The path to self-discovery

Published On: December 7, 2018 10:30 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

KATHMANDU, Dec 7: The concept of a life coach is common in many countries in America and Europe, but it’s fairly new in case of Nepal. With talks of anxiety and depression still a taboo in our society, it takes people a lot of courage to open up about their struggles.

LP Bhanu Sharma is one of the few life coaches who have tasked themselves to help people with these issues and lead them towards their journey of self-discovery. Sharma is also the president of a spiritual/meditation hub, Jeevan Vigyan, as well as the principal of Apex College, Kathmandu.

The Week’s Urza Acharya caught up with Sharma to understand how one can deal with mental health issues as well as lead a fulfilling life.

What exactly does a life coach do?
A life coach is a person who understands the potentials in life. It’s someone who inspires people with different initiatives, conversations and programs to help people realize the potentials and achieve them in order to bring joy, peace and prosperity into their lives. Life is full of potential. This is not just a literary connotation – but there’s actual, real potential that a person is born with. But, in the modern world, we have stopped looking within and seem to find enjoyment only in the outer world and that, we often find, is fleeting. This is where life coaches come in handy. They work to help you make sense of things while you embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Youths of today often suffer from anxiety, depression and lack of self worth among a myriad of other problems. What do you think are the reasons for this?
Youths expect society to be one dimensional, a monotone but society is a kaleidoscope, mixed with equally unique colors and patterns. When their expectation of what is right and wrong, better or worse isn’t met by the multi-layered faces of the society they come into conflict within themselves, find it difficult to cope and ultimately succumb to anxiety and depression. 

Also, youths are tempted by what they see is benefiting the most, especially career wise. They don’t take notice of what they want to do, no matter how unconventional it may be. They are influenced by everyone around them. They want to be a doctor, a writer or a designer often in the same month. It’s important to understand that money and glamor are subsets of a bigger idea – passion i.e. what you truly enjoy doing and see yourself pursuing. It’s the lack of perspectives and the failure to truly understand yourself and where you interests lie that leads to inner conflict and that, in turn, gives rise to all these problems. 

What can be done to overcome the state of anxiety and depression and build self-confidence?
The very fundamental thing is to understand yourself. Ask yourselves existential questions like “Why am I here?” and “What is my purpose in life?” If one can answer these questions truthfully without being tempted by what others think or do, an aura of confidence will exuberate from within that will let him/her achieve anything and everything they want from their life. Be honest to yourself while questioning the reason for your stress or why a relationship is faltering. This will give you a deep insight and make it possible for you to accept as well as explore yourself.

As a life coach, what ‘new’ do you bring to the table?
As a life coach, I preach spirituality, not the religious or belief aspects but the raw science of spirituality i.e. to experience oneself. Our forefathers were too busy hunting and gathering that they had no time to ask themselves the meaning and purpose of their existence. But now, with technology making our lives more convenient every living second, we should take some time to do some actual thinking. How many of us have taken some time to think about why things are the way they are?  All of us have been given a conscience. We might perhaps be the most intellectual beings on earth, yet we are still unhappy. It’s a great time to be alive. We are capable of doing and understanding everything. All we have to do it realize this fact and watch success and prosperity unfold in our lives.

What steps can a person take to have a healthy and fulfilling life?
There are four components of healthy living: physical health, mental health, emotional health and spiritual health. For a person to be truly healthy, these four components should be in perfect harmony. A person should be able to ask him/herself, “Where am I lacking and how can I improve?” Carefully watch your thought processes, watch your mind and understand which direction it follows. This is how you can pick up small clues about what your body and mind are telling you. If a person has a severe headache, it could be a clue of a migraine few months down the line. So, pick up the clues and start working on them. You will be astonished how these small but significant changes will bring fulfillment into your life.

Another thing for a fulfilling life is to practice the art of giving. You can never be truly happy unless you learn to give. Only thinking about self-gain can become toxic in later life, It’s only by giving (and I’m not just talking about material things here but by giving your time, patience, or voice) that one can truly find oneself. Also, practicing the art of meditation everyday helps bring inner peace over time. 

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