Human beings need authenticity. We need to have a connection with ourselves otherwise how do we connect with the life and environments we are born and raised into? How can we learn to live in societies sometimes so deeply distanced from our own ethnic cultures, values and heritages and still feel like we are living a life true to our values ? Growing up in the UK but coming from an Asian-Carribean heritage I constantly faced systems and practices in my early educational life that asked me to suppress or distance myself from my authenticity. Later on in my life those experiences cultivated a deep anxiety in me whenever I contemplated something new, academics, jobs or even relationships. If it wasn’t for my mindfulness and in particular my self-compassion practices that I started to cultivate from my late teens I don’t think sometimes my mental well being could survive that emotional trauma from my early years. I don’t think I would have truly understood the human condition of when people suffer they want to escape their suffering. Learning to understand why I was suppressing my emotions and distracting myself constantly with “doing” instead of “ just being“ helped me understand why it’s so important to learn to identify and be aware of my emotions when I feel lost or not enough or overwhelmed by my anxiety. The liberation comes when we start to see how the traumatic experiences or events around us in our lives have contributed to our own awareness and perspective  of “one-self” and why we are here on this planet today. This is not an easy experience or leads to a miraculous recovery from our pain. What it does do though, is cultivates resilience; it gives us the power and freedom to be free and heal one step at a time. This helps us succeed and manage the challenges we face in our professional and personal lives with peace and compassion.