What Having an Affair Taught Me.

heart-broken

It would not be easy to number the things I have learned in these years since falling in love.

Although if I did, I might discover that the number is actually finite—because sometimes it feels infinite. It feels as though I am still (and endlessly will be) discovering more.

For now, I’ll begin the task of trying to quantify my understanding to date. A disclaimer: I am in no way promoting having an affair, nor am I assuaging myself of the guilt I carry for my actions—lest anyone should think otherwise—this is just my personal inquiry of the wisdom I can derive at this point in my life as I work to let go of and heal from the impact of this experience.

1. I am actually capable of anything.

Now, all of the things I once categorized as—”I would never!” have become an accidental bucket list. Having an affair was the biggest, juiciest doozy on that list. It was the one  thing that I would truly never, of all my nevers.

This affair became the undoing of who I always thought I was. It was the removal of the innermost layer of self-righteousness that kept me from being ‘one of those people.’ In this way, of decidedly ridding myself of this self-image—I learned genuine compassion for my fellow human beings.

I learned what forgiveness takes. I gained a sincere understanding that there are no wrong paths, there are no bad intentions—that we are all doing the best we can do, given where we are on our path and the resources we have available at the time.

It gave me deep love and appreciation for our collective experience here and a sense of belonging. I am capable of anything in the human expression, just like everyone else. I am not special. And this understanding is extremely freeing.

2. I distract myself from my own life.

Now, hear me out. I know it may seem crazy or impossible—because hello—how can I distract myself from the life I am living? I am immersed in it after all. But it’s true. For someone who claims to be present, I rarely am. Most of the time, I only pretend to be present.

The impact of this can no longer be ignored.

It is evidenced in my day to day life, in my relationships, in my work, and in my ability to even be with myself in meditation. Having an affair was the easiest method through which I would distract myself. It was my drug of choice—simply for the gigantic intoxication factor of the potent emotions I experience. It quickly grew into my most intense craving, the withdrawals of which were exquisitely painful.

Until now, I have been at the effect of this need. Until experiencing the penetrating starkness of this impact, I only wanted to keep the addiction satisfied. I am now interested in healing this disease. I am now interested in choosing my life, in this moment, as it is. Without wanting to change, alter or fix anything. In many ways, experiencing this long distance love affair—gave me new life. I am now moving toward balance in every possible way.

3. I am actually worthy of my own love.

The love I seek is not outside of myself. The expression of my love is generated within myself, for myself and for those around me. Looking for it outside of this source is fruitless and endlessly frustrating. When I discovered that no amount of love being shown me was enough to satisfy my need, I realized that it was not possible to be satisfied this way. I realized I had been looking through a distorted view.

I learned that what I am seeking is my own love; my own acceptance, my own faith, my own devotion.

4. I love having sex.

For I complained that we didn’t have it often enough, but it was never my fault. I would place the blame on her, as though she should be responsible for initiating sex! 

I learned that sometimes I love having sex and sometimes I don’t want to have sex and that this ebb and flow is natural for me. I learned how deeply personal the experience of sex is and how important it is to me. I learned that because it is so sacred to me,I want a partner who holds it equally sacred. I learned that what I want in a partner, is precisely what I must to bring to the table.

I want to be someone who holds the sacred, sacred. I want to be someone who walks his talk. Someone willing to be honest, vulnerable and naked with himself and with his partner. And finally:

5. Love is not just an emotion.

I found myself sinking deeper into the guilt and shame about being someone who could actually have an affair.

Depression, anxiety, insecurity, self loathing—all took me over at one time or another. Yet, having to face myself day after day while feeling the emotional pull of loving two men—having to put one foot in front of the other and manage to keep breathing, as I watched us stumble and we became strangers in our pain and our anger and our fear.

Feeling the weight of my choices heaved upon her—knowing their new struggle was given to her without her choice, that I had laid this burden directly upon her because of my love. Getting to know her this way, as we struggled with each other; strangers to each other and yet still managing to hold one another when there were no words.

I learned that real love isn’t only a feeling; like light, it is a wave and a particle.

Love is emotion. Love is also manifested action. It is the ‘what I am’ and it is the ‘who I am’. Love isn’t about who I am with physically. Love is about who I am being in my own life. And I am worthy of fully being who I am.

This is the beginning  stages of an ongoing inquiry into myself.

There are so many emotions attached to this experience, that it is easy to be distracted by them. It is my intention to remain open, to deepen my practice of presence, to start to do things differently. I will explore this experience for all that it gave me, with gratitude and with reverence and with grace.

“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.”

The Love That Changed My Life.

Photo: Wiki Commons

I have a secret.

I never quite outgrew those little magazine quizzes; you know, the ones that tell you what career path to follow, what your favourite movies say about your style in the bedroom, or which cartoon superhero you’re most like.

A guy who grew up saving his allowance for magazines turned into a bit of a media junkie. I’m hooked up on most of the social media sites; I read the paper and regularly check different news sources online; I absorb celebrity gossip rags when I’m at the doctor’s office—it doesn’t seem to matter what kind, I love it all.

Put that together with the fact that I’m always interested in the quiet ways people work and my fascination with quizzes begins to make sense. I’ve tried every five-minute meditation out there and regularly check my Myers-Briggs personality type (I’m an INFP, in case you’re wondering).

As a teenager, I’d always find myself guiltily sneaking those “Is she really into you?” ones—the ones that seemed to break down a person’s every gesture into clues about their real intentions. In my teens I dated some pretty bad choices—I tended to attract very emotionally unavailable girls, like I had some kind of bitch Velcro oozing out of my pheromones—and I felt like, if I just got a favorable quiz result, the relationship would turn out all right.

Then, when I was 20 and once again desperately in love with someone who didn’t love me back, a thought finally, finally occurred to me.

All that love I was sending her—all of a sudden I tried giving that love to myself.

It was revolutionary.

I found out how uncomfortable I was, trying to receive the amount of energy I usually sent to someone else. And in the slow way these things come together, I thought,

I know we live in a self-help kind of culture, but why isn’t there specific relationship advice for me, being in relation with me? After all, f**k that girl. I need it way more than she does—I have to be with myself forever.

If we tried to befriend those weird quirks and awkward bits about ourselves, rather than trying to smooth or rationalize them away, what would happen then?

This line of thought led me to the place where I started wondering how exactly it was done, anyways—how does one be in a long-term relationship with themselves? In the years since I first thought of this question, this is what I’ve come up with.

I think we have to date ourselves.

It sounds cheesy maybe, but it’s true. Let’s take ourselves out to do things we’ll enjoy, just because it makes us happy. Let’s also be kind to ourselves—pour ourselves a bubble bath when our body aches, put ourselves to bed with aspirin and ginger tea when we’re sick—just like we would for a friend or lover we care about.

We should also become adept at giving ourselves space.

Sometimes, I think way too much; my thoughts, racing in my dreams, wake me up in the middle of the night. Remembering that there is nothing to be physically done in that moment can help me relax and see the problem for what it is: a cloud moving across the sky.

Challenging ourselves—this can mean two things. I don’t ever want to regret a decision I’ve made because I made it unconsciously—I want to know why I act the way I do, so that I can be sure I am acting the way I want. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with calling myself (kindly) on my own bullsh*t. I will admit to myself and others, if I think I’ve made a mistake; I will become my own checks-and-balances.

It can also mean daring myself to have new experiences and stepping outside my comfort zone in order to learn more and more about who I am.

Also important is taking care of ourselves, in a basic maintenance kind of way. For me, that means trying to sleep, making a conscious decision to eat right and to get outside and feel the sun on my skin. It means stretching, spending time and connecting with my breath every day, just so I can feel grateful to the air filling my body.

Let’s not forget, either, about a sense of play.

I can take life way too seriously sometimes. I am not sure why, but I tend to think in macros—“where is this all going?” “what am I doing with my life?”—and when I notice that happening too often, it’s time for me to go climb a jungle gym, sing something terribly at the top of my lungs, call a friend—in general, stop at nothing to make myself laugh.

Every day I am reminded how we are all “spiritual beings having a human experience”, as the saying goes.

A part of life is understanding the natural cycle of things and how the natural rhythms of the world ebb and flow; we fall down and we get back up. This can mean something different for everyone, given that we’re all here to be our own weird, unique selves—but if we’re not actively trying to appreciate ourselves for who we are, then I think we sort of missed the point.

-Dr.Himanshu Dubey

How to Turn Fear into a Superpower.

A Letter From Your Over-Worked Super Power.

Dear Beloved, 

I wish to speak on behalf of my brothers and sisters: Anxiety, Terror, Panic, Nervous, Apprehensive, Worry and Chicken Shit. I’m writing to tell you that I Love You and I am in full support of your life, your dreams and your happiness. I know it may seem difficult to believe but if you hear me out, it may transform your life forever.

You have been told to conquer me, overcome me and avoid me at all costs.

It seems that somewhere along the way you were told that I am your enemy. This is not true. Truth is Fear, yes I, am your ally and one of your most essential superpowers. It seems society has told you that I am what prevents you from moving towards your dreams. In fact, the opposite is true. The times that you are unable to fully appreciate the moment and you are unable to move forward towards your dreams is because you have been unwilling to welcome me, to breathe into me, to feel me fully, to embrace me and to hear the message that I bring.

By trying to rid yourself of me, numb me, medicate me, suppress me and resist me, you have tried to rid yourself of the joy of the moment and the joy of being alive. Silly isn’t it? So let’s learn to be buddies again, shall we? Because you deserve to live life fully!

Now let’s get clear on who I am, just to make sure you see me in my truest light.

I am the primal response that you feel in your body when you believe that you or some-one you love are in danger or are unsafe. I am the hormonal and neuro-chemical response initiated in the brain that allows you to act quickly and respond efficiently to danger, to run like a cheetah or fight like a lion for your survival. I am a powerful force that will keep you alive in a life threatening situation. See how essential I am. Who told you that I was your enemy? What hog hoosie whollup! The problem is not me (fear itself), it is Your perception of danger, safety and threat.

In these current times, it is very rare for your life and your safety to be immediately threatened.

There are very few ferocious animals, murderers or terrorists roaming the streets, (although if you watch the news and read the papers you may have been fooled to think they are in plague proportions). they do exist but your other valuable friend and superpower , instinct will let you know a real danger is present. If there is no danger present, instinct will tell you that everything is ok.

However, if you are listening only to your thoughts that have been fed with all sorts of beliefs from society and mainstream media, you may choose to believe you are in danger, even though reality and your instincts have told you that you are safe and everything is ok.

When you believe that everyday experiences are a threat, you will experience me on a regular basis.

I guess this could get a bit annoying and tiring for you. For that I am sorry. But I am programmed to respond according to your beliefs, so You are my master and I am your beloved servant.

It is not my fault that you have over used me, I was just doing what I was told. It seems that some of the things that you fear (call me for often) is change, the unknown, making a ‘mistake’, and your own brilliance, all of the things that need to be embraced for you to reach your dreams and awaken. Strange how you humans fear these great things. When I worked for animals they only used me for their survival.

I suggest that you read the tips below that Courtney has put together for you.

She is very clever but she forgets to embrace me sometimes too. Over time you will awaken to the truth that I, Fear am your beloved servant: joy, love, peace, bliss and freedom will be eternally yours when you do.

Yours Faithfully,

Fear

Tips on how to be bosom buddies with fear.

Reality Check: When fear arises, quickly assess your circumstances to locate the perceived threat. Undertake a reality check. Dive down deep to your instincts, often felt in your belly (gut feeling) to check if everything is ok. Ninety-nine percent the time you are physically safe. Hundred percent of the time you are spiritually safe (which is why the awakened don’t even fear death of the body).

Breathe: If everything appears to be safe and your instincts tell you everything is okay, take a few deep breaths. Meet the fear with a loving breath. If fear is resisted and not breathed into it becomes immobilizing. Breathe deeply and focus on the words of your instinct, everything is ok.

Be Open: Welcome, embrace, feel and openly experience the response in your body.

Identify the fear trigger: is likely that change, the unknown, a potential mistake (lesson in disguise) or your own massive brilliance, yes You (it is your essence) have triggered fear to rise. These are all necessary things to embrace along your path to growth, awakening and living your dream.

Celebrate: The presence of fear shows that you are growing, changing and moving out of your comfort zone and into the unknown, which is where the true magic happens. Fear is often the messenger that you are moving into growth territory. Yay!

Transform: Continue to breathe into the fear until it transforms into adventure and excitement or simply primal life force. I like to call it the growth buzz.

Move forward:Use this primal life force to move you forward and continue with the task at hand. Go and be your brilliant yet humanly flawed self.

Meditate Daily:Sit down, close your eyes and calm your adrenals and nervous system everyday, by not identifying with untrue fearful thoughts and by breathing into the instinctual truth that you are safe, loved and enough. Om Love Thy Fear Om!

Fear is our loving friend. Without it, we would not survive in danger and we would have no indication that we were growing and moving towards our goals and dreams.

Go give fear a big hug and reclaim your true position as the master of your own life! 

-Dr.Himanshu Dubey.

By Dr.Himanshu Dubey

Deal with Your Emotional Black Hole.

The Emotional black hole – also known as hitting the self destruct button, self sabotaging goals, aspirations and dreams and existing in a negatively charged emotional state that makes life nearly unbearable for yourself and everyone around you.

Are any of these familiar? They are to me:

I don’t feel like it.                  I hate the way I look.           Life would be better if I looked…

I am so frustrated.                I can’t do it.                           I’d try more if only I had…

It’s not worth it.                    Nothing will work.                If he/change changes then I can…

No one understands me.     I don’t know who I am.        It’s not my fault it’s…

I don’t like myself.                I’m all alone.                         I can’t tell the truth because…

I just want to sleep.              I’m not fixable.                      I just want to hide.

I’m so angry.                         I’m the victim.                        I don’t care anymore.

It takes time to change accumulated patterns, or in yoga terms, to remove the layers of poison that surround our hearts and keep us from discovering who we really are. Emotional Black Holes can be triggered by any one or combination of these six obstacles or poisons: kamakrodha,mohalobhamatsarya and mada. These are desire, anger, delusion, greed, envy and sloth.

These poisons, translated into Emotional Black Holes, often result in many forms of self destruction – unhealthy habits (both physically and mentally), an overload of physical toxins (heedlessness) and emotional hang-ups. These obstacles keep us from knowing the deepest part of our selves and further more from developing an understanding of all life.

So, what can we do?

1. Recognize the symptoms of sabotage.Symptoms like…giving up not based on anything reasonable, insatiable cravings, procrastination (waiting for something unreasonable or unnecessary to happen in order to start or to move forward), carelessness (not believing in what you are doing, not believing in the process), the inability to retain your efforts (even the slightest effort – always starting from the very beginning), an inability to focus (or at least the inability to make a sincere effort to focus) and being easily distracted.

Yoga Sutras 1:30-1:32 vyadhi styana samshaya pramada alasya avirati bhranti-darshana alabdha-bhumikatva anavasthitatva chitta vikshepa te antarayah

2. Recognize the thoughts that lead to sabotage. Buddha says ‘we are what we think.’ Sometimes hearing our inner voice, our inner wisdom is hard when we have twenty other ‘voices’ screaming for our attention. Learning to observe these ‘voices’ versus attaching reaction, an emotion (or stress) to them can be a very good way to give ourselves some space to ‘think’. Perhaps things aren’t as intense or horrible as they seem. Perhaps they are even manageable.

What are your thoughts upon starting a project or goal – are they positive and self-affirming or are they full of self trashing and doubt? What are your thoughts during yoga practice, better yet, during more challenging postures? What is your inner dialogue during meditation? When you look into a mirror? When you supposedly f*ck something up? When you are faced with a challenging situation or person?

Learning to recognize the negativity and judgment that we alone instill upon ourselves can be a HUGE way to instigate a positive change from within – remove (or replace) anything from our inner dialogue that isn’t of compassion and support. Practice makes easier.

3. Don’t attach to the drama. To achieve we must get our life together and we must not get caught up in the drama. When we sense that an obstacle is flirting with us, we need not attach to it, but observe it and learn from it. There will always be obstacles – this is easily predictable! However, we can learn to deal with them better – like my Grandma says, we don’t need to make a mountain out of a molehill. When we make an honest effort to understand them (our obstacles), without attaching drama, we open up to learning something about ourselves. We will eventually evolve from thinking ‘what is wrong with me’ to understanding that everything is temporary and that despite its presence, we can maintain or manifest peace of mind.

‘If small things have the power to disturb you, then who you think you are is exactly that: small.’     

4. Break patterns. I can hear the voice of one of my yoga teachers, ‘Anything meaningful in life usually comes at the expense of a little sacrifice and hard work.’ In many ways we are deeply attached to these obstacles and therefore we need to work hard to understand and accept them before we can rise above them. We all have a black hole within– we all have things like fear, insecurity and shame. Retraining our minds and bodies is a step toward unconditional acceptance and compassion for all life, including our own.

DETERMINATION, DISCIPLINE and PRACTICE. When we practice vigilantly, continuously with sincerity and with focus, we eventually allow our inner light to shine through.

 

The Way is perfect like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves

-Dr.Himanshu Dubey

By Dr.Himanshu Dubey

Food Allergies.

Photo: ifood.tv

The incidence of food allergies is on the rise.

Mostly likely you or someone close to you suffers from some level of food sensitivities. Many of the patients come in for this very problem. Some of them don’t realize allergies might be causing or contributing to other health issues (see list below).

Why is this increase occurring?

I’ve found through research and clinical experience different reasons. A few of them include:

1- Over-consumption of or too early exposure (under 6) to high allergen foods.

2- The result of eating genetically modified foods.

3- Side effects of certain vaccines.

4- Weakened immunity, if not breast-fed or exposed to high allergen foods through breast milk.

5- Overuse of antibiotics: either as medication or in non-organic animal products.

One of the tricky things about food allergies is that they don’t always show up how you’d expect. Not everyone responds with an upset stomach, digestive complaints, or fatigue after eating. This is not something many doctors know, unfortunately, and may be slow to diagnose. Below is a list of some of side effects of eating foods you’re allergic to.

 

  • Eczema, Ear Infections, Infertility (men and women), Depression, Asthma, ADD/ADHDH, Autism, Diarrhea, Gas, Abdominal Pain, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Gallstones, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Peptic Ulcer, Psoriasis, Rosacea, Migraine Headaches, Multiple Sclerosis, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Epilepsy, Celiac Disease, Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Frequent Flus & Colds, and Weight Gain.

If you have any of the above health concerns, please consult a qualified physician for diagnosis and treatment. There is hope! Healing or minimizes food allergies is now possible. Abstaining from those foods, acupuncture/acupressure, detoxification, proper nutrition, and appropriate supplementation are a part of the protocol. Boosting your immune system, cleansing your body of toxins, and healing any damage done to your digestive tract from the exposure to allergen foods will bring you optimal wellness. The result will most likely be at minimum a reduction in allergy symptoms, and at best- a complete elimination of your allergies.

 

Live Natural. Live Well.

Dr.Himanshu Dubey

By Dr.Himanshu Dubey

The Bible “start with Med schooling.”

In a few weeks’ time, our medical school will welcome into its fold a new batch of medical students. I know they’re excited. I also know that right now they are completely in the dark. They think they know what they got themselves into, but most of them don’t. I know that, because I’ve been there too. 

I don’t have any doctors in my family, and I was too shy to go ahead and quiz anybody I didn’t know very well. So I got into medical school with very little actual information about what to expect. This paved the way for some surprises (such as the first time I learnt what the lecturer meant everytime he mentioned ‘doing a P.R.’. Had I been living in a cartoon world, there would have been a hole in the wall shaped just like me three seconds after that revelation.).

This is why I wanted to share some pearls of wisdom (apart from the very important ‘look up per rectal examination’) with you, the new recruits. I’ll start with the very first advice I remember getting about medical school:

1) “You are not going to understand anything about anything for the first three months. That’s okay. I still think that’s the best advice anyone could have given me. Entering medical school is confusing. It’s a whole new world. I could have panicked, but I had the knowledge that this was normal, that other people felt it too. I would get the hang of it in the end. And I did. So will you! 

2) This is going to be tough. It needs to be said. You will not be prepared for the years ahead, no matter what you do. This will test you further than you’ve probably been tested before. But that’s okay too. Take up challenges one by one, work hard, and things will be fine. Nobody starts out ready to be a doctor. Doctors are made (pretty much like swords – in fire!). Prepare to be forged!

3) Forget personal boundaries and prejudices. If you are uncomfortable touching people intimately, or discussing sex, death and various body functions, or dealing with a particluar group of people…the bad news is; you have to do it. There is no way around it. The good news is; it gets easier. Once you steel yourself and do it once, twice, thrice – it will all become as natural as breathing. Hence the awkward dinner conversations regarding faeces and pestilence which will result in your mother banning you from speaking while she’s eating. Good times.

4) Do things your own way. Your friends may use those books, or may study in that place, or that way…but that doesn’t have to mean squat to you. Do not compare your methods with others. Find out what works for you. If a library suffocates you, go off to study on the grass somewhere. You can highlight your book a million different colours, or stick post-it notes till it can barely close, or make short notes or flow-charts or tables or diagrams. You can study alone or in a group. Whatever works for you. And if your friend comes up and mentions that he’s read the Paediatrics book twice already and you’re still halfway through your first reading…do not panic. His way of studying is probably different from yours – and as far as you know, maybe not as effective. Remembering this tip will save you many blinding moments of panic, and help you focus on what you need to do.

5) Medicine is awesome. I’m sure you think that, or you wouldn’t be starting the course right now. But believe me, there will be times when you doubt your decision. There will be times when you question your motivation, your strength, and even your sanity. These moments will usually come before major exams, when you feel that nothing in the world could possibly be worth the all-nighters, the stress, the feeling that your brain can’t possibly fit it all in(it can, because the brain is amazing). Those moments will pass. Not only that, but they will be overshadowed by other moments; when you will realize just how wonderful, interesting, and purely awesome this career is.

6) Travel. Travelling to international conferences and summer schools, or going for exchanges or electives is a unique experience. They are great ways to learn new things, experience other cultures and – very importantly – meeting up with medical students from all around the world. There are various opportunities for doing this, and it is worth exploring the ones available to you. Some are expensive, but others may be sponsored and accessible even to those with lower budgets, so do not let the financial aspect deter you from checking out your options! An elective is also a great opportunity to gain experience in something not easily available in your country. And it will definitely broaden your mind and give you new perspectives, especially if you come from a small country like I do!

7) Make friends. You will need them. You will moan with them, exchange advice with them, work with them. Some of them may be future colleagues. All of them will be the person who understands you the most for the next few years. Do not be that selfish person who only thinks about themselves, and does things purely for their own gain (and you will, alas, meet such people). Watch somebody’s back, because your own needs to be watched as well. You are not infallible, and you do not need to do this alone.

8) Take it seriously. This is not high school. You can’t slack off all year in the hope that you will learn everything from books later. If you could become a doctor just by buying the right books, you could do it at home. Medicine isn’t a correspondence course, because you need to watch, observe, learn by doing and discussing. This applies to the pre-clinical years, but even more so once you have the privilege (for a privilege it is) to shadow doctors and go around hospital. Of course, there will be those who disappear during that first week, and only show up for exams. Those people are doing it wrong.

9) Be humble. Everybody can teach you something. Not just your lecturers, but your classmates, other healthcare professionals, and even students from other disciplines (who usually have more practical-based learning and know their way around a hospital by the end of their first year). And your patients, of course, are experts in the very subject you want to be most knowledgeable about…themselves.

10) It’s not all about medicine. It may sound cliche, but you will fall into this trap sooner or later. You may think you do not have the time for hobbies, or friends, or a social life. You do. It may not be as easy as it was before, and you may have to sacrifice here and there, but you do not need to become a one-dimensional human being. Explore other interests, keep contact with people outside your daily sphere (even if it is to meet up for drinks once in a blue moon). You will need that other point of view. Don’t lose it!

Of course, becoming a doctor is a journey that is different for everybody. The main focus to keep in mind, is that this is supposed to be a challenge…and that it’s worth it. Because I honestly think this is the best job in the world. You’ll love it too.

The last thing I want to say is: you can do it. You WILL do it. You are here now, and you are here to stay. Welcome to the jungle.

By Dr.Himanshu Dubey

Compare less

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” —Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve struggled with it most of my life. Typically, I blame it on having a twin brother who is five inches taller with much broader shoulders. But if I was being truly honest, more likely, it is simply a character flaw hidden somewhere deep in my heart.

I’ve lived most of my life comparing myself to others. At first, it was school and sports. But as I got older, I began comparing other metrics: job title, income level, house size, and worldly successes.

I have discovered there is an infinite number of categories upon which we can compare ourselves and an almost infinite number of people to compare ourselves to. Once we begin down that road, we never find an end.

The tendency to compare ourselves to others is as human as any other emotion. Certainly I’m not alone in my experience. But it is a decision that only steals joy from our lives. And it is a habit with numerous shortcomings:

  1. Comparisons are always unfair. We typically compare the worst we know of ourselves to the best we presume about others.
  2. Comparisons, by definition, require metrics. But only a fool belives every good thingcan be counted (or measured).
  3. Comparisons rob us of precious time. We each get 86,400 seconds each day. And using even one to compare yourself or your accomplishments to another is one second too many.
  4. You are too unique to compare fairly. Your gifts and talents and successes and contributions and value are entirely unique to you and your purpose in this world. They can never be properly compared to anyone else.
  5. You have nothing to gain, but much to lose. For example: your pride, your dignity, your drive, and your passion.
  6. There is no end to the possible number of comparisons. The habit can never be overcome by attaining success. There will also be something—or someone—else to focus on.
  7. Comparison puts focus on the wrong person. You can control one life—yours. But when we constantly compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than our own.
  8. Comparisons often result in resentment. Resentment towards others and towards ourselves.
  9. Comparisons deprive us of joy. They add no value, meaning, or fulfillment to our lives. They only distract from it.

Indeed, the negative effects of comparisons are wide and far-reaching. Likely, you have experienced (or are experiencing) many of them first-hand in your life as well.

How then, might we break free from this habit of comparison? Consider, embrace, and proceed forward with the following steps.

A Practical Guide to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Take note of the foolish (and harmful) nature of comparison.

Take a good look at the list above. Take notice of comparison’s harmful effects in your life. And find priority to intentionally remove it from the inside-out.

Become intimately aware of your own successes.

Whether you are a writer, musician, doctor, landscaper, mother, or student, you have a unique perspective backed by unique experiences and unique gifts. You have the capacity to love, serve, and contribute. You have everything you need to accomplish good in your little section of the world. With that opportunity squarely in front of you, become intimately aware of your past successes. And find motivation in them to pursue more.

Pursue the greater things in life.

Some of the greatest treasures in this world are hidden from sight: love, humility, empathy, selflessness, generosity. Among these higher pursuits, there is no measurement. Desire them above everything else and remove yourself entirely from society’s definition of success.

Compete less. Appreciate more.

There may be times when competition is appropriate, but life is not one of them. We have all been thrown together at this exact moment on this exact planet. And the sooner we stop competing against others to “win,” the faster we can start working together to figure it out. The first and most important step in overcoming the habit of competition is to routinely appreciateand compliment the contribution of others.

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.

Gratitude always forces us to recognize the good things we already have in our world.

Remind yourself nobody is perfect.

While focusing on the negatives is rarely as helpful as focusing on the positivies, there is important space to be found remembering that nobody is perfect and nobody is living a painless life. Triumph requires an obstacle to be overcome. And everybody is suffering through their own, whether you are close enough to know it or not.

Take a walk.

Next time you find yourself comparing yourself to others, get up and change your surroundings. Go for a walk—even if only to the other side of the room. Allow the change in your surroundings to prompt change in your thinking.

Find inspiration without comparison.

Comparing our lives with others is foolish. But finding inspiration and learning from others is entirely wise. Work hard to learn the difference.

Humbly ask questions of the people you admire or read biographies as inspiration. But if comparison is a consistent tendency in your life, notice which attitudes prompt positive change and which result in negative influence.

If you need to compare, compare with yourself.

We ought to strive to be the best possible versions of ourselves—not only for our own selves, but for the benefit and contribution we can offer to others. Work hard to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Commit to growing a little bit each day. And learn to celebrate the little advancements you are making without comparing them to others.

With so many negative effects inherent in comparison, it is a shame we ever take part in it. But the struggle is real for most of us. Fortunately, it does not need to be. And the freedom found in comparing less is entirely worth the effort.

 
By Dr.Himanshu Dubey

How to look after your fellow students.

Med school can be really tough sometimes, and it’s easy to feel completely alone. And often, we know when our colleagues are having a bad day, and perhaps we’re not comfortable asking them if they’re okay or if they want to talk. 

But it’s really important to create a sense of community in med school. No one quite knows the struggle of anatomy and placement and patients as well as we do. 

These are the little things colleagues have done for me when I’ve been down. These are the things I remember and honestly, these are the reasons I haven’t quit med school. Small actions make all the difference. 

  1. Shout your friend coffee. Nothing says ‘I’m here for you’ quite like a cup of caffeine. And, of course, it gives you an excuse to chat and be there for a struggling colleague. 
  2. Bad jokes. And I mean really, really bad jokes. Example: Have you heard about the movie Intussusception? It’s about a bowel within a bowel within a bowel. 
  3. Text messages and instant messaging. They don’t have to be deep and meaningful. I spent half an hour arguing with a colleague this evening. The topic? What will happen if I’m a student and he’s my intern. (Apparently, I’m working every day and I only get ten minutes for lunch. This is how we show affection.)
  4. Respect. If you’re assigned to present a topic in a tute, actually do the work. There’s nothing more insulting than creating good notes for your colleagues, while they have no intention of reciprocating. 
  5. Birthday cake. They don’t take long to make (you can use the baking time as study time!), and a round of ‘happy birthday’ can brighten anyone’s day. And there’s sugar involved. 
  6. Acknowledge their existence. We can’t know everyone in med school really well. But if you recognise them, say hi. Ask them how they are and how they’re finding the course. A quick discussion might brighten their day. 
  7. Share resources. After you graduate, no one will care what marks you got or if you were valedictorian (except maybe your grandkids). So, if you stumble across a great website or textbook, let your colleagues know. 
  8. Smile. Smiles are universal, and contagious. Hospitals can be sad places, so cheer is always welcome. And it makes you seem friendly and approachable, and interpersonal skills are what will make you a good doctor. Not your ability to name the branches of the brachial plexus. 

Your challenge: do one nice thing for a colleague tomorrow. Even if it’s just waving at the in the corridor. 

Let’s change the culture of medicine. Let’s start a revolution and foster a sense of community. 

By Dr.Himanshu Dubey

Turn into a player

How you doin’?
Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? The familiar, less-than-silky drawl of Joey Tribbiani from Friends has made us smile innumerable times The patented pick-up line worked like a charm, and The Player (before I became one), watching this simpleton operate with his usual panache as he went about picking up girls, often wondered “How the hell does he do it?” Of course it’s just a sitcom. We aren’t meant to take it seriously. But that’s where most of us make a blunder. Art, irrespective of the form, always imitates life. So is there a lesson to be learnt from Joey’s coarse Casanova? Maybe, if we delve deeper into it.

The painful Indian paradox

Yes, it’s quite painful, the paradox that the Indian male faces. Enveloped as we are by a culture that preaches restraint, we have complicated most things to the extent that some of the most basic of human activities leave us twitchy and unsure of ourselves. The question that arises here is can “courting a girl” be classified as a basic human activity.

Now, if we scrape off some of the gloss from these high sounding words what would we be left with – Attracting a mate! Pure, straight and simple. That is exactly what we are all pursuing. So along with pursuing the solutions to all other basic needs like hunger and shelter, we are subconsciously also pursuing the solution to spreading our genes.

Over the years, we have invented complex trades that take years to master. We are forever in pursuit of that elusive job and spend at least a couple of decades learning the solutions to convoluted problems. But we allowed these complexities to invade all aspects of our existence including the ritual of mating.

To help us cope up with these complications, we invented effective solutions. We builtschools, universities, libraries and observatories and taught ourselves to dissect life and remain in control. But just think about it. Were we ever told a word about what we ought to when a girl walks past us leaving us sans a heart but a lot of stiff?

Where we went wrong

No, it was obviously taken for granted that unlike all the other pursuits at which we were given a vigorous training, attracting a mate was something that we would naturally master. The kind of regimented lifestyle that we lead, I believe, has killed in most of us the ability to understand the psychology of the opposite sex. The system of education that we have in India is great for producing cogs to serve the corporate machinery but it fails miserably when it comes to creating individuals.

Disenchantment and Disillusion

Most of us have no idea whatsoever as to how we should go about attracting the right person in our lives. That, perhaps, is the reason why most Indian males are so frustrated. All these instances of sexual assaults – rapes, eve-teasing etc. are quite simply an expression of their frustration. For example why do a vast majority of uneducated or partially educated youth turn to crime? It’s because they have not learnt an adequate trade to support themselves financially. Same is the case with sexual assaults. A vast majority of Indian men have no idea of what they should do to attract a girl. So some of them use physical force and end up doing things that they later regret.

The Psychological Barrier

Now the question that arises is why have I used a character like Joey to explain the dilemma of the frustration and helplessness of today’s males? Because his mind is so uncluttered, so devoid of imagination, so primitive. And this makes him absolutely and utterly fearless. He sets his sights upon a girl and approaches her. Can any of us ever dream of doing something similar? I don’t think so. The symptoms hardly ever differ. Sweaty palms, perspiration, breathlessness, a feeling that the entire world is observing your every move, a conviction that you will make a fool of yourself and perhaps get yourself slapped for your efforts.

The Player’s Proposal

And we quietly walk past her. There are obviously a few Naturals who feel none of these heartbreaking symptoms. They ooze confidence and buoyancy. They are always relaxed and reassured. But most of us aren’t. But that needn’t be the case.

The character of Joey makes one thing very clear. We have absolutely nothing to lose. Believe that. Most of us simply stop trying, because at some point of time in our romantic careers, we were either turned down or slighted by a girl. That moment must have been so painful that we decided that we are better off alone than have our sensibilities assaulted again by similar emotions. Take it as a suggestion. Don’t stop trying, but rather train yourselves better. There are a number of tested tricks that I would gladly share with all my friends that I believe have helped become who I am. So keep reading and keep evolving. May the force be with you!

By Dr.Himanshu Dubey

Learn the Complimentary language..

Remember those insane moments when language failed you and you fell short of words, or worse – you trailed off in an uncertainly-pitched voice or a stammering laugh, when all you intended was a heartfelt compliment? Ease a bit. Compliments, if given in a correct way, can open the great doors to a girl’s heart. But one wrong move; and your pursuits may result in a faux pas. We have listed three simple ways to nail the art of giving a compliment to the girl you have a secret crush on.

Be Chivalrous and Confident on What You Say

Say it with passion. Compose and enhance your gentlemanly poise and social savoir-faire. Make your remarks look appealing and convincing. Try talking about things you are comfy with and develop a rapport first. Keep your comment brief and don’t gush, especially if you don’t know her well. Try to be the admirer, not a fan or a sleazy guy whose intentions are always in question. Make her see how beautiful, smart, talented or gorgeous she is.

“I think you are hot” – if that is the only type of compliment a woman or girl ever hears, a very subtle but profound message is reinforced: you are what you look like. Period. There are so many other things you can admire her for. Try to observe and make a mental note of things you adore about her and let her know at the right time. Timing is very important for hitting the right chord. If you just utter some nonsense at an awkward pause or in the middle of some other conversation, it might not have the desired impact. Appreciate her smartness. It’s always the beauty with brains combo that appeals to you, so don’t forget to let her know how much you like the way her brain works.  That way she will be able to judge that you don’t go just by appearances and that other things count as well.

Keeping It Real

Women love it when they are admired for their feminine side –  like how she takes care of everyone or how she brings a smile on everyone’s face. Admire her sense of humor and also laugh at her jokes more often. Tell her how wonderful it is to be by her side. Women are generally good managers and multi-taskers. They will love it if you adore them for their managerial skills or a certain kind of quality they possess like their interest in artwork, taste in music or any tiny personal triumphs. Elevate her self-esteem by praising her for her work style, or her fashion sense – like how she puts together everything and always looks 

By Dr.Himanshu Dubey