1. How would you describe yourself in 10 words?
Sonali Vasudev Rao is that mentor, elder sister, friend and guide you have always been looking for. She’s the go-to person when life gets tough and you need someone to show you the light at the end of that tunnel.
2. Any childhood memories you would like to share with us?
Raised in a household with three children (my two siblings), I was a little over two years old when my family shifted to Solapur. My father was usually out for work and my childhood memories are all about the time I spent with my mother and siblings. Like any regular Indian family, there was a lot of love, pampering and care from grandparents, uncles and aunts, to complement the warmth of our parents’ love.
With our grandparents and uncles and aunts always around us, we never had to worry about anything, despite our father’s hectic work schedules. Like any small town, our neighbours and relatives were always like an extended family, with no formalities or hesitation. That laid a beautiful foundation for our identity.
From there, we moved to Mumbai when I was at the brink of my teens and I would call that phase as the most beautiful time of my life. That was the beginning of adulthood in my life and bestowed me with lifelong friends and memories that I will never forget.
3. What is something you want to say about your family?
When it comes to my family, I couldn’t have asked for more supportive parents and brother. Even our extended families from both my mother’s and father’s side have always been there for me. My elder sister passed away when we were still very young. There is still a hollow in that place in my heart, but my parents and brother showered so much love on me that that hollow transformed into a beautiful memory.
My family has always supported all my life’s decisions and have made me come this far in life. My children have always been my strength and support too. Both my husband and my kids have held my back and let me capture my skies. Yes, there have and will always be the duties and responsibilities that I need to fulfil, but I am blessed to always have my support system by my side.
4. Tell us something about your Personal life & Relationships?
Despite following a profession where I interact with thousands of people, I am quite an introvert when it comes to my personal space. An artist by passion and profession, I did my formal education in photography from JJ Institute of Applied Arts in Mumbai and was always supported by my family. I got married soon after. Blessed with the gift of a happy marriage, my husband is an engineer by profession.
Despite a big age gap, he has always understood and guided me well through all the phases of my life. Married into a typical South Indian family, I spent the first 20 years of my married life just filling in the shoes of a responsible daughter-in-law, wife, sister-in-law and mother, but without any regrets.
And now when we have reached an age and stage when everyone and everything is well settled, I could take the time out to explore my opportunities and start a journey on my passions. With everything having happened in its due course of time, I am glad that I could play all the roles that life offered to be the best to my capabilities.
5. What is your entrepreneurial journey? Give us a brief about your education, awards & recognitions you were honoured with?
This subject takes me back to 2010, when I was amidst a lot of personal chaos, with several issues haunting me – health, personal life, wealth and several more. There were times I felt completely helpless and had no idea what to do. I felt stranded in the quicksand of life and situations and desperately sought help. That’s when God made me meet my Guru – Manisha Belwalkar and that’s what put life back on track and gave me a new perspective towards things.
Her house became like my second home. Her suggestions and advice put me and my life back in order and made me see that silver lining that I was waiting for. I told her that I would like to learn and become a Tarot card reader. To which she suggested that I work on myself and my personal life first and once I have full control of the situation I am in, only then do I start learning.
She saw my cards and since my birthday and her son’s birthday fall on the same date, she has held me close not just as a Guru and a friend, but also as a mother. Before she taught me the first-ever lesson in tarot card reading, she asked me why I wanted to do this? To this, my response to her was that I wanted to take charge of my life and become an independent person. I have played many roles in my life and would like to play the role of ME now.
Soon after, I set sail on what defined as the beginning of this new phase of my life and learnt Tarot card reading. But the learning didn’t stop there and proved to be only the first milestone on my journey of self-development and service to mankind. One after the other, I now practice crystal healing, Angel healing, Reiki, Fang Shui, Vastu, Goddesses and Vocations, Badflower, Nakshatra and even basic astrology.
For me, every day brings along a new lesson. Every new course I undertake, every new client I meet, I learn something new with each experience. When I can help someone with their issues, I consider it as a personal victory too. It might sound funny, but I tell my clients to come to me with a new problem every time, so we can learn and grow together.
It has been an amazing journey for me. I have undergone a lot of health issues on the way but have come out of them stronger and better with the love, prayers and blessings of my near and dear ones. I wish that whosoever comes into my life can live a fulfilled life, full of happiness, health and joy. I believe that’s the ultimate purpose of every soul alive.
I am filled with gratitude to share that I have also received 3 awards for my work – BNI for Most loved person in the chapter (Phoenix) and Rahi Kadam inspiration award
6. Tell us how life has treated you?
Life has treated me wonderfully. God has been kind to me. What I have learnt so far is whatever you give to people, life returns it to you in abundance. What you give is what you get, as they say. Therefore, I choose to give a lot of happiness, positivity and joy to the world and with God’s grace, it comes back to me in multifold.
Life has been a great teacher for me too. Every time I have disregarded it, it has shown me the consequences and the same goes to the times when I have embraced it completely.
7. What are your plans or any wish you want to complete?
In the spiritual world, we don’t get much into plans. We believe that life is today and this moment is all we have! And that’s why it’s called ‘Present’!
I do have goals and I wish to make them come true. I have always wanted to help everyone who has come into my life, achieve what they seek. I believe that there’s a reason why the universe got us connected and I want that reason to be fulfilled to the best of my capabilities. I wish to make their lives wholesome, fulfilled, happy and healthy. It has been and continues to be my plan and wish.
And my ultimate wish is that signature becomes my autograph!
8. What is your favourite vacation and movies?
Best vacation – place doesn’t make a difference to me, but people I am with. So, every vacation that I have taken with my friends and family has been memorable for me. I believe in the positive energy that we will create when we are together, everything else is just momentary.
The same goes for movies. I have seen some of the worst movies but I still enjoyed the experience because it was with the people I love.
9. Sonali Vasudev Rao any advice or a message you would say to all youth of your country?
They are the future. So, my message would be to learn, see and experience as much as they can. This generation has been blessed and cursed with the Internet and that brings along the boon and bane of over-exposure to everything on the worldwide web. The fact that the youth today has a wide array of options to choose from can lead to a dilemma in their minds.
They also have to face severe competition, self-worth issues, societal pressure and with that overload of information, they tend to mature earlier in their lives. I believe that today’s youth is much more sensible than us because they exactly know what they don’t want in their lives. They have a lot of time to discover what they want, but I am glad that they have the sensibility to omit the unnecessary bits at such a young age.
I would like to learn with them and from their perspectives on life. I’d like to leave a message for their parents – let them live their lives the way they want. Let them experience and discover life on their own. We never got the chance and saw the world from our parents’ eyes. But let us let them take the reins in their hands. Don’t judge them or be overprotective of them.
10. What is your motto of life? Describe as a woman what do you feel, how easy it is to face life? Name some of your friends who helped you throughout.
As a spiritual and wholesome person, my only motto in life is – Live and let live. One should live their lives fully. Don’t overthink. And don’t forget to keep a smile on your face.
I understand that my journey has not been as competitive as the corporate world out there and that my journey has been relatively easy, but I would also like to believe that the reason for that was also the fact that I have been very easy with my life. If you become complicated with your life, that’s what you get back!
I believe and advocate that the journey starts within one’s self. If you are very calm, confident and content within, that’s what you’ll get from the universe too. I have a long list of friends who have helped and supported me on this journey unconditionally. To name a few- Mukta and Jui, my college friends have been my pillars of support since then and continue to be.
My sister Gayatri, my neighbour and best friend Reshma has been with me through thick and thin and has picked me when the going got tough. My parents, my brother Anand, my husband, my children, my other friends Shubhangi, Meera, Rupali, I am blessed to have so many people by my side. My list of well-wishers is long and I would consider it as my life’s earning and God’s greatest blessing.
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