#If there is one thing you take away from this conversation – let it be “priority for self-care and connecting with yourself!” Please know that unless you keep yourself happy and fulfilled, you cannot give wholeheartedly. You can give only what you “have”! And its okay to ask for help!
Welcome to another interesting piece from “100 Conversations”. Today I bring to you a conversation with Nandini Devi! Nandini works full time as an IT Architect with IBM. She has also recently created an online community called the “The Inimitable Life”!
Our discussion was focused on what holds women back when it comes to self-care. Nandini feels women are conditioned to be “giving” and “caring”. It is interesting to note that we, women, exclude ourselves from who we think, comes in the purview of receiving “care”. We consider ourselves outside the purview. So everyone in the family needs to be cared for, except us. And by the way, if we ask for help so that we can squeeze out time for ourselves, we begin to consider ourselves as inefficient and selfish. Over a period of time, lack of selfishness and being closed to receiving help translates to neglect and unhappiness.
Nandini also brought up another interesting aspect. She says in cases where she has encouraged her friends to ask their family members to help so that they can squeeze out time for themselves, family members (husbands and in-laws included) have gladly agreed to help. However she sees a resistance in getting women to ask for help!
We also touched upon the subject of how women could make their presence felt in teams which are largely male dominated. I found Nandini’s view about being the “only” woman on her team very refreshing. She says that she never feels out of place and does not try to “fit in”. She doesn’t associate her gender with what she does. At work – she is just a human being with skills, not a man or a woman. Also, when she needs it, she never hesitates to ask for help. She has never felt discriminated or left out and men on her team have never made her feel uncomfortable. She has felt comfortable expressing herself and has never held back when it comes to sharing her opinion!
Nandini’s community “The Inimitable Life” has been created with an intent to help people connect with themselves. She says that in today’s fast paced world, we don’t take a moment to connect with ourselves and our loved ones. The wake up call is usually a problem – either a health issue or a troubled relationship. We hardly ever realise that had we slowed down to connect with ourselves or others at the right time, we could have nipped the problem in the bud. Through this community, Nandini encourages members to reach out for help so that they can seek timely advice and intervention for psychological and relationship issues. I think this is a beautiful initiative. She is currently looking for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists to volunteer their time to help the community. Please connect with her, if this cause inspires you!