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Welcome... The Citrine Room.

This project has been a long time coming for me. I always knew I wanted to share stories, both by writing them and finding them. Stories of life in all its complexities told through people, places, art and design, the language of honesty and creativity spoken the world over.

What you will find in The Citrine Room is a collection of original stories along with curated content, stories that will enlighten, educate, resonate, and connect. It is a place for intelligent discussion, through pieces that I have found that have made me think, opened my world, and admire the form of storytelling. You know, when I was mulling over the idea of creating The Citrine Room, there were two things I kept coming back to: who I am now and what I am drawn to. Let me explain.

My desire in creating this platform was borne out of a need to share all the things I have found that help me grow, nurture my curiosities, expand or challenge the way I think or what I believe, and instill a sense of wonder, beauty, and admiration. I figured that together with my love of research and my two decades of journalistic experience, it was time to create my own space for all of you with stories & musings that I have collected and created to help fuel my (and hopefully our collective) continued curiosity in life. What you will find here are the articles that I, and our contributors, have written as well as some of the most interesting pieces we have found online. We've done the research for you, so you don't have to. Whether it’s someone’s life story, an artistic creation, or a wonderful piece of fiction, I consume and absorb all that I read and learn with a voracious appetite. And here at The Citrine Room we want to share that with you.

"I am the sum of all the places I have lived and the people who have influenced me."

So what will you find in The Citrine Room? In short, another perspective and an avenue for great stories to be given another audience. Throughout my career, I have always been vocal about championing stories that evoke and promote an understanding of the human journey because my journey has been (and continues to be) so varied. I am someone who is hard to define. You cannot put me in a category or a "box". I am in my mid 40s, someone who has had a very successful career as a journalist first for a renowned channel in Toronto-Citytv, and then for CNN. I am a wife and a mother. I have different interests, everything from foreign affairs to fashion. I have lived in four cities on three continents, travelled the world, and have had my perceptions and perspectives challenged and changed through all that I have seen and done. I am also an immigrant and a daughter of immigrants. I am an Indian woman who never saw (and still doesn't see) race as a defining part of who I am or what I can do, even though my skin colour is perhaps the first thing people will notice.

Where I am from is a question I find cumbersome to answer because I am not "from: anywhere in particular. I am the sum of all the places I have lived and the people who have influenced me. Don't get me wrong, I am proud of my Indian heritage. Very proud. But I have never lived in India, I have never experienced India as a local so for me to say I am "from" India sounds disingenuous, to me anyway. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and Toronto. My mother was born and raised in Shanghai (her parents were from Punjab but moved to China when they were young). My father was born and raised in Delhi but moved to Hong Kong as a young professional. So my perspective is one that comes from a foundation of differences: geographic, nurtured heritage, and educated understanding that life is complicated, complex and a jigsaw of colours and identities. That way of thinking will be passed down to my son. My husband is English and our boy is a combination of the two of us.

I can't be the only one with a varied history and background. I am not unique in that sense. And I want to see that reflected in the things I turn to for enlightenment, education and connection. Beyonce couldn't have said it better when she guest-edited Vogue's iconic September issue: "Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming form different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like...If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighbourhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own."

Another reason for creating The Citrine Room is that, through various life events and experiences, I developed a keen interest in what motivates us, our behaviours, our foundation, our choices. I am also an advocate for greater understanding of our mental health and why we should be treating it as a gateway to our physical and emotional well-being. If I was to look back at the interviews I did while at CNN, so much of the conversation was about how my guest got to where they were, through all the mistakes, failures, challenges; how they found the strength mentally to keep forging ahead, not despite the disappointments but because of them. I realised I was looking for a roadmap from them to help me navigate my way through my own trials and tribulations. It’s their stories to which I gravitate. The stories of people who are flawed, who are complex and complicated, who don’t think about “logic” or “rationale” but who are guided by their spirit. I found this on Instagram the other day and it couldn’t have resonated more:

“The most beautiful people we have known, are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.”

So why Citrine? The citrine gemstone is known as the Success Stone as it is said to have spiritual properties that emit positive energy, clarity, creativity, generosity, abundance, and enlightenment. In a way, it helps us to connect to our own ability to find our power, our innate ability to succeed in our own way. That is my intention for The Citrine Room, a space where through the stories we share, you have the beginnings of a roadmap, and that you feel enlightened, confident, and connected. Because there is nothing more powerful than being connected to yourself.

Welcome to The Citrine Room.

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