The wise soul Wayne Dyer said, ‘Don’t die with your music still in you.’ For Bina Patel, the many tunes of her life, always changing as she grew, created narratives that shaped her worldview and brought her into relationship with her Cultural Parent, a term coined by the psychotherapist Pearl Drego (1983). This parent shapes us as potently as our biological parents, and lies at the core of our behaviours and social conscience. Coming from an Indian (South Asian) background, the author found herself unconsciously locked into an ancestral framework of duty, obligation and sacrifice promoting suffocating tribalism (‘we’) rather than individual expression (‘I’). Inauthentic living led to food addiction, dysfunctional relationships and chronic stress until she stumbled upon the healing power of talk therapy, reflective practice and the written word.
Amazingly, profound psychic shifts occurred as the ‘verbal detox’ from her inner world progressed. Bina had stuffed her feelings into layers of fat for years. Somewhere in this reflective process, her emotional body resurrected and demanded compassion, love and forgiveness, rather than self-criticism, shame, guilt, samosas and chocolate. Surprisingly, the fat started dissolving away and fabulous insights paved the journey from Fat to Fab.
Good Little Indian Girls and Stuff is author Bina Patel’s honest, moving and inspiring memoir offering a new framework for twenty-first century living. Patriarchal domination and distorted feminism are rejected whilst compassion, connection and co-creation are embraced. Beyond the toxicity of power struggles, limiting beliefs and labels, the potential for immense societal cohesion and well-being exist. The author explores how the ‘I’ can harmoniously dance with ‘We’ to create a better world for all. How can we be healthy Homo sapiens rather than depleted Homo burnouts?