Hi there, welcome!
My name is Shobhali, founder of the Depth Seekers website & program. I live life at this beautiful, powerful nexus of coaching, therapeutic modalities, & spirituality, as an Inner-Work Guide.
For the last decade, I’ve been in the space of “inner-work” – the work of knowing oneself – and have traversed the inner-world landscape as a coach, therapeutic practitioner, yoga & meditation teacher, & a spiritual guide. Here are some of the core spaces that have aided my learning & growth.
Over the last 10 years – I’ve not only guided several women traversing their inner-worlds of emotions, beliefs, stories, traumas, & repetitive patterns – I’ve also gone deeper into myself, peeling off multiple layers of conditioning, fears, & limiting ways of being.
I want to share with you three distinct phases of my life that have culminated to this moment, here & now.
I Have Struggled With Emotions For More Than 3 Decades!
As a child, pretty early on, I felt “different” – as if, somehow, I was more “mature” than other children my age. Back then, of course, I couldn’t articulate it, I just remember having always felt a little different from other children.
Today that I understand a little better, I see that growing up there was a lack of role models who were “emotionally wise” – one of my parents was in the Army & so didn’t spend as much time with me, & the other was more a (strict, disciplinarian) teacher than a warm & loving parent.
Now, for some, reading this could be triggering – I’m not blaming my parents here. I understand that they’re humans too, who had their own context of growing up, their own skill sets – emotional wisdom, unfortunately, wasn’t a skill set they were able to provide me with.
And, I know for a fact that many people don’t get the emotional wisdom skill set growing up – neither at home, nor in school. As a result, a lot of our emotions get suppressed as children. I know mine were.
When I look back today, I can distinctly see three phases in the last 3 odd decades of my life: First phase of being very quiet, with very little awareness of what was happening. Second phase of rebellion, of intense emotions, especially of hurt & anger. Third phase of meaning making & going deeper.
I was a “good girl”. Very obedient. Teacher’s pet. Did well at school. Was always able to solve my own problems even as a 3 year old. All of these qualities were reinforced in me as the “adults” around praised me for being obedient, scoring high marks, & being extremely independent. All of this before I turned 10.
I was also taught that things must be a certain way, and the certain way is the only right way, and only the adult (someone other than me) knows what this right way is. And so I, literally, always colored within boundaries, mugged up answers word-to-word even if I understood them & could have said/ written them in my own way, behaved as a “good girl” from a “good family” should behave, & never bothered adults with my “not so smart” questions or thoughts or feelings.
Children, ideally, need a space where they can sometimes be “disobedient”, “careless”, “foolish” and “dependent” on adults around. And when they do so, the adults around need to have the skills to walk them through the emotions going on within them.
This wasn’t my reality. A mix of my temperament & my upbringing created a “me” that would grow up to believe that if I didn’t do things “right” there was something wrong with, & in, me.
At some point around my preteen years something within me shifted – something that I today understand to be my Teen-Protective parts, who began to rebel to protect the child within me that wasn’t seen/ heard/ understood, & was hurting with the belief that there was something wrong with her, that she wasn’t enough to be loved & seen as she was.
This phase brought along with it self-harming behavior, anger-guilt-shame cycles, & a lot of pain and helplessness as I went through relationships.
As a young adult, while professionally I aced in whatever I picked up, I struggled in relationships – struggled to form secure bonds with my partners. Even when I had a secure partner I would keep testing their love for me by being emotionally very demanding, picking up fights for seemingly no reason, being upset & continuing to be upset for no “real” reason.
When my first long-term relationship ended, for the first time in my life I felt like I had shattered into a million pieces. For the first time in my life I felt completely & utterly lost. I could not imagine a life without him to such an extent that for a long time I was in denial – thinking to myself that this was just a phase, that we’ll eventually end up together. We never did.
Being Type A, even though I was struggling emotionally, after a few days I began to busy myself with work. After a while most people at work couldn’t see me struggling, including those I spent a lot of time with – I was pretty good at shutting down aspects of me as if they were non-existent.
But I was – I was struggling. Every few days I’d break down & cry. I began indulging in all things that would distract me from feeling the pain – I would get drunk at parties, I started dating multiple people, in general my risk taking went up at the cost of my well-being & safety.
Eventually there came a day when I realized that it was truly over. While it brought some release, a constant sadness deep down within me became a companion that I wasn’t then aware of.
After almost two years – after a number of random dates/ flings/ rebounds – I finally felt I was ready for a real relationship. Little was I to know that this relationship would turnout to be the most tumultuous 3.5 years of my life.
The guy sure had his own issues, but as for me – without being aware of it then, I began re-enacting out of trauma-based anxiety & irrational fears from the past.
Struggling in this relationship made me realize I had work to do to resolve my past. Thus, began the first deep dive into my patterns, mindset, and limiting beliefs.
While it helped me make some connections & see some patterns, it wasn’t enough to help my nerves, my anxieties, & irrational fears. The first thing that did help with these was a 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat.
Practices from the retreat gave me the skill to pause & think clearly, and not react to my anxieties & fears. This helped. A lot. It was still not whole.
Note: Throughout all the turmoil in this relationship I was still doing pretty well at work. My worst days would also be productive enough such that no one ever saw any blip in my work performance.
I eventually got out of that relationship as I became aware & conscious of certain realities of that relationship. And then, it seemed as if out of nowhere, I met the man I’m today married to.
It was definitely not out of nowhere – I had very consciously made a precise list of what I wanted in a partner, & he exemplified it! Despite it being a great relationship with tons of compatibility, at the year 1 mark I was shocked to see that I was once again re-enacting my past. This is when I decided something needed to shift. I needed to do deeper work.
It so happened that at that very point I had also begun getting into non-mainstream therapeutic modalities, as well as ancient spiritual practices. And somewhere, at their intersection, is where I finally found my peace.
Today I understand all my emotions, & instead of reacting to my feelings, or judging myself based on what I think/ feel/ do, or repeating patterns, I’m able to see things with clarity.
Without suppressing or exaggerating emotions I’m able to process them, I’m able to experience a deep sense of safety & joy from within, and I’m able to continually grow in wholesome ways.
None of this is to say that Life doesn’t happen to me – that I don’t get hurt or angry or anxious anymore. I do. However, what doesn’t happen anymore is the Suffering.
What doesn’t happen anymore is incessant doubting-anxious-judging thoughts, angry-guilty-ashamed cycles, & repetitively finding myself in similar hurtful situations. Instead, I feel seen, heard, secure in relationships, & clear, grounded, wise within.
I experience deep inner joy & wisdom, & am able to cultivate intimate & meaningful relationships.
This is also a skill I’ve mastered: Understanding & working with emotions in a way that they enable you to thrive!
I Believe Emotional Wisdom Is A Skill Like Any Other
Having worked with several women, & seeing them have major shifts in the way they perceive themselves, others, & life, I believe my Dharma, my position in the Universe, is:
To guide Type A, self-aware women, who realize they’re stuck in re-enacting emotional patterns from their past (it may show up in romantic relationships/ parent-child relationships/ friendships/ work relationships – it is always relational), & have been trying to resolve them through self-help/ therapy/ coaching, go from self-doubting, anxious, angry-guilty-ashamed, & judging themselves, to feeling seen, heard, secure in relationships, & clear, grounded, wise within, so that they experience deep inner joy & wisdom, and cultivate intimate & meaningful relationships.
I know that a lot of us today need these skills of emotional wisdom, self-anchoring, & understanding relationships & life in a more nuanced way.
Despite all the information available to us, or maybe because of such information overload, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day of life, especially without guidance & support.
My Vision For Depth Seekers
I have had high achieving traits all my life – organized, structured, detail oriented, on task, perfectionist, go-getter, quick to learn, multi-tasker, etc.
I have also been a solo player, doing it all myself (because that’s just more efficient, duh?!), figuring it out on my own, hesitant to ask for help (to the extent that I never even felt the need to ask for it – I always thought I just didn’t need it!), etc.
And I have struggled with inner emotional turmoil, in varying degrees, all my life – as a child, as a pre-teen, as a teen, as a young adult, & as an adult.
For many years I thought I was a “bad” human. Until I realized I was a human who didn’t have certain skills to enjoy the human-ness of being human!
Emotions are the rasa (juice) of life.
Relationships (of all kinds) are portals of growth & evolution.
Humans are nature – The more we grow apart from nature, the more we suffer. The more we ape nature, the more we come home to our rooted, expansive selves.
Depth Seekers is for women like me, who know they have the agency to change things in their lives, & are now ready to change their re-enactments and repetitive cycles.
My vision & intention for this space is to serve as a learning & practice ground for all those women who are ready to go deeper in their inner-work journey – healing, understanding, growing, & evolving – despite the demands of their daily life.
A space where they are guided in the most effective & efficient way to gain their sense of inner wisdom, safety, & expansiveness. Everything here is designed to be simple to follow, bite-sized to digest, no matter how hectic your life is – provided you choose to show up for You.
If you’re struggling with emotional entanglements & repetitive patterns in relationships, are aware of it, and are willing to work on shifting it, Depth Seekers is likely the most wholesome path for you.
I want you to know that you can reach out to me if you ever have a question or want to brainstorm ideas you have related to resolving your relationship patterns or emotional difficulties. Feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to guide & support you.
You can also just drop in a comment to say hi 🙂
So that’s my story & why I do what I do. I hope Depth Seekers is able to serve as a meaningful learning & practice ground for you, through the blogs & the program, for years to come.
To begin your journey here, you can start with the findings from my ongoing qualitative research (I’ve interviewed 40 women so far) on Why High Achieving Women Struggle In Relationships, & With Emotions.
Shobhali Thapa Jiwani