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‘Empowerment begins within’

Transformation and well-being author, conscious healer, self care protagonist and sports entrepreneur from Mumbai, Sonalli Guptaa will be in Goa to be part of the second edition of Empower on August 31 and September 1. Ahead of her visit she makes time to catch up with NT BUZZ in an interesting conversation about body shaming, relationships, life and more

Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ

Author of `Love, Life and Everything in Between’, owner of Magika Asteria (Mumbai’s women throw-ball team), and a business `whisperer,’ Sonalli Guptaa cannot be described just a few words. Known to be always ready to address people, she believes very strongly in empowering her audiences, and contributing towards building the holistic self and fostering healthy body positivity.

Sonalli is also very actively involved in social activities in Mumbai and has held office as the former founder-president of the junior wing of Archana Trust Suburban. She has an endless zeal and zest to keep up the tempo of life by making novel ideas real.

  1. What was your inspiration for the book, ‘Of love, life and everything in between’?

I have always emoted best through writing, and so, ‘Of love, life and everything in between’ is more like an extension of it. My thoughts, my feelings, my observations, and all that I know about people, relationships and emotions are all in the book through poetry, in simple easy language.

  1. What are some aspects touched upon in this book, and how can it transform people?

I have spoken a lot about emotions and relationships, love and life. I wanted to speak about the times and feelings that bog us down, where we come to a point of no return, and how when we look beyond it, we can find gratitude and hope and prayers… and thus, come to the most important aspect of self-love.

It can truly help people in transforming the emotions they go through, and that which bind or restrict them.

I have spoken about it in my book; after every chapter which captures a certain emotion, called perspectives and introspection. It gives the reader an insight into a new way of thinking and also poses questions which makes one introspect deeply into their lives.

  1. Shaming is an issue that troubles people. How can we be more accepting of people, and respect fellow humans, irrespective of shape, size, etc?

When we can inculcate the very basic idea of ‘no-judgement’, we can truly begin to see ourselves and others as they are. It gives people the freedom to be themselves and act as they truly are within themselves. There is no space for pretence then.

And also, no place for shaming but, truly, just accepting each other as we are. We make judgements based on our own limitations and not because of others, hence, when we all learn to be non-judgemental, especially towards our own selves, we can truly eliminate not only shaming but much more from the society we live in.

  1. Relationships too, can be complicated and toxic. How can we overcome these?

Relationships are not complicated, we are. We are the only ones responsible for something as smooth and easy as it is, or rough and difficult. It comes from the fact that so many of us don’t know ourselves very well, and yet we want to be in relationships to have a sense of being ‘complete’, expecting the other one to fulfil all those gaps for us.

When we begin to first love ourselves, we can then be that extension for everyone else around us too.

Love and relationships should be what works for you, not what is shown in movies or books or friends and family or even history. Every person is different, and every expression of love is different from another. Gratitude, honour, respect, trust, intimacy are far more important than mere expressions of love and romance.

Toxic relationships are of many different kinds, and every person experiences it differently. There can be no one common method to deal with it, however, if a relationship suffocates you and does not allow you to grow, then it is time that one questions themselves; why and what makes them be in it? If those answers keep them going, then perhaps it is something that they are choosing to be in, yet, nothing and no one is worth more than ‘you’ yourself.

So seek out, find your own self first, and make a choice to change your life.

  1. How do you manage your life, three children and the diverse activities you are associated with?

I can only be grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life; for being able to make so many choices and have the ease with them all. The day we decide what we would like to have in our lives for ourselves, truly nothing and no one can stop us from achieving it. In fact everyone else becomes a contribution towards it, including the universe. It is about going with the flow, and being as flexible as one can be, looking for possibilities in everything that seems like a limitation. Instead of stopping or complaining, look for reasons to continue moving on and keep going forward.

  1. Why should women give importance to beauty, wellness, health and fitness?

Women forget that dressing up, looking and feeling good, pampering themselves is for themselves. It is not to please or look beautiful for another, but only to love what you are.

Everything you do is always for yourself, and that reflects in you, that is when you glow from that beauty treatment or feel happy when you exercise. ‘Me-time’ is very important for all us. It gives us a kind of time out which is for us to connect within. It makes us more present with our bodies.

  1. Women empowerment is spoken of everywhere. What are the fundamentals to facilitate this empowerment?

Empowerment begins within. So, what is empowering? When we can recognise what lies within us or another person and aid in bringing it to the outside – is to empower them. When we can give women (since we are talking about women empowerment) the freedom of non-judgement, and ability to be themselves, we will be able to create a space for them to grow along too and make choices for themselves.

Education including the ideals of non-judgement, equality, contribution, awareness, etc, are what will help in bringing about greater change from the very grass-root levels and those are our children and especially the girl child.

  1. And what should empowerment really mean to women?

Women empowerment should mean to contribute to each other’s lives. To recognise what greatness and strength lies within each one of us and help each of them sparkle and shine as women.

  1. Tell us about your love for sport, and about your throw-ball team.

I have always loved playing sports, my dream would have been to make my country proud someday; it was always a dream. I played almost all sports while growing up. However cricket was my favourite, as a teen I played snooker, and now I play badminton. I was also a black belt in taekwondo at the age of 16. So somehow, sports and fitness has always been my way of life.

When I got a chance to do something for women and sports, I jumped in. It is my way of empowering women through sports and to give this kind of platform to women is what excites me. Women from so many different walks of life come together as a team and support and contribute to each other. This is also what empowerment is all about. And all of this has a ripple effect in their lives too. They become truly empowered to choose beyond what they have for themselves.

(Open to invitees, guests and public)

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