So now that you’ve read my bio, here’s the less abridged version…
I still struggle when someone asks me, “what’s your story?” Because I’ve got heaps of stories…
I could tell you about growing up as first generation immigrants in an Indian family in the suburbs of Washington DC. The story of my parents coming from India with nothing so that they could give their children everything – the hope of a brighter future – and the enormous amount of pressure I felt to be worthy of the sacrifices my parents made. How terrified I was of letting them down and not being good enough to live up to my potential…
I could tell you about how I felt being the only brown kid in a white upper middle class neighbourhood and how when I look back at my “self-portraits” from primary school they show me being thin and fair-skinned, with curly blond hair, and bright blue eyes. A far stretch from the overweight, acne-scared girl with thick black hair and a unibrow… So deeply had I internalised racism and self-loathing that I couldn’t possibly even consider the idea that I was beautiful, because in my worldview beauty was only something available to skinny white girls.
Perhaps I might share with you some of the ways that I was a precocious youngster… Whilst my peers were debating which Backstreet Boy was the cutest, I was having full-blown existential crises. “Who am I? What am doing here? What’s the purpose of life?” I’d stay awake at night and attempt to think my way through these questions.
You might want to know about my decades of suffering from depression and suicide ideation… My first suicide attempt was when I was 12. The second was whilst enrolled in the Leadership Training Institute, the prestigious high school program I participated in throughout secondary school… The third whilst enrolled in university (Oberlin College), when I didn’t receive a Fulbright Scholarship to fund a position at the Brain & Mind Research Institute. The fourth was the most devastating one because it happened after I had already expatriated to Sydney, and how could I want to kill myself again when I was living in my happy place?!
Or about how, in hindsight, I am beyond grateful for having lived all of those stories because I can appreciate what a blessing each of those experiences were for creating some powerful contrast. I cannot thank my earlier Self enough for curating that for me.
I often share the story of how fearful I felt about the idea of establishing the Intrinsic Brilliance Institute. In my soul I knew it was the work I felt called to do in the world. But I wasn’t ready yet! I wasn’t old enough and I didn’t have enough qualifications. Despite completing degrees in neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive sciences, I felt like I couldn’t start until I had learned everything there is to know about the brain and consciousness. So I studied everything from yoga to transformational coaching. And the more I learned, the more I realised there was to learn, which was so overwhelming!
Ohhh, can I please tell you about meeting my soulmate, Michael? The synchronistic and surreal way in which The Universe shoved my previous partner Kevin out of the way (by way of another woman) to make space… The way I grieved the end of our 7-year partnership – sitting in the pain and heartache whilst knowing this too is a gift. Tears streaming down my face, walking down the streets of my neighbourhood muttering to myself under my breath “I’m ok. I’m ok. I’m ok. I’m ok…” like a mantra until I believed it.
Once upon a time, I thought these stories were true. Now, I see them as versions of the realities I once lived. The stories themselves haven’t changed – but my attachment to them definitely has. And whilst they may have been the truth of my experience at the time, if there’s one thing I know with absolute certainty it’s this: we create our experience of reality. And the experiences we create are a reflection the unconscious assumptions we hold and of our mindset at that time. Tweak those two variables in any way and WHOA – the whole story changes, doesn’t it?
In my heart I know that my story is pretty similar to your story (at its core). Sure the content and context may vary significantly, but the structure remains the same: we’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got. Sometimes it might feel hard and stressful, or we feel stuck and wish our lives were different. Maybe we see other people and think they have something special that we just don’t have…
I see so many people trying so hard to be successful. SO HARD. And more often than not, they don’t have useful tools or frames… It’s a bit like digging a trench with a spoon instead of a shovel. It’s exhausting. I recall how I felt when that was my experience. I reconnect with my struggling Self. And I remember that you’re just me in another body.
I consider myself a catalyst for transformation. Thanks to the radical contrast I have lived, there’s only one thing I know with certainty and it’s this: change your mind, and you change your life. My transformation was catalysed by countless others, and it’s my turn to pay it forward. I’m here to help you reinvent reality.
My current story, dear reader, is that you and I are connected. Not just by the words on this screen that my fingers have typed, your eyes have seen, and your brain decoded, but by something far more potent and powerful – the energy that fills each of us, and unites us all as one family. Each of us unique, though all interrelated and the same, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. And for you to have found yourself here, at my “virtual home”, is noteworthy, isn’t it? I mean, you could be anywhere right now in this moment, and you’re here! And that’s so very special to me. I have so much more I could say, and so I invite you to connect with me here by joining the community, and I’ll continue to share my (ever-evolving) stories with you.
If you haven’t already, you’ll soon see that I’m most passionate about supporting each person finding their way back to their truth – the knowing that lingers and whispers inside their being. For me there’s nothing more fulfilling than bearing witness to someone sitting comfortably in the fullness of themselves.
And whilst my story has been called inspiring, (Inspire literally translates to breathe in. In that case, yes, I am inspiring. You are too, aren’t you? 😉 I’d really love to be conspiring (to breathe with)! I welcome you to share your stories with me too. Since I see you as a reflection of me, the more I know about you, the more I learn about me too. And thanks for reading this, love, and joining me on the journey!