Reena Ranger, Chair of Women Empowered, is In Conversation with Jas Chadha for her regular series for ‘iGlobal’ to explore some inspirational facets from the life and achievements of prominent Global Indians.
Jas, the Wise Body Wellness Coach, is a trained art curator, poet, artist and wellness coach. Her practice is rooted in nature, sustainability and healing. She has a strong background in running supper clubs, working with eco farms, retreat centres, rural art galleries, small sustainable music festivals and facilitating group workshops and sharing circles. Through her work, she wants to engage with ecological futures and sustainable narratives. Her journey into wellness coaching came out of own collaboration and work with retreat centres, holistic healers, yogic practitioners, foragers, movement medicine leaders and mediation centres.
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You have a background of working with retreat centres, promoting holistic therapies and healing. Recently you started your own company and you are encouraging people to look at their lifestyle and values so that they can enable a more confident self and life. What do you believe are important questions that need to be asked for a deeper understanding for what you want and how you can get there?
We all have values. Internal values that are unique to us. Take out time to really ask yourself what your core principles are. If family is central to your life – what key beliefs or needs are important to you in a family? These could be trust, loyalty, or perhaps space, independence, understanding and communication.
Set out your intentions clearly and begin to use this as an anchor for all your decision-making. Once you have taken time to really listen and hear yourself, you can begin to identify how you can gain a better balance in life – whether it is work, relationships, friends, , community etc. Creativity is central to finding a deeper understanding of your direction and authenticity. Take time to dress like you, to organise your space your way, to move at your speed and communicate in your style and tone. Embody who you really are and don’t compromise that!
Get in front of nature and get to know your area. Connecting with yourself is about communication with your environment, and your role and place within it.
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You work with young people, students who are transitioning to a new phase in their educational journey. This can be an exciting yet anxious time for many as they move schools or face new challenges, environments and workloads. What type of skills do you believe that we need to equip our youngsters with to help with this transition and what is the one key piece of advice that you would give to somebody navigating this new phase of life?
Ask yourself what makes you happy. Where are you most confident and positive? Start to identify your passions, your capabilities, situations that you are excited by and those that you are not. From there, you can really start using your experiences and your observations to map out and build the next steps towards the life that you could want for yourself.
Life is utterly about experience, so don’t limit your capabilities. It’s great if you want to take on a vocation, like business, law, the arts or , but keep expanding and don’t be afraid to try something new. Balance is about variety, it’s about honouring a diverse set of opportunities and going for it. Work and family are vital components but so is building pockets of time for something completely different or something you just love. Go on that cookery course, say yes to the boxing workshop, climb into that cycling lycra set.
Empower your practices and knowledge. It’s important to get past your ego too – go out and volunteer – connect with your community and get involved. You might learn something unbelievable about yourself and the world around you. Volunteering is a fantastic resource and phenomenal source of confidence and conviction.
Are you a brilliant speaker, a talented mediator, a compassionate listener or have strong organisation skills? Don’t be afraid to explore your potential and never limit yourself to one thing. Expect change. Expect regular evaluation. Build your community.
What has been the lesson you have learned during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown?
Gratitude. Gratitude for the small things. For the light, the sunflowers in my room, the paintings on my wall, the books on my shelf, the warmth of my , the beauty of my garden. The love of my family, friends, colleagues and community.
The lockdown has also offered enormous time for self-reflection, for personal insight, for cross-referencing my experiences and skills, and validating my purpose, meaning and strengths. It has also taught me huge amounts of patience, of relinquishing control and embracing the uncertainty and fragility of life.
It was a drastic period of change for many. It offered an opportunity for a culture of openness around . Suddenly there was nothing to hide behind and nothing to protect. We were all collectively and globally sharing in this phenomenal and devastating experience. And from within all that fear, I learnt about unity. It was the commonality between me and everyone else that brought me peace, compassion, humbled me and offered a deeper connection to the things that truly matter. Love, connection, truth, kindness and gratitude in place of everything else.
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If you could go back and give your teenage self one bit of advice, what would it be?
Be bold, be confident in your own power. Never give up and never compromise or feel pressed to follow the crowd. You are unique.
is the Chair and Co-Founder of . In this exclusive “” series for iGlobal, the dynamic entrepreneur-philanthropist catches up with high-achieving Global Indians across different fields to spotlight some insightful life lessons.
*The views expressed in the answers are of the interviewees.