Ratna Teaches Inner Transformation Through Mindfulness
What’s your story?
I experienced multiple challenges growing up. I had low self-esteem, and then had a traumatic experience during a Public Speaking engagement that made me totally lose my confidence. When I migrated to Singapore my limited English caused me to feel wholly inadequate. Yet I felt guided to follow the inner empowering voices that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I found tranquillity, trust and courage through the practice of mindfulness. My inner transformation, through mindfulness, led me to be invited to co-author two books – “Mutton Soup for the Soul,” by District 80 Toastmasters, a compilation of 50 Inspirational stories of Toastmasters, and “Women Empowered: Personal Journeys to Become Empowered Women,” by Up Your Game Community.
Since 2017, I have been facilitating mindfulness sessions and training seminars to help people overcome their anxieties and discover their inner potential, allowing them to grow into better versions of themselves. I’m also currently working in a Private University to help the employers hire Millennial talent and to empower students to be Career Ready.
What excites you most about your industry?
Mindfulness has become a mainstream topic, especially in this Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Complex (VUCA) world we live in. The boom in research about mindfulness has become the driver of the current worldwide interest in mindfulness. What truly excites me about mindfulness is how this well-being practice can help many people in various aspects of their life, in building a stronger immune system, improving sleep quality, increasing cognitive function, memory and life quality. Mindfulness also reduces stress, improves productivity, job performance, and enhances the work life balance. For the past few years, I have been receiving invitations to train and facilitate mindfulness sessions for a wide range of audiences from corporate, University, Schools, Professional Organisations and Non-Profit Organisations. It shows there is a growing interest in the mindfulness space.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Jakarta and completed my education in Singapore. Though my parents still live in Jakarta, Singapore has been my home for 14 years, nearly half my life. I feel a great sense of gratitude toward the Singapore Government. I appreciate the amazing infrastructure, the healthcare, and sound education systems. Especially during this unprecedented COVID-19 period, there’s no place I would rather be than in Singapore.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Jakarta. There is so much untapped potential, resources, and opportunities to be discovered and developed in Jakarta. The people there are extremely passionate, have an entrepreneurial spirit, and are hungry to learn. Many of my friends have been expanding their training businesses to Indonesia and have received overwhelmingly positive responses.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins.
Each one of us has the power to shape our lives as long as we consciously CHOOSE TO BE whoever we want to be and bring to fruition whatever it is we want to create.
This quote was ingrained in my heart because of one encounter I had when I was facilitating my first presentation training session. Basically, I screwed up and received a complaint from one of the participants. I asked myself, “What would I like to create for the participants from this session?” My answer was that I want to create a great experience and outcome for all the participants. I choose to BE Courageous, to BE Fun and to BE of Service to people. Because of the choice to BE, it changed the way I facilitated the session, and great outcomes were created for individuals. This piece of advice has become my guiding principle in everything I do in my life.
Who inspires you?
The Mindfulness teachers from whom I learned, such as Jack Kornfield, Dan Siegel, Jon Kabat Zinn, Shauna Shapiro, Tara Brach, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Ajahn Brahm. Some of the qualities they embody that truly inspire me are: patience, humility, compassion, kindness, and love.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s the willingness to be present and respond with kindness and compassion, despite fear. There is growing uncertainty in these unprecedented times of COVID-19. With so many restrictions, measurements, and social distancing, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious and fearful. It takes courage to be with things as they are, and our willingness to be present and respond with kindness and compassion will lead us to rediscover trust in ourselves and within our environment.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t turn back time, I believe everything that happens in life, happens for a reason. Be it the right time, the right place or the right people, whatever happens in life serves as a lesson to be learned in order to grow and become a better version of ourselves.
How do you unwind?
Running, meditation, doing breathwork, listening to podcasts or audio books, journaling and being in nature.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. Beyond its natural beauty of stunning beaches, magical temples, lush greenery, iconic rice fields, and gorgeous waterfalls, Bali has an amazing culture, warm people, and delicious delicacies.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
Shameless plug for your business:
Learn how to better manage your stress, fear and anxiety amidst these challenging times. Come and experience how you can tap into your inner resources to make you feel confident anytime, anywhere.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.