by Riddhima Kowley, FOUNDER
NIRSARA is an idea coined from two words that belong to ancient Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. NIRVANA, which refers to the evolution of our inner world, and SAMSARA which refers to our outer world.
NIRSARA's mission is to bring balance between our inner and outer world through conversation with horses. Learning takes place at this very intersection. But today, most Learning and Development is focused on engaging mostly our brains. Horses, on the other hand engage our entire inner self in the learning process. They are so large, that we find ourselves becoming 100% present with our entire body and whole self. Four faculties of our inner selves become more aligned in the process - Mind, Body, Emotions and Belief/Value System. Once you learn a behaviour with your whole self, you cannot unlearn it - it just STICKS! :-)
I have been an HR professional for over 13 years , and I have noticed that across various cultures and groups, our outer conflicts are often linked to inner conflicts we may have between two or more of these faculties. A common is 'the heart vs. the mind'. I had such a conflict myself quite recently. And I learned that bringing harmony within ourselves enables us to be happier and better humans, leaders and colleagues. Seeking harmony between inner and outer worlds became an important piece of life's work for me recently.
I have had an exciting and rich corporate human resources career. I specialised as a Leadership and Organisation Development Coach and Consultant. I partnered with some fabulous business leaders and their teams to drive challenging transformations. I have had the privilege of having the most amazing mentors, teachers and guides - and feel blessed that this continues. I have lived in the Netherlands, France, Egypt, various Indian cities and London. I feel truly thankful to have accessed so much abundant learning.
In 2017 however something big shifted for me. I felt strongly about bringing a positive change in the increasingly fast-paced digital future of corporate cultures - Leadership and Teams being the biggest agents. I felt the need to take Leadership and Team development beyond the cognitive, analytical and classroom approaches to engage the entire human system in the learning and development process. I discovered through my personal journey that every horse carries the wisdom of their herds. This wisdom can be summed up by agility, operating as one when many, goal orientation as a collective, vulnerability based leadership, egolessness and social bonds. As I discovered what horses are able to teach us, I realised that these attributes sit at the very core of human nature. These are attributes that cannot be replicated by machines. These are attributes that will differentiate us from machines, and will become foundations for a happy and human future of work. And a key differentiator of human nature in the smart machine age.
That is when it became clear to me that as an HR professional, passionate about shaping a sustainable future of work, I wanted to help build leadership competencies that would help humans thrive in the smart machine age. And what better partners than a 60 million year old species who are masters at those very competencies that we are trying to master?