Re-Imagining Mental Health
Have you ever wondered why man is one of the few animals on earth that ‘goes mad’?
All other animals live in harmony with the universe as they don’t perceive it anyway separate from their biological interactions with it. A tick is guided by the temperature, while a dog is guided by its sense of smell. These biological responses are designed in a way to follow the natural laws of the universe. Animals are embodied creatures. Their core senses guide them to be, without a second thought.
But humans have found it nearly impossible to embody what their bodies are telling them. We have created ways of being that encourage disembodiment. A major reason for this is because of our more complex, thinking brains. All other bodily responses, indicating symptoms of a threat etc., occur from the mind, into our bodies. For the most part, humans have come to live by their bodily needs and, since the dawn of civilization, have designed their lives around fulfilling them. Conversely, little attention has been given to honoring and respecting their mental health.
Shouldn’t mental fitness be universally accepted as a vital trait?
The total and unabashed embodiment of what’s going on in one’s mind/body is vital for human, and subsequently non-human, flourishing. We must let our mind guide us into making the right choices for our sustenance, but for that we need to keep our minds, like we do our bodies, fit.
What if we spent as much time working on our mental health as we did our physical health? What if we had safe spaces to go, and be free, without being evaluated or judged or graded, where we could be ourselves, the inherently flawed superheroes that we are. From a young age we learn to do what other people tell us, what if instead, we learned how to listen to ourselves, and act based on our intuitive needs and interests.
The mind and the body are inextricably interconnected, as is you and I. What if each one of us had the ability to self-regulate, based on our physiological disposition? Can you imagine a community where there was trust, and space to engage openly with strangers? Where we learned to escape our separateness, and come together, as compassionate companions, dedicated to co-regulating, and making each other whole.
What if companionship and community replaced the need for antidepressants and other medications? When you see someone with a broken leg, you urge them to rest, and do what you can to support them in their everyday functioning. What if we were able to talk openly about our mental health? This is often referred to as making yourself vulnerable, or in other words susceptible to attack. What if instead we saw this honest, transparent, communication as an invitation, making yourself susceptible to being nurtured?
Lead Author: Shubham Srivastav
Shubham is a lover, hugger and giver. She truly loves and lives by the quote of Rumi “Wherever you are, whatever you do, be in love.”
Mother of The MoveVent Project and Zanaàn, she is also a trained Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) facilitator, social worker, Kathak dancer and a theatre artist. For her, the idea of healing begins with the simple art of giving. Soulful and a ball of positive energy, she gets you involved in her sessions, gradually moving you towards experiencing the power of healing.
Shubham has been traveling across India since the past four years to spread awareness about mental health and alternative forms of therapy.
- Website — https://www.themoveventproject.com/
- Instagram Handle — https://www.instagram.com/themoveventproject/
- Facebook Page — https://www.facebook.com/themoveventproject/
- LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/shubhamsrivastav2103/
Anchor Author: Daniel Rudolph (last 3 paragraphs)
Daniel Rudolph is interested in exploring alternative, experiential learning opportunities for people of all ages. He is passionate about forming community, and building public spaces for meaningful, transformational gathering. Currently he is spending a lot of his time learning juggling and facilitating gatherings. He also enjoys writing and sharing poetry. Daniel is a very curious and playful person and is always open for creative collaborations.
Dan will be facilitating a session in The MoveVent Project’s upcoming AHAM Festival. The festival starts tomorrow, you can learn more on the MoveVent page linked above. Dan’s session will be on Tuesday 19:00–21:00 Indian Standard Time (IST).