Decolonize your inner world: Amna Ahmad shows how to gain sovereignty of your hybrid life


in culture,global niche,identity,multicultural,origin,self-image,society

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We love people who can talk sense about our hybrid personality and lifestyle issues. When Brooklyn-based life- and writing-coach Amna Ahmad, the dazzling founder of The Pragmatic Hybrid, released her new ebook Decolonize Your Inner World we instantly knew it would resonate at expat+HAREM.

Amna’s basic philosophy is that we’re complicated beings who have the privilege of creating our lives as a happy mix of our cultural inheritances — and our inner reality. That mix is not automatic. We have to figure out which inherited expectations we’ll keep and those we choose to leave behind. It takes insight to be the expert on ourselves that only we can be, and skills to claim our autonomy — our personal sovereignty.

In Decolonize Your Inner World, Amna declares that the consensus around us may not be the truth (or our truth!). Instead, it’s a trick of the colonizing force we call culture. “We always do it this way. That’s our custom. All our children are engineers.” Sound familiar?

She urges us to trust our own self-knowledge to change the outcome of an oppressive situation. In this jewel of a PDF*  she gives us a simple writing exercise and explains what kind of reactions and results we’ll get along the way as we practice throwing off internalized outside powers that don’t serve us well. Eventually we can learn to co-exist peaceably and self govern in most any environment.

Amna’s ebook helps us begin to set our agenda independent of the larger cultural expectations that surround us…making our inner world a brave, free and hybrid place.

Now that’s a place we want to live.

How have you been decolonizing your inner world?

Anastasia Ashman is a California-born writer/producer of neoculture entertainment based in Istanbul. This series covers what’s crossing the mind and desk of expat+HAREM’s founder.

*Free download arrives by email after you subscribe

  • Noor alam Afghan

    Hey, my living Sion Switzerland my mom and father no my from Afghanistan please please please help me mom ? ?

  • Anastasia ASHMAN

    You can catch the recording of our summer 2012 GlobalNiche session with Amna here:

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  • Anastasia

    We’re going to be checking in with Amna this summer. On July 20, 2012 we’ll have Amna in our Global Niche chatroom (, and on July 30th, I’ll be joining Amna in her webinar about writer’s block.

  • Camille Smith

    I endorse Amna’s guidance to chose which part of the unconsciously inherited culture we want to keep and generate consciously. In our Western/USA culture, we tend to value people who talk alot and loudly and tend to undervalue the quiet ones. Introverts, the quiet ones, have much to offer. we/USA businesses need to recognize and allow their strengths to surface. terrific book on this: Quiet, by Susan Cain. I’m bringing this into my coaching practice and it’s making a huge difference in team work and productivity.

  • Di

    I subscribed, as she seems like an interesting read … but thank you. 

  • Anastasia

    Hi Di and Miss Footloose — bummer. I’ll ask Amna about the link and report back! She’s been doing some reorganizing of her business.

  • Miss Footloose

    The link leads to “Make Peace With Your Writing” and not to “Decolonize Your Inner World.” What to do? 😉

    • Noor alam Afghan

      Hey, my living Sion Switzerland my mom and father no please help me mom my years 18 old, my phone number darcat and wathsaf please mom i love you mom 0041 779155983

  • Di

    Hmmm, the e-book doesn’t seem to be there anymore?  I read  and realised she wrote back in May.  I might be wrong but that’s how it’s looking here.  Loved the sound of it though

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  • Amna

    @sezinka:disqus ! I’m so, so glad to hear about your breakthrough about the conditioned ideas/behaviors, and whether or not they still apply. And I’m glad my writing found you at just the right moment. :) xox

    @dutchessabroad:disqus – Typo noted – thank you!

  • Sezin

    Amna! Wow. Your book comes into my life while my mom is visiting and the other night I had a breakthrough as we talked, realising that many of the ideas and behaviours I was conditioned by via my mum no longer apply. The kicker was *my mom* doesn’t even agree with those things she drilled in my head all those years ago and apologised for giving me that skewed impression that has shaped many decisions and judgments in my life. Wow. Big moment.

    One of my favourite Osho meditations involves letting go of everything you believe in, every little thing, and mindfully maintain that emptiness for a period of time. He says the things that are truly yours will return and the things that don’t are not and were never needed. This reminds me so much of the exercise in your book, you call them inheritances, he calls them “voices”, the voices of the past, voices of lies, voices that are not ours and need to be silenced especially if they don’t help us fulfill our dreams or accomplish our goals.

    I love the synchronicity of my realisation a few days ago and the appearance of your book here at expat+HAREM, your newsletter with the link was bizarrely buried in my spam folder – the first time that has ever happened with one of your messages. This tells me that I was not ready to read that when you first sent it but now the universe aligns to bring your/Osho’s/my message when I am ready to integrate it and move forward.  

    Thank you so much for bringing home this valuable teaching and for all the beautiful energy you bring into the world.



  • Amna

    @dutchessabroad:twitter – The word “inheritances” used in this way is my own creation. I think.

    (It’s tricky to know with language, because we hear and assimilate it from so many sources and blend it up with our own expression before putting it back out.) And now it’s yours to use and adapt as you please. :)

    What I mean here is as Catherine thought below – all the schmutz we pick up from everywhere and take on unintentionally.

    • Anonymous

      It was just the “t” Amna, I totally understand the use of inheritance in the context :-)

    • Anonymous


    • Anastasia

      Amna, I think your concept makes so much sense of not only the stresses and contradictions we feel growing up in our own families, but also the stresses and contradictions we face when we go out into the world (at whatever age we do it!). And for people whose lifestyles and experiences are becoming ever more hybrid, your writing exercise seems like a grounding practice to quickly get in touch with where we alone stand in all of it. Thanks again for creating the ebook, and sharing it with all of us!

  • Catherine Bayar

    Downloaded this valuable document 2 days ago, planning to read it today – thanks for the reminder! I love her language, the opening call to “wash off all the schmutz that’s obscuring your brilliance”…though I do think she meant “inheritances” @dutchessabroad:disqus ? A word for the the internal baggage we’ve packed from our various lives would be excellent to create, along with this process she offers for lightening our load…

    Off to read more!

    • Anonymous

      Okay, slap me with a wet noodle (Ann Landers†) I do totally understand the concept of inheritance(s), as I said above, it was the “t” that made me wonder whether I was to learn a new word for a known concept :-)

      • Catherine Bayar

        I’d never dare slap you with a noodle, Judith! I think combining “internal” and “inheritances” to mean psychic baggage well deserves a word. As hybrids, we are charged with finding ways to describe what holds us back from becoming the best we’re meant to be.

        Thanks @amnaahmad for the brilliance you share in helping us understand the importance of creating our own cultures.

        • Anonymous

          To All, I must have caught a typo which since has been changed. I rest my case.

        • Noor alam Afghan

          Hey my living Sion Switzerland my mom and father no please help me mom ? my wathsaf number 0041779155983

  • Anonymous

    Hi Anastatis, Thanks for the heads up. How generous of @AmnaAhmad:disqus to offer her e-book for free (great marketing strategy for creative entrepreneurs as well ;-)) And it’s so easy to get it send to one’s desktop! I often learn new words at this hub and wonder whether interitances on page 3 is one of such inventions related to hybrid lifestyles?

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