I’ve never really fit into any box, and I used to struggle a lot with that! When I moved in the United States, I didn’t know any english and I remember being in the first grade and not being able to communicate with anyone. It was terrifying! When time for English class would roll around I would be escorted out to an ESL class so I could learn English with the two other foreign transports to the school.
That experience made feel really differently, kind of like an alien. So I learned to keep quiet and not stand out too much. It’s been a long journey to embrace my rebel self. An identity I have actually become 100% okay with being different and being myself. It’s taught me to be radically self-loving, self-approving and self-accepting.
Ways I decided to step outside of the box:
- Learning to use my voice to say how I really feel and what I really think instead of just being agreeable and accommodating to what others think I should do. My dad wanted me to be a doctor, and the day that I told him I didn’t want to be a doctor was the beginning of using the power of my voice to advocate for myself by speaking up!
- Following my heart for work! I started a YouTube channel sharing about all things spirituality and personal development. This included sharing many intimate details about my own learnings and growth with depression, suicide, not fitting in, disappointing my Indian parents and crying on camera!
- Falling in love with someone who I wasn’t allowed to love. There was this saying that went around in the Indian community I grew up in, you can’t marry a BMW – which stands for black, muslim and white. Being racists was normal towards anyone who was not Indian and if you were the Indian that married someone not Indian – you were a disgrace to your parents. So all the Indian kids in some indirect and direct ways were told about who they could not marry. Of course, I didn’t listen even though I knew what was expected of me. Honestly, the best decision I made was to practice what I believe in, which is we are all one. What matters is being a kind, loving and heart-centered human being.
- Shedding an attachment to things, materialism and consumerism. Don’t get me wrong, I love having high quality things that support my life and have a purpose! However, I do not believe in the notion that the more things you have the more rich or wealthy you are. Wealth is a state of mind, not a way of life. I deeply care about the planet and the less stuff I leave behind after I am dead, the lesser the burden on the planet.
- Going vegan for both ethical and health reasons. It wasn’t too big of a leap for me since I was brought up vegetarian, but knowing that my food choices can positively impact the planet, animals and environment is important to me. It works for me, but not everyone is supposed to be vegan for life. Just being mindful of where your food comes from and all that it took to get to your plate is a great way to be more conscious of your food consumption. Everything action you take has a ripple effect, even if it’s not obvious.
- I don’t wear make-up! I wear it maybe like once a month. As women we are taught that who we are is defined by how beautiful we are. And the whole point of putting such an emphasis on beauty is all for a man! So a man will think I am beautiful and, then want to be with him. As women we are conditioned that it is more important how we look not actually who we are. How times do you hear women receiving compliments such as: your beautiful, your hair looks great, your in great shape? Why don’t we compliment women beyond the way they look? Like, you are strong, you are a great listener, you are so kind, you are such a speaker, you really know how to take charge! More women need to hear more things about who they are and not just about the way they look! As a woman my favorite way to bring up another women is to tell her something I love or admire in her!
Your turn, what are some way you have stepped outside the box and embrace yourself?! I want to know, leave a comment below!
Be patient. Be gentle. Be kind.