Many of you know my story and you know that I grew up in a cultural environment where I faced tremendous gender disparity. I actually grew up believing that women are the inferior gender. That women are inferior to men and I carried that belief with me well into adulthood.
As a young adult, I even allowed myself to be coerced into an arranged marriage because it was actually ingrained in me that I had to relinquish control of my life to men, whether it was my father, or to my future husband. And maybe some of you come from cultures who can relate to this but we are actually taught, or it’s ingrained in us, it’s part of our cultural paradigm that women have to be looked after by men. So it starts out with being looked after by our fathers and we are expected to stay at home with our parents until we get married and then our husbands look out after us. That’s the kind of cultural environment I grew up in.
If I went out in the evenings, at night, I couldn’t go out with just women friends or girlfriends, this was before I was married. There had to be a male chaperone who was trusted by my family, like it could even be my brother or somebody who my family knew and trusted. And women were treated like we were very vulnerable and that we were prone to danger.
So just think about this. Think about the kind of messages this sends to us or gives us, think about the kind of beliefs that this forms with in us. It makes us feel that we need to be protected by men all the time but it also makes us doubt our own abilities as women to think, to react, to create, to be all that we can be. It makes us doubt our own strength. It makes us doubt our confidence in our own emotions and our own reactions. In addition to this, at home, there were a lot of chores around the house, like for example, kitchen chores and things like that which were just assigned to me and not my brother for example, when I would ask my parents why he didn’t have to help with the washing up or the cooking, they would just say, because you’re a girl and he’s a boy. Did you hear that? That was my phone ring tone. And if you recognize it, that was Abba “Dancing Queen”. Sorry about that.
So when I was growing up, no other explanation was needed other than that you are a girl and he is a boy. And that was it. And I actually grew up believing that women were the inferior culture and that our role was a supportive role, that we existed to support men. Looking around even at my world at that time as a young woman, as a teenager, as a young girl, looking around, all the leadership roles were held by men, doctors were all men. People in government were all men and leading figures, news readers at that time were all men but the supporting roles were all held by women. For example, assistants, secretaries, nurses, all these roles were held by women.
Now think about this, what kind of an impression does that give you and when you’re young and you’re impressionable, you don’t question it. You just take it as factual. So how many of you grew up in this kind of cultural environment? I’m really interested to know. I’m interested to hear from you and to know whether you grew up in a similar cultural environment.
I know that a lot of people say that in Western culture particularly in American culture, we have nothing to complain about, that women are very free and very liberated from all these beliefs. That is true to an extent but only to an extent and I’ll get into that a little bit more in a moment what I mean by that.
So here’s what I want to say next though. When I died, when I reached end stage cancer and crossed over to the other realm, I realized that there is no gender in the other realm. There is no gender because we have no biology. We are just pure spiritual beings. We are powerful beyond belief. We are strong, we are powerful and everything about us is needed here, our empathy, our sensitivity, all the way down to our assertiveness, our masculinity, our femininity, it’s all equally important. Like yin and yang, there’s no judgment in that realm about which is more positive and which is more negative. There is absolutely no judgment in that realm. I realized that the roles we play, the roles we stick to, the gender roles that have been taught to us are actually cultural roles. They’re not something that is given to us from the other realm at birth.
Our biological gender comes with us at birth and this is for the purpose of reproduction but the roles that we carry emotionally, the guilt that women carry if they go to work, the self-sacrificing as opposed to self-love that women are taught to believe in. The suppression of the ego which women are more encouraged to suppress than men are.
All these things are cultural conditionings. They’re not a “there” thing,, they’re a “here” thing. That’s what I want you to know. Our genders are actually both equally important like yin and yang, one without the other creates an imbalance and that’s what we see happening in our world right now. We’re seeing this imbalance come into play and it’s happening everywhere including in the USA which is the country which is supposed to be the freest, with the least amount of gender disparity.
So here’s why I said I wan to come back to talking about gender disparity in the US. What’s happened is that in many cases, when women realize that they are equally powerful, equally important in the world, what we do is we tend to sometimes believe we have the right to be like men in order to get what is ours. Here’s what I want to encourage you to do as women listening and I want to say this as well though. Is that I honor all of you. It doesn’t matter whether your emotional gender matches your biological gender, that’s irrelevant. It doesn’t matter to me what your biology is and what your emotions are, so that’s completely irrelevant. But what I want to say to you is that if you are somebody who is empathetic, if you are somebody who is more emotional than other people, if you’re somebody who’s more sensitive, embrace those as your strengths. Embrace them as your strengths, whether you’re a man or a woman.
We label them as feminine qualities but not only that, they are feminine qualities but in a yin sort of way. We don’t have to give it a gender. They are equally important. They are equally important in every way as having assertiveness, as being headstrong, as being stubborn, all those yang qualities. The yin qualities are equally important. So what we are seeing today is a rise in male energy. And it doesn’t matter what gender you are.
We’re seeing a rise in male energy because I know there’s a lot of men out there who embrace sensitivity, who are more sensitive and empathetic but they’re afraid to show it. They’re afraid to show it because they’re afraid of being labeled, they’re afraid of being labeled as weak. There are women who believe that they need to become more like men in order to succeed in this world. I want you to know that’s not true.
Today we need those feminine qualities more than anything. The other thing is that we need more women in role model roles. We need more women, strong women role models who are embracing feminine qualities, we really do. That’s one of the things that I want to speak about more and more as we move forward generally in life as I move forward because that’s become so important. Women more so than men, are discouraged from embracing their egos. Women from a young age are told that we mustn’t be so egotistical. I know that I was told that. I know that I was also told not to raise my voice, not to lose my temper, all these things purely because I was a women, no other reason. I found that so frustrating.
So what I encourage women to do is embrace your ego because you need your ego in order to take on leadership roles. Your ego is not your enemy. The enemy is in suppressing your spiritual awareness and it’s only when you are pure ego with no spiritual awareness, then you have a problem but if you have incredible spiritual awareness, incredible empathy, sympathy, balance and you really do feel what everyone else is feeling, you need to embrace your ego in order to know that your message is important and needs to be shared.
What we are lacking in the world today is people who are spiritually aware who are willing to take on leadership roles and I believe that one of the reasons why we lack that is because most people who are spiritually aware are afraid to embrace their egos because that’s what we’ve been taught. So please share my message if you feel it makes sense to people around you or anybody you know. In the meantime I would love to hear some of your questions. Yeah, sorry I sprang it on you all of a sudden. And sorry my emojis, thank you for all your love and your hearts and everything and right back at you everybody, thank you.
– Patty Lamb asks “are we that powerful here on Earth “but just don’t know it or believe it?”
– Yes absolutely. So we are extremely powerful. We were born powerful, we are everything that we want to be, we are everything that we’re trying to be. We already are spiritual but it’s been conditioned out of us so it’s not about learning about things. It’s about unlearning, undoing, releasing, letting go. Let go of everything that you are not. It’s not about trying to be something. It’s about letting go of what you’re not. There’s a quote that is not coming to my mind but I think it’s a Michelangelo quote about how did he create that statue of David and he said that it was already there in the marble but he just chipped away what wasn’t necessary or what wasn’t wanted. You already are powerful, just let go of what holds you back.
– Denise asks, “did you ever feel alone after “your experience?”
– Oh that’s a great question because I did, I really did. And it really took me awhile to find my tribe and to fit in again because what happens is that when you start to change and grow and you grow into being all that you can be, you may find that you’re different from the person that you used to be but you need to honor this person that you’re becoming because it’s who you are and it may mean letting go of some of your old friendships or relationships. You can still love them. You can still love them but don’t hold on to your old self just because you’re afraid of disappointing them because the only way to help them to come to where you are is for you to continue to move forward into being all that you are. If you continue to not disappoint them by being who you used to be, not only will you be stagnating yourself, you won’t be doing them any favors either. You won’t be helping them grow either.
– Liz Dawn asks “how did you deal with your family “trying to oppress you?”
– Okay that is a great question. So this is a really cool story because my family tried to arrange a marriage for me and they found me a real challenge. So when I was growing up, I was a rebellious teenager. My favorite role model was Cyndi Lauper. Remember her, the one who sang, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun?” Don’t you love that track? Okay, so she was my role model and I used to dress like her. I used to emulate her clothes. I used to spray my hair in luminous pink and green stripes down the side and it used to freak my parents out. Now can you imagine, imagine you have a daughter like Cyndi Lauper and you’re trying to get her into an arranged marriage? That’s what it was like for my parents. Finally, I gave in, I did agree to an arranged marriage. And if you know anything about what Indian weddings are like, there was a huge wedding arranged for us with the hotel rooms booked and the temples booked and the horses and everything. It’s supposed to be a week long affair. Three days before the wedding, I ran away. Of course it shocked my parents but it also shocked the entire community because all our relatives had flown in for the wedding so it was quite a shock at my time, it was 1987. So it was a shock for everyone but after that incident my parents stopped forcing me into an arranged marriage after that and so yeah it was pretty drastic. So that was a great question Liz. And today I am so thankful that I didn’t go through with the arranged marriage because I had met my wonderful husband Danny who is my soulmate and by the way, Danny is a feminist and it’s very very attractive for men to be feminists and I’ll tell you why. Because when a man is feminist, that means he’s looking out for the woman’s best interest. When he does that, she can relax and just be herself. Then she doesn’t feel that she’s got to defend herself or defend herself as a woman or fight for her rights or any of those things because she knows that the man that she’s with, her partner, that her partner completely honors her as a woman.
– Audrey says “my sister passed away, how can I know “if she’s okay?”
– Wow, I’m so sorry to hear this Audrey but I want you to know that your sister is fine regardless of whether you feel her presence of not. She is totally fine and she wants you to be happy. She truly wants you to be happy and nothing will make her happier than to see you happy. Also, she will try and communicate with you but you will feel it and sense it when you least expect it. The more you look for it, the more it will elude you but she’ll surprise you and when you stop looking for it, you’ll sense it, but she’s completely fine. You just do whatever you need to do to heal yourself.
– Christina asks if you can talk about finding your purpose or work to do in life.
– Okay that’s another great question Christina. So your purpose actually aligns with who you are. So the way to find your purpose is to figure out who you are, ask yourself this question, “who am I, who am I?” And when I say, who am I, you chip away what you’re not. I had to go through this again recently because it sometimes is a lifelong thing. Your purpose unfolds from you honoring who you are and six months ago I started to realize that my work had taken me in a direction where I started accumulating a lot of baggage related to the work I was doing and I started to find my days filled with things that I didn’t want to do. They were things I didn’t sign up for. Things that I had inadvertently taken on and I was so stressed out, I almost had a break down and I thought, why am I doing this? Again, I had to go inward and ask myself, “who am I, who am I?” And once I got clarity on that, it’s who am I, I am someone who has a message and I want to share it. How do I want to share it? What is the message? I got really clear on the message. I got really clear on what my purpose is, which is to share the message and then it become much easier to chip away, chip away the things that I didn’t want to do. So once you get clear inside here and inside here, really important, inside here, get really clear on what is my message, what am I here to do, who am I, what honors my truth, my soul? Get clear in here, your purpose will unfold before you. We tend to have an outside-in view but I recommend an inside-out view. An outside-in view means going out into the world and looking for your purpose, that’s not where you’ll find it. You have to go inside and find out who you are, why you’re here and then the world will respond to you.
– Ackee asks “how much time does it take to heal ourselves? “What are your views about how long it would take “to heal ourselves?”
– Okay so that question is totally dependent on you and I want to be really sensitive about this because if you are not healing as quickly as you want or you’re not making progress, I don’t want you to blame yourself. It’s not your fault. Healing is a journey and part of your journey might be what you’re going through. Maybe healing is not what you’re supposed to be looking for right now. Maybe you’re supposed to be actually experiencing that health challenge right now so get into it, love it, embrace it. Embrace yourself through it. Embrace yourself through your healing challenge and stop seeing it as an enemy and something that has to be fought or battled with. Your body is not something that has to be fought or battled with, your body is something that has to be loved and nurtured, especially through challenges. Like you would a small child, if a small child was sick, you wouldn’t put any stress on that child and blame that child if they weren’t getting better so don’t do that to yourself. Don’t say things like, “why am I not getting it? “What am I still not getting? “Why am I not getting well?” Remove all of that from your verbiage, from your language, from your psyche and just embrace yourself through the journey and it will come. Thank you for that questions. I think there were people that need to hear it. So let’s do one last question before we finish.
– Barbara says, “I am more masculine than feminine “and have been judged for it by my family “and society, how can I stay my ground, “love myself for how I am “and give me and them love?”
– Well firstly, it starts with you giving yourself love and thank you for that question because I’m sure there are a lot of people that would relate to you. There are lots of people, you know, it’s a spectrum. It isn’t just hard lines, masculine, feminine. Masculinity to femininity, it’s like a spectrum and we all fall somewhere in that spectrum, in our thinking, in our emotions, we all do, regardless of what gender, what physical body, what gender our biology is. So regardless of what gender our biology is we all fall somewhere in the spectrum so realize that and embrace you who are. The more you can accept yourself, the more you can accept other people’s views about you. If other people’s views are triggering something within you, it means you haven’t accepted that about yourself, but here’s the most loving thing that you can do. If you need to be away from other people, don’t judge yourself for that. Remove yourself from other people. Be with people for as long as you need to. People who understand you, people who relate to you, people who embrace you and love you for who you are. If you need to avoid people who are going to judge you for awhile, do that, it doesn’t matter, it’s totally fine. You have to take care of yourself first in order to be there for other people and to love other people. So just do that, I honor you and I thank you for asking that question, I really do.
I honor each and every one of you. Thank you so much for your questions. Thank you so much for tuning in. I love you, every single one of you.