“Being a Kaur has always been of huge significance for me. The word and concept behind it for me materializes into devotion, selflessness, and ultimately being true to yourself. It is my morale, my being, and I identify with it on so many levels. I think this is because of how I was raised, especially being surrounded by strong, influential women, the concepts of Kaur were engrained in the surface of my soul.
Those lessons, now, more than ever, filter into every part of my life and I feel an obligation to be a strong female role model for women who may not have that in their lives. I have a need or purpose to take on women’s issues, particularly empowerment and giving women a voice. I have been a board member for Shakti Society, an organization which empowers women and families in the community for several years now, and feel it's been a very rewarding experience.
While I may not have had any hardships in my life, I think its important to take inspiration from other women, particularly ones close to me. For example, my maternal grandmother, who just turned 70, is unbelievably inspiring. During her life, she’s had many hardships and the running joke is that with so many lemons, she's made the best damn lemonade. She was the first girl in her village in Punjab to go to school. Later in life, during her toxic marriage, she was the first South Asian woman in her small town in California to get a divorce. During an era when divorce was frowned upon, she was judged. However, she saw past that for the sake of creating a better life for herself and her three daughters.
Then there is my mom, last year, she battled a rare type of cancer. She was strong and inspiring. Her illness was a rude awakening for me; my entire life fell apart and I had to figure out how to reprioritize and basically exist. It also made me realize, more than ever, the importance of family and how much my mom does for all of us.
I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t have the upbringing I’ve had. I had the opportunity to participate in a medical mission in Jalandhar, India for corrective spinal surgeries for the underprivileged. That trip was rewarding on so many levels, but my biggest takeaway was realizing how privileged I am to live the life I do. Also during the trip I was able to meet Bibi Prakash Kaur at The Unique Home, an all girls orphanage. During our talk, we came to the conclusion that girls can run the world and are born to lead.
Again, my life experience has essentially cultivated my existence, but I also think that how I relate to people and the work I do, is in my bones. Its something instinctively instilled inside of me and I don’t think it can be taught. As a Kinesiologist, when I am treating patients with chronic pain, I not only focus on the physical aspects of pain, but also on their emotional pain, the psychosocial aspects and take into account a holistic-based approach. Teaching them emotional regulation by being mindful and including practices like meditation.
I try to embody this in my own life to get a sense of balance. Physically, I think being involved with sport from an early age has helped to guide me and provide confidence. Internally, spirituality and looking at religion with a sense of discovery has helped me on other levels. I find myself constantly asking religious questions and know that I don’t know enough about it yet, but I am on the path."