I was recently introduced to the South Asian Bloggers Network (SABN) where I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” lots of new blogs and bloggers, including the co-founder of the SABN, Raj from Pink Chai Living. Raj is a marketing and media genius, and her blog is a fun one to read for me because every post has a bit of Indian flair. From her DIY projects to her mouth-watering recipes to her parenting tales, her stories are beautiful and authentic. And today’s guest post is no different. Enjoy!
Hi! I’m Raj from Pink Chai Living, and I’m so excited to be sharing Parita’s space today. I love the concept of her blog because I also believe wellness is a holistic experience. There’s more to be being fit and happy than just diet (the “d” word) and exercise. In fact, the key to my wellness experience has been finding my calling – my purpose in my career and life, and that’s the story I’m going to share today, along with some tips for finding your own perfect path in life.
I grew up in a home where creativity was appreciated – both my mom and grandma loved embroidery and were very proud of their handiwork. My mom was also a big fan of DIY home decor projects well before it was the trendy thing to do, however, being creative was never considered a viable career option. I remember telling my mom that I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was about 13 years old and she suggested I take course and learn how to sew, but she still thought I should study a real subject and get a real job. I don’t fault my parents for that viewpoint at all – they’re immigrants from Punjab, and probably never knew anyone that made a career in the creative arts, they were genuinely concerned for my future.
Those gentle but firm nudges from my family, plus the added responsibilities of marriage and motherhood eventually led me towards some slightly stable job options. I’ve worked in retail, software sales, local government, and at a call centre over the years, all the while feeling a restless pull towards doing something creative. During the years I was “finding my calling” I also launched a business selling handmade baby accessories and quickly realized that my favourite part of that business was the making, not the selling.
For about 10 years of my life I pretty much bounced around from job to job looking for something that made my spirit and soul happy, and also helped pay the bills. The problem was; I had no idea what my life’s purpose or calling was – and the whole concept felt overwhelming. How do you decide what you are meant to do? I struggled with this concept of finding myself for many years, and then a major life trauma helped me redefine my career path. Almost two years ago my grandmother was sick in the hospital and I had a moment of realization; when she would be gone from my life so would her recipes, her desi home remedies, and her handiwork. In that moment, all the knots in my life started to untangle and I started to see a pathway. I could be the keeper of her skills and pass them on to another generation. I could finally have a career where I could use my hands to create, and feeling like I was giving back to the world. Once I had that flash of inspiration, I was instantly “unstuck” and started the process of redesigning and re-launching my blog with a focus on adding an Indian touch to the everyday.
Since I’ve found my sweet spot of work + purpose, I’ve met a lot of people that have told me they’re stuck at a similar place, searching for more meaning in life and satisfaction in work, but not knowing where to start. I’ve got three tips to share that might help you out, if you are at a similar cross-roads.
1. Your purpose doesn’t have to be an obvious act of service
Most of us that are enlightened enough to know that life is meant to be more than a corporate rat race tend to believe our purpose has to be obvious service. For a long time I felt like I needed to be doing something like digging ditches in Africa or rescuing orphans in India – I had to do something with BIG impact. Now I realize that my purpose is softer; my service has a small ripple effect. It’s still service to the world, just in a less flashy way!
2. Do something while you wait
Honestly my twenties were tough. There were a lot of days where I felt like the laughing stock of the family because I just couldn’t pick a job. Trust me when I tell you this; sitting around and waiting for your purpose to find you is not a good idea. Do some type of work (preferably something that you enjoy even a little) while you are waiting for the inspiration to strike. If you aren’t out there being active in the world, you never know who you’ll meet, or what situation you’ll find yourself in that will lead you towards your purpose.
3. You are the only one that needs to ‘get’ your purpose
Your life’s calling is a highly personal subject, you don’t need anyone else’s approval on it, and it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you.
For me, finding my purpose has been a healing journey. I feel happier and healthier than I ever have, and I hope you’ll be able to find your sweet spot soon if you are looking! Thank you 🙂
Thanks for sharing your story, Raj. So inspirational!