I am an International Coach Federation (ICF) certified coach (Associate Certified Coach - ACC). In 2017, I founded Live Authentic Coaching with a mission to empower people through coaching. I am also a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), an accredited member of The Society of NLP and a Mentor at the Cherie Blair Foundation, where I work with women entrepreneurs in developing countries. I am currently completing my MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology and working towards a doctorate in Posttraumatic Growth. I use the evidence-based science of psychology and the action-oriented techniques of coaching to help people grow and learn to live a more fulfilling life.
I’m an avid champion of mental health and wellbeing. As a passionate runner and racer, I’ve completed over 40 half-marathons. I practice mindfulness meditation daily - I completed an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programme (MBSR) in 2015 and a Positive Mindfulness Programme (PMP) in 2019. My family is very important to me and I cherish spending time with my teenage daughter and husband of 20 years.
I lived in India for the first 20 years of my life. Growing up, I was exposed to many of the intense struggles that women regularly face – inequality, discrimination, bias, domestic and sexual abuse, lack of education, physical and mental health issues, hygiene, nutrition and much more. This made me angry, sad, frustrated, and on a number of occasions, left me feeling helpless. At a personal level, I too faced many of these challenges and was denied many opportunities simply because of my gender.
When I turned 21, I left India and moved to Hong Kong, followed shortly thereafter by New York City, before I finally moved to London, my home. In each of these cities, despite facing struggles, my exposure and opportunities for growth, both on a personal and on a professional level, increased. I thrived and grew exponentially and continued to hold on to my deep desire to create opportunities for women in less fortunate circumstances.
In 2004, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. It was one of the best phases of my life. A couple of years after my daughter was born I went back to work as a digital marketing consultant for a small firm in London. When the global financial crisis hit in 2009, like many others, I was made redundant. It was a turning point in my life as I faced a choice – should I look for a new role at another firm or should I be bold and follow my dream to work with women?
I decided to take the plunge and using a part of my redundancy settlement, in early 2011, I founded my own enterprise. My company, a social enterprise, worked with women’s groups in India, Sri Lanka and Africa and offered them the opportunity to use their talent and skills to create sustainable home-ware products. I connected with incredibly brave women, many of whom were subject to domestic abuse, and created opportunities to showcase their talent on an international platform. My work empowered them to channel their skills to work towards their financial independence. I was involved in every stage of the journey, right from idea creation to design, production and finally, when the finished products arrived in London, marketing and distribution at different events, pop up stores, museums and through my online store.
My thirst to empower and work with women continued when I joined The Cherie Blair Foundation as a Mentor. In my role, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with and train women ground up in all stages of their business. This is my third year with the Foundation and I’m incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work with women in Indonesia and parts of Africa. This role has and continues to be, extremely fulfilling.
Working as a social entrepreneur and as a mentor, I came to realise that, apart from having strong business expertise, I also possessed excellent people skills – the ability to communicate effectively, understand, empathise, build trust and rapport and develop productive relationships from a place of respect. I wanted to do more to build on these skills - formal academic training and qualification to be a coach, and to master skills, techniques and frameworks to maximise my potential. So, in early 2017, I decided to train to become a coach. I joined The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) in London and trained to be a co-active coach. I was fortunate to work under some excellent coaches and meet like-minded people. Once I completed my training, I pursued my International Coach Federation (ICF) accreditation and, in July 2018, I became an Associate Certified Coach (ACC).
In 2017 I founded my coaching practice in London called Live Authentic Coaching where I offer one on one coaching to women from all walks of life – mums, entrepreneurs, working women, homemakers and any woman really ready to create the life she wants from a place of values, meaning and fulfillment. I find this work deeply fulfilling and connected strongly to my life purpose.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
My personal struggles and journey in the mental health space are some of the primary reasons I am here today. A few years ago I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As an adult, and a mother, I found the courage to get professional help. Words cannot explain my relief when I learnt that my condition was real and treatable. My diagnosis and treatment marked a turning point in regaining control over my life. After my recovery, I went on to do bigger and better things in my life.
During my treatment and after, I understood the importance of wellbeing and how vital it is to thrive in life. I found much solace in running and physical activity. My mental health and wellbeing reaped the tremendous benefits of movement, and running continues to help improve my quality of life. When I run I am in flow and able to deal with life head-on. I have now run over 40 half marathons over the past few years and continue to run regularly. I also use mindfulness mediation, yoga and gratitude journaling to increase my wellbeing on a daily basis.
As we all know, much work still needs to be done in the space of mental health and wellbeing. As human beings, we are taught how to read and write, do mathematics, take lessons in literature and art, build strong careers, take care of our finances and raise children, but we are not taught how to manage our minds and live life from a place of fulfillment. We are not taught about emotional intelligence, compassion, flow, grit, resilience, kindness or gratitude and how they are critical for our wellbeing. Although happiness is an ultimate goal for most of us, we still don’t know how to achieve it and that needs to change. That is the change I want to create in this world and that is what drives my life purpose.