Meet The SHEROES: Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri, Life Coach & Motivational Speaker
Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri is an alternative therapist, life coach and a motivational speaker. Above all, she is a healer--of mind, body and souls. She shares her memories, goals and motivations with Karuna John. Edited excerpts from an e-interview:
What did you want to be as you were growing up?
When I was little, at first I wanted to own a chain of 7-star hotels named HOTEL. I recall drawing a sketch of a hotel for my cousin when I was only five, sitting at the dining table in her home in Delhi. I even drew the doorman standing at the entrance in his uniform, and the brand HOTEL on his jacket.
Then, I wanted to be Prime Minister of India, and that ambition was quickly cut short after I heard about corruption in politics.
By the age of eight, I had decided I did not wanted to be involved with any kind of corruption and I wanted to have the same values taught by my father which were based on integrity and ethics.
What did you study formally? Did you become what you 'studied' to be, or did you chart a different path?
There were only two subjects I was really good at in school: art and biology. Art was my passion and I chose to follow biology because it felt more practical. I liked applying my learning rather than memorising. So, I loved all the lab sessions during biology. From learning how plants breathe to the mechanics of the human body, I was always amazed how everything was connected and the human body was capable of so much.
When I made the choice to study biology, I did not really know what I wanted to become. And I had not probably given it much thought either. It was after I finished my first degree that I decided to pursue a PhD in Cancer Research, especially as I had secured a full scholarship to Oxford University.
On completing my PhD, I realised academia was not for me and I did not want to be reliant on writing papers to secure funds to run a laboratory. Hence, I went into industry and my first job was in wound healing. Little did I know that later on, I would help others in the area of healing emotional wounds.
How and when did you choose your present vocation? What were the hurdles you had to cross?
During my corporate career, I became very sick and I started to explore alternate healing and coaching. Two years later, I healed completely--without drugs or surgery. I continued to work for another five years and then I met with an accident, where I broke my tailbone, sacrum and coccyx. As I lay in bed, I realised there must be more to life than working every day to pay a mortgage.
In the meantime, I had already trained myself in over 200 alternate therapy methods, more for my own healing and personal developments rather than to work with clients. And yet, somehow, prospective clients found out about me and would contact me for help.
So, organically, I started to work with clients one by one. Eventually, I left my job without any direction of what to do next. I ended up in Uttarakhand and had a satori moment where I received inner guidance to start a meditation group on returning to London. I started a free meditation group and one day, I was sitting before my computer and wondering how I was going to pay my mortgage, and I got an email from a person in India who wanted me to deliver training to a spiritual organisation with over 25,000 followers. That was when my new career started. They wanted training in overcoming physical ailments and mental blocks so that the followers could be focussed on their spiritual journey rather than getting distracted by the body and mind chatter.
Did you face any hurdles, changing careers?
Once I decided, I would not say there were hurdles as such. Everything seemed to flow step by step. I started small, and then things kept growing every year where Vitality Living College is now present in India, UK, Middle East and South East Asia.
Since inception, we have trained close to 3,000 people in techniques in emotional wellbeing, coaching and personal development. We have thousands of stories of how people’s lives have been transformed--from overcoming cancer to back pain to fibromyalgia to learning difficulties.
What do you see changing for women professionals in India?
I feel that women themselves can create whatever they want, balancing career and family and ambition with compassion. For me, in general, I see the role of intuition increasing in the boardroom.
What inspires you, and what is your long term goal?
I just want to help people--make a difference by helping people transform themselves from the inside out.
Every year, I deliver a free seminar in Mumbai (August 14) and Delhi (Oct 1), as my way of giving back and introducing people from different backgrounds and cultures to the same techniques that I used to heal myself from three illnesses. I am always amazed the healing that transpires even in just three hours.
My ‘must-haves’: Love, Peace, Joy, Friendship, Playfulness.
Also my mother… though I carry her in my heart.
If you meant ‘in a physical bag’, my ‘must-haves’ are: My passport, MAC, red lipstick, lavender essential oil, iPhone and sunglasses--ready to travel anywhere at any time. What else could a girl need!