Changing Relationships to Better Yourself

It’s been over eight months since I’ve seen my parents. For a lot of other Desis I know, that concept can be a difficult one to picture.

As you may know, I live in Colorado and left home in Texas about 6 years ago for university. I frequently came back home, as most students did, on school breaks while I was in college, and was able to see my parents about every 3 or 4 months.

When I graduated and got my first professional, full-time job at the same university, my parents warned me that I could only take this job if I came home once a month. So last year, every month, I flew home on my own dime and visited for 3 – 4 days. They were short trips, but so frequent that it felt like I wasn’t really away.

This year, I haven’t been home since March. I bailed on my Thanksgiving plans to go home, (much to my parents dismay) and now I’m heading home for 2 days for New Year’s Eve. Though I don’t always get along with my parents, and love living away from home, I dealt with a lot of guilt that I was away from home.

I never even realized that moving back home was what was expected of me after college. The only expectation that I was aware of was to get a good job, which I did.

For so many South Asians, and especially South Asian women, our role is often defined by what we can provide for our families. It’s always great to be of service, to be there for others, and to cultivate healthy relationships with our loved ones.

However, we are entering a new world in which we can begin to redefine our roles, our families, and how we allow ourselves to cultivate our own sense of self. 

We are CREATING culture as we live and breathe. We define and redefine our culture as Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Canadians, Americans, British in every waking moment.

It’s okay to change the rules.

More importantly, it’s okay to disconnect from people when you grow. 

This past year has encapsulated the most personal growth and healing that I’ve ever experienced. Not only did I launch this blog and my youtube channel, but I also discovered the powers of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and am studying Neuro-Linguistic Programming as a result. I’ve finally reestablished my yoga practice, and I’ve finally been able to bring myself to meditate.

None of this would have been possible without me taking these months to myself.

We all need some time away from the “energy-suckers,” as Oprah calls them.

My biggest point here is that not every ‘energy-sucker’ has to be a completely, all-around, horrible person. Our seasons of life can also factor into who we should be spending time with, and how much that time can vary.

It’s probably not great to be out at the club 4+ nights a week, every week. But if you’re on vacation, it might make perfect sense to spend a few days that week partying it up. These seasons of life are natural.

It’s okay to take a break from all your family members, or to take a hiatus from seeing your friends for a couple of weeks. Especially if this means that you will grow and be a better person because of it. 

When you take time to nurture who you are, and you allow yourself to truly care for yourself, you begin to reap the benefits. When you finally reconnect with your loved ones, you have more positivity, more energy, and more presence to bring into the relationships.

Disconnect to reconnect.



An Ode to Lonely Hearts this Holiday Season

To anyone who has been emotionally, physically, or mentally abused by close family.

To anyone who cannot come out to their family.

To anyone who has lost family support because you stood in your truth.

This is for you.

You are  precious gem in this often soulless world. You will find a chosen family. You did not betray anyone.

You are breaking through generational trauma. You are investing in the future of your family and your own descendents.

You will create a home that you love. You will thrive.

You deserve to have boundaries. You deserve to be treated with respect. You deserve genuine happiness.

You are beautiful. You are worthy. You are loved.

How You Can Start Trusting Your Intuition

Trust your Intuition


Something you might not know about me is that I moved close to 1000 miles away from my parent’s home to start college at a liberal arts school. Not entirely unusual, except that all of my peers are long-gone from this small Colorado town, while I’m still here 6 years later.

Walking around campus yesterday, I finally realized  that it was all for something.

I used to be quite the party girl, especially during most of my college years. Ironically, when that was my main goal, my friends liked to take it easy, and when they finally wanted to spend most of their time partying after college ended, I was finally beginning to take a hiatus from all the booze and parties.

I constantly felt like I was bad at being in my twenties and that I shouldn’t be spending my time indoors, going to bed by 10, and generally being #GrandmaChic.

Despite the guilt and my story of “should,” I knew deep down that I was spending my time the right way, that I wasn’t actually being lazy, and that I was definitely experiencing some healing.

It is completely okay to disconnect. 

We all need to disconnect from others from time to time, and that has nothing to do with your ability to be a good friend. In fact, you can be a much better friend when you’re not constantly stuck and churning in your own turmoil. 

As I found my way walking through campus yesterday, (where I now am employed full-time), I realized that this city and the boredom I faced all brought me to the very moment of writing this blog.

If I wasn’t slightly discontent with where I was living, and if I had constantly been trying to distract myself with drugs, alcohol, and parties, I wouldn’t have realized that I wanted more.

I wouldn’t have looked into personal growth, nor would I have stumbled upon my favorite creative entrepreneurs, and I wouldn’t have had the mental energy to convince myself that this was truly the life that I have been dreaming of.

If you have even a small glimmer of hope that you’re in the right place, or the tiniest sense in your intuition that everything will work out if you are patient, or you run into the strange sensation of contentment, follow it. Lean into it.

Screw the “should”s and the “must”s and the “you’re-not-cool-ifs” and follow your heart straight into your happy place.

I finally understand what people mean when they tell others to “trust the process.” My life may have been unconventional, but I was (and am) truly, truly happy. Of course I still have goals, and still want to strive for more. But I know that I am taking steps, every day, to get closer to those goals.

And I refuse to wait until I get there to be happy.

Trust yourself, love yourself, and do you, boo.

What You Can Learn From My Scam Story

Important Lessons from

I get a call from someone impersonating an officer, with all my information, concerned about missing a court appearance for jury duty.

Not only have I never even been called in to jury duty, but I have also never had any experience with missing a court date.

I fell into the trap of listening to this asshole go on about how I could either go in for an arrest, today, or make a payment, today. He scammed me out of $1000, and if you want to know more about the story and what happened, let me know in the comments – I’d be happy to make a video about the details of the scam!

After navigating through the shame, embarrassment, and anger of being tricked out of losing a significant amount of money, I was at an emotional crossroads. I felt like I could either take this as a sign that I shouldn’t run my own business, or that I will never be able to handle my own money, or I could use this time to prove to the universe that I’m serious. Serious about my business, serious about my financial future, and someone who won’t back down from my dreams.

Lesson One: Money is a Tool // You Are More Than Your Bank Account.

I have heard so many wellness coaches and authors mention this, and though I have been trying to incorporate this into my perspective, I felt like a part of me was dismissive of this story because the people who were telling me this also had more than enough to cover their basic expenses.

I felt like I had to earn a certain amount before I could truly let myself believe that money is a tool.

Even though my account totals have dropped, I know that I have never missed a rent payment, I still generally feel safe, and now I know that I would never fall for such a thing again.

I can wait around forever to have enough money before I finally “fix” my relationship with money, or truly allow myself to feel like I deserve it.

Or, I could realize that what I actually want is to be able to support myself with my business, to be somewhat location-independent, and to feel supported through the relationships in my life.

I wasn’t angry that I was manipulated out of my money, I was mad that I was manipulated out of what that money represented to me: freedom. 

Think about what money represents for you – focus on that. I don’t have piles and piles of cash, but I truly recognize that money is not an end in itself. Money is a means to the life you truly want.

Don’t give it more power than you need to.

When we get stuck using measuring our self-worth through quantified terms, it will never be enough. You can get so focused on increasing the numbers in your bank account, or losing more and more weight, or getting a perfect test score in a shorter amount of time, that you honestly forget what it’s all for.

And I urge you to remember what the bottom line is and what your true motives are. Because when something happens, like you get scammed and you lose some money, or gain some weight back, or when you have a bad test day, that can be all it takes for you to lose all of your self-worth.

Your sense of worthiness is not quantifiable, so stop telling yourself it is! 

Lesson Two: You Can Only Control the Power you Give to a Situation.

I could spend the rest of the holidays skulking around about how I was taken advantage of, manipulated, and paranoid about someone out there who knows my information. Sure, I genuinely felt all of these things. But I choose not to give this situation more power than it needs.

Looking back on my college experience, I can think of an entire list of times I had been betrayed, wronged, or manipulated. 

Not all of those times were as serious as being scammed, but plenty of them sent me into emotional turmoil far worse than what I am experiencing now.

The reason is because I saw myself as weak, powerless, and only a victim of what was going on around me. 

In reality, other than aging a few years, and switching from being a full-time student to a full-time employee, not much has tangibly changed in my life.

But what is different is my perspective on how to deal with negative situations. The point is, shit happens. It will look differently in all of our lives, but we will all be let down at some point.

In any of these situations, you have the power to chose how you feel and how you will deal with the situation. 

Do you want to be defined by your struggles, or by what you accomplished in spite of them?

Empathize with yourself and allow yourself to feel hurt. Then pick yourself up and keep going. Make changes, redefine relationships, do what you need to do to heal.

But don’t stop being you.



Always Jealous? Here’s How to Deal With it:

There’s nothing worse than floating around in a directionless space. But we have all experienced, most likely on a daily basis, ourselves constantly critiquing and comparing ourselves to everyone physically around us and in our newsfeeds.

The antidote to feeling lost? Using your Comparison Envy as a teaching tool for what you truly want.

A few years ago, I would feel a literal pang when I saw how many likes someone’s Instagram had, or saw how talented my friends’ pictures on social media were. Now, here I am, starting an online business, focusing on improving my photography and videography abilities, and finally feel like these are actual skills that I can work toward rather than a talent that just completely missed me.

I didn’t quite connect the dots at first, but looking back, had I paid closer attention to that comparison envy actually teaching me what I wanted for myself, I could have saved a lot of heartache by just admitting to myself that that’s what I wanted. Instead, I lost both time and confidence in pitying myself.

I don’t want you to lose this kind of precious time – I want you to be able to set it and get it

Don’t let yourself be pushed around by the comparison envy in your head. Instead, let it fuel your motivation and help you get to the bottom of what you truly want.

Journal Prompt:

1. Ask yourself why you are constantly comparing yourself to others, and what is at the core of the comparison.

2. What can you start doing, today, to help you reach the goal outlined by your comparison envy?

Leave a comment below, or shoot me an email, and let me know what your comparison envy has taught you!



How to Visualize and Manifest your Goals

visualize & manifest your goals


As I mentioned in my previous post, one of my recent dreams of actually having a festive holiday season, on my terms, has been coming true.

I wanted to explore this story a little more, and talk about my first-ever experience with visualization and manifestation. I have been exploring this topic recently, and learned that some of my favorite lifestyle bloggers, YouTubers, and authors strongly believe in the power of visualizing and using this tactic as a stepping stone to manifesting their dreams.

I have been so intrigued by this topic that I decided to add it to my habit tracker so that I would remember to set aside a little time every day to think about what I truly wanted.

I’m not gonna lie – a lot of this process started out in a stressful way. I was constantly worried that I wasn’t “visualizing correctly” or that I wasn’t focused and meditative enough. I felt like sometimes I would dream and visualize about living on an island, sometimes I would focus on running a successful business, but there wasn’t one overall lifestyle or goal that I was picturing myself living.

I kept visualizing the fantasies that I would see on my Pinterest boards rather than actually picturing how a particular thing would look in my life. 

In the past, I’ve never really been able to choose what I’m doing or where I’m going during the holiday season. This year, I took a stand to celebrate the holidays my way. I was able to buy a later ticket to see my family, so that I could spend the holiday season with my boyfriend in my cozy Colorado landscape without actually upsetting my parents.

When I finally felt like I had some level of control over my plans without being guilt-tripped or feeling like I was letting everyone down, I was finally able to focus in on what I really wanted. 

I started picturing even more fairy lights strung up all around my apartment, and a sweet little christmas tree with classy ornaments in the corner by the window, and started dreaming of all the delicious desserts I would whip up for Christmas day.

Last weekend, when my boyfriend and I went to his parents house for dinner, his mom gave us a pre-lit Christmas tree, strings of fairy lights, and even tons of festive ornaments. It all fell into my lap, and as soon as we got home my boyfriend out the exact corner I was visualizing as the perfect home for our new tree.

It was such a small manifestation, but it left me looking at this holiday season with completely new eyes.

Peeling back the layers of what I truly want compared to what I should want (being in Texas with my parents) has allowed me to shift my perspective. Instead of making myself feel bad that I’m not the perfect Indian daughter, I now realize that all I can truly do is follow what I want and figure out how it’s all going to work.

But ignoring my dreams to potentially make others happy while I choose to lead a life of quiet resentment is just not an option for me. 

Here are a couple of things to remember when visualizing goals in your own life:

  1. It’s better to start small than not at all.
    1. Maybe you don’t know what you want, or what your future holds, and you sure don’t have time for any  kind of commitment. But you know you want to be out on Saturday night, looking your best in that one certain dress. Or you can at least agree that a roadtrip or vaca with your besties is exactly what you need. Picking just one thing that you know you want can start to uncover other hidden dreams that you’ve kept at bay. 
  2. Focus in on the details
    1. An important aspect of visualization that you’ll hear all the experts talk about is to not get attached to how a certain dream will manifest. For example, I never would have thought that my boyfriend’s mom would have magically gifted us a Christmas tree. But, I did focus in on visualizing the tree, and the lights, and the ornaments themselves. The more specific you are about a certain goal, the better. 
  3. Picture it in your own life
    1. There is a difference between fantasizing about someone else’s life and actually visualizing accomplishing your goals in your own life. When I pictured the tree, I pictured exactly how it would look in my apartment, where it would go, and how it would make me feel. That is visualizing and manifesting in your own life. What I didn’t do is just go on Pinterest or Instagram to stalk other people’s perfect holiday decorations and get caught in a loop of envy. Even if you aren’t soaked in negativity or envy, when you start visualizing how a goal would truly look like for you, it becomes much more real. This is the difference between a daydream or a far-off thought and actually visualizing and manifesting your future. 

In the comments below, let me know if you’ve ever had an experience with visualizing and/or manifestation!

If not, did this post give you some visualization – inspo?



Start Your Manifestation Journey with this Mantra

In the past week, I have re-framed my mindset to this: Set It + Get It. 

It’s that simple.

What’s important to note is that half the work is in setting the goal itself.

And you know why?

Because we get tripped up in thoughts like this:

“what’s the point of it all anyway? what’s the difference if I just stay where I am one more year? What’s the point of taking a risk when I can just play it safe? What if they make fun of me? What if they doubt me? What if they call me an imposter? I am an imposter… I’m out of my league. I’m not good enough. I’m fine with the way everything is, right?”

…and so on.

We have a flicker of an idea of a goal that we want to achieve, and we don’t even give ourselves time to write the goal down or process it before we convince ourselves to just move on or to stop dreaming.

Achieving goals is like building a muscle but it’s something that we can do. We just have to figure out where we want to go, what we want to do, and connect that bridge from where we are now.

For example, this year, I decided that I truly want to design the holiday season of my dreams. This doesn’t mean spending explosive amounts of money, but it meant creating a space for myself, in my adult home and adult life, to truly feel like I am creating my own traditions and not just playing the role of a child anymore. It’s so nice to give back, to choose who I want to give gifts to, set boundaries for those gifts (i.e. minimalist gifts, gifts under a certain budget range, etc.) so that I’m not left to start 2018 on a stressed and broke note.

I realized that because of family feuds, travel, spending money, and just general chaos, that holidays had always stressed and overwhelmed me.

I never thought that I could make the holidays my own because for so long in my life, it meant sacrificing what I truly wanted in order to make everyone else around me happy.

Deep down, I knew what I wanted, but I felt like I didn’t deserve it. 

Because again, as soon as we have a glimmer of an idea of what we truly want, we are bombarded with:

“am I good enough? What does this all mean? Have I proved enough? What if everyone thinks that I don’t love them? What if this blows up in my face?”

As soon as we can let go of the self-doubt, the self-torment, the agonizing self-indulgence, we can finally admit our own goals.

In my case, it was that I wanted a great holiday on my own terms, my way.

Admit the goals. Set it, and get it.

When I talk about setting a goal, it’s about making the decision to stick to that goal and to keep striving towards it every single day. As I said, making it happen was a fraction of the work compared to just setting the goal in the first place.

Once I could admit what I truly wanted (to feel like I am in charge of my life and control over this tumultuous season), it was as simple as setting up a Christmas tree, snagging some gifts I’m excited about, and deciding on some homemade holiday treats to set my new traditions.

Forget your negativity, Set your goals and desires, and Get started on making it all happen.




Managing Emotions: Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

I’m one of those people who frequently looks for ways to have my mind blown.

For the first time ever, I was introduced to Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions, and I feel like I have been reunited with a long-lost friend.

emotions wheel
Plutchick’s Wheel of Emotions

By looking at this graph, you can easily identify the “regions” in which we are allowing our emotions to  exist.

Seeing every emotion and feeling formatted in this way really helps me figure out where my head is and what I’m sacrificing in order to keep my energy in that place.

For example, the years that I spent essentially living in the dark, avoiding real activities and human interaction, kept me in the Sad, Mad, and Scared regions, but I realized that what I truly desired was in the Peaceful, Powerful, and Joyful regions.

Instead of doing things differently, I kept hiding and finding ways to play it safe when all I wanted was to feel confident, brave, and content.

Seeing this emotions chart helps me realize that as much as I want to believe some emotions are negative and some are positive, in all honesty, emotions don’t have that connotations in themselves.

Rather, it’s how we talk to ourselves about experiencing these emotions that drive home the feeling that certain emotions are bad or even punishable.

When the emotions are all listed like this, it makes me realize that every emotion is genuinely valid, and it makes me feel that I have some level of control over myself. It makes it much easier to realize that all of these emotions I am experiencing (feeling apathetic, angry, resentful, depressed) are not all so foreign from one another as I originally thought. This also helps me think about certain activities that I connect with many of these feelings.

Studying this chart has gifted me with an amazing new perspective – when I find myself “stuck” on one side of this emotion wheel, or truly feeling in a rut, I can look at the emotions that are on the opposite side and try to do at least one thing to foster that opposite and desired emotion.

For example, as I mentioned, I used to find myself skulking in my room in a Netflix-induced haze, all the while wanting to feel as confident and wholehearted as the women I was watching on the screen.

When I look at the emotions wheel, I can now see that during some of the worst times in my life, what I felt was remorseful, isolated, and apathetic. Now, I finally notice that across from these painful emotions live the emotions that I so deeply desired – emotions like creativity, optimism, and feeling energetic.

Sure, it can be extremely difficult to go from months of inactivity and Netflix binging to waking up at 6 am for a winter morning jog. Instead, I picked a positive emotion that seems both attainable and yet a break from my usual rut: creativity.

I can easily be creative from the confines of my bedroom, which still leaves me physically in a place of comfort, while I am stretching my mental boundaries and allowing myself to take steps outside of my comfort zone.

What is so great about creating is that it gives you a free arena in which to make decisions and to do things your own way with little to no consequences. I can color a whole page black, or splatter paint with no concept behind it, and no one can get hurt or blame me for screwing up. It’s safe, but it still helps me feel that I am making my own decisions, taking control, and not just being a passive and isolated binge-watching fanatic.

In the comments below, let me know – have you seen this emotions wheel before? If not, did it surprise you?



Self-Care + Self-Love Aren’t Selfish.

self-care is not self-ishAs 2018 quickly approaches, I, along with every other boss out there, are setting goals for the new year.

Setting goals doesn’t have to just circulate around money, weight, and test scores.

Instead, we can set goals about our approach, our mindset, and our intentions.

One of my goals for 2018 is to tap into Overflowing Joy. 

In 2017, I truly discovered doing things for the hell of it. I finally pushed myself out of the mental confines of my depression and the physical confines of my apartment, and I was finally able to enjoy doing things. period.

When you spend time being depressed, it’s so easy to feel like nothing has a purpose, nothing is enjoyable, and everything just feels completely draining. For so long, I got in the mindset of only doing what I had to do, not doing things that I wanted to do.

Not only did this make doing things an even bigger obligation, but I forgot what the point was of doing anything if someone wasn’t telling me to (i.e. doing something for work, or school or because your lovely friends are finally dragging you out).

Recently, I’ve been taking advantage of the 2 hours in every Colorado winter when the sun is out and the temperature is bearable to take long, luxurious walks with my dog and my podcasts.

I have found beauty and hope in activities of self-love.

I used to feel like I could only enjoy truly nice things every once in awhile, and that no one was satisfied or content 100% of the time. Even when you look up the word luxury, its synonyms are words like “self-indulgent” and “hedonistic,” words that seem entirely negative and punishing.

What I realize now is that I was seeing everything through a mindset of scarcity, instead of learning to live an abundant life of joy, love, and care. Is there truly a reason why life shouldn’t be delicious all the time?

Self-love is not selfish.

Self-care is not selfish.

From now on, I vow to do things purely for joy.

Maybe you don’t have hours to spend walking and exploring in the sun, but you can carve out 20 minutes twice a week to take an extravagant bath as your own secret me-time. The point is that you spoil yourself in a beautiful way, that you do something that makes you smile to yourself, and that you fill yourself with so much joy that you cannot help but radiate that to the world.

It’s about damn time we stop demonizing people who pamper themselves, and instead look at self-care through a lense of abundance rather than scarcity.

How will you choose abundance?

Mind, Body, Soul: Personalize Your Self-Care Routine

personalize your self-care (1)Whether you’re exhausted after an endless array of holiday parties and rich boozy drinks, or you’re just trying to start 2018 off with your strongest foot forward, self-care is absolutely essential at this time of year.

When you look for self-care ideas on Google or Pinterest, you often find tons of examples along the lines of aromatherapy, taking a nice bath, or walking outside. But what is important is that while all self-care may not look the same, there are some things that may help you or be more beneficial to you than others in specific situations.

I have created a way to optimize self-care by focusing on mind, body, and soul. 

Sometimes, we take care of our mind by reading, listening to podcasts, and taking in as much information as possible. Sometimes, we take care of our body by pushing ourselves to the next limit in our workouts and by trying new thins with our diet. All of these are great on their own. But we can get so wrapped up in these things that we also forget to focus on the third part of our self-care trinity: the soul. 

By soul, I don’t mean to get overly spiritual. What I mean is the regular-check in with your self to see how you’re feeling emotionally, and if you feel that you are fulfilled in the deepest personal sense. 

This exercise is as simple as one question, three answers.
  1. What does my mind need?
  2. What does my body need?
  3. What does my soul need?
I’ll give you an example of how I used this exercise this morning:
  •      My mind needs to stop overthinking.
  •      My body needs to keep moving around.
  •      My soul needs to feel free and unbound.

After answering these three questions, I realized that I needed to be outside, with no car, no purse, nothing but my house keys and my phone to listen to podcasts, and my $5 in case I want a coffee. I needed to feel free, feel connected to the sun and wind and nothing else. Sometimes, getting “lost” in this way helps me feel incredibly un-lost, it helps me feel like I belong in my own existence, and sometimes that exact feeling is what I need to stop second-guessing myself in my creative work and instead to start believing in myself even more. 

And another example of how I answered these questions earlier this week:

  •      My mind needs to focus on just one thing at a time.
  •      My body needs some stillness and full breaths.
  •      My soul wants to feel at peace, and that I am moving forward in a way that my inner mentor would be proud of.

The middle of this week was particularly hard for me – I had some family issues going on, and a lot of guilt and not-good-enough to deal with. I realized how much my tendency of feeling not-good-enough turned into trying to be a perfectionist, or to busy myself into checking off every task on every list just to prove my worth.

Instead, this exercise helped me realize that instead of filling up my schedule, I needed to do the opposite. I needed to find some white space. I needed to get comfortable with nothingness.

I hope that this helps you to think about self-care as a need, and why it is important to prioritize mind, body, and soul.

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