There was never a better time for me to write a blog about female strength, empowerment and role models.
Rewind to October 2019 and it was a very different story. I wanted very little to do with ‘upni’ women or our South Asian community. Despite years of inner work I was still jaded and mistrusting of not only our community but particularly the women of our community. Without imparting judgement and in understanding and accepting now that many of our older generation didn’t know any better, growing up, getting married and then starting motherhood felt like a constant struggle. My hang-ups were:
- Incessant gossip
- Airing other peoples ‘dirty’ laundry
- Lack of barriers in physical and psychological space
- Insecurity and jealousy
- Bitterness and resentment
- Disordered Eating
- Unrealistic expectations
- Never feeling good enough
You get the point! All of the above were a large part of me. I am not too proud to admit that, those who know me now would never think that but it’s true.
How would I describe myself now? On a journey of continued learning, empowerment and serving. How? By finding my purpose, my WHY. As Sikhs we are all aware of ‘seva’ and this goes beyond what many of us may commonly associate seva with. To serve is not only to give materially and with time, it’s also to share kindness, love and lessons.
Motherhood instilled a change in me like no other. It compels you to look within, what you have to offer your children and how your children will reflect you! Truth is, it is a journey only a mother can embark on when she is ready. My post natal depression doesn’t define me but it’s my Kensho moment that ultimately ‘made me’ – it led me out of a breakdown and into my breakthrough.
I feel a powerful purpose in this life to serve women who have been assaulted by the diet and food industry as a means to ‘cope’ with daily life stressors. I am asked regularly, how:
- I’m so positive
- Turn-up daily on the gram
- Run my coaching business
- Raise my children
The truth is, I gave up (as far as 1 can judge this themselves) those traits in the first list. I knew I had a fractured identity, lacked purpose and was floating through life unfulfilled. It didn’t happen overnight and here is some of how I began to overcome this;
- Identify and recognise there is an issue. Take responsibility for yourself
- Accept that it will take time, change doesn’t happen overnight & it’s the journey not the destination
- Read/listen/speak to someone who can provide tools to overcome this common issue
- Practice the habits to overcome these issues. It can many different things but a combination of many works best; prayer, meditation, journaling, practicing gratitude, trusting the divine
- Connect with women, a sisterhood, community. They exist and they’re phenomenally – just shout and I can signpost you.
It may sound far fetched to some people that I have moments in every day where my appreciation and gratitude for this life brings tears of joy to my eyes. Those before us didnt make the sacrifices they did for us to walk in times like these, with opportunity and choice to then berate others and ourselves.
I do not own a big house, or a flashy car and I don’t earn huge sums of money (yet) but I have more than enough to give to charity, have a roof over my head and food in my belly. What more can we ask for or “expect” – the choice lies within each of us.
You may ponder if I had it easy? I most certainly didn’t and most of the people I know don’t. I experienced severe trauma as a child, my mother suffered severe depression and I went on to have post natal depression after both children. Like I said above, I was all those ‘negative’ qualities but I took responsibility for my life. I realised I had a choice. We all have a choice.
As Sikh women it doesn’t only matter what we each look like, it matters what values we adopt. The celebration of female empowerment figures is quite recent and in the South Asian community, this movie will be one the first. There is a need for this shift of focus not only because of what I describe above of our female community but for our sons.
I’m a mother of 2 boys and there is nothing more that I want than to raise them to respect and treat women equally. Sure I can be a great female figure in their lives but they identify as Sikh boys and in seeing a powerful Sikh woman on screen, this will amplify a broader and more diverse respect from a 7 year old and 6 year old. Like come on – a female Sikh warrior! Oh yeh!
It may humour you to learn that I studied and graduated university with a History degree and yet I know little about Sikh history. Often I get too emotional about our history and I’ve made a conscious effort to put it out of my mind until recently. Since starting my Instagram page and working almost exclusively with Sikh women I have grown to love, respect and appreciate our community like never before.
My husband was amused and made a joke, which I welcomed, the irony that I am writing this blog for Movie Motherhood despite my lack of Sikh historical awareness. I’ll explain that it’s not about what you know now, it’s about what you want to know and what you are willing to do to learn. I could have declined this opportunity had I not felt the need to be involved somehow for such a powerful project. I alone can not teach my children everything
they need to learn and that is why I support and encourage people with a passion to teach, animate and share their knowledge so that we can all become that much wiser individually and as a community!
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity, thank you for starting me on a new journey!