Early Life

Smriti as a child with her parents

I was born in Mumbai city, India. My family was middle class, and growing up in India for those first 20 years taught me some very basic core values. I learnt to respect my elders even if I didn’t always agree with their beliefs and opinions. I learnt that I belonged most at home where despite the tight discipline, I was unconditionally loved, sheltered, accepted and held accountable for my words and actions. The hard city living taught me that life was not always fair to me or my family, but it was trustworthy. That if I wanted something from the core, I could have a conversation with my heart and most times it was taken into consideration. I was in constant conversation with my heart.

My family immigrated to Canada when I was almost 21. I was excited and yet so nervous. Not realizing I had entered the biggest school there is- the school of Life. Moving through many cities and as my parents struggled through many jobs and business ventures as many immigrants do, I remember becoming lost in the shine and glamour of the external world. The needs and wants to become externally accepted by everyone and everything, to be liked by everyone, most of all to fit in, were stifling. As I moved from home to home, city to city, I looked outward for value and worth, a simple need to fit in and to be accepted by the external world. Needless to say, I had my heart broken many times, and my self-worth and value shattered as it relied heavily on external human ego conditioning.

Looking for more, I decided to travel and explore the world around me. I moved from Canada to the USA where I lived and worked for a few years before moving to Sweden to pursue a PhD degree in Neuro-immunology. Then moved back to Canada to study inflammation and the brain as a post doctoral fellow and eventually research assistant professor.

In exploring the world, I learnt quickly that living simple inward-facing lives made people happier no matter which country they lived in, while accumulating and attaching to external luxuries, titles and relationships only made people miserable and suffer tremendously.

In my attempt to find belonging, I immersed myself several times in many religious communities. I learnt the teachings of Jesus, Buddha and The Bhagavad Gita. I only found parallels, they were all saying the same thing, look inward, beyond the human form and connect with Spirit. Let go of ego needs and love every human as you love your own self. Most importantly, to forgive yourself and others freely to fully heal.