Hi, I'm Karishma

Also known as The Culture Coach I am a certified wellness coach that specializes in empowering women to find the courage to live a life free of guilt, people pleasing, perfection, & cultural norms

There is one question that haunts many children of immigrants: "what will people think?" It's why we grow up to become habitual people pleasers.
I lived that life since birth and felt so alone. No one understood where I was coming from.
As a first-generation Indian woman, I was held to highest standards to achieve to be the perfect woman & wife.
Everything I did was judged under the microscope of marriage.
Who will marry you if you're fat?
Who will marry you if you don't have the best grades/ job?
Who will marry you if you are too dark?
Don't get me wrong I love & appreciate my culture, but I had to figure out how to create a healthy relationship and all the traditions that come with it.
For myself, I wanted better than to be submissive to the overbearing nature of my culture. I wanted to choose my own path of what success looked like and do my own damn thing!
But I felt trapped. I felt guilty looking for what my version of happiness looked like. I felt "bad" for every out of the box move I decided to make—because the constant fear & thoughts would creep in: would I be disappointing the community? the culture? my parents? 
Or even worse. Become the victim of community gossip?
I'll never forget one home-from-college summer (right before graduation) I wanted to teach English in Uruguay. Man, did I yelled at for not pursuing what I studied in college.
Of course, I could have gone regardless but I let other people and situations overpower anything that my heart wanted to do; and once again I let guilt overrule and drive my journey.
It was soon after, that my dreams of traveling abroad were squashed. I did the "responsible" thing and took my first corporate job out of college and went on to take 9 more throughout the decade in pursuit of happiness.
Because my career never felt fulfilling, I started creating unhealthy habits:
I dated for the wrong reasons
I became a yo-yo dieter 
I chased material goods for temporary happiness
Even with the "perfect career", "perfect car", "perfect body" none of it was a life that I had imagined—because I was giving all my power away.
Through my own spiritual and self-development journey I learned how to conquer that fear and find the courage to do whatever the f* I wanted with my life.
And let me tell you, it has been the best most freeing experience of my life!
I found that my SOUL purpose is to help others do the same: find that empowerment & courage from within to finally take charge of their lives and find the freedom that they have always craved.

Lezzzz get personal...

I grew up in a household where I didn't understand my parents background while trying to navigate through "fitting in" with my peers. 

As a firstgen, there was an aspect of assimilating I had to go through myself because many times my parents didn't understand my perspective and I didn't understand theirs. 

Additionally, my parents had an arranged marriage-- a concept I never understood. How could you marry someone after one time of meeting? 

I spent a majority of my life searching for answers. Heavily studying the ins, outs and historical context of why this happens, why divorce is taboo and how women in my community endure abusive relationships for the sake of "what will  other people think?" 

A lot of the answers were the same: "my family is going to disown me." "my community is going to disown me." "where will I go?"

I related to that HARD.

That was my greatest fear growing up, it had me walking on eggshells and fear in my own home for many years, hiding a lot of my life from my parents and kept me at distance for people I considered friends. 

I had harsh expectations I had to meet, and was punished if it didn't happen, or if couldn't live up to it. I wasn't allowed to hang out with boys, friends, date and it suffocated me, kept me small, kept me trapped. All that mattered at the time was grades, school, college.

I actually didn't feel comfortable talking to my family or community about my personal life until my late 20s. By then all they were focused on was marriage. 

Marriage? I would think to myself... my whole life I wasn't allowed to get close to anyone and now you want me to share a life with someone? 

It was like they wanted the arranged marriage cycle to continue. From a young age I was convinced that if I wasn't married or didn't have a husband that I wasn't good enough as I was.

Even with a budding career it wouldn't matter without a man by my side. 

I once had an aunty from the community come up to me and say, "you're sooo pretty, why arent you married?"

W.T.F? Seriously? What a superficial comment, I thought.

But it was one place in my life where I could put my foot down. No one could make me get married.

And that was the first time I tasted freedom

Fear Kept Me Small

The fear that I was brought up with could have easily been  seeded into the next generation. But that was something I refused to pass on. I went to therapy for 3 years, and constantly invest in my own personal development-- I have reaped and seen all the benefits myself. And that's why this work is my SOUL purpose!

It's scary to step over the line, date, develop intimate relationships, or even pursue careers that light our souls on fire! 

But it doesn't have to be that way! Infact, we can develop our relationship with fear, kick guilt in the butt and seriously live the life that we have always desired. 

It's just takes some, love, compassion and attention towards focusing on ourselves first. 

When our cups are full, then everything and everyone else that surrounds us can only ad-value to our life!