Spotlight on Shivanii Ray / by Haley Smith

Meet Shivanii Ray - International Keynote Speaker, Coach, Singer Songwriter helping people connect with authentic happiness by cultivating emotional resilience.

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What inspired you to get into your line of work?

For years I had been known as the girl was "always happy". I would always be the person in the room that everyone could count on to be energetic, happy, positive 24/7 and for the most part, I was but I found myself at times putting on a mask, and hiding the fact that internally... I was dealing with emotions like fear, sadness sometimes even anger... 

I brushed my emotions under the carpet, I knew what I was doing wasn't healthy. There was only one person at the time who would call me out on it, and to this day I am eternally grateful. It changed my life and brought light to a pressing issue in today's society, which I realised much later. 

I was working within a company for almost 3 years, this company and people became almost a home away from home. The people became family and very close friends - I thought I was going to be with them for the long run. Then everything came crashing down on me when the head of the company questioned my value - someone I respected suddenly I lost my respect for. I felt hurt and every bit of self-belief in the value I had in myself had been stripped away in one sentence. 

That was the point I decided to leave, knowing that I needed to take my value elsewhere, but internally it felt like I died inside, and I heard myself thinking "I'm not good enough.", "What value do I have to offer?"..etc... 

Staring at the mirror when I came back home I knew that this instance was NOT completely about the person who questioned my value… the way I was feeling was because of how I chose to process the information…

And despite all my experience, at that moment, my humanness, my emotions took over.

It was then I dove into studying Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Resilience and False Positivity - I realised that I had a story to be shared and I had a new mission - to change the way people view their emotions. 

By being exposed to the realm of EI I soon understood that there is no such thing as 'Good' or 'Bad emotions, Emotions are simply Emotions. They tell you how you feel about external circumstances, that's it. 

Everyone has emotions. 

Whether you are Opera, Mark Zuckerberg, Mahatma Gandhi or even the janitor at the local college. 

We all have to deal with it. You could be the most successful person in your field of work but if you don’t value the importance of your emotions you could end up losing your happiness. 

I became aware that the same issues I faced were a worldwide problem, especially in today's world where we tend to actively promote being positive 24/7 and don't promote expressing your emotions in a more healthy way. 

Now I'm actively sharing my story, coaching and creating more content to share this simple message. Because I believe that when we as human beings gain awareness to our emotions we can live a more fulfilled happy life.

If you could go back in time and give your younger self advice, what would it be?

I've asked myself the question, "If I could get in a time machine, like the Tardis from Doctor Who (shout out to the other Geeks of the world) what would I tell my younger self?" 

And over and over again it has been the same answer, I would tell her - Stay true to yourself, there are going to many people that guide you and sway you, but only you know what you want. Never give up who you are or what you want to please others, because you'll wake up one morning living a reality someone else painted for you. 

Be Authentic, Its okay to struggle, but always know you have the power to choose your path. 

I would give her hug, and tell her that it's not going to be easy, but growth comes from the struggle...and lastly that value, self-worth and confidence comes from within, always remember that.

What was your most life-changing experience?

There have definitely been more than one! But nothing compared to walking through the Slums of India. While we were traveling the world from 2010 for 5 years we got see and experience incredible things like the different cultures of Asia, people, food.. we got to see incredible iconic monuments like the Taj Mahal, ancient temples and so much more. But the first time I walked through a slum and saw these people who have close to nothing, my heart was forever changed. 

We take so much for granted when we live in places like the United States and the United Kingdom, we complain that we didn't get the right coffee this morning or that our gym is 20 minutes away from our home etc.. all things in perspective seem silly when you're walking on a mud path as you see a mother bathing her child in a bucket or someone cooking rice in a pot above a burning fire. 

Even more than just that, what completely changed my life is how happy these people are. I assure you, you will see more smiles and hear more laughter in the middle of the Slums of India than you will ever hear while walking through an American mall. 

It makes you question happiness. After seeing that I truly believe happiness is a choice, a mindset, and that in whatever situation you can choose to be happy.

Go-To Strutting Down the Street, Confidence Boost Power Song: I'm Good by The Mowgli's

Words you live by: Emotions are what make us human. Make us real. The word ‘emotion' stands for energy in motion. Be truthful about your emotions, and use your mind and emotions in your favor, not against yourself" - Robert Kiyosaki

Fave Film: I Definitely don't have just one! I'm practically a Movie Fanatic, but I'd say The Greatest Showman is very high on my list. Great Message, Good music, and great actors!