'when you can't change what is around you focus on strengthening yourself' – Charnita AroraFrancesca Ferrario
“Perfect Life Spot comes from the imagination of a 19-year-old college girl who always thought of herself as a misfit in an imperfect world and wanted to make the world a perfect place.”
These words by Charnita Arora, Founder of Perfect Life Spot (PLS), would probably be enough to explain the essence of this well-being nest project. Since learning is not just an intellectual process but also a highly emotional one and as most of the formal educational training does not sufficiently provide employability skills, PLS works to create an emotionally-warm experiential ecosystem of teaching English language and significant employability/life- skills to young adults (aged 17-24) with the aim of their self-actualization.
Perfect Life Spot facilitates progressive ways of learning about life, language and literature through an experiential, non-judgmental approach. We could add that it has 5 core members; that it became profitable within the first six months of its birth; and that she has been invited as a speaker to different events and companies, earning collaboration as a mentor with Sheroes. Let us also not forget that when she started, she was 19.
We learnt from Charnita that evolution – and therefore empowerment – happens through engagement and exchange. Here is her story.
The misfit who found power
Charnita graduated from Delhi and, through an Erasmus Mundus scholarship earned her postgraduate studies in Berlin. In her last year of college she had started a website to share thoughts about the importance of emotional wellbeing and mindfulness for self-actualization, which she named Perfect Life Spot. After her postgraduate studies in Europe, she started working as a university teacher in Delhi, lecturing in English literature and psychology.
“The university environment was a very beautiful experiential ground, because it gave me a clear insight into the education system,” Charnita says. However, she realized that teaching was not only about delivering content, it was about touching lives. “Most students were in need of ‘healing’” she explains, referring to the lack of self-love and self-confidence that the majority of them suffered from.
While working as a university teacher, she organized wellbeing workshops for corporate companies that wanted to increase profitability. When this worked well, she decided to try it out with her students in the 17-24 age-group. Using games and thoughts to focus on emotional wellbeing, she managed to get outstanding results.
She now runs workshops every week, creating a ‘semi-formal’ non-judgmental space for every session. “Minimalism and mindfulness are fundamentals to the workshops I conduct. Phones, other devices, and any other source of distraction are zeroed,” Charnita explains.
“The only definition of teaching I can give is that it is an ever-evolving process, because it is essential to stay open to growth,” says Charnita. Good teaching does not have a formula, but it needs to be seeped in humility and a genuine commitment to help, “I want to teach students to teach themselves, so that they don’t need me eventually,” she explains. The teacher, she feels, is not the actual source of learning, but a vehicle to stimulate greater inner exploration.
I was a young, polite woman but I managed to break through.
“When I decided to start PLS, I gave myself six months to see whether I could achieve my goals in terms of personal fulfillment and financial sustainability,” recalls Charnita.
“I faced three main obstacles: preconceptions about my gender, my age, and my politeness.”
Thanks to her age and gender, Charnita had problems being taken seriously at first; what made it harder was that she would always be polite and non-aggressive. “I made it a point to always be assertive but not aggressive; often this was taken to be a weakness. This was interesting because I realized how violence and aggression have been naturalized in our culture.” she says. This made her inculcate Marshal Rosenberg’s ideas on Non-Violent Communication in her pedagogy.
“Then, a lot of people thought, that I won’t make it.
“I would often be sleepless at night, and on those occasions would start breathing and meditating to control myself. When things around us do not reflect our inner truth, we don’t try to change them; we’d rather reinforce ourselves” she says.
This ideology cleared her path to success. Companies started to invite her for wellbeing workshops, she attended Jagritri Yatra too, and slowly the effective impact of her work helped her increase her network. “I recall that period of my life as jumping off the cliff testing if I could fly,” she explains.
Charnita’s definition of entrepreneurship is, “The only avenue to self actualization, the only platform to grow in the right direction.” Over the course of her career and through her collaboration with Sheroes she came across many entrepreneurs and found that the most common struggle was the inability to reach a standard you had set for yourself. “The most difficult person to impress is you,” says Charnita. On a personal level, she considers entrepreneurship as a space where she has no constraints, she is her only authority and this helps her to keep pressure and stress out of the way.
This year I have heard from young students about attempted suicides. This urged me to include people as young as 13 in my courses. I met principals of different schools who agreed on the importance of sensitizing kids on self empowerment, hope and self love.
Food for thought and soul
When asked what her source of strength is Charnita replies that she writes insights on a regular basis. “I have written 365 insights, each about a different topic spanning from hope, depression, despair, enthusiasm and so on. Every time I am in a state of anxiety for a specific emotion, I go back to what I wrote about it to remind myself of what I had already discovered,” she explains, adding, “we need constant hope reminders because we often forget our own greatness.”
Also, You can get Charnita’s book titled Mindfulness for Beginners in Plain English on Amazon.