Courage, to me, isn’t about having an abundance of strength; it’s about summoning the will to carry on when that strength seems to have deserted you.

I learned this lesson firsthand when my life, once sheltered and privileged within a wealthy family, crumbled and fell apart completely.

Growing up, I had never been exposed to the harsh realities of the outside world. So, when the foundation of my comfortable life shattered, I was left feeling utterly numb and lost.But it was during these moments of uncertainty and despair that I truly understood what courage meant. It was about finding the inner resolve to move forward, even when I felt like I had no strength left. It was about facing the unknown with a determination I never knew I possessed.

My journey from a life of privilege to navigating the uncharted waters of life was a profound transformation. It revealed not only my inner fortitude but also my capacity to adapt and grow. Through this experience, I discovered the remarkable ability we all have to persevere in the face of adversity, even when we believe we have no strength left to draw upon.

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My marriage was a love story, but it led to a disconnection with my family. I was naive about the world beyond, and my mistake was trusting my husband to provide without asking. Slowly, all our resources vanished, and one day he confessed he had nothing left.I felt the world spinning, but I held my ground. With determination, I decided to rebuild our lives together. Destiny, however, had different plans. His kidneys failed, and with an 8-year-old son to care for, I managed expenses for his treatment.

I resolved to work hard and ease the burden, but he refused to work, relying on me to handle finances. We moved in with his mother due to a lack of options.After months of tears and stress, I decided, “No, my son and I deserve the best life.” I refused mediocrity. With little money, I officially divorced him but still stayed with him and his mother, as I had no other choice.

I was working tirelessly; I even sent my son to a hostel. At home, they wouldn’t share meals; consuming food I bought for myself. Her indirect harassment wore me down. I pleaded with my father for a rented house. In times of struggle, you realise even blood relations can turn away. My father, despite his wealth, offered only 10k. I managed a cramped place; beggars can’t be choosers.

My son returned before his 10th board exam, but I couldn’t afford the remaining fees. His school denied him. He sat at home for a year, losing interest in his studies. In the end, I managed the money, and he took exams elsewhere. He’s brilliant but lost a year. To cut a long story short, we shifted to 1 BHK on my own. Then, to a beautiful 2 BHK. My son is 24 now, with honours in BBA/LLB. We’re living an amazing life, doing what we love.

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This year, we achieved a significant milestone by taking an international vacation. In 2020, my ex passed away, and though we were in touch till the end, his mother never informed us when he died. Due to COVID, I couldn’t be there, and she prevented my son from visiting. We wish her well, and that chapter is now closed in our lives. During my toughest times, so-called best friends vanished. My sister, to whom I entrusted my child, faced hurtful comments from her husband. People accused me of wanting to enjoy life on others’ money and labelled me a failure and a loser. Even my family gossiped about me behind my back. I once found myself in such dire financial straits that I  didn’t know how to move forward.

Then, a realization struck: I had created these experiences with my beliefs and actions. If I could create those, I could create different experiences and a different life. I took charge of my life, and during my transformation, I was so engrossed that I didn’t look back.

Reflecting now, I can hardly believe how far I’ve come with no support and minimal finances. I lacked high academic qualifications for a well-paying job, but they say when you’re determined to achieve something, the universe conspires to support you.I’ve transformed myself and my life beautifully, and I’m immensely proud of the person I’ve become. I’ve also healed my relationship with my family, and we now share a harmonious bond.

When my son secured a job right after graduation, a well-wisher called and shared powerful words with me about my journey. His affirmation and pride in me made me cry tears of happiness that night. He said, “Asha, I love you, and I’m proud of you. You faced countless challenges that would have made others quit, but you kept moving forward. I’m so proud of you.”

“From a timid, sensitive girl who heard hurtful words from birth, I’ve emerged as a testament to resilience and self-empowerment. Despite being considered an unwanted child and enduring disparaging remarks, I’ve forged a path to success and happiness.

Now, my family seeks my guidance, knowing that I’ve rebuilt my life from the ground up, much like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

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I am Asha Shah, a 52-year-old from Mumbai. I wear many hats in life; I’m a transformation coach, a tarot reader, and a healer. Guiding people through their transformative journeys is my passion, and it’s a calling I cherish deeply.

One of my greatest joys is writing. I’ve been a poet and storyteller for as long as I can remember, and I still pen down verses and tales when the moonlight inspires me. Dressing up is another form of self-expression I adore; it’s my way of bringing out the colours and vibrancy of life.

I am an adventurer at heart. I love travelling, meeting new people, and experiencing the world in all its diversity. Life is my canvas, and I intend to paint it with vibrant experiences and cherished memories.

Perhaps one of my most unusual quirks is my affinity for the beach. I find immense happiness and solace sitting by the shoreline, conversing with the waves, and soaking in the salty air. It might seem peculiar to some, but for me, it’s a source of pure contentment.

At my core, I’m a relentlessly positive and creative soul. I believe in the power of positivity and creativity to transform lives. Life is a beautiful journey, and I’m here to savour every moment of it and share its beauty with others.

As my parting message I would just say this; take charge of your life. Believe, without a doubt, that you are worthy of love, respect, happiness, and joy. You truly deserve an amazing life, no matter what challenges come your way. The power of persistence can bring incredible transformation.