Nyla V: “Prioritize play and laughter, especially in tough times”

Prioritize play and laughter, especially in tough times. We too often guilt ourselves over taking the time to have some fun. We think of it as something to reward ourselves with rather than as a necessity for life. Yet, these are necessities. This is actually critical for your brain chemistry, so when you are prioritizing […]

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Prioritize play and laughter, especially in tough times. We too often guilt ourselves over taking the time to have some fun. We think of it as something to reward ourselves with rather than as a necessity for life. Yet, these are necessities. This is actually critical for your brain chemistry, so when you are prioritizing some fun in your life know that this will benefit work, relationships, and other areas of life as well.

As a part of my series about “How To Learn To Finally Love Yourself” I had the pleasure to interview Nyla V. Nyla is an artist, writer, musician and long-time Truth-seeker who (through battling over two decades with treatment-resistant, Major Depression, and Anxiety) has forged new pathways to break free from stigma and shame and breakthrough to self-love.

Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

Thank you so much for having me! It feels so right to be a part of a series about “How to Learn to Finally Yourself”. This is a journey I have been dedicated to for a very long time now. It took me years to even come to a true understanding of what loving myself means. I had so many layers of confusion and resistance to self-love. Healing had to happen on its own time, and I had to become incredibly patient with myself. It has all been so worth the wait and the work to experience the positive changes that occur along with learning to love yourself.

This interview is great timing for me, because I can now say with integrity that I have FINALLY learned to love myself. It is not always a long and difficult struggle for everyone, but for many of us it is. Along the way, we can easily lose sight of our progress. We can lose faith in ourselves, the world, God, the universe, etc. It lights me up at this point in my life to now be able to provide comfort, support, and hope to others on the same kind of journeys.

I became a writer and a counselor out of a need to understand myself and make peace with living this mysterious, often overwhelming thing called life on earth. I read an awesome quote earlier today by Alan Cohen, “The ego takes refuge in familiarity, and is threatened by change. It defines the known as preferable to the unknown, even if the known sucks.” This is why real change can take so long. Even when it is for the best, change can be wildly uncomfortable and triggering. I never expected that is how loving myself would feel at first, but it did. It was excruciating in the beginning, but my “known” had come to suck so much that I was forced to work through the discomfort. Once I had armed myself with enough knowledge, I ventured into my discomfort with the tiniest belief that it would pay off. Over and over again, it did pay off, and I formed a trust in the discomfort of applying what I learned about self-love. As my trust grew, my discomfort waned.

I published a Memoir, Inside Out, over 2 years ago, but it has taken me this long to get comfortable talking about the material. It was easy to write but terrifying to share. I had a lot of shame and discomfort to work through before I could be comfortable talking about the experiences I write about.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?

I am a scatter-brained creative, so I tend to have a number of projects I work on at one time. Right now, I’m the most excited about two main projects. The first is a nonprofit organization I have been a board member of for over a year now, called Walt’s Waltz, based in Greenville, South Carolina. It is our intention to be a compass and megaphone for mental health. Our primary objective is to be a part of the solution to the global and national epidemic of suicide we are all facing right now. We are very unique in that every member of our board struggles or has struggled with mental and emotional health issues, namely anxiety and depression. We have a unique system of working with our strengths and admitting our struggles, which has been very interesting so far, because there seems to be a natural flow that occurs. When one person is overwhelmed and/or feeling the need to take some time for self-care, this a priority for all of us, and (as a group) we find it works itself out that when some need to step back others are in the mood to step forward. Our founder, Susan Crooks, started Walt’s Waltz just after losing her son, Walter Crooks, to long-term, treatment-resistant anxiety and depression. The grief, pain, love, and admiration for her son’s gentle and wise nature has sparked an enormous drive within Susan (and all of us) to help prevent as many lives from being lost as possible.

Of course, being a new non-profit during a global pandemic has not been ideal, but it has really helped us to stay on top of the latest results-based research and to identify areas of greatest need. It has given us time to hone plans for how to approach areas of greatest impact (such as schools, workplaces, campuses, etc.) with quality help and prevention. We have learned that one of the greatest barriers to seeking support for mental health issues is stigma. Though the world has recently become more familiar with the word ‘stigma’, the problems that stigma causes have yet to reduce. We have learned that the most successful way to fight stigma is by stimulating and engaging as many people as we can to stop dancing around conversations about mental health. I’m doing this right now by sharing my story.

The second project I am working on that I am very excited about is my follow-up book to Inside Out, titled Diving for Light. This one is thrilling to me, because I finally reach the places of understanding and experience that I was yearning for while writing Inside Out. Inside Out is really only a segment, a few chapters in my life. It was the beginning of understanding what self-love is and what was keeping me from experiencing it. When you first begin to love yourself and make loving choices for yourself, it can actually feel extremely triggering and uncomfortable (when you have never really loved yourself before). It is not your comfort zone. It wasn’t mine. That’s for sure. There were many times along my path to getting comfortable with loving myself that I took a swan dive in the opposite direction. Old hurtful habits of thought die hard but the process of bringing consciousness to these thoughts and turning them around as often as you can is one that pays off immeasurably. It is well worth the discomfort along the way.

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?

Inside Out begins at what was the greatest tipping point of my life. I had been struggling on and off with depression and anxiety from my teens, and I was just over 30. I was driven for years to get myself into a future I had finally found myself inside of. I had just finished graduate school. I began my counseling career as an advisory teacher for an online school. It seemed like the perfect situation, as a single mother, to be able to work and parent full-time. I was able to buy my first home. I had reached my goal weight for the first time in over a decade. This was the point in life where I thought my struggles with depression would end, that my anxieties would melt away as I settled into my life. Instead, for the first time, I found myself feeling suicidal, and it terrified me.

Instead of addressing those feelings as the medical emergency I now understand them to be, I told myself over and over again that I should not feel that way, that it was ridiculous. That is when I met Noah, an extremely toxic man whom I was magnetized to so strongly that to this day it feels like there was no choice about heading into that relationship. It was truly irresistible. My state of mental health made me very vulnerable to this type of relationship in ways I would not understand for a long time. I like to think that the strong draw to him was my soul knowing what I would eventually get out of following my heart into such a horrible situation.

Up until that point in life, my self-esteem was one-hundred percent based on what others thought of me. So, when I found myself in a situation that every single person in my life disapproved of, I found myself with no sources of love, feeling more suicidal than ever. I clung to Noah for life. I felt humiliated. I could see myself from the outside. I could understand everyone’s disapproval. I even agreed with them to an extent and was deeply ashamed and utterly confused. I could not see then where I was being led. Clinging to Noah was like clinging to a sinking ship. I found myself crossing the line from suicidal ideation to actively suicidal often. It was a tipping point for me, because I was finally forced to prioritize self-love, inner peace, and joy. I had finally realized that, as ridiculous as it seemed, happiness was a life-or-death matter. Of course, I now understand there was nothing ridiculous about this at all. It felt horrible at the time, but by losing the favor of everyone in my life (all of my sources of esteem), I was forced to begin my own dedicated journey to self-love and understanding.

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

Unfortunately, that statistic raises more questions than answers for me, such as … who are these people?!? That is a larger percentage of people than I would expect to say very satisfied. That’s 1 out of 4! Which brings me to my next question …where are these people?!

I kid, but there is truth to my feelings of surprise. I’ve always found it very interesting that the most physically beautiful (by societal standards) people I know seem to be the most self-conscious as far as their looks, youth, and how they are seen by others. My guess is that this happens because such a sense of value is gained (often subconsciously) from this that it can lend to a fear of losing or having lost this value.

I would love to see a giant collage of the 26 and 28 percent of people who answered “very satisfied”. When I close my eyes and imagine it, I see diversity in size, shape, style, etc. I see genuine smiles and people who seem comfortable in their own skin. I don’t see a bunch of half-naked fitness models, which is what I imagine a lot of people would be inclined to picture.

No matter of self-worth can be fulfilled by anything outside of ourselves. When we feel our best, we look our best. I believe it has to start from there, from a place of feeling good. It has never worked for me to shame myself into a better place. I always have to start with acceptance (at the least) of where and who I am in this moment. It is only then that I can move up to feeling good and better.

During my years of depression, I completely lost all care concerning appearance. I was the picture of depression, but somewhere in there a true liberation occurred. As I came out of my depression, the concerns about my appearance never returned. It felt so good to not feel awful that how I looked just did not make the list of cares. I did begin to take more pride in my appearance and more time for self-care. The better I felt the more I began to hear things like, “You have a glow about you” or “have you lost weight?” Knowing myself better has lent to my own sense of style. I dress and groom to feel like myself. And when I look in the mirror and see myself just looking SO me…I do feel beautiful.

As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?

I love that you said, “as cheesy as it might sound…”. It’s unfortunate, right? It’s the MOST important thing, and we do not live in a world that supports it or even has a real understanding of what it means. The thing is, truly happy, peaceful people do not hurt people. We save the world by loving ourselves. How’s that for cheesy?

First of all, we need to understand the difference between arrogance and self-love. Arrogance involves feelings of superiority and looking down on others in order to feel good about one’s self. True self-love comes from true self-understanding and forgiveness. So many of us are afraid to look within, afraid to self-reflect. We are scared we may find ourselves to be somehow ugly or selfish inside. Yet, that is not what happens when we commit to this inner journey. Rather, we come to find our own innocence and strength. We become conscious of the many voices, thoughts, and perceptions in our minds and begin to realize which ones are helpful and which ones are best to politely ignore. Inner work, though painful and confusing at times, causes personal growth that extends to every area of life from relationships to work to home. As we forgive ourselves for not knowing what we did not know before we knew it, we can move forward with greater wisdom. We can grow our inner peace, and that peace extends into joy.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

This goes back to self-love also. People stay in mediocre relationships, because people are in mediocre relationships with themselves. I was in toxic relationships, because I was in a toxic relationship with myself for a long time.

Whether you are single or in a relationship, self-love will lead you in the best direction for yourself and (I believe) the highest good of all. As you form a healthy relationship with yourself, the existing relationships in your life will change along with you. The people who truly love and care for you may have a difficult time as you go through changes, but they will adjust and support your well-being. Others will become like oil and water. People incapable of healthy relationships will act out and/or fade out. You will begin to see that some people in your life do not mesh well with others who have healthy self-esteem, and you will not want to be close to them. You will not be thrown off course by the opinions of others, because you know who you are and can let them go.

I used to hear people who said they were content to be single, and think, “I don’t believe you.” I didn’t believe that was possible. Still, I got there. I am not going to lie and say it was an easy, painless road. I had to face a lot of fears, primarily the fear of being alone with my loneliness. A lot of us fear being alone, because in the isolation and the silence, the uncomfortable restless feelings inside of us begin demanding to be felt. I faced these feelings by literally holding my own hand, closing my eyes, and allowing the feelings to flow. (I also had a really good therapist.) By doing this, I realized that by trying to avoid feeling those feelings I was really extending the discomfort of carrying them around inside of me. Feelings are ugly, beautiful, and mysterious things. It makes sense that we try to avoid the painful ones. Some even set off the same sensors in our brains as physical pain. This pain can cause panic leading to avoidance often leading to a range of chronic issues.

I would say the most important aspect to my self-care routine is taking at least 20 minutes out of my day to sit and feel non-judgmentally. I just sit with my eyes closed. I observe my mind rather than actively take part in my thoughts. I let the thoughts go by without judgment. I guess you could call it meditation, but it starts with a lot of discomforts. I allow myself to move, stretch, scratch itches, get comfortable all while just observing. For me, it begins with a build-up of tension as I observe my mind trying to distract me, to take me away from this place of simple observance. The more I am able to stay in the observer position, the more the feelings begin to flow. There are days when I cry or feel waves of fear wash through me. There are days when the tension turns to silence, peace, and a feeling of floating. Many days, it is a mixture of feelings leading to a state of pure relaxation and peace.

It probably sounds absurdly simple, but this has been my greatest grower of inner peace. There is a significant effect to allowing feelings to flow. It is as if letting these feelings out makes room for more peace to come in. I was taught and guided through this practice by my therapist who called it her take on the Sedona method, which I do not know much about. I have seen the process detailed and explained in The Presence Process by Michael Brown and in David Hawkin’s book, Letting Go.

This inner work led me to a place in life where I could honestly say I was content to be alone. I could admit to hoping for a great relationship to show up, but it was not a focus in my life anymore. I enjoyed the peace of all of the problems that were no longer there, that had left with my toxic relationships. I had a full life that was satisfying to me though I was single. Then, just like they say, when I was least expecting it, I met the true love of my life. I am in the kind of relationship now I did not previously believe to exist. I am with my best friend, and we are passionately in love. I am with a man who prioritizes my well-being and who brings nothing but love, laughter, and healing into my life. It is amazing and well worth the wait and all of the work I did on myself to be able to allow this kind of love into my life. I used to feel magnetized to guys that were bad for me. I couldn’t help it. I thought my inner compass was broken. Once my relationship with myself was healed and healthy, my love compass was fixed too, and I was able to immediately recognize and value the wonderfulness of the man I am now planning to spend the rest of my life with.

When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?

When we want to level up in life (as far as how we feel on a day-to-day basis), there is no way to do this without pushing ourselves to get somewhat comfortable with being uncomfortable. This makes knowing the tough questions very simple. What are you uncomfortable talking about? What about yourself do you try to hide from others? What choices are you making in life out of fear, and what choices are you making (or desiring to make) out of true inspiration? One very important question I ask myself and others regularly is, “How do feel about how you feel?”

When doing this kind of inner work, it is important to realize that your feelings are your guide to the Truth. Feelings like shame and fear are very real feelings, but the thoughts and perceptions that all too often ride along with them are not the truth. These feelings are the obstacles to the truth. The truth will actually always soothe and bring comfort, like being the mother to your own inner child. Sometimes we have to go through these feelings of discomfort to get to that truth. It is wise to have support in this process in the beginning, especially when dealing with trauma and/or deep-rooted, harmful beliefs. A good therapist can help you to keep moving through the feelings without panic, getting stuck, or acting out in harmful ways. I wish more therapists had this knowledge of the body’s wisdom and built-in emotional guidance system. I wish we all had awareness of this from the time we were children. Because most of us do not grow up with this awareness and ability to trust ourselves, we become very confused. We have to work through and undo that confusion in order to gain back a healthy guidance system.

So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?

Well, good thing I digressed so hard earlier, and accidentally answered this question. I will just say again that inner work is the MOST important work anyone can do. It benefits every area of your life and everyone in your life whether they see it that way or not. For example, when you learn a healthy boundary it’s good for the other people in your life to learn that boundary. And for those who cannot respect healthy boundaries, it is good for them to learn that will not be accepted.

People who are very comfortable in their lives are not driven much to change, which makes perfect sense. The problem is sometimes these people can mistakenly believe that everyone else should feel like them or that they have life all figured out, that they are doing it “right” while others are doing it “wrong”. They become judgmental. Sometimes even the most well-meaning people can unconsciously pass judgment out of these mistaken beliefs. That is why we have to remember that is exactly what they are…mistaken beliefs. We don’t have to change them or make them understand.

We do not need to prove our worth to anyone who does not inherently see it. We can take the time here and there with the right people who want to understand for the right reasons, but otherwise, it is an extremely exhausting way to live life, constantly trying to make yourself seen and understood by others. I lived that way for too long. I had to completely run out of fuel before I could learn how to care a lot less about what people think of me. And once I did, I found it so freeing and enjoyable that I continued on to barely caring at all.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?

What we experience in our relationships is always a mirror of our relationship with ourselves. If I had tried to date my fiancé any earlier than when we started, I would have sabotaged it. I would not have been able to accept the love that I am now so incredibly and deeply thankful for on a daily basis.

My path in life had made me very comfortable with men who were not good for me and very uncomfortable with men who were. I spent a long time believing no one loved me when the truth was that I was incapable of allowing real love in. I still get triggered sometimes and go back to old habits of thought. I still have egoic urges to react impulsively or pettily, but I know myself well enough to realize when I have been triggered and to recognize that I am responsible for my own feelings. By this I mean I no longer believe in the words, “you make me feel…”

I feel what I feel, and all of my feelings are valid. Yet, I understand myself well enough to know that the thoughts and perceptions running through my mind in the instance that I’ve been triggered are likely untrue or yet to be fully understood. This ability to pause and be conscious has probably saved me from sabotaging my relationship, or at the very least saved my fiancé a lot of extra drama and baggage. When I pause, I take whatever time I need to let my emotions run their course. I wait until my mind is clear and I’m feeling peaceful to communicate. Sometimes I realize there is no need to communicate it at all, some old, mistaken belief that I am somehow less than or unworthy of love. It came up. It hurt. It was uncomfortable, but it leaves and in its place is a greater peace and ability to connect.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

The answer is the same for both individuals and society. We would all benefit incredibly from ending shaming, the shaming of ourselves and others. Shame is never useful or helpful. It is only detrimental. It is important to realize the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt can be a healthy emotion even though it never feels good. Guilt is a feeling you get when you have done something that you regret. Guilt is the desire to make up for what you have done and/or to do things differently when given the chance. Guilt becomes shame when you start saying things to yourself like, “I’m so stupid and worthless” or “I am bad and broken, unfixable.”

Shaming is bullying. Even when it is yourself you are shaming, you matter and have as much inherent worth as anyone. We must quiet our inner bullies and soothe our inner victims.

What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

1) I have developed a consistent awareness of when my mind is working for or against me. When you have a mind that has received some unhealthy and unfortunate programming in life, it takes time and repetition to train the mind to be healthier. During this training period, there are many slips back into harmful thinking. Simple awareness of our own thoughts and feelings gives us the opportunity to turn things around when they have gone astray.

For example, we are all familiar with PMS. In the few days before my period begins, I am not my typical self. I find myself easily triggered, sensitive, and ready to erupt with tears. I have yet to be able to stop this wild coaster of emotion I experience every month, but I am now able to remain conscious from within it. This helps me to self-soothe, take me time, know the feelings will pass soon, and take a break from listening to my mind until it is back on my side.

2) Make choices from a place of inspiration rather than fear. It’s okay to feel fear. We don’t have to be afraid of our fear as long as we do not let it rule us. This is something I started doing after hearing the idea enough times through various books and other sources. It was something I originally began consciously as an experiment and now do as a rule, because this system of choice-making has gained my trust over time through its consistent, positive results.

If I feel confused or anxious about a decision, I wait. I will not make a choice until it comes from a place of inner stirring and excitement, until it just feels right. The most difficult part of making choices this way is becoming conscious of the ways that we are living out of fear. Recently, I realized that I was living by different rules with my choices when it came to parenting. I was allowing fear and anxiety to rule a lot of my choices, and it was not working out well at all. It is very difficult as a parent to experience these fears without acting out. They are a difficult burden to bear. It is something I am seeing more and more as I am consciously refusing to act out of fear as a mother. Yet, again I’m seeing that my fearful choices have never truly benefitted or worked out for myself or my son, whereas my inspired choices seem to bring healing to both of us.

3) Be your own best friend. If you are someone like me, who has found it easier to be kind and accepting of others than to be kind to yourself, this may be a helpful tactic for learning how to self-soothe and make self-loving choices. Simply ask yourself, what would I do or say for my best friend if he or she was feeling this way?

This helps me to see from a new, more loving perspective when I am struggling to find one. Recently, I was beating myself up a bit over the state of my house. Things are cluttered. I’m behind on the trash, the dishes, the laundry, and the vacuuming. I found myself in a wave of overwhelm and exhaustion and laid down for a nap. I couldn’t fall asleep, because my mind and body went straight into anxiety mode. I was thinking about how lazy I am and all of the things I thought I should be doing instead. Then, I thought about what I would say as my own best friend, and realized I would tell myself to chill out. I would remind myself what a full plate I’ve had lately. I realized I needed and deserved to rest. I also realized this was a good time to ask for a bit of help from my close friends and family who are feeling up to it.

4) Prioritize play and laughter, especially in tough times. We too often guilt ourselves over taking the time to have some fun. We think of it as something to reward ourselves with rather than as a necessity for life. Yet, these are necessities. This is actually critical for your brain chemistry, so when you are prioritizing some fun in your life know that this will benefit work, relationships, and other areas of life as well.

During the lowest low of my depression experience, I was spending a lot of time sleeping through the day and hiding out, watching tv and movies at night. I was in no laughing mood, but for some reason decided to check out some Katt Williams stand-up comedy. I laughed so hard I could not even believe it was possible. It was like pain medication. For that hour, I experienced a full release from the pain I had not been able to find a break from any other way.

That is when I began to develop a real passion for watching stand-up comedy. I had always liked it, but (after that night of Katt Williams) I began really seeking it out. I’ve actually made it into a habit and consider it an important part of my self-care routine. I think of comedians as healers. For almost any situation you find yourself in, you can find a comedian who has written jokes about it. I love to watch stand-up segments on parenting. It is the toughest work there is, and it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed and stressed out as a parent. When I watch comics’ stories of their own confusion and mistakes, I remember to not be so hard on myself or take myself so seriously. It also gives me that good feeling of not being alone in my experiences.

5) Aim for authenticity over perfection. Don’t try to be the person that you think you should be. Be who your heart is telling you to be. Love who you are right now even if you are not quite sure who that is yet. Love that you want to learn. Learn how to listen to your heart. Learn how to share your feelings with trustworthy people. Learn to trust yourself. Gain a solid enough sense of self that it cannot be easily swayed.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?

I love Eckart Tolle. I love all of his books, but I especially love to listen to him speak. His voice and presence are very soothing. His wisdom is profound, yet applicable to day-to-day life.

I mentioned The Presence Process by Michael Brown and Letting Go by David Hawkins. These books were life changing to me and permanently altered my understanding of emotions.

I am also an Abraham-Hicks fan. It is important for people to understand that getting to and staying in a feel-good place can present very different struggles and obstacles according to individuals. When I first read a few of their books, I felt a resistance to the messages. A fear came over me of the idea of being responsible for my emotions. I wanted to see what they had to say to people like me, dealing with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. I went down the rabbit hole for weeks on YouTube, listening to segments on those subjects as well as many others that popped up and resonated with me. It really got into my mind and affected my life in a very positive way. I found myself learning to reach for the next best feeling thought. They have been an extreme help for me in helping me to relax and move gently up the ladder of feelings.

I am an avid user of oracle decks, and my favorite decks are by Colette Baron-Reid. I don’t use oracle decks to attempt to predict the future. I use them as a guide for inner work and support. I prefer cards that push me to dive deep while always delivering messages of hope and self-love. Colette’s decks and suggestions on how to use them are so helpful. Each one is designed to be a strong support to daily life, specific issues, living your dreams, and more. My personal favorite is the Spirit Animal deck.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…

Hmm…how about the “Don’t should on me, and I won’t should on you,” movement?

I believe in to each his own so long as you harm none. I do not like this idea of “normal” that we are all feeling pressure to at least appear to be. It can be extremely harmful, and if we all work on being less judgmental and more focused on personal growth, we pave the way for people to feel comfortable being themselves and sharing and/or seeking support with their struggles.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

When I am interacting with someone, I am seeing it from this perspective: I am you having me experience, and you are me having you experience.

This is true. Deep down we are not the façade of our personalities or humanity. We are all a living mystery, life itself. When you can see yourself in others and let go of feelings of superiority and inferiority, you are bound to reach new, heightened levels of self-understanding and gain a higher awareness of and ability to relate to others.

Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!

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