Cultivate a daily practice of writing in your journal — 5 things you are grateful for. It is even better if you can open and close your day with this practice. Handwriting engages both the conscious and unconscious mind, so we are programming our mind to start thinking like this. I am lucky I live in Sydney and near a beach, so this is a practice I do often on my local beach.
As we all know, times are tough right now. In addition to the acute medical crisis caused by the Pandemic, in our post COVID world, we are also experiencing what some have called a “mental health pandemic”.
What can each of us do to get out of this “Pandemic Induced Mental and Emotional Funk”?
One tool that each of us has access to is the simple power of daily gratitude. As a part of our series about the “How Each Of Us Can Leverage The Power Of Gratitude To Improve Our Overall Mental Wellness” I had the pleasure of interviewing Sheila V.
Sheila V is the author of Brave. She is a Transformational Coach, Spiritual Teacher and Keynote Speaker. Sheila V is also a powerful psychic medium. She has the ability to channel passed over souls and higher dimensional beings. She is a very clear channel, and therefore helps to make changes with velocity for her clients.
She combines her ability to channel spiritual wisdom with her experience from the executive level corporate world. She works with those who are ready to understand their soul purpose; the seekers, the open minded and the challengers who want to transform their life to achieve greater fulfilment. She does this with mastery, strength, and no apologies.
For 15 years she spiritualized her life. She cultivated her skills in Mediumship at the prestigious Arthur Findlay College in London. She studied mindfulness at Esalen with, Dr Shauna Shapiro and immersed herself in the Vedic teachings of Sri Kripalu Maharaj in Mangarh, India. She studied with world renowned Psychic Medium James Van Praagh at the Omega Institute.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive into our discussion, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about you and about what brought you to your specific career path?
My path to this career was quite unconventional. I left the corporate world years ago as a C-Suite financial executive. I had a spiritual awakening after I finished my MBA. It was a challenging time, as I wanted to be a CEO of a publishing house. I had worked hard to climb the corporate ladder. Yet the universe had a different ladder for me to climb, which is quite often the case.
My spiritual awakening, opened me up to my intuitive gifts and my ability to ‘speak to the other side.’ This then became a passion of mine, I did countless workshops, I devoured every book I could. I spent years studying spiritual wisdom.
What was a little unusual about my career path, was that I did both careers at the same time. I was an executive Finance Director and I was also working as a psychic medium. I had a segment on Australian television and would do live psychic medium readings. I also managed the finance and operations of a large publishing house. I felt called to actually work in both careers for nearly 3 years. I loved both and both paths served me.
Eventually I took the leap of courage and left to pursue my mentoring and teaching programs and to write my book. I now realise that the reason why I spent this important part of my career in the corporate world, was that I now mentor corporate and executive women to use their intuition and to use spiritual tools for high performance in demanding corporate jobs.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
The universe is always showing me signs and synchronicity as a way forward. Many years ago, there was a big finance job I was interviewing for. In my heart I knew that I actually needed to take a short break from my corporate career to start my spiritual business. I didn’t want to listen to my heart. My head was telling me that it was the “wrong” decision to leave the corporate world after how hard I had worked to get there.
After the fourth round of interviews. I stepped out onto a crowded street in Sydney and my handbag strap snapped cleanly into two pieces. It was a brand new Michael Korrs handbag. I knew instantly it was a sign from the universe to not take the job. I ignored the sign and took the job.
I left that job 12 months later, after the most challenging period in my career. I got fired actually — I was so unhappy. It was a relief (laugh!). After I left that job, I set up my spiritual business. The universe wanted me to do this, and really was pushing me in that direction. I have found gratitude for the events during that time. It was a powerful way for me to step into my purpose.
So many miracles have unraveled since then. I think that was one of the first miracles.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why do you think that resonates with you? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
This quote is from Maya Angelou. She said that “Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage one cannot practice any virtues consistently.”
This is a core message in my book Brave: Courageously Live Your Truth. We need courage to walk towards a life that will give us great joy and peace. This often will involve the need to make uncomfortable decisions. We may need to make decisions that will disappoint friends and family close to us. To live a life authentically takes courage.
It took a lot to “come out” of the psychic closet and to honor my spiritual gifts as a medium and to speak openly about this. I had a vivid moment, when I thought, “if I keep hiding, when will this end?”
A lot of people have had a spiritual awakening during Covid. My practice has become so much busier, as so many people are now reaching for spiritual tools to connect with themselves and to help them get through the challenging times we are currently in.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story about why that resonated with you?
Dark Nights of the Soul by Thomas Moore had a profound impact on me. I was on precipice of my spiritual awakening. In the space of two months, I lost my job, I broke my foot, my apartment flooded and my relationship ended. It was a very difficult time in my life, and I felt like I was being punished by the universe. This book provided the wisdom that I needed to see that I was being saved from my small life.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Rockpool Publishing is publishing my book Brave: Courageously Live Your Truth, on May 5, 2021.
I personally believe that everyone has a calling, a life purpose, a destiny to fulfill. But not everyone feels brave enough to follow their dreams through.
This book helps to identify your personal calling and provides the tools to recognize the power and courage within to take the leap towards regaining connection to the feminine, emotional and intuitive core of one’s being. I guide readers through a pathway, I call, ‘The Courageous Path.’
The uncomfortable truth is that we find our way home to ourselves through the dark moments in our life — the job loss, relationships breakdown, death, divorce. On the other side of these period in our life is a great inner and outer transformation of our life. This book helps you to make sense when your life falls apart or you want to make brave transitions in your life.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I will always be grateful to one of my first spiritual teachers, Louise Winchester. She guided me to step out as spiritual teacher myself. She guided me to work with corporate clients who did not have access to spiritual tools. I was nervous, as I had studied NLP and executive coaching. I myself had been an executive. I wasn’t sure the corporate world was ready to start learning about spiritual tools. She showed me how to stand in my own power and to start teaching spiritual concepts, mindset mastery and meditation to many women and men in the corporate world.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now that we are on the topic of gratitude, let’s move to the main focus of our interview. As you know, the collective mental health of our country is facing extreme pressure. We would like to explore together how every one of us can use gratitude to improve our mental wellness. Let’s start with a basic definition of terms. How do you define the concept of Gratitude? Can you explain what you mean?
Gratitude is truly a practice and an emotional state that we need to create for ourselves every day. The practice involves seeing everything in our life as a gift. Especially during the challenging moments in our life. We need to find gratitude in those moments as we stand to gain more from the practice.
When we practice gratitude, we are focusing our energy on the positive things in our life. What we focus our mind on expands. The more we practice gratitude, the more we create the life we desire.
Why do you think so many people do not feel gratitude? How would you articulate why a simple emotion can be so elusive?
We live in a time when we’ve never been busier. We are struggling to find the balance between our personal and professional lives and often lose track of our dreams and the things that matter to us. We’re striving for a definition of success that isn’t necessarily our own, and this builds up a feeling of resentment that we may not even be present to. When we live like this, it becomes difficult to slow down and to access the emotions of gratitude.
This might be intuitive to you but I think it will be constructive to help spell it out. Can you share with us a few ways that increased gratitude can benefit and enhance our life?
When I work with clients to shift them into a state of gratitude I have found:
- They feel less stress and anxiety. When we focus on the things in our life that are working. It give us better perspective to manage the more challenging aspects of our life.
- Improved sleep. Sleep is so important to heal and give us vitality. When we practice gratitude, we calm our nervous system, which allows for a deeper sleep state.
- It boosts our self esteem. When we move into a place of gratitude we are reminded of the life that we have created. We also see the loving relationships in our life. Knowing that we created our life and experiences can have a positive effect on our self esteem.
Let’s talk about mental wellness in particular. Can you share with us a few examples of how gratitude can help improve mental wellness?
When we express gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters are responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside. What happens next is that we are starting to retrain the brain to feel good. With a gratitude daily practice your brain will reach more easily for a positive mindset.
Ok wonderful. Now here is the main question of our discussion. From your experience or research, what are “Five Ways That Each Of Us Can Leverage The Power Of Gratitude To Improve Our Overall Mental Wellness”. Can you please share a story or example for each?
Is there a particular practice that can be used during a time when one is feeling really down, really vulnerable, or really sensitive?
- Cultivate a daily practice of writing in your journal — 5 things you are grateful for. It is even better if you can open and close your day with this practice. Handwriting engages both the conscious and unconscious mind, so we are programming our mind to start thinking like this. I am lucky I live in Sydney and near a beach, so this is a practice I do often on my local beach.
- Send a statement of gratitude to someone daily. Text a friend or family member and share with them why you are so grateful for the relationship. You will be surprised at the loving reaction you receive and how good you will feel after you do this simple act
- Do a gratitude practice in nature. Quite often we are distracted in our homes and near digital devices. Nature is medicine and is so healing. Being in nature actually amplifies the gratitude practice. It is difficult to watch the sun rise, to look at the ocean or sit in a beautiful garden and not feel gratitude for the divine gift of nature. Leaving your home to connect with nature needs to be scheduled in as an appointment, to make sure you do this practice and are committed to it.
- Buy a gift for someone or write them a beautiful letter. This practice takes a little more time and involves spending time and energy on someone. This practice will expand your heart. It will take you out of your ego, which can be very focused on your material well-being. Being of service to someone else is a very effective way to lift your mood.
- Look for the gift in your challenges. This might be a little more challenging. When we find the gift of gratitude in our challenges, it gives meaning to our pain. It helps us to make sense of the difficult times.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that you would recommend to our readers to help them to live with gratitude?
My good friend Dr M has a brilliant podcast called Aligned U. She has interviewed some really eclectic people. Her message is to assist you to truly be aligned through your body, head and heart so you can reach your full potential in your own unique way.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My movement would be focused on how to “Courageously Live Your Truth” and to live a “Brave” life. These are the key messages from my book and keynotes. I could speak about this subject matter for ever. My personal dharma has been to understand what this means. This is what I am passionate teaching.
What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?
I would love for your readers to join my community. I offer free spiritual tools at www.sheilav.co
Facebook: Sheila V Empowering Intuition
Linkedin: Sheila Vijeyarasa
Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!