Pause – Rewind – Reset!

Content marketing expert and well-being trainer for mind and stress management workshops Shailja Varghese on how to cope with anxiety during the lockdown, a part of #reset initiative by Harper Collins India

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Pause – Rewind – Reset!

Shailja Varghese

Did you ever wish you were stranded on an island with your favourite person? Maybe on a beach with an ample supply of fresh fruits, water and essentials to last a month. The current times we are in, our wish is granted but in a twisted way. Yes, we are in isolation, maybe alone and not with our choice of people, maybe not in the best place or circumstances. That’s how life is and will always be—uncertain and impermanent. We failed to acknowledge this truth, as our minds were busy running outwards for more pleasure, materialistic satisfaction and new experiences. We forgot our true nature and disconnected from our inner core. While we were busy building a false sense of security and comfort, and were immersed in consumerism, nature had other plans for us.

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We are witnessing one of the biggest pandemics in history. It has clamped us down and is peeling layers of our ego identifications. Slowly it is dissolving the divisions and boundaries created by us in the name of religion, country, socio-economic background. Around eight billion of us are facing collective karma. Nature has stripped us down to where it all started — back in the womb — by pausing life, so that we take corrective measures. A human baby takes nine months to come into this world by going through an intricate journey. This journey is in close supervision of divinity, the care of its mother, and surrounded by its family. What we are witnessing is like a ‘re-wombing’ process, nature’s way of housekeeping. It has forced us to rewind, to reset our approach towards relationships, profession, career, community work, well-being. No doubt nature loves us and protects us, but all great changes are preceded by chaos.

Nature is working on us to become change agents, to go through this intense transformation boot camp, to bring a change in the way we relate to ourselves, our relationships and the environment. During these times, it is natural to go through different phases, from being in fear and denial, and then new learnings, and finally growth. How fast we cover the distance from fear and denial to acceptance and growth will determine how affected or effective we become as the change agents of the future. Until we don’t accept what’s happening, we won’t be able to take any constructive next steps. The way to reduce misery and distance between fear and acceptance is by not being in extremes in life, but in the centre with a purpose. It is very easy to get consumed by fear, loneliness, hopelessness, stress, anxiety and worries. It is imperative at such times to lean back on our personal purpose, which keeps our mental and emotional hygiene in a healthy place. For everyone, the approach to this might be different. For me, over the last two decades I have been practising breathing techniques combined with meditation, yoga, an ayurvedic way of life and alternative therapies. I have made these into a habit and have done them regularly without any major breaks. This has helped relieve stress, prevent burn-out, and help start the day with more energy, joy and purpose.

This is the time to find our purpose, which will make our life balanced and equanimous. It is natural to be in fear of what’s happening and what will happen in the future, but for a true yogi this is proof of the principles he/she is disciplined in — life is impermanent, and true happiness is not outside but reposes in the self. Things, people and situations will change, but our core, our purpose, our values need not change — and that’s what a resilient mindset is all about. Come what may, this inner core will direct you in the right direction. So just relax and use this period to pause and reset your life — this is an opportunity to transform yourselves for a better future.

(Varghese, the author of this article, is a content marketing expert (ex-Head Content Solution BNM | ex-Regional Director Content Maxus Global agency | ex-Discovery, Fox, UTV Programming), a founder of a company Poetryechoes Ltd., a well-being trainer for mind and stress management workshops (Art of Living Foundation), and a consultant with a corporate training company (Tlex Institute). She has been part of the jury at Cannes Entertainment 2016, an advisory board member for Content Marketing Summit APAC 2017, and a jury member of Womennovator 2020.)

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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