Sharing my story - on The Shiv Show Podcast
In January 2019, I sat down with my friend Shiv Radhakishun, who hosts and produces his own podcast, The Shiv Show. Not only has he offered me tremendous support, but he’s also very passionate about sharing other people’s success stories.
Listen to the full interview as we chat about how Mirosuna all began, the lessons I’ve learnt so far and what keeps me going as I continue on my journey with Mirosuna.
What did we talked about?
I have included the content of the podcast below, in case you are more of a reader than a podcaster :)
Shiv asked what mindfulness meant to me
For me, it is about being aware of your body, mind and speech. Once you become aware of all these things, you can start to make positive changes to become a better person and ultimately, lead a happier life. The Mirosuna way of mindfulness is to be 100% practical, without the woo and without the rules.
How did I discover mindfulness?
From a young age, actually! I’ve always been aware of and drawn to explore my spiritual side.
As I grew up and moved into the corporate world, like most of us I went through periods of feeling stressed, overworked and I neglected my physical, emotional and mental health to pursue ‘success’. Looking back on the past 10 years, I knew deep down that something was missing, and that I wanted to make a difference. So as my passion for finding my purpose grew, so did my mindfulness practice, until it became something that I knew I had to spread the word on.
Where did my idea for Mirosuna come from?
From my personal experiences with mindfulness. Like most of us, I saw it as something that I had to keep separate from my day-to-day. So of course, as I became busier, the less time I had to practise it. But over the years as I met more teachers along the way, I learnt how to make mindfulness a part of my day. And since making that switch 5 to 6 years ago, my life has completely changed!
My life is now so much richer, I feel more, I love deeper, everything has become so much more positive and I’ve found real happiness. This is why I wanted to create Mirosuna, to share all the practical tools and lessons I’ve learnt with my community who want to find true, long lasting happiness and meaning in their lives. I am not talking about things that just make you happy temporarily.
When was the ah-ha moment for starting Mirosuna?
When I realised how far I had come by just practising mindfulness as a part of my daily life and not separate to it, I just knew that I had to share this with others so that they can finally make practical changes in their lives without having to necessarily ‘meditate’, wait or ‘make time’.
So, what exactly is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?
‘Mindfulness’ is a word that’s thrown around a lot these days - I love it but in some ways, I don’t like how it’s been butchered. Many people think it’s interchangeable with meditation but it’s actually completely different.
As I mentioned earlier, mindfulness is being aware of your mind, body and speech and being able to make changes to become a better person. This is done by cultivating your positive mind (e.g. love, compassion, generosity and patience) and fading away your negative mind (e.g. jealousy, anxiety and anger). Meditation is a tool or a practice to help you experience and gain mindfulness. So ultimately, meditation is a way for you to analyse and understand these teachings so that you can familiarise yourself with this virtue and get to know yourself more on a deeper level.
Let’s look at an example
If you want to become more patient, you can meditate on ‘patience’. During your meditation, you actively think, explore and feel what patience feels like compared to anger and frustration and what these emotions do to you. You rehearse scenarios in your mind so that when you face this challenge in reality, you are equipped with how to deal with it rather than let it escalate. In the moment, you have a choice to bring your mind back to that same feeling you created during the meditation.
Everyone understands ‘patience’ on a theoretic level. But there is actually a lot more to each virtue. When you learn to understand it deeply through practising mindfulness and apply it to your life, you will experience the true strength of the practice and start to grow your patience.
Do I find meditation easy?
Honestly, I find it very tough! When I started meditating more regularly, I found it so hard to lie down and tune out my thoughts. Sometimes, I’d even fall asleep! But then I discovered sound meditation a few years ago, and now that’s become my preferred way to meditate. It instantly helps me reduce the thoughts in my mind so I can settle a lot faster and enter a trance-like state where I can be aware and feel relaxed all at the same time.
Tell us more about what sound meditation is about?
Sound meditation involves using a singing bowl (which can be made from different materials like metals, crystals and gems) and using a mallet or stick to tap and circle the rim of the bowl. This creates a beautiful, humming sound. So when you lie down and listen to these sounds, your mind goes on a guided journey and your brainwaves are altered so that you reach a state of deep relaxation much quicker and easier than through regular meditation.
In this day and age, many of us suffer from insomnia or we can’t tune out the noise in our heads. So sound meditation is an amazing way to get you there. In my sessions, I always have people who think they ‘can’t meditate’ come up to me afterwards saying how they so easily slipped ‘into the zone’ and what felt like 10 minutes was actually 40 minutes!
Where did the inspiration for the name ‘Mirosuna’ come from?
I wanted a name that encapsulated my life’s work and everything Mirosuna would be. I spent months looking for a word that could embody that, and I couldn’t find one! So I had to make one up:
‘Mi’ means my.
‘Ros’ comes from the ancient Greek word ‘Kairos’ meaning a perfect moment to take action.
‘Una’ comes from an ancient Latin word ‘Lacuna’ meaning a blank space.
So if you combine the three, Mirosuna means ‘my perfect moment to create space for change.’
Where do I see Mirosuna in the future?
Ultimately, I want to create a strong community and share the tools and resources they need to continue on their mindfulness journeys.
Right now, hosting sound meditation events is a big focus of mine. I can also share that later in the year, I’ll be launching a range of essential oils blended specifically to act as a reminder for your daily practice. I have so many more exciting things to come which I have to keep under wraps right now, so watch this space!
What’s been my biggest obstacle so far?
When you start any business, you expect to face operational problems like finding good partners and suppliers to work with. But the toughest hurdle I’ve had to overcome was actually internal. I realised that my support network wasn’t necessarily there and that some closest to me weren’t comfortable or supportive with my decisions. At times, this made me feel lonely and doubtful but over time, I learnt to be comfortable with my own decisions and what people thought of them.
After talking about this with like-minded people like Shiv, I realised that it’s got nothing to do with them not caring about me. I didn’t embark on this journey to create something that everyone is used to, but because I was searching for something more and wanted to create something different. I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone and growing as a person. This meant that the kind of support I needed also changed, and not everyone in my life is able to offer me that kind of support.
How did I overcome that?
There were definitely moments when I didn’t know who to turn to. But I started to understand that as long as I stayed focused on why I started in the first place, I didn’t need everyone around me to 100% validate and understand what I was doing. So I began to expand my horizons. I tapped into new networks and reached out to new people who could guide me on my journey, while still nurturing the relationships I had with those around me.
What does ‘success’ look like to me now?
Being able to genuinely change and create a positive difference in people’s lives. Ever since I put myself out there, I’ve had people from all around the world reach out to me and let me know how Mirosuna has touched their lives. It’s these moments that make it all worthwhile! At the end of the day, we all need to make money and pay the bills, but none of that has any meaning to it unless we’re striving to make a tangible difference.
What am I most proud of on my journey so far?
Putting myself out there. I’m an extrovert but putting my face and name publicly as an advocate for a cause I believe in is one of the toughest things to do! It has definitely brought periods of self-doubt that I’ve had to overcome. But the more I do it, the easier it gets and now I’ve started to embrace it.
What’s one piece of advice I have for someone who’s interested to do something in the area of mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a very broad topic so it’s unlikely you can address it in its entirety. Find your unique calling and something in your mindfulness journey that has truly transformed you. Understand this and find ways to share your experience and help others. The idea for Mirosuna stemmed from my own journey, so the teachings that I give are based on what I’ve experienced personally. The more we can all share, the better we can all become.
Another piece of advice is to not hold yourself back. If you have a burning passion for something, stop putting it off and start making a difference today. This takes courage and it could be very small to begin with, but one day it could grow into something beyond your imagination.
What’s been the biggest risk I’ve taken?
It probably hasn’t happened just yet, but it would be setting up a physical space for Mirosuna. Obviously, this will require a lot of time, responsibilities and financial commitment so I sometimes ask myself ‘what if people don’t like it?’ or ‘what if nothing comes from it?’ This will be my biggest risk but it could also be my greatest reward.
My favourite book?
I have two: ‘The 5 Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman and ‘The Power Of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle.
Who is a mentor I look up to?
The Dalai Lama is someone I look up to so much. Also, my meditation teacher, Jean, has taught me so many life-changing lessons about mindfulness. So much of what I practise today is based on what Jean has taught me.
What are my personal and professional goals for 2019?
To move into a bigger space, which is important for my sanity as Mirosuna is taking over my current apartment. In order to feel calm and at peace, you need this reflected in your home so that’s really important to me. (I have done so since recording this podcast episode!)
Health is also a priority for me. Being in the corporate world for so many years has left me with physical problems in my neck and shoulders so I want to take better care of myself.
And of course, Mirosuna is a big focus of mine. I want to continue putting my face and name out there, helping as many people as I can and sharing more stories from my community.
My closing remarks
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be something you treat separately and ‘make time’ for in your daily life. You can do it now in this present moment and practise it every single minute you’re awake. So I would encourage people who want to practise mindfulness, to look for ways to weave the practice into their day-to-day, starting now.