To Learn More about Vibha Sharma [Click Here] for her Media Kit
I have with me today, Vibha Sharma, and she is not only an author, but she is also the founder of cosmicways.com. She is a vice president for the Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is a Global Goodwill Ambassador at the Global Goodwill Ambassadors. She is also a Global Peace Ambassador. Silicon Valley’s, Women Warriors Lean and Circle Leader, and San Francisco’s chapter chairperson for mindfulness. She also participates in the all ladies league for the USA and she is the world’s largest all-inclusive international women’s chamber for the universal movement for the welfare, wealth, and well-being of all the empowering women leadership people she can find.
So, to say that this woman is not busy is an understatement, right? I mean, the woman is constantly on the move and in the process of that, she likes to share her message which is her journey into mindfulness that started over a decade ago. She did it because she needed to deal with the daily stress and her anxiety. So who can not relate to that? The world definitely has its share of anxiety. Am I right?
She learned that her happiness and well-being does not depend on the circumstances of her personal life. She became proficient in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and really wants to change things for people so that they realize what is happening on the outside is actually because of the things that they are thinking about and their way of perceiving things on the inside. So check out her book that she just got published this year which is, ‘Turn within: Reconnect with your inner peace and well-being.‘ It just focuses on the importance of meditation.
Now I know many of you are probably like, “If I hear the word meditation one more time, I am going to scream.” Well, too bad, because you are going to hear it again today, because this is the point of her message. Spreading awareness about meditation and the importance of connecting within. Thank you so much for joining at us. It is great to have you with us Vibha.
Vibha Sharma: Actually, it is such a nice introduction. Glad to be here.
Janine: I am so glad that we were finally able to connect after 4 months of shuffling. I would like to ask, what got you started in this area? There is always that pivotal moment, that pivotal thing that happens. It initiates the whole chain of events that culminates into you writing a book, right? But there is always that one thing that starts you off. Do you mind sharing a little bit about what got you started writing?
Vibha: Yes, actually I started meditating way back when I was a small child. I was raised in a family where they introduced us to the spiritual side of life at a very early age. Our parents used to take us for spiritual gatherings. We used to meditate together. Then, when I got married I came to the US and I was missing my family so much.
Janine: I can only imagine.
Vibha: Yes. And then, you worry about your parents and you miss your family but you worry about your parents. They are getting old and then there is something like fear of losing your loved ones. And then, I started reading spiritual books again and I started meditating. Again, I took so many other classes, workshops, and then I decided that I will get initiated into a practice. One of my teachers told us about all the things we can do when we start meditating. We can actually access other realms that are very fascinating and tempting for me. I said, “Wow, we can do that?” I was very curious to know. And then she said we have to meditate at least ten percent of our time in twenty-four hours like two and a half hours every day. I started meditating for one hour in the morning, one hour in the evening, and slowly. I get some insights. There is a message I clearly see whenever I ask some questions. I get those messages and I take note of those things. When I go back to those notes, actually I feel sometimes, “I know that. That is nice. I can use that for myself, and with my clients.”
One day, my younger brother asked me, “Why you do not write a book? You should write a book.” I was always thinking that I should write a book from my notes. It can help my clients, it can help other people. Then I decided, “Yes actually, I should.” If I do not start writing, I will never do that. That day I started actually working on writing my book. It was just one and a half years ago. So then, I just did it and before I knew it, I wrote a book.
Janine: Well, congratulations because I know that there are some people that will go ten years before they will write their book. Thank you for not taking ten years because what you talk about regarding mindfulness, the tips you gave for meditation while walking the path to self-discovery and self-actualization – that is a message we need to talk more about. You and I were talking before the show how we are both long-time meditators. We have been meditating for decades. We were taught long meditation techniques. Where you sit for six hours or eight hours at a time. These suggestions were for us as householders, right? Because we are not nuns in an ashram, we are given the reprieve to meditate for only an hour in the morning and an hour at night. You talk to some Americans about that and they are like, “I can’t even sit still to watch television for an hour.” But you and I have answers to that dilemma. We both came up with different answers. So, let’s talk about the answer you came up for your clients on how you can have shorter meditations.
Vibha: Yes, actually it is so interesting, Janine. Every single time they come to me, they see my background, “Oh, yeah, I want to learn meditation.” Even my corporate clients they start with something else, some career goals. As we talk they said, “I just want to learn how to meditate but I cannot”. Every single one of them says, “I want to learn meditation but I do not think I can meditate.” So, I always tell them that meditation is not about doing anything. It is about undoing. And then, it is so interesting, one of my clients said, “I want to learn meditation but please just take me to two-minute meditation because I can not concentrate more than that.”
Janine: My client said three, so I built an online course called three-minute meditations just because they were like, “Please, three minutes or less.” And I am like, “Okay, here we go.” But you came up with five-minute meditations, so really talk to me about those five-minute meditations because both you and I picked odd numbers. There is a reason for that, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. So tell us a little about that.
Vibha: No, actually after talking to my clients, I came up with a recorded two, three, five-minute meditation piece. So sometimes I tell them anytime whenever you feel overwhelmed, just play a two-minute piece. If you have more time, if you are motivated, play a three-minute piece and then a five-minute. Actually, it is on my website it is free to download. My friends download them when they first started meditating. So it is called, “Two, Three, Five-Minute Meditation.” And also, coming back to that person she said, “Just lead me through two minutes”, and when I lead her, at that same day, she meditated on her own for twenty-six minutes. And now she is doing quite well without guided meditations.
Janine: It is incredible, is it not? You work with these people for just a very short period of time. The next thing you know they are meditating for an hour. They just bliss-out. They say things like, “Oh, I had no idea that this happens to you.”
You have the two, three, and five-minute meditations that you share with your clients. What are some wonderful things that have occurred since you wrote this book and you started sharing with people your mindfulness techniques?
Vibha: The most interesting thing is, Janine, when I work with my corporate clients. And they ask, “How can we use mindfulness at work and like spirituality at work? How can we do that?” So I just tell them that, “You are one person and there is no difference between professional life and personal life, they are one. Just be authentic, be mindful. And for example, if you are going for any meeting, just focus on the intention, what you want to get out of the meeting. It is not about winning or losing or getting something. Just be mindful of your intentions and just be present and listen to other person and just convey whatever you need to convey. Just be mindful of your heart and feelings and intentions and actions.”
It helps them so much and even before the meeting and they make sure that they decide. I was just talking to another client just yesterday and she said, “I was having a conflict with one of my teams and they were not responding. I was having a very tough time. So I worked on this one word, ‘Intention’. I was being resentful towards them that they are not responding, they are not respecting my time. So I was having a very negative opinion about them. But then I focused that we are here for a mutually beneficial relationship, so I will reach out to them with this intention then I will help them and they will help me.” She said just by working on one word, of ‘intention’ and it turns out to be such a good meeting and I was very happy after the meeting. My clients were very happy after the meeting. So it was my biggest win. I always tell them to write down your wins of the week, and try these things and see how it goes. She said, “That was my biggest win when I focused on intention.”
Another thing is when my clients have to go through giving tough feedback– giving and receiving tough feedback or having difficult conversations with their colleagues. And then when I direct them, just be authentic. It is not about you or it is not about them. It is about the work, it is about the project, and it is about expectations, about the work. It is not about you. So when people just focus on being authentic, they have such smooth conversations with their colleagues at their work and definitely in personal life. So be authentic and just be yourself.
Janine: I like where you were able to work in a corporate environment because when I was doing most of my internal growth, it was during the time that I worked as an analytical biochemist in the pharmaceutical industry. I remember there was a little space that is kind of a snack room or a place you can get a coffee and things. There was a chair in there. It was a very, very tiny space. I would just go in there and meditate for two, three minutes at a time. Somebody would walk in and they go, “What are you doing?” I am like, “I am visualizing.”
That was an acceptable term back in the 1990s in Corporate America. The thing that you bring to your corporate clients is you are like, “Look, this is how you do conflict resolution and this is how you keep people on tasks like you said by focusing on the end result that both parties are after. And not getting into that personal, it is you versus me.” That happens a lot, that seems to be human nature.
Janine: When it comes to conflict resolution, which our world is in such need of humanitarians and peacebuilders, some people feel they have to sacrifice in order to bring peace. So what are some suggestions you have that sacrifice is an older model, Age of Pisces? That is the other age where you have to sacrifice for the common good. Now that we are in this new age that is moving forward, we can do this together, sacrifice is no longer required. I would love some of your thoughts and concepts as you worked with corporate people. How can we achieve success while bringing other people to their needs of success using intention and some other techniques you’ve mentioned in your book.
Vibha: Yes, I always emphasize on my book also. The very reason I wrote this book is because I want to educate people about the importance of daily quality time. Connecting with their inner self, connecting with their inner peace. You do not need to sacrifice anything, you just need to be more attentive, just be you. Just come back to yourself. Like, be fully present, because all day long we are just out there. It is just like sleepwalking, you are not even present. We forget ourselves, we leave ourselves behind while working.
I tell them, you just start your day with just two minutes required time. Just acknowledging your presence. Just being present to your presence. And then, just have the clarity, start your day with that feeling of peace. It is [inaudible] for the day. And then, you would just run a movie and you talk about visualization. I always tell them, “Yes, visualize your day just like running a movie in your mind and how you want your day to go.” Just see yourself interacting with other people, see yourself smiling, feeling good, and see other people smiling. You are just making a difference in the world just by no matter what kind of job you are doing, you are serving humanity. That is your job. So just see yourself having a relationship with other people, conversation with other people. See in your mind that you are having such a good day and everything is fine. At the end of the day, you are feeling accomplished, fulfilled.
Vibha: So that is how I always tell them to just visualize and see the end result. How you want to feel at the end of the day. You want to feel fulfilled, accomplished.
Janine: To the practical mine this just sounds like a diatribe of words and people have heard the words of, “be yourself”, “be authentic” so much. I have actually had clients come to me and go, “I have no idea what you are saying.” Literally, they were so disconnected, they had no idea what I was saying. I would love your perspective on people who– when they hear the word visualization they do not know what we are talking about. Yet they want to know because they are there in front of us asking for help in understanding what it is that we are saying. We are going to have to find different words and this is where your NLP training comes in handy, because it helps guide us. If you do not mind discussing that just a little bit about how to meet people where they are as opposed to where you are.
Vibha: Yes, I was telling my class there is no one formula that I can give you. Okay, do this. Apply this is is, apply NLP, apply power positive thinking, apply being present, being mindful, and just do this. There is no formula, I can not give you that. And that you can google, how can you be more positive, how can you be more productive but it does not work like that. In my practice, I worked with them in real-life situations, real-life scenarios. So I put all these things and tell them and guide them just by hand-holding. Putting all these things in their real-life situations. And then, they get it.
Vibha: I had one client and she said, “I do not get it.” She used to just look at me like that like I am talking in some other language. She admits and she said, just yesterday I was talking to her and she said, “In the beginning, I was thinking, “Is that, is she for me or not?” I do not think this is working. I do not understand what she is saying.”
She had a problem with her boss. She said, “My boss does not respect me and he does not value me.” She was in tears all the time. I worked with her and I said, “It is not about your boss, it is always about you.” You cannot change the world, you cannot change the people. My brand is when you change from inside, things change from outside for you. You start seeing things from a totally different perspective.
Vibha: I told her it is not about the boss, it is about you and I want you to dig deeper and I want you to write all the things you are good at. Because she was lacking in confidence and she was trying to fulfill that need that somebody will acknowledge her from our sight. We went to some exercises then she wrote about all of her strengths and skills and slowly now she said, “I do not need my boss to acknowledge what I do. I do not need anybody else. I am happy being I am.” And now her boss asked her, “What are you doing [inaudible]? You are not the same person. You are being unstoppable. You are being like a machine. What are you doing? I am so curious. What changed for you?”
Vibha: So we went to celebrate just yesterday. It is so amazing when people start seeing– start being who they are. Then they start seeing their own strengths, when they just are authentic and just focus on their own growth. Not worrying about other people, what other people are thinking of them. It does not mean that you become careless or arrogant and do not care about other people’s feelings while it is all about how you see yourself. Instead of complaining and just being disappointed that other people are not valuing us. You need to start valuing ourselves. So just getting in touch with your own true self. Keep getting in touch with your own true being. That is why I wrote in my book that it is so important to spend some quiet time in the morning. Just being in touch with yourself and then experience in your life, then experience in this world, and then going out in the world.
Janine: Thank you for such quality advice to just do a little time in the morning, reconnecting with all that you are. People used to ask me, “What are you doing differently, Janine? You are a different person then I remember.” That is the kind of thing that happens as you meditate. You spend that time with yourself. You really do come back to what you really are, as opposed to what you are trying to present so that you can stay in a safe place. Some people put up defenses because they are trying to be in a safe space and maintain that safety in all areas of their lives. One of the things I would like to share with them is that when you pray, you are talking to God. But when you meditate, you are listening for the answers. Because you are working with corporate clients I was like, “Vibah,Yes! She gets it”, when I was reading your book and you are talking about meditation, about sitting quietly and just listening to what you are saying to yourself. Be kind to yourself, don’t be harsh, you are doing your best.
So, as we wrap up the interview are there any last thoughts that you would care to share with our listeners?
Vibha: Again, I am a big educator of meditation. I was just saying it is so important to just spend some quiet time in the morning. You can call it centering, just being present and just having some moment of peace and quiet. It is so important. It is just [inaudible] for the day and you start seeing things totally differently. And you change from inside. Things that bothered you or what other people will not bother you again the same way. Because I can tell from my own experience I was being introverted and raised the way I was. Before having this regular meditation practice, I used to care about other people’s opinions, about their behavior. But now, if somebody says anything mean to me or anything that happens, I only need a few more minutes of peace and quiet and I am good to go. I am not mad at them anymore.
Janine: That is a major plus not to be mad at people anymore.
Vibha: Yes. Then you will start getting in control of your own reactions and the way you respond to the world and to your life.
Janine: That has been lovely. Vibha Sharma, my dear listeners, I would love for you to go out and grab her book, Turn Within: Reconnect with your inner peace and well-being. She stresses the importance of meditation. I know you see a lot of stuff free on the internet but I cannot emphasize enough the value of having a coach that literally knows all of the boundaries, the potholes, the speedbumps that you go through in meditation. Vibah knows your challenges, she knows. She knows what can guide you through your meditative process. So if you are one of those people that says, “Oh, I cannot meditate”, would you please find a coach and I highly recommend a person who has a book out that you can read and understand their perspective. Someone like Vibha Sharma is a treasure and well worth your financial investment in their guidance. Read her book, move through that process she recommends and then say, “Okay. It is time to have somebody to hold me by the hand for a little bit.” Vibha, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate you giving us your advice and your wisdom.
Vibha: Thanks, Janine. Thanks for having me this pleasure.
Janine: Alright, this is Janine Bolon. I remind you, my dear listener, wherever you are, do not dare forget that you are a star– a child of the stars. You are one with the universe and all we are asking you to do in this show is remember that you are one with the Divine and that you are expressing in total and complete creativity. So get back to writing that book, get back to being creative or whatever way that is, and please do not forget to connect with home through meditation. Have a great day.