Sweta Srivastava Vikram is an international speaker, best-selling author of 12 books, and Ayurveda and mindset coach who is committed to helping people thrive on their own terms. As a trusted source on health and wellness, most recently appearing on NBC and Radio Lifeforce, Sweta has dedicated her career to writing about and teaching a more holistic approach to creativity, productivity, health, and nutrition. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and other publications across nine countries on three continents. Sweta is a trained yogi, is on the board of Fly Female Founders, and holds a Master’s in Strategic Communications from Columbia University. And, in her spare time, she teaches yoga to survivors of trauma and violence. Voted as “One of the Most Influential Asians of Our Times” and winner of the “Voices of the Year” award (past recipients have been Chelsea Clinton), she lives in New York City with her husband and works with clients across the globe. Find her on: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
How did you realize that mindset and wellness coaching was your way to go?
I have been interested in wellness my entire life. But both my interest as well as understanding of wellness has evolved over the years. When I was younger, I associated wellness with physical fitness. But now, I think of wellness as a wholesome mind-body-spirit connection. I put as much emphasis on mental well-being as I do on physical health.
I have often been asked about my positive mindset—how do I keep going against all odds? I have been born with the gift of positivity. It doesn’t mean my life is problem free; it just means that I am resilient and bounce back from the toughest of situations. I have always believed that the only thing we can control is our thoughts in any situation. It’s a daily practice—showing up to positivity and remaining focused.
Being a mindset and wellness coach…I didn’t plan for it; I sort of fell into it. People, as long as I can remember, have come to me for help and confided their secrets and problems in me. I am genuinely interested in what others have to say, in helping them, the beauty of the human brain, the power of wellness. You put all of the above together, and you got yourself a mindset and wellness coach.
How would you define the creative process? How many factors can influence our creativity?
The creative process is the journey from when the seed is sowed into our being to the culmination of the idea/project. It is the ability to create projects using your own ideas and imagination.
Sometimes, the creative process means connecting different ideas and bringing them together and producing a piece of writing or artwork or music or dance sequence etc. There is germination, incubation, elimination, evaluation, and implementation.
Our own thinking, the physical environment, the company we keep, the artist’s dedication to their craft, and what we feed ourselves (including food and thoughts) … all of it influences creativity. I will reiterate two things:
- What we eat impacts how we think
- Waiting for the muse to show up will not fuel your creativity.
You show up with discipline and dedication and creativity will reciprocate.
Many individuals claim lack of creativity or creativity block, at some point, in their life. What is it that generates this limit?
People are entitled to their opinions. But remember that we become our thoughts. If you continue to put it out into the universe that you lack creativity and remind yourself of the same, your mind will come to believe it. And you will, even if unknowingly, take actions to sabotage your creativity. First: stop with the negativity.
As far as creative blocks go, they are real. We all get stuck. It can negatively impact your confidence, sense of self and faith in your creativity. Trick is to overcome it. I have shared some simple tips about fighting creative blocks for Brevity Magazine. See if it helps you.
To me, creative blocks are about a roadblock in our subconscious mind. It could be something we aren’t ready to admit or address. Something we need to find fresher perspective about.
One of my meditation teachers says that creative blocks also stem from physical pain in the body. Pay attention to your wellness and see if there is a correlation between the days you aren’t feeling great and the days creative block kicks in.
I identify with this definition of creativity quite strongly: “Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.”
More and more people look for help to experience a life-change. Personal dissatisfaction is quickly increasing .
How can people discover their inner selves and their life’s purpose?
We live in an over-communicative world where life’s basic metrics are judged based on what others share on social media. Part of wanting change comes from dissatisfaction with status quo in comparison to others—rather what others share in public forums. But, sometimes, the wanting to change also comes from feeling tired of your own BS and desiring a better life (not materialistically) overall.
Having purpose is key to health, happiness, and contentment. Having purpose inspires you to wake up every morning. Having a purpose validates one’s existence and brings joy.
There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for self-growth. You can only guide people when they are ready. You can only help people find themselves when they approach you for help. Most importantly, everyone goes through their journey of self-discovery in their own ways.
“For you to be successful and happy in your life, there is one thing you need to work on:your mindset.”Sweta Vikram
How does your approach help people work on their mindset?
Mindset helps with radical acceptance.
Once you can accept yourself and your current situation, the struggle becomes less. Keeping a positive mindset is about practice. And it is also about accepting that it’s OK to not be ok. The acceptance is a key piece in shifting mindset.
We usually avoid boredom. How does boredom impact the ability to control our mind?
If you are truly content from within and happy with yourself, you won’t get bored. Our world today isn’t friends with stillness. There is a constant need to be busy and when that doesn’t happen, we get bored.
This need to constantly and mindlessly jump from one activity to another reflects an emptiness inside the person.
What are you planning for the near future?
I am working on my upcoming books, curating and teaching several Ayurveda and mindset workshops across the globe, speaking at wellness conferences, building a strong community of female entrepreneurs, and continuing to remain a student of life.