The heart wants what it wants: How Arushi discovered the secret to happiness
A wellness enthusiast, a solo traveller, and a professional Yoga trainer- Arushi has transformed into a vibrant, happy and a successful individual.
As young people, we are often passionate about everything we do and feel emotions more intensely than any other age group. And with that passion, comes purpose. But when Arushi entered college to pursue a degree in Mass Communication, things didn’t go exactly as she had imagined.
She couldn’t figure if it was the work stress, or the college fatigue or something else. But she stopped feeling happiness. Or sorrow. Or love. Or any other emotion. She stopped feeling.
And that numbness led her to take up an unhealthy lifestyle.
“I would go to the gym a lot and drink bottles and bottles of coffee- just to make myself feel something. Because I wouldn’t feel anything otherwise. And that’s not how it should be- you should genuinely feel alive, but I just felt dead on the inside.”
The feeling of being mentally numb to any stimuli was a result of Arushi not being involved in what she really enjoyed doing. There was nothing around that could light a spark within her. She felt purposeless, and completely hopeless at times. But she did not stay in denial for long- instead, she started observing her behavioural patterns and accepted that something was wrong.
“It was like cooking rice in a pressure cooker. The steam grows and boom boom! So if you don’t let the feelings out, it will find a way to release itself. The same thing happened to me. I wouldn’t address my feelings, and then they would come out in the wrong ways.”
Apart from having trouble dealing with her emotions, she also developed an eating disorder which would involve phases of heavy eating interspersed with phases of no eating at all.
“I was not able to find my vibe anywhere. I did not feel at home with myself. There was a disconnect.”
Her 20th birthday was the last straw.
“I felt like this was it. I have turned 20 and I am still not listening to my heart”
And that was the moment when she decided to put her foot down and take charge of her own life. Her college buddy Aashin, her brother and her father were her pillars of support through her journey.
“I decided to leave college. They told me to think about it but as I started trusting myself with the decision, they told me that I should just follow my heart and everything will be okay.”
Arushi was ready to take off and finally do what set her free. She quickly contacted a solo woman traveler she knew, took her advice and went to Sikkim. And that’s how she started off on her travelling spree. Destinations such as Nepal, Hyderabad and Kerala followed.
Apart from being a solo traveler, Arushi also delved deep into the practice of Yoga and found inner peace.
“I felt like some parts of my body had not really opened up. So I would randomly start stretching and doing light exercises. I didn’t know what I was experiencing. And when people started asking me if I practiced Yoga, I wondered if what I was doing was really Yoga. Later on, I realised that someone had already systemised what I was experiencing. Then I decided to professionally learn Yoga at the Svyasa Yoga University in Bangalore.”
Arushi practices Yoga regularly along with meditation. However, she still feels that she has a lot more to learn when it comes to meditation and is planning to experience Vipassana meditation in the near future.
When asked what advice she would give someone who is in the same place as she was about three years back, this is what she said-
“Watch your thoughts very carefully and understand if the thoughts that you are thinking are leading you to the state of mind that you are in. Majority of the time, it is that. You must do a daily mental check- you can even do it every hour if needed.”
Arushi feels that awareness is the key. You must pull yourself out of the denial phase, address the issue early on and take necessary steps towards your own well-being. And the easiest way to do it is to listen to your heart.