My Life Journey: Learnings and Lights
I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Since early childhood, I have been inspired by the mystery of existence. This passion and curiosity have shaped my interest in philosophy, physics, psychology, mythology, mystic literature, and art. I have also been deeply inspired by such luminaries as Buddha, Jesus Christ, Rumi, Saint Francesco, Joan of Arc, and Gandhi. In fact, for many years I have been drawn to Gandhi’s motto and made a sincere attempt to be the change I wish to see in the world and to conduct my life in such a way that it actually becomes my message. This decision led me to choose roads less traveled in many areas of my life. I have always made a concerted effort to use my inner guidance rather than simply following the status quo.
My early youth was filled with peaks and valleys as I found the traditional gender role society had defined for women to be very confining. At one point, for a brief period, I had even considered changing my gender. Upon discussing this with my parents they had suggested that it may be wise to seek guidance and support from a psychologist. In the few sessions, I had with a very good psychologist he introduced me to Abraham Maslow’s book ‘Motivation and Personality’ and how I can take the path to self actualization. This opened a new door for me and led to reinventing my definition of what it was to be a woman. I felt a sense of expansiveness that I could now explore both my masculine and feminine energy. My parents also gave me the freedom to engage in activities and interests that may often be more associated with men. Eventually, I was able to embrace my womanhood in a more meaningful and powerful way. I am grateful for my parents’ patience, acceptance, and support in this process. I see how this apparently difficult journey has blessed me to find a perfect balance between Yin and Yang, Anima and Animus in my skin, and how it equips me to support my clients who seek clarity with their genders.
I had the same challenge in recognizing myself in other divisions and identities generally so easily accepted by the majority of people. I observed how these identities of nationality, ethnicity, religion, race, gender, relationships, and career path are all limiting. I had difficulty defining myself with any of these identities. I felt considering myself in any specific boundary will leave part of me unaccepted and excluded. I couldn’t pinpoint one single role among all this to really give a satisfying answer to my question of “who am I?” even the combination of all wasn’t able to do it. I realized I maybe all this but these still are not me. This early confusion about my quiddity and various social identities grew into an inner search to find quiddity beyond the physical and to the discovery of the deeper roots of who I am and the reason I am here. This one question of “Who am I?” as Ramana Maharshi has said, destroyed all other thoughts and turned into the sole quest in my life.
I had an unquenchable thirst for literature, philosophy, and reflection on life in general and from high school to the end of university I immersed myself in the works of Hermann Hesse, André Gide, Marguerite Duras, Sadegh Hedayat, Anton Chekhov, Franz Kafka, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger and many more. I balanced the intensity of my intellectual search with the grace of art and practiced painting, wood carving, pottery, photography, poetry and singing. I also followed music and cinema by listening and watching voraciously and attending film clubs, art history, and film critic classes.
I studied architecture which appealed to my desire to fuse art with practicality. In my third year of university, I began working for a leading architectural firm and continued working there for four years. I focused for two years on my thesis and my final project that was an urban plaza based on Carl Jung’s Collective Unconscious. I was inspired by some of the world’s most influential and recurring archetypes and they became my design concepts for this project. Upon completing a Master’s degree in architecture, I worked mainly on my own contracts and that of my colleagues. This experience enabled me to engage in the design and planning of projects of varying scales from dwelling units to museums.
I discovered Heartfulness at the age of 22 and started practicing meditation and the other practices related to this unique method of Raja Yoga. I have had the privilege of being trained under the guidance of such masters as Kamlesh D. Patel (Daaji) and Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari (Chariji). Through them, I learned the profound teachings of their great masters, Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur (Babuji) and Ram, Chandra of Fatehgarh (Lalaji).
In 2010, I was trained and certified as a Heartfulness Trainer in India to impart spiritual training by Pranahuti. Pranahuti, loosely translated as Yogic Transmission is described as the ‘forceless force’ and is a subtle form of energy that is utilized to untangle the past conditionings and to remove the complexities and impurities from the seeker’s heart. Through this process, the human system returns to its original state of balance, simplicity, and purity. A study at the University of Toronto on the effect of Heartfulness on brain activity (Dr. Norman Farb, 2017), showed that Heartfulness, within a few minutes, can produce Delta brain waves that are experienced in deep sleep. This means those who experience Heartfulness meditation even in their first session can experience a very deep state of meditation due to the effects of Yogic Transmission.
My continues search for meaning led me to explore a wide variety of traditions, beliefs, and stories of our origin and how the world works. I delved into such fields as mythology, philosophy, psychology, quantum mechanics, epigenetics and learned a variety of different modalities from such teachers as Florence Scovel Sheen, Louise Hay, Michael Newton, Neale Donald Walsch, Eckhart Tolle, Brian Weiss, Wayne Dyer, Abraham Hicks, Mary Morrissey, Joe Dispenza, Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton, Jean Houston, Jordan Peterson, Marshall Rosenberg, Lynne McTaggart, Ram Dass, Tina Lindhard, and many more.
Through a long and deep dive into the waters of mystery, meaning, and self-discovery, I developed an all-consuming interest that inevitably shaped my perspective on life and on what matters most. I have always been drawn to activities that were somehow related to public education and increasing collective awareness. I was a writer for Tehran Avenue and also continue to write for Constant Remembrance, and Heartfulness magazines. In addition, I have organized talks, events, and festivals that addressed important issues in the community. I have also collaborated with a number of NGOs and nonprofit organizations and have organized independent film screening critic sessions, music and poetry programs, book clubs, walks, and weekly group meditations. Educating and empowering the community has long been an unrelenting passion of mine.
I moved to Toronto, Canada in 2014 and considered it an opportunity to begin anew on many levels. I decided to take some time to explore my new surroundings and reflect on the life I most wanted to create and where I wanted to live. In 2015, I traveled and spent six months living in India which was an old desire of mine, and then returned to Canada which I now call home. The overall trend I have been observing in architecture and planning was to respond first and foremost to the greed of builders rather than the needs of society and considering the environment. This seemed not only meaningless, superficial, and unfulfilling to me but also motivated me to focus on the cause of this obvious problem. I could see how humanity is responsible for all the unnatural imbalances occurring on the planet. I was ready for a transition into something more meaningful that can address the very root cause of our today’s problems. I soon discovered that not having Canadian work experience was a barrier to securing employment not to mention the challenge of finding work in another field. In an effort to ease the transition, I worked as an architectural designer for a smaller firm in Toronto. Shortly after, I moved into a zoning and planning role for a local municipality which continued for close to four years. My experience in Canada confirmed the same trend I had observed in urban development in the Middle East is by and large prevalent everywhere.
In 2018, it was finally, time for honoring my heart’s calling and walking in the direction it was pulling me, to realign and focus on a career that would enable me to bring together the many facets of my journey and channel it towards my life’s work. I decided to return to my first love of psychology and shift my career path from designing buildings and taking part in the planning of towns to helping people design their destinies and shape their lives so they live congruently with their highest values and ultimately reach their full potential. In 2020 I founded Be 8nfinite and on this path sincere, good, old friends and beautiful new ones supported me to bring what I had in mind into manifestation. I never felt alone in this journey as I have been blessed with a strong circle of like-minded people around me. I am grateful for each and every friend of mine and the beautiful community who embraced my invitation to work and grow together. We joined forces to provide support to others who are ready to expand their consciousness beyond the familiar known and step into the unknown under the care and support we provide for them.
Currently, I am continuing my studies towards a Doctorate of Consciousness Studies in Psychology while supporting my clients as the consciousness and communication educator and transformation coach at Be 8nfinite. My coaching practice has been a natural and inevitable response to support the sailors of waters of self-inquiry along my own personal journey. It has been backed by my life experiences, my background as a Heartfulness Trainer, and my inquiries in many fields of human knowledge, including my studies in the field of psychology as well as my life coaching training and certification. I also have been providing career coaching in partnership with TRIEC to internationally trained professionals. Since 2019, I have completed a number of trainings in Nonviolent Communication and I have also been trained as a Heartful Communication Practitioner. This allows me to study and work personally in the area of communication at a deeper level and also to give support to others if they wish to learn to refine their ways of communication to a more compassionate one that allows everybody’s needs to be considered and fulfilled.
In supporting my clients, my natural sensitivity and empathy enhanced by years of my practice as a Heartfulness trainer allow me to easily and immediately connect with the emotional condition of my clients. My first natural response to what brings them discomfort is to embrace them fully. I show them how self-compassion and acceptance of what is and embracing their feelings fully creates a space for change. I help them to recognize the imperfect nature of the human condition and to get comfortable in facing what may be perceived as a mistake or failure. That holds a profound sense of liberation in itself. Then comes the time to challenge the limitations and boxes they have created in their minds through different identities they have accepted along the way. In a process of removing these self or societal made limitations and expanding my clients’ consciousness beyond that, most of the problems they are struggling with disappear and dissolve. I also equip my clients with practical tools to shift their energy in facing difficult situations and through that they can instantly shift the reality before them. Shifting our energy, expanding our consciousness, and refining our ways of communication do wonders in relationships and situations of any nature in life. The focus in my coaching is to show my clients how they can live their life as a courageous and joyful journey of magnificent creation and endless expansion of consciousness towards their highest potential.
I personally enjoy creative expressions such as poetry, painting, photography, calligraphy, and music as ways of connecting to my inner inspirations, feelings, and needs, and I rejoice in supporting others in exploring the healing effects of art. I inspire people to get in touch with their inner being, meaning, balance, and wisdom and to discover their unique ways of expression and to identify their most effective and impactful roles in society.
I live in Beaverton, Ontario, and enjoy being active in the community by serving on boards and committees of a few not-for-profit organizations that support public education, community health and empowering women and the elderly. Very early in my childhood, I came to know the great Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore through my wonderful father. This short verse by Tagore echoes eloquently my thoughts on life and work:
“I slept and dreamt
that life was joy.
I awoke and saw
that life was duty.
I worked – and behold,
duty was joy.”