I came across Neesha’s site by chance. As I read the info there, I was impressed with her work and her ideas. I wanted to find out more and instead of just asking her questions, I decided to ask her if she was willing to be interviewed for Blow Your Own Trumpet! She agreed and what a pleasure it has been to read her answers. It is an honour to introduce to you, Neesha Dosanjh Meminger.
Aneeta: Neesha, I thank you so much for agreeing to this interview.
Neesha: Well, thank you so much for having me; it’s a pleasure.
Aneeta: As always, I begin by asking about your personal life. Tell me something about your family and background.
Neesha: On my website, I have a sort of fun way of describing myself to visitors – I have the “official” bio which contains all of my “qualifications”, i.e. degrees, certifications, work experience, etc. Then, I offer a more personal view of my life, which to me, is the “real” bio. I always trust someone more when I know that they are not afraid to share an honest glimpse into their lives, and I suspect that most people feel the same.
When someone shares a personal story, it immediately brings you into their confidence; into their intimate circle. It tells you that this person is comfortable with who they are, self-confident, and generous. As soon as I get to a website, I click on the “About” page to find out who is behind the words; to see if there is a connection. So, it is very important for me to share of myself in all the work that I do, and it begins with a visitor’s first click to my website.
As for my family and background, I am an Indian-born, Sikh-raised, Canadian national, living in the U.S. I moved to Toronto with my parents in the 1970s, and we all experienced the hostility of a Canada that was not ready to share its resources with the mass of immigrants from that part of the world. There were daily incidents of racial aggression, sometimes violence, and very often targeting Sikh men in turbans.
So that was part of my daily environment as a young girl. I always joke that I received a condensed education in becoming strong – fast. In a relatively short amount of time, I had to learn English as a second language, negotiate the myriad cultural and racial issues around me, translate for my parents who also did not speak English, all the while being “schooled” in how to be a dutiful, obedient, good little Sikh, Indian girl (which translated into no haircuts, no dancing, no going out with friends, no dating, etc.)
As I mention in my “real” bio on my site, I was always in the middle of contradictions. One example is that at home, it was acceptable for my father to cut his hair because of the threat of racial violence; however, my mother and I were strictly forbidden to do the same because it was “against our religious beliefs”. There was so much instability around me, and truths and untruths were shifting so constantly, that I was forced to turn inward to seek stability and clarity. As a result, I began at a very early age to engage with, nurture, and strengthen my inner life.
Let’s see…what else? I am a Libra, so it may be a natural, astrological inclination for me to seek balance. As an air sign, I also have a tendency to fan the flames of the fire signs I am surrounded by: a winged Sagittarius, a stormy four-year-old Leo, and a one-year-old, already feisty, Aries.
I take great pleasure in the life I’ve created for myself, and enjoy putting what I learn each day into practice.
Aneeta: Who are these ‘winged Sagittarius, a stormy four-year-old Leo, and a one-year-old, already feisty, Aries’ you mention in your bio?
Neesha: My husband and soul mate is the “winged” Sagittarian; I call him this because he has a spirit that simply soars. My four-year-old daughter is the stormy Leo – and that couldn’t be a more accurate adjective for her. She has an incredibly expressive face; it’s like watching the clouds roll in or out when she’s going through her emotions. And, the little one is my 14-month-old. She and her sister are night and day, but she also has absolutely no use for authority.
Neesha: I chose to use the word ‘Desi’ because it is more commonly used in North America to refer to first and second generation South Asians between the ages of twenty and mid-to late-forties. I was fortunate in my twenties to have found a community of socially and politically active South Asians who shared some of the same experiences I had growing up; and they were using the term then to represent that experience. Now, it has taken on another dimension, but is widely embraced among those who have strong ties to their South Asian origins, yet have grown up steeped in a western, or non-South Asian environment and culture.
The Desi Woman Realized site is specifically for South Asian women, and actually is an off-shoot of the See It Be It site. I began as a Coach/Holistic Health Practitioner first; realized that I had a large female South Asian client base, and started to build a site specifically speaking to the needs of those women. The See It Be It site, however, is for men and women of ALL backgrounds who are interested in holistic, alternative, and preventative health approaches.
Aneeta: Now what is a Desi Woman ‘realized’?
Neesha: A Desi Woman Realized is a South Asian woman who has gone through the tempering fires of molten metal and emerged tough as steel on the outside; while her insides have remained intact – soft, beating, vibrant, pulsating with life and vitality. She knows exactly who she is, what she will not tolerate, and is committed to living a life of her own design. She uses her internal compass – her emotions and intuition – over the expectations and limitations set for her.
In fact, many of the South Asian women who come to me for coaching are high-powered executives in large American corporations. They have tremendous responsibilities, negotiate deals worth millions and billions of dollars each day, and socialize with (or are, themselves) some of the most influential players in American politics and media. By all intents and purposes, these women have it “all”, yet there is something missing. They are not feeling fulfilled or satisfied with their lives. They have followed all the rules, done everything “right” according to their families and communities, and still something nags at them. Usually that “something” is their inner life. That is the one common underlying thread. Many of my clients have spent years perfecting the “art” of their external lives; they are very fashion-savvy, well-coiffed, plucked and tweezed, manicured and pedicured, they sometimes drive very fancy cars, have beautiful homes, have all of their finances in order, etc. However, their inner lives have been lagging as a result of all of their time, efforts, and focus spent on creating the “perfect” external life. That’s where I come in. I provide the tools and skills they need to cultivate their internal universe — the spirit, the psyche, soul, creative fire, heartsong, intuition…whatever you want to call it, so that they can bring their lives into balance and feel more fulfilled, enriched, with a clear mission, vision, and purpose.
Aneeta: On your site, you use the term ‘South Asian woman’. Who exactly is this? Perhaps I should explain – I live in Malaysia. Here, you’re either Chinese, Indian or Malay and naturally, all are Asian. Actually, South East Asian. From your site, I have the impression that the term means any woman who originates from India and not necessarily one who is Chinese. I may be wrong here so please explain this.
Neesha: You have to understand that during those turbulent years in the 70s, most Canadians were not concerned with the differences between an Indian and a Pakistani, or a Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi. To them, we were all “Paki’s”, the racial epithet of the time which most likely originated in Britain. Since Canada was basically a British colony or extension thereof, what was taking place in Britain was being replicated, in many ways, within Canadian borders. So, regardless of our cultural, linguistic, or political differences at home, once we arrived on Canadian soil, we were all a mass of brown foreigners looking for jobs.
The term “South Asian” originates from that same experience of displacement. It’s a political term that shows unity or solidarity among those within the diaspora who trace their ancestry back to the southern part of Asia – this includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, etc.
And, you’re absolutely right – the term “Asian” means different peoples depending on your geographic and historic location. In Britain, “Asian” is used to refer to what I call South Asian. Here, in the U.S., the term Asian refers to those with East Asian ancestry or origins. It’s just one more case in point: never let your environment or surroundings define who you are because those definitions are constantly changing. Who you are has to come from within.
Aneeta: You provide ‘coaching services’. I would like to know, what exactly does coaching involve? Is a coach very much like a teacher or is it someone who helps the other person along on his/her journey to success? What also is the difference between a coach and a mentor?
Neesha: A coach is a combination of guide, mentor, partner, counselor, trainer, and consultant. A coach is a trained professional who offers an objective, yet caring perspective, exercises, assessments, and tools; and helps clients build the skills they need to succeed in the life they want for themselves. A good coach will have you doing things you would never have tried on your own, and greatly expanding your vision of what is possible for you.
Finding a “good” coach really is a matter of personal style and comfort level. You could find two equally competent coaches, with comparable experience levels and success records. Ultimately the decision is really who you feel most comfortable with, and the one with whom you develop a productive synergy.
Aneeta: I think that for someone to be coached, they must want to be coached. Is this right? And if they do not wish to be coached but still ask for your help, how do you deal with this?
Neesha: I require all my clients to be “coachable”, and I will only take on clients for whom I am relatively certain that I can provide great value. Before I agree to a coaching relationship with a client, we have a “collaborative interview”. In this interview, I get a sense of where a prospective client is in their process, and whether I would be the best person to coach them at that time. I am very happy to refer people to other coaches, consultants, trainers, or professionals who may be better suited to a person’s needs. I’ve had many clients that I originally referred to other professionals, and who came back to me years afterward at a different place, and I felt much more comfortable taking them on as clients. In these cases, we went on to enjoy a wonderfully productive, mutually beneficial coaching relationship.
Aneeta: I am sure that by now, after 10 years of being in this field, you have come across many people. Please share with us a success story of one of your clients.
Neesha: I have been blessed with many, many success stories. To me, a success story is anyone who grows, strengthens their connection to the inner self, and goes on to create a life of purpose and deep commitment. I’ve had many of those. However, one in particular strikes an emotional chord with me, so I’ll share that story…
“Ambi” came to me at a point in her life where many things had swirled out of her control and grasp, and she had no idea when or where it had all begun to spiral downward. Nothing was going well for her, and she was definitely not living the life she had intended for herself. However, she was not depressed. She had a wonderful lightness to her being, and an optimism that immediately grabbed me. I knew, almost instantly, that I would love to work with her.
She was extremely creative, highly intelligent, with an inner power that communicated clearly, even over the telephone. She was an absolute gem who was mired in an environment that simply did not allow her to spread her wings and flourish.
So, I designed exercises to expand her vision of what was possible for her, and together we created a “doable”, step-by-step Action Plan, and went to work! There were challenges, stumbling blocks, some uphill battles, but the Mission/Vision/Purpose exercises we did kept us focused and on track.
It was truly a coaching match made in heaven! We still keep in touch and she is living a life that she never even dreamed could be possible for her. She is doing fantastic things; making an invaluable contribution in her circles, as well as to the planet as a whole, and painting the world around her in her own colors.
I have some additional testimonials up on my website from clients in their own words about what our coaching relationship has provided for them… Here is the link to some of them: http://tinyurl.com/ab5vf
Aneeta: Following from this, can you briefly tell us, where to go to register and how much are your rates?
Neesha: My rates begin at $39 U.S. for a Brainstorming Session. I have a number of packages available at different price points depending on the type of coaching a person is looking for. More information on my package rates and services is available at http://tinyurl.com/8lzfa .
Aneeta: I understand that you have some free ebooks for those who are interested in this aspect of your work. Please provide us with the link to these so my readers can download it.
Neesha: I have two free ebooks on the Desi Woman Realized site:
- “Being Wrong: Your Key to Happiness & Success – A Guide for South Asian Women” – http://tinyurl.com/7g8mj
- “Are You Getting In Your Own Way?: More Tips for South Asian Women.” – http://tinyurl.com/7w78z
If they run into problems with the links or the downloads, they can simply send a blank email to Ebooks@DesiWomanRealized.com , with the name of the ebook they want in the Subject Field.
Aneeta: Now, let’s move on to the other site. On the homepage, you speak of something called ‘Optimum Success’. I especially like the statement – Optimum wealth is not just having a lot of money; it’s having freedom. Please explain your views, missions and ideas further.
Neesha: Most people are too quick to settle for mediocrity. In fact, Hollywood is a global media engine that exalts and celebrates mediocrity. I really push for an Optimum life – optimum health, optimum wealth, optimum success. I want people to think BIG and go beyond their comfort level into realms they never even imagined could exist.
That statement about Optimum wealth is a reflection of my views about money. Most people think that success means having a lot of money, when that actually has nothing to do with success. Real, true Optimum success is about your interactions with all that is around you, including money. Optimum wealth is about your relationship to money, not to the amount that you accumulate. You can have oodles of money and still not be successful; your health could be deteriorating, your relationships could be falling apart, you may be going through life without a sense of deeper meaning or purpose…the accumulation of money on its own is nothing without the meaning that we attach to it. On its own, it is just dead paper. So I approach life from a perspective of total wellness and Optimum Success; not just a body free of illness, or the aspiration of being “rich”.
Aneeta: You also talk of the Five Modalities of Optimum Success™. Please explain this.
Neesha: The Five Modalities of Optimum Success™ is a program I created to help individuals interested in the healing arts as well as healing arts professionals, approach overall health and wellness from a comprehensive, all-encompassing perspective. The program includes the five major layers, or Modalities, of the Self: the Body; the Mind; the Emotions; the Spirit; and the Overarch or Social Ecosystem.
Optimum health has to exist in EACH of these Modalities in order for anyone to operate at their peak levels and achieve Optimum Health, Wealth, and Success. It is a program that works. I have used it in my practice for years, and other coaches/health practitioners are using it in their various practices as well with a very high degree of success.
I have a free audio download describing the Modalities in more detail available for people who are interested. They can send a blank email to Orders@SeeItBeIt.com with “Free Audio 5 Modes Intro” in the Subject field and they’ll have the MP3 downloadable recording within 24 hours. It’ll be available on the See It Be It website soon as well.
Aneeta: I am one of those people who puts on weight by just breathing. So I am fascinated with your approach to weight loss and especially, Protein, Carbs, & Weight Loss. I would love to hear a little about this and also please tell us about some of your other products in this field.
Neesha: Weight loss is a primary concern for so many women. Unfortunately, the diet, weight loss, and exercise industries make tremendous profits from women and men who don’t feel quite perfect enough, so these industries have no incentive to put together a real, sustainable program for lasting change in the lives of their consumers.
Women and men who come to me with weight loss as their primary goal for coaching often end up realizing that the weight is simply a physical manifestation of what’s going on in all of the other Modalities. The diet and weight loss industries won’t make the connections because it is not in their best interest to do so. But, the physical does not exist in a vacuum; it is an inextricable part of a larger whole. So, weight loss has to be approached from this perspective.
True health involves unimpeded flow – whether it’s financial health, emotional, physical, mental, or global health. Wherever you have stagnation, you have death. If your cashflow is blocked or impeded, you experience ill-health in your finances; if your elimination channels are blocked in the body, you experience illness; if you are holding on to emotions and not letting them come in and then go right back out again, you experience illness. It’s simply a law of nature – all around us is movement. The winds, the water, the clouds, all are in constant movement. Where there is a blockage, there is inevitably illness. Weight loss is the same thing – it is a physical manifestation of impeded flow in one or many of the Modalities.
Aneeta: I also understand that you write some articles. Would you like to share an article [or the link] with us?
Neesha: Absolutely. I have an article on the Five Modalities at selfgrowth.com. The link is http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Meminger1.html .
Aneeta: I see you also run a forum, OHDAS. Perhaps you could explain what this forum is all about.
Neesha: OHDAS is the Optimum Health Discussion and Support forum. It is for those interested in the healing arts for themselves, or who are healing arts professionals and want to discuss issues of relevance and support one another in their journeys. People can sign up by sending an email to OHDASfirstname.lastname@example.org .
Aneeta: I am interested in this movie What The Bleep Do We Know? Here in Malaysia, I doubt we’re going to get to watch it seeing as movies like ‘Daredevil’ were banned because it has the word ‘Devil’ in the title. So please, do tell me, what’s this movie about?
Neesha: What the Bleep Do We Know? is a real accomplishment in the field of “alternative” health and preventive medicine. The film makes quantum physics accessible to the average person, and has inspired a great awakening in many that have seen it. It asks many of the larger questions in life – is there a God, life after death, etc. It also makes the connections between the Modalities – illustrating scientifically, how all the layers of the Self are interconnected and inter-dependent. And, it expands the realm of possibility – which I am a big fan of anyway. The dvd is available now, and I highly recommend it if you ever get a chance to view it.
Aneeta: Well, Neesha, we have come to the end of this interview. Is there anything you would like to add?
Neesha: Only that I love connecting with like-minded souls. I welcome feedback, emails, contact from anyone who is walking a similar path, or views life from a place of connection and purpose. My whole reason for being is to make my unique contribution in the evolution of our planet. Your readers can feel free to contact me with questions, to chat and share ideas, as well as to inquire about my products and services at Coach@DesiWomanRealized.com , or Neesha@SeeItBeIt.com
Aneeta: Thank you, Neesha. And I wish you continued success in your work.
Neesha: Thank you, it was my pleasure.
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