Meet the Entrepreneur who wants to make stressed-out urban dwellers healthy, happy and free

I’m just so happy to be in conversation with a person, who is currently doing what I wish people had done more of, all my life. Today I’ll be speaking with Ms Aarti Ahuja, woman entrepreneur extraordinaire, counsellor, wellness expert and healer. Aarti was detected as having dyslexia and ADHD as a young child. Her life journey has been full of ups and downs. Now, she is reaching out and giving back, in the form of her venture Tatva ‘The Lifestyle Studio’. Tatva is a space of healing, wellness, and personal and professional development. As I speak with Aarti at length, I realize that she is extremely passionate about her work. This compassionate and empathetic young woman wants to take Tatva places. I, for one, will definitely be cheering her on in this journey. Now, without further ado, let’s dive into Aarti’s mind.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself Aarti.

Hi, my name is Aarti Ahuja and I’m an alumnus of Modern School, Barakhamba Road. I’m proud to have this school as my alma mater because I blossomed there and also learned life’s most valuable lessons over there. These have helped me go through life today. I’ve faced a lot of challenges from the outside world. I was detected with dyslexia and ADHD, and I fought colossal battles regarding that.

When I joined Delhi University, the harsh environment at my college took a toll on me and I ended up in a severe depression. The teachers at my college were not very open and receptive. I wasn’t able to explore my full potential. So, I changed my college and joined Amity University, which took me in with open arms and let me be the person I was when I was back in my school days.

It’s been ten years since then today and these ten years have been a journey to find myself. I have always grown up with the unconditional love and regard of being an individual in my family. My grandparents, especially, have always allowed me to completely be myself. I’m also really thankful for my entire extended family from Toronto to Japan, for letting the individual in me to have a voice, a thought and most importantly a sense of identity, that very few are blessed with.

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Positivity is created by a collective

What was the impetus behind the start of your entrepreneurial journey?

The blessing of my own sense of identity was the impetus behind the start of my entrepreneurial journey because I understood, as young as when I was ten years old, I did not want to regret even a single day of my life. The best thing I knew to do was to give back to society, and that’s why getting trained in psychology just fit me like a glove.

Please tell us more about Tatva ‘The Lifestyle Studio’ and the work you are doing with it.

Tatva ‘The Lifestyle Studio’ wasn’t a day’s thought or a year’s thought. It was the accumulation of  thoughts, emotions and feelings that have been swirling around in me ever since childhood. The word ‘Tatva’ means ‘essence’. For me, this means the essence of yourself and the essence of the universe. I think we’re all lacking an awareness of this today.

I decided I would use my knowledge in psychology and now, my certification as a health coach to help others reach within themselves to unlock that unique potential that everybody has.

I also want them to be on their own journey and on their own path of infinity, because infinity starts from within.

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A philosophy that Aarti lives by

Why are healing methods such as wellness counselling and health coaching so relevant these days?

Healing methods like wellness counselling and health coaching are extremely relevant these days as we all are battling stress, anxiety and depression, often in silence.

Whom do we reach out to? We are hardly trained to find the answers we need from within. So, we reach out to friends. Many a times, our friends are also in the same scenario. Then we reach out to elders. Often, elders aren’t really able to understand or even relate to the problems that we’re going through. There’s too much of a generation gap. After that, we turn to books. We turn to so many different kinds of activities. But we have a very hard time in finding the right answers to our problems, the answers that can serve us and also transform us.

This is where Tatva ‘The Lifestyle Studio’ comes in. We have devised unique and innovative healing methods. Among these, the workshops that we conduct, are especially popular. We do workshops related to art therapy and also encourage individuals to take upon individual projects and heal through counselling and coaching using those projects. The great thing about individual projects is that they help people get in touch with their emotions, while at the same time empowering them to find insights and solve the life’s complex problems.

That is so fascinating. I never knew that alternative healing methods could be so effective and empowering for people. What about the urban population in particular, if I may ask you? Just what it is it that we all need?

I think urban dwellers like you and I really need to just start accepting ourselves for who we are. The fact is that we’re all running, most of us aimlessly so. If we embark on a journey from within, then I believe that the journey on the outside will become much less hectic for us.  It has been mentioned in peer reviewed journals, books and articles that our body has a physiological reaction to stress. When that stress turns into prolonged stress, we are in big trouble. There comes a point where we just can’t take it anymore.

People can change this. I want to put them on the right path by helping them have a good, solid sense of self. They need that direction, they need to start positively working towards their own personal growth. Our cultural ethos to a certain extent, discourages individualism. Weare deeply intertwined with society.

I’m not saying society is bad, but I’m saying that society needs to be inclusive of the differences among people. My biggest goal today for the urban dweller is to allow them to dwell within themselves with positive healing and relaxation techniques such as mindfulness. I want to bring together people all ages and walks of life to have transformative experiences through workshops and group discussions so that we can all create a space for ourselves in this world.

Please share with us your own methods of achieving your full and true potential in life.

Well, I like to believe in this very strongly; that I am a work in progress. I know about myself very well. Yes, I’m an over thinker; yes, my friends and family often tell me that I seem to be a bit different. But my own unique sense of self is where my strength lies.  I believe that everything I am and everything I will be, is because of me. I have a lot of faith, hope and belief. These three elements- faith, hope and belief have taken me through everything in life. And that is why I still smile, even through tough times.

The inner intelligence and the inner working of the mind are very powerful. Sometimes when I am going through tough times, I see my true potential being wasted. It takes me some time to get back up, but I always tell myself that if I have my hair up in a bun, I have my cup of coffee and I’m able to do most of the things I shall be fine.

How do you visualize Tatva after five years?

Vision is life in very important. I give myself positive, affirmative visions every day. Some days, they help me overcome my own fears and my own thoughts. On other days, they help me see where I want to go and what I want to do. The direct communication that I have with the universal energies makes me more grounded. It also makes me believe that I can manifest my potential into reality and give back to society what it has given me.

Tatva after five years should be a sanctuary for all kinds of individuals coming in together and creating a safe space where everybody can blossom in their own time. They will have plenty of other peers who can help them reach that space of comfort and acceptance. I also see myself opening a Tatva café, having more branches and having more franchises. I want to take my workshops across India, and above all, take love and wellness as confetti with me everywhere I go.

How does your love for art interplay with your work?

Art is a very integral part of what I do. Human beings are artistic by design and artistic in their purpose. That’s why art has always been intertwined with my work. I use techniques of art therapy in my workshops and in counselling techniques to help people de-code their inner selves and understand some of their deepest strengths and virtues that they haven’t been able to unlock due to various external reasons.

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A sample of Aarti’s beautiful artwork

Please share a message for all the young people out there who are hesitant to start on the journey of realizing their dreams.

For all the young people out there who are hesitant to start a new journey, my dear friend, don’t be hard on yourself. As long as you have goals, have visions and work consistently, that is more than enough. But you know something, the journey to realize your dreams, starts the day you start dreaming. Even if you make somebody smile, that is your journey for that day. Remember that God is always, always there and whatever energies you believe in, communicate with them. Create a strong sense of self, to help you on the journey to realize your dreams. You are your own person at the end of the day. Hold on to yourself more dearly than you hold onto anybody.

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                                             You can make your visions come true

How can people get in touch with you? 

People can get in touch with me at 995829365 or through the Facebook page . If there are fellow artists, fellow art therapists or other people who want to collaborate with me, I’m open because I strongly believe that in today’s time, we need confetti. And that confetti my friends, is wellness. Thank you.

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