A bright 24 year old, is overwhelmed by her job as a financial analyst in a leading financial services company. Working through volumes of data for upto 12 hours a day and often 6 days a week was getting increasingly stressful for Maya.
Repetitive tasks, fear of falling short of expectations due to unbridled competition in the team, junk food and no time to do the other things that she was passionate about, made her obese and depressed. Her friends had been complaining about Maya not being the fun person she used to be!
At this point, Maya too felt a disconnect between her heart, mind and body. She decided she had to do something about it without delay, so she took a week off from work and followed her heart, doing just what she wanted to, without the impinging pressure of a schedule.
Her mornings now began with a run in the beautiful wooded park nearby, followed by healthy breakfast that she cooked with love and mindfulness. She enjoyed sipping water instead of cola or coffee through the day, limited her access to gadgets and enjoyed her ‘me-time.’
Some days, it was yoga, a workout at the gym or a laughter club session at the park with strangers she had never noticed earlier – she just went with the flow every different day! In the evenings, she was off to the zumba class with her friends, or a swim and Voila! did she come back energized like a big bubble, energy flowing seamlessly through and pervading her being?
After enjoying home-cooked dinner, Maya did her reading and writing exercises with a book she earlier did not have the time nor energy for – ‘You can heal yourself’ by Louise Hay.
Maya’s mindfulness and introspection uncovered much of why she was stressed and at dis-ease. The revelation that most of what she believed was caused by external sources (like her boss or work related stress) might in fact, be her own causing was a shock!
She realized that at the core of her dis-ease was the reality that in creating a career for herself that would look good in the eyes of her parents and peers, she had suppressed what she really wanted to do in her life.
Maya always wanted to be a yoga and wellness instructor. She also had certifications in hatha yoga and pranayama. From when she was a little girl spending her holidays with her naturopath grandparents, she had an affinity towards helping heal people and animals. However her parents, being busy and successful chartered accountants, wished that their only child follow in their footsteps. Maya was unable to complete her C.A certification but landed a job as a financial analyst – something that was not entirely satisfactory to her parents but atleast looked worthy.
Her dreams went on the back burner.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY?!
In India, social acceptance is next in importance to only breathing.
Here is a set of comments from teens and young adults like Maya, that surprisingly elicit a standard response of ‘Oh No! What Will People Say?’ (WWPS)
I’m leaving my full time job and moving into a part-time role as a freelancer and consultant.
I would like to be a social worker and help improve people’s lives, rather than certifying as a software engineer.
I would prefer to establish my financial independence over the next few years, instead of getting married right away and being a home maker.
I don’t want to be a doctor like my parents and run their hospital. I’d love to be an artist.
So Maya committed the ‘WWPS’ crime and resigned from her job. She took a month off to travel on her own and at the end of 4 weeks, had reset her priorities.
She decided that she wanted to lead a healthy, happy, meaningful and balanced life. In a few days, she was invited to be a part-time instructor in a yoga studio nearby. She also learned from a friend about The Women Financial Advisers Network and attended a session to understand how she could reach her life goals and also support other women like her who might want to switch to alternate careers, while being secure financially.