Know Any Literary Animal Lovers?

Hi there PureJeevan readers! We wanted to let you know that Jim's new novel CHROO is available on Amazon. It's a crazy adventure involving a billionaire heiress, her Chihuahua BFF ("Chroo") and a host of human and animal characters. Find out more on Amazon! Here are some links:

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You rarely hear us talk about our daughter here on the blog. Some of you have noticed and asked questions about her through email. I'd like to tell you why we don't write about her very much, because there's something to be learned from it.

First, I usually don't like to write about people unless I get their permission. This is especially true when my daughter is concerned. I respect her privacy if she chooses for me to not share things about her life. Years ago when I knew I wanted to create the Pure Jeevan site, I talked with Jim and our daughter about it. I said it was something I felt drawn to do, that I felt it could help a lot of people, but I wanted it to be a family site if it's something they were interested in doing along with me. Jim agreed to help me at the time, but didn't fully embrace Pure Jeevan himself (now, however, he has become a very active part of this site and all of our projects). Our daughter, however, said from the very beginning that she didn't want any part of it.

I don't know if some of you have the same experience, or not, but many times I learn from my daughter. She has a fresher outlook on so many things in life. Maybe it's because she's unschooled (learns from life), or because I've raised her to always follow her desires in life, or something else that I'm not even understanding right now. But, I do learn from her. So, whenever she says something that I don't understand the reasoning behind, or something that I disagree with, I ask questions. When she said she didn't want any part of Pure Jeevan, I asked her to tell me why.

Here's what she said:

"Because that's all about raw foods. Raw foods is not my life. I'm an artist, a singer, a person who loves cats. Raw food is just something I eat. I don't want to go around saying I'm a raw foodist. I'm KDcat."

Well, truth be told she was named Kerala (after the most beautiful place I've ever visited in India). But, being a unique and artistic person, she renamed herself "KDcat" at a young age.If I forget and introduce her as Kerala, she's quick to correct me. Who am I to call her something other than who she is? No matter how much I may try to place a label on her that says she is "Kerala" she's going to take it off and be known as KDcat. I love that about her. She knows who she is and how she wants the world to see her. So, no labeling for her, not even if it's the name she was given at birth.

I admit that I do, at times, identify with the title of raw foodist. "I'm a raw foodist." It's something I've written and said so many times I probably couldn't even count them. It is certainly limiting, but most of all it's not accurate. I am more than just what I eat, just as KDcat pointed out about herself. Why should what I eat even factor into a description I give of myself? I'm trying to no longer limit myself by applying a label to describe who I am from now on.If someone askes who I am, I'll ask them how long they have and how much they want to know.

What about you? Are you wearing a label that is in some ways restrictive or not quite accurate? When I ask: "Who are you " what's the first response that comes to your mind, other than your name? I'd love to know your answers!

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On February 3, 2009, randomguru wrote:

great post! touching on some great lessons in life.

i myself don't really like to be labeled. as a musician i follow musical artists like keith jarrett, who's been a musical chameleon, playing classical, world, jazz, etc. and i think it limits a person to be categorized as one thing. so, i'd like to think of myself as a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted human being.

though, sometimes people in general will "label" someone. like, oh he's a raw foodist. or she's a geek. etc.

perhaps our "culture" is into "labels" like people seem to be into clothing labels and designer jeans and so on. or society (or perhaps corporate media) tends to create labels for brand identity, which is then a marketing concept. here in America, we are so corporate and marketing driven... we grow up thinking in terms of labeling. it's important to see beyond all of that....

anyway, you are blessed with a wonderful daughter there. unique and she definitely seems to have a personality all her own. awesome!

On February 3, 2009, Terri wrote:

She's beautiful!

It sounds like you have done some very good parenting. She looks like such a happy person.

On February 3, 2009, colette wrote:

I've got the same shirt as kdcat in her picture above...we share the love of cats!

On February 3, 2009, debbiedoesraw wrote:

Dear KDCat
I love your name, your dramatic flair and style and that you are able to tell your parents the truth! I also love your cat!
Thank you for sharing with us about yourself. I know your parents must be really lucky to have a daughter like you!
love deb
PS labels: I am just me.. my main thing is don't' call me a cancer victim, I am anything but!

On February 3, 2009, rubyvroom wrote:

I guess you notice that I rarely speak about or write of my 15 year old daughter, Gabrielle. I think she and KDcat have much in common. I certainly had to learn much about being the kind of mother that would best suit Gabby. It is an ongoing life lesson. There are so many nuances of raising children, daughters can be even more of a complex artistry.

Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom. Blessings you you all and a big high five to the marvelous, beautiful and independent KDcat!


On February 3, 2009, Errigal_lass wrote:

"If someone askes who I am, I ll ask them how long they have and how much they want to know."..........beautiful response! I could not have said it any better! Yes, we have much to learn from our young-er ones! Me included! Thank you for sharing this!

On February 3, 2009, sherylmiller wrote:

funny how information/comments appear at the most appropriate times.
Who am I ?
over the past few days my children have gone back to school and I get excited as I want to know who they have for a teacher, where there classroom is who is ion their class!
So I clapped and cheered when I heard what class my daughter Grace was in and what teacher got!
A few of my friends and their children have commented about why I acted the way I did and had said to their mums"Why did Sheryl do that, I bet Grace was embarrassed!
I thought about it the next day, I laughed about it!
I was going to apologise if the teacher thought I was over the top but I thought why should I apologise for who I am !

Yes I am giggly, full of energy, somewhat louder than the norm, but what is the alternative ? what are opposites of all the fun things in life- boring
I believe people and friends need to accept you as you are!
Live life!
Thanks for writing this story and making me think!
Don't change KDcat for anyone!

sheryl miller

On February 4, 2009, violet wrote:

labels. tricky stuff. originally meant to define and explain, labels can also isolate and separate us from one another. i say i hate labels, so i try to not use them much in respects to the linear limits we push on one another... but i use them when i must.
sometimes i see them as empowering, even if limiting in the eyes of others. when asked to label/define myself using one word answers i do reply. i am a woman, an artist, a feminist, an animal lover, a plant enthusiast and a collector of words. these are labels i can identify with. and others can too- positively or negatively. it's not my choice to make others see me as i see myself though. same goes for you and kdcat. as close as we are to others, we are separated. it's the time when the space between us is very close, and it becomes a sticky or grey area ... danger zone. where do i end and you begin? labels.
i love hearing how much you appreciate your daughter for her individuality and self-imposed identity. you and jim must have provided her with a varied space to grow in with much love and light. how fantastic, and unusual these days.
just keep on doing what you love, and the labels don't really mean that much unless they need to.

On February 4, 2009, MindXdreamz wrote:

I agree Wendi, and with others here who've not written much about their children out of respect for them. I agree because as a mother of two grown children, I came to realize at some point in their youth that they were on their own journey, as I am on my own journey. Being a mom to them was one of the hardest jobs I ever had, and being a single mom for many years also, well, for those who can relate, you know.

When I introduce myself, depending upon the audience, I will or will not identify myself as a mother of two grown children. Sometimes I wonder if it is because I think people will automatically try and guess my age, or if it's purely because since they're grown and on their own, it's not as necessary. When they were younger and I couldn't go out, or join a group, camp, what not, I'd almost have to say "I have kids". Now, that's not an issue.

I love that KDcat has her own unique identity and understanding of herself, I would also agree you and hubby have raised one beautiful and talented young lady.

Very recently I posted photos of my kids on my Conscious Living Space page because I guess I just had a momentary feeling of wanting my group there to know me better. You've definitely given me something else to think about for this moment today vs. my job search.

As for the label thing, I don't know why labels tend to make people feel more comfortable, except that it is rooted in ego. "Birds of a feather, flock together" kind of thing. I guess it's human nature (ego) to want to feel a part of a certain group. What I think is bad about it is when, as randomguru pointed out, if you're such a creative person that you branch out and live outside certain label definitions you're considered weird, abnormal, or such. I LOVE people who live "outside the box"! My husband is one of those people, and actually I think I am too!

I have a new blog noted on my profile now if anyone would like to know more about that. :)


On February 4, 2009, Pixywinks wrote:

Ah, the wisdom of the young. Precious girl. I love KDcat and her cat(s). Beautiful. All of you are beautiful.

On February 4, 2009, RawkYouLikeaHurricane wrote:

What I believe, and fear and work against, is that people think of me just as "that fat lady". I am fat, but it's not all I am.

I worked at an art college a few years ago, and I had several pieces of different art with images of tarantulas in my office, as I love them. The day that I was packing to leave for the last time, one of my quieter students came in and thanked me for helping her. I was glad she did, and she asked me my name, and apologized for not remembering it. I said that was ok. Then she looked uncomfortable and said, "They call you 'the tarantula lady' ". And that made me strangely very happy. If I had to be called something, Tarantula Lady would be fine.

Your daughter is one smart cookie, and I'm sure she will have many fine adventures with her fearless outlook!

On February 5, 2009, Connie wrote:

I laughed as I read this because it is so true! I have struggled with the raw foodist label without really knowing why. It does seem absurd to label ourselves by what we eat. Wouldn't we think it was odd if other people did that? Imagine each person we meet introducing themselves by describing their diet. lol! Thanks for putting things into perspective. You have a wise daughter and a lovely family.