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BW Businessworld

Courage Is To Act Despite Fear: Lisa Ray

Getting into a habit of checking in your mind, body, spirit and space is essential for good mental wellbeing.

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LISA RAY, an internationally acclaimed performer, philanthropist, actor and writer is multifaceted in each sense. She advocates the significance of mental health and believes that the taboos formed against it should be detached from the society. In a conversation with BW Businessworld’s Chairman & Editor-in-Chief ANNURAG BATRA, Ray shared the highs and lows of her journey. Excerpts:

How has the lockdown experience been for you?

I have had unique experiences in life including dealing with life threatening cancer. Even exploring my identity, or reason for this human life itself, and finding answers to some questions have equipped me with several coping mechanisms to be able to deal with change. What we have been going through in the world collectively is something that we have not seen in recent modern history. I have been keeping busy writing my second book and this isolation was welcome. I have worked on reframing time and it has been a real teaching. My relationships have strengthened during this time.

What is your message for people who are worried about the future?

I meditate a lot. When you sit in silence and do not allow your logical mind to function, sometimes magic happens. We tend to think that insecurity is dangerous, and anxiety is something to be ashamed of. These are simply part of the human condition. Life tends to change when it gives you an opportunity for greater self-development. I had experienced greatest professional height at a time of my darkest emotional low.

Mental health is a big issue these days but is often disregarded. Tell us how does one deal with depression and mental health issues?

Getting into a habit of checking in your mind, body, spirit and space is essential for good mental wellbeing. Deep listening and connecting with our friends are really important. Obstacles make us empowered, empathetic and better human beings. We are responsible for our own happiness and we should not lean on anyone else for this. Honouring one’s emotions in such difficult times, and accepting them as they are, is core to mental wellbeing.

How does one deal with conflict in close relationships and human inflicted suffering?

Conflict resolution is remarkably interesting, and it has much to do with language and how you communicate. This requires self- awareness, which is not always accessible to us in the moment. Remember that conflicts are weather patterns in your mind, and they will pass by. It is the ego that drives and strengthens the conflict. We have been nurturing a culture in media today around people screaming at each other. I have been on an emotional and psychological roller-coaster because of news items and the sufferings in the world. Over consuming news is not healthy. You are allowed to switch off and consume news mindfully.

How do you perceive various cultural practices and traditions of India?

We have to re-examine our cultural practices through the lens of doubt so that we are able to trace back their relevance. Traditions can lose relevance without constantly evolving. In India, we need to evolve our traditions, especially the ones that do not create compassion and harmony. We need to create inner strength and stop seeking validation from others.

Life tends to change when it
gives you an opportunity for greater
self-development. I had experienced greatest professional height at a time
of my darkest emotional low


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Lisa Ray Mental Health wellness