I knew it was going to be a special year. I just didn’t expect it to be especially challenging.

 

I entered the year confident that it would be life changing. And it was. I felt like I was sent back to ‘GO’ to start over again without warning. I felt like a child at times, helpless, lost, alone. Instead of levelling up, it felt like I had lost the game and had to start back at zero.

 

I felt like I was in the blank white room in the Matrix, where everything is possible, yet so hard to conceive of. Nothing is more frightening than a blank canvas. 

 

But it's also a clean slate. In order to really build a strong foundation, some cleaning, clearing and weeding is needed.

 

 

this is a blank canvas. 
what will you fill it with?

 

 

It has been a magical year — though it looked more like black magic at the time.

 

We often think of magic being about light and miracle, yet in order for the greatest growth, we’ve got to dig deeper and deeper into ourselves, looking for those weeds under the ground that are preventing our roots from deepening and strengthening, so we can rise taller and stronger with each passing year. 

 

It was a dark year, but I learnt a lot — about myself, about what I’ve been carrying on my back since I was a young child, about how I’ve been working harder than I need to, in fact, working against myself in so many ways. 

 

I learnt about what really truly matters. And what really truly does not.

 

I faced a bunch of things that I have been avoiding dealing with since before I had the capacity to understand them. And it was hard. And it’s taking longer than I expected, because when you’ve developed ways of dealing with situations based on these assumptions we all make about the world, about ourselves and about humanity before you even know how to talk, they become deeply ingrained. 

 

There are millions of ways to overcome these assumptions that served us once but no longer do, from scientific to spiritual, and I’ve spent a lot of time and energy learning a variety of techniques. And in the end, it all boils down to one thing: retraining our neural pathways that affect our assessments and decision-making, and ultimately, the very performance that we have come to value increasingly as the metric for success in society.

 

As I often say in my coaching sessions: Our emotions are the voice of our internal GPS telling us which way to go. But ultimately, in order for us to go anywhere, we have to know where our starting point is, and even if the GPS is telling us to turn left when we can see the road straight ahead is better, then we have to recalibrate our GPS rather than letting it overrule our own awareness of our current reality. We have to stay in control of our tools and technology, so they are helping us, not misguiding us. We have to be the observer, and the adaptable, creative, intelligent decision-maker. This is our potential and our gift as human beings.

 

 

2017: the big trip

 

Inarguably the biggest trip I took this year was into the darkest most scary depths of my own self, revisiting past hauntings following me around like a shadow in my solo journey through life. Shaking my survival mechanisms at the roots, and finally allowing myself to go deeper than I ever dared.

 

Yet, as I look back on my calendar, despite the dominance of this dark adversary I have been grappling with most of the year, I seem to have also managed to take at least one trip per month. 

 

And most of them weren’t just any old trips. Most of them resulted in becoming part of yet another wonderful tribe of human beings with whom I shared something honest, vulnerable and real. And who, gratefully, shared the same with me. 

 

As we all get older and busier, sometimes I think wistfully of the years where I had a more constant set of friends, who I’d see at least a few times a week and with whom I shared a narrative for a few years. Yet I find myself honestly enjoying the opportunity to meet so many different people in so many different settings, and learning something about life from each of their perspectives. 

 

It has been a year of community and consideration. A year of contemplation and connection.

 

My commitment has been to myself, yet along the way I have collected infinitely valuable wisdom from the beautiful wise souls I met along the way. With humble gratitude, I dedicate this year in review to each one of you, you know who you are.

 

And though it was hard to choose, I have tried to summarise each trip and each month of the journey of the past year in one single insight that has led me to have the kind of rebirth in 2017 that I could never have predicted. One that has allowed me to create a more stable and clear-hearted foundation than ever before. 

 

I hope you enjoy the following expression of my past year.


 

01

Bali

 

embrace }

It was my first time. Everyone talks about it, and I've been curious for a while. So I joined my friend, Michel Bachmann, who organised a very special retreat for 12 amazing people. We sat in circles and danced and sang and stayed silent and visited a volcano and an authentic wise man. And finally, my trip ended with a beautiful surprise birthday celebration for me. But most of all, I felt what it is to be embraced, to be held with love and compassion, to be allowed to be dark and light at once. To be accepted just as you are. I experienced, first hand, the way I want to feel each day every day in my life.

Thank you, Michel, Jerri, Layla, Michelle, Brian, Kamel, Damian, Dharmishta, Christina, Leng, Kirsty and Josh.

To share our humanity with other human beings is to embrace our inherent value, the beginning of achieving our true potential.
IMG_7952.JPG

02

Kolding

 

true potential }

When someone calls on your service with trust, respect, and faith in your abilities, you perform at your best, at your true potential. I spent two short but meaningful days in Kolding, Denmark, with one of my favourite clients, Schneider Electric's Digital Services and Data Center Management Software team crafting their unique vision story with them, to help them bring their customers along with them on their journey into the future as they see it. This is my genius zone, this is my 10,000 flying hours expertise, and it was energising to have a blank slate to apply it to.

And it just so happened, we created a vision about the future of humanity: what would you do if you had unlimited potential? A question that has been a central theme to much of my work these past few year as an artist and coach.

Watch the final video here.

You are the visionary. You’re in control. You have infinite potential. What will you do with it?

03

Barcelona

 

superhumanity }

There’s a new race emerging that you need to be aware of: superhumanity. 

It’s not a race of people who are augmented artificially, but a conscious and creative group who are developing their inner toolkit to enhance their abilities as humans beyond the wildest dreams of any AI. In March, I met a group of these people in Barcelona.

In 2016, I was there with my PWRFAM, a tribe of wonderful women I brought together to share our individual journeys and support each other. In 2017, I happened to return on the same weekend to join a new tribe: the first prototype of The House of Beautiful Business, on Tim Leberecht’s trusting open invitation to create something innovative and remarkable. I premiered my workshop entitled “Preparing for Superhumanity” and created a mini installation in the rooms of the house called “The Rooms of Being” — both of which invited participants and visitors to explore their inner selves, alone or with each other, to rediscover their potential as human beings. 

Take a peek into the workshop here.
 

Our individual and collective human energy, starting with our hearts, extending into our hands and feet, and our presence, with which we hold space for each other, is our greatest untapped power as a species.

04

London

 

{ strength }

Despite all the friends and family I have in London, I happened to spend two and a half weeks in Notting Hill with almost no-one for company but the sweet little cat I was sitting for friends. Looking back, there was a deep lesson in this. One of self-reliance, of expectation, of longing for the company of those you love having little to do with distance, and more to do with capacity. Of how solitude is sometimes a sanctuary, and sometimes, self-defence. And sometimes, a source of our greatest strength.

And of how we've often already got more than we think we can have ‘if only ... were to happen’. I may not have family in Amsterdam, but this is where my home is. And I am so incredibly lucky to have that.

Things are not always as they seem. Those you rely on may not always be there for you. Those who rely on you are more likely to stay by your side. Be reliable to them.

05

Quarna Sopra

 

freedom }

I joined an Ashtanga Yoga retreat in Mandali at Quarna Sopra in Italy, mostly in order to follow my teacher, Eva Ugolini, and with an intention to substitute my yearly Vipassana silent meditation retreat with yoga for a change. But once I arrived in the beautiful nourishing surroundings, I could not resist connecting with the wonderful group of humans that were there with me, over beautiful vegetarian home cooked meals. I unexpectedly found another warm and loving tribe of conscious beings doing their best to live life in a gentle and enlightened way.

Thanks for reminding me that friendship abounds no matter where you go, Eva, Pablo, Emi, Anisa, Hris, Barbara, Katie, Elin, Alex and Sophie!

The greatest learning from the retreat was of the creative freedom that results from creating empty space in ourselves. Read my article about the potential of emptiness here

In emptiness lies all potential. The universe is full of nothing. That nothing holds all life, energy and existence. And it holds all freedom — most of all, from our own limitations.
Untitled, 2017 by Moulsari Jain. Watercolour on paper.

Untitled, 2017 by Moulsari Jain. Watercolour on paper.


06

Delhi

 

optimism }

My mother turned 60 on June 13, 2017. I came home in the sweltering heat of Delhi summer to celebrate with her and family and friends. My mother is the youngest ‘old’ person I know. She has been saying she’s getting old since she was 40, yet in her outlook on life, no one is more youthful than her. While my father has retired, as many do, into a life of rest and reading and relaxation, she is always busy learning something new, meeting someone new, or doing something she has never done before. She inspired me by celebrating her birthday just a few weeks after her mother passed away, with her courage, optimism and zest for life. She chose to focus on what she had, all the friends and family who love her so dearly, and not on what was gone. Without this faith and optimism as a guiding light, I could never have achieved most of my life's greatest achievements.

 

Love, shared with all the people in our lives that enrich our existence, is the only source of energy we need to forge forward. No pain can diminish the light of love, generosity and shared joy.

07

Nice

 

joy }

I wasn’t planning to leave Amsterdam in July, but then my best friends in London persuaded me to join them on Cote d’Azur for the weekend. Suddenly I found myself in a hot tub on a rooftop overlooking the beautiful blue sea, with a glass of bubbles in my hand.  And I realised that family is wherever you feel at home. Where people accept and love you as you are. Where laughter abounds and someone grabs your hand and gets you on your feet dancing. Because that’s what life and love is really all about.

Thanks, Gurjit, Ozge, and Moni. For making me feel at home wherever you are. And reminding me how to have proper fun. With or without bubbles. 

It doesn’t matter where you are. It only matters who you’re there with.
IMG_2687.JPG

 

08

Bath

 

empathy }

The full credit for this adventure goes to one amazing human being who inspires me in every single thing she undertakes: Margaret Rose. I was invited to be part of a retreat to reimagine global governance, where I met a varied group of conscious beings who are busy trying to create a massive shift in the world, each in their own way. Margaret brought them together to try and harness their collective wisdom, a challenging task without a doubt. 

It was in this incredible tribe that I dared to share one of my most personal pieces to date: The Beauty of Dying.

Thank you, Margaret, Michelle, Nick, Mitzi, Earthan, Duke, Kenneth, Amanda, Jessica and everyone else who made the trip over to share their wisdom and perspective for the greater good, and for your inspiring kindness.

In order to reimagine our global systems to become more sustainable and effective, we need to make space for the human emotional reality, to bring the artistic mindset into organisations and politics. If we simply design more black and white systems that lack empathic consideration for the way people work, we will end up back where we began.

09

Kassel

 

courageous creativity }

I decided to apply to Rietveld Art Academy to make my artistic practice more regular next to my business life. The department head inspired me to make a last minute trip to Kassel in Germany for 2 days to see one of the most important contemporary art exhibitions that takes place every 5 years, Documenta14. There, my resolve and recognition to pursue my conceptual art practice as a way of finding and expressing new potential realities for humanity was strengthened. It just so happens that one of my two co-founders at Artists Are Among Us, Gunter, originates from Kassel, and it seemed a perfect fit to find myself there with my other co-founder, Romas, just as we began this journey together.

An artistic mindset, one of courage, curiosity and vulnerable expression, of critical questioning and constant exploration, of embracing humanity and developing a deeper empathy and understanding for it in all we do, is essential and entirely under appreciated in the world we live in today.  Contact us at www.artistsareamongus.com to learn more about how you can apply an artistic mindset to your business.

Perhaps we all need to live like an artist in order to create a more sustainable world for everyone, one where we look inward for our personal fulfilment and fascination.
Hebraic Embrace (1991–2005) by Lucas Samaras (b.1936)

Hebraic Embrace (1991–2005) by Lucas Samaras (b.1936)


10

Oslo

 

humility }

I was looking for an excuse to visit Oslo for the first time, and the Leith Society gave me one. And even if KLM completely screwed up my return flight experience, the two days I spent there were filled with incredibly warm, intelligent and inspiring Scandinavians, starting with my soul sister, Martine Kveim and her friends, leading into meeting some very special people at the Leith gathering. 

I saw a version of success that I aspire to. Genuine, warm, humble, friendly, fun, constantly curious and very conscientious. Sign me up!

Little known facts about the rich and famous:
1. They’re just humans figuring it out as they go, just like the rest of us.
2. They work hard at their craft to get where they are.
3. You can “make it” and still keep your feet on the ground, stay humble and humorous, and it makes you even more inspiring to those who look up to you.*

*This may not apply to all rich and famous people, but certainly to more than we think.


11

Lisbon

 

madness }

It was a good sign when I arrived in Lisbon for the second time ever, to find my airbnb happened to be behind the same beautiful blue door my friend Ulli insisted on photographing me in front of the first time I was there. Or to see people I’d met in Barcelona in March and felt like meeting old friends again. But most of all, I found myself amidst yet another group of practical dreamers, people who imagine a beautiful world where humanity and technology don’t just co-exist, but actually enhance each other — and who are actively working to create this new reality.

I arrived in Lisbon with my co-founders for the first official House of Beautiful Business, leading a workshop on How Artists Will Save Business (and Humanity) and more. And I left with some incredible new friends for life.

Thank you, for sharing faith and fun with me, David, Jonathan, Keira, Jessie, Joe, Kristina, Haje, Ziah, and many, many more!

No matter how crazy your vision of the world, there are others who share that vision. To find them is a responsibility to your dreams and ideas, because being crazy together is what has ever changed our world.*

*Just look at any major world religion!

IMG_5962.JPG

12

Istanbul

 

love }

I was meant to go to Istanbul 4 times this year, but it never happened, until December. Joint Idea+LifeWorksLabs co-founders Markus and Eda, and I had been discussing the possibility of co-creating something since our first meeting in Barcelona, and we finally did it before the year ended. And in Istanbul, I didn’t just find an eager group of believers and dreamers with whom to share my tools and practices for cultivating passion and purpose in our lives. I found hearts and souls who are open and ready for the world I have been dreaming of. And while the small group reminded me how far we still have to go before we make our dream world come to life, the people I spent these magical few days with reassured me that I’m not mad — I just want to Make A Difference (thanks, Tariq Qureshi, 100% MAD) and I’m not alone. Even if it takes our entire life’s work, we are well on our way and we are not alone. We will create a life and world that is filled with love, belonging, art, consciousness and, yes, magic. 

Thank you, Eda, Markus, Esra, Monika, Dimitrios, Esra, Cagla, and Ediz, I look forward to being inspired together in 2018!

To create a new world, in which we are all reaching our full potential as human beings, we need to let go of the way things work and start from a blank canvas. We have to think exponentially, not incrementally. We have to have faith, not in God but in ourselves, as the creators of our own destiny. We have to be fearless, and the opposite of fear is not courage — it’s love.
IMG_7184.JPG

So about that blank canvas...

 

I did my due diligence this year. I cleaned and cleared out the weeds, washed away all the old cobwebs and dirty fingerprints and replaced them with love and light, with wide open blank space, a brand new, stable foundation on which to start building the work of the rest of my life. 

Anything worthwhile costs time, effort, pain, learning and growth. And as I finish out this year in Delhi with family, I'd like to share a few last gems of wisdom from my family and friends these past days that I will carry with me into the new year:

 

“This is normal. Because there is no definition of normal. Everything is normal. Even psychiatry doesn’t have a definition for ‘normal’ — everything is a variation of normal.”


Gautam Jain


“Everything that crosses your path comes because you are ready for it. You had to go through that pain because you had to get stronger. You don’t get stronger just sitting at home. You have to go out into the world and face it.”


Vikul chander


“You are a natural born entrepreneur. You’ll never be happy in a 9 to 5. You need to take risks and face challenges, and of course you’ll stumble sometimes, but you always bounce back. And you always will.”


dennis STEINMEIjer

 

“I’m the King of the World!”


leo dicaprio

 

Okay, one of those may not actually be one of my friends, but hey, you never know what 2018 brings.

 


So hey, 2018...

 

I'm ready for you. I've done my homework and I've cleaned my room. I'm ready to receive all your gifts and to share them with the world around me. I'm ready to fill that blank canvas.

 

 

 

Bring. It. On.

 

 

 

 

If you're still reading this, I hope you found it worthwhile, and I'd love to hear your own thoughts and experiences below in the comments to share inspiration. And until next time.

 

With love, madness, humility, courageous creativity, empathy, joy, optimism, freedom, strength, superhumanity, true potential, and embrace,

Moulsari


31 December 2017

 


Stay inspired with me throughout 2018!

I'm creating a set of inspirational cards with this list of super ingredients to fill my blank creative canvas in the new year. If you'd like to own your own set of A5 handmade cards that you can hang up on your wall, put in a frame on your desk, and use in place of a calendar, you can pre-order yours below! Just enter your details and I'll get back to you shortly.

 

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For more information, email me at moulsari@moulsari.com

 

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