We had the good fortune of connecting with Sonali Kukreja and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sonali, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
Affirmations are powerful. They can change our life drastically. They are positive, specific statements that help us to make positive changes in our lives. But remember, we cannot depend only on thoughts or mere statements. We need to convert them into action in order to manifest our intentions. So, we must choose our words wisely. The art of the spoken word is important how we craft our future.
To help others what helped me in my own personal and professional growth, I created an Art Collection of Affirmations. Lead by Example. That is what I believe in. It is always easy to preach others, but this collection of Affirmations is what I have actually used on myself that helped me tremendously.
I have many affirmations that I use on a regular basis. And depending on the events in my life, I use some more than the others. But the one that remained consistent all throughout is “I CAN AND I WILL”. Parents of a six year old girl bought my original painting “I Can I Will” because they wanted to instill the concept in her at a very early age.
Affirmations will work if we believe in it. By saying it and repeating it, we are programing our subconscious mind into believing it and consequently help us in taking an action. I have a firm belief that we can rewire our brain and strengthen it and influence the universe with our words.
“I can and I will” means a lot to me in many ways. It all started after my first Art show in Austin back in 2013. I didn’t have the confidence then to put myself out there with my art. My hesitation, fear and doubts stemming from my Indian culture asked the question . . . “Will I be accepted?” But then, a moment came in, I got out of my comfort zone and I submitted my art. The show was a great hit and a much needed boost. That one move pushed me forward and since then there is no looking back. That was a big life changing event for me. “I can and I will” is what helped me in my next big life changing event when I walked out of my marriage and moved from Austin to Florida and had to start my life from scratch. I cannot even tell how many times a day I used to repeat that phrase to give myself strength and a reminder that I can do anything I set my mind on. I told myself that if I keep my body, mind and soul healthy, I will have the ability to make plans and take action. The tough situation did not take these from me, why do I fear then. If I keep my ambition, focus and confidence intact, I can rebuild from scratch. And that would keep my fears and doubts at bay. It has become my motto since then. And I have to say, with persistence and determination, I have come a long way in a short span of time.
If you keep the focus on the meaning and purpose in your life, it will be incredibly effective at lowering defenses and changing behavior. Neuroscientific researches have been done if any changes are seen in the brain when we self-affirm in positive ways. And the researches showed that “When threatened, self-affirmations can restore self-competence by allowing individuals to reflect on sources of self-worth such as core values (Cascio, et. al 2015)”.
Try to incorporate self-affirmations in your daily routine. It is a great tool for coping and dealing with everyday threats. Empower yourself. Why to look for someone else to boost you? Become your own booster. Find affirmations pertaining to your situation on the internet or books or take someone’s guidance or create your own and see the difference yourself. But be mindful that sometimes it takes time depending on how patient, consistent and devoted you are because it takes time to unlearn old habits and learn new. But it is very much possible to conquer your mind . . . by . . . I Can and I Will.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is my voice. It’s a true reflection of who I am. It is like writing a journal, the only difference is I am creating an artwork as well as writing about what I want to say. And as I am doing that, I am discovering more and more about myself along the way. I am proud of all my creations because they were created from the core of my heart and soul. It makes me feel proud that I add enormous value to people’s lives through my art. What sets me apart? I get a lot that, “My diversification keeps people guessing what’s coming next”. At some point we all face internal and external challenges of different kinds regardless of what career stage we are at. They either break us or make us. I prefer to learn and grow from them. My dedication, determination and focus keep me going and help me stay on track. I am good at moving on quickly so that helps big time as well. Being a psychologist and an artist, I have merged Art and Psychology together in my brand “ Serene Compositions”. The mission is to open up others’ minds by giving them psychological insights . . . bringing joy and serenity . . . spread positivity so that their space gets transformed into a Power Center. I am seen as a strong woman by others. When someone buys my artwork, they buy a little part of my character and strength that they can feel when they put it on the wall. To know more about me ,visit www.serenecompositions.com
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shout out is to the Universe. In my ongoing progressive journey, I am grateful to all the people who were sent my way. Some have already left after fulfilling their purpose and some are still here. Universe sends help through friends, books, movies, people (employers, coworkers, acquaintances, clients etc.,) and other earthly ways across our path. And I am grateful to everyone and everything for every lesson. And last but not the least, my family. My parents, brother, sister in law, children and each person further connected to them . . . they have been always there for me. I am so blessed to have them in my life. I cannot thank enough for their unconditional love, support, and appreciation.