Dr. Shivani Khetan is the founder of Mudita by Dr. Shivani Khetan, a concept of “sharing Joy” with our seniors who may struggle with feelings of loneliness, isolation, or need therapeutic alternatives for anxiety, depression, dementia, and stress. Mudita gives them the opportunity to exercise their social skills and make new friends in a relaxing, casual setting.
The inspiration behind this venture is her mother Mrs. Kusum Sharma who is also an ambassador of Mudita. Her mother was diagnosed with dementia & depression first stage and came to stay with her last year and her mother’s progress is remarkable with their therapies that have kind of helped her to fight dementia with grace. Today we got a chance to interview her, let’s know more about her & learn from her experiences.
We hope this can inspire you to become a successful person too! It is worth listening to a successful entrepreneur or to people who share their success stories. We can significantly learn many things from the experiences of them, by listening to their story.
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with her:
Q1) Tell us a little bit about your start-up and your journey, please;
The journey starts with my mother Kusum Sharma when she was diagnosed dementia last year and it was heart breaking to see her not be herself anymore. One of many gloomy statements made about dementia is that it robs us of our loved ones while they’re with us, putting our understanding of them at risk. However, what really happens is something else: when we lose the familiar mirror image of ourselves we used to rely on, we end up having our self-understanding put at risk.
This was a beautiful turning point and her coming to stay with me made me think how with mental health therapies and fun sessions we can help seniors to live a life of hope and purpose.
It helped me also connect with other family members who at this age feel helpless to keep themselves busy and looking forward to something new. Through this, we are able to touch their inner child and help them relive or discover their talents which they themselves have forgotten existed in them.
Q2) How did the idea for your business/startup come about?
In my research I found Tarot is a beautiful tool that can be used as a treatment to ease stress, anxiety, depression, etc., and it helps one understand that many sudden or chronic illnesses/pain have no real physical cause.
They come from emotional imbalances, caused by our own thoughts and emotions that are rooted in our limiting beliefs and conditionings. Our emotions have a huge impact on our nervous system, either in a positive or negative way depending on the kind of emotions one is feeling. Tarot helps us observe our thoughts, analyze our beliefs and conditionings and inquire into how they all relate to the kind of emotion one is feeling and what impact it does on the health and chakras of the human body and understand a lot about what causes emotional and physical pain.
It’s a great tool for self-development and from this tool, I have gone to do more research on expressive arts therapy, automatic metaphor therapy, hypnotherapy, Bach remedies to help my client reach the subconscious mind and overwrite and understand their belief system. This zeal to help has made me a student to date. My book Tarot a healing tool in modern times is the first coffee table book awarded by the golden book of world records that helps one to reach their highest potential.
Q3) How did you come up with the name for your business/startup?
I believe in sharing joy. The name
Muditā (Pāli and Sanskrit: मुदिता) means joy; especially sympathetic or vicarious joy or the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s well-being. … Mudita is a pure joy unadulterated by self-interest. When we can be happy with the joys other beings feel, it is called mudita. We named it Mudita by Dr. Shivani Khetan to spread joy and hope for people who enter our sessions.
Q4) What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
We are offering services for healing and mental health sessions. We have two products at present to help reach insight into their life. One can check our website to know about these services and products.
Q5) Why should people choose your product/services?
The use of our services and products multiplies the avenues by which a person in question may seek meaning, clarity, and healing. It deepens and transcends traditional talk therapy by acknowledging that each person’s process is unique. While one individual may like talk therapy or hypnotherapy another person may prefer to use journaling, movement, art, or a combination of different experiences during the session.
Our sessions encourage one to work and heal their emotions every day and not live with the unnecessary baggage of others’ thoughts and emotions. Remove the clutter of emotions every day and act for yourself to grow and live a life of bliss. After doing twelve sessions with us I have seen people having clarity to understand what actually they require to concentrate on their goals and how to focus. We encourage clients to come up for follow-ups sessions after therapy is done at least once a week. Healing is a slow process and one needs to find out about your therapist and then undergo sessions. Hope sustains life and that’s our mantra.
Q6) How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
Our website and Google rating have all details by the clients and that’s how it works. Whenever we introduce a new program or product through our social media accounts it’s advertised.
Q7) What risks are you facing?
One of the risks is 70 plus seniors cannot walk in programs as a group therapy unless they have had the vaccine. We are eagerly waiting for this to start again once our clients are vaccinated.
Q8) Did pandemic (COVID 19) affect your business? if yes how?
Pandemic in a way was like a boon for mental health. A lot of people came out of the closet. People going through anxiety and depression were suddenly open to take online sessions. The only thing we missed was most of the seventy-plus generation is not friendly with zoom and stuff so they were not able to do their sessions or talk to their age people like when we do group therapy.
Q9) Have you considered any alliance/partnership/funding?
Yes we are looking for good partnership who can fund us for this program. At the moment it’s all my initiative.
Q10) What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
My responsibilities are to understand first my client’s problems. We understand how many sessions are required. I schedule appointments and each session in advance in relation to the work I have to do in each session. Following up on how did it go for them and the next follow-up sessions. I actively write and make my own poster frames that eventually become our next program detail and are then posted on our social media accounts. At Mudita I am looking for quality work than quantity work. That’s why I have not joined any hospital or organization.
Q11) How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?
I work at least 6 to 8 hours every day. I study my subject for about 4 to 5 hours every day to understand new things that can be introduced to make our therapy more beneficial for the client. My day starts at 5 am and I finish my meditation by 6.30 am. Then I Go for my exercise with my fitness trainer Mangal, three days a week and the other three days I go running. I study and put my thoughts on what to do from 8 am to 10 am listening to some good book, go for my bicycle ride. Starting my work with a cup of tea and start sessions from 10.30 am onwards. My office hours finish by 6 and I retire to bed by 10.30 pm.
Q12) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
My greatest fear is I am afraid of heights. When I stand on an elevated platform, my legs will shake and I will start to sweat. But I have come a long way and working on it. My exercise regime of strength training has helped me to start seeing and help me look down with little ease now. It is very important to know your brain health as we are very much concerned about our physical appearance and health. Emotions need to be expressed to cope with the stress and anxiety of everyday life. Through mental health therapy, one needs to tap into the subconscious mind to release the inner stress.
Q13) What comes first for you money or emotions?
To me money Is Not About Finances, It’s About Emotions. Money is an energy. We need both in our lives. A change in our financial situation starts with a change in how we think about money. This is about our emotions. Clearing out the negative thoughts about money will remove the blockages that are preventing money from flowing to us. I use affirmations to release any negative emotions.
Q14) Tell us about your early life & How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Coming from a textile background and working in home furnishing for eight years as a production merchandiser was my dream job. In due course started my journey in tarot and transcendental meditation. My journey to learn & experience vipassana meditation was an eye-opener to understand my values and a new course to take for my own self-development. I filed for my PH.D. research in Alternative healing medicine. It was a shock for my surrounding people/ family as healing and tarot to them fifteen years was like wastage of time and could not relate to tarot and healing. In those days no good teachers were available for doing courses in the modalities we see these days.
Further, I did my DSc research on the topic “THERAPEUTIC EXPRESSIVE ARTS FOR THE HEALING HEART FROM INNER WISDOM”. This helped to understand how expressive arts therapy can heal and help people understand their belief systems. My training in expressive arts for UNESCO certification with Fortis Hospital has further helped me to work in this field with great results for the clients. We use a lot of such techniques for dementia and other mental health programs and corporate group workshops also.
Surviving hardships can teach you important things about yourself and the world around you
So most of the education and research of the topic was my own conviction to find a breakthrough. Surviving hardships can teach you important things about yourself and the world around you, strengthen your resolve, deepen your empathy, and in time enable you to evolve and grow as a human being. Stay focused, flexible, and productive, in both good and bad times is my mantra of life.
The tarot journey I owe to my teacher late Mrs. Krishnamurthy who was a pranic healer and a reiki master and my amazing teacher/mentor Ms. Bindu Maira. She has helped me to understand tarot is a mirror and a tool for self-development. My training in Hypnotherapy and automatic metaphor practice has further helped me to understand how human behavior and emotions can be changed with regular sessions. All this work has helped to connect with myself and my family life. It’s a great way to understand people and why they behave in a certain way. I feel gratitude for this knowledge, which helps me to spread happiness in the family through my work. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. My focus is to help individuals heal, energize and become aware of their inner strengths. We at Mudita achieve this by providing a neutral safe space, listening to your concerns, and customizing a treatment plan.
15) What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs??
I would say more power to amazing new generation boys and girls who are breaking the barriers. The community should encourage to build communities in which new ideas can be shared to discuss feedback, compare notes, and emotionally support one another’s learning. Identifying common experiences increases the willingness to talk openly, take risks, and be vulnerable without fearing that others will misunderstand or not trust them.
I think it’s high time the new generation can practice breaking rules and start practicing positive self-talk that can help in coping skills, improve psychological well-being and even increase your lifespan. So the next time you catch a negative inner monologue, change your self-talk by replacing those comments with positive thoughts. I encourage new graduates to believe in themselves and be their highest potential and take risks and be the change they want to create in society.
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