28 Sep Giving Back with Dhanya Nambiar
Dhanya Nambiar is a spiritual consultant, transformational coach, actress and movement artist with a deep conviction to help people. When asked to describe some of her signature traits, Dhanya says that she is “funny, silly, deep, curious, fiery, sensitive, animated and geeky”.
Dhanya shares that “it was almost ‘accidental’ that [she] is where [she] is today.” She experienced a colourful past of abuse, drug and food addictions, and mental disorders. After what she describes as her “Spiritual Awakening” in 2008, Dhanya embarked on a journey of healing and self-discovery. Travelling the world, Dhanya studied with shamans and master teachers, learning as much as she could about healing the mind and body. Dhanya’s past and emphatic gifts allows her to easily relate to other peoples’ struggles around identity, empowerment and connection. It was a long chat session with a close friend that inspired Dhanya to become a life coach. That catch up left Dhanya RM200 richer, while also earning her a big bag of goji berries. “She told me that I gave her better advice than the therapist that she hires so I deserved to get paid for my time.” This ‘job’ came knocking on her door and she answered, not looking back since!
Due to the nature of her work and personality, Dhanya is very inclined to participate in projects that help build people up. One of her latest works involves Givigami – the brainchild of 14-year-old Anamika Pereira Pai from Singapore. Givigami comes from a combination of two words: giving and origami. It is a social initiative that works in collaboration with Mayabazaar to design a unique form of handmade jewellery created using recycled paper by Mumbai’s street women as taught by Anamika. All proceeds from sales go to Pehchan, an NGO that supports these vulnerable women. Check out some of their unique pieces as worn by Dhanya.
Here is Dhanya being candid about her life and her brand new collaboration with Givigami. Check out the interview below:
How has becoming a transformational coach impacted your life?
In every way possible. Initially, I healed for my own survival, but it has morphed from survival to growth, to love and contribution. Doing this work keeps me in check. It requires a combination of honest self-reflection and courageous, compassionate action. I have worked with people who suffer from bipolar and even suicidal tendencies so I am very aware of the responsibility that comes with this job. I have to consider the weight of my words, my actions and constantly work to sharpen my ability to really listen and communicate effectively. To have enough humility to say the words “I don’t know”, “Thank you” and I’m sorry”. If I want to tell my clients something is possible, I have to walk down that path first- walk the talk basically. It has given me an open invitation to be a better, more compassionate version of myself. Everyday.
How has coaching evolved for you over the years? Do you coach only one on one?
Mostly. But I have just recently begun workshops that have been quite powerful so I’ll be doing more of those. And a fairly new development that I am enjoying immensely is my, ‘Client Retainer Projects’. This means that a ‘client’ will hire me to work with them (or their organization) in an intense, nonconventional way for a specified short block period to facilitate quick transformation. As I write this, I am actually with a private retainer client in Malta for 3 weeks. #ilovemyjob :)
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Anything that makes me feel like a kid! I LOVE jumping on my trampoline: I do this almost every day. Dancing. Hiking and exploring difficult trails. Making conscious superfoods, beautifully decorating them and eating all that yummaliciousness in slow mo lol. This is more like meditation for me. Love all things self-development. Learning! Massages are essential! Connecting with girlfriends in intimate settings, sharing food and stories. Oh! And my new favorite exercise technology right now is from the Impulse Studio in Changkat. It’s called the EMS Training. Its only 20 mins on the machine and I’m sore for 3 days after. Lol. Amazing stuff.
Tell us more about your acting career.
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a fantastic article on the difference between a hobby, job, career, and vocation. It’s a must read. For me, acting is more of a hobby/job. Not really a career. I have fun with it and if something good comes up, I’m all in. Rojak, (a Singaporean comedy series that I played a lead role in) just aired the last episode a couple of weeks back. Loved everything from the role, the cast, the crew, the production team and the final product. It was such a treat to be a part of that project. If you missed it, fear not, you can catch up on episodes at toggle.sg/rojakch5. My favorite episode is Episode 6! We’ve got guest appearances from Vernetta Lopez, Benjamin Heng, Darius Tan and stand up comedy heavyweights like Harith Iskander & Kumar.
What made you decide to help out with the cause of Givigami?
It was a no-brainer. Fashion with Compassion. It’s inspiring that at such a young age, the 14-year-old creator of Givigami wants to birth a Conscious Movement that can aid and empower these street women so that they have a chance of getting off the streets and a shot at a better life. And she’s doing it in style. I feel very blessed to be a part of this grassroots project.
Where do you see this project going in the next few years?
The jewellery line itself is stunning and to back that up, its foundation is built on such a worthy cause, so I think the brand has got great potential for expansion. But baby steps first, let’s work on Phase 1 being a hit 😉
If you could share a message to the public to encourage their support for the cause, what would it be?
I understand that for a lot of people, volunteering and doing social work takes a lot of time from an already busy schedule. Which is why something like this is the perfect opportunity to give back. You get to contribute to the larger picture without making too many sacrifices. If your gonna buy fashion, why not buy from one that gives back. You get to look AND feel good!