From Belly Aching Giggles to Tears of Gratitude – Everything You Need to Know About Bindi ParlourJun 09, 2016
I sat on the floor with my knees tucked close to my chest and my arms wrapped around myself. I let the cadence of my breath try to sooth my racing heart, feeling perplexed and less than and hurting. I was closed off, not wanting to open up to anyone for any reason. After all, what if I unleashed the rain only to be unable to stop the torrential downpour? What if I drowned in it?
For five years, I completely shut down, and didn’t whisper a peep to a soul. I was dying a slow, excruciating death, and genuinely didn’t believe that help existed for me. My life was in tatters, and it felt like my only choice was to persevere and somehow get through it on my own. That’s how I was raised—if you make your bed, you need to lay in it.
But there was a glitch in my life, and I either had to fix it or ignore it. (I chose to ignore it.) More than that, I was ashamed of my situation. I felt like a complete failure, to the tenth degree, and spent my days extremely alone and incredibly scared. I had no idea where to turn, so I destructively turned inside myself.
Not to sound melodramatic, but life had a slow motion movie feel about it with short bursts of chaotic, pressured racetrack vibes. The painful moments were drawn out and the happy moments were fleeting. Late at night, I’d stand in front of the bathroom mirror and study my puffy-eyed reflection. Do other people live this way? I’d whisper. Why doesn’t anyone else have issues? (Luckily, this was before Facebook, otherwise I can’t even imagine how much tougher my inner critic would’ve been.)
I couldn’t find a single Indian woman I could relate to. Being the high achievers we are, I didn’t want to spill the details about what I considered to be failings, and feared being judged above all else. Showing up as myself felt wrong, but back then, I didn’t realize that I actually wasn’t showing up as myself…ever. Instead, I was presenting myself as a woman who was rushing through life at a mad pace while I held my hurt in private and looked for anything that would make me happy. That’s all I really wanted, y’know? To be loved and happy. I think that’s true of all of us.
More than anything, what I needed was a safe space where I was allowed to be real, and allowed to heal. A place where I could be my messiest and still be accepted. (It’s even harder than it sounds, and it sounds H-A-R-D.) And then I found my safe space.
When I discovered some luminaries online, everything shifted for me. I vividly remember the full-body rush of relief when I realized I’m not a wack job, and I’m not alone. Through the healing, I learned I’m a highly-sensitive empath, and it’s not only okay to be real, but that realness is the only way to reach your light. I’ve accepted the truth that I have a lot to offer, so long as I nourish and nurture myself daily, and that everything else will fall into place.
Revelation is an understatement, especially since the culture we belong to rewards the woman who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders, multitasks her way through life, braves the storm without complaint, and put her needs last while her insides turn to dust.
This was all 10 years ago.
And when I look back at that time in my life, I’m appalled by how cruel I was to myself. The self compassion and self love that I’m such an enthusiastic advocate for now was nowhere to be found, and it wasn’t until I stepped out of my story and took ownership of my future that everything shifted—slowly, but steadily. The most fundamental piece was finding my “OMG, you too?!” group.
I unearthed ancient solace in sisterhood, whether it was online, over coffee, via Skype, or on the moon. I started to crave this magnetic connection with other women more than anything else. I allowed myself to melt into the space of loving kindness and self compassion, and I softened and surrendered into the humanness that was surrounding me, contained in that powerful circle of women.
There’s something stunningly raw, real, and downright soul-shifting about sharing your wounds with other ladies. The healing is in it for all of us—not just me. When you shed a tear, a sister shares that tear with you and in that moment, you know you’re seen and loved for exactly who you are.
Listening to the stories of other women helped me stop doubting myself while sending the message that I’m never alone. (You’re never alone either, for the record.) The strength and courage of the exceptional women I’ve met along the way consistently gives me what I need to tap into my own inner force. Over the last decade, I’ve grown immensely , and am very much in love with who I am today.
So in the spirit of incredible community, the healing and helping hands of our sisters, and the importance of safe spaces, I invite you into the Bindi Parlour. To honor where we are, right now. To accept the love and kindness of other women who get it. And to celebrate the future, where joy blooms in abundance.
At its core, Bindi Parlour is a beautiful experience where woman gather together for play and deep-hearted stories. It’s the divine feminine in her finest form. A lifeline to anyone who knows exactly what my younger self went through. A sacred place to align our purposes with our divine feminine energies. When we tap into one another’s essences, we create a place where everything is possible.
Whether you’re curled up on the floor from a place of pain or comfort, let me kneel down there with you. Let me hold your hands in mine, and brush your hair off your shoulder, and carry a little bit of your weight. Because you’re whole. Because you deserve happiness. And because at the Bindi Parlour, you’re always encouraged to come exactly as you are.