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Mental Health Champions: “Physical, emotional, and spiritual well being is a bi-product of mental health” with Dashama Gordon

Physical well being is a bi-product of mental health and so is emotional and spiritual well being. To be mentally healthy also means a person can generally create healthy relationships, offer great work that contributes to the world and generates a healthy income and so on. Mental health is the cornerstone of all well being […]


Physical well being is a bi-product of mental health and so is emotional and spiritual well being. To be mentally healthy also means a person can generally create healthy relationships, offer great work that contributes to the world and generates a healthy income and so on. Mental health is the cornerstone of all well being and it’s not being emphasized enough so far. I believe the stigma comes from the fact that mental illness is so rampant and most people are facing it in some form or another, to talk about it is to have to really come out into the open and recognize that most of humanity is not mentally healthy. As the scope of what is known to be ‘mental health’ widens to include all of the most common disorders of human behavior, some of which I listed above, humanity will have to be very honest and humble to admit that each and every person can use some help to regain and heal their mental health. Everyone from the president of the USA to the CEOs of large corporations, celebrities, artists, athletes and the general public at large are all facing some mental health challenges of one form or another. The first step is to truly define what is included in the scope of mental health and mental disorders and then to release the stigma. We will have to normalize mental health and not ostracize it. If people are helped to see that its actually normal to have mental issues and that this is actually an essential part of the path of life to overcome the unique mental issues we each face from birth to death, then we will see the stigma will lessen and the true healing of the mental health of humanity can occur. But as long as mental health is kept in a box generally thought to refer to people who are put in psych wards or on medications for example, then the mass population who all faces mental health issues won’t want to be included in that same category and will fight to keep it as a separate concern reserved for those ‘mentally ill’ people. As we change the terminology we use for this, it will help tremendously. For example instead of calling it mental health and mental illness, as that seems to imply this is something of sick people, we can consider it more like a weakness that can be strengthened or areas of exploration within the human experience that can be learned and mastered, which I believe is the more accurate way to communicate about this essential aspect of human nature. As a mental health educator, meditation teacher and author about this topic, I have dedicated over 14 years to this and we are now seeing mental health becoming more in the light of the conversation. As ancient and proven practices for mental health and healing such as meditation, breath work and even more modern practices such as hypnosis and sound therapy are becoming more accepted and embraced on a global level, we are seeing more conversation about the importance of mental health and in some cases it is becoming popular and cool to focus on the mastery of one’s mind, which is, in essence, the basis of establishing mental health.


As a part of my series about “Mental Health Champions” helping to normalize the focus on mental wellness, I had the pleasure to interview Dashama Gordon. She is an award-winning international happiness expert, author, speaker, life and business strategist with a thriving global community of over 300,000 health conscious spiritual entrepreneurs, change makers and seekers on the path. She has spoken at the United Nations, Sony Motion Picture Studios, University of Virginia, Warwick Business School in the UK and collaborated with Harvard Medical Professor Dr Sat Bir Khalsa. Dashama has written 5 books and has starred in and produced 32 yoga, meditation, and health-related instructional DVDs, numerous online and offline training courses, certification programs and hundreds of videos reaching millions of viewers through her media and TV partnerships such as QVC, ATT Uverse and Broadband TV. Dashama has been featured on Oprah Winfrey Network, ABC News and Discovery Channel Seeker Stories, Wall Street Journal, Times of India, Vogue Arabia, Cosmopolitan Germany, Teen Vogue, and Men’s Journal to name a few. She has worked with and/or been sponsored by fortune 500 brands such as Nike, GoPro, Cadillac, and Banyan Tree Resorts. Dashama travels the world spreading the message that anyone can heal and transform their lives and create the life of their dreams. Connect with her through social media @dashama or at one of her online or live training worldwide. Learn more about the Oneness Movement #Om4Oceans campaign to solve the United Nations Global Goals at om4oceans.org or learn more about Dashama and her other initiatives, retreats, training programs, and offerings at Dashama.com.


Thank you so much for joining us! According to Mental Health America’s report, over 44 million Americans have a mental health condition. Yet there’s still a stigma about mental illness. Can you share a few reasons you think this is so?

I actually believe the number is much higher. By working with Dr. Sat Bir Khalsa who has dedicated 2 decades to research at Harvard Medical School, as well as many other research studies I have seen numbers reported as high as 80% of people that are facing one form of mental condition or another. The reason the numbers are uncertain is that there is a bit of a gray area to know what qualifies as a mental condition. What has been reported can range from anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, Insomnia, narcissism, pathological liars and all the way to the most severe such as Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar Disorder, Criminals or Manic Depression for example.

I believe almost all humans face one form of mental disorder at some time in life. What classifies someone as having a mental illness tends to be whether they can continue to be functional in life with what they are facing. Most people find a way to be functional, they can hold a job, have children, pay their bills mostly handling the basic survival of life. But when it really comes down to it, the mind is the most essential and important health we can ever focus on. If a person has strong and clear mental health, all other health tends to follow suit.

Physical well being is a bi-product of mental health and so is emotional and spiritual well being. To be mentally healthy also means a person can generally create healthy relationships, offer great work that contributes to the world and generates a healthy income and so on. Mental health is the cornerstone of all well being and it’s not being emphasized enough so far. I believe the stigma comes from the fact that mental illness is so rampant and most people are facing it in some form or another, to talk about it is to have to really come out into the open and recognize that most of humanity is not mentally healthy. As the scope of what is known to be ‘mental health’ widens to include all of the most common disorders of human behavior, some of which I listed above, humanity will have to be very honest and humble to admit that each and every person can use some help to regain and heal their mental health.

Everyone from the president of the USA to the CEOs of large corporations, celebrities, artists, athletes and the general public at large are all facing some mental health challenges of one form or another. The first step is to truly define what is included in the scope of mental health and mental disorders and then to release the stigma. We will have to normalize mental health and not ostracize it. If people are helped to see that its actually normal to have mental issues and that this is actually an essential part of the path of life to overcome the unique mental issues we each face from birth to death, then we will see the stigma will lessen and the true healing of the mental health of humanity can occur. But as long as mental health is kept in a box generally thought to refer to people who are put in psych wards or on medications for example, then the mass population who all faces mental health issues won’t want to be included in that same category and will fight to keep it as a separate concern reserved for those ‘mentally ill’ people. As we change the terminology we use for this, it will help tremendously. For example instead of calling it mental health and mental illness, as that seems to imply this is something of sick people, we can consider it more like a weakness that can be strengthened or areas of exploration within the human experience that can be learned and mastered, which I believe is the more accurate way to communicate about this essential aspect of human nature. As a mental health educator, meditation teacher and author about this topic, I have dedicated over 14 years to this and we are now seeing mental health becoming more in the light of the conversation.

As ancient and proven practices for mental health and healing such as meditation, breath work and even more modern practices such as hypnosis and sound therapy are becoming more accepted and embraced on a global level, we are seeing more conversation about the importance of mental health and in some cases it is becoming popular and cool to focus on the mastery of one’s mind, which is, in essence, the basis of establishing mental health.

Can you tell our readers about how you are helping to de-stigmatize the focus on mental wellness?

Through my books, videos, trainings, retreats, public talks and online courses, I have been focused for the past 14 years on spreading the most powerful practices I have learned to help people to understand, heal and master their mind. Mental health is a life long journey for all human beings on earth.

Since my mother lost her mind to schizophrenia when I was 6 years old, I learned first hand about the essential power of the mind and how vitally important this can be for all aspects of life. The issue is, as I mentioned above, that most people when you talk about mental illness, they think about the extreme cases like my mother where a person completely loses everything and they immediately reject the identification with that as a possibility for their life. What I focus on in my work is helping people to realize that even the smaller and less debilitating aspects of mental health are the work we are here to do to become mentally strong. It can be as common as simply not being able to sleep due to an overactive mind or having anxiety because one is worried about the future or depression from being too caught up in the stories of the past, etc. There are statistics about depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, obesity, and these things are all by-products of poor mental health.

The mind is so inextricably linked to the emotions and the physical well being and my work has been to help all people to see and understand that it is not just one small group but all humans who must learn to master their minds. This is the essential task of humanity and a large part of my purpose on earth at this time. We do this by making mental health practices fun and rewarding. For example, when I teach meditation or breathing practices or any other of the practices I share to heal the mind, what we focus on is being able to sit with the pain that arises and to be ok with whatever arises without judgment. As we approach our own mental health without judgment, it is much more encouraging and keeps people coming back for more. It is with steady and consistent practice that we can see true and lasting progress and change over time.

The judgment of oneself and of others is also a form of mental illness, as it is a dysfunction of the ego which always wants to be better than others and can’t stand to feel below others. The condition of the ego is inextricably interrelated with the state of the mind. As humans start to heal these basic dysfunctions of perception of their self and others, this opens the doorway for true mental health to flourish. To move outside of the judgment of oneself and others and into acceptance, love, forgiveness, appreciation, and compassion over all is a large part of what I focus on in my teaching. But first, we have to heal the inner child traumas and fragmented stories that often stay hidden in the unconsciousness and subconscious mind for people. It is these hidden skeletons that tend to sabotage one’s mental health. As we heal those inner dimensions, a true sense of well being, inner peace, self-love, and contentment can flourish.

Was there a story behind why you decided to launch this initiative?

Yes, as I mentioned above, my mother lost her mind to schizophrenia when I was 6. I witnessed her transform from a peace-loving kind hearted loving a spiritual woman to an unrecognizable angry drug and alcohol addicted crazy woman who had no connection to reality. She even changed her name multiple times and was certain my father was an imposter and many horrible things happened as a result of her mental illness. Her life was possible one of the most extreme cases that could ever exist, and I was deeply impacted by this on so many levels that it lead me to dedicate my entire life to this path of healing myself and others minds and hearts.

As I look back upon the 31 year journey from that time until now and the pain and suffering that came from her losing her mind and all that created in her life and the lives and my family, I am deeply passionate about contributing to heal the mental health of humanity as a major focus of my life mission and work. My initiatives have been ongoing for over 14 years and I continue to launch new programs all the time to help people to heal and master their minds and lives. I feel this work is what I am here to do and through this, lead people out of the darkness and into the light of awareness, where happiness, joy, love, and abundance are the natural state. That experience is possible and available to all beings, but it is not easy. It takes hard work and dedicated persistence to heal and master the mind. There is no magic pill or quick fix. It takes steady consistent effort through daily observation of the mind and thought patterns, a commitment to reaching the desired outcome of healthy mind and life and a willingness to get out of ones way and be humble enough to realize that we all have some inner work to do here.

The next book that I’m writing, titled the Flow State, I am including all of the research and studies as well as interviews with flow state experts and masters, to guide the readers through a journey of awakening to discover their own flow state and offer guidance with tools, tips, and techniques how to stay in the flow state and create a healthy beautiful life. This book is also being produced with a documentary style movie as well as online training courses and will be made available as a training program for medical professionals, nurses, doctors and therapists to provide CMEs which I predict will gain wide support and allow us to teach these proven and holistic healing practices to share with the medical sector as we expand this topic out from the old paradigm of mental health as a sickness reserved for a small group, to a public conversation and open discussion about how mental health is an acceptable and honorable part of living a noble and good life as a human being worldwide.

In your experience, what should a) individuals b) society, and c) the government do to better support people suffering from mental illness?

I do believe this should be supported from all 3 of these sectors to truly tackle the mental health of humanity.

On the level of individuals, it’s essential for people to be willing to admit they have mental health issues and be open to receiving guidance and help to heal this. They also must be willing and committed to do doing the work that is required to achieve success and overall mental health. It takes time and must be a priority in order to make true progress. Each individual must focus on their own journey and also support those around them with compassion so that all can be healed.

On the level of society, it must be made more normalized for mental health topics to be spoken about and even a great benefit can come from making it popular and cool. Within societies, when something becomes popular, such as Selena Gomez or example going to the hospital for anxiety and depression, and talking about it openly to her fans, that is the kind of thing that helps to shift the perception that mental health and mental disorders are only for very broken people who should be heavily medicated and locked up. As we see highly functional humans who live in the spotlight coming forth to talk about this essential aspect of the human experience, we will begin to see more and more that this is not just for small groups, but this affects everyone. This should also be talked about openly in schools to children. As the Dalai Lama said if all 8-year-olds would be taught meditation we would have world peace within 2 decades. The reason he said that is because it is the mental health issues that are causing all the conflict and wars on earth. As we heal the mental health of humanity we will see greater unity and peace on earth between all societies, cultures, religions, and groups worldwide.

On the level of the government, I believe we need to be allocating a lot more funding toward education for mental health, with a major focus on education for children in the schools. My friend Dr Sat Bir Khalsa from Harvard has a great idea for a meditation research program for children and if the government would allocate funding toward research about mental health for children, we could get approval from the national level to make meditation and mental health education mandatory for all schools across the nation of USA and from that the rest of the world would follow suit I believe. I would also like to see more education and initiatives from the United Nations as mental health is a global issue. If we can see more support and funding for initiatives from the UN and the individual governments of each country, we will see a massive shift very rapidly. Instead of allocating funding toward building a wall to keep people out, or funding for weapons of mass destruction and wars, we need to see funding being allocated toward mental health and the healing of humanity, which would put an end to the need for wars, military, and walls in general.

People with strong healthy minds would be able to take care of their selves and their families, function and operate in a higher capacity and truly operate from a place of contribution to the whole of humanity instead of being a drain on the rest of society through welfare and assistance programs, as most mental health patients end up being overall. The government would end of saving a lot of money in the long and short run by allocating funding toward mental health programs and I do truly believe this is a key element of the way government must transition their efforts in order to see a true and lasting change for the better for our people now and for the future.

What are the 6 strategies you use to promote your own wellbeing and mental wellness? Can you please give a story or example for each?

My 6 Top Strategies for wellbeing and mental wellness include:

1. Meditation and mindfulness practice, daily

2. Breathwork as a healing modality to release traumas, grief, stuck or blocked energy as well as to calm, balance and clear the mind

3. Yoga, in many forms including kundalini, vinyasa flow, yin and partner yoga, for example, all help to restore overall well being and mental health.

4. Nutrition: including organic plant-based super food, nutrient dense fibrous foods that boost energy and vitality, maintaining balanced hormones, mental and physical well being

5. Detoxification and fasting: as a general way to gain more mastery of mind and body, juice cleansing, intermittent fasting and cleansing practices help to eliminate toxins and enhance well being.

6. Music therapy: I listen to mantras, chant mantras as well as sound healing such as singing bowls, binaural beats, and other sound therapy to entrain the mind to a healthy frequency

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a mental health champion?

I’ve always been a fan of self-help books, and all self-help in some ways has at least one foot in the topic about mental health. A few of my favorite books that touch on this include Be Here Now by Ram Das, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Getting Unstuck by Pema Chodron (audio), The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, etc. I also wrote a few books including Journey to Joyful and my recent book Yoga for Surfing: Tips, Techniques and Living the Flow State. My next book is titled The Flow State and will be primarily focused on mental health and the power we all have to heal and awaken and how the clarity of mind can result in living an extraordinary life in the flow state where optimal health, creativity, and fulfillment are the natural state of life.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I am on all platforms :

yotuube.com/dashama

instagram.com/dashamalove

facebook.com/dashama

twitter.com/dashama

linkedin.com/in/dashama

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