Featured Story

Kaveeta Ajwani

Growing up in Canada, I had to adapt to 2 very different cultures. The Indian culture is very rich in community, religious and family values. There is so much beauty within this culture, however, the more bound values often conflicted with the progressive Canadian culture causing clashes in my upbringing.

I can recall my childhood being very different than my brother’s was; “As a female I had to abide by stricter rules. I was raised to be quiet, stay home, learn how to cook and prepare to be a good wife one day.”

But my strong and rebellious heart wanted more for my life; “I know the same yearning lived inside of my mother as well, I could see it in her eyes. But she was so bound by her cultural ways, that she would not let herself even think it. And the more I rebelled, the more her resentment for me grew.”

As a young adult, and according to society, I needed to marry. My father chose my husband, took me to India and after 4 supervised visits, I was wed.

Hopeful for the fairy tale ending, my husband moved to Canada to start our family.

Those years were the most difficult and challenging years of my life being torn between my husband , my maternal family and my own soul beliefs. It was a life oppressed by control, abuse and degradation. This created extreme pain and self-doubt and the urge to run away in every sense of the word. My truest self was silenced and suppressed.

“I battled such anxiety and depression during those years. I felt trapped, like I had no escape. I was raised to believe that unless he leaves you, you are not allowed to leave your husband – no matter what. And despite being born and raised in Canada, those cultural beliefs run deep.”

After 15 years and against all odds, I cultivated the courage to leave my marriage and start my life over with my children. There was one person who became my guardian angel who not only understood the odds but empowered me to stand up for my true self. I believe this person was sent by the universe to be my hero.

“That was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I had to risk losing my family and being looked down on in my community- a community of people that I loved and respected. But living a life that was not mine had become more painful than leaving and risking it all.”

Since then, I have helped many women across many cultures leave abusive relationships or build stronger relationships through the power of communication. “It’s been 6 years now, and to this day, whenever I attend a religious or cultural event, many of the women in my community pull me aside to tell me how much they admire my boldness and bravery. Several of them have even shared in confidence that they wished that they had the same courage to leave.”

It is those women that made me decide to become a Certified Mind Rebel Coach. “I want them to know that they are worthy of more. And to proactively work with them so they do not have to go down the same road I did. I was blessed with a power beyond my own to keep me going and I truly want to give back by learning how to be their champion, when the rest of the world is against them”.

I have transformed my lineage, freeing my daughter from the beliefs that kept my lineage bound. “My daughter will only experience the beauty of the Indian culture. Because of my choice to take a stand for my life, she is as free as her brothers are to create whatever her heart desires in this extraordinary life.”

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