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Shakti perspectives: Amritha

As a culture we have been taught that focusing on your own self can be selfish. Putting your family needs comes ahead of your own. I think it’s important to stop and think ‘hang on I need to put myself first’. Build in 5 minutes a day where your listening to who you are and what you want. 

We need to drop the shame, if you’re going through a mental illness don’t add shame to that, it’s okay. The worst thing you could do is think about what other people think of you, know that it is possible to overcome personal struggle, when you do one thing for yourself things are going to change, and you will overcome this.  

I first experienced depression when at 17, a lot of what triggered my depression was feeling like I wasn’t enough and what my community thought of me. Listening to my voice is number one and there is nothing selfish about that.  Firstly, I didn’t have language around it to explain mental health, so I didn’t know how to approach it myself at the time. I didn’t feel safe bringing it up, many people feel ‘cloaked’ when it comes to their emotions, act in a way that we are doing fine, never talked about feeling bad or what others would think. 

I never felt comfortable going out into the community and speaking about it, but step one is to discuss mental health, it needs to be done whether older generations like it or not. Things like mental health issues are super vulnerable topics and we need to non judgmentally support individuals in that.  

I don’t look upon depression in any sort of bitter way, I tried to open for a while and mediation changed my view on my entire life. One day I thought what I can do to make things a little bit better. I used to do one minute every day within the first 6-8 months of meditation it very literally changed my life.  

Meditation is an absolute foundation even if I’m feeling a little low at work or at home. I can detach from my thoughts and have a level of control, even when I can’t control what’s around me, I can control what I’m doing. For me meditation is a form of self-care and self-development as one once you start meditating you feel what trauma exists in your body, I practice sitting with myself every day, dealing with issues and pain that’s been built up. Things that hurt you in the past don’t hurt you anymore, its healing previous pain and turning pain into something that heals others.  

As well as meditation I’ve practiced different methods of spiritual healing such as reiki, cognitive behavioural therapy, affirmations, crystals. I feel there’s almost a spectrum of self- care, you do your daily habits on one end of the spectrum but on the other you’re dealing and healing with things that have been hurting you back. I channel a lot of emotions through my music as it becomes intuitive, any form of creative art is a way to channel your emotions. music was a space to do Indian classical and be proud of my roots. It becomes second nature to channel music into my own process. The music is always very Indian with a ‘mish mash of culture and languages.

 Mixing lyrics both English, Hindi Tamil is such as big part of my identity and I want this reflected through my music.  

Our generation needs to break the stigma, it’s the young generation who need to talk about topics like depression, if there’s no safe space to discuss it we create the safe space. Step one is to discuss it, it needs to be done whether older generations like it or not. Things like mental health issues are super vulnerable topics and we need to non-judgmentally support them in that.  

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