Those difficult times and thereafter…..

Hello everyone! Greetings 🖖  This is my first post after a year long break…

True enough, life is indeed unpredictable. It gives you the most dreadful unexpectedness when you least expect it. That’s what happened to me. Today, when I look back and remember, I still get the goosebumps, the tremble and chill. The misery I went through, will most likely follow me all throughout my life, or for a very long time. The past year was the most challenging and overwhelming for me. In those days, I used to put down my thoughts and feelings to my husband throughout his absence during the difficult times.

When we were about to go to bed, on the evening of 8th January 2021, around10.30 PM, after dinner and are routine talk, you complained of a headache. I advised you to take a pain reliever, and go to bed. But to my astonishment, you behaved a little different when you were lying on the bed. You asked me to get the tablet and water for you. When I was back from the kitchen with the glass of water, you couldn’t get up from the bed to have the medicine.The water gushed out from your mouth because you were unable to swallow. Then, all of a sudden, I could understand that something was wrong with you. You began to slur your words. Being a doctor myself, I came to know that you were having a transient ischaemic attack or maybe a stroke. I, immediately called emergency service and requested for an ambulance. I fumbled while speaking as I was very nervous. In the interim, I also called our next-door neighbour Jan, a 72 year old retired dutchman who is quite friendly and is fluent in English. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics examined you and noticed that your left side of the body was immobile. However you were still trying to communicate and was conscious. They hurried you to the emergency room of the nearest hospital in Eindhoven where we reside. Both, Jan and I accompanied you to the hospital. In the ER, I was not allowed inside. We were both waiting outside. At around 11 o’clock, I asked Jan to go back home as he was quite tired and had recently recovered from cancer.

A little later, I was told that they gave you a Morphin injection for your headache and a CT scan was done. Although I was completely shaken, somehow I was calm, still holding on to my gut that things would be all okay. Once the CT scan report came, they confirmed to me that it’s a right brain hemorrhage, which is quite huge and with some strange findings. I was told that they had planned to shift you to a hospital in Tilburg, which is a nearby city, about 45-minute drive from Eindhoven. On top of my shock and cold shivers, I was confused and petrified by this whole chain of events. I was informed that they don’t have the expertise, so that is why you have to be referred to the Tilburg Hospital, which has a better neurological service. Moreover, I was told that your CT scan findings were quite confusing and the bleeding was huge.

Within minutes, the ambulance came and rushed us to Tilburg. Inside the ambulance, you were lying down, still in your senses, tired and awake, complaining of the headache and discomfort. I was sitting next to you and asking you to rest and reassuring you. By almost 12.30 am, we reached Elizabeth Hospital, Tilburg. They rushed you again to the ER. I was allowed to accompany you there. The neurosurgeon on duty examined you and did a scan again. She, too, told me about the right brain hemorrhage and some strange discovery that resulted in the massive bleeding. All the while, I was very worried and heartbroken from inside. I could not hold my tears, cried and felt so helpless. At that moment, I felt that I would lose you and that I had lost everything in life.

Still awake and tired, you were transferred to a medium-care unit to be kept under observation. You asked the nurse if I could stay with you in the room. I know I won’t be allowed in, so I assure you that I will keep waiting outside. During those painful hours, I called your father, back home in India, to inform him about the whole episode. He was totally shocked. I could not hold my tears and was crying on the phone. Then, I called and informed our son too. He was confused and could not believe his ears. He was terrified as well, as he knew that his dad was the fittest one in the family and had never had any kind of illness. I have no idea what went through him at that stage, as he was all alone at home. Due to COVID, he was in our apartment and not in his college hostel. I also informed my sister and my brother-in-law. By that time, it was almost 1.30 AM. I was told to go back home as you were kept under supervision and it was quite stable.

So, while boarding a taxi from Tilburg to Eindhoven, I realised that the coming days were going to be the toughest to handle.That whole night, after reaching home, I cried and cried, just loitering around the house in anguish and pain. I had the impression that I was in for a long, dark journey with no idea what lay ahead.

The following day ,on the 9th of January was even scarier. I was informed earlier that you would be taken to the Operation Theatre for brain angiography. I was in the hospital, waiting to hear about the outcome of your brain angiography. Till 6 o’clock in the evening, there was no news concerning you. I kept enquiring the OT nurse about you. She informed me that you hadn’t been taken out of the OT. My mind was beginning to crawl with fears and anxieties. I was distraught and in panic. The OT nurse then called me at around 6:30 pm and took me to a room. I could sense the worst as I was sitting alone in the room. At that moment, I was terrified and utterly shaken.

Two doctors entered the room and sat in front of the table where I was sitting. One doctor started talking to me about the procedure they had to perform on you. They said that you had an atrioventricular fistula in your right brain which had to be repaired, otherwise the bleeding was profuse. The procedure went well, but you have not yet regained your consciousness from the anesthesia. They were very uncertain about the outcome and that you might have slipped into a coma. They told me that they were expecting the worst scenario, maybe brain death. My whole world was shattered at that moment. I was almost lost and could not stop myself from crying. I was in a complete state of shock. The doctors and staff did try to console me. Jan, our elderly friend, explained to me to take things practically and control my emotions. I called our son, your brother, and my family and informed them regarding your state. I was told to return home and was assured to be informed of any further developments regarding your state. When I got home, it felt like the longest night, the darkest and scariest night of my life. That whole night, I grasped onto my mobile, waiting for any news about you.

On January 10th, I came to the hospital and was informed that you had been shifted to the ICU. The doctors told me that they had to drain a huge bulk of fluid from your brain and that your vitals were stable. I was informed that your MRI scan showed a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage, which got worse due to a congenital defect of the AV fistula. Such cases are rare.The condition was worse as you had hydrocephalus, so the fluid had to be drained to reduce the pressure.

The first time I saw you in the ICU with a ventilator and machines, drains, and drips all over, it was really hard for me. I went near you and called your name. You did respond with a little movement of your right hand. I was relieved and was happy as I could see little hope of light after these 2-3 hard days. That day was quite positive for me as the doctors were happy with you for being responsive to the treatment and procedure. But then, they still reminded me about the uncertainty of your condition. There was still a huge amount of fluid left in your brain which had to be drained continuously. You were still in a comatose state, with a low score on the neurological scale. I was told to call our immediate family members from India as your chances of survival were low. I called our son, back in India, and asked him to pack his bag to come to the Netherlands. I also informed your family and mine regarding your present state. I called your employer and informed them because they had been trying to reach you for the last 2-3 days due to your professional obligations. I also informed my project coordinator and let go of the project that I was doing.

After going through all the procedures of an emergency visa, our son arrived on January 14th. This was a life-changing event for him as well, as he had been very close to you, his father. He did go through an emotional roller coaster during those turbulent days. And, seeing you in that state, he had acted very mature and calm. He has been my biggest support through this storm. Our neighbors and friends have also been very supportive through the difficult time. Your employer has been a great support system for me and our son. We will always remain grateful to everyone who has been there for us through those difficult hours.

You stayed in the ICU for almost 2 months. Everyday, I visited twice, once in the morning and then in the evening. During my time spent with you in the ICU, your eyes remained close most of the time, but you do respond to my touch with right-hand finger movements. Some days were good and positive, while some days were scary. Our son, too, visited you in the ICU. But, he had to leave as his exams were approaching. Your neurological state improved slowly and your vitals were stable. You had gotten out of the ventilator. They decided to shift you to the rehabilitation centre after you regained consciousness.

I was initially quite optimistic and excited about your development and recuperation during your time in the rehab facility. However, because the prognosis was poor, we, also had to deal with a number of setbacks in that situation. Your severe cognitive impairment and short – term memory problems were not responding well to therapy. Your left side is completely paralysed, and there is no recovery. You still struggle with a few cognitive issues. However, you continue to make good progress in terms of your awareness, speech, memory, and physical development every day. Your speech is clear and concise at present.

After more than a year, you are still residing in the rehabilitation facility, and your therapies are still ongoing. I see you almost every day of the week. While we converse and laugh on certain days, other days are sad when therapy doesn’t work out. As I’ve come to terms with your situation, I’ve begun to feel content. My greatest satisfaction comes from watching you smile while I am with you.The hardest lesson life has taught us today is to be cheerful in the moment we share together right now because we don’t know what the future has in store for us. When I see you now, hope is the only thing in which I will still believe and live.

 

Truth 🙌

Hello everyone. Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻‍♀️

Courtesy: Pinterest

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

Anxiety: Understanding the fact 🙌

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day 🙋🏻

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“The best use of imagination is creativity, the worst use of imagination is anxiety”. Deepak Chopra.

Humans are the only species since evolution, who have the most evolved mind. They can undoubtedly imagine both constructively and destructively. So, it’s our thoughts alone which can make or break us.
Being anxious is having an uninvited guest into your house, which you are trying to avoid, but still, he refuses to leave.

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Anxiety is a state of mind, not a disease. Every day, we generate about 70,000 thoughts, out of which majority of them are negative and repetitive thoughts which do not serve any purpose. Thoughts are the main stimulator of our state of wellbeing. Whether you are physically healthy or not, thoughts are only instrumental which determines our state of wellbeing. It’s the day to day thoughts that creates our perceptual reality which we believe our real world. Hence, this is the hard truth that needs to be acknowledged by us.
It’s essential to educate ourselves that thoughts typically creates our reality. So, if we modify our thinking pattern or start creating empowering thoughts and beliefs, we can easily change the world around us.
Therefore, thoughts are so powerful that they can push you to the peak of physical and mental wellbeing or dumped you in the pit of depression and anxiety.

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So, how does anxiety builds up?
Out of 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts generated, every day, about 90% of them are just repetitive and negative thoughts. There is overthinking and rumination of the same type of thoughts. As the cycle continues, there is an alteration in the chemical makeup of the brain. Dopamine and serotonin, the mood regulators get depleted in the brain. The production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) gets consumed, and slowly there is shrinkage in the size of the brain. When the cycle becomes vicious, and anxiety state becomes chronic. It started to interfere with daily activities. Such a state is regarded as an Anxiety disorder. As chronic stress get elevated and reaches the threshold, there are significant changes taking place in the brain.

Dr Joseph LeDoux New York University neuroscience.16ef.indd
Some noticeable changes are :
1. The more the brain is engaged in anxious thoughts, the more the ‘anxious neural pathways’ are strengthened.
2. The brain is stuck in the state of ‘high alert’, becomes more reactive to the stress receptors for possible threats which are mostly imaginary.
3. The fear centre in the brain becomes more prominent and more significant.
4.Not just the chemistry, but changes start appearing up to the DNA level in the brain.
5. Brain ageing process also fastens.
6. The circadian rhythm is disturbed, and the sleep cycle gets disrupted.

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Simple ways to get rid of the anxiety state :
1. Firstly, it is better to face the anxiety. More avoidance will lead to more exaggeration. So, visit your fears, and start being an observer. Being an observer of your mental state, create a sense of indifference, feels like you are different from your state of mind. You understand that the mind and body have created a false association to any external object or stimulant as the triggering factor.

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2. Diaphragmatic breathing: Long bouts of inhalations followed by long rounds of exhalation. The deep breathing technique: Like taking a prolonged deep breath of inhalation by counting 1-4, then, a pause of 1-4, followed by an exhalation of 1-4, then another break of 1-4, and the sequence continues. That is why this technique is known as four-square breathing. This slow and deep breathing causes the oxygen to reach your brain, and the parasympathetic nervous system gets activated. It can be an instant stress reliever.
3. Naming your anxiety is as expressing your state of mind to another person. Putting words, and explanation of your anxious thoughts will stimulate the frontal cortex. Your brain will be more attentive in the frontal cortex and deviated from the fear centre, which is responsible for the anxious state.

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4. Mindful and relaxation techniques like mindfulness, meditation, yoga, which all goes to help stimulate the parasympathetic system, which is for relaxation.

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5. Plant-based food is known to have a calming effect on the human mind.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

Post:Non-duality: An intriguing reality 🙌

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful Sunday 🙋🏻

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The essence of duality and non-duality is quite intriguing and complex. We experience the physical world in many ways, the day to day reality gives us multiple experiences, emotions, thoughts, feelings regularly. We are so attached to the material world, the objective world that we always forget the true essence of our existence. We are so engrossed in this body-mind armature that we forget the true Self, the essence of our being. We are so driven by this logical and practical world that we cannot think or question beyond this empirical reality. Therefore, in a way, this duality, the empirical reality of our worldly experiences is what we think or pursue as the existing reality.

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But then, seeking the Truth with questions like who am I? Why have I come here? How was this world created? Does God exist? All these questions do make us think and intrigue us more about our existence. Several years earlier too, mankind has been seeking these questions and explanations have been found in different texts of ancient scholars wide across the world.

Ancient Indian Sanskrit based texts like Advaita Vedanta have detailed explanations and resolved all these questions of our very existence in a well structured elaborate way, several thousand of years back. According to Vedantic doctrine, Advaita itself means our Individual self, the True Self. The texts include the Upanishads, Bhagawat Gita, Brahma Sutras, Tattva Bodha etc. Since then, several monks, scholars, philosophers over the years have acquired the spiritual wisdom and tried to simplify in their capacities. They developed and adopted different methods of teachings (Prakriyas) to impart the knowledge to their respective followers. Out of them, Swami Vivekananda, a renowned scholar from India widely known across the world have been on the forefront. His teachings were greatly based on Advaita Vedanta. Traditionally, this kind of spiritual wisdom can only be impactful when given by a competent teacher (Scholar) to a qualified student (meaning a student who has spent several years of learning, devotion, meditation, selfless service). That is the tradition of guru-disciple lineage. So, people like me and you, it is a difficult task or may require years of study and perseverance.

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But yes, even though, we are so engrossed in this practical and logical world, we have the right to seek for answers to questions like understanding more about our true self, the essence of our being, our existence. The Vedanta has beautifully unfolded the essence of our being, the purpose of our existence. Even if we live in duality, in our day to day worldly experiences, there is always, an underlying stratum of reality, which reside in all of us, the Consciousness (Brahman) which is pure, eternal, whole and complete to which we all belong that is why the text stretches upon as “all is One”, The Non-duality. Like in our worldly life, every day, we go through different orders of reality – the conscious awake state where we experience the empirical reality through our senses, (The Duality), the dream state (the projected reality when we experience the world in our dreams) and the absolute state (when we are in deep sleep, we see or experience nothing, just darkness). In all these three stages, though we go through different stages of experiences, yet our underlying consciousness is the same. Therefore, likewise, living in this world too, in our conscious state, we experience empirical realities, different experiences, but in truth, we belong to the same Universal Consciousness (Brahman) which is not subjected to change in time/space. In our objective and subjective experiences, we experience everything in forms and names (Nama, rupa) but the underlying stratum remains the same, the Absolute Truth which is eternal, whole and complete, the Brahman.

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Beneath, the complexities of this world, remain the pure, eternal and the ultimate truth. We do not acknowledge it or experience it because we remain unaware due to our ignorance. Our thinking is too limited to the boundaries of this material world and experience. That is why, spiritual wisdom, intense devotion, meditation and selfless services are some ways where we can understand our true self, the purpose of our being. The very purpose of this knowledge is to free one from this sense of limitation, the Enlightenment.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

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Post: Beliefs : Mine and yours ✊

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful Tuesday 🙋🏻

Beliefs are a certain pattern of thinking in our brain that must have been perceived and ingrained in the course of our lifetime. It is a way of making sense and understanding the world around us, the people, behaviour, perceptions, facts, realities. Beliefs can be on our faith, religion, things, people and the world in which we live. Based on our beliefs, we assume something or someone as good or bad, whether something is worthy, acceptable or achievable. The mental representation of our beliefs makes us create our boundaries and limitations concerning every aspect of our life. It is these subconscious mind beliefs which autopilot our day to day life, career path or choices, or the life journey itself.

Since the time of human evolution, certain thinking pattern has been carried out as strategies to learning, simplify things or conceptualized certain experiences, facts or perceived realities. The perceptual beliefs are mainly based on sensory experiences. That is how beliefs keep moving from one generation to another. As the child grows up, his whole personality and belief system start moulding and developing based on his parents, his experiences, environment in school, college and other authoritative figures. Whether true or false, facts or distorted, the person already grows up with a set of a belief system which helps him undertake his life journey. Since our beliefs are rooted deeply in our subconscious mind, our mind will constantly look out ways and means to prove them right. This is what the subconscious programming does. Every action, behaviour, habit, the emotion of our’s are all based on our belief system.

Beliefs are not necessarily based on truth. They can be based on distorted facts or can be misconstrued or can be simply mistaken beliefs. They can be negative or self-limiting beliefs. Many of our beliefs are based on observations, what we think, hear or see the physical world around us. So, as we start learning more and more, a wider understanding of this world, opened up to a great sea of knowledge and Science, we realise that some of the beliefs which we have been carrying, holds no truth in them. They are just false beliefs. But in spite of knowing clear information about the fact, we still hold onto such beliefs, unable to change them. They are so much ingrained in us and are difficult to change.

Certain examples of common disempowering beliefs, some of us may have like
I am not good enough.
I have to achieve a certain level of success to be happy in life.
I cannot trust the people around me.
I am not attractive enough.
I cannot lose weight.
I am not good at public speaking.
I am not a happy person.

These are some examples of subconscious programmed beliefs that we hold onto to be true. So, subconsciously, we will behave and act trying to proof or validate them, each time to be true.
The realisation comes much later in life when we fail to achieve something, unable to achieve our goal, failed relationship, unsuccessful career path.
Therefore, a real soul searching, self-awareness is required to identify our self-limiting beliefs which made us fail or difficult to achieve our full potential in
whichever aspect of life, it may be.

Some simple ways, we can try changing our beliefs :

*Changing the old pattern of beliefs is not an easy task. You have to be completely self-aware.
*Try putting down in a note because writing gives you a clear understanding of the mind.
*Once identifying your self limiting beliefs, reframe them with an empowering positive belief like I am good enough to succeed or I deserve to be happy, no matter what.


*Then, start
reminding yourself consciously every day with your new beliefs. Keep repeating because your subconscious mind learns by habit and repetition. It takes a long time. Reminding and repeating does create an impression in our subconscious mind and the outcome of our new beliefs will soon unfold.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all 💐

Post: Is perception a reality? 4 interesting facts

Most of the time, why do we feel we are misunderstood?  Why do we feel that we are judged continuously by people around us?  Why do we feel often that people don’t get my true feeling or true intention?

All these questions have one answer. It is because of my own thinking pattern and behaviour and not because of some problems with them.

Yes, people judge me and make an opinion about me what they see and hear from me. I, do the same. Nobody has the time to sit down and analyse my true intention. 

The truth is …

you can change people’s perception by changing your behaviour or do

not get affected at all about what people perceive about you. 

4 interesting facts about perception.

1. Perception is simply how an individual thinks or become aware through the senses. It is a model created continuously by the brain to perceive reality. The thinking pattern differs from individual to individual. So, the same event can be perceived differently by each individual depending upon his thinking pattern and interpretation. 

2. Perception is something that developed and changed continuously as we grow up. It has grown with the awareness and understanding of the external world as we grow up. Anything in the external world, objects, events, people are attached to some kind of stimulation, organization, interpretation, evaluation and memory. 

3. Perception is often mistaken as reality as we get so involved in our perceived thinking of people, places and things around us that we create altogether a different world. May not be the real world as it is. Then perception becomes our reality. In other words, perception is our concept of reality.

4. There is no wrong or right things in life. Whatever you choose to do, depending upon your perception, you are responsible for its outcome and consequences.