A divine storm
Have you ever been tossed around by one?
I innocently thought my life would be a smooth ride. I had graduated near the top of my class, received a college degree, and got married. I didn’t plan to be a single mother at the age of 26. First to be married among my friends, first to be divorced while most of my friends were in grad school, dating, and travelling the world. The day my marriage officially ended, I felt the bittersweetness of the moment. I had gathered the courage and strength to leave my marriage. In my Indian culture, however, divorce is taboo. The Indian communities I grew up in are so interconnected that most times someone knows you or about you–which is a double-edged sword. I love the tight-knit feeling, but rejection is common if you deviate from the norm. No one was divorced in my family, a fact that my extended family reminded me of often.
What’s going on?
I fell into a depression coupled with high anxiety. I couldn’t eat or sleep properly, eventually diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Instead of reaching out for support, I tried to hide my problems from the world. Running a well-known family restaurant, I couldn’t escape being in the public eye with family and regular customers dropping in, asking how I was doing.
Eventually I was desperate enough to seek help from numerous doctors and therapies, but nothing helped. The constant stress and fear lead to major adrenal burnout and food allergies. I was in a hole I didn’t know how to escape.
Years went by and my symptoms gradually worsened as I couldn’t come to grips with what was really affecting me. I thought eating “healthy” and taking supplements would help. I pushed myself at work and spent my time outside the restaurant volunteering in several community groups. To the outside, I looked like I was thriving. I thought I was thriving, but eventually, I hit another wall.
The trip that changed my life
My anxiety turned into panic attacks which often left me drenched in a cold sweat and a racing heart. I still remember being so scared.
I decided to go to India for three months to rest and recharge. During this trip, I was introduced to the ancient healing system of Ayurveda and knew this was life altering. I came back home and enrolled in Ayurveda school.
Through studying my dosha, Vata-Pitta, I began to understand the root of my health complaints. I realized being a perfectionist and always having a need to DO more contributed to greater problems. I sacrificed sleep when I needed rest and delayed meals when I needed food. I wasn’t responding when my body was asking for self love. I pushed and deprived myself when nourishment was vital. In many ways this describes the Western way of life.
Naturally, my body was going to fall into dis-ease. I grew up thinking accomplishing more and pushing forward was how I would succeed in my journey. I finally understood that slowing down wasn’t a sign of weakness but rather a form of self care.
The path becomes clear
I immersed myself into the 5,000 year old Ayurvedic teachings, which changed my life. I discovered Ayurveda was a path to thrive without the reliance on synthetic drugs, living instead attuned to our inner nature, honoring our cycles, and eating and living according to our doshas. I also learned how focusing on my prana (breath) allowed me to truly connect with Source energy and allowed me to quiet my mind.
A few years later, after many more courses, certifications, and therapies, I headed to India again, this time to renew my spiritual self. For two months, I did “seva” (community service) at the Golden Temple. It was the most gratifying, humbling, spiritually awakening, and illuminating experience of my life. I realized how much I had always loved my connection to the Divine, but never had the opportunity to fully cultivate it. I left knowing I would devote my life to growing that connection–mind, body, and soul–to the Creator in everything I do.
Radiant soul is born
I realized Ayurveda was not only the healing modality for me, but I was meant to help and guide others as well. It’s like plugging yourself to an energy source and recharging and that’s what I felt like in India.
All of the struggles, the health issues, and the low points have made me the person I am today. Most of us want to forget the unpleasant moments in life, but in reality, those are the conditions that allow each of us to evolve into the magnificent beings we are today. We experience growth, perspective, wisdom, and compassion for ourselves which we can then extend to others. I no longer see suffering as something negative. Growth does not always look beautiful on the outside, but the process itself is meaningful, so we can shine brighter and stronger.
I hope my story stirred something inside of you to push forward and pursue your passion and purpose in life. It’s time to overcome the fears that hold you and your dreams back. Let’s work together to bring out your radiant self–to rely on your inner wisdom and shine your outer beauty in all areas of your life.