Every year, we yearn and pray for peace and happiness. Yet, a lingering question persists—why does true peace elude us? Despite achieving extraordinary feats, such as landing on the moon, through collective resolve, peace remains an elusive aspiration.

Our vision of peace is marred by a fundamental flaw—we expect to attain it only if others conform to our beliefs and behaviors. We demand a unanimous endorsement of our worldview. How absurdly comical and asinine is this vision?

The crux of the matter is that we may not truly want peace as desperately as we claim. It often sits on our wish list rather than a heartfelt necessity. It’s a nice-to-have rather than a must-have.

 .  .  .

A profound step toward real peace begins with each of us doing our part—cultivating a spirit of less judgment and more compassion, not just for others but also for ourselves.

Our inclination to pass judgment on choices like divorce, abortion, or alternative lifestyles creates a breeding ground for conflict. We scrutinize various aspects of people’s lives including their diet, weight, looks, occupation, caste, status and most certainly their faith. This judgmental stance—critical, disapproving, and condemnatory—reflects a desire for others to conform to our values, often touted as the “right” values.

Let’s admit it, we’re still figuring out our own lives, and yet, we audaciously impose our convictions on the decisions of others. We expect others to make choices based on our values, deeming only ours  as the “right” values. We dictate against abortions or condemn those with different sexual orientations without fully comprehending the intricacies of our own existence.

There are almost 5,000 gods being worshipped by humanity. But don’t worry, only yours is right.

There are almost 5,000 gods being worshipped by humanity. But don’t worry, only yours is right.

Acceptance of our differences is pivotal. We are all works in progress, each unique and contributing to the tapestry of this beautiful world. Embracing and celebrating differences rather than judging them enriches our collective experience. And makes this world a beautiful and intriguing place to explore and discover!

We don’t get to live our lives, and the lives of our parents, our children, our friends, our neighbors and our fellow citizens of the world. We only get to live our own lives.

Being non-judgmental means respecting free will, acknowledging that others may make choices contrary to our own values. It means that we accept other people’s decisions even if they conflict with our own value system. It’s a recognition of the diversity that makes our world vibrant.

When we become less judgmental, it allows us to be more compassionate and accepting of others. If each of us wants others to be compassionate, understanding and accepting of us, just as we are, then why would we not impart the same gift onto others?

Why can’t we live and let live?

Let’s make a wish for 2017 and beyond–a year filled with fewer judgments and more compassion towards each other. Let’s genuinely accept and celebrate our differences!

Published: January 7, 2017

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From Global Roots to Unearthed Truths

Asha was born in India, raised in Oman, and lived in London before settling in the U.S. Her multi-continent, multi-cultural, global experience was a clear predecessor that fed her insatiable curiosity – and the inspiration for her defining Twizted voice.

As a rare breed, she’s truly mastered the art of metamorphosis in body, mind and soul. In her first adult incarnation she graduated Magna Cum Laude from ASU and pursued a vibrant career in the hospitality industry. Then, she grew new wings. Ever intrepid and intrigued by the unknown, she launched and helped grow a thriving e-Commerce technology company with her business partner, proving herself as an entrepreneur and demonstrating both the skills and resolve required of a woman intent on succeeding in a male-dominated industry.

In 2014, she boldly stepped into uncharted territories again, starting a new venture, Twizted Myrtle, in pursuit of her undeniable thirst to confront and create consequential social change. Few understood why she would leave behind a burgeoning e-Commerce business that served marquee clients like Amazon, Samsonite, Viacom, Pokémon, Red Bull, Taylor Swift and other household names – all during the pinnacle of a successful career.

The impetus for leaving the traditional business world for a less conventional path was intensely personal; a deafening voice and inimitable force inside her told Asha that she needed to contribute to the world in a very personal and life-changing way. Asha found herself in the throes of depression and new depths of loneliness. She was acutely aware her “success” was empty. Like many, she had lost her soul in the daily grind of chasing unhappiness.

Ironically, during this time, her depression revealed spiritual clarity; it connected her to the struggles of others who face the same suffocating walls of relenting darkness. Photography became a sacred respite that unleashed a strident voice; like a caged tiger set free, she could never again return to the confined existence dictated by society.

Twizted Myrtle became the multi-pronged platform to confront social issues that we’ve been plagued with for centuries. To break free from these vicious circles, she challenges what we accept, without question, as “wisdom,” and our conventional way of thinking through artistic means – provocative writings, thought-jarring podcasts and captivating photography.

Bringing a refreshing curiosity with the unique empathy of a true global citizen, she speaks with an open mind and unfiltered honesty on a host of issues where most would fear to tread. Her work compels us to see and think differently to help unlock our mindsets from self-imposed limitations. In doing so, she seeks to help people break free from the invisible chains that enslave us as oblivious prisoners.