The story has just begun- Shilpa Agarwal
My life since the last three decades has been about learning. From a young age, I had many questions and wanted all the answers. Google didn't exist so I used to bother my wise grandmother. I always wanted to know more. Little did I know then that asking questions would translate as a skill in my professions ahead.
I always knew I'd like to do something good in my life but for the longest period, I was clueless. As a young girl, I remember telling my grandmother that I want to inspire people positively the way these people did in the discourses on television.
After graduation, I was only allowed to work in our family business. I soon realized that it wasn't my cup of tea and began doing multiple courses to keep myself busy. I did graphic design, photography, writing and whatever else caught my fancy. It was in one of these courses I crossed paths with a friend who knew my inclination to write. Because of her constant nudging, I met her editor friend and got my first story to interview an artist.
The ink that got life
In the five years that followed I worked with multiple lifestyle magazines and a renowned national daily – The Hindu. I took great pride in what I did and enjoyed all the interesting experiences that are a part of a journalist's job. After a few years, the charm wore off and my desire to do something closer to my heart became bigger. The dissatisfaction of not being in a profession that I loved and enjoyed didn't feel good then.
During that phase, my affinity for personal growth grew. I was looking to understand myself and look for answers. There were a lot of books, discussions, workshops and copious amount of Youtube video consumption during that time. I had a list of things I wanted to work on – my unhealthy eating habits, my issues with appearance, my temperament were some of them. Most importantly I wanted to become the person I knew I could be.
The next step
One day I took the plunge and on a spur decided to work in a personal growth company in Chennai. After a year I quit and started getting trained to become a coach. Life blessed me with a Coach and he guided me to understand myself and have a better relationship with myself. The loving support and guidance helped me make changes in my attitude towards life and myself. What helped me besides being coached was spiritual studies, the right practises in daily life and my eagerness to learn and be better.
While making changes I realized that to make changes we have to understand that change is a process and we have to respect it. One step at a time and starting small are some of the lessons I practised. Being patient with myself was a tough one for me and I've learnt that now. And it is crucial to not judge yourself when you're working towards improving yourself. These simple concepts when practised can make a tremendous difference.
Being a coach
Being a life coach combines my interest to learn, express myself, help others and grow in the process. I get a chance to know people intimately and often realize what goes in the heart of each person. People who have worked with me realize that a simple coaching conversation starts to change their perspectives and actions. Being a life coach gives me a chance to be supportive to people in their dreams, goals and growth. It is gratifying because I don't just help them but get a chance to deepen my learnings with all.
We all know a lot of things but often don't practise them. Coaching is an experience that helps you connect deeper with yourself and helps put into practice what you discover in each session.
My goal is to help people understand where their real happiness lies and help them move forward in that direction. People come with all kinds of challenges and goals but at the heart, they're all looking to live happier. My blogs, workshops and session all aim to help people with simple ideas and practices. And life has been kind to help me understand that happiness can't be found anywhere outside until one finds it inside them.
This work has changed the way I feel about myself. I no longer go by what others think of me. A lot of patience, understanding of people, and compassion come with this work. Being a student of life helps me see that every situation is helpful for us if we look at it the right way. Today I can safely say that challenges aren't scary anymore because I know that am always taken care of by this loving Universe. For each of us, when we start getting in touch with our inner being, the whole experience of life would start becoming beautiful.