On Instagram, I have "met" and connected with people from all over the world in ways I never imagined. One of the women I admire, and we both very much align with each others' values is Krissie (@the_gratitude_attitude)- she lives in Germany, and she has created a stunning gratitude journal, one that I use often, and she tagged me recently in a post to share 10 things about myself, so I have created a short post with 10 facts about me, inspired by Krissie's post.
I realize that while I share a lot online about what is important to me, my values and aspirations, I rarely open up about who I am... my essence. It is partly why I chose to do a Soul Portraits photoshoot for my birthday, and so appreciated Amber's approach to photography (@creatinglight.studio). Some of the photos shared below are from the photoshoot.
My name is Diviya, which is derived from diya - the lamps that are typically lit during the festival of lights - Diwali. The symbolic meaning is one who is a light in the darkness (no pressure on me, right)! 😄 But seriously, I get along with almost everyone I meet and love meeting new people.
As a tribute to Krissie, I'll share a memory from my trip to Germany last year. I met a bride who spoke little English, it was in a touristy area, and she managed to blurt out to me, in my yellow dress, "I am bride. I need dress. Can I have yours?" It was her bachelorette and in order to go to her next event, she would need to find someone who was willing to give her (literally) the clothes off their back. Well, she came to the right person. After my friends warned me and reiterated that this trade meant saying no to my dress, for good, and wearing a complete strangers clothes, I ran off to find a bathroom with her. In the end, her friend who was with us, made sure she traded clothes, we took a photo, and then she handed her an actual dress that she could wear for her evening. In the end, I kept my dress, and an unforgettable memory!
I am completing my Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology through an internship as a Mental Health Counsellor at a university nearby, and will be also helping two amazing professors at another local university (both in the Toronto area) with a training program for students to develop strategies (such as gratitude, mindfulness, self-compassion etc.) so they become more resilient, especially during a transitional period that university/college life can bring (I know it was the turning point in my life that I grew and changed so much). When I left my last career, it was my intention to balance micro and macro helping and it seems as if that dream is being brought to life in a way I could have never imagined. Thank you Universe.
I recently celebrated my 30th birthday, and I bought my own birthday cake because it was on the way home and there was no need for anyone to go out of there way. This is the mentality that I strive to bring to my life - an easy-going, considerate, and genuine vibe. I simultaneously feel like a cheeky kid and a wise old woman. In a society where numbers dictate our worth (be that age, income, weight), I strive to promote that our values are what should actually contribute to our impressions (of ourselves and others), and worth should exist irrespective of any numbers. Side note* this is not the first time I've bought my own cake - once I wrote Happy Birthday Hot Stuff on it... because I could. #shameless
I got married about a year ago (something I refused to do for a while) to someone who I'm convinced I've known for many lifetimes. We went against the norm and chose to do a small ceremony (non-Catholic, led by a woman named Tade, pronounced Teddy... need I say more). We made it meaningful and were intentional in each aspect, not doing anything because we "should" & I loved it, but most of all, I am grateful for my family and friends for accepting this non-traditional celebration. My dress was handmade by a good friend of mine (@designedbybeely), we supported a local organization, Sistering, by purchasing one of the handmade bowls to use as a Unity bowl (where each guest chooses a stone with a wish for us, and places it into the bowl upon completion of the ceremony), and we had such delicious food (charcuterie from the market, arepas, idlis/vadas, lasagnas, and more). Most of all, we were able to spend an unforgettable week with our families, as we meshed two amazing groups of people together ... which is really what marriage is about. As I am now witnessing many other close friends getting married, what I wish for them is that they remember the true meaning of their marriage, and are mindful of their choices, that they stay true to their (and their partner's) desires, even if those desires are to align your day with what your family wants. Transitions are challenging in general, the least we can do is be mindful of our decisions.
I have two happy places - one is within nature, without another soul in sight, the sun warming my face, listening to the flow of water, or smelling the freshest of air, with green around me. Amidst my many travels, the moments where time stopped are those when I've been able to take in the beautiful land and was surrounded by nature. Humbling, inviting, and serene. The other is amidst a busy area, with live street music playing, people bustling around, all the smells creating a complex aroma in my nostrils, hearing children, laughter, chatter, & everywhere you look, there is life. Vibrancy. For both happy places, I have witnessed these in many different countries, and it reiterates the interconnectedness of our world to me.
My family immigrated to Canada when I was young, and my parents struggled financially for years as we established our lives. They started at the bottom again, and saw their life's savings deplete within months of their arrival. Growing up, we didn't have any extra spending money, which meant I always looked at my peers and saw what I didn't have - whether it was cool snacks (like fruit by the foot) to extra spending money to be able to go out for lunch (walking to the nearest fast food joint, and buying candy and jawbreakers at the convenience store). While it might not have been obvious to others, I grew up needing to blend in to this other world, and gratitude (i.e. the focus of what we had) got me through.
Gratitude to me was a lifelong lesson, of finally recognizing that joy comes from your own perspective, and your choice to be grateful, to live gratefully, happens within. Gratitude to me, is both grounding, and energizing. While it began with pocket-sized gratitude cards, it has evolved into corporate presentations and workshops at different organizations on this topic (partly because it is so misunderstood). It is much more than just saying thank-you, more than recognition initiatives, and I strive to bring both research and evidence-based activities to people's awareness, to appeal to our minds and hearts.
I am a sucker for murder-mystery, detective shows/novels. I grew up watching Matlock, & Murder She Wrote, and I love Poirot! Netflix has so many great detective shows and it takes all my willpower not to binge a full season (which can really mess you up for a day or two)!
I love to dance. I love all kinds of dance, but especially those with good beats. Dance is an expression of emotion, is a way to tell a story, a release. I have dreamed of living in Cuba (or any Latin American country) for a year, dancing, doing yoga, learning Spanish, learning how to make local cuisine, and just immersing in another culture. I was first bit by the travel bug on a volunteering trip to Ecuador, and I know I'll return to a similar place, return for the piece of my soul that I left there.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little bit more. If there is any way I can be of service, please don't hesitate to get in touch - even if it is just a conversation, a coffee, or connecting, it is always my pleasure to meet and get to know others. If you have any questions about some of my past workshops/presentations or about coaching, contact me.