FEATURED WRITER : From Ashes I rise by Swathi Shastry

As the story goes, the phoenix is a mythical bird with fiery plumage that lives up to 100 years. Near the end of its life, it settles into its nest of twigs which then burns ferociously, reducing bird and nest to ashes. And from those ashes, a fledgling phoenix rises – renewed and reborn.

My story goes this way- 

Turning off the alarm at 6 am I thought “this is going to be the same monotonous day at the hospital” attending around 35 patients in the outpatient department and  revising treatment for patients . My days were predictable and monotonous. I wanted a change .

The universe conspired against me and landed me in a beautiful historical city. This opportunity meant the world to me. I have heard a lot about the  university and I felt blessed to be appointed as senior resident doctor . Every aspiring doctor longs for this golden opportunity and my happiness had no bounds 

The day of joining arrived. I slowly settled into a new home and work environment. I was anxious and excited about the new role. I joined the department after being briefed by the head and other consultants in the department. I was not welcomed in the new workplace.
This experience of mine was not unique but it brought change and resilience in me.
This was my time . 

When life threw turmoil my way, I started looking for easy options. I tried to fit in, tried to impress and failed miserably. I looked for a path which many travelled on and sought help from friends hoping their comforting words could calm me down. But all was in vain . It took me a while to hold my pace and to live in the moment. My time was literally crawling. My life got messy. I wanted to go back to my monotonous life. Passing each day was a mere challenge . 

I stopped being naive. 

I stopped trying to fit in.

I stopped trying to impress. 

I stopped believing everything I heard.

I stopped controlling things.

I stopped asking for validation.

The best I could do was to live in the moment and wade through the tough wave. 

All the things that happen, happen for the right reason was my only motto and I stuck to that thought.
I believed that things would be better in the future.
I transformed my thoughts from “why me to why not me”

I indulged in self care and did not allow myself to suffer more. I did not stop my thoughts, rather I allowed them to flow and express themselves. My partner lent his ears to all my woes. I started counting my blessings in having an understanding partner, a beautiful home to stay in, good food to savour and a warm bed to tuck myself in. 

Every time I was overwhelmed my job was to pull myself out from there and to indulge in things which brought me instant happiness. I rekindled my interest in books and writing. This was the year I read 25 books and made good friends online. I focused on more positive things and having discussions with my partner. I started enjoying small bits of my life from having a healthy breakfast, watching the sun rise,  binge watching web series and sipping hot coffee. 

Things started to shift when I started to focus on things which I could control. I let go of making up stories in my mind and started to live in the moment . I found groundedness and truth on every level . 

I was trying to do it alone and then I reached out to friends and family. I was supported immensely, in many ways.

Eventually things started to fall in place. Where once I thought this shall never pass and survive through, that this is impossible. And now the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming.
So this is my story of the things I learnt in the hard way. 

About the Writer Swathi is mother to a 20 months old and practicing OBGYN . In her free time she is seen listening to classical music and holds a passion for reading fiction and non-fiction . She enjoys gardening in her tiny balcony with her son . She holds a special interest in photography .


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