Cheelu Chandran is a Psychotherapist who runs Debox, a company which organises life workshops and sessions to help you find your path to self love. The barely four-year-old company even has clients from far away places like Scotland.
Chandran’s journey hasn’t been easy. The Mumbai-based entrepreneur has overcome many obstacles to get where she is today. She speaks to SheThePeople.TV on how everyone can find happiness, despite their circumstances.
When Life Throws Up Challenges
She says that her challenges ran over a span of 20 years. She had a physically abusive first marriage. She had a daughter with her husband. Unfortunately, her child passed away. After four years, and being beaten up ‘black and blue’, she ran away from her husband’s home in Hyderabad. She decided she could not stay in the same city as him, and came back to Mumbai to live with her parents.
She soon got married again, only to find that this marriage was also abusive. She continued to stay with her husband and had two children. Finally when she left, he threatened her with a defamation lawsuit. This led her to fall into a deep depression, and caused her to turn to alcohol.
The only thing that kept me going was my counselling sessions, she said.
“Dealing with someone else’s storm can help you deal with your own. It gave me a sense of value and the sense that I could be useful to someone.”
As a mother of two children with barely any alimony, Chandran had it tough. She had to send her kids to boarding school, and that was an emotional roller coaster.
Emotional Roller Coaster
“Every day, I used to question my need to live. I did research about why humans behave the way they do. While some took a spiritual path, I went to therapy. It wasn’t until 2007 in August, when I reached a point of do or die — the lowest point in my life, did I begin my journey back up.”
Life threw up another challenge when Chandran had a stroke in 2013, and paralysed her right side. She had to start from scratch all over again. ” I had to sit up 24/7 for four months. I had no sense of balance, and it felt like a million ants were crawling under my skin,” she says. She is still recovering.
That is when the concept of Debox was born, literally born from one corner of Chandran’s bed.
“When something major happens, a change takes place in your brain. I think that is what happened. I started thinking more and more about how people go through so much because they put themselves in a box. We need to have unconditional acceptance of the self and the world around,” Chandran said
That was when she decided she would become a self-love coach.
What Is Self Love?
Chandran happily advocates selfishness to everybody. She says that the minute we seek approval from others, we sometimes forget to do what makes us happy.
“We want approval from people, change our behaviour. I ask how many people will you make happy. For every one person you make happy — three people will be unhappy. Do what makes you like yourself.”
“However you are at this moment, you are supposed to be. You are perfect as you are. If you want to change, change for yourself,” she argues.