Anuradha Kowtha

Changing your work-life to welcome more freedom and fulfillment is a process and a journey. Here, every month, we will share stories of women who are doing it. Real stories, real transformation. This is a virtual treasure chest -- full of the challenges, struggles, lessons and insights of others -- which you can use to enrich your own path.

This month’s featured “woman on purpose” is  Anuradha Kowtha, a former educator and researcher. She’s currently the CEO and Transformation Consultant at Manifest By Design.

Describe the big shift you’ve made in your work-life. What led you to that change?

I think the biggest change was the overwhelming dread that I would feel, especially on a Sunday afternoon, when I would be preparing for work the next day. I felt intense guilt to not be preparing for work via lesson plans or grading or reading research papers to prepare for my own research in the laboratory.

Now I wake up excited to come to work. It’s a 30 second commute into my office and I’m full of passion and inspiration as I head to work. It’s empowering since not only am I doing the work I was born to do, but I run my own business. In fact, it’s the exact opposite from all those years ago, it’s hard to shut off for the evening or the weekend, because there are so many more lives to change!

The biggest factor that led to that change was allowing myself to explore and let go of what did not serve me. It took a number of years to transition, but always I was seeking the work that I was meant to do—that allowed me to be me at my best and give back to a cause greater than myself.

What were you most fearful of in making that change?

I think the fear came from letting go of my life—I knew that I would have to walk away from the life that we are indoctrinated and programmed to have. I was going to have to walk away from relationships, my job (and the paycheck) and follow the path in front of me. It’s scary to let go of what you know: the beliefs, ideas, lifestyle, and people that have expected you a be a certain way. Of course, I didn’t have to walk away, I chose to because that was the right move for me. It all comes back to our unique calling and taking 100% responsibility for fulling on that assignment—that was my path.

How is your experience of life different now?

I have more confidence to follow my intuition and go even deeper with my own calling. In those early days, making small changes and commitments took so much of my efforts. One of the first things I did was completing my Bharata Natyam solo debut, requiring years of training. That was a huge undertaking at the time, and it made it easier to keep going for what felt right and amp up my expression.

Just recently in my own life, have I truly stepped up to holding my torch up high with the mission of bringing clarity and empowerment to those who need reminding of who they are what they are born to do. All the elements of my life seem to be slotting together after years of experimenting and it’s so amazing to watch that transformation in others.

My experience now is of gratitude and excitement for living the adventure! What a stark contrast to the depression, lack of will to carry on, and hesitation and confusion of following through that I faced all those years ago. I’m not the same person—at least I don’t feel like I’m the same person.

What’s your biggest concern in this moment?

My biggest concern for the world is the turmoil as the truth about our empowerment comes out. This means that many of the systems and ways of being that have brought us to this point for humanity, will need to be reimagined going forward. Leadership and the very paradigms that we live in need to be updated. Change can be stressful.

Personally, my biggest concern at the moment is not being swept away by these changing times and tuning into my own needs and keeping focused on the task at hand. We’re all being called towards something, but we can’t fight the battles of others or get distracted by the agendas of others. When I get overwhelmed, I go back to my own self-care and my mission.

What are you most excited about going forward?

I think I am most excited to step into my full power and empower my clients to do the same. I see how every experience, opportunity, and obstacle was guiding me forward and I instill the same hope and faith to my clients. I’m excited to have these discussions around empowerment, clarity, truth and diversity that need to happen for true, long lasting change to happen. Even the difficult conversations bring forth transformation and I hope to be a part of these discussions—it’s the reason I’m here!

If you could travel back in time, what’s one piece of advice that your current self wishes that you could tell your former self?

Stop stressing and savor the journey and watch it unfold. In the end, it turned out much better than I could have imagined in those early days! And if you’re the one wondering about your next or your future, I would proffer the same advice for you. There are times for worry, but focus more on the present moment and the opportunities available to you.

About Anuradha

Anuradha is currently the CEO and Transformation Consultant at Manifest By Design. Get to know her more by following her Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. You can also visit Manifest By Design's website and Facebook page.