love · schizophrenia · Spirituality

What do you think love is?

14th February, 2017. The highlight in most people’s lives and the question that has more answers than any other: What is love?

I’ve been going through my own churning, with the personal, the political, the social and work at school. The answer to all that churns me arises from what the heart has been acting upon…and that is love.

Love is a funny word isn’t it?

There are a million claims over the meaning and understanding of it.
To my knowledge and experience love is the simple act of courage found buried in our hearts.
It’s easy to love but not easy to act upon the necessary outcomes of love.


Love makes us do things we wouldn’t otherwise do. It makes us look deep within a kaleidoscope of illusions to muster up a kind of strength that we wouldn’t otherwise have found in ourselves.

This strength is called courage. It surpasses all illusions and the heart begins glowing. This glow invades all our fears, purging it by telling us to act upon what troubles us.

But it is not a sacrifice. It’s a choice made instinctively by our hearts.
For when our hearts are hurt and we cannot any longer rely on the subtle projections of our egos we begin experiencing anger.
This anger shakes us, makes us weak, make us immobile, makes us silent, makes us yell, makes us churn, until we get around and do something about it.
But that something must come from what our heart truly feels. The intent in what exist within us will kindle a courage necessary for us to move to our next step. The kind we never thought possible.

Love doesn’t blind you. Love opens your eyes. I’ve read this somewhere! So I know I am not the only one stating that which I believe in.
Love requires courage and courage is born from the heart. It cannot be found in any other way. It is not found in books, in movies, in our heads, in our biceps, in our thoughts, in our intellectual wisdom or in our self-proclaimed understanding of it. It is a wisdom found in our hearts which bear fruits of profundity. This courage is what delivers two individuals in existing together as it becomes a conscious choice made in full awareness of their respective strengths and weaknesses.

Such love is not just limited to romantic couples but it exist in all relationships. Such love is kindled by a knowing that it requires two to tango. It’s team work. It’s selfless yet selfish. It’s a high with a low coming with a sense of belonging yet not ownership. And it can never fade away because such courage when found becomes the light that will always glow for another even when they’re unable to find their own.

Such love is crazy, unfathomable and almost something alien. Alien only because it’s not something that was allowed to enter your life.

To me my madness is the same. They draw me…both love and madness. It is not a romantic notion I’m laying claims over. It is something that has to be lived to be understood.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! Have the courage to love. I am not speaking of romantic or sexual love but the kind that makes our own secret world spin in happiness and abundance of recognizing such love. It’s the best path towards being a good human and doesn’t require any spiritual explanations of enlightenment as love is the essence that already exist within us all.

© Reshma Valliappan 2017img_20170208_092846032

disability · Health · Mental Health · philosophy · schizophrenia · Sexuality · Spirituality

Have we lost our teenager?

My talk from Changing Tomorrow at Chat Jaipur is finally up!

But I am also sharing my facebook post from learnings with the kids at school in K.C.Thackeray Vidya Niketan as it does synchronize with my talk 2 months ago. I’ve learnt a lot about life as a teen and I am relearning it differently again with the kids at school.

Post on 23rd December 2016:

Teacher: I read your previous status and thought about these kids. It’s the same analogy one of them gave me one day, where they learn stuff here and get thrown into the same crap outside of school.

Me: Yes, I thought the exact same but you know one of your same kids has learnt and is practicing. It’s no more just about living in the same messed up society and having it’s crap thrown on us. Your one kid is dealing with the same but he’s making choices everyday to be a good human person. At the end we’re all from the same shitty society but we’ve turned out fine. Some people complain and find excuses and some make choices every day.

Bottom line: There always is a choice. Or there are excuses. And we are that same shitty society. We either contribute positively everyday or we find reasons to blame others and victimise ourselves.

I hope I don’t sound preachy! There are days I must analyse and judge myself 🙂 It is necessary when we strive towards perfection as human beings because perfection is not something attainable in a day since it is a forward moving goal. Therefore, I love to cultivate my life towards reaching it, yet knowing I am never perfect in this human body.

Yet my human body is what teaches me to respect all of its matter…billions of it and be humble in knowing it has its limitations.

Hope you like my talk though. I received the link for it yesterday which was quite a Christmas gift to me as I needed it more. I needed my own lessons and learnings repeated to me by another me.

 

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone! (See my featured image. It’s an old artwork though)

 

creativity · crisis · Mental Health · schizophrenia

Updates, life, Mental Health, School, You…it never ends :)

Okay, so as you all have been following my blog and keeping track I’m constantly stalking time and doing a million things which then leaves me with very little time to read what everyone else is writing and doing – since my eye tends to squint when it needs to adjust to the screen or any light (much like my cats but they don’t squint and naturally adjust to light, since they aren’t victims of technologically advanced gadgets that affect our brains and eyes directly)

Nevertheless, before I share my stuff I would just like to let you all know – that if there is a post of yours that you feel I would enjoy reading and connect PLEASE do tweet it to me so I could read it. I’ve not found a way yet to keep track of so many of my online friends and supporters but until I do – do bear with me. I’ve kinda married to my work and been completely focused on the 60 kids at school.

So here’s one article now published on Youth Ki Awaaz on how Mental Health Care in India needs to change (and around the world actually) cause I hold society as the main support system here. A blurb of it:

My question remains: What are you going to do about this rise of mental health and all of these other strangers in the asylums around the country? They were once someone’s friend, child or parent. Now they have no home and only a place that treats them worse than…( I have no words for it.)

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If you haven’t visited my school blog, please do CLICK HERE  there is much to be updated as always in terms of vlogs, writing, pictures, etc. But I only have 2 hands (still) 😀

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and a little bit of sudden spurts that happen with me:

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(Quote from Alice in Wonderland. Image source here)

Sometimes there should be nothing and no one, she said.
But you’re here.
That’s cause you’re in front of the mirror, she replied.

I fell asleep when she hit the lights.
Now we’re finally together.

‪#‎TheSchizophrenist‬ ©Reshma Valliappan 2016

I hope your weekend is going well! Peace & Colour from me and my imaginary friends.

Mental Health · schizophrenia

Person behind the label

Yesterday I had an interview and today I was working around the issues of bullying at school. It strangely sums up my already unwritten talk for tomorrow about Mental Health and Stigma [ 4pm at India Habitat Centre, Delhi ] – where there is a ‘person behind the label…every label’ and nobody seems to try to get that right.

Most people have assumed and concluded that all schizophrenics are the same. In fact, I have even been patronized by those with other labels who always seem to know better than the schizophrenic. It is likely why depression isn’t given so much of an importance when we speak of Mental Health issues because even those with depression seem to know better than the one with psychosis. A conclusion shared by legal experts, psychiatrist and many other professionals.

So here is my bit on the kind of responses I have had from those with the label of mental health issues and how stigma exist at the most preposterous levels:
1. Person with depression: See, I know what’s it like to feel like that but I can function. The trouble with him (schizophrenic) is he still has his delusions about everyone.

2. Person with anxiety: I take my meds cause I think it helps me. You should take yours you know. Schizophrenia is worse than anxiety and I can’t imagine how you can say living without medications is okay.

3. Person with bipolar: You should learn to come back 10 steps down and listen to others. You must tame yourself for others to understand you better. Stop thinking so much of yourself.

4. Person with borderline: Cut your nonsense and come and socialize. You can’t keep being inside.

5. Person with OCD: I kinda get what you are saying, but I still manage to get work done with my OCD.

6. Person with schizophrenia on medications: That is not true. You should take your meds because I know what it is like to be without them. It is very difficult. I don’t think you have schizophrenia if you are without meds.

…somehow it is always others telling me what I should do or should not do. These are people with their own labels of a mental health condition. It is not their condition that defines them but the kind of people that they are. And unfortunately society comprises of the same lot.

So I am to conclude that the whole of society is actually messed up in their brains – each thinking they are right and that they are entitled in telling another person what is wrong with them.

When I restate there is a ‘person behind the label’ – this is what I meant. As a society each person is responsible for the kind of thoughts they allow themselves to eat.

And to many others with such labels, you are a person to me and I take time in explaining myself to you. It doesn’t make me a better person by doing so. But I am done doing it – since you’ve already chosen to see yourself as a label and a disorder. I won’t be reduced to it however.

Ironically,
#TheSchizophrenist ©Reshma Valliappan 2016

Mental Health · schizophrenia · Shamanism

Book review and the persistence of death

Heya all!

I’m trying to accommodate all of what I do but it’s not going to be possible on one blog for certain.

So, I’m sticking to this being my main blog where I write my stuff (and sometimes I also do so on Facebook when I am consumed and overwhelmed by certain things.

But I now have a separate website by itself for my book Fallen, Standing – the documentary A Drop of Sunshine – and my art exhibition ‘Visions and Voices’.

These are all three important creative mediums which I believe covers a lot of ground in my personal journey.

I’ve just added the book reviews I’ve received to it here

Do let me know if have any suggestions in improving my blog and website! I can’t revamp all of it in a day – so I do it in bits & pieces.

I’ve finally decided to use Excel to track the list of things I need to do and it’s working really well. Never thought I would have to sit over an actual Excel sheet one day to keep track of my life. 🙂

 


 

On another note – here is something my alter wrote:

Death comes upon me again.
Death has become me in vain.

There are those who live their lives in preparation of death
There are those who die living daily doses of death
And there are those who seek the living of what’s dead

Death.
An interval.
With myself.
Nearer.

– I.R.V

©The Schizophrenist 2016

The above followed after a 2 1/2hour interview I gave over Skype and there were discussions over shamanism and psychosis which put me in an alternate plane instantaneously. The interviewer found one my tweets that spoke about giving up and thus left me at a vulnerable position to explain what I meant by it. The tweet speaks for itself.

The days of giving up have been visiting more often.

Not on myself…on the world.

They aren’t ready still.

Not yet.