Ms. Anujaa Navaratnaa is Founder – Mindful Heart – Evolve with Anu; Transformation Coach / Life Coach and a Gender Affirmative Counseling Psychologist.
She is a Leadership and Communication Coach and her clients are corporate employees, business leaders and entrepreneurs. She provides counseling in the area of relationship disturbances, anxiety stress management and emotion management. She is an alternate healing therapist and practices various modalities such as Reiki, Pranic Healing and Hypnotherapy. Anujaa is on the panel of an NGO as a Mental Health Counselor & Consultant for Trans community. She works with cancer patients for their mental and emotional well being.
She has a background of more than 21 years of work experience in a Corporate MNC in Human Resources and Knowledge Management.
So lets start with the interview
Q1: Pls give a brief about your great work, motive behind taking this unique work that you are doing ?
I help clients deal with challenges in their personal and professional development. This includes emotion management, relationship disturbances, stress & anxiety management. I provide tools & techniques to balance the same through my mentoring & counseling sessions. It helps them stay authentic and positive at the same time. Any challenge, in any aspect of life, impacts the other aspects of life significantly, which leads to an imbalance which gets converted into stress, anxiety & related emotional & mental disturbances. And,these could be unresolved for a long time leading to further complications. The motive behind my passion is that I have faced challenges since the age of 13 and realised the importance of mental health very early in life. I had nobody to guide me on how to balance my personal dreams with my professional aspirations. In the journey of life, I have gathered experiences and along with that, also took formal education in the area of mental health. My educational qualifications, along with my varied experiences equip me to carry on with my work. I keep upgrading myself – a recent addition to my cap is being a gender affirmative counselor / coach. Gives a whole new dimension to my work, and having the backup of education in sociology helps.
Q2: What actually prompted you to start as a Coach ?
I think, Coaching is a natural next step after counseling. Once a person learns to stabilise mentally & emotionally, the next dream is to live life to the fullest and achieve one’s dreams. I realised that many of my clients had lost their way in career even after they had overcome mental / emotional health challenges. Also, having worked in a corporate MNC for 21+ years, I understand the challenges of a working professional, the skills required and the need to keep upgrading themselves on a continuous basis.
Q3: What’s the one thing you have done differently as a mom?
Well nothing very different really. I am like any other mom. Though I have done a few things that are less common – I sent my only son to a residential school at a very young age of 8. Since I was going through divorce, I felt that he needs to stay away from the domestic unrest at home and not be a witness to something that may impact him mentally / emotionally. Of course, the fact wasn’t hidden from him and was completely aware of the developments. I made sure that he gets the information in the right manner in an unbiased way. Another practice as a parent – I have treated my son in a gender-neutral way of parenting. Those days (even now) it was not easy to break gender stereotypes.
Q4: How do/will you balance work and family obligations?
I would say – boundaries, boundaries and boundaries! I do not mix up my personal life with professional life. Try to keep them separate with no conflicts of interest or ‘obligation conflicts”. This sorts out a lot mentally and emotionally. I have clarity on how much time & efforts to put in, what to prioritize & when, and certain values are uncompromising.
Q5: How do you keep your life interesting and exciting?
I keep my hobbies alive! I have a holistic approach towards life, and hence by default things become interesting due to varied interests.
Q6: How good are you with Time Management? Rate yourself out of 10. Managing all chores of home, work, kid, husband etc. Quote some examples.
I try to keep a realistic time-table for myself. Being a freelancer I have the option to take only as much work that I can deliver. Most important tip I would say is – mentally create shutters between work & home. Our mind works better when de-clutter.
Q7: What coping mechanisms have you found to be helpful with regard to lack of sleep and fatigue?
I have always given importance to the quality of my sleep. When my son was small I would prefer easier routines that would keep me less stressed. Changed priorities according to needs as my son was growing and balanced it with my personal goals and dreams. Some ‘me time’ to catch up on sleep helps. Other common tips – staying away from mobile, TV etc for at least one hour before sleep follow a night routine, etc.
Q8: Which song /movie best describes you?
Aashayein from the movie ‘Iqbal’
कुछ पाने की हो आस आस कोई अरमां हो जो ख़ास ख़ास,आशाएं, आशाएं, आशाएं… हर कोशिश में हो वार वार करे दरियाओं को आर पार,आशाएं, आशाएं, आशाएं…तूफानों को चीर के, मंजिलों को छीन ले,आशाएँ खिले दिल की, उम्मीदें हँसे दिल की,अब मुश्किल, नहीं कुछ भी, नहीं कुछ भी…
Q9: How do you see yourself 5 years from now
I see myself having happy and contented clients who are on their way to achieve their dreams…! I guess, I will still be working
Q10: What advice do you want to give to other moms?
Be authentic to yourself, stay focused on yourself even when you are serving others. Be aware of your personal boundaries as an individual / human. Know the difference between ‘being loved’ and ‘being exploited’. ‘Me time’ is very important. Self care – you cannot give others when you don’t have enough of it with you!