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coffee

MONDAY MOCHA WITH PARVATI SUNDARI

It’s time for the next instalment in the Monday Mocha Series. One of the reasons why I wanted to start this particular series is to help change the attitude and resistance we have towards Monday which is essentially the mentality we go into the week with. By chatting to an inspiring individual, taking time out to have a coffee or a break – it’s a good way to ease into your week.

“Every single person that I’ve ever worked with that I see the light go on and they’re more themselves, that leaves a heart print on me each time.

Here’s our first Aussie who’s actually in Australia. In Episode 12 of The Ginni Show Wednesday podcast, I talked about meeting my first spiritual teacher in a body at a Night Club. Now when I say “in a body,” I’m not saying that other teachers are body-less per say, but I mean that they are in human form. Being raised a Catholic, technically, Jesus was my first spiritual teacher but he wasn’t in a body – I never actually met him in person. This episode we meet my first spiritual teacher – Parvati Sundari. When I met her on the dance floor at The Wharf Hotel in Melbourne, there was an instant connection. It felt like I had known her before. Now, not only is she still a teacher to me, she’s also a wonderful confidant, healer, soul coach and mate. I hope the joy in this interview spreads to your day and your week!

Follow Parvati: @parvatisundari

Available on: iTunes | Spreaker | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play
Featured Voices: Ginni Saraswati, Parvati Sundari & Sam Phelps
Produced by: Sam Phelps
NEXT EPISODE: Excuse, me? – Wednesday, March 1
Photos: Joey Middleton
Branding & Digital: Szebastian.Com
www.theginnishow.com

MONDAY MOCHA WITH NICHOLAS STONE

We’re a month into The Monday Mocha Series. I’m loving the responses we’re getting to these so far. Some of you have expressed just how much you’re learning from these coffee dates and it brings me much joy! For those of you who have popped by for the first time to have a cuppa with me – this podcast is a chance to have a break from my Aunties, Ammi and 170 cousins featured on my Wednesday podcast and hear the journey of an inspiring individual from some part of the world. As you all know, I love talking. A lot.  The reason for starting the Monday Mocha podcast is that through the teachings and lessons I have the privilege of sharing with you every week that have come from my teachers; I am still a student in pursuit of more knowledge, self awareness and tools to cultivate more of the good things we need more of in this world. Each Monday, I’ll be having a chat to a guest who has much wisdom to share that we can all benefit from – to light up our day that little bit brighter.

It will literally feel like you’re sitting right there, having coffee with us. So c’mon, let’s have a Mocha!

“I love stories. Something that I absolutely crave is listening to people’s stories; what excites them, what’s their passion and how they’ve dealt with challenges.

The first few Monday Mocha’s of this series were all with New Yorkers. So I guess it’s about time I had a coffee with a fellow Aussie. Who happens to live in New York. Nicholas Stone is the CEO and Founder of Bluestone Lane; a Melbourne inspired coffee shop raising the standard of coffee palates amongst New Yorkers with the true coffee snobbery we seem to have down under. With already a handful of cafes in New York and soon to be three in Philly, the Bluestone love is set to spread across the country.

Follow Nick: @BluestoneLane

Available on: iTunes | Spreaker | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play
Featured Voices: Ginni Saraswati, Nicholas Stone & Sam Phelps
Produced by: Sam Phelps
NEXT EPISODE: Break The Funk – Wednesday, February 15
Photos: Joey Middleton
Branding & Digital: Szebastian.Com
www.theginnishow.com

THE ORIGINAL GAYS: A HOLIDAY GUIDE TO FAMILY EVENTS

If you’re someone who identifies as LGBTIQ and are from a very traditional and conservative family like mine – the holiday season can sometimes drum up a bit of anxiety and awkwardness. While we all are finishing up work, school or are trying to squeeze in parties, packing, shopping and cooking; the last thing we need is to add layers of contemplation, awkwardness and anxiety on top of everything else.

There was a moment not too long ago that family functions would make me feel so uncomfortable that I would simply find an excuse to avoid going to them around the holiday season or during the year. When I ran out of excuses, I had to think of ways to try and manage the holiday awkwardness. I came up with a temporary Three Step Plan.

  1. Your gay husband. You could always take him to many a family event. He does your hair, make up, he dresses you up and chooses the most banging outfit for you to wear. It’s a perfect plan. The Aunties and Uncles just think he’s just a very “cultured” person amidst his colourful persona. This can buy you at least 20 family functions. Cash them in as MUCH as you can. Just a forewarning…be prepared as after a few, he may do this.

                 

2. Talk to the most subdued single and eligible bachelor that may be at the party. Usually, these bachelors are NOT there by coincidence. They may be introduced as someone who’s here from out of town and has no family here but you can bet any money that one of your aunties or uncles has done a full interrogation and background check on his eligibility and invited him in the hope that he clicks with one of the single daughters or nieces. Knock yourself out.

3. Be as traditional as you can be, in every single way, on that day. Nail it, sister. Better yet, be natural at it.

I hope that helps you with at least 5 years worth of events? Yes?

In my inner and extended family, no one has publicly “come out” or declared to ever have been in love with someone of the same sex. Well….no one that we know of anyway. This is the case in most families – the fact that we have no precedence to work with. As great an example Ellen is, we can’t keep using her! You can even ask her yourself – It can be quite the task to be the original!

If there are any closeted gays in my family, they’re perhaps going through a similar sense of anxiety that I did, and are waiting for it to be all unravelled when an Aunty or an Uncle to see them out at some Gay club or festival…or in my case, hosting a Gay TV program. If you didn’t know my coming out story to my family – check out episode two of my podcast here:

EP #2 We all have closets to come out of

As difficult as it was dealing with the immediate aftermath of my entire family finding out because one of my Aunty’s had decided to switch on Bent TV: Melbourne’s Gay TV Show on Monday nights at 10pm and watched the entire episode to draw her assumptions and narrative from it – I actually had the easy way out. I didn’t have to relive the anxiety 170 times, telling each and every individual in my family (can you imagine how long that would take with all them cousins?) – I, instead, had a way of telling them in the comfort of their own home on a HD screen with 2 million other people in Melbourne joining them. The only thing missing was the glitter.

Now that my family know, the next step is actually trying to integrate my life into the holidays.  That is, when you have a significant other, how do you take them to family events with you? How many times can you get away with saying, “Aunty, Uncle, this is my FRIEND,” before they figured out exactly what kind of a “friend,” she is. My mind would think of scenarios of their reactions. Being a Sri Lankan family, these reactions would 99.8% of the time be behind my back. So when they did the math, this would be their reaction on the inside:

Accompanied with a bit of:

The phone calls to the extended family and entire community would begin.

But to my face, during conversations and catch ups amidst the festivities, food, underlying friction and other politics between the many other relatives, we would all be like:

As I said before, it’s not an easy task being “the original gay,” of your family. In Sri Lanka, homosexuality is still criminalised. Most of my family, especially the older generation migrated to Australia so are still living and breathing the customs and the ways of what it was like back in the motherland. Whether it be a fear or the unknown or a religious reason, at times there may be resilience to it. But carrying the burden of hiding who I am, cutting myself off and shrinking myself so that others would feel comfortable was too greater baggage for me to carry. The relief of everyone knowing, even though they may not acknowledge it to me personally and I may be the subject of gossip for a few more family events, the sense of relief that I feel now that the fear, anxiety and crippling effect of anticipation is gone is amazing.

So, to all the original gays of the families out there, congratulations! You’ve done a huge service to the future generations of your family and paved the way to anyone else who may identify as LGBTIQ in your family. Parents will have other parents to talk to about their gay child and connect in a deeper way than before; your cousins can say that they too, “have a gay cousin.” Aunties or Uncles can related to others when they say, “My niece or nephew is gay.” The dialogue is now open. Even though you’ve taken the lion shares of criticism, gossip and judgement – the reward you get for that is: No one ever forgets the original. And your story will be told for generations with a few, or many alterations to it.

At the end of the day, no matter the venue or conflict in politics, religion, marriage or whatever, after a few scotches and a shot of the holiday spirit, we all end up dancing the same dance.

This one.