My Story is Your Story – It’s the Human Story of Desiring Belonging
I was born in Toronto to Punjabi immigrant parents almost 45 years ago. Even as a young girl I struggled with bridging between Canadian culture, where I experienced the daily sting of racist bullying and social isolation, and my parents’ culture, where I also felt judged and like a misfit. To be accepted, I learned that it was safest to push down what made me different: Being sassy, loud, and a smart girl. My brownness. Not owning lots of fancy things. And what I really learned was that something was wrong with me because of my differences. I learned to self-loathe.
I carried my deep-seeded insecurities, and my need to conform, into my professional life, where I spent ten years in the legal profession, first as a lawyer and then as a talent management leader. Unsurprisingly, it served me well to mask my authentic self in order to get ahead. While I became highly successful, it was a string of events that led me to a startling realization: the person I was in my day-to-day life bore little resemblance to my true self.
I realized that my feelings of unworthiness had seeped into my relationships: I was allowing others to decide my happiness, spending time with people who constantly judged me, and dating men who hurt my feelings. Over time, I came to see that the pressure I had placed on myself to hide my woundedness, to be perfect, and to “fit in” had left me feeling like I didn’t belong in most areas of my life.
After much soul-searching, I decided to transform my life by living as authentically as possible going forward. That led me to quit my job, spend hundreds of hours on healing and self-love practices, start my own business, and dedicate my life to helping others to become more empowered and inclusive. And… here I am several years later, living better than I ever have. Finally!
My experiences with adversity, and my desire to help others, have been key drivers for my personal development and how I spend my time. I’ve been an activist for over twenty-five years and a social entrepreneur for over nine years. I have a law degree and an MBA. I’ve won several awards and distinctions for my work. I’m a certified cultural competence coach, and a certified neuroscience strategies coach, and very shortly I will complete a trauma therapist certification. I’ve now personally coached over a thousand people one-on-one. As a professional speaker, I’ve presented to tens of thousands of people around the world. As a diversity consultant, I’ve worked with dozens of leadership teams across globally-renowned organizations. I’ve written a book on authenticity.
I’m a trained yoga and mindfulness teacher in a few disciplines. I’m super passionate about mental, physical, and spiritual health – my own and others’ – but I love eating chips, often don’t get enough sleep (even though I know I should!), and sometimes fall down in my self-care practices. I’ve had my heart broken a bazillion times in my dating experiences, but I’m finally in a healthy, loving relationship. I have some F’ing awesome friends and family members – my “cloud relationships”! I love posting on Instagram Stories – I find it to be a creative outlet, LOL (you really ought to follow me to find out!). I’m obsessed with Soca music. I love fashion. I live in Toronto, Canada, the best city and country in the world, although I almost live in the sky because I travel so much for work (and fun).
My mission is to now share all of what I’ve learned through these experiences with you, so that you can live your best too.
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Ritu in the Media:
Missed Opportunity to Address Systemic Racism - Ritu on CTV News Toronto
How Racism Shows Up in Organizations and How to Interrupt It - Ritu on CBC’s Metro Morning
How To Become Our Most Authentic Selves - Ritu on CTV’s The Social
The Value of Being Authentic - Ritu on Global’s The Morning Show
Raising The Bar on Inclusion - Ritu on The Every Lawyer’s Podcast
The New Democrats - Kinfolk Magazine
People Of Colour Aren't Getting The Support We Need To Thrive At Work - Ritu on the Huffington Post Blog
6 Things I Learned in My Sleepless Year - Ritu on Thrive Global
The Hidden Costs of Conformity - The Authenticity Principle Book Excerpt in Precedent Magazine
Learn how to be your most authentic self - Ritu on the Kobo Blog
To our inner Hadiya resisting workplace conformity, carry on. Just don’t keep calm - Shree Paradkar in the Toronto Star
Black on Bay Street - Hadiya Roderique in the Globe and Mail
Want To Disrupt Racism? Change Your Everyday Behaviour - Ritu on the Huffington Post Blog
A Disruptive Conversation with Ritu Bhasin - Disruptive Conversations Podcast with Keita Demming
How Ritu Bhasin Seeks to Create an Empowered & Inclusive World - Jaya Saxena on the Ms. JD Blog