals will tell you that the
surgery, legal work, management theyve done
for decades became old hat, and that as their
reputation soared so, too, did feelings of ennui.
Talk to pillars of the professional community who
are widely admired and you will be shocked at how
many will admit to wondering, Is that all there
is? long before it becomes time to even consider
Adding insult to this injury, a history of success
can expose a person to shame and embarrassment
if he fails to perform as expected. The poet Robert
Browning observed, A mans reach should exceed
his grasp, or whats a heaven for? True, and a
primary reason why not being able to reach
causes burnout. But for those who have aained
great professional heights, something very
problematic oen occurs: Their reach, being nite,
cannot possibly grasp all they [or others] want
them to take hold of. As every person who is not
self-employed will tell you, Youre only as good as
your last big score, and that last big score is now
the oor below which you cannot drop lest you
become labelled a laggard or worse.
Finally, the most dicult aspect of Supernova
Burnout is dealing with being trapped in Golden
Handcus. A person who gets to a point where
he fears that limits on his capacity to reach will
shame him is almost always atop a professional
hierarchy and, as such, amply rewarded for all he
did to get there. Thus, on top of yearning for novel
challenges and fearing that inexorably greater
performance demands will shame you, those who

All successful white-collar

professionals will tell you that
the work theyve done for
decades became old hat and
as their reputation soared,
so did their ennui

suer Supernova Burnout must deal with the reality

of having grown accustomed to a lifestyle that
cannot be sustained if they say, Take this job and
shove it

White-collar crime
I cannot recall a week when I failed to nd an
instance of Supernova Burnout reported by the
press. Why? Because newspaper reporters are
fascinated by corporate executives, oen idealised,
super-powerful leaders who also happen to be the
prime candidates for contracting this disorder.
Why this is so is not instantly obvious. To
understand the vulnerability of CEOs to Supernova
Burnout you have to take a dispassionate view
of their careers starting with the arduous climb
they must make to get to the top and, frankly,
how mind-numbing the life of a CEO can be if he
does his job correctly. CEOs earn millions if they
delegate to superstars, hire to their weaknesses,
groom successors, and when confronted by
perplexing problems, knowing which consultant
can nd a solution quickest. Given how most CEOs
spent 18-hour days proving their worth before
they landed the ultimate job in the corner oce,
you can well imagine that being in charge can be a
breeze and, potentially, dull if not at-out boring.
This is not to say that CEOs face no challenges but,
rather, a CEO who does his job in an ideal manner
can, paradoxically, expose himself to eustress
deprivation without knowing it.
What happens to these men [women rarely
suer Supernova Burnout 2 . Also see box Why
women are less likely to suer Supernova Burnout
on page 29]? They oen engage in white-collar
crime. I am not alone in holding this view: About
2,000 years ago the ancient Roman Senator Publius
Cornelius Tacitus observed, We are corrupted by
prosperity. When people are corrupted in this way,
observers invariably ask, He had the world in the
palms of his hands what made him do it? The
answer is Supernova Burnout, not, as common
sense wisdom holds, greed or lust for power other
than power to control whether or not one enjoys
eustress or endures ennui.
I address this gender dierence at length in my
book, Reclaiming the Fire: How successful
people overcome burnout, Chapter 5.


Devoid of
challenges, super
achievers often
indulge in white
collar crime

The most clear-cut example of a CEO suering

Supernova Burnout I am aware of is that of a
near-billionaire shopping mall developer Adolph
Alfred Taubman. Back in 1983, aer a stellar career,
Taubman stepped-in to rescue ailing British auction
house Sothebys from a hostile takeover. At the time
he was well into his 70s and a member of the Forbes
400, which made Taubman an ideal White Knight:
He had more money than he could ever possibly
spend on himself, and was free to do good
through philanthropic activities.
Actually, Taubmans penchant for philanthropy
was well established when he went o to save
Sothebys. He made huge donations to the
University of Michigan [including gis to the
Taubman Medical Library and Taubman Health
Care Center], as well as sponsoring a number
of disease research projects. The problem is that
the passive giving-away of money generates
lile eustress. Pride, yes; a sense of satisfaction
in knowing you have helped others, sure. But
giving is not achieving, involves no overcoming
of obstacles, and generates no eustress. Thus, when
in 1983, Taubman was clearly hungering for a
rewarding challenge that would be able to generate
eustress, he decided to become Sothebys White
Knight. He delivered, too: he made good on his

promise to save the rm, and ve years later in 1988

took it public.
But two years later, aer an investigation into
alleged price-xing between Sothebys and rival
auction house Christies was launched, Taubman
was publicly humiliated. A jury found him guilty
of price-xing, which led to him being ned $7.5
million and imprisoned for 10 months, both as a
result of anti-trust violations. Why?
For over 30 years I have worked with executives
who have commied nancial crimes as senseless
as Taubmans when they had absolutely no need
for money. Based on this clinical experience and
other data, I am 100 per cent certain that Taubmans
motivation for engaging in criminal behaviour was
not greed: The psychological pressures born of
eustress deprivation, let down, ennui, and related
feelings, drove Taubman to dare the devil and
endeavour to defeat him by engineering what he
viewed to be a harmless price-xing scheme. Had
he goen away with it he would have felt high as
a kite. Instead, aer amassing roughly $200,000 in
ill-goen gains, Taubmans life was in ruins.
CEOs are not the only people to suer
Supernova Burnout. Any high-achieving man
wanting desperately to escape the circumstances
he sought to be in aer years of arduous work to

get there will fall victim to it. Multi-millionaire

monetary fund managers begging to break the grip
of Golden Handcus, academics willing to discard
advanced degrees to escape the mind-numbing
tedium of academe, and musicians and actors who
report being crippled by the demands of constantly
needing to answer calls of encore, encore when
what they want to scream at audiences is Ciao!
These are the brightest and best, so why cant they
reason their way out of the dilemmas that give rise
to Supernova Burnout?
The reason, in large measure, is the perception

that others have of these people. Its hard, if

everyone you meet says, I want to be you when
I grow up, to shout, No, no, my life is horrid!
Much of our self-denition comes from the
perceptions of others, and when others keep
insisting youve got it good, you have to wonder if
you are crazy for thinking otherwise. In addition,
things are not always horrid for those who suer
Supernova Burnout. The problem is, when it comes
to any- and everything related to their careers,
the urge to rip themselves loose from ennui is

When others perceive

you as larger than
life, you tend to
believe them






it is not genetics at least
as far as we can tell today.
Maybe J Craig Venter and the
scientists at Celera Genomics
Group will pinpoint which of the
three billion building blocks of
genetic code cause women to
be supernova burnout resistant.
But for the moment, this disease
resistance is a function of
nurture, not nature. Specifically,
because of the manner in which
they are socialised, women
develop a propensity to seek
connectedness with others
whereas men have no such
drive. To state this gender
difference in simplistic terms,
while males would be more likely
to view being King of the Hill as
a virtuous, gender-consistent
outcome, females would
typically see it as anathema
to their sense of identity.
More often than not, females
would far prefer to be most
popular than, say, most likely to
succeed, ifand this is a crucial
ifsuccess were defined in
terms that connote occupying
an isolated position atop a
performance or social hierarchy.

Heres the tricky part of a

womans capacity to avoid
suffering supernova burnout
while connectedness can be
extraordinarily beneficial, the
downside risk of seeking to
retain interpersonal connections
is that you are vulnerable to
the psychological pain that
ensues when connections are
threatened or broken.
According to demographic
studies of mental health3,
20 to 26 per cent of women
will experience diagnosable
depression at some time in
their lives, compared with
8 12 per cent of men. One
reason cited for this disparity is
that women suffer more from
depression [and, in related ways,
stress] because of the manner
in which women experience
the implications of broken
interpersonal ties. Whereas a
jilted male could be expected to
cope with his negative feelings in
ways that are likely to externalise
emotional pain [eg becoming
physically aggressive or
becoming distracted by actingout or abusing drugs], women
are socialised to not externalise

emotional pain. Because women

have a more nurturing nature
than men, and as a result of their
earliest socialisation experiences
adult women fear separateness
and broken ties, they traditionally
make greater efforts to either
sustain relationships or resurrect
ones that appear to have faltered
or failed.
Heres the surprise: The
ongoing burden of feeling I
should make this relationship
work will, in the short term,
lead women to experience stress
and, over time, it is likely that
psychological depression will
ensue. This is particularly true
if a woman concludes that the
failure to keep her relationships
thriving is a function of her
powerlessness or helplessness.
That said, women dont stay
the course and deny they
are in pain; they acknowledge
psychological pain and reach-out
for help. Whereas men need to
be macho, project invincibility,
and infallibilityisolating
themselves from resources that
could facilitate their problems
born of successa womans
propensity to stay connected
with others is one of, if not the,
most effective inoculations
against Supernova Burnout
there is. It affords perspective
on the paradoxical, and often
grossly illogical, problems born
of success, it provides coping
strategies, and above all else it
provides a network of support
that conveys, Should you falter,
were here to catch you. A male,
projecting, I am a rock I am
an island invincibility will crash
and burn should the real-world
stressors born of success pierce
his faade.

Greenglass, E. (1997). Gender dierences in mental health. In H. S. Friedman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Mental Health. San Diego: Academic Press.



Try these techniques to

address supernova burnout
Each client I coach has individual needs and a
unique case of Supernova Burnout. I abhor one
size ts all remediation, and never use it. That
said, I can give you a few generalities about what
you should do if you feel ennui overwhelming you
or, beer yet, if you fear that someday what is not
exhilarating will bring about ennui:

ASK FOR HELP. A surprising consequence

of having a history of being successful is
that it makes simple requests for assistance
extraordinarily dicult to make. There are many
reasons why this is so, the primary one being that
successful people are known to overcome adversity
by trying harder and harder the If at rst you
dont succeed, try, try, again model. Operationally,
success comes to them on what psychologists call
an intermient reinforcement schedule that trains
them to push much longer than, say, someone
who has not succeeded aer protracted eort
would. As a result, successful people have their
help-asking muscles atrophy over time. If you
force yourself to ask for help, you open yourself
up to novel problem-solving approaches that oen
contain opportunities for eustress generation you
would never think of. On a more fundamental
level, since people are intimidated by those who
are successful, asking other people for help sends
the message, Im a regular guy dont run away.
Not only does this posture open the door to new
challenges, it makes you appear vulnerable.

ADMIT VULNERABILITY. This suggestion is

a corollary to point #1 above. I give it its own
place among the suggestions I present because it is
so important.
As noted above, success is intimidating, and unless successful people who need help solving problems acknowledge their feet of clay, no one will risk
approaching them. Conversely, when a successful
person acknowledges the need for help, he engenders waves of support owing to the fact that his
gesture is unexpected and aering to the person it
is directed at. Even if being vulnerable does nothing
in terms of eustress generation, it is far simpler to
tolerate ennui if you are not lonely at the top.


PICK A FIGHT. Virtually all people

experiencing Supernova Burnout feel that

their future safety and security will be jeopardised
by the failure to live up to inexorably increasing
performance expectations. Unfortunately, what all
humans do in circumstances where they fear the
worst is to become six-sigma more risk averse than
justiable. In my coaching practice I nd extreme
cases of Supernova Burnout driving once-assertive
people to be terried of disputing or opposing
views that contradict their own. For these reasons
[and others], I counsel people suering Supernova
Burnout to pick ghtsthe intellectual kind, not
stghts. Why? If fear has caused a person to be
professionally risk averse, no new challenges will
come his way unless or until he sticks his neck out.
Beginning this process on an intellectual level is a
safe rst step toward disputing the fear that all will
be lost if you fail to live up to expectations born of
past successes.



Freud said, Character is fate, and while a bit

hyperbolic, this belief is more right than wrong.
We are who we are from age three. What we do
with who we are, however, can be bent, twisted
and moulded in innite ways. A shy introvert can
never be a politician just as an extroverted people
person cannot t into a librarians job description.
Why is this important to focus on when combating
Supernova Burnout? Because if you know you have
a strong core component to your personalityeg
gregarious machismoyou can stick to your
primary job and move, step-wise, into new
opportunities for eustress with condence.
During 1999 2003 a very rough, macho, he-man
who previously had careers as [rst] a US Navy
SEAL [commando ghter] and then a professional
wrestler, became the Governor of Minnesota. This
man, Jessie Ventura, spent his life re-packaging, in
small steps, his core self which is that of a tough
guy. By this repackaging, a man who was a member
of the most elite ghting force in the US Military
and then a sham-wrestler on TV, got into politics
and charmed the electorate of a populous state in
the USA. By doing so, whenever a career he was in
bored him or became too challenging to master, he


morphedtrue to his coreinto another version of

You, too, can do this to avoid Supernova
Burnout. Any successful professional who does
not suer stage fright can teach about his area of
expertise. Are you afraid of being in front of an
audience? Write a book. A client of mine who was
trapped in Golden Handcus just did this and is
elated about the prospect of selling his book on
TV talk shows and radio programmes. Hell lose
money every day he hawks his book, but the
challenge of educating audiences about his message
has him walking on cloud nine.
If you believe you cannot write or teach, seek
new sources of eustress through mentoring your
replacements. It sounds morbidWhen I retire [or
die] youll take over, but just the opposite is true.
Nothing is more eustress generative than to be told,

Thanks; you made me a beer person. It conveys

not only worth but ecacy in the world. Only
some people inuence others. If you cannot do so
in academe, writing, politics or public speaking,
a one-on-one mentorship will give you the same
results and, when youve succeeded, time to try
to surmount challenges you had told yourself you
couldnt consider given all my responsibilities.
The brilliant psychologist/philosopher William
James said, There is but one cause of human
failure. And that is mans lack of faith in his
true self. If you can test the limits of your true
self with condence, you will never be le
unchallenged, devoid of eustress, and subject to the
ravages of Supernova Burnout.
To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing
digital edition, visit

Seek new sources of eustress

by mentoring your potential



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career & workplace

How to be an authentic leader

Authentic leadership endures because it exists as a function of the
individual rather than a crowd of borrowed opinions

By Brian Tracy and Azim Jamal

was captured in a 2007 study in HBR. The
studywhich polled over 100 business leaders, aged 23 to 95, chosen among their peer
groups for being authenticfound that there
was no single personal trait that made the
leaders appear authentic to their peers.
Rather, they were constantly testing
themselves through real-world experiences
and reframing their life stories to understand
who they were at their core. In doing so, they
discovered the purpose of their leadership
and learned how being authentic made them
more eective.

Are you living a lie?

A lot of people fear being themselves because
they feel they wont be liked or accepted. If


someone likes you when you are living a lie,

he may stop associating with you when he
nds out the real you; because sooner or later,
truth reveals itself. By pretending to be someone you are not just for garnering aention,
you are most likely to end up aracting the
wrong people.
Not being yourself can also lead to a
no-win situation. If you are not a genuine expression of yourself, the acclaim of your colleagues and your friends will amount to lile.
It is important that you like yourself rst, and
that can only happen if you allow yourself to
be true to your inner being.
Costco co-founder and former CEO, Jim
Sinegal, answered his own phone line, maintained a small oce, paid himself a salary
far lower than that of his peers and wore a


Brian Tracy is an entrepreneur, professional

speaker, best-selling author and success
expert. He has written and produced more than
300 audio and video learning programmes,
including the worldwide, best-selling
Psychology of Achievement, which has been
translated into more than 28 languages.

Azim Jamal is an international best-selling

author, highly sought-after motivational speaker,
author and coach. His dynamic and inspiring
Corporate Sufi message has been heard by over
one million people around the world and his work
has been recognised by Deepak Chopra, Wayne
Dyer, Jack Canfield and Ken Blanchard.

nametag that simply said, Jim. This made

him wildly popular with his employees, and
le him with the lowest employee turnover
rate in the retail industry.
McDonalds founder Ray Kroc expected all
employees to keep McDonalds clean and did
not exempt himself from the jobhe picked
up the garbage found in the parking lots of
every McDonalds outlet that he visited.
Authentic leadership is the only leadership
that endures, because it exists as a function
of the individual rather than a crowd of borrowed opinions.

now you can understand and relate to others.

You will also be more open to feedback, guidance, and constructive criticism.

The key to real power

RADIATE condence. When you are authentic, you can be condent that you are doing
the right thing. You can also have condence
that the people in your life who are not
aligned with you are not supposed to be in
your life anyway.

Authenticity is not just the key to a longlasting career; it is the key to developing
real, meaningful power. Charisma, though
an important quality of leadership, can lead
to destructive behaviour if its not tethered
to authentic values. Jordan Belfort [the
stockbroker whose crimes were dramatised in
the lm, The Wolf of Wall Street] and Bernard
Mado used their charisma to swindle people
out of their lifes savings. Both these men
had power but it was not tethered to good,
authentic values. Real power comes from
If you want your success to be sustainable,
if you want it to have a strong foundation, if
you want it to have purpose and meaning,
there is no other way than to be authentic.
Your inner light shines through you when
you are credible and trustworthy, and honest
enough to admit to your limitations. The reality is that even with all your limitations, you
are still unique and special. Embrace who you
are, aws and all. If you try to be someone
else, you only become a second-best someone. As they say: Be yourself. Everyone else
is already taken.
Challenge yourself with the following
How to exercises:
ACCEPT and realise your imperfections.
Shortcomings are part of who you are. Accepting this makes you powerful because


LIVE a life of honesty and integrity. Its likely

that you will succeed in some areas, but not
in others. View every gap as an opportunity
to grow.
KNOW that being dierent is good. Your
USP comes from being dierent and unique.
Achievers like Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs and
JK Rowling were oen regarded as eccentric
or reckless.

BE non-judgemental. Be careful about judging others because you do not know what
they are going through.
ADMIT mistakes and apologise because this
builds trust. This may seem hard because
we fear that we may appear incompetent.
However, small inadequacies in life are normal and can be accepted by almost everyone.
Dishonesty and cover-ups are far worse.
PRACTICE courage. Speak the truth and
allow yourself to be vulnerable. For example,
in a sta meeting, ask for help if you need it,
ask a question, speak up about a concern you
may have. Dont worry about what others
may think. By expressing yourself authentically, you inspire others in your team to be
real and take timely action.
BE true to yourself. Before embarking on
something, ask: Does this feel right to me?
When you are true to yourself, you are
generally true to others.

To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing

digital edition, visit




Thats why many wellness oriented companies now have standing desks for employeesi.e. employees do not sit for working on
desktop but they are provided with special
desks which allow to them carry out their
work while standing. Many people alternate
between standing and siing. There is also a
trend of using a treadmill deskwherein you
walk while you work!

What are the harmful eects of

Prolonged siing is linked to many serious health
concerns including diabetes and heart disease

By Kiran Shete

A. When we sit for a long duration, our leg

muscles become slack and dont contract
eectively to pump blood to the heart. This
leads to pooling of blood in the legs which,
in turn, reduces the ability of the blood vessels to expand. Problems range from swollen
ankles and varicose veins to dangerous blood
clots called deep vein thrombosis [DVT].
B. This sluggish blood ow also leads to
deposition of fat in blood vessels, clogging
them which further limits the oxygen and
nutrient supply to the brain slowing down
the brain function.


of hours you sit in a day? You would be
surprised to know that an adult spends on an
average 9.7 hours/day siing and the number
can go up to 15 for oce workers. This trend
of sedentary lifestyle in the digital age has
become a global threat and may add to an already increased burden of non-communicable
diseases. Research now suggests that siing
for too long is bad for your health, regardless
of how much you exercise.
In 2010, the American Cancer Society
released a report in the American Journal of
Epidemiology stating that men who sat for six
hours or more a day in their leisure time had
an overall death rate that was nearly 20 per
cent higher than men who sat for three hours
or less in the 14-year follow-up period. And
women who sat for more than six hours a
day had a death rate that was almost 40 per
cent higher. Similar results were published
in Archives of Internal Medicine stating that
people who sit for long periods are at more
risk of dying early.

C. Chronic siers use their hip muscles to a

lesser extent, which is a reason for decreased
hip stability commonly causing fall in the
elderly population.
D. If most of your siing happens at your
workstation, craning your neck forward
toward a keyboard or tilting your head to
cradle a phone while typing can strain the
cervical vertebrae and lead to permanent
imbalances giving rise to variety of conditions
ranging from muscular pain to spondylosis.
E. It is a well-known fact that prolonged sitting leads to permanent postural defects and
spinal injuries.
F. When you sit, your upper-body weight
rests entirely on the siing bones instead of
being distributed along the spine leading to
pain in tail bone region.
G. Lack of inactivity is one of the reasons for
increasing incidence of osteoporosis.
H. People who sit more are at greater risk for
herniated lumbar disc [slipped disc].



Overall, prolonged sitting causes


About a 125 per cent increased risk of events associated with

cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain [angina] or heart


112 per cent increase in the risk of diabetes

147 per cent increase in cardiovascular events
90 per cent increase in death caused by cardiovascular events
49 per cent increase in death from any cause

Contrary to prolonged siing, standing

causes cellular changes that improve muscular and metabolic function of the body. When
we walk or move about, so discs between
the vertebrae expand and contract like
sponges, soaking up fresh blood and nutrients. But when we sit for an extended period,
these discs are squashed unevenly leading to
spinal problems.
I. Prolonged siing disrupts the metabolic
functions slowing them down by 90 per
cent aer only 30 minutes of siing, raising
plasma triglycerides, cholesterol and blood
sugar. And aer two hours, good cholesterol
drops by 20 per cent. Siing for long has been
linked to high blood pressure. It substantially
increases growth factors that lead to cancer
especially colon cancer, endometrial cancer
and breast cancer.
J. Researches have suggested that siing
for long hours impact mental wellbeing of
workers, increasing the incidence of reduced
social skills, anxiety and depression.

How do I know if I am siing too


Kiran Shete,
MS [Ortho],
[Swiss], MNAMS,
PGPM [ISB], is
the founder and
medical director
of Pune-based
Spinalogy Clinic.

If youve been siing for an hour at a stretch,

youve been siing for too long. We should all
be up at least 10 minutes out of every hour.
People who dont exercise can be healthier
even if all they do is reduce the amount of
time they sit. In fact, if you go to the gym
regularly or walk for 30 45 minutes a day,
but sit down the rest of the time, you are still
leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Recent research even showed that just
three hours of siing was sucient to cause
damage to blood vessels, but when the siing
time was interrupted by a gentle 10-minute
cycling session, no decline in vascular
function was recorded.


How can I reduce my

siing time?
At home:
>> Take the stairs instead of using the li
>> Make sure you get up and walk around
aer every 30min of siing
>> Walk 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day
>> Swap some TV time for more active tasks
or hobbies
>> Avoiding siing whenever possible.
At work:
>> Have alternate breaks of siing and standing at work
>> Break up periods of siing or standing by
doing simple exercises at your desk
>> To work standing, raise the level of laptop
by placing it over a stand, box or books
>> Stand or walk around while on the phone
>> Take a walk break every time you take a
coee or tea break
>> Have standing meetings
>> Avoid driving continuously for more than
50 minutes; take a short break of 2 3 minutes in between
>> You may consider using standing workstations.

Special advice for parents

As children are spending less time doing
physical activities and more time watching
TV or playing video games, parents must
establish healthy habits during the early years
in order to protect them from future health
>> Lead by example by reducing their TV
time and other siing-based tasks
>> Keep a limit on TV/screen time
>> Make bedrooms a TV- and computer-free
>> Encourage participation in house chores
and outdoor games
>> Choose gis such that encourage physical
>> Reduce time spent in infant carriers, car
seats or highchairs
Wish you all a healthy spine and joints!

To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing

digital edition, visit



Regain your

Our skin loses its sheen due
to many factors. Here are
some things you can do to
restore its lost glory

By Sudhakar Grandhi




face is a joy to behold. However, over time,
this glow vanishes. How does this happen?
There are multiple causes for thispollution,
UV radiation, diet, stress, ageing and wrong
skincare. All of these take their toll on our
skin, making it dull and lifeless.
Like all other organs in our body, our skin
too undergoes wear and tear as we age. A
poor diet and dehydration cause the skin to
become dry and dull. UV rays darken and tan
the skin, making it lifeless. Collagen decreases with age, leading to loosening of the skin
and formation of wrinkles. Indiscriminate use
of harsh creams and cleansers also adds to the
damage. In addition, hormonal changes and
the natural ageing process all aect the lustre.
All of these together result in age spots, wrinkles, crows feet and a dull, listless skin.

Can this be prevented?

To a certain extent, yes. A balanced diet,
adequate water intake, strict sun protection, judicious use of cosmetics and proper
pampering of the skin can help prevent the
damage to some extent. However, there is still
a loss of glow to a variable extent.

Can we get this glow back and

The old adage healthy mind begets a
healthy body is also apt for the skin, as the
skin is a window to the state of our body.
The glow is a combination of factors, both
internal and external:
Stress: It aects our skin acutelyit robs
the skin of its glow. It causes worry and
frown lines, dark circles, age spots and
pigmentation. Keeping ones mind calm and
tackling stress fruitfully go a long way in
returning the glow. When we are calm, our
face is relaxed and the worry lines ease out,
giving the skin its radiance. Deep breathing
[pranayama], yoga and meditation help to
get the glow back. We have only to recollect
the images of saints and yogis to understand
the glow from a serene mind. Internal bliss is


reected as a warm radiant glow on the skin.

A happy mind leads to happy skin, so we
must smile more.
Exercise: A healthy body too is reected as
healthy skin. Regular exercise helps keep the
body, particularly the heart, in good condition. And what is good for the heart is also
good for the skin. Besides, exercise increases
the blood supply to the skin and the sweat
helps ush out toxins. So, a daily workout is a
must for good skin.
Diet: It plays an important role in keeping
our skin glowing. A diet rich in fruits and
vegetables helps. Eat lots of red fruits and
vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, papaya and
green leafy vegetables. These are good sources of beta-carotene and antioxidants, which
protect our skin from damage. Fruits like
guava, amla, lime and green leafy vegetables
provide vitamin C, which is required for the
integrity of the skin and for the production
of dermal collagen. Nuts and dairy products provide vitamin E, which is needed for
elastin and collagen formation, which lends
suppleness to the skin. Both vitamin C and E
act as antioxidants; they protect our skin from
oxidative damage. Adequate protein intake
is a must. Avoid having processed or junk
food, fats and carbohydrates in excess. Drink
adequate amount of water.
Environmental factors: Pollution and UV
rays harm the skin. Therefore, use a sunscreen with 20 SPF regularly and in adequate
quantity. Apply sunscreen half an hour before
going out in the sun, and again every 2 3
hours or more frequently if you tend to sweat
profusely. Sunscreens come in a variety of lotions, gels and creams. Choose one according
to your skin typelotions for dry skins and
gels for oily skins. Wear a cap, sunglasses or
sun coat while going out.

Other measures
Scars and pigmentation due to acne, and
melasma require treatments to revive the
glow. Treatments are also available for sun-


Sudhakar Grandhi MBBS,

DV & D, is a consultant dermatologist
in Pune [Skin Clinic]. He is actively
involved in conducting skin camps for
detection, treatment and rehabilitation
for leprosy patients. His other interests
include travelling and reading.

burn, tanning and ageing. Dermatologists

have an armamentarium for tackling these
problems and help get back your supple,
radiant skin.





Various exfoliants available as scrubs,

creams, soaps and washes help remove
dead cells and are the simplest form of
Creams containing retinoic acid of various
concentrations, adaferin, glycolic acid,
AHA [Alpha hydroxyl acid], BHA [Beta
hydroxy acid] and azelaic acid loosen the
corneocytes causing exfoliation, which
helps restore glow.
Mild de-pigmenting creams containing
hydroquinone, kojic acid, vitamin C and
azelaic acid also help treat suntan and
Creams containing vitamin E and retinoic
acid help rejuvenate the collagen and
plump up the skin.
Skin moisturisers containing squalene help
hydrate the skin and make it look fresh.

Skin procedures
Following are some dermatological procedures that help restore the skins glow.
Peels: These use dierent concentrations of
glycolic acid, lactic acid, kojic acid or mandelic acid, which act as exfoliants, and mild
de-pigmenting agents. The peels smoothen
out rough skin, improve texture of sun-damaged skin, and when mixed with bleaching
agents, correct pigment problems to make
the skin look younger and fresher. Qualied
dermatologists assess the skin type and the
extent of skin damage before prescribing a
regimen of peels. In certain cases, stronger
peels of phenol or TCA [trichloracetic acid]
are required.
Microdermabrasion: The dead layer of skin
is gently removed by the scrubbing action of
micro ne crystals of aluminium oxide, which
are sprayed on to the skin with the help of a
machine. This gives a polish to the skin and
hence is also known as skin polishing. Repeated siings of microdermabrasion help to


reduce supercial blemishes, acne scars, ne

wrinkles and pits.
Botox injections: Botulinium toxin is derived
from clostridium bacteria and is injected
under the skin into the subcutaneous muscles. It temporarily paralyses these muscles,
thereby smoothing wrinkles, ne frown lines,
and gives a more youthful appearance. To be
done by a trained dermatologist, it is a safe
procedure and gives instant and dramatic
results. The results last for 6 9 months and
the injections may be repeated many times.
Dermaroller treatment: This procedure
involves perforating the skin or scar tissue
with special medical graded stainless steel
needles [micro-needling] set on a unique
rolling device. This creates dermal damage
without the removal of the healthy epidermis.
It stimulates the skin to produce new collagen
thereby reducing wrinkles and improving
skin texture. The healing period of this treatment is very short.
Laser resurfacing: CO2, fraxel, or Erb-Yag
lasers are used to smoothen the skin and give
it a glow. They also remove ne lines, scar
and blemishes like stretch marks.
Skin tightening: Using Thermage radio
frequency this treatment helps to tighten the
skin and give it a taut and smooth look.
Intense Pulse Light System [IPL]: This acts
on ne blood vessels, ne lines, age spots,
ne wrinkles and sun damage to help remove
these blemishes.
With the availability of all these facilities,
and by keeping ourselves mentally and physically t, we can maintain our glow and even
get it back. Of course, beauty can never be
only skin-deep. True beauty lies in the eyes of
the beholder, hence it is most important that
you keep a positive aitude and keep glowing from within!

From our archives

To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing

digital edition, visit


food & nutrition

Anjana Devasahayam is an engineer

turned recipe developer, food stylist and
photographer for her blog, At The Corner Of Happy
& Harried. She shares wholesome, delicious
recipes; be it family heirlooms, classic recipes from
around the world or her own inventions to feed her
family of


Papaya can be cooked in interesting ways too.

Anjana Devasahayam shares four must-try healthy recipes
that will call out to your taste buds.
DELICIOUSLY SWEET WHEN RIPE, the papaya is a tropical fruit with
a buery so esh that has hues ranging from pinkish yellow to rich
orange. In Asian cuisine, the unripe green papaya is equally valued
and is used in many recipes. Papayas are a storehouse of antioxidant
nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and avonoids, B vitamins,
folate and pantothenic acid, minerals such as potassium, copper, and
magnesium, and bre. Together, these nutrients promote the health
of the cardiovascular system, improve digestive health and immunity,
and also help lower inammation.
Here are four recipes that use this wonderful fruit in dierent ways.
From unripe green papayas to ripe musky sweet ones, you will
discover dierent dimensions of the papaya


Papaya in a spicy coconut gravy
A delicious vegan papaya curry
cooked in a spicy coconut gravy. Goes
well with rice or rotis.
Serves 3 4
You will need:
1 cups papaya, thinly sliced to 1 long
cup water
tsp turmeric powder
tsp red chilli powder
tsp salt
To grind:
cup grated coconut
4 shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 2 green chillies
tsp cumin seeds
To temper:
1 tbsp oil, preferably coconut oil
tsp mustard seeds
2 whole dried red chillies
5 6 curry leaves
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp grated coconut
How to:
1. Cook the papaya with water, turmeric
powder, red chilli powder and salt in a pan till
the papaya slices are so and you are able to
mash them with a spoon. You can also pressure
cook them for one whistle, allowing the steam
to be released naturally. Set this aside.
2. Grind the ingredients listed under to grind
to a semi-smooth paste. Add this to the
cooked papaya. Gently heat this mixture for 3
4 minutes till the coconut gravy gets cooked.
Lightly mash any big pieces of papaya with the
back of your stirring spoon. Taste and adjust
seasoning. Remove from ame and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, heat the oil for tempering.
Add mustard seeds, dried red chillies and curry
leaves. Once they crackle, add the shallots and fry
till golden. Add this tempering to the papaya curry.
4. Return the saucepan to the stove and tip in the
coconut. Gently toast the coconut on a medium-low
ame till golden brown. Add this to the papaya curry


as well. For best results, keep the papaya erissery

covered for 30 minutes before serving to develop
the avours. Serve with rice or rotis.
This is a spin-o of the more traditional pumpkin
erissery from Kerala. For this recipe select a
papaya that is only slightly ripe or just beginning
to ripe.

A healthy beverage that instantly cools you
and forties you with vitamins, minerals
and anti-oxidants.
Serves 3 4
You will need:
1 medium-sized, ripe papaya
1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
tsp turmeric powder
Honey as a sweetener, if needed
A few mint leaves, to garnish
How to:
1. Cut papaya into chunks. Blend it
along with orange juice and turmeric
powder to a thick but drinkable
consistency. Use more orange juice
or water to thin it if necessary. Taste
and sweeten with honey if needed.
2. Pour into tall glasses, garnish with
mint leaves and serve chilled.
Use a well ripened papaya and you
may not need any sweetener at all.
Pour the smoothie into jars with
tight-ing lids to make great onthe-go beverages.


A quick stir-fried rice recipe
that is ready in 10 minutes if
you have leover rice in the
fridge. Great to pack in lunchboxes as well.
Serves 3 4
You will need:
2 tsp oil
tsp mustard seeds
tsp cumin seeds
2 dried red chillies
5 6 curry leaves
1 tbsp nely chopped ginger
A pinch of asafoetida
tsp turmeric powder
cup grated green or unripe
cup grated green or unripe
2 tbsp grated coconut
3 cups cooked rice
Salt to taste
cup roasted peanuts
How to:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red
chillies and curry leaves. When the
seeds begin to crackle, add ginger,
asafoetida and turmeric powder.
Saute for a few seconds on low ame
to fry the ginger.
2. Add grated papaya and mango and
cook for 3 4 minutes, stirring frequently. When the papaya and mango
are so, add the coconut and saute for a
few more seconds.
3. Now add the cooked rice and gently fold
in to combine. Season with salt. Add the
roasted peanuts. Serve hot with raita,
pickle and papad.
Green papaya is a lile bland on its own, but
is great at absorbing avours. So green mango
is added here to give the rice a tangy avour.



These uy and moist muns are packed with avour and
goodness. You will not be able to keep your hands o them!
Makes 12 muns
You will need:
1 cups all purpose our
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
tsp salt
cup papaya [very ripe, mashed or pureed]
cup banana [very ripe, mashed or pureed]
cup sugar
cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
cup coconut akes; a lile extra for topping
How to:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F or 190C. Line a 12-cup
cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.
2. Take the our, baking powder, baking soda and
salt in a bowl. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the mashed papaya,
banana, sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Whisk
well to combine.
4. Tip in the dry ingredients and mix till just combined. Gently fold in cup of coconut akes.
5. Scoop baer into the prepared cupcake pan.
Top each portion with some coconut akes.
Gently tap the pan on the counter-top to level
the baer and get rid of any air bubbles.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in a mun comes out clean. Remove
from oven and cool in pan for ve minutes.
Transfer muns to a wire rack to cool
completely. Store in an airtight container at
room temperature for a day or upto 3 4
days in the fridge.
Use very ripe papayas and bananas in this
recipe for best results. Mash the fruits well
with a fork or puree in a blender before
using in the recipe.
These muns are eggless and do not
have any buer. To make them healthier,
you can replace all-purpose our with
wholewheat our as well. They can be
eaten as dessert, snack or even a quick





While playschools are an important phase in your toddlers growth and
development, choosing the right one needs some serious consideration

By Sidharth Balachandran

Have you decided where youre

puing him yet?
The rst time I heard that question was when
my son was 16 months old. We had just
relocated to India and were trying to nd our
feet. With my decision to change careers and
the chaos that goes hand-in-hand with intercountry transfers, nding a playschool for our
toddler was the last thing on our minds.
But the question kept presenting itself. At
one point, we began suspecting the intentions
of the inquirers. Were these kind people
genuinely concerned about our toddlers
wellbeing? May be they were receiving a
commission for every toddler they referred
to a playschool.

Before the search came the

Spurred by these repeated questions, we
started some research about institutes that
would accept our son. At that point, I didnt
even know that a play-school and a preschool are not the same thing. So we began
with guring out the dierences between the
two. A playschool is sort of an informal nursery group for kids between the ages of 2 4,
while a preschool is more of an elementary

learning institution for kids between the ages

of 3 5. Playschools are meant for kids who
are too young to be put in kindergarten, and
while it does sound like a gloried day-care
centre, theres more to it than meets the eye.

Why all the fuss about a play

school or play group
To those of you who subscribe to the oldschool [like I used to] and believe that kids
dont need to go to school until theyre over
three years of age, this can be a dicult
concept to grab. If either one of the parents
[or extended family] stay at home with the
child, then our thriy mind convinces us that
play schools are a waste of money. Besides
there beer be a good reason for us to put the
apple of our eyes into a formal educational
institution at such a tender age.
But as we learned, there are denite advantages of enrolling your kids into a playschool.
Here are the ones that we discovered:
>> It helps to set them into a paernfrom
waking up at a xed hour to regular meal
timings and having periodic naps.
>> It is an amazing opportunity for kids to
meet and interact with their peers and
build their foundations of not just formal


education, but also of social etiquee. This

is especially so if you dont have many
small children in your neighbourhood who
can be playmates to your child.
It helps them in transition easily to a preschool, kindergarten or Montessori when
the time is right.
And most of all, it gives you [both parents,
especially if you are a stay-at-home one]
some time to get your personal things
together [or me-time, as it is popularly

It is always a dicult decision to send

your lile one away, even if only for a few
hours. We too were apprehensive about everything; but the balance of the scales tipped
in favour of playschools.
However, there are a few important considerations that require your aention before
you nalise the playschool for your child:

Commute and location

The location of the playschool is of paramount
importance. Youll need to take into account
the distance that your ward [and you, if you
are going to be the one who will pick up and
drop your child] will be travelling. In most
metropolitan cities, where rush hour trac

can be trying, this could be a make-or-break

point. It might also be worthwhile to check if
the play school oers a pick up and drop facility; and the safety aspects of the same.

Education is no longer an inexpensive activity. Right from playschool till graduation, the
costs of formal education have skyrocketed.
Figuring out how much you can aord to put
away for your childs education is a crucial
step. So get the number crunching in order.
Dont forget to ask the playschool about
what is included in their fee structure. Oen,
things like eld trips and festival costs take
us by surprise, and having this information in
advance will help us plan beer.

On your visit to the playschools check out
their play areas, class rooms, pantry and
presence of CCTVs. Also check if they have
an emergency medical kit and on-call doctors.
Remember, there are no silly questions. Aer
all, youre trusting them with your kid.

Background and accreditation

Ive seen the faces of fellow parents go blank
when weve brought this up. But much like

is an engineer who
swapped his decadelong professional
career to be a
work-from-home dad.
When not running
after his three-year-old
son, he writes about
fatherhood, parenting,
social satire, humour
and some fiction.

youd do for a regular school, it is vital that

you verify the background and accreditation of the playschools you are considering.
Seek out parents whose kids have previously
aended the playschool and get a rst-hand
view of their experience. Its also advisable to
check other details such ashow long has the
playschool been operational; if it meets the
play/pre-school standards set out under the
Early Childhood Care and Education [ECCE]
policy that was set in place in 2012. From personal experience, I would suggest you should
ensure that the person running the playschool
is qualied and trained in the eld of child

The sta
Find out about the teachers and their qualications. Inquire how long the teachers have
been associated with the institution and
about their experience of working with kids.
It would be good idea to nd out how the
teachers [and the playschool] discipline the
children. While it is imperative that the sta
be friendly and approachable, they should
also be rm and know how to correct the
errors of the lile ones. Last but not the least,
check the typical teacher-to-student ratio in
the classroom, as this will ensure that your
kids get enough aention from the teachers.

Once you decide on

a playschool, let go
of your inhibitions
and relax


Hygiene and cleanliness

It is crucial that the playschool be well-maintained and the toilets be hygienic. Even beer
if the playschool supports or facilitates poytraining and has facilities for the same.

Since the kids are only at the playschool for a
short duration, you should know about their
meal/snack times and ensure that it doesnt
disrupt their eating schedules and paerns. If
the playschool will provide food, you should
satisfy yourself with the quality of the food
and the cleanliness of the kitchens.

Curriculum and system

While playschools primarily operate on the
concept of using play to educate kids, as
parents, it is crucial that we be aware of their
teaching style. Most playschools will introduce
the alphabet and numbers to our lile ones;
however a focus on all-round development is
important too. Enquire with the playschool
about their day-to-day activities and ensure
that they balance the physical actives with
mental workouts in the form of puzzles, memory games and other creative avenues. It might
be a good idea to nd out if they oer kids the
freedom to choose some activities, from timeto-time. Ideally the curriculum should focus
ongross and ne motor skills, pre-writing/
reading/math skills, imagination and free-play,
arts, cras and outdoor activities.

Leing go
As a parent who has been through this phase
I can empathise with the fact that this whole
choosing a play school adventure can be
a roller coaster ride of emotions. However,
once you nalise the playschool, it is time to
let go of a few of your inhibitions. Yes, youre
going to be concerned; but the teachers know
their job and have perhaps been doing it for
longer than we have been parents. So unless
necessary, avoid interfering and let them do
their jobwhich is to take care of our precious lile ones. The initial separation and
its accompanied anxiety may be hard, but I
can assure you that the kids will sele in a lot
quicker than us parents.
On that note, happy hunting and remember: the journey has just begun.



Counsellor and author Phoebe Hutchison shows you how
to navigate the tricky waters of your childs teenage years

A CHILDS TEENAGE years can be a challenging

time for parents. Parents may feel lost, frustrated
and disconnected by an apparent lack of control
over their child. But have faith; you can remain a
positive inuence in your teenagers life. By trying to
understand their challenges, knowing what to do and
what to avoid, you can continue to support, love and
educate them through these turbulent years.


Phoebe Hutchison is the author of

Are You Listening? Life Is Talking to You
and Honeymooners Forever: Twelve Step
Marriage Survival Guide. She has worked
extensively with couples and clients in crisis.
Reach her at www.honeymoonersforever. or

Listen to your teenager

The best thing you can give your teenager

is your time. Aim for a minimum of 30
minutes of quality time per day. If you cannot
give her your aention when she wants it, set
aside a time for her later in the day and keep
your appointment. When you listen well,
you will be more likely to identify illogical
thoughts, generalisations and potentially
dangerous decisions your teen may be
contemplating. Stop your internal chaer
and keep your mind completely on her
words. By listening to your teenager, you will
create opportunities for giving advice and
improving your relationship.

2 Praise your teenager daily

You have the ability to make or break

your teenager, simply by how you treat him.
When a teenager is praised oen, he is more
likely to experience high self-esteem, which is
a foundation of self-condence, increased motivation, beer decision-making, improved relationships and self-respect. Poor self-esteem
oen leads to self-criticism, doubt and confusion about ones abilities and life. By seeking
opportunities to praise your teenager, you are
actively improving his self-perception. The
importance of praising your teenager cannot
be overstated.

Accept your teenager

Encourage your teenager to be independent by allowing her to make decisions in areas

such as sporting interests, hobbies and clothing styles. By allowing her personal freedom,

One of your primary roles is being

the positive influence, so it is vital
that your teenager feels comfortable
talking with you about anything

you are increasing her condence. [Decisions

regarding schooling and general safety are
best le to parents.] Avoid being the co-dependent parent, who lives through their
child, obsessing about your teens obstacles
and successes like they were your own. It is
not realistic to expect your teenager to always
conform to your expectations. She is more
likely to succeed in life when she is being
herself, following her own pathso encourage her to be autonomous.

4 Educate your teenager

Research tells us that the male humans

brain is not fully developed for processing
danger until he is approximately 24 years old,
so in many ways, you are the voice of reason.
Keep talking to your teenager about key areas
like drugs, alcohol and sex. Try not to overreact if he comes home from a party where
alcohol or drugs were taken. If you ban him
from parties forever, he may avoid discussing his concerns with you again. Be calm, and
ask him about the drugs or if he consumed
alcohol and then educate him on the dangers
these substances. One of your primary roles is
being the positive inuence, so it is vital that
your teenager feels comfortable talking with
you about anything.

your teenagers
5 Understand

Teenagers oen live with fears and challenges

that may be dierent from your own. They
feel great pressure to be accepted by their
peers, making them highly susceptible to outside inuences, which impacts their decisions
and priorities. This focus on friends causes
some parents to feel pushed aside. Teenagers
are challenged physically and emotionally:
their bodies are busy supporting dramatic
growth spurts, while their minds are trying to
cope with hormone-fuelled moods. To make
maers worse, many teenagers are exposed

to negativity and trolling on social media and

other websites that make them feel helpless
and overwhelmed. Add to this the pressure
felt by many teenagers to meet their parents
or teachers expectations. To escape, or experiment, some teenagers try drugs or alcohol,
further complicating their lives. You can make
your teenagers life easier by geing to know,
and understanding, his or her struggles.

6 Dont alienate your teenager

Your relationship with your teen is the

benchmark for all her future relationships,
so ensure that this relationship is based on
mutual respect. You need to trust her, but this
trust must be developed. If your teenager tells
you that she is going out, let her know that
she needs to call or text you, if plans change.
If she does not make contact, consequences
need to be enforced. Avoid resorting to
unconstructive criticism, name-calling,
yelling, swearing, giving the silent treatment,
trying to dominate or making irrational
threats that you never carry out. Such tactics
will only result in drama and unhappiness,
and will fuel her rebellious streak. Create an
environment for your teenager that includes
love, respect, healthy boundaries, and
consequences, for their safety, wellbeing and
for the benet of the household.

7 Watch over your teenager

Your teenager may no longer want to

socialise with you, and instead may spend
hours alone with his cell phone or on the
computer in his bedroom. While teenagers
need their space, watch out for any abnormal
changes. If your teenager avoids any
conversation with you, or her sleep paerns
or eating habits change, or she seems socially
withdrawn, then seek professional help
with a counsellor or psychologist. Your child
is at a vulnerable age where depression,
anxiety, and self-destructive behaviour tend

Avoid unconstructive
criticism, name-calling,
yelling, swearing
or giving the silent
treatment to your teen

to develop. Educate yourself on the signs of

distress and watch over your teenager closely.
If you are feeling le out and frustrated by
your teenager, take a step back and consider
how fragile teenage years are. Your teenager
may feel uncertain about her future, as she
tries to discover who she is and what she
wants from life. She will benet greatly from
your time, friendship, acceptance, support
and love. Your teenager is a soul given to
you on loan. Your role is to educate, praise,
love, and get to know your teenagers world.
The way you treat her today will impact her
future for beer or worse.
To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing
digital edition, visit



Where are your communication diiculties? Do you ind yourself accommodating

too often, shutting down, taking anothers comments personally or being overly
competitive or argumentative?

By Judy Ringer





IVE ALWAYS BEEN interested in things that

keep me stuck and have worked toward nding
freedom in those stuck places. Communicating in
dicult moments is one of the areas Ive studied
and used what I learned to replace the bad habits
with more useful ones.
In 1984, I discovered Aikido and found
that this martial art and the art of intelligent
communication have much in common. I also
found that practising Aikido helped me to be
a more skilled communicator. As a martial art,
Aikido is owing, dance-like and powerful. As a

communication metaphor, it represents a dierent

and more elegant way to exchange ki [life energy].
We are, always and everywhere, giving and
receiving life energy in the ways we speak, move
and act. When we are centered and aware, we
communicate more intentionally. This is just one of
the things Aikido teaches.
Aikido also physically embodies critical communication skills, such as active listening, empathy
and perspective taking, and oers ways to re-pattern unhelpful communication habits. For example, in everyday life, the Aikido metaphor plays

Judy Ringer is
author of Unlikely
Teachers: Finding
the Hidden Gifts
in Daily Conflict,
a second-degree
black belt in Aikido,
and founder of
Power & Presence
Training. To know
more visit www.



out when you acknowledge someones comments

and paraphrase what you hear. Youre also practising communication Aikido whenever you listen
with curiosity to an opposing view or search for
mutual understanding, respect and purpose.

Aikido: The Art of Peace

Morihei Ueshiba, a highly skilled and renowned
Japanese swordsman and martial artist, developed
Aikido on
the mat

communicate, listen, and manage conict. And

Ive found that certain practices and aitudes
from Aikido are particularly useful when
communicating in dicult circumstances.

1 Reframing.

In Aikido, it is oen said that

the opponents aack is a gi of energy. With
this shi of mindset, I stop resisting and instead
connect with my partner. In communication, this
might take the form of asking a direct question:
Can you tell me more about why you think this is
the best solution? or acknowledging a feeling:
You sound concerned that the direction were taking may not be the best one.

2 Non-judgement.

As human beings,
we are experts at forming judgements about
everything. For example, if during a conversation, you begin to draw conclusions about whos
right and whos wrong, you will nd it dicult to
stay open to possibility. Once we judge someone
as a problem, thats all we see in them and we
miss their more open, empathetic parts. Becoming
non-judgemental is a practice, and the rst step is
noticing that youre doing it.
Aikido in the early 20th century. The word Aikido
is oen translated as the way of blending or
harmonising with energy or more simply The
Art of Peace. Aikido principles such as blending
[stepping out of the line of the aack and moving
alongside the aacker] and non-resistant leading
[joining and redirecting the incoming energy, or
ki]are used and taught throughout the world as
a system to de-escalate conict and build stability, exibility and presence. In Aikido, the aack
is reframed as power that can be developed and
guided. The Aikidoist does not resist, block or
harm the opponent. What would normally be
understood as an act of violence is seen simply as
energy to be utilised.
Aer many years of practising and teaching
Aikido and applying its principles in the
workplace, Ive found that things change
dramatically when you reframe an aack as
incoming energy that can be guided toward a
mutually agreeable outcome. It changes how we


3 Curiosity and inquiry.

The antidote
to judgement is a mindset of curiosity and
inquiry. This mindset will empower you and keep
your communication safe and on track. People
who are sincerely curious, ask honest and openended questions, such as:
>> How did you feel when that happened?
>> What were you hoping for?

The Aikidoist
does not resist,
block or harm
the opponent



What do you think is the best solution here?

What would you like me to do dierently?

It may be dicult at rst to ask questions when

you really want to push for your way. But remember that listening is not agreement. Listening gives
you needed information and reduces tension and
resistance on both sides.
When Im teaching Aikido on the mat, I see the
physical embodiment of curiosity and listening
each time the person receiving the aack steps out
of the way, slides to the aackers side, and faces
the same direction as the aacker. In communication, we do this when we ask a question that helps
us see what the other person is seeing.

4 Appreciation.

In communication
situations, when you encounter resistance to
your message, the last thing you probably want to
do is appreciate that resistance. Yet, thats exactly
what we do in Aikido when we manage a physical
aack by joining and leading it.
Our skill in communication lies in our ability to
identify the resistance and help the communicator
to express it. For example, Im not sure I understand, can you say more? Without something to
push against, the resistance turns into energy we
can join and lead toward further understanding
and problem solving.
This is verbal Aikido. And you practice it when
>> Ask the other person more about his or her
>> Name the resistance, as in, Are you frustrated
by what just happened?
>> Be quiet and let the other person ll the silence.
>> Dont take it personally.

Being heard
The Aikido of Communication also includes
educating others about where you stand. Through
reframing, non-judgement, curiosity and appreciation, you have reduced resistance and created an
opening for your ideas to be heard.
As you create the opening to advocate for your
point of view, the following steps will help.


Educate. When its time to share your point of





view, dont assume the other person can see

it. Teach him what things look like from your
point of view.
Communicate your hopes and goals. For
example, When you said you would have the
spreadsheet ready by Tuesday, I took you at
your word. My hope is that we all recognise the
importance of deadlines on a project thats as
time sensitive as this one. Can you tell me what
happened and what we can do to remedy the
Remain curious. Dont forget that everything
you experience is ltered through your perception. As Stephen Covey says, Seek rst to
Centre yourself and extend positive energy. In
Aikido, we remain centred and focussed on a
mutually benecial outcome. In life and business, you do the same when your language and
manner are poised and exible, and you make
your adversary a partner by honouring her
viewpoint and positive intent.
In Aikido,
we focus on
a mutually

Morihei Ueshiba said to always practise the

Art of Peace in a vibrant and joyful manner. Aikidoists try to remember this as we throw each other
around the mat, smiling and having fun while we
practise to perfect our technique. Practising Aikido
concepts as we talk, listen and acknowledge each
other will allow us to become more aware and
mindful, and more skilful in our communication.
To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing
digital edition, visit



marriage & intimacy

Marriages where one partner has Asperger Syndrome can be painful and
challenging, but help is available

By Eva Mendes

Life with an

AS partner

IN THE PAST, AUTISM WAS thought to be

something that only aected children who
couldnt speak, function, or interact with the
world around them. However, in the last two
decades, weve seen higher-functioning adults
coming out of the closet, so to speak, and
even being popularised by movies such as
Shah Rukh Khans My Name is Khan and more
recently The Imitation Game with Benedict
Asperger Syndrome [AS] is a mild form
of autism. Considered to be a neurological
condition, AS aects many successful adults
in the IT, science, engineering, technology,
nance, and even medical professions. Lowfunctioning children with autism oen have
a borderline or lower than average IQ and
many lack verbal language. Higher-functioning adults are the reverse. Many of them have
sophisticated vocabularies and IQs that are in
the average to superior range. In fact, those
with the more invisible brand of autism
oen thrive in academia and even become
leaders in the elds of science, technology,
nance, or engineering. But while their IQs
are higher, their EQs are low. Their brains are
uniquely congured to work with machines,


data, facts and gures; however, they struggle

to express their emotions or understand the
feelings and needs of another person. While
oen successful at institutions such as IIT and
MIT, they lack insight into how their behaviours and words aect those around them.
Take the case of Mitu, a woman married
to Aman, a man with AS. Mitu came to see
me for counselling because she was desperately lonely and unhappy in her relationship.
Aman barely spoke to her other than to discuss their childrens homework and his parents ailments. And his interactions with their
two children were conned to checking their
daily homework. Mitu said that Aman had
always been a loner and had no real friends
to speak of. He also seemed overwhelmed by
his job as a soware engineer and wedgedout in front of the TV most nights, completely
ignoring his family. Without conversation and
physical or verbal aection from her husband,
Mitu became deeply depressed. When she
tried to speak to him about these issues, he
would shut her down by telling her to stop
nagging and go see a psychologist to nd
out why she was so unhappy!
Life can become very painful for spouses
like Mitu. Prior to learning about AS, Mitu
had mistakenly come to believe that it was all
her fault. Over time, she became increasingly
depressed and when she tried to conde in
close friends or family members, they would
say, What are you talking about? Your
husband is such a nice guy, or the popular,
all men are like that! Only Mitu knew that
her experience of marriage was traumatising
and unusual. She felt exhausted and was
beginning to have health issues brought on
by stress and the complete lack of emotional
connection with her husband.

Obtaining a diagnosis
The big problem right now is that the majority of doctors or couples counsellors do not


know about adults with AS. Most would

dismiss a spouse in Mitus position if she
tried to seek help by saying, Are you sure
its not just a personality clash? Or, Seems
like you might need to work on your anger
issues. Even if they met someone like Aman,
they wouldnt see that something is dierent or odd about him because they might
consider that he has a successful career or a
normal demeanour. Adults with AS can be
very well groomed, physically aractive, and
verbally skilled. Even well-meaning professionals might not pick up on the more subtle
signs of their social awkwardness and lack of
emotionality. When the professionals dont
see how the wife could possibly struggle in a
relationship with someone who presents himself so well, they may aribute the problem
to the wife and assume that she is lacking in
A diagnosis is best done by an Aspergerspecialist who is experienced in identifying
adult AS. In my work, I take a comprehensive


wrien and verbal history of the individual.

I speak with the wife about her experience in
the marriage. I also conduct the diagnostic
interview over a total of four sessions and
observe how the person behaves and interacts
with me during this time.

Reading about and

understanding Asperger
If you are in a situation similar to Mitus,
and there arent any avenues of professional
help locally, reading books and articles on AS
and marriage can be the rst step into really
considering whether your husband has AS
or not. Sometimes the husband is open to
learning about the information that his wife
gathers. He might even be relieved to learn
that his brain is dierent and that hes not
a jerk. Alternately, some men resist the idea
that they are lacking in EQ. No maer if your
husband is open to hearing about AS or not,
keep speaking to him about it when you feel


Eva Mendes, LMHC is an Asperger/

Autism specialist, couples counsellor,
author and speaker. She is the author
of the book Marriage and Lasting
Relationships with Asperger Syndrome.
She has a private practice in Boston,
MA. Reach her at

like there is an opening. Individuals with AS

can oen come across as rude and intimidating with their sharp logic and biting tone;
my advice would be to not give up. Patiently
continue to read and even get counselling
with an Asperger-specialist.

Taking care of yourself

If your spouse has AS, its imperative that you
take really good care of yourself and prioritise your health, otherwise you may be at risk
of developing numerous mental and physical
ailments. This is even more so if youve been
blaming yourself for the challenges in the
marriage and if you have no other emotional
support in the form of family or friends. You
can also become aware of how your own
behaviours may add to the conict in your
relationship, and learn to change some of the
ways in which you interact with your spouse.



Strategies for coping with your

husbands Asperger Syndrome
Many individuals struggle with mental health
issues in addition to numerous AS traits. If
you realise that your spouse is struggling
with anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder [OCD], or aention decit
hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] in addition to
AS, you may need to help her work with an
AS-specialist around these issues.
If your spouse is extra sensitive to smells,
sounds or touch then learning more about
sensory sensitivities can be useful. Sensory
sensitivities and a low EQ can oen lead to
physical intimacy issues, which need to be

If your husband/wife with AS has diculties picking up facial cues, vocal intonations,
and body language, they might monopolise
or struggle to initiate and hold conversations. You might feel frustrated, lonely and
abandoned by their lack of reciprocity and
communication. Therefore, you may have to
deliberately schedule time for regular conversations and doing fun activities together. You
may need to create calendars and schedules
to help your spouse stay focused and organised as many individuals with AS struggle to
manage and prioritise time, tasks and space.
Your spouse with AS may also have trouble understanding, predicting and responding to your thought-feeling state. He/she
may unintentionally or intentionally make
negative comments and do things that can
come across as insensitive and hurtful to you.
Expressing more compliments and positive
observations instead of criticisms is something they can learn to do.

Asperger-Specic couples
Couples oen report to me that working
with a counsellor who is unfamiliar with
AS was unhelpful and, in some cases, even
harmful. In general, it is important to invest
in a couples counsellor who specialises in AS
and has experience in working with couples
since the dynamics of a conict-ridden
relationship requires not only a wise and
compassionate approach, but also solutions
to get you unstuck and moving forward. As
an AS-specialist and couples counsellor, I
teach both the spouses in the marriage about
AS. I interpret their points of view and help
them understand each other beer. I also help
them to implement practical strategies in their
relationship. Without proper understanding
and solutions, marriages where one
partner might have AS can be painful and
challenging, but many couples are able to
improve their relationships by learning about
AS and by nding the appropriate help.
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mind & emotions

Should you broadcast

your life online?
At this very moment, as you read this,
millions of people have just shared
some minute detail about their life
with millions of others. Every second of
every day there are Tweets, Facebook
updates, Instagram images and a host
of other social media activities that
document our daily lives. But is all this
constant updating healthy?

By Graham Jones



Graham Jones
is a psychologist
who specialises in
Internet use and
behaviour. He is
the author of 29
books. He now helps
businesses profit
through a better
understanding of
the online behaviour
of their customers
and potential clients.
Know more at www.

WE ARE DRIVEN to share things and

broadcast our lives due to some fundamental
psychological reasons. The most important
of these is our sense of self. We need to know
who we are as individuals, if we are to operate eectively in the world around us. Imagine if you woke up one day and had no idea
whether you wanted a cup of tea or a glass of
milk; or if you had no idea if you liked to eat
bananas or not. Our sense of self enables us to
know, instinctively, how to behave. We know
whether to have a cup of tea, whether we like
to eat bananas or if we prefer Bollywood to
However, our brain needs constant reminding of our sense of self. It tends to forget
if we dont feed it with regular information,
conrming the kind of person we are. So,
every day we do things that provide conrmation of our sense of self. When you are
with friends, for instance, and your subconscious is thinking, Im a wiy person, you
will make some comments that get a laugh.
That laughter acts as feedback to your brain
eectively saying, I told you so, I am wiy.
Throughout our daily life, our brain gets constant feedback to conrm our sense of self.
So, when we see the opportunity to get
even more feedback on who we are, we grasp
it with both hands. Tweeting, posting on
Facebook, or adding a picture on Instagram
all help us gain more feedback through comments, shares and likes.
In one sense, therefore, social media updat-

ing is a healthy pursuit as it helps us be more

aware of ourselves.

The downside
But there are also downsides to all this selfbroadcasting. Here are a few that you may
identify with:





One issue appears to be that of envy. When

we see many people posting holiday pictures or a Tweet saying what a wonderful
restaurant they are in [again], we can feel
somewhat deated if our daily life is just
normal. For some people, this can be a
serious issue. Those individuals who are
already suering from depressive illness
may experience a worsening of their condition, if they feel that their social media
friends are having a more interesting life
than themselves.
There is also evidence that when we have
been using social media, spending time
talking about ourselves, we are less likely
to be thinking straight. This means that the
activities we undertake immediately aer a
social media session could cause problems.
For e.g. people tend to overspend aer
social media activity.
We are more likely to use social media to
broadcast our lives towards the end of the
day. So social media activity, particularly
from mobile devices, disrupts sleep. That,
in itself, can have negative long-term
health implications.
The self-broadcasting obsession that some

Looking for validation on

social media can affect
your self esteem



Maintain limits
It is not advisable that every detail of ones life be broadcasted online as people may take advantage of the same. There
is an element of privacy in every relationship that needs to
be salvaged at all costs and cannot be made public. People
over-share their life online to make others feel how good
their life is. They may seek approval from people online and
value that a lot more than the approval of family members,
leading to deterioration of their personal ties.
Sharing details on personal events like new jobs, engagement or marriage can lead to people putting in negative words before the event happens and causing hurdles
in the progress of such events. There is also an element
where personal photos may be morphed and put on social
sites with an aim to cause harm to the image of the person
Avinash De Sousa, Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Mumbai

Controversial images are an absolute no

People have become so busy, that logging onto a website
seems an easier way of staying connected than making a
phone call or having a tete-a-tete meeting. Through social
media people can connect with others when feeling lonely,
as it serves as a good support system. When you post a
negative experience and others reciprocate with concern
there is a feeling of warmth that you feel. A boy in his 20s
shared with me that being on a mood app [wherein people enter their moods at specific times] helps him to vent
out as well as gain perspective when others comment on
his moods.

people have with social media can aect

relationships. Indeed, Facebook is now
cited as an issue in a signicant number of
divorce cases.

Whats the way out?

So how can you gain the benets of sharing
your life on social media, without any of the
The answer is routine. One of the reasons
why people constantly jab at their mobile
phones in the hope that someone has sent
them a message is related to survival instincts. If we dont know when or if we are
going to get food, then we just eat what we
can and when we can. It is the same principle
with social mediaif we dont know when or
if we are going to get a message, we constantly look for them. However, by establishing a
social media routine, you always know when
the next batch of messages will arrive.
When people have regular mealtimes the
same time everyday, they tend to remain the
same weight. People who put on weight tend

The drawbacks to social media are that a person may get

addicted, distracted from their priority tasks and it may also
become a form of attention seeking behaviour. Like everything, it should be used in moderation. You need to review
the reason why you are posting certain things [whether it is
to seek attention, venting or its a faade] and start addressing those issues instead.
I had a case of an 18-year-old who would post pictures of
the cuts on her wrists as a way of expressing her emotional
pain and seeking sympathy from others. She continued this
behaviour till her school found out and she was brought to
me for intervention.
I also had a case where a young adult who was extremely shy, used social media to project a completely different
picture of himself, that of being adventurous and happy.
However, he came to see me for depression and loneliness.
Neither his family nor his friends recognised this as they
went by his updates on social sites. He had been successful
at hiding the fact that he was suffering from low self-esteem
and not feeling good enough to live in this world. This feeling was heightened when he would log on to Facebook and
look at posts of other happy and lucky people.
One needs to be careful about the kind of information
that appears to strangers. Restricting the view to contacts only can avoid dangers of being stalked online or in
It is important not to share private affairs such as a conflict with a loved one and posting provocative or controversial images should be absolutely forbidden.
Anjali Chhabria, Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Mumbai

to have sporadic mealtimes. So their subconscious gets them to eat at any opportunity
because it does not know if or when another
meal may arrive. Thats why snacking leads
to weight gain. Set regular meal times and
you are much less likely to gain weight.
It is the same with social media updating.
Set a regular time to do it every single day
and your brain soon gets used to knowing
that you will get your x at 9pm tonight
for half an houror whatever time you go
online. Once you have a routine like that
established, you also improve your relationships with those around you, plus you get
beer sleep as you are not constantly on your
mobile until you dri o.
Seing a daily routine to deal with all your
social media activity in one or two sessions
a day will help you gain the positives while
reducing the negative consequences.

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How to ind lasting happiness by

choosing your emotional response
to any event

By Sarah Williams


happiness. The results you receive in life,
romantically, nancially, physically and emotionally, are all determined by your actions
and your actions alone. When you live by this
notion, you gain power over every curveball
life throws at you.
No other person, place or thing can permanently change the way you feel deep inside.
They may distract you from your feelings
temporarily, but they cannot aect the true
core of your soul.
As we can choose to pity ourselves in
the case of an unfortunate event, we can
just as easily make a conscious decision not
to. Optimism is a choice and, while its not

always the easiest one to make, it certainly is

the most fullling.
I consider myself an overall optimistic person, and I oen nd myself saying the same
thing to those who ask me how I remain this
way: Life is what you make of it.
While we may not always feel in charge of
our own emotions, we all hold the required
tools to take control. Mindfulness plays a
large role. With these six tips, you can decide
your emotional response to any given event.

life as a test youre

1 Imagine
determined to pass.

While its
easy to resent the world for its tragedies, its
annoyances and tiny mishaps, its actually not
that dicult to accept them instead.
Every event and every obstacle we face
can be considered a test of our character and
good will. Each day we are given the chance
to prove ourselves, to prove our true nature.
We should embrace these opportunities.




Challenge yourself to accept what cannot be

Siing in trac can be a horrible, hellish
experience or it can be the best part of your
day. If you stopped hung and pung so
much, youd realise that this is the only hour
you have solely for yourself. Take the time
to decompress. Listen to some good music.
Practice singing, or that dreaded presentation
you have to make at work. Catch up with an
old friend over the phone.
Or just smile at the miserable person in the
car beside you. Laugh at their misery. Maybe,
just maybe, theyll laugh along with you.

2 Take a moment to digest.

are you supposed to wait 30 minutes to
go swimming aer youve eaten? Because
your body needs time to digest, or so your
mother says. Well, the same thing goes with
our emotions.
Remember the saying when you were a
kid, Think before you speak? Well, its even
more relevant as an adult. Taking a few extra
minutes, or even a whole day, to react to an
unseling event might seem like a waste of
time, but its probably worth it. Not only will
digesting help you process your own feelings,
it will eliminate the risk of overreacting, and
later regreing your response.

Surround yourself with

rational, positive people.

Neuroscientist Giacomo Rizzolai explores

a theory involving mirror neurons. He
has found that neurons in the human brain
actually mirror what their eyes perceive,
which explains why we cringe when we
witness someone geing hurt.
Every time I see you smiling, Jonah
says, my own brain lights up as if Im smiling. Our emotions are inuenced by the
emotions of those around us. Have you ever
smiled or giggled at a crying baby and seen
their face suddenly mimic yours? This is a
perfect example of the theory.
We feel what we see, even if it is unconscious or involuntary. Its important to
surround yourself with people who will inuence you to make reasonable choices, and to
respond rationally.

4 React out of love, not fear.

Another theory states that there are only


two basic emotions we all experience: love

and fear. All other emotions are variations of
these. Anxiety, anger, loneliness, depression,
inadequacy, confusion and shame are all fearbased emotions, while joy, trust, compassion,
truth and satisfaction are based on love.
It is important to understand the core
of your emotional response to any given
event. Whats driving your reaction? If youre
experiencing resentment, are you responding
out of fear? How can you eliminate your
Answering these questions will not only
help you control your reaction, it will enhance
your self-awareness and hopefully, make you
tolerate or, beer yet, accept the situation.

Sarah Williams is
committed to helping
others heal themselves
through nutrition
and the mind. Her
mission is to empower
people to believe in
themselves so they
can accomplish their
dreams and make a
difference in the world.

5 Switch roles.

A good tactic for responding out of love, instead of fear, is to

look at the situation from a dierent point of
view. Usually, this means puing yourself in
your opponents shoes.
Can you see things in a dierent light?
Remember that this person can only act out of
fear or love as well, so they must be doing the
former. Give them the benet of the doubt.
Rather than arguing, try to nd a way out of
fear or anger and into the realm of mutual

underestimate your
6 Dont
own integrity.

Integrity is dened
as the quality of being honest and having
strong moral principles. We oen neglect the
importance of this virtue. We let ourselves o
too easily when we react poorly to a dicult
situation. But, I was pissed, we say, brushing o the absurd mental breakdown we had
in line for our morning coee.
We believe that its human nature to get
irritated, to overreact or to misunderstand.
We therefore think its OK to behave in ludicrous ways. We forget about the importance
of integrity, whose alternative denition is
described as the state of being whole and
Balance is a key factor in choosing our own
mood and accomplishing the contentment
we all seek in life. Our own integrity can help
us make beer decisions and ultimately feel
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Find out how play can enrich all the dimensions of your life


By Marianne St Clair

IN THE LAST CENTURY, most cultures

have approached life in overly mental and
emotionally suppressed ways. We have been
over-thinking and placing too much emphasis
on intellectual intelligence rather than a
whole, full-bodied sensory approach to life.

Play is a state of mind

Play is a state of mind, yet more so it is also
a state of body, emotion and spirit. Living in
todays world with so many demands on our
time, it is dicult for most to fathom taking
time out to play. We have been conditioned
from a very young age to grow up and





Marianne St Clair is a life coach

who inspires her clients through the
Art of Play with fun and practical ways
to address lifes many facets such
as relationships, money, addictions,
sexuality and spirituality. Know more

become responsible adults. Remember when

you sat in class and were told to stop day
dreaming and focus on learning so you could
get good grades and become someone? What
happened to that kid? To the person you were
born to be? Over time, enculturation took
over and conditioned you away from play
and into a dutiful adult with no time allowed
for recreational activities.

you away from it. What we know through

the law of araction is that what we focus on,
we get more of. Thus, by talking about our
pains and what we dont want to experience,
we are actually creating more pain, or the exact thing we dont want. We can never escape
pain by running from it. Moving away from
pain is an illusion. It keeps the past in our
present and future.

The silent killer is the

responsible adult

Pleasure seeking is not

something we are taught

Meet Dimitra, mother of two children, owner

of multiple businesses, an aorney, and a
yoga instructor. The responsibilities of wearing many hats had Dimitra running from her
life when I met her. She was living in a town
that drained her spiritual energy; she was trying to escape at any opportunity to avoid the
boredom that her soul was crying out against.

Play gives access to a dierently ordered

space and time. Through engaging in the act
of play we begin to be fully present in the
moment and open to innite potential. When
Dimitra was able to stop running from the
pain and begin to tune into her authentic
self, she was able to remember things
about herself that she enjoyed and wanted


Brief escapes were temporary solutions
to what was brewing inside. She was running from the many pains that her childhood
conditioning was causing. She couldnt fail at
her businesses so she had to keep striving to
make them beer to make more money; she
couldnt be away from her children because
she had to be a good mother and be there
every day aer school for her children.

We cant escape pain by running

from it
Adults should play all the way up to the last
breath. Play allows us to engage with our authentic self without self-imposed or cultural
judgements. We were born into this life fully
engaged and connected to our fullest expression until the world started teaching us how
to shut down, constrict and disconnect from
what makes each of us unique.
Marketing in our culture is set up to get
you focussed on your pain and then to move

to do more of. Focussing on pleasurable

experiences that you wish to experience
opens you up to new possibilities and allows
for the Universe to conspire on your behalf to
make them happen.

Re-creational activities are fuel

for your soul
When travel to her home country of Greece
was impossible due to the countrys economic
situation, Dimitra could have stopped there
and had a miserable summer. Instead, she
booked her summer trip to somewhere she
had never been. Her month long adventure
began on the Caribbean island of St Croix
with her family as she explored the island
and enjoyed learning the island culture. She
expanded her passion for cooking in exciting new ways because she was limited to the
food of the islandby necessity she became
a creative chef on a two burner hot plate. She
produced amazing gourmet meals from the

fresh sh her kids caught snorkelling and

the local produce. She played with everyone
at home too by sharing all the sights and
sounds of St Croix via social media to everyone back home.

Play lightens our load

Dimitras excitement ignited thousands of
people who were enjoying her trip through
photos of gorgeous beaches and foods, along
with videos of crab races and steel drum
music. Many were wishing they were there
because she was so engaged during her playtime. Her energy was extremely contagious
because it was so vibrant. She was authentic
and true to herself.
At play, we are all children. Unburdened
by consciousness or self-consciousness,
we are fully in the moment. Suused with
pleasure, we exult in the sheer lightness of

girlfriend joined her for a week. Now she

used the knowledge she gained in the previous week about the island to become tour
guide and hostess sharing her gis. All this
time she was at play just with a new adult
twist instead of family play. She was able to
explore the island from a new perspective
of rum, dancing and of course, shoppinga
girls favourite pastime.

Play from the boardroom to

the bedroom
We learn a lot about ourselves and others
through play. Relationships and how we
interact with others remain a constant in
our personal and professional lives. If we
are absent and disconnected from our coworkers, we will be so from our partner also.
The mirror of life will reect how we engage
with our playmates in all arenas. If we


being. Yet, as welcoming and wonderful as
those feelings are, plays value among adults
is too oen vastly underrated. It refreshes us
and recharges us; it restores our optimism; it
changes our perspective, stimulating creativity; it renews our ability to accomplish the
work of the world.

Play is an opening to our very

But there is also new evidence that play does
much more. It may in fact be the highest
expression of our humanity, both imitating
and advancing the evolutionary process. Play
appears to allow our brains to exercise their
very exibility, to maintain and even renew
the neural connections that embody our
human potential to adapt and meet varied
environmental conditions. Play is an opening
to our very being.
When Dimitras family departed and
headed back stateside, she remained and a

eventually see ourselves as unappreciative

or controlling at work, generally we are
that way at home too. Play is a way to open
up and take risks and go into unexplored
territories. It opens up the brain and
connects the heart into a more coherent
state. Playing with others on the playground
of life creates intimacy in ways that will help
us learn more about ourselves.
The wonderful thing about playing is that
everyone is successful at it. Dont just use
playtime to test or stretch your workday. Play
is a time to feel good about yourself and each
otherand to just have fun together. Perhaps,
most important of all, play is fun. Years later,
when we recall our life, it is the happy times
spent playing with special people that we will
remember most fondly.

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digital edition, visit




The deepest mystery of existence is the phenomenon of knowledge

By Osho


your own self. The knower cannot be known
because to know something means to reduce
it to an object. The very process of knowledge
depends on duality. I can know you because
I am here, inside, and you are there, outside.
You become an object. But I cannot know my
self because I cannot make my self an object.
I cannot encounter my self in any objective
way. I cannot put my self in front of me. And
if I could put my self in front of me then that
which is put in front of me would not be my
self. How can that which can be put in front
of me be my self? Really, the inner one which
will look at it will remain my self.
Self is subjective and this subjectivity cannot be made objective. Hence, the paradox:
that which knows all cannot know itself;
that which is the source of all knowledge
remains unknowable. You have heard, it has
been preached, it has been told everywhere,
Know thyself. But how can you know your
self? You can know everything other than
you. One point will always remain unknown,
unknowable. That point is you.

Self is not objective

The word self-knowledge is not good at all.
Knowledge of the self is not possible. But
this may create a deep pessimism in you. If
knowledge of the self is not possible, then the
whole of religion becomes absurd because
this is what religion is meant to doto give
you self-knowledge. Then there must be some
other meaning to the word self-knowledge.
Then there must be something, a hidden
dimension, through which you can know the
self and still not make it an object. Knowledge
must be possible in an altogether dierent
sense. In the world, whatsoever we know is
objective and the subject remains unknowable, the knower remains unknowable.
But can this knower be known? This is the
basic question, the basic problem. If there is


only one way of knowingthat is objective

knowledgethen it cannot be known. Hence,
all the scientic thinkers will deny that the
self exists. Their denial is meaningful. All
those who are trained to think in terms of
object, of objectivity, they will say there is no
self. Their saying this means that they cannot
conceive of another type of knowing. They
think that there is only one type of knowing
and that is objective. The self cannot be made
objective; hence, it cannot be known. And
that which cannot be known cannot be said
to exist. How can you say that it exists? The
moment you say that it exists you have said
that you have known it. You cannot assert
its existence. If it is not known, not only not
known but also unknowable, then how can
you say that it exists?
Scientists go on saying that there is no self,
that man is a mechanism and the consciousness that appears is just an epiphenomenon,
a by-product. They say that there is no self,
there is no centrethat the consciousness
comes into existence just through chemical
phenomena and when the body withers away,
consciousness disappears. So for science,
death is total death; nothing remains aer it.
Consciousness is not substantial; it is a byproduct. It cannot exist without the body. It is
part of the body, just a combination of many
material things. It comes into being; it is not
elementary. It is a compound, a combination,
a synthesis, something which depends on
other things. There is no self. Science says
there is no self because the self cannot be

Light is self-enlightening
The very word science means knowledge.
And if something is unknowable, science will
not approve of it, science will not agree to
it. Science means that which can be known.
Only then is science not mystical. It cannot
fall into absurdities. For science, the very





word self-knowledge is absurd. But still, religion is meaningful because there is another
dimension of knowing. Try to understand
that dimension of knowing where the known
is not reduced to an object. For instance, if a
lamp is burning in a dark room, everything
in the room is lighted, is known through the
light of the lamp. But the lamp is also known
by its own light. Everything elsechairs, furniture, the walls, paintings on the wallsthey
are known through the light. But through
what is the light itself known?
The light is self-enlightening: just by its
presence it reveals others and it reveals itself
also. But these two revelations are dierent.
When the chair is known through the light,
the chair is an object. The light falls on it and
if the light disappears the chair cannot be
known. The knowledge of the chair depends
on the light but the knowledge of the light
itself doesnt depend on the chair. If you
remove everything the light will still be light.
There will be nothing to reveal but it will go
on revealing itself. The revelation of the light
is self-revelation.
Similar is the case with the inner phenomenon, the inner self. Everything is known
through it but it itself is known not by anything elseit is a self-revealing phenomenon.
It reveals itself. Self knowledge doesnt mean
that the self is known by someone else because then that someone else will be the self.
So whatsoever is known in an objective way
cannot be the self. Always the knower will be
the self. But how can this self be known? The
self is a self-evident, self-revealing phenomenon; nothing else is needed to know it. You
need not reduce it to an object.
Really, when all objects are removed from
the mind, when all the furniture is removed
from the mind, suddenly the self reveals
itself. It is self-revealing. Really, that is the
dierence between maer and consciousness:
maer is not self-revealing and consciousness
is self-revealing; maer has to be known by
someone else and consciousness knows itself.


That is the basic dierence between maer

and consciousness. There are trees but if there
is no conscious being they cannot be revealed;
they need someones consciousness so that
they can be revealed. There are rocks, beautiful rocks, but if there is no consciousness they
will not be beautiful because then no one will
become aware that they are there. Their existence will be mute. Even those rocks will not
be able to know that they exist. Existence will
be there but there will be no revelation of it.
A small child comes playing near the rock:
suddenly the rock is revealed. Now it is not
a mute existence. Through the child the rock
has become assertive. Now the tree is revealed.
Now everything around the child becomes
alive in a new meaning. The child has become
a source of revelation. Everything around him
becomes alive. Hence, the deeper your consciousness, the deeper you reveal existence.
When a Buddha is born, the whole existence celebrates in him because of such a deep
consciousness. All that is hidden in maer
becomes manifest. It was never known before.
Just by the presence of an enlightened person,
the whole existence around him is enlightened. Everything becomes alive, feels through
him. Consciousness reveals others, but there
is no need to reveal it for another consciousness. It is self-revelatory.

Self needs no proof

Take it from another angle: everything needs
proof because everything can be doubted.
But you cannot doubt the self; therefore the
self never needs any proof. Can you doubt
the self? One of the great Western thinkers,
Descartes, used doubt as a method to know.
He started his journey of knowledge through
doubta very penetrating doubt. He decided
that he would doubt everything unless he
stumbled upon a fact which could not be
doubted. And unless there is a basic fact
which cannot be doubted, you cannot build
the palace of knowledge because there is no
foundation stone to make it. If everything can
be doubted and has to be proved, then the
whole edice is just logical.
Something deep down must be indubitable, which does not need any proof. God is


not indubitable. Remember this: God is not

indubitable. He can be doubtednot only
doubted, he can be disproved. And really,
when someone doubts God you cannot prove
his existence. You can only convince those
who are already convinced, but you cannot
convert a new man; that is impossible. Not
a single atheist can be converted because he
needs proof and you cannot prove God.
God is not indubitable. He can be doubted,
rejected. The whole hypothesis can be said to
be false. There is no proof that can help. So
Descartes goes on discussing, inquiring, and
he says that unless he comes to a point, to
something in existence that is indubitable....
Not that it can be provedno. Rather, it
cannot be doubted. And ultimately he comes
to the self and says that the self is a greater
reality than God. It is, because the self cannot
be doubted. Can you doubt it? Even to doubt
it you will have to have it.
For example, if you are in the house and
someone comes and asks whether you are in
the house or not and you say, I am not, the
very fact that you say I am not will prove
that you are there. You cannot deny yourself.
The very fact that you say, I am not shows
that you are there. The denial becomes the
proof. There is no need not to arm it; even
denial becomes the proof. When even denial
is a proof, the fact is indubitable. How can
you doubt it?
You cannot say, I do not know whether I
am or notor can you? Even to be in such
confusion, you need to be there. How can
there be confusion without you? You cannot
say, I dont believe that I am, because even
not to believe, someone is needed to be there.
There is no way to deny that you exist, that
the I exists.

The only indubitable fact

This self is the only indubitable fact in the
world; everything else has been doubted.
There have been skeptics who have doubted
everything, even ordinary things of which
you cannot conceive how they can be doubted. You are here but the English philosopher
Berkeley says, I cannot believe that you are
here. You may be just a dream. And there is


no way to prove that you are not a dream, because when I dream, I dream of people such
as you. And this is one of the essential qualities of a dream: in a dream the dream appears
real. So if you are appearing real, Berkeley
says that does not prove anything, because
in every dream the dream appears real. Can
you doubt while you are dreaming? You
cannot: the dream appears real. Even a very
absurd dream appears real. It is just illogical,
irrelevant, but still it appears real while it is
there. So Berkeley says that there is no way to
prove whether you are real or not. You can be
doubted, everything can be doubted.
One of the greatest Indian mystics, Nagarjuna, has doubted everythingeverything! He
says nothing is real because everything can
be doubted. But there is only one point which
he goes on avoiding: he never talks about the
self because then his whole edice, his whole
philosophy, would fall downbecause that
cannot be doubted. It can be asked of Nagarjuna, Okay! The whole world is illusory and
everything can be doubted, but who is this
doubter? Do you doubt itthis doubter who
denies the whole world? The self is indubitable because it is self-evident. No proof is
needed, no argument is needed. It is self-evident. Mahavira denied God: he said there is no
God. But he couldnt say there is no self. Then
the very self became divine for him. He said,
Only the self is God. And that is true: in you,
the self is the nearest thing to divine existence.
That is why it cannot be doubted. It is self-evident, self-revealing, self-enlightening.
This is the second way of knowing. The
scientic way is to know a thing as an object.
The religious way is to know the subject as
the subject. In a scientic way, knowledge has
three parts: the knower, the known and the
knowledge. The knowledge is just a bridge
between the knower and the known. But the
religious knowing does not have three parts.
The knower is the known and the knower is
the knowledge. This knowing is not divided
into three. It is one, it is undivided.

Osho was never

born and never
died. He only
visited this planet
earth between 11
December 1931
and 19 January
1990. He was a
charismatic and
gifted speaker who
became the leader
of a worldwide new
spiritual movement.

Excerpted from The Supreme Doctrine

Courtesy: Osho International Foundation;



Confessions of an

army wife


Anamika Nandedkar
shares with us what it
means to be married to
a man who serves in the
Indian Army




Yes, we are. There are certain
aributes unique to us. Many of
you presume that we are superstylish women who are party
experts and travel all over the
country with their dashing and
well-groomed husbands in smart
uniforms. Some of you know us
as the women who live in bungalows-too-big-for-our-own-good
and enjoy discounts too-good-tobe-true at military canteens.
What people dont know about us is that
we are amazing actresses too. We put up a
brave face for the world but deep inside we
are terried for the safety and wellbeing of
the men we love.
We just dont get enough opportunities to
stay together because thats how life is in fauj
[army]. When our friends from the corporate
world talk about taking a solo vacation to get
some space from their spouseswe dont
understand them. It is because army wives
like me desperately look forward to stealing a
sojourn with our husbands whenever we can.
In fact, we can count the exact duration in a
year [down to the last minute] that we stayed
as a couple before duty knocked at the door.

Time to kill
Aer marrying Major Saab [high ranking ofcer], I seled into a role of a full-time housewife, leaving behind a steady career. I must
confess that I enjoyed every moment of the
rst six months. Having worked as a journalist for many years, covering sporting events
around the country, I nally had time to read
that book and cook that dishand do all the
other things that I had kept waiting since a
long time. I felt like a rich person amongst all
my colleagues, having the one thing they did
not havefree time!
But alas... I had underestimated the Armys
talent of keeping its ocers and ladies [yes,
us too] on their toes during peace postings.
We had AWWA [Army Wives Welfare As-


sociation] functions to aend, family meets

to organise, ladies meets to practise for and
aend every social engagement.

The extent to which we plan our

I almost burst out laughing when I was told
that the station commanders wife had called
a Banarasi saree seller to her place and had
asked all interested ladies to join her in sareeshopping. Who had so much time on their
But that was not to be treated as an invitation. It was a farmaan, an order!
So I accompanied all the ladies of the Unit
to the memsahibs bungalow to check out some
sarees. And I had to hand it to the lady; she
had indeed done us all a great favour by getting that saree-man to her place. He had some
of the most beautiful Banarasi sarees and at
irresistible prices.
I am a saree-freak, so I enjoyed feasting
my eyes on silks and crepes. I did not buy
anything thoughdeantly disobeying memsahibs hints that I should get onebecause I
was out of job and felt it below my dignity to
ask my husband for money [a situation that
changed very soon].
The other ladies went home with a bunch
of sarees, having already earmarked them for
future functions.
This blue saree is for the monsoon theme
I will save this black one for a dinner function.
There will be a ladies meet during the GOC
visit right? Ill wear this crepe saree there.
I was amazed to see their planning! It put
the governments panch-varshiya yojna [veyear plans] to shame.

Chivalry isnt extinct

Dont call me Maam, please.
Ok Maam.
I gave up trying to convince ocers to
call me by my name. I was not used to being
called maam; it felt unnatural, especially
when someone belonging to my fathers generation addressed me so.
But thats when I realisedif there is one
place where a woman can enjoy the company
of chivalrous gentlemen, it would be in the
Armed Forces.



And I am not talking about pulling-thechair and holding-the-door-open kind of
chivalry. I am talking about a deeper sense of
honour and responsibility that makes the men
in uniform take care of their women folk.
These bravehearts will help each other to
any extent, even if they are not particularly
fond of each otherthey take the meaning of
the word camaraderie very seriously. Women
get pampered the most. And we love every
moment of it. Occasionally, my husband
would make sure that I didnt get carried
away and brought me back to reality. He tried
to groom me into becoming a good example for others.

Dress up!

Nandedkar is a
journalist and creator
of the blog www.
acuriousarmywife. Being
married to an Army
officer, she is fully
enjoying her nomadic
life which is a shaken
and stirred cocktail of
adventure and anxiety.

There is a long list of words that civilians

dont use, but faujis [army men] cant do without. Like, detailement, fall-in etc. Grooming is
another word that faujis like to use a lot.
I was amused on seeing a sign board
outside a military mess. Something about
the way Ors Mess is wrien triggers the
journalist in me, wanting to point out that any
normal person would read this as Oers
instead of Ocers.
I also had a hearty laugh when my husband rst said he needed to prepare his
dress for the next day.
Dress? Ha ha ha! Are you a woman that you
want to wear a dress?
Major Saab frowned. He opened his wardrobe and made me memorise the names of all
his dresses. Games dress, ceremonial dress,
Number One dress, Number Two dress,
combat dress and so on. I learned it the hard
way that in Army, even the men wear dresses.
And they do it in style! We, the army wives,
sometimes have to catch up with them in this
I had to undergo a complete wardrobe
makeover to cater to the requirements of every occasion [in every season]. This involved
spending a bomb on sarees, which is the unofcial dress code for army women at any social
function. Army wives are experts at wearing a
saree in ve minutes at, ve times a day.


Interacting with soldiers

I realised how lile I knew about the
organisation before I married my husband.
To a girl my age, only the glamour of crew
cuts, aviators and powerful bikes was visible.
It was only aer I started living with my
husband in his Unit that I came face-to-face
with things that only an army wife will
come across.
The most memorable among those things
was my interaction with Jawaans [soldiers]
and their families. Learning about the kind of
background they come from and their hardships was the jolt that brought me back to
earth and snapped me out of my fantasy.
Most wives of Jawaans came from villages;
some had not even passed class 10 while
some were post graduates. I was told that
the women looked up to the wives of ocers [provided we were nice to them] and I
needed to always be by their side.
I was shocked to learn that many of them
dont get to stay with their husbands for 3 4
years at a time and have to live alone or with
the husbands extended family, which comes
with its own set of problems.
One young wife asked me how much I
earned, and responded with a shocked expression when I told her.
Can women earn that much money? Can I
I didnt know what to tell her. I asked her
what her education was, to which she replied
that she was a computer graduate. I gave her
advice about how she should not waste her
time at home and get a job, citing that many
options she had and sincerely hoping that she
will pick at least one of those. I dont know
the outcome of that pep talk as my husband
got his posting orders the next month. But
I hope to meet that young woman again
someday and learn that she is doing well for
Thats the beauty of this organisation. We
meet, we bond, and we party like there is no
tomorrow. And very soon, it is time to pack
our trunks, say goodbye and move to a new
place to start all over again.
Thats life for us. And we appreciate its
value like no one else.
To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing
digital edition, visit



Yoga for PCOS

Did you know that besides affecting fertility, PCOS increases the risk of heart attack,
diabetes, stroke, anxiety disorder, depression and uterine cancer? Fortunately, PCOS can
be cured with the help of yoga and lifestyle changes

By Shammi Gupta

DURING A RECENT seminar on PCOS, a

gynaecologist revealed that till a few decades
ago, during their annual presentations, only
one paragraph would be alloed to PCOS.
Today, there are long presentations just on
this one topic.
Estimates suggest that Polycystic Ovary
Syndrome [PCOS] aects 5 10 per cent of
women of reproductive age. The symptoms
of PCOS are any or all of the following: hair
fall, irregular menstruation, acne, pimples,
baldness, dandru, miscarriage, facial hair,
weight gain, high blood pressure and sugar
imbalances due to insulin resistance. PCOS
also increases the risk of heart aack, diabetes, stroke, anxiety disorder, depression and
uterine cancer.
But every problem has an inherent solution. The good news is that a regulated and
disciplined lifestyle can reverse this problem.
PCOS is growing like an epidemic due to faults
in the lifestyle, especially, in young girls. It can be
completely kept under control without any complications through yoga, right diet and a healthy
lifestyle, says Dr Sudeshna Ray, Mumbaibased gynaecologist.

Lets look at how yoga can help

to manage PCOS
To treat PCOS, it is important to focus on
the postures which help direct oxygen rich
blood to the reproductive organs. Hence, all
the asanas which are meant to stretch and
expand the lower back and hips will fall in
this category.
Prasarita Padotanasana [wide legged forward
bend]: Stand with your feet wide apart [4
5], bend forward to place your palms on
the oor, inhale, raise your head up to get a
concave back, bend your elbows, exhale and
place your crown in between your palms.
Maintain the posture with normal breathing
for a while.
>> Stimulates your liver, kidneys, calves, hips,
groin, knees and spine.
>> Calms the mind and releases muscular

Prasarita Padotanasana


Upavista Konasana

Upavista Konasana. Sit with your legs

stretched in front of you and spread as far
apart as possible. Start bending forward as
per your comfort, while exhaling. Your aim
should be to nally touch your head to the
oor and your hands to your toes.
>> Stretches and strengthens your hips, lower
spine, and muscles from the upper chest to
the pelvis.
>> Helps the pelvic oor get increased blood
>> Eases the pain of sciatica, regularises
menstrual ow, stimulates ovaries, and
stretches hamstrings.
>> Recommended during pregnancy as well.
Baddhakonasana. Sit with your feet in
Namaste position [soles touching] for 1 2
minutes. Slowly bend forward and get into
a comfortable, relaxed position as shown in
the picture.

>> Helps direct blood ow to the abdomen and pelvis thereby stimulating the
abdominal organs, ovaries, uterus, bladder
and kidneys.
>> Helps with sciatica, menstrual irregularity,
high blood pressure, asthma, infertility,
depression and fatigue.
>> Recommended for pregnant woman.
Apart from the ones mentioned above,
asanas like uhita trikonasana, uhita
parsavakonasana, paschimoanasana and
adhomukha svasana are also benecial. Additionally, the practice of suryanamaskar alone
can bring tremendous benets and help keep
weight in check. Suryanamaskar is a series
of 12 postures which stretches and exes the
complete spine, works on the arms and the
legs and internal organs and glands.
According to some schools of thought, it
is best to avoid inversion postures if you
have PCOS.

Managing the stress that comes

with PCOS
Stress can be a cause of PCOS and also a
result of it. Activating your parasympathetic
nervous system with restorative postures,
correct breathing and pranayama can help



PCOS, yoga and weight loss

Weight gain is a common effect of PCOS and one that is most
upsetting. Hormonal imbalance leads to uncontrollable weight
gain. Hence, managing weight is critical to get a grip on the
situation. Once in control, it is easier to handle the other issues associated with it.
Yoga postures can be performed in a sequence dynamically
to increase heart rate and provide a cardiovascular workout.
This accelerates weight loss and also improves the health of
the heart. Hatha yoga postures, when performed in its traditional way i.e., holding the posture for a certain period of time,
thereby applying the principle of static contraction [isometric
type], helps build strength, increase muscle mass and combat
insulin resistance. Also, there are asanas that can stimulate
different organs and bring hormonal balance.

manage stress. Pranayamas promote deep

relaxation and hormonal balance bringing
adrenal and cortisol levels within control.
Ujjayi Pranayama [victory breathing].
Performed at the basic level, one needs to sit
upright, and inhale and exhale while constricting the throat. You will hear sa sound
during inhalation and exhalation.
>> Expands your lungs fully so that you utilise your lung capacity to the optimum.
>> Generates vital energy, tones and soothes
the nervous system, and balances high BP.
Nadi Shodhan Kriya [alternate nostril
breathing]. This is popularly known as anulom vilom. You block your right nostril with
your right thumb, inhale from the le nostril,
then block le nostril with right ring and lile
nger, release right nostril and exhale. Then
inhale from the right nostril, block right nostril again with right thumb, release le nostril
and exhale from le nostril. This is one cycle.
A few cycles of anulom vilom where you are
breathing mindfully can calm your mind,
increase oxygen level in the body, relieve
fatigue, strain and weakness and also lower
high blood pressure.

Mudras for PCOS

These are hand gestures that can be held
while doing pranayamas or at any other times
during the day.

Gyan Mudra or Jnana Mudra is the mudra

of wisdom. This mudra is performed by
joining together the tips of the thumb and the
index nger. Performing this mudra
helps to increase
will power. It also
balances the function of the various
glands and stabilises
hormonal disorders.


It is benecial in sleeping disorders. Do this

for 15 minutes daily.

Yoni Mudra is performed by joining the

thumbs and the index ngers of both
hands and interlocking the other
ngers. Thumbs will
face the ceiling and
index ngers will be
facing the oor. This
mudra is specially
designed for woman
and helps to relieve PMS, periods irregularity
and excess bleeding during periods. Do this
for 30 minutes followed by 5 10 minutes of
Pran Mudra.

Pran Mudra is performed by joining the

tips of lile ngers and ring ngers with
the tips of the thumb. It helps reduce tension,
anger and irritability. Also relieves skin rashes, improves eyesight and removes impurities
from blood. Do this for 10 minutes daily.
Follow the whole series whenever convenient during the day.
Lifestyle management is the key to PCOS
management. Hence, look at each aspect of
your life, manage it positively and you will be
relieved of this health concern.
If you have any further questions about how to manage
PCOS with yoga, I will be happy to answer them for
you. You may post your questions on Ask Shammi
segment on

To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing

digital edition, visit

Shammi Gupta,
founder of Shammis
Yogalaya is a
naturopath, MA in yoga
shastra and certified
in American College
of Sports Medicine
& Myofascial Tissue
Therapy. She teaches a
combination of Classic
Hatha, Iyengar and
Ashtanga Vinyasa and
conducts research on
yoga and sports.


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What are you dreaming of?

Presenting the nine most common dreams and what they are trying to tell you


By Theresa Cheung



you catch them in your hand. There is nothing
you can do to stop it from happening. People
are staring at you. You rush into the restroom,
look in the mirror and see your toothless
reection smile back at you. You start to panic
and just as you are about to scream you wake
up. Relief! It was but a dream.
Yes, it was just a dream. But knowing this
doesnt stop you from tapping your teeth to
make sure they are all there, and throughout
the day whenever you glance in the mirror
you cant help but feel reassured to see your
teeth intact. The dream felt so real. What did
it mean? Should you visit your dentist? No,
your teeth are in great shape because you
visited your dentist a month ago aer having
the same dream. So, why are you having this
dream yet again?
Teeth falling out is one of the most common dreams people have, so there has to be
some kind of meaning to it. The great majority of dreams are as unique as the person
who dreams them but certain dreams come
up time and time again. Here are nine of the
most common dreams we have and the psychological reasoning behind them.


In this extremely common dream, you are

with a group of people and suddenly you realise you are the only person who is not wearing anything. You are completely naked. This
dream suggests that you are feeling exposed
and vulnerable in your waking life; you need
to protect yourself. A ip side interpretation is
that your subconscious is urging you towards
greater self-expression or the freedom to be
more honest in your relationships.

2 Losing teeth

Teeth are a symbol of dominance and power

in the animal kingdom, so this dream could



suggest low self-esteem or condence. You

have lost your mojo and your dreaming
mind wants you to enjoy being you again.
Alternatively, as loss of baby teeth is a sign
of growing up, this dream could also suggest
fear of ageing or the need to let go of the past
in some way to move forward.

3 Taking an examination

Chances are you have had a dream where

you are about to take a test or examination or
are actually taking it. The simplest explanation is that you are stressed out with your
work or studies, but it could also indicate
that you need to keep on top of things and
stay alert. You could be missing things out
and not paying enough aention to important details.

4 Flying

This exhilarating dream occurs when you

are quite literally feeling highwith joy.
Your dreaming mind wants you to savour
the moment while it lasts. If, however, your
waking life is anything but joyful then ying
dreams are urging you to detach from your
problems, spread metaphorical wings and let
go of self-imposed limitations so you can see
the bigger picture.

5 Falling

Dreaming of falling from a great height

suggests you are frightened of failing or are
feeling insecure and unsupported in some
way. Your dreaming mind is urging you to
deal with the issues that are overwhelming
you. Closely associated with falling is the
dream of drowning. Drowning also suggests
a sense of crisis or feeling overwhelmed;
an indication that you are metaphorically
drowned by the circumstances in your
waking life.

6 Running away or being chased

Either you are feeling threatened in some way

in your waking life, or your dreaming mind is
trying to get you to face an issue or problem
that has been holding you back. Dreams of
being lost have a fairly similar meaning in


that they also suggest you are feeling confused and arent sure which way to turn in
your waking life. Your subconscious wants
you to nd a direction, a solution.

7 Death

More a nightmare, many people worry

that dreams of themselves or their loved
ones dying may come true in real life. Rest
assured this is not the case as dreams are
symbolic and do not predict the future. If
someone you know in a dream dies, or is
dead, this means that the part of yourself or
the situation that person represents is dead,
or needs to die. If you are the dying person,
your dreaming mind is urging you to make
changes, let go of old ways or one stage in
your life and take a new path. So this is very
much an out with the old, in with the new
dream interpretation.

Arriving late and car out of

Your dreaming mind is telling you that
you are unprepared or have taken on
way too much. Another closely related
dream is when you dream about transport
diculties or are in a vehicle that suddenly
loses control. You may be the driver or the
passenger but either way it is a sign that you
are feeling powerless and a crash is likely
if urgent changes in your waking life arent
made soon or a bad habit isnt corrected
or brought under control. Dreams about
phones or electrical appliances being faulty
have a similar meaning. You need to reassess
your life, take on less and focus on what
really maers.

9 Sex

Typically we have sex in our dreams with

people who are not our partners, or dream
of our partners having sex with other people
but this does not mean you are going to have
an aair or that your partner is cheating.
If you are having sex in your dreams
especially with someone you arent aracted
to in real lifeyour subconscious is urging
you to develop aspects of yourself that are
hidden. What aspect of yourself does the
person you have sex with in your dream
represent? For example, if you dream of a
celebrity, perhaps this suggests the desire for
more recognition or condence. And if you
dream of your partner cheating, dont judge
or jump to conclusions. It could simply
mean that your partner is devoting too much
aention to something other than you: work,
study, sports, a hobby, a pet and so on. It
could also indicate that you are driing
apart and need to reconnect.

Amazing you
Your dreams do not predict the future or read
your mind but what they can do is shine a
symbolic spotlight on an area of your personality or your life that you need to resolve,
develop or pay more aention to. If you listen
to what your inner therapist is trying to say,
you will nd that every dream you have has a
great deal to say about you and your lifebecause in your dreams absolutely everything is
about YOU.

To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing

digital edition, visit

Theresa Cheung
is the best-selling
author of The Element
Encyclopaedia of 20,000
Dreams [Harper Collins]
and Sunday Times
best-selling author of
An Angel Healed Me
[Simon and Schuster]

International Day of Epilepsy

8th February 2016

Epilepsy explained
A neurologist explains the brain disorder that causes
seizures and offers useful advice regarding the same

By Anil Venkitachalam


What is epilepsy? How prevalent is it in


Epilepsy is a disease in which the

person gets seizures. It is estimated
that at least one per cent of the population
or nearly 12 million people suffer from
epilepsy in India.

What are the causes of epilepsy?

Epilepsy can develop due to a variety of causes such as head injuries,

strokes, brain tumours, genetic and congenital disorders, brain infections like meningitis
and developmental brain disorders. However, the underlying cause is identified only
in 30 per cent of all epilepsy cases.

Who is at risk of developing epilepsy?

Epilepsy affects people of all races.

It can begin at any time in life. The
condition is more common among children
and the aged. 25 per cent of cases afflict
individuals under the age of 14 years, while
35 per cent of all cases are observed in
patients above the age of 65 years. The
remaining 40 per cent of cases develop in


individuals who fall into greater wider age

group, from 15 64 years of age.


What are the types of seizures that

patients with epilepsy have?

There are several different kinds of

seizures. Generalised tonic-clonic
seizures are easily identified by eye witnesses or by-standers. The event is usually
characterised by a cry, followed by a fall. The
patient loses consciousness and the body
stiffens, which is followed by jerking of the
limbs. It may be accompanied by tongue
bite, frothing from mouth and sometimes
urinary incontinence. The patient remains
confused or drowsy after the event and may
have no recollection of the incident. While
this type of seizure is easy to diagnose,
there are other types of seizures that are
commonly seen, but are more difficult to
identify. These include:




Absence seizures These begin and

end abruptly. They are common in
children and last for a few seconds. The
episodes are characterised by brief periods of staring spells and unresponsive
Myoclonic seizures The patient has
generalised muscle jerks or spasms.
Simple partial seizures The patient
experiences changes in sensation, limb
movements or feelings, without any loss
of consciousness.
Complex partial seizures These
are characterised by brief episodes of
alteration in consciousness or confusion.
The patient is generally unaware of
these events. The symptoms may be



associated with auras and automatisms.

Auras are perceptual disturbances
experienced before the seizure happens.
They are usually in the form of seeing a
strange light, getting an unpleasant smell
or some confusing thoughts. The most
common automatisms are in the form
of lip smacking, swallowing, chewing,
picking and fumbling.
Atonic seizures There is a sudden and
complete loss of muscle tone, resulting in
the patient falling to the ground.

Can seizures cause brain damage?

Generally, seizures cause brain dysfunction only for a temporary period. In

rare cases, recurrent or prolonged seizures
can have some negative effects over time.
However, in general, epileptic patients do
not have any noticeable changes in their
intelligence, cognition or alertness.

What are febrile seizures?

Sometimes, in infants and children,

a high fever can trigger a seizure.
This is described as a febrile seizure. In
most cases, these patients do not develop
epilepsy. Parents should however seek
medical attention immediately in case the
child has a seizure.


What are the dangers that a patient with

epilepsy faces?

Seizures are usually non-threatening and are unlikely to result in fatality

if dealt with promptly. Death is possible if
someone has a seizure in water or while
driving. Occasionally, a patient can aspirate
or choke during a seizure. Therefore, it is imperative to treat seizures as an emergency.


What should one do when someone

has epilepsy?

The important thing to remember is to

keep the patient safe until the seizure
stops naturally.
Key points to remember:


Keep calm.
Do not try to stop the seizure forcefully.




Clear the area around the patient so as to

avoid any injuries.
Loosen the clothing to facilitate breathing.
Turn the patient gently to one side so as
to avoid choking. Do not attempt to force
the mouth open, as this can cause more
injury to the patient.
Wait for the event to get over and seek
medical help.

Anil Venkitachalam
is a full time consultant
in neurology at Dr LH
Hiranandani Hospital,
Powai, Mumbai.

How is epilepsy treated?

Seizure prevention is the goal of treatment. The modes of treatment include

medications, surgery, vagal nerve stimulation and ketogenic diet. Different antiepileptic medications are also available, with the
specific types of medications and dosage
guidelines determined by a neurologist. In
general, medications are helpful in controlling seizures in up to 80 per cent of cases.
It is important to follow the dosage recommendations precisely, as skipping medications or altering dosage can further exacerbate the problem. Another essential point to
remember is that medications do not cure
epilepsy, but only control the seizures. The
patient may have to be on medication for a
prolonged period of time.


Is epilepsy related to any psychiatric



Can an epilepsy patient lead a

normal life?

Overall, epilepsy patients have normal

intelligence and brain function. Epilepsy does not affect mental abilities, except
when associated with other neurological
issues. Epilepsy is different from psychiatric
disorders and in most cases epilepsy patients have normal moods and behaviour.

Yes, an epileptic patient can lead a

normal life. He can take up a regular
job, marry, have children and lead a healthy
happy life. Certain precautions do need to
be taken, especially while driving a car, travelling or swimming. The patient is advised
to regularly follow up with a neurologist to
monitor his condition.


living spaces

ITS TIME FOR DINNER but there you are

with your head poking into the refrigerator.
Frantically shuing jars back and forth on
the shelves, searching for that one crucial
ingredient you need to nish the dish you are
preparing. You look in all the boles and cans
in the hope to nd it but in vain. If only you
had organised your refrigerator beer!
We may not give it much thought, but a
neat and well-organised refrigerator not only
makes it easier for us to fetch things from it
when we need them but also helps the food
stay fresh for long. Heres how you can do it:

Arrange the shelves

Clean the shelves well and then rearrange
them smartly such that your refrigerator is
more functional and beer suited to your
needs. If the arrangement of the shelves is
right, then your refrigerator will have more
air-circulation and will also look neat and
tidy. At least one shelf in the fridge should be
able to accommodate tall containers.

Use shelf liners

and chilled
An eciently arranged refrigerator can help you
save time, plan your grocery shopping beer and is
pleasing to the eyes

By Nithya Govindarajan


Spills happen all the time and cleaning the

fridge shelf aer a spill can be a tedious
process. Protect your refrigerator from
spills by using shelf liners. There are many
shelf liners available in the market like so
towels, cling wrappers, white vinyl, plastic
transparent liners etc. Take your pick!
Whenever a spill happens on the shelf, all you
need to do is replace or clean the shelf liner.
Plus, shelf liners add a colourful touch to
your refrigerator.

Place similar items together

Arrange your food items based on their
category, type or usage and designate a
xed place for them in your refrigerator.
For example, place your fruits in the low
humidity drawer, condiments in one place,
and milk and other beverages in another
place. This will help you to easily nd the
items you need. You can also use trays to
further compartmentalise the items. Choose
trays that are not too bulky and do not take
more space by themselves. So you could
place all the condiments in one tray, sauces in
another and so on.


Use containers the right way

>> Prefer square and rectangle shapes. Store




items in square or rectangle containers

because they can be stacked well and
would also t into the corners easily. Also
make sure that the containers are covered
Choose see-through containers. Seethrough containers are best because you
know what is inside the container and
what you are looking for. It also saves you
the trouble of labelling the containers.
Prefer glass containers. Glass containers
are eco-friendly and allow you to reheat
food in them to high temperatures.
Use matching colour containers. This is
not a must, but its a simple trick to make
your refrigerator look beautiful and well
organised. For example, you could coordinate white and blue containers or same
colour containers.
Use me soon tray. For foods that need to
be consumed within a week or so, place
them in a specic tray that is meant only
for items that are soon to perish. This way
there will be no wastage and you wont
have to keep a list of those items on the top
of your mind.

Use freezer bags or green bags

Save space in your refrigerator by storing food
in air-tight bags, freezer bags or green bags.
Freezer bags: Store your food items in freezer
bags that are free from BPA [Bisphenol A].
Freezer bags are inexpensive and available
in dierent sizes. Also, they can be easily
stacked and labelled.
Green bags. Use green bags to store vegetables and fruits, as they tend to keep them
fresh for longer.

Use bole stacker

Its very likely that you will run out of space
to keep boles in your fridge door and will
then need to use the shelves. To prevent the
boles from rolling to and fro on the shelf use
a bole stacker. These can be used to place
your wine, so drinks and ever ketchup bottles. These stackers also hold cans well. You
can get it as a exible rubber mat.


Label containers and shelves

Nithya Govindarajan

Label containers. Use food storage labels or

a marker to write down the item name and
the date it is packed in the container. By this,
every three days you could do a random
check and clean the refrigerator by removing
the unwanted containers.

is a business analyst and

author of nithyascorner.
com, a food blog that
specialises in Indian and
international recipes and
also kitchen related articles.

Label shelves. If you have many drawers

and bins, label all of them just to identify and
replace the food items easily. This habit will
prove useful aer youve just got your groceries and are stocking up the fridge. Instead of
randomly dumping things in any shelf, labels
will make sure that each item has its designated place. Likewise, you could also store
food in a bin and label it as Kids so that
your kids could reach them easily.

Require cool air circulation

In order to prevent your food from spoiling
too early and to maintain your food at a
safe temperature, avoid overloading your
refrigerator with a lot of food. Cool air needs
to circulate to keep food at the required

Organise items based on

humidity and temperature
Store food items that spoil easily like curd,
desserts, fresh cream and ripe fruits on the
coldest shelf. Fruits could be stored in the low
humidity drawer while vegetables could be
kept on the high humidity drawer.

Small items ahead

Always place big items at the back of the refrigerator and the small ones in front, so that
you can clearly see what you have. This also
helps to avoid wastage of food items.

Store only necessary fruits and

Some fruits and vegetables like onions and
potatoes do not need refrigeration. They can
be safely stored on your kitchen countertop
for two to three weeks. This way, you could
have more room in your refrigerator for food
that does require refrigeration.
To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing
digital edition, visit





When you choose voluntourism, you not only
enrich your life but also the world at large


By Shraddha Gupta


VOLUNTOURISM IS A COMBINATION of volunteering and tourism, where people get

to visit a new place and at the same time help those less fortunate than themselves. They
can choose to get o the beaten path and visit remote villages, mingle with the locals and
understand their lifestyle and culture. As volunteers, they can educate children or help
build an infrastructure for those who do not have even the basic amenities that we take for
granted. Volunteering overseas is a growing trend, but there are also a lot of opportunities
for voluntourism within our country.
The dream!
Back in 2013, I wanted to take a month-long
vacation. My parents were supportive and advised me to nd a purpose for my trip rather
than just spend my vacation lazing. Owing
to its mesmerising mountains and peaceful
spirituality, I was instantly drawn to McLeod
Ganj, a suburb of Dharamsala in Himachal
Pradesh. I imagined walking through the
quaint streets and visiting the monasteries; I
could even hear the sound of the gongs of the
Dalai Lama temple as they echoed through
the valleys.

My vision takes shape

When I rst announced my decision of volunteering while on a trip, everyone around me
concluded that it was a bizarre idea. Honestly, I was scared to go to an unknown place
and manage a solo trip for that long with no
familiar locals to lean on. But even though
I was afraid, I was also eager to help this
compassionate Tibetans-in-exile community.
I surfed the internet and applied for the role
of a volunteer teacher at the LHA Charitable Trust, a non-prot organisation and one
of the largest Tibetan social work institutes
based in Dharamsala. A couple of days later
I was accepted for the position, and soon my
bags were packed and I was ready to leave.

next month. At noon, I was inside the LHA

oce, a small green building with ordinary
classrooms, a few lile oce spaces and a
simple homely charm. I was welcomed by the
volunteer coordinator, who then introduced
me to all the other volunteers. They had come
from dierent parts of the world, for the same
purposeto teach the ones who needed
it the most. Later that aernoon, I met my
student, a fair and beautiful Tibetan nun with
twinkling eyes and a pure smile. Her rst
words to me were, Tashi Delek, my teacher.
The phrase Tashi Delek can be roughly
translated as blessings and good luck and
it is a greeting that is characteristic of the rich
Tibetan culture.
A nun and student
at LHA getting
lessons in English

I nd purpose
When I arrived in McLeod Ganj, I was
received by a representative of LHA, who
helped me nd accommodation for the



The author with her student: a Tibetan nun

The group of volunteers at LHA enjoying their weekend break

The decision that changed

my life
The decision to stay locally was a turning
point in my tripand my life. I made new
friends and learnt a lot from them, in turn
sharing what I knew. My stay had a denitive purpose now; I taught my student basic
English and chaed with her for hours to improve her grammar. In return, she taught me
a set of new Tibetan words on a daily basis
and gave me an insight into Tibet, its culture
and a Tibetans journey across countries.
The days were still long enough to leave
me plenty of time to go on treks with the
other volunteers, explore neighbouring towns
on weekends, visit the cafes and enjoy countless yoga and meditation sessions. We shared
music, movies, books, anecdotes and stories
from our respective hometowns, turning the
experience into the most enriching cultural
exchange of our lives.

A novel experience

Shraddha Gupta
is the founder of
StreetTrotter, a travel,
culture and fashion
blog that inspires
people to look good,
live healthy and travel
better. In 2014 she
completed the Chadar
Trek, one of the wildest
frozen river treks
in the world. www.

What I had just done was new to me as an

Indian traveller. Our strict working schedules
and suspicious mindset about safety issues
concerning new places hold us back from
trying out new experiences of this kind. But,
with a lile research and following my own
experience, I realised that volunteer-travelling or voluntourism is a common practice for
foreigners around the world. Its easy to nd a
number of accredited volunteering organisations in oeat areas of developing cities and
countries or in remote and tribal selements.
India, Nepal, Cambodia, Iceland, Guatemala,


Brazil and South Africa are among the top

destinations with such opportunities, not only
to teach dierent languages, but also to help
in ecological research, conservation eorts,
restoration, business development, marketing local businesses, or provide assistance in
therapy, childcare and so on.

Tips for voluntourism

Voluntourism may not change the world
overnight, but the smallest eorts can, at
times, make a big dierence. While I sincerely
hope that more travellers will be inspired
to volunteer while travelling, here are a few
tips to make your experience memorable and
>> Do your research and nd an organisation
that you trust, value and respect.
>> Opt for cheap and aordable local homestays, when looking for accommodations
for a longer period of time.
>> Plan your stay for a minimum of 10 days
or more, to make the most of your experience, and to be able to really contribute to
the cause for which you volunteer.
>> Be open to the culture around you, and
learn as much as you can from the locals.
Relinquish your modern luxuries, and eat,
sleep and live like they do.
>> Dont be a tourist, be an explorer or
adventurer, ready to discover and always
appreciative of new cultures and places.
>> Last but not the least, remember that travel
can also contribute to a greater cause.
To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing
digital edition, visit


Body, mind and beyond




Infuse life into your days



Write something positive

about an office colleague
and leave the note on his

Write a letter to your

future children or
grandchildren with the
intent of giving it to
them someday.










Ask someone if theyve

lost some weight or
simply tell them that
theyre glowing.



Strive to keep your

words and thoughts
positive all dayno
complaining or





Learn something
new: origami,
hulahooping or
even juggling.

Valentines Day
Rekindle the romance
by recreating your
first meeting with
your beloved.

Give up your seat

for someonethey
need not be elderly or



How about giving

away utensils/
crockery you no
longer need to
someone less
privileged than you?











Basking in the early

morning sun is the
best way to get vitamin
D. Are you getting

Dig out a board

game and play it
with your family.



Have that awkward

conversation youve
been putting off for
so long.

Break away from

a fixed routine, do
something different to
get out of the rut.

Take a nap. Yes, you

read that right. Sleep
for an hour or two.


Vow to not start

your day with the
newspaper this
entire week.



Donate your talents

at an orphanage or an
old age home.

Add a touch of cheer

to your desk by getting
an office plant.




Eat at least
five different
fruits today.


February 2016


Archana Singh takes you to a breathtaking hill station in Vietnam to

experience the culture of an authentic hill tribe


The Stone

Trekking through the

Bamboo Forest


The Coffee View & Bar is worth

a visit for the view it offers



Tonkinese Alps, the enchanting culture of
Sapa and its lovely, welcoming people have
been dwelling on my mind ever since I
returned from Vietnam. I love exploring the
untold human stories, so on my trip I decided
to sneak a peek into the lives of ethnic tribes
of Sapa. This article is an aempt to look beyond the surface and discover the true beauty
of Vietnam.
I saw the rst glimpse of Sapa on television and the idea to visit Vietnam took birth
in my mind. Three months later, I was in the
quaint land of mist and mountains. I reached
Sapa early in the morning aer a comfortable
ve hours Hanoi-Sapa journey in a bus. The
moment I alighted from the bus, I noticed
a ock of short Hmong women dressed in
vibrant traditional outts smiling and asking
if I needed a guide. I politely declined and
took a taxi to the Holy Rosary Church, alias
the Stone Church.
The centre of the town was dwarfed by
mountain ranges and especially the peak of
Phan-Xi-Pang [Vietnams highest mountain at
3,100m]. The Stone Church was built in late


19th century by the French and stood tall in

this orient-meets-the-alps retreat. Across the
Church stood the towns main marketplace
and plaza.

The exploring begins

During the trek aer a hearty buet breakfast
at Cinnamon restaurant, my so spoken,
ever smiling, traditionally clad guide Si told
me that Sapa has numerous ethnic minority
groups namely Hmong, Dao, Giay and Tay
and majority [about 80 per cent] of the population is into agriculture.
Paying aention to Sis words only
partially, my eyes absorbed the jaw-dropping
panoramas of the valley. The rice terraces ran
down the loy slopes and the clouds oered
glimpses of high soaring peaks farther away.
Bathed in morning sunlight, the misty vistas
looked like giant watercolour paintings. We
walked through the terraced rice paddies,
Indigo elds, bamboo forests, rivulets and
small waterfalls. Water bualoes and pigs
stared at us from rice elds. My muddy slipand-slide adventure trek was both rewarding
and tiring. Though it got extremely sweaty



The famous terrace

rice fields of Sapa

Good to know

Tourists relaxing near

the Thac Bac waterfall

LOCATION: Lao Cai Province, near the China

border in north-west Vietnam. 350km north-west
of Hanoi.
GETTING THERE: There are private sleeper
buses and overnight trains from Hanoi to Lao
Chai, followed by 45 minutes drive from Lao Chai
city by bus.
VISAS: Vietnam offers Visa on Arrival at the
airport if you get an approval letter online.
SIGHT-SEEING: Sapa is best explored on foot
but you can hire a taxi or a motorbike from the
town to explore remote, far off places.
WHEN TO GO: Between March and May or
October and November. Winters are cold and
foggy with temperatures occasionally dropping
below freezing point whereas summers are rainy.
Sapa during weekdays is quieter and reasonable
as compared to weekends when tourists flock to
Hanoi to visit the Saturday market.
WHERE TO STAY: Sapa is a tourist magnet
so a lot of good hotels huddle in the main town.
There are also traditional homestays in villages
like Lao Chai, Ban Ho, Ta Van, Ta Phin. Those
with limited budget can opt for hostels like Sapa
Backpackers, Mountain View, Go Sapa Hostel
among others.
WHAT TO BUY: The livelihood of the tribes
depends on the money they make by selling their
handmade items to tourists. Be generous. Buy
their handicraft. They are unique and cheaper
than what youll find in showrooms in Sapa and
WHAT TO SEE: Thac Bac [Silver] waterfall, Ham
Rong Mountain, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest
and Ta Phin Cave among others. Trekking is an
ideal way to explore Sapas enchanting beauty.

Souvenier shops selling

Vietnamese products


despite the cool breeze, the astounding views

and the weather made up for all the hard
Tiny Hmong women, while greeting us
warmly, tried selling everything they had
in their traditional woven baskets: embroidered hemp skirts, bags, belts, purses, silver
bracelets, earrings and traditional necklaces.
I learnt from these innocent-looking English
speaking traders that looks can be deceptive;
they seemed to have embraced capitalism.
Talking to them meant buying their stu. If
you dont buy, be prepared to get nasty looks.
And taking their picture is a strict no-no, unless you buy their items. For them its simple;
No money, no picture. I thought of them as
rude and shrewd but subsequent heart-toheart conversations I had with a few of them
made me change my mind about these gentle
souls struggling to survive.

Sapas unique traditions

The excruciating ve-hour trek had le me
drained. Hung and pung, we nally
reached a local restaurant at the Lao Chai

The petite Hmonng

women taking a break
from selling their wares


An artisan at work at a
minorities craft shop

Village which was buzzing with tourists, its

air smelling of beef and pork. The waitresses
delivered orders at lightening speed. I was
hungry but unfortunately my vegetarian meal
requirement was lost in the translation. So I
was le with no choice but to have fruit. Aer
a quick lunch I was once again out with my
guide, discovering the lile hamlet. While
strolling through the village, Si told me about
some of their unique traditions:
Saturday love market: On Saturday nights,
Sapas main square turns into a dating point
for young boys and girls looking for love.
Historically, young girls would be singing,
hidden away in the dark. If any boy liked any
particular voice, he would nd the young girl
out, court her and follow it up with a romp in
the forest for three days. If the match was on,
these trips would usually end in marriage.
Marriage by kidnapping: A young man
kidnaps a young woman with the help of his
friends and family. He informs his new inlaws only two days aer the kidnap. However, the kidnapping is symbolic only. The girl
usually knows she is going to be kidnapped
as she is given a gi two days in advance by
the boy suggesting his motive. If she doesnt
like the match she can refuse and return to her
parents home with any family member that
comes to rescue her. If she is happy with the
match, the boys family pays the brides family a price either in cash or by livestock such
as bualo to support the brides family from
whom an earning member is taken away.
Traditional medicines: Heating cardamom
in a bualo horn and pressing the hot horn
onto ones forehead cures headaches but
leaves behind a circular burn like mark on the
Ethnic dressing: Each ethnic tribe in the

A meal being prepared at

a homestay in Lao Chai

district has a dierent style of dressing, but

each tribe is usually responsible for weaving
their own clothes by hand with the help of
indigenously grown indigo and hemp. Even
the jewellery they wear is self-made.
Not only had I discovered so much about
Sapa in a single day, I had also experienced
all four seasons: cool spring morning, warm
and sunny summer aernoon, cloudy autumn evening, and a cold winter night.
The next day, our three-hour trek took me
through villages, streams, rivers, waterfalls,
bamboo forests and muddy pathways. Soaring mountains and deep valleys dwarfed the
bamboo villages, dirt roads and terraced rice
elds. I realised that I was enjoying the view
more today. Perhaps because I didnt feel like
a tourist anymore. I connected with the locals
and was no longer annoyed by the pesky
behaviour of the sellers.
The soaring mountains of Northern Vietnam have long preserved the unique cultures
of ethnic hill tribes but today this strength
has become their weakness. While the rest
of Vietnam has started enjoying the benet
of globalisation, Sapa has remained the poor
cousin being marginalised and forgoen. Although in the last 10 years Sapa has become
a darling of tourists arriving in Vietnam, the
local tribes have hardly beneted from this
travel boom. It is the rich tour operators from
Hanoi and Ho Chin Minh who have made all
the moolah.
Only time will tell if these tribes will
survive. But someday, I hope and pray, that
their eervescent smiles will emanate from a
happy prosperous life and not from a life of
poverty, struggles and compromises.
To subscribe to Complete Wellbeing
digital edition, visit

Archana Singh
is a brand strategist by
profession and traveller by
passion. Her travel plans
are usually fluid and
take her to offbeat places
across India and the
world. Read more about
her travel experiences at


New kits on the block

newly launched products and services

Palmolive launches

premium handwashes

almolives new range of luxurious handwashes

come in four variantssea minerals, black orchid,
raspberry and lime/mint. Sea mineral and black orchid
are liquid while raspberry and lime/mint are foam-based
handwashes. Each of these has a unique refreshing fragrance that can stimulate your senses during a long tiring
day. They provide long-lasting germ protection, are deep
cleansing and leave your hands feeling clean, smooth,
hydrated and moisturised aer every use.

Price: ` 95 for 250ml [liquid] / ` 150 for 250ml [foaming]

VitoHealth Skillet
by Vinod cookware

his skillet comes with a Thermo Knob feature. You

can use this to bake, roast, saut, fry and boil food.
The handles do not get hot while cooking and its 18/8
stainless steel pot body always remains cooler than the
compact boom and enables water vapour condensation.
The signicantly heavy lid stays cooler on the pot and also
ensures no nutrient lossit builds the water seal, which
guarantees that nutrients stay in the pot. It comes with a
two year warranty.

Price: ` 4,570

Hand Blender
by Kra

ade of stainless steel,

Kras new hand blender
is strong, sleek and equipped to
perform a wide array of blending tasks. Its 12,000 RPM speed
seings, 160 was of power
and sharp four-winged Quaro
blade reduces the meal preparation time and eort. The handle
is non-slippery.
It comes with three aachmentsMincer to chop and
smash, Whisker to stir and mix
and Beater to whip cream. It can
be easily cleaned by separating
its detachable accessories before
washing. It is available in blue
and beige colours.
Price: ` 1,395

Underarm whitening
cream by La-Tav

ark underarms are a common skin issue and La-Tavs latest

product hopes to help with this. The whitening and nourishing cream, Tejasva, contains liquorice extracts that lighten the skin
tone. It also contains essential olive oil and vitamins that nourish
the skin. It aims to give you even toned and smooth underarms
so you no longer have to be conscious of your underarms when
wearing sleeveless outts. The product is available in all leading
cosmetic stores.
Price: ` 460



Marks & Spencers products

with grape fruit extracts

&S has introduced a range of grape fruit products

that are a complex of echinacea, peptides and
an exclusive source of resveratrol. The three products
are Super Grape Face Serum, Super Grape Overnight
Treatment Oil and Super Grape Night cream. These
products are paraben free and not tested on animals.
They promote younger looking skin, give a brighter
complexion and improve skin radiance. The products are
produced in UK in an eco-factory.

Price: Super Grape Face Serum ` 899

Super Grape Overnight Treatment Oil ` 799
Super Grape Night Cream ` 799

Coffee machine from Bonhomia

his February, Bonhomia brings a stylish, no-fuss brewing

machine called Boho with a hot water dispenser and the
ability to froth and steam milk to prepare tea or coee quickly
with consistent texture and avour. It is light weight and
uncomplicated to operate making it a perfect present for your
loved one. It comes in midnight black and passion red colours
and is available on their website, on Amazon as well as in select
outlets like Barista, Westside and Modern Bazaar.
Price: ` 9,995 [midnight black]; ` 12,995 [passion red]

Soaps by Dear Earth

ear Earth brings three organic soaps

Bamboo Charcoal, Tea Tree and So
& Glow. Bamboo charcoal is rich in coconut
buer, organic jojoba oil and ne bamboo
charcoal that unclogs pores and gets rid of skin
odour. Tea Tree has purifying properties of tea
tree oil and gives you a rejuvenated feeling. It
also cures acne. So & Glow has sandalwood
and the healing, moisturising properties of
Shea buer and coconut oil. All the soaps
use pure organic ingredients and are natural,
handmade and vegan.

Price: ` 290 each

The information provided in this section is only on an as-is basis; Complete Wellbeing is not associated with the products listed here and does
not endorse them. To have your product listed, email us on Complete Wellbeing reserves the right to refuse
publishing information about a product without providing any reason whatsoever.




A brief history of the mind

By Manoj Khatri


the worlds most famous scientist
alive, made headlines yet again
when he predicted that humans
might destroy planet Earth beyond
repair within the next 100 years.
He mentioned such man-made
problems as nuclear war, climate
change, and genetically engineered
viruses among top possible causes
for our downfall. This is not the rst
time that the scientist has warned
humanity of causing self-destruction.
Hawkings prophecy reminded
me of a joke: A man was galloping
away on a horse as if in a great
hurry to reach somewhere. Along
the way, a friend of this man saw
him racing away. Curious, he
shouted, Where are you going?
The man on the horse replied, I
wish I knew! Ask the horse!
To me, this joke is our story
the story of humanity. The man
represents the whole humanity and
the wayward horse is the collective
mind energy that is now totally
out of control, taking all of us to
no destination in particular but all

the while pretending to be on an

important assignment.
Hawkings best-selling book
A Brief History of Time aempts to
explain the origin and evolution of
the universe, the big bang, black
holes, wormholes and other cosmic
ideas. But what explains the history
of the mind? According to me, the
following could very well be a brief
history of the human mind:
At the onset, the mind in humans
evolved as a wonderful instrument
that enabled us to improve our
lives. Unfortunately, along the way
we allowed the mind to become
more important than life itself. Prior
to the birth of mind, we lived in
response to, and harmony with, our
environment. Our problems were
more immediatelike physical
safety from predatory animals,
shelter for protection against harsh
weather and nding food. As
the mind continued to develop,
we conquered all our survival
problems. Soon, we started using
the mind to further improve our
general conditions. As the mind
helped us take great strides, we
began to trust it more and more

until we lost our sense of self and

got completely identied with it.
Once the human mind was in
the commanding position, it started
to solve problems that didnt exist.
Ever since, thats what humanity
has been doingsolving problems
that dont exist [I call them mindmade problems] and creating more
problems in the process. That, in a
nutshell, is the brief history of the
human mind.
When I look at the world today,
I cant help but wonder about the
crazy state of aairs. We have
enough resources to end world
hunger and wipe o poverty from
the world. We have a real chance of
lasting peacesurvival not being
an issue; we have no reason to ght
wars. But we are determined to ght
other humans for some false sense
of supremacy, even it that means
destroying ourselves in the process.
Unless we stop it, it is very likely
that our insane mind energy will
cause us to blow ourselves up.
Can we do something about
it? Yes, we can. The rst step is to
recognise that we are not the mind.
We need to seize back control from
our mind, which is an amazing
servant but a terrible master. We
need to relegate it to its original
serving position and refuse to
entertain any ideas and thoughts
that lead to separation from fellow
humans and our environment.
Every individual that unplugs
from the dominant mind energy
raises hopes that we will outlast
doomsday predictions. Sure, its
not easy but its worth the eort.
And if enough of us successfully
free ourselves from the clutches
of the mind, a shi will take place
in the collective consciousness of
humankind. If that happens, we
will nally begin to enjoy the real
benets of mind-made advances...
peacefully and happily ever aer.

Printed by Manoj Khatri, on behalf of Complete Wellbeing Publishing Pvt Ltd., at Rajhans Enterprises, No. 134, 4th Main Road, Industrial Town,
Rajajinagar, Bangalore - 560044, and published by him from Complete Wellbeing Publishing Pvt Ltd., 502, A wing, Sagar Tech Plaza,
Saki Naka Junction, Andheri-Kurla Road, Mumbai 400072. Editor: Manoj Khatri


Ah! That feeling of being divinely

rejuvenated aer a thoroughly
exhausting trek


Body, mind and beyond

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