Interview Online Counselor Zeenat Merchant-Syal

by Tess on November 17, 2009

 Interview Online Counselor Zeenat Merchant SyalToday I interview Zeenat Merchant-Syal, counseling psychologist and naturopath from Positvie Provocations.

It' easy to recognize greatness when you read her blog. When I think of Zeenat two words come to mind  brilliant and compassion.

Zeenat, is a practicing counseling psychologist & naturopath, with degrees in motivational and counseling psychology.

She also holds degrees in various fields of Holistic and Naturopathic Medicine.

Her Blog Positive Provocations focuses on Positive Thinking through Healing the Mind, Body, Heart &Soul-Trying to heal the world one blog post at a time-Spreading Positivity, Motivations, Inspiration, Love & Happiness.

Subscribe to her blog updates by RSS or Email.

Hello, Zeenat, it's so great to have you today with us on The Bold Life.

I'm wondering who has influenced you the most on how you live your life?

I think its safe to say, "Life" has influenced me most. As with every body else, my life hasn't been a cake walk either. I had to grow up really early cause of a few traumatic childhood experiences.

I ceased being a carefree girl when I was about 13 (I make up for that now, by being a child with my little girls). After that, life very simple. Not everything was taken care of, I had to step up and take care of it.

In taking care of everything, lots and lots of new, beautiful and sometimes not very pleasant people and experiences have influenced my life.

I tried to learn from each and every person that came my way. Its funny how even the worst of experiences and people can still teach you something about yourself, you didnt even know.

I truly thank all those good and bad experiences & people, for, if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have strived to learn and understand human psychology so deeply.

Today, when I counsel someone, I know, that they need to be heard, need to be helped, need to be understood.  I know I wouldve loved it if at my most difficult times I had someone, like a counselor to talk to and sort out my issues.

In one simple line-'Life has taught me/influenced me to be of service'. I wouldnt have it any other way. I love what I do, and its all thanks to LIFE. Making another person smile, is my only driving force today.

What books have made a great impact on you?

Reading has always been my passion. I could read the newspaper word for word and be happy with it.

When I was a kid, my dad used to bring Readers Digests for me and would ask me to solve those word-meaning pages. I initially hated doing them, but in time grew to love it, cause my vocabulary started getting better with those small exercises.

I don't really read a lot of fiction. I prefer the self improvement or the educational type of books. I know two particular books were like my life line, when I was going through a rough patch in my personal life.

(1)The Magic Of Thinking Big by David Schwartz and (2)The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success by Deepak Chopra.

Offering online counseling for free in a world where everyone prices seem so extreme is amazing. Tell us more about this.

I have often seen, that people in general, have a very apprehensive approach to actually going for counseling.

Not because they dont want to, but because somehow, when we have a problem, we resist confiding in a stranger or we are in denial about the problem ourselves.

It takes courage to come to a counseling session and face your fears.

When in a Physical World people are so apprehensive, Imagine how much more apprehension would be there if they had to go in for Online Counseling!

My take to offering Online Counseling for FREE is a simple thought process. Lets say you wanted to avail of Online counseling.

You read about it, you see it on the blog/website, you know you want to go in for it. Then you think-let it be, why talk to a stranger, it will heal itself. But it doesn't.

Then you think again, come back to the blog/website, even start to type an email to the counselor, and then the payments, money etc comes to mind, again you start thinking, should I, is it worth it, why go through the hassle of online payments, and you stop.

I don't want people to think twice before they need help. Any problem, left unresolved for too long, becomes a scar on your mind, heart and soul. This scar only gets deeper with time if its not addressed. How will it heal when you chose to ignore it?

In my time of need, I know it would've done a world of good to me, if I had someone to talk to or vent to. Just someone who would listen to me and my problems unbiased.

Online Counseling for me is also another way of being of service. I love to make people smile and be happy. If I can do that in my geographic location, then why not everywhere else?

And what better way to reach out to help, than through the internet. We know the internet is in most homes today. This way, you get your peace of mind sitting at home or any place of your choice, without worrying about the hassles of money etc.

Imagine a world filled with happy people….I hope in my small way, I can contribute to that dream.

How do you replenish your own courage and strength?

Prayer and Meditation. I have a firm belief in my Maker, hence, am very religious as well. In my most trying times I say a small prayer, something like a conversation with God, and within minutes there is clarity of thought.

Sometimes after the whole ordeal or problem has passed I often wonder how it just passed, and then it will strike me-I said a quick prayer.

Meditation has been my path inwards. It has helped me to learn so many things about myself and has given me immense clarity. (I meditate while saying a prayer too :)

Get the benefit of both all at the same time. 

You offer many modalities for healing. How do you decide which to use and for whom?

I use my instinct. I say a small prayer and concentrate on the person who is need of help. Somehow, I am able to chart a plan of action as soon as I am done.

Most  nights i.e. before I go to bed-I give distance healing to all those who I know, have met online or offline and most of all to all those patients who are under my care. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and positive energy.

Do you have a favorite motivational quote?

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

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    { 27 comments… read them below or add one }

    Patricia November 17, 2009 at 11:43 am

    This is a lovely interview Tess and such Kindness and good words offered by Zeenat.
    One of my daughters was just asking for money for counseling. I do not have it to give her and her co-pay on our insurance for counseling is $1200.00 a year…I sent her all your information – maybe she will put aside her opposition to suggestions from “old mother” and come and check you out…
    though if she does not have to drive somewhere she might not think it worthwhile

    Thank you this was timely!
    And a nice reminder of one of my favorite quotes too!
    .-= Patricia´s last post…Food and Friends =-.


    Tess Bold Life November 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Patricia, what a great idea! We don’t get help until we’re ready. But you planted a seed and she has one less excuse. When I worked as a psychologist one of my clients said one day, “Your girls are lucky, they have you for a mother. They have all this wisdom free.”

    Isn’t that the funniest thing you ever heard! The last thing my girls want is my unasked for advice. That’s why Zeenat’s offer is so great!


    Angelia Sims November 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Thank you for this interview. Zeenat is beautiful inside and out. Know that I am completely assured by her genuine presence, and her heart for those in need. Wonderful!
    .-= Angelia Sims´s last post…The Cheshire Kid =-.


    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    HI Tess,
    Wow…what kind words in the intro, am blushing, thank you. And thank you again for such wonderful interview questions…the answers just came pouring out :)
    Lots of love
    .-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last post…Multiple Personality By Choice! =-.


    Keith November 17, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Hello Tess,

    Interviewing Zeenat was a very good idea. It is obvious that her heart is full of love and compassion and her life serves as an example of “freely giving” back to the world. Sometimes, I think that it is people like Zeenat that keep the world from self-destructing. Someone who is genuinely a force for good and asks nothing in return except, perhaps, the opportunity to help another. That gives me much hope and also encourages me to emulate her life. I always say that each of us have something the world needs and that only we can give it. Zeenat is doing that. Blessings to you Zeenat and to you, Tess because you are much the same and for having Zeenat on your blog.

    I was browsing Zenat’s blog and found an awesome article entitled “Do You Really Think” and loved it! I recommend it and her blog very highly.
    .-= Keith´s last post…Dreaming Or Drifting? =-.


    Tess The Bold Life November 17, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Don’t you just love knowing about the wonderful stuff going on in the world?

    Blushing? Nonsense. It’s just greatness recognizing greatness;)

    You are so right about loving people keeping the world from self-destructing. I got goose bumps (truth bumps) when I read that. Keith, thanks for checking out her blog and coming over and joining us in shining the light. Your awesome! Oh my don’t I owe you an article?!?
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…Interview Online Counselor Zeenat Merchant-Syal =-.


    Davina November 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Tess and Zenat. Zenat you are truly a generous and caring soul. I applaud your generosity.
    .-= Davina´s last post…There’s An Artist In Our Midst =-.


    Evita November 17, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Tess

    what a great idea to interview Zeenat. I just recently got to know her and enjoy checking out her blog. It is so fantastic to learn more about her.

    Zeenat thank you for sharing your journey. What you are doing by reaching out to people like this, especially with offering free counseling is amazing. What an amazing service indeed. It is so great to get to know you better.

    Thank you both for the interview!
    .-= Evita´s last post…5 Evolving Bloggers Who Have Touched My Life – 2 =-.


    Wilma Ham November 17, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Hi Tess and Zeenat.

    How wonderful to see Zeenat here and her having both knowledge of a healthy mind and a healthy body, is that not amazing? Thanks to her I know NOT to peel my carrots.
    Zeenat is a lovely generous soul and as you would say Tess, your generous soul must have recognized Zeenat.

    Love to you both.
    .-= Wilma Ham´s last post…All conversations are not equal in intimacy. =-.


    Keith November 17, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Hello Tess

    Thank you for your kind response to my comment. :-)

    Yes, I did invite you to write an article and if you’d still like to that would be great! Even if you’d rather not at this time that would still be great! I know you have been extremely busy with your own schedule as well as being an awesome for your husband, so no pressure ok? Hakuna Matata, right? :-)
    .-= Keith´s last post…Dreaming Or Drifting? =-.


    Karen Chaffee November 17, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Beautiful interview, Tess, with a beautiful person. I follow Zeenat’s blog, and derive great strength from it. What you’ve said below sums her up so well:

    When I think of Zeenat two words come to mind brilliant and compassion


    Peggy November 17, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Tess and Zeenat!

    What a fabulous interview – thanks for bringing Zeenat to the Bold Life :-)

    Zeenat – I love your blog and the comments you leave on everyone else’s. You are a light that shines brightly in our community!

    .-= Peggy´s last post…Belief =-.


    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 18, 2009 at 12:22 am

    @Patricia- HEy, I am glad this was a timely interview. I know how if we arent spending a dime we think it aint worth it…but I am still formt he thinking that “all good things in life are FREE like love, friendship, soul connections”
    And so glad Emerson’s Quote is your favorite too. Like minds hmm :)

    @Angelia- HI, Thank you so much for the lovely words and compliments. I truly appreciate it :)

    @Keith- Hey, I dont even know how to thank you for such beautiful words about my blog and me. I am so glad you checked out my blog :) Thank you so much for your support and blessings. I appreciate it :)

    @Davina- Wow…thank you for your compliments :)

    @Evita- HI, Thank you for reading my journey and for such kind words about my blog. I do hope you keep coming over and share your insight there too. I love Evolving Beings too :)
    .-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last post…Multiple Personality By Choice! =-.


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord November 18, 2009 at 6:09 am

    In the short time I’ve known Zeenat, she’s become one of my favorite people. She’s like the sweetest concoction God could have dreamed up, and every time I interact with her, I feel as though I’ve been hugged.
    I’m in awe of the fact that she offers free counseling — that, to me, sums up what this woman is about: helping others at her own cost. Many times, I think people say they’re all about helping or healing the world, but the moment it pains them somehow (time, money, emotions, what-have-you), they pull back. Zeenat is someone who, in my eyes, walks her talk each and every day.
    I loved reading this interview, and love that you featured her on your site, Tess!
    Zeenat – you shine no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Thank you for being exactly the woman you are!
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last post…Read. LAUGH! Repeat. =-.


    Tess The Bold Life November 18, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Thanks for that link info. I was struggling with my new editor trying to get this post up.

    Yes I can see why you’d enjoy Zeenat. She’s definetly an evolved being!

    You are so kind and I’ll stop by today for a carrot. Got ‘em picked out of that garden yet?

    Wow I can see everyone is following her blog! I can see why.

    Thanks for stopping by you must be taking a break from your pink wand!

    You are such a great writer. Your sweetness comes out in your words. The world needs to get over to Positive Provocations for those hugs and wisdom.

    Yes Hakuna Matata! I forgot that line and will put it in my kitchen on an index card. How about in January?
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…Interview Online Counselor Zeenat Merchant-Syal =-.


    Hilary November 18, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Hi Zeenat and Tess – my mood has gone sour .. I’ve just written what I thought was a lovely comment .. and the beloved machine has eaten it and said it won’t do … so I’ll have to come back having lost it!! Oh sometimes these things drive you to a cup of tea .. when I get back from my mother!
    Ooh .. I’m not happy!! – bye for now – Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last post…Iron Curtain or a rich Green Natural Wilderness =-.


    Hilary November 18, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Hi Tess and Zeenat – I’m back .. having seen my mother and having seen the carer who reminds me of you Zeenat – except she’s called coincidentally Nadia! As Tess says .. you remind me of empathy, calmness, stillness and peace – even though I’m here on the south coast of England – your persona is on the airwaves.

    I love your gift of free counselling – especially in these times of hardships or perhaps from the other extreme of greed, that seems to pervade the world now – the desire to have it all, without working towards each ‘thing’ and enjoying that goal reached.

    You’re a blessing to have around .. so thank you Tess for the interview .. great to be here -
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letter Inspirational Stories
    .-= Hilary´s last post…Iron Curtain or a rich Green Natural Wilderness =-.


    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 18, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    @Wilma- Thank you so much for your wonderfully kind words..and I can now sleep at ease Knowing Wilma isn’t peeling her carrots ;) Lots of love :)

    @Karen- You’re too kind with you words Karen. I am so glad to always have your support and your lovely insight at my blog. Lots of love to you :)

    @Peggy- Hey writer gal…Thank you for such lovely words. You are the light that shines with me !!! Your blog is so inspiring…I love it :) I am glad you liked the interview…and that my comments on other blogs are read atleast by you ;) Lots of love :)
    .-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last post…Multiple Personality By Choice! =-.


    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 18, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    @Megan-My Joyful Angel always know just what to say to make my spirit smile :) Thank you fro your loving words..and your immense love and support towards me&my blog. I truly truly appreciate it. And here is a very very Big Hug for you :)
    Lots of love to you sweetie.

    @Hilary- Hey…so sorry about the first comment…its happening with many a times too..I have learned the beauty of copy and paste to notepad in case of such situations :) I really want to thank you for your sweet and kind words. I am so happy you are here to support me and my blog. So now that you know about the online counseling be sure to spread the word so more and more people can benefit form this. Thank you again for your love and support. I am truly blessed to have such loving support :) With Love Z
    .-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last post…Multiple Personality By Choice! =-.


    Lisis November 19, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Wow! Tess and Z… what a powerhouse of awesomeness, love, compassion and all around super women. You know, when you get two of you on the same page, it seems double empowering to read about it. Maybe we need to gather a bunch of extreme encouragers and stuff them all together on one blog post. :)

    Z., you already know how I feel about you. I think you are a bundle of Blessing wrapped up in Love. I’m so proud of you for offering free online counseling. I always wished I could do something like that because I hate the idea of people who NEED help having to pay for it. Problem is, I’m in no way qualified to offer counseling of any sort. So, instead, I just chat with people who want to share their story with me on email, or facebook, or whatever. Maybe it helps them just to vent without being judged.

    I am thrilled to have you as a friend, and I just know the world is already better because YOU are in it. Huge hugs!!! :)
    .-= Lisis´s last post…Mental Illness: The Sun Also Rises… Barely =-.


    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now November 19, 2009 at 9:03 am

    I love that she counsels people for free. It’s these people that can probably use her help the most.

    All of us have an opportunity to help each other become happier and stronger people. That’s why the blog community is one of the greatest communities in the world.

    My favorite line, “Any problem, left unresolved for too long, becomes a scar on your mind, heart and soul. ”

    We need to deal with our issues and by bringing more awareness to our thoughts and emotions. To have someone to help us through this journey is a blessing not matter if it’s free or paid counseling.
    .-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last post…Be One With Your Work =-.


    Tess The Bold Life November 19, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Your love is felt even though the note is lost. We feel the love!

    You’re more qualified than you realize. What you’re doing is coaching. I’m sure you’ve coached tons of people in your life time including your own family;) We’re not even talking about the wisdom you’ve gained from your life experiences. I appreciate your visit and have learned so much from you blog.


    I’ve never quite thought of the blogging community like that but you’re absolutely correct and I’m glad we’re part of each other’s world.
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…Thank You for Being My Friend =-.


    Jannie Funster November 19, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I have only known Zeenat for a few months via blogging and have sensed a deep healing soul in her but this interview has really opened my eyes to just how helpful and wonderful she is.

    Counseling some one for free shows a soul in touch with the true nature of love and compassion.


    And I love how she, as I have done, is creating with her children what she missed in her own younger years. We realize it is never ever too late for love to shine as it’s meant to. Never too late! whoo-hoo.

    Just awesome — thanks!
    .-= Jannie Funster´s last post…3 Photos I Took 3 days Ago & 3 Photos I Took 5 years Ago =-.


    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 19, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    @Lisis- Sweetie you do so much for all of us with your heart full of compassion and love, that believe me any amount of degrees cant take the place of that passion you have for helping others. Thats what i love so much about you…youre you full of love and always willing to lend a hand to whoever comes your way. I am so so thankful for your friendship. Oh…and thank you so much fro your lovely words here…Its all because of YOU :) None of this would be possible if you were not part of my life…;) Lots of love and big hug.Z
    .-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last post…Multiple Personality By Choice! =-.


    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} November 19, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    @ Karl- Hey..Thank you so much for your kind words and support. Its so true…the blogging community is really so close knit..always ready to lend a hand. Its amazing ! Dealing with our issues is something most of us shy away from…if counseling can bring forth those issue and help resolve them…then whether paid or free its worth it… :) Thank you again for your lovely comment.
    .-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last post…Multiple Personality By Choice! =-.


    Barbara Swafford November 21, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Hi Tess and Zeenat,

    I loved this interview. The questions you asked Tess, brought out who Zeenat truly is; a beautiful person.

    One thing I’ve noticed about Zeenat, not only in this interview, but in blogosphere as well, is her positive and helpful attitude. The name of her blog fits her perfectly – Positive Provocations, and as is witnessed in her willingness to help others, she is living her favorite quote and leaving this world a better place.

    Thank you Zeenat, for all you do. It’s a pleasure to know you.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last post…What Does Your Blog Say About You =-.


    Snowman April 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm


    This is really an excellent interview. I am touched with the power of mind, prayers and soul. Its just like, the sun is so far away, yet we feel its heat & warmth, and the soft light falling upon us. Who says, the sun is far away, the moment your eyes link to the sunlight, it gives you the power to see and feel. It felt like a connection of positive energy as photons of love reaching you with the healing power and protection.

    I believe, souls like that of Zeenat’s have a destiny. A destiny designed and gifted by the creator only to a handful. May God bless her with great indefinite bounties of health, happiness, and success always.

    “Simple is always the best, but the best may not always be simple”.


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