“I LOVED writing from I was about seven years old. I would write positive affirmations, poems and quotes to help me stay positive. This was important for me, as a young person growing up in a traditional Punjabi household. It was difficult to understand family relationships, family dynamics and to understand my ‘self’. As a young person, I struggled to understand the traditions and rules that I had to follow. Unbeknownst to me, these were in place because I was a girl. I had a secret dream - I wanted a career and more from my life but I had no life choices as my destiny had been already decided for me from the day I was born.

Writing a book has been on my vision board for years, (a vision -board is used to visually create goals that you would like to work on). I always thought and hoped that I would write a book but, back then when I put it on my vision board, I didn’t know what kind of book I would write and if the opportunity would ever present itself.

Mental health and understanding our minds became a passion for me whilst I was working in a corporate environment within the banking world. My own personal mental health suffered greatly due to work-related stress and the politics which played out when a woman tries to make her way in any industry. At that time, I was unable to express to anyone the struggles that were happening for me internally. That’s when I decided to concentrate on my personal development and change career paths.

Coming from an Asian cultural background, I didn’t know about mental health and when I was going through my own struggles and challenges as an adult, I didn’t know where or who to turn to. My early understanding of mental health within the Asian community has been it is a taboo subject and better to be left alone. Asian communities don’t talk about it openly people are judged and even shamed for talking about mental health issues. My own understanding of mental health came from my journey as I trained to become a Psychotherapist. Let me tell you, it’s been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Studying is physically, mentally and financially demanding but it is doable and if I can help inspire just one person, I will consider my journey worthwhile. I want to raise awareness and educate women into talking about subjects that we, as a collective, see as ‘taboo’. These subjects can include menstruation, puberty and sexual wellbeing.

Working with women in a charity organization, and then in my own therapeutic practice, I was able to see that women from all walks of life can feel isolated and ashamed to talk about their struggles and to seek the support they need. This is when ‘The Spirit Within’ started to come into being. I wanted to tell my own story and to raise awareness and give women tools and resources to help them get in a better place with their mental wellbeing. There are so many amazing self-help books out there but mine explores the taboo subjects that I know will resonate with so many women.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Author Gurchehn Singh's book aims to inspire women on a path to finding happinessAuthor Gurchehn Singh's book aims to inspire women on a path to finding happiness

Change can come about by setting an example for those around us, whatever the generation, to be good, kind people; to be accepting of others, their beliefs and how they choose to live their lives. Affecting change may feel like, or be perceived as, a fight but change does not necessitate insulting or disrespecting the good men and women in our families and communities.

We, as women, are so many things. We are the mothers who have the privilege of bringing new life into the world; we are the teachers who first give knowledge of the world to our children; we are the carers for generations of our families; we are the silent, or not so silent, strength within our communities; and we are the inspiration for all the young women who dare to dream and aspire to be more.”

Gurchehn Singh’s narrative is both compelling and relatable, making it an engaging read for readers from all walks of life and particularly those from a similar culture to the author. Through her own reflections on life’s challenges, she provides readers with a roadmap for personal growth and self-discovery. The book goes beyond a mere memoir, incorporating exercises and thought-provoking activities designed to encourage readers to delve deeper into their own experiences and aspirations. One of the unique aspects of The Spirit Within is the inclusion of stories from other South Asian women who have faced their own challenges. The author skilfully weaves together a tapestry of narratives that reveal the unique journeys of South Asian women, creating a collective voice that will resonate with readers. Her compassionate approach and commitment to empowering others shines through in every chapter, making The Spirit Within not just a memoir but a guidebook for personal transformation.

The Spirit Within - a heartfelt guide to strength, peace and happiness is available to buy on Amazon.