Striving for Creativity – making better decisions in COVID19 era

source: Ethos 3

In times like COVID19, we are living in unknown territories – whatever we were familiar with is no longer the same.

Is this the new new? Is this the new life we have embarked on from the onset of 2020?

For some, the Year of the Rat said it all. Strong metal elements exerting water energy sending floods across the world. An analogy that could rightly describe the situation with COVID19.

The market turned quickly, economic forces at play we have seen ships at sea, traffic on hold, people working from home, schools closed, consumer appetite decrease – how can we make sense of all of this?

When we speak of transformation we usually speak of change of the individual.

Now it is not just that, but families, organisations, corporations and simply the world at large.

With so many elements running parallel, how do we make sense with all of this.

For many of the Founders and startups that I have assisted over the last few years, and of the many talks that I have given when travel was feasible, my key mission was ‘How to help people and organisations make better decisions.’

This statement rings truer today than ever before.

I do not look into a crystal ball, neither do I look at the financials.

I work with key decision makers to understand their strengths, weaknesses to focus on their strengths to make them more agile, efficient and through their strength to overcome the challenges that are presented to them.

As we wait for COVID19 to go away, we need to make certain choices.

Some would rather go out buy a bottle of gin and mourn the decrease in sales.

Some would pick up yoga, art and unleash their creativity.

COVID19 actually is a great time to stay away from the stormy weathers and plan for the future.

What future, you might ask?

If you understand your limitations, you increase the possibility to exercise on an unused muscle to strengthen your mind and body. When you allow your self to understand the possibilities, quoting Tony Robbins, you can ‘unleash’ a part of you and/or your organisation you’ve never seen.

My mission is help individuals and organisations is far clearer now because of COVID19 than before,

To help you make BETTER DECISIONS’.

For a complementary 30 min consultation, please contact me on


Silent pandemic? Mental health in Africa

BOMA Mental Health Summit

Featured Speakers and Topics:

Addressing Mental Health in Africa

  • Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Global CEO Amref; Co-Chair UHC2030; Board Member Africa CDC, Women Lift, SMG, Safaricom Foundation.
  • Dominic Kamau Mwangi, Dean of Students and Lecturer in Positive Psychology at Tangaza University College; Doctoral Student of Psychology and Board Member of the Positive Psychology Association of Kenya (PPAK)
  • Moitreyee Sinha, CEO and Founder, citiesRISE

Moderated by Victoria Rubadiri, Citizen TV news anchor.

Dominic starts by providing an overview of the landscape of mental health in Africa. Speaking of Kenya, he mentions that currently Kenya ranks 4th in Mental illness and 6th in depression. That 1/4 of the population has mental health challenges (since 2016). What are the most comment mental health issues?

Depression, anxiety and substance abuse.

Up to 42% whom go for primary health care, are for psychosomatic illnesses.

One of the issues is data collection. Due to lack of investment for infrastructure in dealing with mental health issue and also the number of medical professions in this field is rare. The issue of domestic violence, homicide and suicide are related.

Dominic speaks of psychological trauma of colonisation. He speaks of his personal experience of how the consequences are still there, of post election violence which memories remain clear. That there are structural issues that are still there.

Dr. Gitahi speaks of the challenges of how the health care is developed to deal with disease not necessarily mental health. Dr. Gitahi speaks of how the majority of people with mental health illness may not know it. They do not know they need to seek help.

Even community health strategies, which are key to integrating mental health packages does not appear. e.g. there are modules on infaction control, mental health is not often available as a service in health.

Many of the countries, like Kenya are trying to integrating into mainstream medical health, however it is treated separately.


Dominic starts discussing positive psychology and how the practice of psychology has shifted from looking at what is wrong with people, and now taking a more proactive approach to mental health.

So how does stigma look like?

How does justice look like?

What about families left behind?

How about education in education?

What about cultural factors?

Dominic speaks about how expressions of emotions in relation to mental concerns are not part of the lexicon. He also mentioned that there is a stigma where people would tend to turn to religion for resolve.

Another concern Dominic draws attention to, is the issue of language and speaks of good and bad when it comes to mental health. He stresses the importance of understanding the meanings of terms in relation to mental health.


Dr. Gitahi talks about the issue of labels and how there are wrong assumptions of people being mad, even though they are suffering from mental illness.

Dr. Gitahi talks of hospitals in Kenya, how much of the challenge is simply a tip of the iceberg. He asks, what mechanisms are in place to assist those that need it?

Perhaps even if the patient themselves do not know?

Does the nurse or medical professional know what to do next?


Dr. Gitahi then advocates for universal healthcare coverage regardless of income and financial status. He emphasises that the health care needs to serve those that most need it and that it ought to be people centred. Due to lack of understanding and stigmatism, Dr. Gitahi expresses strongly how mental health care needs to be covered, taken seriously and applied across the board.

What about during COVID19?

According to Dominic, one of the greatest problem, is that most people do not know they have a mental illness. If it is say Malaria and a cold, one can go to a doctor to find out. Whilst Dominic is hesitate to advocate self diagnosis, he is mindful to raise the concern so that people can look into health awareness and psychological associations that people can connect with.

Dominic, raises the red flag of not self diagnosis as professionals would be better able to diagnose and provide more reliable information. He raises the issue of lack of regulation and who are fully professionally qualified. Dominic also emphasies the importance of reflecting on the medical professionals whom patients are working with and ensuring that they are fully competent and qualified to treat relevant patients.

In terms of advice, Dominic talks about changes in one’s life, e.g. death, experience considered difficult. He starts with inviting people whom have experienced a significant change and/or loss of sleep could potentially be an issue which are simple signs which one could find out.

If a change of character e.g. enthusiasm lowers, interests, the things that use to interest you are symptoms that could be looked through.


Dr. Gitahi then talks about the fact that there is still large parts of the world whom do not have access to technology, internet or computers or apps.

He mentions that whilst technology can do a great deal in terms of technology and it could assist us. But that it is a half way house, as technology is not necessarily assessible to all and is a divide.

More importantly, no matter what kind of assess an individual may have, it is important to seek professional help and not self diagnose.


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By Helen Tung
#COVID-19 #Antibiotics #Stayathome #Keep safe #WHO #Mental #Resilience   Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Global CEO Amref; Co-Chair UHC2030; Board Member Africa CDC, Women Lift, SMG, Safaricom Foundation.Dominic Kamau Mwangi, Dean of Students and Lecturer in Positive Psychology at Tangaza University College; Doctoral Student of Psychology and Board Member of the Positive Psychology Association of Kenya (PPAK)Moitreyee Sinha, CEO and Founder, citiesRISE


Suffering as an invitation of inner peace

From BOMA Mental Health Summit

Taking a few moments, to exhale and release from the body.

Enhailing deepling through the nose, exhale and releasing through the mouth; dropping the weight of the body.

Open your eyes.

Take a moment to acknowledge any shift in your mind, body.

Suffering, what is it and how can we acknowledge our suffering, without avoiding it, gently enable it to transform our state.

And perhaps access some peace, and increase some capacity for mental clarity and even moments of happiness, compassion or joy.


From a Buddhist point of view, fundamentally 1. misunderstanding of what reality is. By not truly enquiring, not in accordance of what reality is; 2. compulsion to pleasure and happiness, and constantly away or disengage we think make us suffer, e.g. a pendulum swinging what is happens or what is suffer and so rarely do we get to arrive to equanimity, being almost content. In other words in the hamster well, a shallow way of living, as oppose to the moment of satisfaction when we can have relief from this dissatisfaction.

Suffering therefore is the feeling of perpetual pain. There may be suffering of medical pain, death and change because the nature of things are in flex. The subtle dissatisfaction of suffering is something we can change.

How can we transform suffering into peace.

It starts with acknowledgement. As we are pain avoiders, it is an uncomfortable process. For example, eating lots of sugar, cooking or baking.

Are we genuinely taking pleasure and is it giving us something value. If we were to indulge e.g. smoking, drinking – would too much of that satisfy the craving?

We rarely stop to look at what is wrong.

How are we feeling inside? It takes courage.

Look into your own suffering. Take a step back, with a sense of objectivity. Look at yourself.

Disengage from any activity. What is causing you pain and suffering.

The emphathy that we give to ourselves is very healing.

When we are kids perhaps we may not have had very empathetic parents so giving it to ourselves is a very powerful way to heal.

And to gradually dismantle this suffering.

Let this answer arise.

Deep seated anxiety? Fear of the future?

Mental addiction of self?


Deep sense of grief?

Reality of the world?

The suffering of friends and family…….

What is the cause of this suffering……

Try not to force it, try to let it arise.

Refrain from judging it…..try to have a neutral way to relate to it, once you have done that.

In Buddhism they say suffering is that which is hard to look at.

It is like looking at the gate of transformation, by being able to relate, the pain of it subsides.

It may feel integrated. One can go further…how is this manifesting physically?

Anger? Rage? Social economic structure?

Whatever it is, how is it manifesting? Where is it represented?

How is it represented? Tightness in the jaw, turmoil in the chest, headache? Unrest in the abdomen, tension in the hips?

Begin by asking how does this suffering impact my behavior?

3 factors: Mind, Body and Action in Buddhism, how does this suffering impact on emotions?

How is it impacting on behavior?

Is this what you want?

Do you want these actions?

Do these results yield the results you want?

e.g. does drinking, eating give you the results you want or does it add to harming yourself?

Are your actions congruent to the results that you want?

By being aware of your bodily habits and then engaging and then stop.

Stopping yourself from empowering that habit.

It may require a lot of resilience, challenging triggers, and may result in initial failure…

What do you want to cultivate?

If avoidance of suffering does not result in happiness, what does?

It may require practices.

How about meditation?

Meditation as a systematic way of understanding how the mind causes suffering, and to then disable suffering….

Try tuning inwards….

Practices that strengthen your attention…

Focusing on the breathe…..

You may notice the habits of the mind, states of clarity, states of peace….

shifting of state,

then transformation.

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By Helen Tung
#COVID-19 #Antibiotics #Stayathome #Keep safe #WHO #Mental #Resilience

Role of creativity in crisis

Who am I?

Raghara KK, an artist and Founder of 64/1 invites us to ask who are we.

He speaks of loss, growth and pain. And reflecting on questions of who would you like to be?

Letting go of the past self and what are the key barriers of achieving what you want to be?

List them, even if they sound like you have hit a wall. What if that wall was just a question?

Imagine you want to go on a holiday and go out? And COVID19 happens.

You can ask yourself. Oh my I cannot go, everything is shutdown and then you say I cannot go to GOA.

But if you turn the barrier to the question how else can I go to the beach?

How else can I achieve that?

Speaking philosophically, Raghara describes everything we do is a construction with integrity.

Deconstruct and reconstruct time again and again.

At this point, what kind of questions could you be asking yourself?

What skills do you have?

What can you do with your imagination?

What are the possibilities?

If deconstruction and construction is a painful process, how best can we prepare for this?

What if the key cause of anxiety is pursuant of happiness? Free will?

What if there is no free will? Then would there be no anxiety?

Raghara shares with us on his journey – he spends time imagining his friends, and talk about the deepest vulnerability – not from the angle of self pity. Ask your friend how else can you shine?

This is a beautiful market for the art world.

How can we as a humanity can reinvent themselves?

Global South – how are you reinventing yourself?

Art plays an important role. True power is when you give yourself permission you give yourself the ability to change yourself, your fundamental truth and what you consider truth.

Are we willing to go through loss, healing and the hero’s journey?

Who am I becoming? What comes to you?

One is internal, one is external, who do I want to become. When you go with the intention to the world, either the Universe or you making it happen – it requires deep confidence.

If at this point, there is nothing to lose then take courage and go for it.

If we reframe, I am becoming more and more courageous…..

If we reframe, what if we are not survivors but people who thrive….

What role does art do to keep us sane?


Constructs, not reality, allows us to transcend, like a tool where appropriate to utilise along the path to grow emotionally….

Be it singing on zoom, playing piano, drawing using lots of positive emotions, love and compassion to express, share and connect with family, friends and the world at large.

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By Helen Tung
#COVID-19 #Antibiotics #Stayathome #Keep safe #WHO #Mental #Resilience 

Whole Brain


Led by Dr. Deep Bali, he introduces Whole Brain to an audience of enthusiasts and those passionate about mental health. He speaks of the four quadrants and how different leadership around the world have been using the different quadrants.

For some it is about developing children’s brain, for others’ it is about surviving and Dr. Bali’s message is that we can all be adaptive, flexible and actually move into the different quadrants to develop and work to make life work for us.

Dr. Bali’s talk is about practical application about how we can be rationalists, we can think with our brains, however we could also utilise our emotional intelligence, health and wellbeing to deal with our environment, circumstances and people around us.

Drawing up the kind of language that leaders are using, Dr. Bali attempts to demystify the leadership quadrants in the whole brain and how when shifted, sends a different message or be it an emotionally different one, particularly those on the receiving end.

When there is so much misinformation in the news, media and online, it’s important that we assess what language people are using, which quadrant are they coming from and how do we manage, digest and understand it.

The whole brain theory was developed a while back and now it’s the time to better educate our selves to learn now to cope and thrive in COVID 19.


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By Helen Tung
#COVID-19 #Antibiotics #Stayathome #Keep safe #WHO #Mental #Resilience