Episode 71 - Pavitra Gurumurthi - the power of a smile

“It’s truly humbling to be able to not only be surrounded by people who give me the respect to live life on my terms but to be able to connect and see the power it holds.”

Imagine moving to a new country where you knew only one person, where everything was completely different to what you had known for your entire life…

Pavitra Gurumurthi convinced her family to let her come to New Zealand from India at the age of 22 – this was no easy feat as Pavitra explains – she was an only child and it would mean leaving her mother and her extended family to live on the other side of the world.

Pavitra tells us of her transition to New Zealand and how for the first six months, she had to rediscover everything like the type of food to eat, how to interpret slang and how to tell when someone was making a joke – it was all different and it was the doorway to major depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

Her identity, sense of belonging and purpose were all up in the air and it was this that forced her to question who she was here, who she was anywhere and what was she here to do.

As Pavitra will share today, these are big questions to explore and it can be scary because you don’t know what’s on the other side, yet she knew that for her, there was no going back and she had to learn to trust herself.

Pavitra tells us that the turning point came while walking down a busy street and a stranger smiled at her. Suddenly she knew she wasn’t alone, she felt seen and connected to another human being. Who knew the power of a smile?

To connect with Pavitra visit her website here https://www.pavitraguru.com/ or connect with her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pavitra.transitionmentor/ or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/pavitra.transitionmentor/

Words of Wisdom

Strangers are family you are yet to meet – all it takes to connect is a smile.


Trust yourself and if you can’t do that just yet, find something or someone to trust and then you can start to internalise that trust in yourself.


Breathe – every time you breathe deeply you feel safe.

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