May 2021: Raise a toast to the Fearless. The Resilient. The Brave and Compassionate souls. Cheers!

And to start, let me introduce you to my council, not just the one voice, but the council in my head.


Div Manickam

3 years ago | 9 min read

It’s been a year navigating the emotional journey and learning that there are more emotions than just crying. And how to accept the now, be fully present, and not worry about the past or the future (things I don’t control).

And to start, let me introduce you to my council, not just the one voice, but the council in my head.

Meet the Council.

At first, I thought there was only one inner voice. The one that challenged me every day in every decision. But now I see that as a council, not one but many voices in its own way.

  • Negative Nancy. Always telling me what’s wrong and not letting me focus on the positive.
  • Worrisome Will. Always worrying about the next thing. Or the next decision. And it gives me crickets in my stomach.
  • Over-thinker Bob. Always over analyzing. And trying to justify everything that I do.

Saturday was another day. A tough one to get through. But it’s in the past now. It’s amazing how small triggers can wreck months of mindfulness.

I realized I was getting overwhelmed with everything that’s coming in the next few months. So, I’m going to take it one step at a time. I cannot solve all the problems at once, so I need to take it one day at a time.

And maybe that’s all it is — one step, one moment and one day at a time.

Constantly thinking about things in the future, that I cannot control is not helping. And it’s probably paralyzing me, more than I can imagine. I needed to be careful about my inner circle and not let others’ words influence or impact me.

So, I sat down with my council and had a chat: An honest conversation of what’s going on.

I guess the stress and anxiety was bubbling up. And my stomach did its thing. Where it got really upset and I needed to stop my walk after lunch and find a restroom pronto.

And I did feel helpless for a few minutes. But then I knew I could do it myself. It wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s only a big deal if I let it be. And I channeled the breathing techniques to calm myself and it worked. I was not helpless anymore.

Ruth’s magic tricks (aka mindfulness exercises) in the book: Into the magic shop really works. Thank you Dr. James Doty for sharing your wisdom with the world.

And that’s My Positive Pam. I know I got this.

Not all big decisions need to be made at once. And I can see how things go. I don’t need to rush it. And I don’t need all the answers today. Time will tell me what I need to know.

Today is another beautiful day. And I’m going to take it one day at a time.

To all those out there, trying to wake up, and break away from the pain, trust me:

You got this!
If I can do this, so can you!

Turning Fear and Uncertainty into a New Passion

I connected with a passionate soul, who believed in helping others who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Together, we got this! You are not alone!

  • The Big Orange Heart is helping freelancers and the remote workforce during this pandemic. Join the Mental Health Month Fundraiser !
Your mental wellbeing matters!

The Power of communities and support groups

All my life, I was living in fear: afraid of what I’m supposed to do and what I’m not supposed to do.

All the time, I thought all I needed was to be nice and kind. The one that does the right things is all that matters. But I was wrong. Yes, there’s a place for kind compassion and nice. But, there’s also a place for standing up for what you believe.

For being the voice for the unspoken. A few years ago, I kept telling myself that no matter what I did, I couldn’t get anything right at work. I went from an over achiever to barely being visible, and it destroyed my confidence and I questioned my self-worth.

And it burned a hole so deep in my heart, that it took me a while to heal and trust people around me. It was time to change the narrative.

But now, I see that as the biggest blessing in my life because it gave me clarity: On what really matters.

A new take on my picture perfect introduction with what truly matters and letting go of the past. And living life to the fullest and being present in the here and now.

There are a lot of things in society that we didn’t get right. And we still live by those rules. And I’m not okay living by those rules anymore. Because they don’t apply to me. I want to be my true self at all times.

And reading has been my best healing therapy, one book a week. It helped me understand myself better than ever. It was as if the next page in the book was helping reason with my conscious.

Bibliotherapy is real! What book are you reading?

Fearless Community — Thank You!

When I joined the Fearless community in May 2020, I didn’t know much of what to expect. I decided, I was going to join with an open heart. There was a lot of uncertainty in the world and this felt just what I needed at that moment.

I’m grateful for the support and the kind and passionate souls that I’ve met. Because they have definitely changed my life for real.

They’ve shown me that no matter how big or small your pain, it’s all about perspective.

Our small team came together across diverse perspectives: countries, age, and industry. And we are all working to achieve our moonshot goals, find meaningful work and notice old patterns through our own fears, insecurities and complexities of life.

Trying to solve one puzzle piece at a time. And that probably brought us together more than anything else. And that, our inner forces and the universe conspired to bring us together during this pandemic. We were open and we wanted to be fearless in our own way in this journey called LIFE.

I learned that we can all challenge the status quo. We just need to believe in it, to live it fully.
  • I learned that the world is no different, no matter where you live or how you live. We are all the same. This past year has brought us all together more than anything else because we had one common thing to talk about: the pandemic / covid-19. We were all struggling the same way and we had the same level field for the first time in our lives. We were all grounded in humanity, compassion and self-care.
  • It didn’t matter which country you were in, we were all sharing our love and compassion for each other. And hope that we would all be safe, healthy, and take care of ourselves and our families and that was it.

That was very powerful. Just the right amount of healing in this time of uncertainty. So, I thank my symphony family for being there during the hardest times, and listening with empathy, and zero judgement. You allowed me to open up in ways that I’ve never been able to in my life.

I was always good at holding on to my worries, trying to be the good kid and always do the right thing. But it didn’t matter whether what I did was right or wrong as long as it felt right for me deep within my heart. And so, that’s all I’m going to do going forward.

(Action/Note to Self): Do what feels right, deep within my heart. And take it one day at a time.

Mindfulness practice is a blessing

Yesterday my manager said: “You seem more happier than usual, what happened?”

I didn’t think much. You see, I am really bad at thinking on my feet. So, I said “I was getting things done and that felt good, so I am more happy today”.

  • The reality is: in this past week, I was able to practice mindfulness for 3–5 minutes every morning at 7:55–8 am and invited a small group of folks. Accountability was just what I needed to show up and not make excuses. And having that discipline gave me the focus and clarity on how to prioritize my day.
  • Yes, there will always be a lot of things that needed to be done, but at least I was clear on what I needed to get done that day and that was all that mattered.

It was the perfect trio: fitness for the mind, body and soul.

And it’s amazing how that can help you with your mood and perspective for the day. So, thank you for asking me that question because I wouldn’t have otherwise taken the time to think about it.

And I hope that one day we can all be just as mindful and find the time to take care of ourselves, so we can take care of our team, our family, and the world around us. Because the world is hurting. And we all need to come together to heal it.

We can together save the planet, save the inbox and save social media. Because all three have gone to the extreme in the pendulum and it’s time to bring it back to the center. And bring the balance in life.

Thank you Fearless for showing me a new world, a world where I belong. Where I can be my true self. And not have to live up to the expectations that I didn’t sign up for.

A New World of Happiness: #10billionhappyby2050

I came across the World Happiness Foundation in August 2020. This was an email in my inbox that I was happy to receive.

I replied: “This email just made me smile” and I got an opportunity to share my journey: Essentialism for the mind, body and soul at the World Happiness Fest: Unlocking the power of Belonging in November 2020 and again at the World Happiness Week in March 2021!

Truly an honor and privilege to be amongst the best, and learn about new possibilities. One random act of kindness can spark a joy in someone’s life today and forever.

I am amazed by all the happiness experts and gurus that are part of this mission, committed to realizing a world where all people are free, conscious and happy. And we all have our part to make this a reality.

Thank you Luis Gallardo for believing in me and the world.

Never give up! Compassion and Loving Kindness rules!

To all of you, who are thinking “what could I do”:

Start small. Reach out to your family or friend or neighbor or team member. Anyone, who needs support but is afraid to ask, because we don’t talk about mental health — we shy away from the conversation. We need both fitness for the mind and body to call it true wellness.

In this past year, I have shared my experience about stress and anxiety, folks reached out and shared their struggles because they felt I understood what they were going through. I connected with pure, passionate and kind souls, who felt lost in this world, and didn’t feel like they belong. I lost a dear friend and team member to the devil, (that’s how folks described his illness).

I know it’s not just this month of May that is going to open the doors for all of us to be there for those who need it the most. So, next time, when you talk to a friend or team member, really listen empathetically.

Sometimes, all they need is someone who listens, we don’t need to solve the problem or even say anything. Just be there! Create a safe environment for their voice to be heard.

Dad shared a quote and this is true deep within:

Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person.

Raise a toast to the Fearless. The Resilient. The Brave and Compassionate souls. Cheers!


Created by

Div Manickam

Div Manickam is a mindful soul and a believer in simplicity. She brings the best in each other, and shares experiences on career growth, authentic leadership, mindfulness, mental wellbeing and product marketing on substack.







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