top of page

Pail to Purpose

The best gift I gave to myself was ME. You must be wondering what does that even mean.

Some people have clarity way sooner and for some, it doesn’t come until after a few knocks from life itself. Mine didn’t come until my 30s. When I hit rock bottom, life hit me hard and it caused me to really reflect on where my life had been It was hard to fathom that from 12 to 32 my life was mostly spent in a haze You know the kind where you just go through the motions and life is getting by But when I slowed down enough to watch the reel of my life, 20 years of my life painted a picture that frightened me; I did not want the next 20 years to look like that. I had some work to do.

The first thing I needed to do was acknowledge and accept my journey. Toxic relationships, abuse, suicide attempt, becoming an alcoholic to numb the pain of losing my only sibling, divorce, and becoming a single mother Boy, it was looking like a failure after failure

I felt like I was getting thrashed by the waves every time I reached for the shore. What had my life turned into? And how did it get here like this? Why me? I thought I was doing everything right but it was going all wrong. I’m the type of person who lived and sacrificed for others, yet I experienced loss after loss, defeat after defeat I had no dreams or goals for myself. Who was I?

My journey began when I become a mother and then a single mother six months later. I had to leave the house that I bought I had to leave the life that I was building I didn’t have a choice If I didn’t leave, I may have become another headline in the newspaper and I wasn’t ok with that fate.

Everything I knew was crumbling around me and I couldn’t do anything. I went through severe depression. I had anxiety I’d wake up screaming in the middle of the night. I had no appetite for food. The two people who picked me up were my parents. And then there was my poor baby who had no idea what was going on I would sit up at night holding him in my arms, talking to him while he slept I told him about the life I was going to create for him I had no idea how I was going to do it, but I was going to figure it out. After asking “why me” for a few months, I said a prayer I said, “god, I know you’re not so bored where you decided to just throw things at Priya to see how she’ll handle it.” Please give me strength and help me make sense of my life and the purpose of life. What is this pain trying to teach me?

I had heard many times that meditation helps But all my mind did was replay my painful life. My meditation made me feel worse! Then, I heard of retreats. It sounded very hippy-like stuff. When therapy, meditation, journaling, and coaching failed, I didn’t have very many options left so I signed up for a retreat.

One of the exercises of the retreat was to go hike for an hour and answer the question: what is radical joy? I wasn’t sure I even understood the meaning of it. But here I was, ready to go look for answers for a question that I didn’t even understand. I guess somehow this mountain and the forest was going to provide me the answer. At least I was hoping it will.

I entered the trail, keeping my eyes on the ground. I could smell pine. It reminded me of the holidays. And wow, so many dead branches, leaves, pine cones, and even little worms and other small critters. All of this reminded me of was loss, not just loss of life but something bigger. Loss of identity, loss of self, loss of possibilities After hiking for 30 minutes on this trail, I came to a clearing. It was beautiful. Very green, lush grass, flowers, and baby plants growing from seeds or roots of old trees It felt like new life was taking birth. It felt hopeful. I decided to sit down and ponder the question of radical joy “Radical joy” sounded so heavy. What was so radical about joy and what was joy really? I closed my eyes and I remembered the last night in my own house, tucking my baby in his favorite soft blanket after breastfeeding him and telling him that mommy will be back. That night when I thought I was going to die.

Everything seemed like a blur. Why didn’t I die? Why was I this lucky when many have not been? Just then I started hysterically sobbing Something snapped and the floodgates opened to release the last 20 years of my life.

In the last 20 years, there have been many deaths and many losses. These deaths and losses were of me Every time I couldn’t please someone, I diminished a part of me to become more of what they wanted me to become Even when I lost my brother, I felt guilty that it wasn’t me. Guilty to be alive. I was the person who’d easily set myself on fire to keep others warm. But after my son was born, there was a birth of something inside me. I didn’t know her, but I was very curious to meet her. The only way to meet her was to bury the old me The mother that was born inside me was someone I didn’t recognize. She was fierce. She actually knew how to say no to others and yes to herself. The person who could never stand up for herself got up and left a toxic marriage without a plan on how she was going to raise her child. I didn’t know this new me but I was liking her. I was loving her. From here I started testing myself on being more instead of not enough. I started to hold my ground instead of sacrificing and diminishing myself to please others. I started pushing the envelope. I started to seek my own identity I started to become someone I inspired in magazines, Ted talks, books, and podcasts. The women were strong and knew who they were I started to deconstruct myself so I could reconstruct myself again. But boy there was so much work to be done.

First was healing the broken woman inside and filling her with love, second was forgiving a past that I couldn’t change and letting go of what didn’t serve me, third was inviting and nurturing this new me and knowing that I will lose people who were not used to this new me. Most importantly, now I needed to find my purpose. What am I here to do? Everything that I went through what is this meant to teach me? I doubt I was here to just work, earn money, pay bills, and die.

It took me couple of years to forgive and heal. One thing that I learned was that nothing was a coincidence. Everything happens exactly how it’s supposed to happen and in the order, it’s meant to happen I promised myself that no matter what others have done to me, I will not let them dim the light in me I will not let their pain rob me of the goodness of my heart. I did not want to become a bitter person That’s when I decided that I’m not going to let anything go to waste. I’m not going to waste my pain I’m not going to waste my experience. I’m not going to waste my knowledge. Wherever I go from here on, I will carry forward all of myself and carry it proudly I’m not going to live in shame and guilt. My life’s mission statement is that everyone I meet, I’m going to leave them better than I found them. I took my 12 years of professional experience and molded it into successful business coaching. I took my life’s experience and started coaching and empowering single mothers on rebuilding their lives after divorce. I wanted to gain more wisdom so I started volunteering for hospice Now I partner with non-profits and coach survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking on financial literacy from a trauma standpoint. What is financial trauma? How is it affecting you? And ways you can heal yourself and rebuild.

The funny thing about radical joy is that the radical situations of our lives are what take us on a journey to find joy within. It took me a long time to learn that you can only create from the inside out. I went from suicidal to sunshine, from weak to empowered, from not enough to abundant Would I have been able to understand the meaning of any of this if I didn’t seek the connection? Not at all. So many people break under the pressure of life. But if they find the courage to seek themselves, they’ll be surprised what version of them emerges. The events of my life, the pain, they were all a blessing in disguise It introduced my old self to my new self. This would have never happened if I had just settled or given in. I had to completely deconstruct myself so I could get rid of all the pieces that no longer served me. And then I reconstructed myself with the pieces that I wanted to carry forward. I have now reached home And from here begins a new journey. A journey of me helping other women like me come home to themselves To turn their pain into purpose.

0 views0 comments
bottom of page