I am delighted to share with you my recent interview with a very special woman whose heart is as big as the world, Zeenat Merchant Syal from Positive Provocations.
Zeenat is a Counseling Psychologist, Naturopath, and Spiritual Advisor. Her aspiration is “to ease human suffering through love and positivity.”
Although she now bubbles with love and joy, life has not always been easy for Zeenat. In this interview, she shares her heart advice on healing whatever pain and suffering you might have in your life. She also let’s us in on the most important secret in healing.
Sandra: Please tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your training. What inspired you to pursue a profession in health and wellness? How did you decide to train as both a Naturopath and a Counseling Psychologist? Didn’t that take a long time? What do you focus on now?
Zeenat: I’m known to my near and dear ones as the Jolly Chocolate Loving Gal. I can literally be pestered into doing anything if you show me an ice cream cone dipped in chocolate My hubby often tells me, while I’m in my jolly states (which is very, very often!), “Will you ever grow up?” And I happily reply, “Never! I refuse to grow up!”
That’s me on a normal day, having fun, enjoying everyday, cause hey who knows which day is my last right. Might as well enjoy the ride.
As for my training, yes it took some time, and it’s still on. I don’t think we all ever stop learning. The reason I chose the fields I’m in now is simple but personal. I had completed my double Masters (M.A. Psychology & M.Sc Psychotherapy & Counseling) in Psychology much before I ever got into Alternative Healing modalities and Naturopathy.
The psychology field, because I came from a troubled home, where I had to grow up sooner, play mother to my little brothers and many such responsibilities that came with the situation. I kind of make up for that early growing up, by keeping my inner child alive now. I wanted to help and make a difference in peoples lives: people who have been troubled, hurt and feel like there is no alternative. Because there is. I am living proof of it.
But as I completed my degrees, I realized I was still very handicapped in providing “complete” care and healing to the people who came to me. I never believed in the pill popping ways of psychiatry or medicine, unless as a last resort. Hence, when people came to me for help, other than “talk therapy”, I felt the need to work on their minds and bodies on a physical level too.
While I was thinking about it all and how I can add to the help I provide, my younger brother (also my best friend) passed away in a sudden car crash. We were all devastated and shocked, but my mother took it very hard and became completely listless. She was only 47 at the time and my brother was 23 when he passed. After trying to help her myself, taking her to umpteen doctors, with no results, I felt like there had to be something more that could be done.
It was at this time I started learning Naturopathy. I have a Diploma not a Doctorate in Naturopathy, but its just as good. It takes two years. While studying Naturopathy, I also went into learning other healing modalities like Reiki, Pranic Healing, Silva Mind Control….oh the list is endless and I’m still learning. But when I started treating my mother with therapy, Naturopathic herbs and healing modalities, she “got up” in 1 week! It was miraculous, cause prior to this she wasn’t able to get out of bed or even talk properly for nearly 6 months.
Hence, the amalgamation of Psychology, Naturopathy and Alternative Healing came into being.
That’s what I practice now including Spiritual Counseling. A few years back, I also completed my Doctorate in Spiritual Counseling, cause although I was helping and healing people, there were still some I couldn’t get to. Spiritual Counseling helped in that department.
Sandra: Do you have a daily meditation or contemplative practice? How do you balance your daily spiritual renewal with all the activities of your life – work, family life, blogging?
Zeenat: I found God very early on in my life. Mostly cause of all I was going through as a teenager and my good fortune at the time to find the right spiritual teacher. So praying, meditation, giving back to the community became my life even before I was 18. In time though, life takes over. But two daily spiritual practices haven’t changed, they are:
- Daily Prayers
- A Healing Blessings Meditation
The Healing Blessings Meditation is very simple. I spoke about it in an older post on the blog too. It’s a 3-minute meditation.
Everyday, when you awake, before you leave the bed, take three deep breaths. Close your eyes and visualize a world in front of you like you are in outer space looking at the earth from there. And, when you have that picture clear in your mind, just send out beautiful loving hearts, like rays to the whole world. Visualize this love reaching each and every soul, each and every creature. Visualize sadness turning to smiles. Visualize disease turning to good health. Believe this is happening. All this in just 3 minutes. This meditation helps me focus on the positive and helps me feel Divine love everyday.
As for balancing life and spiritual renewal, I don’t really make an effort to do anything extraordinary everyday other than, of course, my prayers and meditation. But in just doing that, my own balance comes from going with the flow or rather going with the heart.
I let my heart guide me, to what I need to do or get done. If that means pushing an article’s deadline or playing with my little one or writing a post or having the need to reach out to a friend….so be it. I don’t unnecessarily worry myself and usually have a very relaxed approach to everything. I love my work, my family and blogging. Hence, whatever I do I love. And, practically too. this heart guidance works – my hubby feels special, my little girl gets her love and attention and my work flourishes. Cause it’s all done with heart, with love.
When we stop trying so hard and just BE, things automatically just fall into place.
Sandra: How do you see the interconnection between mind and body in healing? Do you think it’s always possible to heal physical ailments?
Zeenat: Healing is a very holistic process. It works on the whole being, not just the physical or the mental or the spiritual. If you work on just one aspect of the being, then the others will react positively, but only to a certain degree. Hence when the healing is given to the whole being, the effect is positively rapid and longer lasting and in many cases even life altering.
I do think 99.9% of all diseases that affect us are treatable through a holistic healing approach. It works wonders, and I have seen it first hand. I’ve treated cancer patients, terminally ill patients, mentally challenged patients… Usually a person like me is the last option tried after all medicine has been tried and failed. I succeed many a times and many a times I don’t.
It’s not because the problem is untreatable or that I am doing something wrong…its because it’s meant to be that way. I believe that good or bad, heaven and all else is all here for us to see and experience. If we have to go through something, if we have to learn something from it, we will have to. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to heal. I’ve seen people with stage 4 cancer, live happy healthy lives and I’ve also seen people with just a common cold deteriorate at rapid speeds. It’s finally the Divine Plan at work.
Before every session of healing, I say a small prayer, so that God can guide me to help this person to the best of my ability. It’s really not me doing anything if the Divine doesn’t intervene. Surrendering to The Divine Plan doesn’t mean not trying. On the contrary it means trying and trying, but also knowing just the right time to go with the flow, and never ever giving up hope.
Sandra: What is the most important secret of healing?
Zeenat: BELIEF & HOPE. When a person comes for a healing, is closed up, and doesn’t believe anything will work, it becomes harder to penetrate those negative barriers. But when a person comes in openly, with belief and hope for a brighter tomorrow, the healing is very fast and so much more satisfying.
Belief and Hope work positively both for the Healer and the person being healed.
Sandra: Many people find healing elusive. Do you have any words of encouragement for them?
Zeenat: Healing is simple, it’s intuitive and it comes naturally. The more you try to understand it from a logical perspective the more you get lost in it. The best approach is to understand it from your heart center and feel the difference rather than want magic to happen. I think most people want a quick fix to their problems. Rightly so cause they are suffering and in pain. But, healing requires, as I said, a complete and utter belief in oneself and the modality on the part of the healer. “Nothing is Impossible” is my favorite affirmation when I am working with a patient with a challenging problem.
You have to give it your best, you have to know you did everything in your power, and then just leave the fine tuning to The Divine. If it’s meant to BE it will BE. I know when I am helping a certain patient who refuses any soul cleansing or chakra healing (cause they think its mumbo jumbo, yeah it happens), I help with Sujok, herbal remedies, therapy and then give them distance and prayer healing. I will often get a call the next morning from them saying, “Oh I feel so much better.”
This is why I ended up learning and learning. There are so many different people, with different problems each requiring a different approach.
Sandra: Tell us about your new, free E-book, “Your Self-Healing Starter Kit.” I found it to be a very rich resource of information and tools. What is the focus? Who will benefit from reading and using this toolkit? What will they take away from it?
I believe each and every person has the ability to be their very own healer…and I will go ahead and add that every person is a healer too. My blog and my profession doesn’t make people who need my help dependent on me, it makes them independent within themselves. I just provide a gentle nudge when you can’t nudge yourself. And believe me we all need gentle positive nudges from time to time, even me
Hence this Self Healing Starter Kit is just that…it’s a Gentle Nudge towards resurfacing very own core inner happiness. It’s a Self Healing, Self Empowering & Self Improvement Starter Guide to facilitate YOUR FLIGHT!
Each of us is born to DO something, BE someone, and FLY to new heights. What the articles and tips in this kit do is facilitate that shift from within the heart and soul. We are all works in progress, diamonds in the rough. In order for us to shine we need to work on ourselves. This kit has 6 important steps, which work as a guide to kick start that shining process and help the reader FLY higher than ever previously imaginable.
And the best part is it’s FREE! Yes, it’s available for free when you simply subscribe to my blog.
You might be highly evolved spiritually OR a very motivated person OR someone who is going through a rough time OR someone having trouble feeling great OR someone who feels stuck in their current situation (personal/professional)….it WILL help and provide that positive nudge to all.
To learn more about Your Self Starter Healing Kit and subscribe to receive your free copy visit: Your Self Starter Healing Kit.
Sandra: Do you have any concluding thoughts to share?
Zeenat: Whenever I’m down and nothing seems right, I close my eyes and fly high above the clouds, to a place where magic still exists. To a place where love is all that is needed to sustain your heart. In that moment of flight, my soul feels bliss.
For one moment close your eyes and fly there with me. Feel the bliss.
Let us each become that beautiful place where only peace, love, beauty, serenity and happiness reside.
You and me together, we can make this world magically beautiful. Just remember to BE peace, love, beauty, serenity and happiness….in all that you think and in all that you do. It all begins with YOU! Embrace your Magnificent Power.
Zeenat Merchant Syal – is the founder and writer of Positive Provocations - Healing YOU completely with Positivity, Love & Happiness! She holds degrees in, and practices counseling psychology, motivational psychology, spiritual counseling, motivational speaking, holistic health and naturopathic medicine.
Zeenat is a spiritual traveler by passion, an eternal student and researcher in the school of life and all of its realities, including the fields of metaphysics and New Age thinking.
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