Is Natalie Kofman your own reflection?
What brought you to India? Also, you’ve got a lot of Indian things right in your book. How did you manage to do that?
Sportsfit by M.S. Dhoni asked me for my services in early 2012, to come and work with them in India. Developing and training the trainers, bringing up a new system, educating personal trainers and bringing up my own product Pilardio® here.
I agreed and after press release and the opening of Sportsfit, I relocated to India.
I am here since mid 2012 in India. I learned all about the north Indian culture, including the food, music and the typical habits.
I also give cross cultural difference programs for foreigners coming to India or Indians relocating abroad soon. When it comes to writing I have in my team a few Indian writers who support me. When I started writing on Change Me in 2014 I had a lot of interaction about Indian families and cultures with one of my writers. That gave me again a different add-on to know about the culture even deeper.
You’re now equally an ambassador of India to Germany as you are of Germany to India. German writers and philosophers have been taking keen interest in India since long. What do you think is the reason behind that?
That is true. Well, Germany is the land of thinkers, as we know. No wonder that they are interested in the spirituality from the east. And the home of spirituality was/ is India.
Speaking of the book Change Me, what made you do the self help through story when the norm is formulaic instructional approach?
I wanted to create an easy time to read and get guidance from my book. That means if my book would have been non-fiction, it would have been very factual. That would be for some people boring or soon tiring. Specially for people who don’t read frequently.
But everybody loves stories and through stories one learn and make almost automatically use of what was read. So I wrote this book for everybody who wants to change. My readers can enjoy reading and learning out of it, become self-motivate and to take action.
According to the book, it is possible to go inside our mind palace and heal old wounds. However, it may happen that we, in the process, inflict more wounds upon ourselves. Would you suggest a way to avoid that?
If you look inside and touch your wounds it can be healing. Of course it depends on how deep you feel hurt, sad, even numb because of this happening in your past. But if the first (big) step is taken- identify and allow that memory to come up into your consciousness – it is a sign that you can digest it mentally now.
Going then inside, you need to know what to do. Worse case is that you feel again the pain from that time without solving it. Means you simply live (experience) it again.
Going inside does not inflict more wounds. Here I can give you some inside. A way is to see happenings from the past dissociated, means from the point of view as an observer. In that way you see yourself in the past, doing, talking, listening, whatsoever was the painful scenario. And as an observer you look without feeling what you felt at that time. You learn out of this situation. In therapy the therapist would guide you far more in this.
Best is to get some support to make it as less painful as possible and as fast as possible. No need to invent the wheel yourself. It costs unnecessary some energy and power. You can get specialists.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Do you like any particular self help coach or writer? What are you reading at present?
A lot of my inspiration comes from sheer observations. I sit with a coffee and observe people. Also I get inspired when I interact with a colleague of mine. He is a Life Coach in Germany. My inspiration comes also when I read philosophy and talk with some Coaches from my team.
I am inspired from biographies (last one I watched about Coco Chanel);
When it comes to writers, other coaches, therapists, and inspirational speakers, I have a few great people who I listen to. Like Les Brown, Swami Rama, John Bradshaw.
I usually read 3 – 4 books at the same time. As I am writing on my second book, I read a lot of literature related to nonviolence communication, about family therapy by Virginia Satir and John Bradshaw’s book “Homecoming”. I read some special books again and again. Right now I read Meditation, by Marcus Aurelius and a book from Gretchen Rubins.
The business makes us speak only of success stories. Failure is seldom spoken about. Have you had clients who you couldn’t help in spite of your best efforts? Did they have something in common?
I love that you point this out. The world is full of success, which lead not to the desired outcome. We call it failure. I don’t believe in this word. It demotivates and is simply wrongly used in most of the cases. I call it learning.
I had a client when I was a pretty inexperienced Coach, many years ago. She was a lawyer and wanted to reduce weight. I realized after two months that she wasn’t able to reduce weight as her problem was pathological. So I told her that she needed some other specialist and suggested her psychotherapy.
I learned a lot out of this experience. Mainly that we need to check carefully if we can really help this person or somebody else could help far better. From that day onward, I choose my clients very carefully and tell them to do the same.
Amit Malhotra Recognizes and Realizes through a couple of incidents in his life. Let me call them triggers. Did you have such triggers in your life where-from you started to change things for yourself?
I had many triggers/ happenings in my life. My grandmother who mainly raised me, as my mother was hard working, died when I was 12 years old. My father never lived with my mother, grandmother, and elder sister.
Then my mother died when I was 13 years old. I was alone from one day to the other. No proper guidance, no talks, no therapy. I struggled for very long – unnecessarily. To overcome those happenings I needed to find my way out. I started reading books, had behaviour therapy, turned then to a Life Coach and Gestalt and Family Therapist. The latter was the most helpful one. And I learned how amazing those work is for people – sometimes life saving. That was also the reason for me to become then a Life Coach myself.
Amit Malhotra is rich and successful in a conventional world. Was it an intentional device used in the story or was it a compulsion? A lower middle class or a poor Amit Malhotra perhaps couldn’t have afforded a personal coach. Is quality personal coaching the privilege of the rich and mighty?
The character Amit is an accumulation of my clients from the past 10 years. Usually my clients have a specific income and can afford Coaching and Training sessions.
My intention with the book is very simple. If you know you want to change, you need some guidance. And if the barrier is very high (distance and money) it would be a no-go for some people. A book can reach almost everywhere in India and is very much affordable.
Not only rich people need and want to change – actually almost everybody can utilize the services of professional Life Coaching as well as Personal Training.
Easy with a book. At least to start with!
Jasmin Waldmann is an International Life Coach, a Happiness Guru and a Mind and Body & Transformation Expert. She lives and works in Gurugram, India since July 2012. She recently published her first book Change Me through Jaico Publishing House. Bookstalkist spoke with her after reading her book.
Click here to read Bookstalkist’s review of the book Change Me.
Click here to listen to the first part of this interview.