What Happens When You Invite Your Community to Show Up for You

 

Sometimes we think that the communities we belong to and identify most closely with won’t be there for us, but really, it is our self-limiting beliefs that are in our way.

You’ve heard me mention in my other videos, blogs and in my book, that I’ve struggled with experiencing belonging in my own culture — the Punjabi community — because of my provocative ideologies and, on the flip side, in Canadian society because of feeling like an outsider as a brown person.

It’s been a challenge for me for many years to feel acceptance within my own cultural community, until recently when I had a really lovely experience. I was invited to speak at the inaugural North American Sikh Professionals Conference on the importance of inclusion and authenticity for disrupting internalized bias within our community.

Despite my nerves and uncertainty about how provocative I should be in my remarks, I took my dear friend Raman’s advice to be candid and direct. In front of an audience of 300 Sikhs of all ages, I talked about the sting of racism and, more importantly, what to do about it. I spoke not just about all the things that I love about Punjabi society, but I also called out hypocrisy, sexism, homophobia, and more within our culture. Here’s the amazing thing: rather than experiencing the rejection I’d anticipated and been used to, I got a standing ovation – the attendees loved what I had to say!

Watch this week’s video to hear me share how, by being authentic and open, I effectively invited my community to show up for me — and how they supported and enveloped me with their love, giving me feelings of acceptance and belonging that I hadn’t accessed before.