I was confused as a child. I was between two vastly different cultural frameworks — the western philosophy that had taught me to strive for external achievement, be driven solely by my intellect and individual needs, and ensure I was doing everything possible to control my journey.
The other from my Indian roots — to slow down, trust, and to honour community before self.
The latter has always resonated with me much more deeply. My inner compass has always guided me back to places that experience calm, connection and collaboration in place of heightened productivity and a fast-paced lifecycle.
That said, the application of such Hindu philosophies in trusting our own intuition can bare little weight when the collective needs come before self. The pressures to comply or keep peace in our cultural framework can be so insidious that it simply feels ‘normal’ to be giving up so much of ourselves for others.
In my dichotomous experience as a child, I strived to meet the desires of those around me — people-pleasing, self-sacrificing and even forgoing my own values at times for the sake of keeping ‘peace.’ You see, this didn’t serve in any way in the end as the resentment and resistance only built over time, within. It plagued my body and showed up as pain or sickness, exhaustion and anger.
As a fragmented version of myself, the pullback towards a truer reflection of my own desires created discomfort between me and those closest to me who had always known the version of me that was the complaint one, the ‘good’ girl. The nice one who was always reliable. That is how I had grown to fit into the societal matrix that surrounded me.
I had tucked away ever so neatly those parts of me that longed for true love and connection, yet masking my own true wishes only took me away from those very things I wanted in my life. I learned not to show up as me. The authentic me that is not afraid to show herself as she is.
You see, when we are trained to base our self-worth and happiness on external factors that require us to be strong and keep it all together, rather than recognizing our own intrinsic value, the cycle is never-ending. We forget that we were born enough and that the measure on the external only leads to deeply rooted feelings of unfulfillment and disconnection. The disconnection only lends itself to increased anxiety, and therefore, reduced presence as we become entangled in past thoughts and future interactions.
My dis-identification from everything I had ever known — between east and west — freed me from needing to be anything for anyone. I started to live more my trust each and every day, and to be in the flow that best represented my heart. And my entire life was rebuilt around exactly this essence. That which was real to me.
I learned that I could keep a piece of both of these worlds in me as I needed to. That I could dance in community and collaboration when I needed to and stand for my own sovereign self with a voice and expression that I had learned was my birthright. That I could flow between effort and allowance. That I could honour the sufferance of my ancestors, grandparents and parents had faced to bring us here today, and also choose a different path for myself and my children, without the attachments to old systems or patterns.
Finally, here we find ourselves as a planet as well — where the two worlds merging. Finally, a possibility to have science support our spiritual or heart-led essence. New western technology confirming what has been known in the ancient world for thousands of years. The maps are effectively the same — that of the old world and that of the new one. We are no longer without the ability to ground in such deep and rich human knowing. It is from this place that we are being asked to lead our children and shift the foundation of humanity.
Are you ready to choose you?