As one of the brains behind Sapna Magazine, I am always in the pursuit of finding the inside information on beauty, fashion, love, lifestyle, career, and culture that will improve your daily life. For example, getting the newest fashion must haves, finally figuring out how to get my skin to glow like J.Lo’s, understanding love in the scope of my culture, learning how to negotiate with my boss to get that promotion (all from a desi perspective) is something I wish I had growing up, and am so grateful to have now.
Yet in the pursuit of achievement, success, love, and shiny hair, sometimes we forget for a moment what really makes us happy. I finally paused a moment amidst my hectic daily lifestyle to contemplate the topic. There have been many times in my past where I thought a new Coach bag could fix a broken heart, a sweet boy could fix my bad day, and the Starbucks brownie frappe could fix…literally anything! I was always looking outside of myself to be happy, but never getting the long term results I wanted. The answer to my problem was simple, as much as we invest in our lifestyle, people, and appearance, the real source of happiness comes from within. It sounds like a simple concept that we’ve been fed since we met our first guidance counselor, but you would be surprised at how the majority of our priorities and actions don’t correlate.
It confuses my friends when I talk about not fully acknowledging my self worth. But I was raised in the same society as you, where female beauty is idolized, happily ever after starts after you “catch” a husband, and success is measured in monetary units. But the truth of the matter is models usually are depressed, the real drama starts after marriage, and the people at the top are usually the loneliest. Throw the old rules out the window. In this issue’s letter, I implore the beautiful South Asian women to celebrate their individuality, their beauty, their blessings, and their life.
This Fall, call your mother, father, older relative, who ever you can talk to, and find out your family story. Where did you come from? What were the struggles of your ancestors, their dreams? Also, read about Phoolan Devi, Madame Cama, Kamat Potpurri, and other great South Asian women who lived to strengthen our place in society. You will see very quickly how how much of their hopes and dreams were inspired by you, without even meeting you.
This Fall, keep a journal on how you can make yourself more into the â€œyouâ€ you want to be and keep a mind, body, soul journal. Make weekly goals on how to reach small goals. For example, improve your mind by reading at least 3 chapters a week from a book you haven’t gotten around to reading, improve your body by going to the gym at least 3 times a week, and improve your soul by donating food, clothing, or your time to local charities. Keeping a balance will lead to less stress.
This Fall, surround yourself with positive reflections of what you want to see in yourself. It’s OK to grow out of friends, lifestyles, social scenes, etc. We are supposed to be constantly evolving, and if you are doing the same thing you were two years ago with no growth, then you better check yourself! I am constantly being inspired by the kindness, hard work, and ambition of those around me and know that is a major factor in my personal success.
I hope that my humble suggestions can make for a more wonderful end to 2006 to all our readers. I am genuinely proud and humbled to belong to such an elite class of women who are always striving for perfection. Well guess what ladies, we are thereâ€¦ enjoy the ride.
Reach for your SAPNA,