Self Compassion is more important than Pintarest Perfection

It’s Saturday night, half past eleven. I am wrapping up the day finally in some moments of solitude as I shut the locks, lights, fill up water, clean the pantry et al. My mind and I are in a subconscious performance discussion. As I scan and clean my son’s room I am thinking of how we haven’t spent quality time whole week, what with long workdays, and even on Saturday I was out completing chores. He deserves more of my time and attention with studies and play than what I have given him this week. Specially, since he is been doing online school for 15 months now.. I shut his room, make a mental note for next week in the parent’s tab of my brain, I reach my office to scan some weekend emails and shut the laptop. I am now thinking about how I said no to a couple of meeting requests from colleagues in UK/US who wanted to speak at 7/9 PM my time during a couple of weekdays as I was in the kitchen and how I could have done more work, paid more attention, finished two more meetings this week. I could have been a more productive employee if I gave more time to work. I listen to my own chastising and slightly irritated now, shut the office and see my husband repairing something in one room and my mom watching her favorite TV show in another. I am filled with guilt thinking I need to do more to help my husband around the house and spent more time with ma – she is lonely away from her town, almost homebound at my house for covid safety reasons. She is getting older and she needs my company to counter loneliness. I also think by the way of two relatives, five friends and few acquaintances who I have been wanting to call for days now but haven’t been able to. The kitchen looks like it needs additional attention, it makes me feel like a lousy woman. Overwhelmed now by my own bashing, anxious and troubled, I rush up to sleep, remove my fitness tracker to put it on charge and chide myself with another glare about the walk and exercise I have missed for three days this week because of how hot it has been and also how my grey hair need a recolour that’s been overdue.

Suddenly an epiphany (sort of) strikes, my mind is numb and I sit down on my bed a little shocked. For the past 30 minutes after a long day of chores, I have given a mental assessment to myself about how I have not done enough as a mom, daughter, wife, employee, homemaker and a person. This is my self talk. Am I telling myself I didn’t do enough because I secretly feel I am not enough? And this is when I have a partner, who never stops gushing about how much I try to do in my life, appreciates me, and encourages me constantly. I have cheerleaders in my life and yet in a vulnerable moment my first instinct is to shoot myself for all that I have not picked up. Suddenly all the women’s magazine articles talking about perfect women, Instagram and Pinterest pages, TV shows all come together and I realise the subconscious utopian standards to be perfect at everything I have built for myself, that I am bashing myself for. Do stakeholders in each of these areas also find me as imperfect or sucky as I am telling myself to be? And even if they do, does it matter at the cost of happiness, health and peace?


Working mothers in a culture like ours are not celebrated enough for the multitasking they need to do. The moment we start talking about it, it needs to be appropriated and balanced with talks about contribution of fathers and grandmothers and homemaker parents for political correctness. But if we just pick up the topic of working mothers at once, as someone has famously said, they are expected to be mothers like they have no job, they are expected to work for office like they haven’t got children. In lockdown, my son’s school has made no mention challenges of working mothers, neither have attempted to shape the curriculum in a way that helps mums who can’t sit with their children while office goes on during school time. And this is an international school. This is a school that assessed whether I am an educated and employed mother while interviewing for admission. By default they do address any communication to mothers because for 100% of my son’s class it is the mothers who are primarily responsible for children’s studies – working at office or home. Despite knowing that children’s education is primarily a mother’s job by default generally, most schools haven’t considered the flexibility or breathing space working mothers need with children’s education during the pandemic.

There are expectations from everywhere and defined standards of perfection. The bar keeps going higher and higher every time. And we don’t make this constant hustling any easier on ourselves. Rewards make us feel guilty, neither do we coach our minds to first pat ourselves on the back for how much we have achieved. Healthy and happy kids at home, safe family, being a friend to our partner, happy team at work – all were achieved this week but all that my mind once let loose, focused on was the have nots. What we women do to ourselves is self criticise, not self forgive. There is a manager and an employee in my head and this self assessment and criticism for not doing enough is a constant battle. There is an immense amount of effort needed to become self forgiving. To become accepting of not being perfect in each area is an art I do believe. As a coach, I am quite sure that some coach somewhere has figured out a mantra to do that and it just needs to be found out.

For now what I am going to do is balance out wanting to make everything perfect and being grateful with also being self loving and appreciating. Every time, I bash myself for what isn’t done, I will consciously thank myself for what IS done. I will thank the woman, mother, wife, daughter, leader, employee, sister, friend et al for remembering to be who they are and putting in all the effort that they could. I will forgive myself for my shortcomings of the week and clink glasses with the mirror for a little TLC. Yes there are people in my life who love and value my contribution, but firstly, I need to do that myself. In thirty years from now, if I am alive, it wouldn’t matter what I did on day to day and what I couldn’t – I need to keep that in mind.

Photo by Teona Swift on

We need to normalise life in all its reality as being what it is. Move away from the Instagram version of reality and aims of perfection and embrace today, warts and all. This perennial guilt that comes as an occupational hazard of the roles multitasking women play, we need to keep it in check and balance it with self appreciation and self acceptance.

I hope when I am repeating this process next weekend, I’ll be kind to myself. And remember that I do enough. I am enough. I cannot control everything because I am not God, but I can fill the spaces left incomplete at home and at work with love, compassion and kindness. Every time I find myself beat down by anyone for not doing enough, I hope to find my cape of achievements lying around the house – my happy and healthy child and partner, my safe and warm home, my mom and rest of family, my work achievements and happy team, my friends, my pet projects, books, music, dreams of travel and fly high to tune out the noise of negativity. Because I am enough and this imperfect world of mine is perfect for me right now and will do just fine. 🙂


“Sanskrit will be the next Yoga” – Interview with Aneesha Jyoti, Co-Founder – Language Curry

They say every crisis within it carries gifts, if only you look for them. Right when Corona was beginning to dig its fangs in India, I met Aneesha, the Co-founder of Language Curry, a platform for learning Indian languages. It was my gift in Corona times to have met Aneesha and see her drive and capability towards her business. We clicked immediately and I found her to be inspirational, determined, passionate about her platform and app, and in true entrepreneurial fashion dedicated to it 24 by 7. As I got to know her more and developed familiarity and acquaintance leading up to a new friendship, I got to know more about her story -How she was born and brought up in Gujarat and Canada, how her roots called her back to India and how her life in Canada inspired her to start language curry.

I admired few things immediately about her story – that she did challenge and voice out the bias that women entrepreneurs face because of their gender with investors and public.

And that she has the courage to dream, to turn it into reality in a still heavily patriarchal society of India.

And that, from India she is playing a huge part in promoting Indian languages around the world and helping people connect with our country.

If these initiatives and projects don’t deserve support, funding and even government recognition, then I don’t know what does. Such initiatives are such a support to our ‘make in India’ vision, travel sector and others too. The apps are available on android playstore and iOS with good reviews!

Here is a small chat with Aneesha that is sure to inspire you about her dream and pet project Langauage Curry and give you some meaningful insight on the world of entrepreneurship and helpful advice related to it!

Tell us about language curry? How, when and why did you start it?

Language Curry is an app to learn Indian languages and connect to India’s rich culture.

I moved to Canada when I was 17 and lived there for almost 10 years, my parents were very strict about not forgetting our roots, speaking in Hindi at home and not faking an accent. Also during my time in Canada I experienced the need amongst NRI’s to connect with India and the culture. And the starting point to a culture is usually Language. So I believe my personal experiences coupled with the parenting and the innate patriot in me, left me wanting to solve this problem.

Is there an appetite for Indian languages in the west? Why?

Yes for sure, although my inspiration came from NRI’s . We soon realized there are so many reasons why other segments also want to learn Indian languages. Few top ones are: being married to or dating Indians, because 1 in 6 people in the world is an Indian ! Expats who work in India or work with Indians and tourists who want to experience India in a richer way.

Sanskrit unfortunately is no longer a language of conversations. What is driving people to learn Sanskrit and/or teach it?

Launching Sanskrit was purely an instinctive feeling after seeing how Yoga has taken over the world. I always said to my co-founders that Sanskrit would be the next yoga! We have seen an immense take rate amongst Indians to reconnect with Sanskrit to better understand the scriptures. Sanskrit opens doors to so much in our culture – Ayurveda, Vedas, Upanishads, Gita even various scientific and historic scriptures. Internationally as well, Sanskrit is being considered the most scientific and grammatically correct language. We want to bust the myth that Sanskrit is only the Language of Gods, its much more than that and unless we accept it as a conversational language it wouldn’t be learnt and retained in an effective manner.

What is the future of Sanskrit and Indian languages?

India is global point of interest now. The world is looking to us not only as an economic opportunity but also as a soft power. Indians themselves are rising above the colonial complexes and taking pride in their culture. Although English would be the one language that would connect the globe, Hindi, Sanskrit and regional Indian languages would only strengthen the connect within India and for all those who want to connect with Indians.

As a woman entrepreneur what unique advantages and challenges have you faced?

Although qualities for an entrepreneur are pretty gender neutral. But as women especially mothers the abilities of multi tasking and patience really help! Women are great at taking calculated risks, managing teams, dreaming big and being realistic at the same time.

One of the big challenge or bias I faced was of building a company while raising my child. If a father works from home on his start up no one questions his commitment level but for some reason if women work from home there is a bias that she is not giving enough hours to work. When in actuality when you are committed to your dream, trust me , man or woman both will give in more than expected with respect to time and money.

Is there an appetite for Indian languages in India?

Yes for sure. Even we were taken for surprise when we saw the kind of response we got from south Indians wanting to learning Hindi, in fact more than 80% of our Hindi users are south Indians learning for better networking, relationships or even Bollywood!

Similarly Urban Migration and inter region marriages is big factor for someone to learn the local language. Many argue that English works but its so much more fun if you can speak the local language, truly appreciate the culture and gain respect from locals for the effort.

What advice do you have for women wanting to venture in entrepreneurship?

Go for it if you are passionate about an idea and there is something beyond financial gratification that drives you. My advice would be to first build a team who believes in the idea as much if not more. I truly believe for a stable start you need a rock solid team. Secondly, never shy away from asking for help from family, friends, customers, colleagues etc. Many wont help, but the few who will would really be your pillars in good and bad times.

You can find Aneesha Jyoti and the Language Curry page on linkedin You can also follow language curry on Instagram