Connect with family and close friends often. In our busy lives, we are generally oblivious to the fact that we may die the next minute and everything we are busy with, will immediately come to nothing. After I returned from the monasteries, I resolved to stay close to my parents for as long as they were blessed to be on this planet. It has been ten years — in great health — and both of us are in what you could call ‘perpetual spiritual wellness.’ We undertake trips together, have meals together often, and my wife — who draws divine energy from cooking — loves to make awesome delights for them and others near and dear.
Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?
As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sandeep Nath.
Sandeep Nath is the founder of RENEWALism. An IIT-IIM alumnus, he founded and ran a successful strategy consulting company before heading to the Himalayas in search of the purpose of life and what drives our energetic consciousness. As a Coach, he has taken the sacred wisdom of our Inner Power to more than 46 cities spread over four continents. An international Reiki master, Business Qigong guide, Mindfulness coach, and Author of two books (Arrive At Success & RENEWAL), Sandeep is an expert on Stress Management and applying ancient oriental wisdom to modern business challenges. He is also an active Professional Speaker who resides in Delhi, India, and is on SandeepNath.com.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Haha… you want to start right at the beginning? Well, allow me to start at the age of 42, when I had an amazing insight through my meditative practice. It came as a sounding, deep in my subconscious, during which my mother spoke to me while I was in her womb. She relayed to me, my purpose… to live life unchained to standard societal expectations. She instructed me to stay liberated and to teach the world how to do the same. To facilitate the raising of consciousness; by making changes in the way we think of our lives, our priorities, our jobs, keeping busy, raising kids, and all of that.
The day after this happened, I asked her whether this dialogue had actually occurred with me in her womb… and she confirmed it! So that was the day I felt I was truly born! I learned my WHY… and it has been an incredible life ever since! I’m still in my childhood… not even a teenager… haha!
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
Well, that is another interesting story. I would have been an air force pilot if I had taken up the offer I received after passing the defense exams while in senior school. My dad impressed upon me the importance of not skipping the last year of schooling and taking a shot at engineering entrance post-school. He said I could join the forces a year later, if engineering didn’t work out. Well, it did work out and I graduated as an engineer. But while in college I set up a magazine and enjoyed that so much that my career moved into marketing and advertising from day one. So how did I land up to be an inner power coach?
While I was running my brand consulting company I began to be disturbed by existential questions. My largest multinational clients, it seemed to me, were creating more problems than they were solving for the world. And that got me to turn to Vedic gurus in search for answers about purpose and consciousness. This led to an understanding of how energy moves all of us. And by 2010, I had handed my company over to the other Directors and moved to Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayas to learn about our personal energy and the body-mind-spirit trinity from Tibetan lamas. Along with deeper dives into Qigong and Reiki, I put together what I call inner power programs, to apply our ancient oriental wisdom to reverse modern business and lifestyle challenges.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
That would be my wife. Maria Cordero. She’s from Mexico and was rooting herself in Tibetan Buddhism when we met in a monastery in 2010. We married three years later while I was passionately creating micro-entrepreneurs in villages — something I did for six years — far removed from the disturbing corporate world. After that we pooled our strengths together to focus on doing workshops and coaching on personal energy. She too is an adept of these practices, and we learn a lot from each other.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
I think the most interesting diversion my career took was around the time I started looking for solutions to the disturbance arising from my consulting clients. And the space of network marketing opened before me, as a pleasant alternative to the monolithic, multinational structures of enterprise. I simply loved the concept of network enterprise and the high consciousness from which the leaders of such networks operate. That, in fact, was my segue into the world of spiritually-led living… so though I can’t call it a mistake, it was a very interesting shift with huge lessons I will wish for everyone. I have captured several of them in my first book, ‘Arrive At Success.’
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
While I have great respect for the writings of Dr. David Hawkins and Robert Kiyosaki, I think Louise Hay was the angel who turned around my thinking from pre-set social conditioning, regarding health. You see, I was diagnosed with astigmatism in my sophomore year at college, and so I had to wear glasses 24/7. That was fine for that time… in fact spectacles made me look like more of an engineer-intellectual.
Twenty years later, when Louise Hay’s ‘Heal Your Life’ passed through my consciousness, I realized that what medicine diagnoses as a permanent corneal defect is merely a manifestation of competitive insecurities… which had overwhelmed an impressionable 17-year-old engineering student who was not following his dream. Within a year of Louise Hay’s affirmations, and supplementation, I removed my lenses and haven’t needed them ever since.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
Now this is another tough one to choose from, but on top of mind would be Zig Ziglar: “You can get whatever you want in life if you can help enough other people get what they want.”
Why it resonates is simple… it is congruent with the basis of Mahayana Buddhism, stands at the core of Renewalism, is the purpose of system-based enterprises; like Uber, AirBnB, Amazon, and Amway, is the reason for celebrity-dom, and of course, the foundation of sales, which Mr. Ziglar was all about.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Well, I would like to believe that I am spearheading a movement called Renewalism. This movement is rooted in the book RENEWAL, which I first released in 2020. It is in its 2nd edition currently, with a foreword by the eminent Qigong Grandmaster, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.
RENEWAL guides us on 30 habits which every human being can adopt to renew the self at a body-mind-spirit level every day; renew relationships with others, with money, and with nature; and renew the man-made systems, which have stopped serving us — but we have been too busy to look. I am excited that the Renewalism lifestyle could far surpass Veganism in this century, since the former is about raising human consciousness for our own survival, not just for animals. As Dr. Yang writes, the world is a mere 30 habits away from renewal!
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
Mental wellness is about training the mind. The nature of the mind is that of a monkey… it has to jump from place to place. To train it, means to be friendly with it, not to beat it. So here are three quick habits straight out of Habit #10 of RENEWAL.
- Be grateful for what you have. Even when you feel you have nothing; you will be surprised to discover that there is always something in that nothing. If you have no money, maybe you still have a bank account… or at least a pocket for it. If you have no clothes, maybe you have at least one compassionate person around who doesn’t ridicule your nudity. So be grateful for that. For when you can be grateful for XYZ, that XYZ gives you a firm ground to leap from. If you choose to be grateful only when you reach ABC, you will not be able to take the leap from wherever you are to ABC, without that firm ground from which to leap.
- Affirm, in a believable manner, whatever you want your self-concept to be. I affirmed my way out of astigmatism. The exact words Louise Hay recommends are, “I am now open to see my own beauty and magnificence.” The little teenager had stopped seeing it and had borne glasses for 21 years. This young man you are interviewing has been reversing his age every year since the last nine years. I believe it… and my annual health checkups confirm it!
- Visualize your referred future. People like Tony Robbins and John Assaraf are celebrity endorsers of this method of mind-training, which Tibetan lamas teach and practice equally profoundly. Personally, such visualization has helped me live a life by design, geographically independent, and always abundant. I have impacted people on every continent and Renewalism.com is just being launched. You can put visualization to test and observe how you can possibly stay away from wellness. You can’t. It is self-destructing and not a natural instinct. You will have to be well!
Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.
Yes, I am a great believer of meditation in motion. Some 15 years ago, when I had the good fortune to learn from Sri Sri Ravishankar of the Art Of Living, a fellow-student asked him, “Sir, how many hours do you meditate?” Sri Sri replied enigmatically, “All the time.” I didn’t understand that at all. But when I understood the precepts of Qigong, it came very clear to me.
Qigong is about coming into awareness of one’s respiration, movements, and energy… and that results in balanced and self-regulated health. If you think about it, these are the three factors that bring the mind, body, and spirit respectively into alignment. And it is this harmony that impacts everything we do. So, with the practice of Qigong, we create the supreme habit of meditating in motion. And being our most productive selves, as a bonus!
Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
Well, coming to the body, breathing right is the first physical correction many of us need to make. So:
- Observe your breath. If you are inhaling, and as you fill your lungs you do not see your belly expand, you need to correct that. I have observed with people from New Zealand to Mexico, that very often the belly remains unaffected, and in one out of three cases it moves inwards. This is an early sign of stress. Why? In our natural rhythm, when the lungs fill fully the diaphragm presses the abdomen and since we have no ribs below, our belly must expand outwards. If we sense it contract inwards, it is because we have programmed ourselves to fool the lungs into believing that they are smaller than they really are, and we remain bereft of vital oxygenation. This is shallow breathing, and with years of that, multitudes of problems can manifest.
- Second, Exercise. I would obviously recommend Qigong exercises, but do anything that ensures you do not keep sitting for more than two hours at a stretch. A 5-minute break is enough. A short walk, stretches, twists, bends, kicks, anything that moves the muscles around. Coordinate that with training the mind to focus on the breath and you cover two of the three elements of Qigong. To align the energy flow, you will do well to learn from a master.
- And three… Hydrate. Remember that 80% of your body is fluid and that means water makes you. You cleanse your toxins by releasing water as sweat and pee automatically, but you must replenish it voluntarily to regain balance. Since I have an average body size, I consume about 2 to 3 liters per day — usually mixed with a tea bag or cut or juiced fruit, for added minerals. Sipping water every few minutes and refilling the glass during each 5-minute break is a great habit to cultivate.
Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
I’m glad you asked! It is all about conditioning. One of the reasons I was disturbed as a brand consultant was that I was becoming part of the problem. I was telling kids that is it fun, or cool, or trendy, or even in some convoluted way, healthy, to stuff food down your throat from a packet. No, it is not. Certainly not. And when it comes to healthy eating, it is common sense that must prevail.
Ask yourself, are you the product of a machine? Chances are you will answer negative. Well then, why feed yourself with outputs of machines? The further away you can get from food that is processed, the easier it will be for you to digest, naturally. Eat nuts, fruits, dates, agri-produce, honey, sugarcane. Why eat artificially assembled stuff and expect to be a real you? It will only lead to a shallow life, which — like shallow breathing — will send you spiraling towards medicare.
This ideology was known to us more than 4000 years ago. The word Qi, from which Qigong is derived, means life-force energy and that is what builds us up. When they invented the written script, symbolically, in mandarin, Qi was represented by two words — the ones for air and rice. Therefore, how and what we breathe and how and what we eat is all that builds us up — or kills us — on a day-to-day basis.
And speaking of how, be guided by Gandhi, who advised, “Drink food, chew water.” That simply means ingest food after chewing really well. And sip — not glug — water, so it is easiest for the organs to process.
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
Yes. The three wonderful things we can do for ourselves to stay emotionally balanced are:
- Sleep 6 to 8 hours a day. Depending on our individual constitutions this may vary, but if we are not catching at least 6 hours at a go, we must catnap or take breaks. Why? According to ancient oriental wisdom, the central channel is filled with cooling, stabilizing Yin energy while we sleep. If you notice, all the endocrine glands that generate the hormones and enzymes that help us function optimally reside on the central channel of the body… starting with the pituitary and pineal in the brain, to the thymus, thyroid, pancreas, adrenals (on both sides), and gonads. Now if you subscribe to modern medical findings, you want to feed these glands good energy — and sleep does that. If you don’t, you restrict serotonin and release cortisol, which causes depression, stress, indigestion, and other troubles. All of which results in our emotional state going out of whack.
- Laugh a lot. Yes, laugh needlessly. Better people think you are a jackass than they think you are a sick, depressive dork. Do you remember seeing the popular statue of the jolly, fat chap fondly referred to as ‘Laughing Buddha’? Well, he was named so because he was a wandering monk of high accomplishment… but whenever anyone stopped him to ask him to share his knowledge or answer a question he always simply burst into laughter. Doing so made other people laugh too, and with the transference of energy, many people experienced moments of enlightenment. Laughter relaxes the emotional tension we store in our bodies, especially in the joints. Laughing physically moves the joints too. It is best to start with fake laughter and then, when you think of how stupid you look with all those fake moves you will automatically start laughing genuinely. Give it a shot.
- And finally, stay in awareness of yourself. Our technologies and inventions strongly motivate us to focus on things outside of ourselves. So much so, that we search for happiness in things. But that isn’t how it works. Happiness is an inside job. And to tap that, one must become an observer of oneself. This is what I refer to as Inner Power. The power to change our outer reality is based on our awareness of what we say, do, and be. Any emotional stimulus might be thrown at us, but unless we respond to it badly, it cannot go bad for us. We must remember that. Be mindful of that. This is all there is to meditation and mindfulness. The Buddha prescribed these tools as the basic requirements for a good life — all the way up to enlightenment. Your inner power is your visa to emotional wellness.
Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.
Yes indeed. A smile holds power in both outer relationships and well as inner healing. While the feel-good of the outer manifestation is easily experienced, I’d like to share about Janice (name changed for privacy), a student of my program, Inner Power of Smiling Internally. This program is taken from a meditative Qigong technique, and Janice was able to lose twenty kilos and halve her daily medication over a six-month period.
There is no magic to this. When we work with energy, we work with vibrations — through vibrational awareness. Just as in the outer world sound vibrations can shatter glass, in the inner world energy vibes can free up blockages. These blockages could be physical or emotional, that doesn’t matter. Basically, their root cause is energy stagnation and a smile can spearhead the vibrational attack, in a sense.
Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
All right, here goes:
- Prioritize time on a daily basis to connect with divine energy. This can be in the form of a 2-minute prayer, or a 20-minute Shamata meditation session. That is immaterial. What is important is that the intent and the action must be prioritized every single day. For me, I have put my outreach activity for RENEWAL in the bucket of divine energy. So even as I answer these questions I am diving into that state of spiritual well-being. So, thank you so much for this opportunity!
- Learn and practice Qigong. You see, in the body-mind-spirit trinity we have grown to appreciate that problems of the body can often be healed by the mind. Techniques include psychotherapy, affirmations, meditation, and even yoga, which literally is the Sanskrit word for the ‘joining’ of mind and body. However, Albert Einstein went on record to say something very interesting. He said that no problem can be solved using the same level of thinking that created the problem. What this means is, while the mind may solve for body, only the spirit can solve for mental and emotional issues. And this is where Qigong steps in — because it involves energy, or spirit. Readers can conveniently pick up my Qigong courses, and practice in the privacy and comfort of their homes. You are invited to simply write in!
- Connect with family and close friends often. In our busy lives, we are generally oblivious to the fact that we may die the next minute and everything we are busy with, will immediately come to nothing. After I returned from the monasteries, I resolved to stay close to my parents for as long as they were blessed to be on this planet. It has been ten years — in great health — and both of us are in what you could call ‘perpetual spiritual wellness.’ We undertake trips together, have meals together often, and my wife — who draws divine energy from cooking — loves to make awesome delights for them and others near and dear.
Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?
I find it very interesting that you ask this! Oneness with Nature is a complete chapter in my book RENEWAL. Allow me to quote to you from there!
“There is a difference between a mechanic and a sculptor. The sculptor is more of a creator than the mechanic. And the creator is the one closer to nature. So, vis-a-vis your body, your doctor is merely a mechanic… whereas you are
the sculptor. And this is what wellness is all about, as opposed to sickness.
The less you rely on the doctor for your body, the closer you get to whatever you want. Remember, your body is turned on by natural surroundings, so take time to get close to them deliberately… water your plants, holiday in the hills, walk in the park… you owe it to you!”
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
(Broad smile). The word is RENEWALism. Like I mentioned, that is what I’m committed to. I would like to invite all our readers to grab a free copy of the book first, by visiting https://renewalism.com/gift and joining a whatsapp group. I have housed the pdf, epub, and mobi files in the group description so that access is non-intrusive. And I am using whatsapp because I want readers to know that we are directly connected, and that they are welcome to ask questions privately to me on their journey to renew themselves and the planet. I will be delighted to help them.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I think it will be Oprah Winfrey. She has done phenomenal work with compassion, empathy, and love, which is necessary for everyone to emulate. Everyone must believe that whatever she has gained is possible for anyone to gain, when those vibes drive their core. I’d love to meet Oprah. Thank you!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Thank you again for asking. I am at https://SandeepNath.com and this site is the doorway to all my work, my videos, blog, and social handles. Just connect!
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.