Meelu Wadhwani

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Being an experienced meditator and teacher for over 25 years, Meelu is also a self-motivated and inspiring speaker with focus on a wide range of themes relating to Personal Development, Time Management, Parenting skills, Stress Management and various Women Empowerment programmes. She is also a certified Life coach and NLP practitioner.
If you meet her once, we bet, you’ll be inspired too. Here’s our conversation with her.

How did you get into motivational speaking?

In my teens, as an avid reader I wanted to shake off my pre-exam jitters and so I used to turn to reading books by Norman Vincent Peale. I read his books several times, almost every year and it helped change my fears of failures to faith. Friends and family began to seek my support for motivation. From the school level, I was into public speaking and debates – right through to college. I represented many student-body organizations. 

In my 30’s, I turned to reading autobiographical books of Hollywood actresses and as a woman, I was fascinated to discover how these women rose to such beauty and grace despite their adversities in life. Later, my motivation and inspirations came from spiritual reading. My favourite book till date is Autobiography of a Yogi. On a family holiday to California, I visited the headquarters of Self-Realization Fellowship and that sealed my love towards spiritual books. Nowadays, as a part of my daily ritual, whilst getting ready for an event or a social gathering, I spend ONE hour daily hearing on YouTube; many great motivational speakers like Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Jim Rhon, etc.…but my personal mentor is a 102 year-old lady with whom I am in touch. Her name is Dadi Janki. She is the Head of a spiritual organization in India called Brahma Kumaris. She is my source of continuous motivation.

You are an expert in self-development and personal well-being, how do you begin to change people’s mind? How do you inspire them? Is there a process?

When an individual has made up his/her mind to be miserable and upset, there is very little you can do about it. Likewise, when one has made up one’s mind to be happy & content, others are powerless to upset them. As a life coach, when they seek coaching, they have already decided to change some aspect of their lives. You simply coach & provide tools to work with them, invite commitment and create accountability of their plan & progress. This saves Time, Money and Energy on both sides. Human minds are very resourceful, but fear and lack of clarity leads to blurry judgements. Once lifted, they are ready to run on their own….. Self–Inspired.

How important is meditation to lead a happy life?

In my 25 years of experience as a meditator and a teacher of meditation, the benefits of meditation are pages long on Google, but the real experience is in doing it. Meditation is a lifestyle that you choose with great awareness and commitment. It’s a daily practice like bathing or brushing your teeth. 

*First thing in the morning, start with a simple gratitude as this shifts your feelings and mental state to a receiving mode. 

*During the day, become aware of your actions and choose carefully how to conduct yourself in alignment to your peace and happiness. 

*Last thing, at bed time, express gratitude despite events of the day. This puts you in a positive mode to reform and rehearse positively for the next day. 

*Meditation is like the Oxygen Mask Theory. FIRST-YOU, then you are of USE to OTHERS.

*Meditation brings humility as you realize that the universe is your teammate. You cannot do things all on your own. This humility keeps you grounded. 

*Meditation makes you compassionate towards your own misgivings. You learn to tolerate your shortcomings and this enables you to tolerate the misgivings of others. 

*Everything begins with YOU.

Do people with depression issues come to you? How do you empower their mind to overcome that depression?

We often use the term depression quite loosely e.g. “depressed about the weather”, “missing a flight”, “didn’t get invited to an event”, etc.

To be clear, clinical depression is a serious issue and requires medical intervention. However, general feelings of sadness due to loss, hopelessness, disappointments due to lack of achievement, lack of self-esteem, etc. can be relieved through meditation, mind-tools and coaching.

You have a personal sense of style. How would you describe it?

I love fashion as my second passion. I prefer to be stylish rather than trendy. When one is stylish, one is always En Vogue. When one is trendy, then one is just seen in seasonal wear. I love Modest Fashion.

Living in the UAE, one is spoilt for choice, from High Street fashion-wear to couture Abayas designed by Dolce & Gabbana. How cool is that?

In today’s competitive world, how to deal with stress?

This is one of my favourite subjects because it is a life-size question. It’s like having a body-ache, but can’t possibly pin which part of the body is aching.

Here are a few ideas to be stress-free: 

*Identify your stress. Is it mental, physical, emotional or spiritual? 

*Acknowledge the feeling of stress. This pulls you out of denial. 

*Take a confidant/mentor/coach or a medical practitioner depending on  the level of your stress as a support. 

*Sometimes, it’s just as simple as a change in time management. 

* Find the ‘ME time’. Do your favourite things.    

* I am a great believer in ‘Self-Reward’ because in the pursuit of appreciating others, we often forget ourselves and that is stressful. Isn’t it?

How was your experience?

It was an exhilarating experience to learn the science behind Laughter.

LY is a combination of laughter exercises with yogic breathing called pranayama and is the perfect stressbuster technique for oneself, in a corporate setup, in prisons, in old age homes, in schools, etc.

It’s a great social connector because you bond with other laughter yogis.

Laughter is not seen as culturally acceptable in some societies, but laughter clubs provide a safe environment and great physiological benefits.

You begin to laugh at your own adversities and challenges. There is a beautiful saying “When the world is against you, turn around take a selfie and the world is just behind you”.

Recently you have added a new feather on you cap, you have a dual certification as a laughter Yoga leader and teacher in Middle East. Why laugher Yoga?

I was returning to Dubai from a trip abroad. At the Emirates baggage terminal, I saw markings on the floor in English and Arabic …. “This way towards the happiest city”. “Welcome to the happiest city on earth”.

It was awesome. Happiness is a serious business in UAE, there is a Happiness Street and the country has the first Minister for Happiness. I thought to myself, happiness is incomplete without laughter. Isn’t it?

That was when I decided to learn about laughter yoga from the WORLD famous Laughter Guru, Dr. Madan Kataria in Bangalore, India at the Laughter Yoga University.

A piece of advice for young women entrepreneurs.

Find your passion, pursue it, but be practical in your approach e.g.: Consider your age, strengths, skills, family support, values and society as a whole.

*Work with numbers because you can’t live on love and fresh air.

*Be patient or become a patient.

*Network massively.

*Pay it forward: it’s very rewarding and self-fulfilling for you and your team.

*Compete for excellence with yourself, but don’t be too hard on yourself, find the perfect Balance.