Why the quality of my life is a direct reflection on the state of my mental health, writes Ethel Da Costa

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Each morning that I wake up alive, I jump out of bed. My entire being beams with GRATITUDE of this life I have been given, and how I feel the Universe move within my Body and Soul leading me to live my best life each day. My life is a blessing. A rare gift of joyous molecules, feelings, energy and well being.

But I was not always this person despite all of the outer achievements of my life – for which I am deeply grateful and thankful – I was very unhappy inside. Being unhappy had confused me, filled me with more anger, rage even. I had worked so hard my entire life for this level of success: Made many personal sacrifices to be where I wanted to be. Got on top of the food chain in my professional life. 

It was in 2018 when I realized that perhaps along the way towards the arduous climb to professional success, I had forgotten my true self, neglecting my deeply hurt inner child and the woman my soul was screaming to be and thereby committed great injustice to myself. Sure, I had pleased the outer world, but at the cost to my inner wellbeing. Indeed, I was a workaholic, a perfectionist, a control dragon with compulsive OCD, a hoarder. Fortunately, I now understand that these are characteristics of unresolved trauma; in other words, the mind’s coping mechanism to deal with post traumatic-stress. Physically, my shoulders were continuously aching, my body tense and tight, deep anxiety and multitasking having been normalized as a normal way of life. 30 years of carrying the world and its responsibilities on my fragile shoulders— when I look back, I feel deep compassion for that deeply hurt girl trying so hard to keep it together. 

Here’s the message I want you to have: When there is a lack of Self-Awareness – not the superficial bouts of awareness that come and go– but when you know something isn’t right…and you push yourself harder by being so hard on yourself, something’s gotta give. I’m glad I gave in to what I sensed inside. I am also blessed to have met my Life Coach who saved me from jumping off the edge and onto the hard ground. With her help and compassionate support, I did jump, but only in surrender. It was Fall or Fly. I am deeply grateful that the Universe powered my wings, my freefall being a descent down the cliff followed by flying. 

2019 was the most earth-shaking year of my life. The ground under my feet had cracked wide open and was ready to swallow me whole with my pain, grief, years of unresolved hurt, years of unhealed trauma– essentially, suffering. This time, I found myself standing on solid ground, as I had support on my journey of coming home to me. And I’ve been running home to myself ever since. 

The truth is many of us are afraid to heed the voice of our Soul. Calling us to let go of control. Calling us to heal, to change, to transform, to shed skin, peel off our layers of conditioning, years of bullshit, the stories we tell ourselves and believe. It is always somebody’s fault for our choices, our mistakes, finding it safe to lay the blame on others and taking zero responsibility on our part. How we feel, how we make ourselves feel, the language we use with ourselves, the ways in which we do not love ourselves, seeking validation from outsiders to add value and meaning to our life… I am still amazed at the reality of how no one teaches us to love ourselves, when it is hard to love ourselves, in which failing at doing so leads us to pour all of ourselves in wrong places and the wrong people. From the bottom of my heart, I wish we were taught to love ourselves as young children, so we can teach our young ones to face heart-break with more ease and confidence.

But there’s a beauty of coming home to yourself, even if it’s a tough journey from the Head to the Heart. I know this because this journey transformed the meaning of life for me. At this point in my life, I am ready to understand, appreciate and fully accept the gifts the Universe had bestowed on me. The gift of breath that keeps us alive. Gifts that I had done good things with, but now in awareness I am empowered to do great things for. 

While in lockdown in Malaysia from March 2020 onwards, in a new country, new people, new environment, no support system to fall back on, I relied completely on myself – old survivor skills that never leave you – but this time in absolute surrender that I was going to be taken care of. Something higher than me had brought me to Malaysia (of all the places in the world). The Universe had a mighty mission. The mission was to HEAL. A complete detoxification of the old life into a new spiritual being. Transforming and transmuting 30 years of pain and suffering into 2 years of transformation, bliss, personal and spiritual evolution. The kind I’ve never experienced in my life. The Universe, knowing my immense capacity to cope, adapt and learn, packing it all intensely vibrating Light into my Being. The most intense healing journey that packed 30 years into 2 years of hard, hard inner work that I had to do. My coach standing with me, despite the distance in India, unfailingly supporting my coming to light.  

From 2020-2022 I love this Being that is ME, with all of my Heart and Soul, unconditionally. It is said that when you fill your cup full, only can you help and support those you can help and support now. Each day I wake up and go to sleep, my affirmations of gratitude resonate from my Heart to the Universe that walks with me on this journey. For embracing my dark, shadow and parts unhealed to bring it all together into ONE. For compassion and kindness, I receive in abundance from strangers I’ve never known, but it is synchronicity that brings people and acts of kindness together. For learning to let go all and everything that does not serve my highest good, including people who have failed me. One day at a time. Learning to make the best of my life, as best as I can. To the commitment of doing the inner work on ME every single day, with my coach, guides and mentors the Universe sends my way to help me along my journey to self-actualisation, healing, and wellbeing. My commitment to my mental and spiritual health is a continuous process. From waking up in the morning and staying committed to my acts of rituals that support my body, my heart and my peace. For only when I am whole, can I contribute fully to my own growth, and contribute to those I love, and the world at large.  

Your quality of life is a direct reflection of the quality of your inner wellbeing, mental peace and self-love. Love yourself unconditionally. One day at a time. I am with you on this journey.



Ethel Da Costa is an Award-Winning International Lifestyle Journalist, Author, Global Destination Influencer, Key Opinion Leader (KOL), Advocate for Empowerment, Lifestyle Media Entrepreneur, Founder of award-winning Lifestyle Media Content & Communications company, Think Geek Media based in Malaysia and India.

Find her Lifestyle blogs at www.ethedacosta.com

Follow her on Facebook & Instagram @etheldacosta 

Email: etheldacosta@gmail.com