All posts by Wheatish Woman

About Wheatish Woman

Wheatish Complexion Woman Chronicles Her Dating World: This Desi dares to tell it ALL with wit, wisdom and a bit of common sense!

What Does It Mean To Be An Upstander, By A Guest Blogger

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An UPSTANDER is defined as someone who recognizes when something is wrong and acts to make it right. When we stand up for what is right, and do our best to help support and protect someone who is being hurt, we are being socially responsible.

The first thing that comes to mind is bullying since it’s been getting a great deal of media attention, and with good reason, but there is much more to this term than taking a stand against bullying. Here are my thoughts on what being an upstander is about (maybe a slightly less conventional spin on it)…

I went on a field trip with my daughter to the Dallas Holocaust Museum recently. It was heart-wrenching but at the same time inspiring to learn about all the people who took a stand to help others, and those who survived. It also makes me so grateful for those, like my dad, who risked their lives for the freedom of others. The message during the tour was ‘are you being a bystander or an upstander?’. Makes you think. How are we being upstanders in our world today and fighting for those who can not, or simply choosing to make a difference even in the smallest of ways?

I was born and raised in South Africa, grew up in the apartheid era and was blessed to see it come to an end because of upstanders; people who overcame their fears for the freedom of others. My dad was one of those people. He taught me what it means to have determination and courage to stand up for others and to take a stand for what I believe in, but being an upstander is not just taking a stand on a grand scale but it’s also in the small decisions we make every day.

A great example of this are stories I’ve heard about people who were on the brink of suicide when a stranger reached out to them with just a smile or started a conversation; things we do on a daily basis and sometimes take for granted but can literally make the difference between life and death for someone else. In that case, we may not know that something is wrong but in choosing to do little things out of love and kindness, we make more of a difference than we realize.

So often we feel like we are such a small fish in a giant pond; that our actions don’t really matter compared to other people who have a greater stage and are much more visible, but the truth is all change starts with one small action. It’s the ripple effect, or the butterfly effect that comes into play. What I mean by this is we don’t know who may be watching or who we may be inspiring daily to take action in their own lives. Those people, in turn, can inspire others, and so on.

I can list so many people who have inspired me in so many ways and some of them simply by always having a positive attitude and sharing a smile. I will never forget them. One of these people is someone I have never even met. I just know her as the young lady I would sometimes see in the hallways or in the elevator who never failed to give everyone a beautiful smile. That alone would make my day. She may not be an upstander in a vocal way, but her actions spoke volumes. It said to me that no matter what I’m facing today I’m going to have a positive attitude and brighten someone else’s day and help lift them up. I’m sure she helped more people than she realized. She may not have had that intention, but she certainly did that for me! Her actions also gave me pause to think about how I’m impacting the lives of others.

There are many other ways to take a stand, such as donating to a cause we believe in, attending a rally, speaking up for someone who was wronged, writing a letter, signing a petition, etc. It’s also important not to just take a stand for others, but also for ourselves. When we stand up for ourselves and what we believe in from a place of respect and not anger or resentment, we inspire others and build our self confidence.

We can all be superheroes daily. The magic is in the every day moments. How will you choose to be an upstander? What part do you play in making this world a better place? YOU matter. Your actions matter. Don’t underestimate your power.

If you haven’t found your passion yet and are not sure what you need to do to make a difference in your life and in the lives of others so you live each day with purpose, joy and fulfillment, I would love to speak with you to see if I can be of assistance.

Note: The Author of this beautiful article is a Leadership Coach. You can use the link below to sign up for a free strategy session:

http://www.bookedin.net/life-and-leadership-coaching-for-women

 

What’s In A Name? By A Guest Blogger

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What’s in a name?

When I was eight years old, my great grandmother gave me a pin with my name on it.  It said Angela…”bringer of truth.”  This was actually quite upsetting.  I was a very literal child, and assumed this meant now I must tell the truth all the time.  Adults like truth, except when you say things like “This food taste like throw up”, or “I’d rather die than eat liver. “  This was highly confusing to me.  Tell the truth, but not really.  (There is much to say about truth, but this blog post is about names.)  So I immediately decided I should change my name.  Renee is my middle name, and it means born again.  I could live with that.  That sounded French and all, perhaps because it is.  But names are hard things to change when it is others that use them, so I stuck with Angie.

Three years ago, I began the process of divorce, and it was an incredibly difficult process of losing my name.  We all have relative names that are contingent on relationships.  I am a daughter because I have parents.  I am a sister because I have siblings.  I am a mother because I have three children.  Here I was losing a relative name, wife, because he no longer wanted the relative name husband.  Also, there was what felt like an identity crisis.  I didn’t want to keep my married name.  It didn’t feel like it belonged to me, and I didn’t want to be identified by it any more.  At the same time, going back to my maiden name was weird after 16 years as one name.  It was then that I realized women get names on loan.  We borrow our father’s names until we are old enough to marry, and then we borrow our husband’s names in theory for the rest of our lives, but too often in reality, temporarily also.  It was also this recognition that I no longer belonged as a part of any group.  I became Just Angie.  For me, while I legally returned to my maiden name, I chose a new last name that would never be taken or given away.

During this time of struggling with who am I if I am not a wife, or a Mrs. Something, I saw that what was really hurting me was all the names I had taken over the years.  Words others had labeled me with or names I had taken because I believed them.  Shakespeare attests that a “Rose by any other name would smell just as sweet”, but honestly, would a rose be willing to open up to share it’s beauty if it believed it was stupid, ugly and worthless?  I also saw around me how many people grabbed and clung to names as their identities.  I saw women in similar circumstances now using the word victim to identify themselves.  It was as if instead of saying I was a victim of something, it was becoming a state of being for them.  This actually frightened me.  How do I get a good name?

One of the first steps I took was going to Collin College.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about this place.  I thought that I could prove myself, and just get new names.  Good grades made me affirm, I am smart.  Excelling made me feel like I am strong.  As part of my own personal journey, and for emotional health, I took drama classes.  At first I took them to learn how to escape my own life, but what they actually taught me was to look into my own heart, the ugly bits, the pretty bits, the confusing bits- it all.  It was there I learned from one of the most life changing people I have met, Shannon Kearns, that I didn’t need new names.  I needed to accept the true names.  She showed me that it wasn’t about becoming someone else to gain value, but about owning my place in life- who I was created to be.  She saw beauty and value in me and not only spoke it into my life, but called it out of me.  My life has never been the same.  My identity is no longer found in the names others give me, the good or the bad ones.  My identity is no longer tied to success or failure.  My identity and my value is all based on that I am Infinitely Loved, that I have everything I need to be who I am called to be, and being who I am created to be is the most joyful and beautiful experience of my life- and even better than that- me being exactly who I am created to be calls out to others to be who they were created to be also.

Hi, my name is Angie, Infinitely Loved, who loves well, bringer of truth reborn, who feels colors, who loves walking barefoot in puddles, and loves to feel the texture of trees, excited to be exactly me.

So, what’s your name?

A New Ode To Brown

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It took me years to accept the color of my skin. I vividly remember how emotional it was for me when a “boy” I once dated called it off due to my skin color being darker than his and may not be accepted in his family because of it. I was haunted by his words for quite a while. The fact is; it was not the first time that I was made to feel that some things might not be within my reach just because I did not look a certain way. There were subtle signs/gibes from childhood that made me realize that due to a genetic “accident”, I should probably stand a few paces behind other girls who happen to have a fairer complexion. At that time, all my achievements, years of education, musical training, and other talents seem negligible. I was reduced to a color palette on a wall and that one statement he made shook me. At that point, I saw myself as some others have been seeing me – it was truly a revelation. Am I really that dark and if so, was it going to hold me back?

As a human being, it is natural to retaliate and my response to this one incident was to go out of my way to prove to everyone how beautiful I actually was. I spent years of my time and energy trying to prove that I was indeed attractive in spite of my brown skin. I did some modeling, participated in social functions, and I was the well-liked girl in college minus the “mean girl syndrome.” And after all this, it took me some time to understand there was no changing someone’s perspective of me regardless of how hard I worked to be successful. There comes a very low point in one’s life when you look around and see that the only individual that will value “you” for “being you” is in fact, “yourself.”

We as women have a strong tendency to discount our so-called imperfections by being the perfectionist in other areas of our lives. However, the fact remains that the color of our skin, no matter what shade of brown it be is an integral part of who we are. There is no discounting for your person – you are who you are.

As years went by, I learned a lot about myself. I discovered who I really am. I realized I was tired of trying to be. I just wanted to be. Now, I am a woman who finds intellectual and emotional fulfillment in my every day life. The boy who once hurt my feelings was simply a temporary wave in the ocean of my life. As a person who spent parts of her life trying to be something other than herself, I can tell you first hand that this is one mission impossible (even Tom Cruise can’t save) and it is damn exhausting.

There comes a day where you will find yourself sitting on the floor thinking, “this is it, I’m done, and no more!” The moment that follows this, is when you look at yourself in the mirror and see the “Brown Girl” that is and not the slightly lighter shade of brown that could be. What can I say, I stopped using the infamous Fair & Lovely skin lightening cream, refused to sit in the shade while everyone played in the sun, and I began to use Indian spices (hint hint, turmeric) to cook rather than lather on my face like it was cake-icing. Finally, I understand and accept that what will bring shine to my complexion are not the fancy foundations that I find nor the beauty facials I receive. But, it is the smile on my lips and the sparkle in my eye.

With that said, I, the “Brown Girl” learned to embrace the color of my skin and accept it just as it is. Brown is not my color, it is who I am, it is my pride, it is my pledge, it is my pleasure, it is the essence that flows through me…

St. Patrick’s Day, From The Heart By A Guest Blogger

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I never understood why my parents decided to move to America. I was 7, yet my world was changing forever. I left my home, friends and most importantly my grandparents. It was everything I knew. The move was not something I was prepared for. Life was good for us in India. But my parent’s explanation was that we would have a better life. It was the BEST in India, so I didn’t need anything better. Even now, looking back, I feel in my grandparents’ house there is a part of me still there.

Initially, we struggled when we arrived to America. My parents worked hard and long hours. I didn’t like the food, it didn’t have my grandmother’s love. Adjusting to the new environment took me a long time. I was the only Indian in my school. No one knew how to pronounce my name. It was always Kristy or Christina, even though there is no “t” in my name. After a while, I was just happy if I was noticed or called upon. I didn’t have any friends, since I was not allowed to have non-Indian friends. Did I mention I was the only Indian?

I vividly remember this day at school where I was being pinched by my classmates. It happened over and over, my arm turned blue. With tears running down, I finally had the courage to tell the teacher. She said I was supposed to wear green today. It was St. Patrick’s Day. I am a vegetarian, which Texans can’t even fathom. Kids were fascinated how I remained alive without meat. Eventually we acclimated and we lost our accents and the nostalgic feeling.

Balancing my eastern heritage and my western pull was always a struggle for me. Sometimes I felt split right in the middle, half of me wanted to be pious while the other half wanted to party. Today, I still struggle with this identity balance. My parents did a fantastic job preserving our culture at home. However, outside of the home, where did I fall – on the east or the west?

I moved when I was 7, when my roots were just spreading and getting a grip on the land. Unfortunately, they were uprooted quickly before they got a chance to establish. I have friends who moved to the United States as teenagers. They had time to establish those roots in India; which meant they have a very strong cultural identity and I have just faint memories. Over the years I extracted what I like from both cultures and made them part of my identity. I enjoy Bollywood and Hollywood. I love my American and Indian clothes. I cook Indian and Tex-Mex.

With growth and maturity I realized why my parents made that life-altering decision. I appreciate all their sacrifices and humiliation they experienced as immigrants. I would never have the courage to pack up and leave this home. Today I make sure my kids wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Love Your Body

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Loving yourself on the outside is just as important as loving yourself on the inside. This is something we tend to lose sight of.

Many times in life we are willing to accept the imperfections of our own personalities. We understand that everyone is going to make mistakes. Sometimes we might lose our temper when we shouldn’t or perhaps we say the wrong thing at the wrong time. We get that. We accept that “pobody’s nerfect” (get it?!)

But why is it that we forget this when it comes to our outsides? Nobody will have the perfect body. Or skin. Or hair. Or feet. Or whatever. If you ask any of the “beautiful people” in the world, they will admit that there is something about themselves that they would like to change. And sometimes the things that they don’t want to change still get photoshopped out of photos!

We know this. We know photoshop exists. Lighting tricks. That everyone has bad hair days or feet that are too small and butts that are too big. But instead of remembering that our outside are just like our insides, imperfect, we beat ourselves up for it.

This needs to stop. We need to love ourselves for who we are inside and out. While both areas can always use “care and upkeep,” that doesn’t mean we should fall apart when there is a spot on the inside or outside.

Today we challenge you to love your body. Every inch of it. Because it’s through love that things grow and change best. And the more you love your body, the more comfortable you will be in it.

Stop Racism

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Racial tensions have been on the rise in the United States. But racism is an issue not just in America, but around the world. Ignoring it isn’t going to  make it go away.

Even in India, race issues cause turmoil for many.

Instead, we must be active in working together to end racism.

Here are a few steps that you can take to help stop racism:

1. Listen to, validate, and ally with people who report personal and systemic racism

2. If you see something, say something.

3. Combat racism through national-level political channels.

There is even more that you can do. To learn more visit “How to be an anti-racist activist

The Pixie Predicament By A Guest Blogger

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Halle Berry’s hair is my spirit animal. Her pixie has flair when she appears to do nothing to it. It moves in sexy, stylish, avant-garde ways. It never obstructs her flawless face.  It compliments her statuesque features and acts as the perfect accessory at all times. Yes, ladies and gentleman, Halle’s pixie haircut completes me.

When I got my driver’s license at age 15 or 16, the very first thing that I did was take off in my fantastic Seattle silver hand-me-down Honda Accord to get a haircut. This initial unyielding act of goody-goody rebellion, for an otherwise model teenager, was the start of something amazing. That simple layered bob was so short, in fact, that for the first time in my life, I noticed the beauty mark on the back of my neck. Now, that mark, is one of my favorite features. Needless to say, I was immediately obsessed and addicted.

Years later, I decided to study abroad in France. In an effort to “travel light,” I cut my chin length bob into a full-blown pixie, like Halle’s.

Praise the lord. It was like I was seeing myself for the first time. Okay, I know that a pixie cut might not be for you. So, it may be a little tough to empathize. But, that’s okay. You must simply acknowledge that when you feel comfortable in your style and in your skin, it’s an unbelievable feeling. I loved it.

 To clarify, even then, the cut was a symbolic awakening and liberation. I was free(ish), literally and figuratively. For those of you that aren’t acquainted with African American hair, black girls spend an inordinate amount of time, money, and effort taming our hair into submission. Sometimes at great physical peril, considering that we use hot metal and abrasive chemicals (or woven in false hair) to look a bit more like our straight-haired cohorts. Our natural texture is awesome, undoubtedly. We do this mostly just to make our lives easier, of course. But, it’s undeniable that visions of long flowing hair have been synonymous with feminine beauty, at least in American culture. So, what if your hair doesn’t fall in wavy tendrils down your back? My natural hair stands up in buoyant pin curls that rise up to the sky and outward with defiant fluffiness.

Okay, so hair is also a metaphor. In my case, for freedom. With a pixie I spend less time worrying about what I look like in front of mirrors, yet I am my most easygoing carefree self. Short hair suits me. It doesn’t hide my face, and accentuates my features, eyes, complexion, smile, cheeks. I can’t hide behind it. It doesn’t encumber me or weigh me down. What’s more to say?!

Then it started. Every boy that I dated post pixie, almost without exception, would eventually say those horrid words. “You should grow your hair out. It would be so lovely to run my fingers through it. You would look so much prettier.” Every time I heard those words, it would feel like someone telling me not to be myself. I’d writhe a little at the thought.

Several times I caved, of course, and tried to grow it out – supposedly to please the men that I loved. I would always twitch through the horrid intermediate “growing out” phases.

As I grew it out, I always dealt with the annoying whispies and bangs that constantly got in my eyes just to prove to some guy that I valued his opinion and wanted to fit his standard of beauty. At times, this standard of beauty was stereotypical, traditional, and most of all, superficial. I mean no offense, of course, to those women whose personal styles involve a Pocahontas-like mane. If it looks stylish and suits your personality, rock on, ladies! Moreover my point is that there are many versions of beautiful. You are all beautiful naturally, as God made you. The confidence and joy that you feel in your own skin is the most beautiful and sexy thing that you can exude. It will translate to magnetism among those that you meet, more than anything.

For years I tolerated hooded hair dryers, rollers, and burns from curling irons. For what?! To be wanted? To feel desired? Even loved? The last time a guy said, “I love long hair,” my immediate response was, “well, you should grow yours out.” When will everyone realize that nothing is sexier than a woman or man who is confident, happy and has swag and knows it?

Ah! What about the guy who grabbed a fist full of my longer hair and pulled without asking? He promptly tried to yank it back forcefully because he thought I would be into it. Eek. How about the guy that said, “short hair makes you look too much like a boy,” even though I was wearing a curve-hugging low-cut red dress and heels at that very moment. And, how about the guy that thought it would be funny to get my hair wet, not realizing that I would have to spend two hours out of my already busy day washing, drying, and straightening it again. Or, the guy that teased me about having to tie my longer hair back with a silk scarf so that it wouldn’t be too unruly when I awoke in the morning? Yes, as I alluded, my post sleep hair would be an unequivocal mess that I would have to sort out before work the next day, if I didn’t tie it up. For many years, I allowed these men to make me feel like I was always going to be “just shy of perfect” unless this one thing was “just so.”

Eventually, I got disappointed. I decided that deserve a man who thinks that I’m lovely because I’m self-possessed, kind, bright, accomplished and thrilled to live in my own skin. I began to realize that I wasn’t making those demands of guys. That was the beginning of a revolution. I felt defiant. The day of my epiphany, I bought a broadcloth button up dress shirt and tie, paired it with a blazer, high heels and a form fitting pencil skirt. I never felt sexier. Or more powerful. It was my way of saying, I do what I darn well please, short hair and all. So, I will continue to rock my short pixie cut. And, I will explore a universe of ways to look and feel beautiful and feminine that do not involve long hair.

Thanks, Halle, for giving inspiration to this little beige girl with short pixie tresses. You aren’t your hair either, ladies. And, you don’t have to have lady Godiva locks, do you? If you want them, make sure it’s because it makes YOU happy. Feel beautiful knowing that you’ve discovered something that, whatever that thing may be, makes you feel good about yourself. Whatever you are – embrace it, own it, love it. You are perfect. Feel comfortable in your own skin and don’t let anyone make you feel less than beautiful for not fitting into their perceived standard of beautiful. Defy them by forcing them to see that you are beautiful as you are. You ARE gorgeous.

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Socrates said, “Know Thyself” and I Say, “Be Thyself”

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Are you of a certain age? Are you single? Are you being setup (or having to put up with being setup)? Is that all you are doing? That just can’t be…  so the question arises, while you are waiting to start a “conscience coupling” with a suitable groom, what else is happening in your lives? Well, some of you are scaling mountains and it’s highest peaks, others may be researching the depths of the oceans, or working on the cure for a rare disease, or dropping a beat (let it gooooooooooooooo….), or writing a book of children’s rhymes or just trying to improve the world we live in, in your own small way. Are we not inspirational or empowering?  Do these endeavors leave no legacy? Is it not okay to go against the grain, and dream a different dream? I ask these questions not to the women of a generation above me but to all my fellow females.

In the past couple of years, I have felt an array of emotions from wonder to happy to ecstatic. I have reached a peak in my life, and career that had seemed impossible. But guess what, I have realized that none of it was beyond my reach, I deserved it all along. Where there is a will, a way will appear by itself.

Nevertheless, to those who are concerned, the central theme remains the same – I am single. And the tone of concern goes from decrescendo to crescendo. i.e., the message is not that “I am unmarried” but that “I have failed to get married.” The definition is the same but they have different connotations. A certain “blast from my past” has brought it to my attention that another year has passed, without my wedding bells ringing in her ears. So here is a question to ponder on. My fellow females, is marriage the ultimate goal? Do our lives, achievements, and joys before marriage have no value? Or do they in any way, weigh less? Why is it that in our culture, a girl’s achievements, hopes and dreams, outside/before marriage is considered to be “extra curricular activities?”

As the new-year started, I have been approached “repeatedly” by a certain person and her plethora of advice that I did not ask for. If I only fixed my makeup, if only I lost some weight (by the way, I don’t commute via construction crane), and if I could only scrub off the color of my skin off my body (just in case you can’t tell, I’m of wheatish complexion), this person is certain that I could get married. All that I require is major improvement or extreme makeover.

The irony is, all my life I have been told, even during my brief stint as a model, that my features were a catch factor. I was surprised that she saw my looks as a demarcation. I’ll be honest, it did bite. Anyways, I will eat a cookie, and I will get over it. Whatever she thinks is irrelevant and it’s really none of my business. I will get married, “in spite of the darker foundation” not because I need to but because I want to. And when it happens, I vow to keep doing what I am doing now. I will be “me” and I will leave a legacy of intelligence, serenity and laughter for the next generation.

My marriage though being a significant part of my life shall NOT overpower my being. My experiences as a woman, as a human in this world will not be confined to being married. To all you phenomenal and beautiful women out there, keep in mind that men and marriage does not define who we are and no decent and self-respecting man would want us to settle for him. Whatever you do, don’t allow anyone to pull you down just because you are older than the norm and single. There are so many unhappy married people around but our goal is to have a marriage that is everlasting and full of bliss. Don’t be afraid of receiving as much as you offer. Patience is a virtue and while we wait for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, let’s just enjoy beauty of the rainbow.

Happy International Women’s Day! My Tribute To You

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In honor of International Women’s Day, we pay tribute to the essence of womanhood. To all those beautiful ladies out there who have a dream, keep working at it and never ever give up. To all my sisters who are facing serious hardships, you are not alone, your fight is important. You are an inspiration to us all. To the younger females, speak up, assert yourself and know that you are valuable. You can achieve anything you set your mind and heart to.

As creatures of Earth, we are all special and we are all given a unique gift – some of us have already unwrapped our gifts, some might unwrap our gifts in the near or far future, however, some of these gifts might remain unwrapped forever. Therefore, I encourage each of you to unwrap those gifts, realize your potential and let your inner light shine. We bring brightness, hope and harmony to this world.

On this Women’s Day, let’s honor those who have struggled to make this world a better place. The women who through their passion and courage have brought change in society. Their light continues to shine and empower us. We endeavor to continue their mission, to proudly present a woman’s point of view, to assert our place in this world among the masses and among the leaders as equal participants in the service of our Mother Earth.

Happy International Women’s Day To All You Amazing Ladies Around The World!! Let’s Go Inspire, Empower & Impact the world!