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Blossom Your Awesome Podcast Episode #79 Life Orchestration With Varun Gandhi

by Sue Dhillon
November 30th 2022

Blossom Your Awesome Podcast Episode #79 Life Orchestration With Varun Gandhi

Varun Gandhi is a Story Teller, Life Orchestrator,  Soulpreneur, Speaker, and the host of the ... More

blossom, your awesome podcast episode number 79 Today on the show, VARun Gandhi is here with us. Varun is a life orchestrator, Soul preneurs and community organizer. He is also the host of what's you your story. I am so honored and delighted to have Faroon here with us, sharing his story and sharing about the enormous impact his community organizing is having Faroon. Thank you so much. Welcome to the show. Thank you so much. So, thank you for having me here on the blossom, awesome podcast. Love and abundance, everyone. Uh I love it. So, let's get into it. Baron, let's start with a little bit of your background, You have all of these titles, your life orchestrator, uh, Soul Preneurs, I love that. Angel investor, inventor, philanthropist. You help out with a soup kitchen, you're doing community organization and a water doctor.

I cannot wait to get into this with you. Start wherever you want a little bit of the background. Alright, so I'm gonna start with the water dr um that meeting has transformed over time as well. So, initially the first version of it is I have a PhD in water engineering and this is essentially uh my whole thesis was on how I can uh was, was investigating the work that that happens right before the water comes into our house is right, so when you open the tap water, the water that comes out, I was directly involved in researching on one aspect of that. And so that was my water doctor. My start of the water doctor. And now what it's transformed to is this message that uh there are, there's at least like 50% of our common diseases that are around us that will it will drop away. It'll cure if you just drink enough water.

Like I read this book called our body's many cries for water and essentially it taught about how dehydration is one of the causes that it's often not diagnosed because people don't know about it that you know, lack of water causes like for example a migraine, right? We tend to pop a a pill for migraine instead drink chug a glass of water. You have this intense migraine because of dehydration. Right? In most cases, I would say most cases the migraine is because of some kind of excessive dehydration, right? It probably started off as a headache and then it gradually grew onto each other, you know every day it grew onto it and then it became a migraine. Um so that drinking water continuously just hydrating yourself. And you know then the next question is, okay, how much water should I drink? And the answer to that is I think everybody is different, right? Your body may need less water. My body may need more water. Now I also look at, you know zodiac and I look at your sign like you're you know when are you born?

So I'm a Sagittarius, which is a lot of fire in in my, you know there's a lot of heat in my body that generates, you know I have to have the, my surroundings kind of like cool. I have to always cool it down. Uh and so because of that, I need more water. So I'm constantly drinking water, always hydrating, always having a bottle with me. But some people like my my wife, she is more of an earth energy, more grounded. She, she retains more water in her body so she doesn't need as much water as I do. But every time she tells me how babe, I have a headache, I'm like babe drink your water, you know, so that's always my advice. Like, you know, and it goes away, you know, frankly it goes away, you know, without taking any pill. Uh so that's my, that's the transformation of the water doctor title. Now. It's essentially a message that hey, drink more water and a lot of your common, you know, ailments, pains, aches, migraines, um even like ulcers will go away by drinking enough water. And uh yeah, so that's, that's the main message out there and you know to that.

I just wanna, let's let's raise it, you know, all of our glasses, Whoever has water around you right now, just pick it up and let's all cheers right now and take the sip uh sending blessings to everyone everywhere, love and abundance. I love that. Take a big, big gulp of water as big of a gulp as you need um I can guarantee you, your body needs it, you know what's interesting varun as you started kind of talking about water. My throat started getting really dry and I was like, oh my God, am I gonna start coughing right now? But anyway, I feel that's like an energetic thing. So I kind of felt that, so that's why I said, you know what, let's do the ritual right now instead of doing it much later because I was actually going to end this whole thing with it, but I was like, you know what, let's just do it now. Well, it sounds like we may have to have some more water because we all need it right throughout this. But um so tell me now, you know, going deeper with this. So I love that you kind of incorporate astrology into this. Um So do you have a background in that as well?

Have you trained in that uh you know, I haven't officially trained in anything but I love to explore it myself and you know, try look at, look at it for myself and look at these messages and kind of get messages from the universe based on, you know, like a conversation that someone is having with me and I always feel like there's something in there for me to kind of uncover discover for myself, some new knowledge that I may not have uncovered before. Uh you know? And so in that way like it's it's a way of, okay, what's next for me, right? And I get the message from the universe in that sense. So that's kind of how I utilize uh you know, all of the sounds around us, all of the events that are going on around. There's there's things that you like, you know, something that catches out to you, maybe you're listening to a song and there's a little rhyme or little lyric in the song that really caught out to you. So it's like catching that and okay, that's a message for me and I need to maybe work on it or something. Uh but my background is so I have an interesting, you know, coming to this entrepreneur aspect, right?

How do I become a solo preneurs are and uh because my career is an engineering, I have a PhD in engineering, you know, that means I went through 9.5 years of college all the way from bachelors till getting my last degree, which is the, you know, the doctorate. So there was a man in between three degrees, it took me 9.5 years, All of that studying, I'm fresh, like 26 27 year old out of college and I get this job, amazing job. I moved out to Boise Idaho in nature. It's, it's very beautiful out there. Uh and that's like in the pacific northwest area, you know, of America and this uh move out there kind of represented this kind of, going into the darkness, going into the cave because that was I was moving to Boise not knowing anyone, right? So it was like a blank slate for me. Uh and six months ago I had gone through this really harsh breakup uh and uh you know, so while I was going through a breakup, I was also finished Finishing up my dissertation, writing up, making sure that I'm in a decent enough state to be able to defend my thesis and five years of my work.

So I had to like put a presentation together and put this 200 book, 200 page book together. You know, all while I was dealing with this emotional turmoil inside of me, this mental stress and uh you know, I would even, you know, at some point I was probably even depressed, I went down, you know, in that path when I was in Boise Idaho, I'll get to that. So this move kind of represented this moment for me where okay, I'm going to leave everything behind in my old place and move to this new location where I could essentially, you know, dive deeper into myself, right? Because up until this 0.27 years of my life, I was in that indian mentality, okay, I'm just gonna go from the next achievement to the next thing to the next thing like after high school I'm going to go to college after college, I'm going to get that advanced degree that PhD I didn't all this while I didn't slow down in my life to really introspect and look what's going on inside of me was constantly just on that cycle and all. I got all the way up until this breakup and then finally going on to Boise Idaho, working out there for a couple of years and you know, those were some of the greatest times of my life, but with a lot of memories, but also it was really painful, a lot of suffering going on throughout those times as well, because, you know, when I got there instead of meditating or instead of slowing down my life for journaling or doing any of these self care practices, I was this was 2014, uh I'm talking 2012 2012 is when I was talking about, right?

So uh and I wasn't into spirituality at all at this point, I was always on the mental level, just thought thought, you know, just thinking constantly uh and so finally get out there and instead of diving deeper, I party it up, I do everything I can to distract myself from that from the pain from, you know, the root cause of all of this suffering that's going on in my life. So, I was running away from it, distracting myself. There were some good distractions to I was going out in nature exploring mountains and, you know, that was the first time I went camping and then I loved it after that sow exploring in good ways, but also a lot of negative ways that were, in a sense, poisoning my body as well, because with all of that alcohol came, you know, bad food came late night eating came, you know, all these different, other negative habits that I was inflamed, I was £2030 heavier, uh and you know, I could really feel it in my fingers, like it was fat, like it was uh you know, there's something extra there that that doesn't that's not there anymore.

Uh and because I had to go through this whole cleansing phase of my life as well, and so this was a phase where in Idaho, I did like a year and a half of this, just running away from all this pain running away from the suffering finally came to a point where, you know, I couldn't take it anymore. I was, I remember like waking up with these pains in my solar plexus, my stomach region uh initially it started very kind of minor in the background, but then a couple of months into it, it was really strong and I couldn't ignore it anymore. So, when I uh unconsciously kind of, this was very unconscious phase of my life. So unconsciously I kind of sat down with this pain to try to understand like what messages was giving me what kind of uh you know, let me ask you some questions that's kind of how I started enquiring about this pain and what it told me is that it basically had one question for me and that question was why are you going to this job? You know, working 9 to 59 to seven, working on the weekends, doing all this overtime where you're not happy, you're not, you know, all of your expenses are paid for, all of your bills are paid for your living a very comfortable lifestyle, but you're still not happy and why?

You know, why are you going to this job then? What's what's the purpose behind it? Like what's that greater thing behind it? And I couldn't really come up with an answer to that, you know, I didn't really see something in, in that job. I didn't really, even though I was helping protecting the public health infrastructure, you know, and making sure that the water that comes into your house is protected is suitable for drinking, you know, so it was important public health work, but I still didn't feel like my contribution to it was anything, you know, and when I realized that I thought, you know what, I think this is time to move on, it's I'm not interested in this career. Like my parents first advice now, you know, once I make, once I realized that I had to tell my parents and there's a lot of resistance there, you know, being from an indian household there, like you did 9.5 years of college and now you're suddenly going to leave everything behind, why not find another job? Find, you know, go to a different company and that's when it hit me that, you know, a lot of my friends have been doing this every two years, they'll go to another company because they weren't satisfied, I mean the first year was great, and then the second year they got tired and whatever.

Now they want to move on to the next job and they keep jumping jobs because every two years they need something fresh, they're not happy internally. Uh and you know, there's something else greater out there for them and that's what I realized that instead of jumping jobs and okay, the two years here, two years to the next job and it's just going to keep happening. I'm not going to be happy, I already know that. Uh and that realization, I said, you know what, it's time to just move on from this career. Let me find something that I'm truly, really, I truly care about, truly passionate about uh you know, up until this point, I never really explored anything outside of studying and education and you know, getting this achievement. And so this, this was time, like I was literally, once I left that job, I remember giving in my notice, you know, usually give like a two week notice, but I was so excited to leave this job, I said, you know what, I'm going to give a five week notice, and so I gave my notice early and I said, you know what, this thanksgiving, remember november end of november, I'm gonna, you know this is this is it that weekend I'm driving back home, so I packed up everything, moved back to Atlanta and you know, left that whole career behind, never looked back and uh you know, I uh since then I've been exploring, looking at different avenues, different uh you know, ideas, just working on things that really uh called out to me at that point in time, but this was sort of like an exploration for me, I was just looking at, you know, trying to see, okay, let me test it out, like, do I actually like this or not, so I would do something about it, okay, this is not something I want to do long term, and then finally what I got to is I wanted to involve my meditation practice with my entrepreneurship and that's where I gave this entrepreneurship of uh you know, having these spiritual products, having these uh products that help you with your physical aspect, with your mental aspect, with your emotional aspect and with the spiritual aspect, right?

So products and services, so it's kind of that's where I'm at right now in my life where uh you know, I have a whole bunch of like the affirmation over here, That's one of the posters that I have in my store? There's some products up here as well, this is a miracle tea um that we have in our store, that helps you cleanse your body. And so these are different offerings that I have and created through, because it's also helped me in my life. Uh you know, one of the challenges for this year, 2022, for myself, has been, I wanna stretch myself and in essence uh you know, like express myself more. One of the challenges I've had so thus far has been my, my vocal chakra and expressing myself. And so 2022 I said, you know what, I'm going to put myself out there, and so I've been on many different podcasts, you know, like yours have been part of amazing conversations like this one and uh you know, and I've learned so much from each of these interviews, uh and the reason that I've been able to do all of this is because I have these two posters right in front of me, one that says express yourself, and the other one that says, bu and that's just reminders of me every day that, you know, it's it's another opportunity to express myself.

Uh and uh yeah, so all these products that helped me personally in my life, you know, upgrade my life, and that's where I'm at, that's how this entrepreneur came about, wow, I love that. So now tell me, you know, um this idea of kind of entering this dark space. So you weren't always spiritual, but what kind of lead you in that direction? Right, saying, okay, well let me explore some of these other things to go deeper and do this kind of inner soul work and I love reading, yeah, I love reading, that's a great question. And what happened was I picked up this book, I was ordering a bunch of books I remember and you can see some of the book collection behind me. Uh so I was ordering a whole bunch of books and I landed upon this book by Deepak chopra called the Book of Secrets and you know, I was also reading Dalai Lama and all these other different kinds of books, but that book really stuck out to me because I didn't understand 95% of it, it was really high level, it was, you know, I mean I was just entering spirituality and this was like, hey, let me take you to, you know, the Master's degree directly right?

And so I was like, I didn't understand any of it, but the thing that stuck with me was meditation, you know, he talked about it, he mentioned it multiple times, so I kind of picked that up from that book and I then I googled it, it's like what is meditation? I started reading about it, reading all these blog posts. Uh and finally, you know, I said, you know what, this was coincides with the move to uh you know, leaving everything behind in Boise the whole career behind at that time when I moved back to Atlanta and I moved into this two bedroom apartment with my body. We I I had this meditation practice and that's when I started creating this meditation ritual. Like every morning I would wake up take a journal, I started journaling my uh kind of experience during meditation before after and uh enduring meditation. And uh I would start out with this meditation. I would just say I want to do five minutes of it right? Initially I started out like I'm going to attend 15, 20 minutes and I would barely get to a minute, two minutes. And like this is, you know, in essence, it was like disheartening for me that I'm, you know, not achieving my goal, right?

So I said, you know what? Let me set a small goal, let me just do five minutes. Because at this point in my life I was in this very turbulent phase. It was like at the very top of the ocean. You know how the water is very choppy, very turbulent. Uh and that's that's where I was. My mind was very choppy, very turbulent. It didn't have any clarity. Always confused. There's a lot going on. It's always just chatter going on. And what meditation did for me is it helped me dive deeper into the ocean and get deeper into the still waters, right? So I can uh it took me a while initially was you know, during my meditation I would sit down and just observe myself, observe my thoughts And during in my journaling I would write down the journey lasted about a month or so to develop the habit. But in my journaling I would write down what thoughts I had during my meditation. What kind of, you know, did someone come to mind? Was I thinking about a particular person? I would just write that person's name down, kind of jot down what what happened during that, you know, five minutes or whatever time I lasted for my meditation.

You know, initially I remember this question would always come up so I would sit down for meditation, close my eyes and it would, you know, sometime would have elapsed and my mind would be like, has it been five minutes yet? Right. So I have that question and then I look at the clock and it's only been 25 seconds. And you know, and so I would always have that question in mind. So what I started doing is I put a five minute timer on my phone and I set my phone aside so that it's far far away from me. I'm not distracted by it, but it's still near near me that I could hear the alarm. And so that in that way, you know, I don't have that question anymore. Now my phone is going to tell me five minutes are up and I have to stop meditating. Uh and so that way I kind of gave myself, I created like a little tool for myself that that worked for me and then I continued using it and I realized okay, initially it was very hard for me to come back every day because you know the uh disheartening when the first month, you know, you set a five minute goal but you can only do one minute, two minutes, you know, you can't even barely get to half that time.

And so, but I had to kind of make sure that I come back to it if I miss a day that's okay, don't miss another day, right, come back to the second day, but keep coming back to it and eventually I started seeing benefits from it too, you know, a month, three months for I started kind of slowing down, I started noticing that I was getting more calmer in my experience of life. And so uh this was because I was in a drastic phase, I was, there was a lot of suffering, there was a lot of anger inside of me, a lot of blame complaining. So all of that was going on inside of my mind. So when I started meditating, I could notice these changes because I was in such a bad state. Uh you know, I would even say at that point I was probably even depressed, you know, I wasn't clinically diagnosed, I could feel it, you know, I was in that state of uh everything was, you know, I didn't just didn't nothing mattered to me anymore. Uh and just a lot of desperation and stuck in my mind constantly uh to myself isolated, you know, I wouldn't go out that much.

Uh and and so I remember all of those times, and finally at uh the one the one great thing that came out of it was reading books, so, you know, dive deeper into books that some fiction, but a lot of nonfiction as well, learning more. So that kind of took me out of this uh brought me into, you know, my practice of entrepreneurship and diving deeper into myself and, you know, constantly respecting like what's going on inside of me and through this year, I've also gotten to a point where because during these interviews, you know, initially I realized when I'm expressing myself, I would have a lot of fear inside of me, you know, like how am I being perceived? And there's a lot of uncertainty in my words, I'd stutter a lot and I would start sweating and getting nervous and nervous energy and all of that, right? So what I what I would have to do is get aware in this moment, right? Like right now when I'm doing this interview, while I'm talking, I would get hyper aware of my body and what status and and I would comment down, I remember like breathing through it and you know, kind of having this self talk in the background, like, okay, everything's alright, you know, looking at proof that everything is going great, you know, like sharing these stories and smiling and all these proofs during the interview that oh look at this, it's actually going really good because we're constantly stuck in our minds like, oh things are going, bad things are going bad, and then we always just look at when you mess up, but maybe that's only 2% of what's actually going on, right?

So it's like refocusing on that 98% like, hey everything is going great. Yeah, maybe you missed a word here or two, that's okay, you know, so it's kind of becoming hyper aware of myself and that helped me like be very present almost, you know, most of my experience of life right now, wow. And now um varon talked to us about this life orchestrating what exactly I mean, how are you helping people here to kind of be lead a more optimal life? Right, what is your advice to someone who's stuck? And how do you kind of get out of that space? That rut or whatever? Yeah. So, you know, recently I created this course, a digital course called what's your story and this is the idea that, you know, you know, this has been my experience, right? I've come from this mental space engineering is a lot of thinking, putting the focus on the mind. So there's a lot of thoughts going on for me, right?

So, my kind of, message is this that we're constantly creating these stories in our minds, we are in the in the sense of this, like, you know, let's say we're going out, we're experiencing something, maybe it's a concert, right? We're going to a concert, you go with your best friend, I go with my girlfriend and, you know, after the concert, you have the best time of your life, this is the, you know, your favorite band, and it was my favorite band, to but because I got into an argument with my girlfriend, we broke up, this was the worst concert for me, you know, if I had been present, it would have it could have been the best concert, but I was so focused concentrated on that relationship, what's going on over there, I couldn't enjoy what was going on in the actual concert. And so, that story was created in my mind, even though we were at the same experience, I have a different story behind it. So, is that trying to make sense of certain things, right? We're constantly trying to make sense of why something happened in our life, like, even, you know, when, like, with my three month old right now, when we're playing with him, when he makes a certain sound, you know, if, like, for example, I say something and he makes a certain sound, then I come up with a story like oh this is what he means by that sound, that he just made right, based on what I was just saying, but it could be anything, like he was just making the sound right?

And so we're constantly trying to understand, okay, why does something happen in our life and the that understanding that trying to make sense of it, we're creating a story uh when we're constantly doing this, so why not create a better story? Why not create a story that's more empowering in your life? That's helping you, you know, get over that hump that you're trying to get over right now right? Instead of beating yourself down, instead of constantly having that self talk that you're you know, that you're doubting yourself, that things are not going right, that, you know, always having that lack of self confidence, that that kind of self talk, that the chatter that goes on in the back of your mind, why not have a positive chatter, why not have a chatter that's like supporting you in your direction, right? Um there's this tool, that's a great tool that we have and you know, why not put it to your to our benefit. Uh so I kind of give you the mechanism of how this happens, you know, on a daily basis, we're going through this uh imagine that the analogy is that imagine we're sitting in the theater watching this movie on the screen and there's this big screen in front of us, there's a whole bunch of images and video going on in front of it on the screen, and then there's a projector in the back.

So the screen and the projector are just tools that are projecting whatever is on the film, you know, there's a film in this projector, so what I was in that film, this projector and the screen is allowing us to see, you know what's on that film. So the same thing goes on in our life. There is a projector inside of us which is our third eye chakra, our imagination, We're constantly using our imagination to create new stories. And when we're creating these stories inside of it, we're projecting it onto the screens in our life, The screens being, you know, the different people in our lives, you know, when we say, oh this person is a certain way, you know, this person is like selfish or whatever. You know, you see certain signs were creating a story like oh this person is selfish and that's that person becomes a screen in your life and you're projecting this image onto him. Uh in the same way you have a different experience, you go to a concert, that concert becomes a screen in our life and your experience of of it becomes a projection that you put it onto that concert and now you remember that concert as that projection that you have?

So that projection is a story that we're creating. Uh and but that source of the story comes from the film that's inside of us. You know, just like the film in that projector, there's a film inside of us. That film is all of our memories, all of our experiences, our past experiences, you know, everything that we've lived thus far. We've created some kind of meaning behind it. We've created some kind of, you know, the reason we we we, you know, have something in memory. The reason we, you know, okay, there's something happened 20 years ago. It's in our memory and we've created a story around it, you know, it may not have exactly happened. There was a research done where they said that uh you know, there was an incident that happened, uh and then six months later they recorded the same participants who were in that incident. They wrote down what happened during the incident. And then six months later they came back to that same set of people and asked them what is your memory of that incident six months ago. And they would, their recollection was was off from what actually happened, You know, so they don't exactly remember.

It was like 50% or something like that, where you're accurately correct. But the rest of it is where we're trying to fill in the space, you know, with our memories, with our with our own creations. So it's like why not look at what's going on in that film, right? Like we have never I have never sat down and recreated what is in my film, right? What are those experiences that have defined me? What are those positive experiences that have made me so ecstatic in my life? What are those negative experiences that have brought me down that have, you know, made me felt a certain way that have been traumatic, You're kind of going through that history of okay, what has happened in your life and how has it affected you? You know, something happened 20 years ago that may have created a certain kind of belief inside of us that still perpetuates to this very day 20 years later, right? And we're acting out from that belief, It's guiding us, That belief is inside of us. And we're like automatically behaving from that.

Like it's a program in a computer, right? Like imagine you're you are this computer and they're all all of your habits, all of your you know, practices all of the things that are rituals are programs in your computer and these programs are running automatically, you know, some for example, great program that runs in people's minds are negative thinking, right? There's this negative mental chatter that's constantly going on and that's a program inside of us that says negative, you know, activate negative chatter and and then it goes, okay, let's go in the cycle and cycle and cycle and just runs down that path until we become conscious of it. We become aware of it. We slow down and say okay, this negative chatter is going on, let me stop it. Let me find ways that helped me put an end to this and that's what meditation is, right. It's there are different forms of meditation is what I've understood. You know, you don't have to be the one sitting chanting, you don't have to be the one sitting down and closing your eyes and doing something.

A meditation could be, hey, let me go out there on a walk and just observe and see what's going on around me. You'll be there with the trees, be there with the grass, with the people around you and you know, enjoy what's going on and not be in our mental space. Thinking about okay, what's next? Thinking about the past, thinking about what happened in the day, just be there and enjoy that meditation that walk and that's your meditation. So the different ways to meditate and I think my message is for everyone that doesn't, you know, have that kind of ritual is find something that helps you slow down and you know, get focused on kind of quieting the mind. I love that, that is beautiful now. What about um you know, what about just some really practical advice other those were great tips. Um what about some practical advice to kind of have a mind shift there for people who were you know not as optimistic about life or you know that I know it's like you say and I absolute we agree that it's you know we're kind of made up of these experiences and how we go about life is based on our past and all of these memories and what we hold.

But to generally because you're doing all of these amazing things very right, you're making all this stuff happen, not everyone is able to do that but to just kind of be more optimistic for people who don't have that kind of innately within them you know uh I think I'll from my experience what I've found is so there was a period when I would wake up and this was let's say like a week two weeks right after the breakup, up until a few months even. You know there was a whole period where I couldn't accept my reality and I was still stuck in that past with her you know? So when I would dream it would be with her and then I'd wake up in my own bed in my own room not having you know anyone next to me so my whole reality kind of you know I couldn't agree with it so I would wake up with tears in my eyes like not wanting to wake up to this new reality, you know I want to sleep longer, just be in my dreams and but along with that came, I had to also, I was like three months away from graduating.

I was, I had to prepare my 200 page book and have a whole 60 slide presentation ready by, you know, two months. And so I was, it was crunch time for me as well, so I had to lift myself out of this state, right? I had to find a way to kind of get myself out of this depressed, it was, you know, every morning I'd wake up with tears in my eyes, you know, and my energy would be so down, I couldn't get out of bed, right and I wouldn't want to get out of bed and so, you know, even though I had people around me, like my parents were around me and that whole period I was the last couple of months I moved back home so I could really focus and you know, kind of get away from everything. Uh it's kind of made that my sanctuary, but uh and so even though I had some great people around me, I wouldn't want to get out of bed and what I used utilizing this moment was comedy, I found something that started my day off in the right, you know, the right manner. So what I would do is I would say, okay, you know what today, there's an episode of Jon Stewart out, you know, Jon Stewart was on the daily show back then, I don't know if you used to watch that, but that was a show that I loved, I loved the way he, his commentary and everything, you know, he would deliver every all of his messages And so I would look forward to it and that would be my motivation to get out of bed to get showered, let's get ready for the day.

So I could start off my day with watching his 22 minute segment and that 22 minute segment took me through at least half the day of okay, let me get focused work done because I had this great start laughter, uh you know, all the emotions and but it took me out of my mind took me out of my thoughts of what happened and all of that. And I was just focused on what was going on the screen. So I would urge people in that moment is find something that gets them out of there, that mental headspace gets them out of that same thought process, That same kind of, let me beat myself down, let me, you know, whatever that negative thing is going on, find a way to get yourself out of it, Maybe that's a massage, maybe that's a spa day, whatever it may be, whatever that is for you, right? Find that every person is different, everybody is different, every mind is different and uh you know, so you find the thing that would work for you, I love that, that is awesome. Now, tell me, um, you know, you're doing work out there, kind of helping people, your philanthropist, the soup kitchen community organization, where did this come about for you?

Have you all, where you kind of raised around this philosophy and uh why is that so important to be kind of giving back in this way, you know, I think through my meditations, I had ah Remember these memories from second grade, third grade where I would, I was looking to help people, you know, and so back in the classrooms in Dubai, I was born and raised in Dubai and I moved here when I was 15, uh, you know, two months before 9, 11. And uh, so during that, uh, during those, you know, my times in Dubai, the way the schooling worked is we had teachers that would move around to different classrooms, you know, like you would, we would sit in the one classroom and then the biology teacher, the history teacher, they would come to you and teach you in your classroom and so that's the way it worked. And but what would happen is, you know, our homework, our books, they would have to take it to grade, so they would have these stacks of books to take to their next classroom or, you know, their staff room or whatever it may be.

So I would offer my help to them, like, hey, I can help you take it wherever you need to go. And so the teachers loved me for that, especially when I was younger, I was this little cute chubby kid. Uh and so they would, you know, so I had these fond memories, I loved helping people. Uh and that kind of brought this out in me. I also remember this having this one like vivid experience. I was in Boise Idaho and during that time I dated this, uh, this girl who was from Tibet, right? So she was a buddhist and uh, she was pretty spiritual but not all the way in, you know, and I don't, she didn't meditate or anything, but you know, she had some beliefs in her that that was, that showed that she had like rooted in some kind of culture. So what I remember this one experience, we were, it was like a summertime in May driving, We were driving underneath the bridge, like really walking distance from my place. I kind of live close to downtown Boise.

And so we're driving underneath this bridge and we see it was kind of hot day, warm day, but we see a lot of homeless people in this area underneath the bridge taking cover from the heat. This was like afternoon time and we looked at each other, like we looked around both of us and we looked at each other and our eyes met and the first thing in her mind was I want to get some pizza for them and this is coming from a girl who at that point in her life, she was working an hourly job, I think she was at maybe $13 an hour, this was 2013, 2012, 2013, ah and working 50 hours a week, 60 hours a week, right? So she was busting her ask for this money. But the first thing in her mind was I want to feed these people and so she said let's go to little caesars and pick up whatever 567 pies of pizza and let's take it out there for them. Uh and she realized that and at that time I realized, wow, you know that that was the first experience I ever had of consciously ever had of uh okay, this is what I want to do.

Like I want to have an aspect in my life where I'm giving people, I'm helping people in some way. So that that was inside of me and then the pandemic hits and this is April 2020, I get a call from, he's an older gentleman, but he's a buddy of mine and we have done several different projects like pre pandemic. We did a lot of projects for the community, we organize different events, festivals, bring thousands of people together, especially for the focused on the Gujarati Indian community And uh so he calls me April 2020 says you know what? There's this organization that has a lot of money. They have funds, they want to do something for the community. You know, things are shutting down, businesses, businesses are closing, uh, pandemic just hit. And uh, you know, there's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear. People who are losing jobs, they lost their only source of income. So they didn't have food to put on their tables. Right? So we said, you know what? Uh, so essentially, him and I came up with this idea of let's help people by providing some kind of supplies, but providing some kind of food.

And that's the basic necessity that if you're not, if you don't have a source of income, you can't provide you for your family. So let's meet that. So we would do a little bit. We would, you know, we started out with, let's, we'll do one weekend. So we met up in May, early May and uh, you know, 2020 and we put our first kind of grocery drive together. Got some volunteers, got a whole bunch of supplies, put it all together in these different grocery bags, you know, like rice and oil and salt and kind of basic things, pasta and beans. And uh, put it all together and then we had kind of promoted it to the local community. And so people started coming and all the conversations we had with people is like, yeah, we don't have a job. You know, we were, you know, we we we don't have money for to pay for food. So we have, we realized that there was a need for this, that people were you know hurting out there. We needed to do more of this. And so then we said okay let's do it again next weekend. So every sunday we would meet up and we constantly meet up and then we realized you know what, there's a thing like let's just continue doing this, let's create a kind of like a promotional campaign so we can help more people.

And so we would, we created a flyer, printed 1000 flyers and hired people to go out into different places, different communities and hand out these flyers so that they would find out about our grocery drive. So that's how we started in about three weeks into it. You know, I had this idea Of you know why not provide because a lot of people, they may not even have a home to cook these supplies so why not provide hot meals, you know, make you know find a source of hot meals and let's provide it somehow. Now this seed was planted a couple of months earlier before the pandemic hit in February 2020. I was in India. Uh and uh visiting India, we just had a very pretty huge uh spiritual block party like a spiritual festival in L. A. And then right after that I went to India and we were there for to my dad and I we were there for two weeks. So usually we go to Bombay Mumbai big city uh this time we said okay we'll go for for short trips.

And then we have visited our family in a little different town in Gujarat called Rocky Court. So when we got there my uncle there he said you know what I know this sort of guru spiritual guide, you know spiritual guide who can help you, you know give you some messages kind of help you with your life and uh if you have any questions for him he can answer that for you as well you know based on knowledge that he gets from you. And so I was like you know what he brought brought this up for a reason let's go meet him. You know there has to be something behind this. So I said alright you know what let's go, I want to see him. And so we meet him and while I was there I was kind of telling me at that time we were out of the same center that we did all the grocery stuff. We were offering meditation classes. So I told him, hey I have this meditation center uh and you know we are we've been offering meditations every day. We have people come in. So his idea was why not offer free food, find the kitchen where you can cook food and you know in that way people will come for the food and you can also meditate with them.

You can give them some meditation some kind of whatever you you know whatever offering you want to give them and that would help them out in their life spiritually spiritually as well while feeding them. So that's that's how the seed was planted. Now. It May May 2023 weeks into our grocery drive. I brought this idea up And you know, so initially we started out with we just had a couple of aunties making 100 meals, 200 meals. You know like we just source it locally from a couple of people. And that way we were able to start. But then we said you know what, we have a full size kitchen as part of this facility. Like we were using their little spaces just to do all the grocery stuff. But attached to this whole facility was a whole kitchen, like an outdoor kitchen that has so many different stove tops that have so many different big vessels. And so we already were equipped with a full kitchen. We needed to find the team. So one of our local community members, they had it was also part of our grocery drive. They he was new this whole team of people, a group of volunteers that would, you know, they have their tech jobs, they're kind of you know working there.

But every weekend they would cook for people. And uh, you know, they had cooked the same guy. He's a doctor, he organizes these health fairs in L. A. And you know, these health fairs have 2, 3000 people that come there over a weekend. So this team of people would cook for the health fair for free. They would offer their services, bring all the supplies, you know, provide everything and cook for 3000 people out of their garages. It was a team of like 12, 15 people and there was a core group that would always do this, right? So we invited them to come and they saw the facility and they said, you know what, yeah, we can do something with this. So this whole team came, they initially days they were creating the menus. They were putting, you know, all of the ingredient list together, kind of putting a whole recipe guide together so that anyone anywhere can do this. And so we kind of started off with that and we were starting doing the 1000 meals every Sunday. Eventually we got right now, we're at a point we're doing 1500-2000 meals.

So the grocery portion, the supplies, we stopped after 21 weeks, we delivered 8400 grocery bags. Uh, and after that, we still continued doing the hot meals and thus far we've almost hit 220,000 meals the last about 2.5 years. And we've also decided to continue into 2023. That is so amazing. I just that's so profound and I love that and it's so beautiful. Just kind of the validation that it's growing right? It started with one meal 23 and now you're at 200,000 and I can't even imagine where this is going to be and You know, a year, by the end of 2023 you're gonna be, you know, half a million maybe. And you know, I wanna I wanna put this vision now that I'm glad you brought the growth part out, right? Because right now what we're working on is how can we take this and replicated in different cities?

Right? So we have kind of created a system over here that works, you know, it works for us and we have documented that system. So we kind of have a guide and we're working, we're putting together this whole guide of how can we start the same thing that we did over the last two years at any part any kitchen in this country uh in this way. If anyone is listening to this, I want to do it in your city. You know, we would love to partner up with you, love to help you get set up find volunteers for you, whatever it would take find the funding for you to help you get started, but we want to start feeding more people even outside of L. A. In different states, different cities, different countries. Even if you know internationally, I mean, this can be applied anywhere. So it's a system that works and you know, this is the manifestation that I want to, the vision I want to put out there is that by 2023 I want to have, you know, multiple facilities around the country that are implementing uh, you know, cooking meals and we have helped them set up and, you know, off the ground and they're doing this self sufficiently.

So that's what I want to put put out there for this year and into next year. Oh my God, I love that. Now, Baron, tell me, so, are you guys set up as like a nonprofit? Do you have that designation or you just kind of doing this on your own at this point? And what is the name of the organization website? All of that if people are interested? Yeah. So this is it's we do it under the joy of sharing Foundation and they're our largest donors. So they they started off with us and they said they were the organization that initially approached us with the funds. They said that we want to do something. So we created this whole project out of the Joy of sharing Foundation and their fund. Uh, initially they were supporting 100% the first year into 2021 we raised 50%. They provided 50% of the funds this year. They're doing the same thing. They said, we'll provide 50% and then you, you can find the funds for the remaining. So up until this today, we have raised 65,000 and we have 10 more 1000 to go till the end of the year.

Um, so we're definitely looking for funds. Uh, and you know, any donors out there, if you're in L. A. Anyone interested in volunteering even we would love to have volunteers as well. You know, definitely reach out to me on instagram and I can provide you more details, timings, locations, all of that stuff. My instagram is dr varun Gandhi and the website. Uh, the donation link, I would put it, there's a go fund me donations link that, you know, we can put in the show notes. Uh, and essentially that is directly comes to us. It's donating, you know, funds that we use for our meal prep, essentially everything that we raise goes directly towards our meals. None of our volunteers are paid. You know, we are direct. All of the funds that are provided were directly purchasing our supplies from wholesalers, distributors. Uh, you know, that, that we, we have a constant supply of everything that we need based on our menu. Right? So 100% of the funds go directly towards the meals.

Each meal is about a dollar 50 our cost per meal, But this organization is providing 50% of the funds. So essentially when you, when anyone donates, you know, like $10 or $15, they'll actually insert feeding 10 people. They'll actually feed 20 people because their donation will be matched by another organization. So yeah, we would, you know, love for any kind of funds. Whatever people want to put, you know, or if they want to contribute in their time, we would love to have them come out volunteer with us. You know, however it may be whatever people are comfortable with. Ah and so I'll send you to go fund me link as well. That is amazing. I just, that's so incredible the work you're doing and um, I just think that's so awesome now in closing. So first of all, varun I want to just say you have been so awesome. It's been so amazing learning your story and just love what you are up to and I love that the work that you're doing is growing people are finding you and you're just making this larger and larger impact and I can't even imagine where it's going to be in a year or two years.

So just I commend you for that. It's so awesome and I just thank you so much for your time today. That's the first thing I want to say. And second I would like to ask you in closing if there were a message, your hope for the world. What is that message you would like to leave us with drink more water? Yeah, that would be the message. Um is uh yeah, I think pay attention to our water consumption because I think we can do a better job with it and our bodies are crying out for it. Uh you know we may not be aware of those signs but just quenching our thirst. Well you'll start feeling very different and you'll have a lot more energy as well. Oh I love it. And I also wanted, yeah, I also wanted to say like you know I appreciate this opportunity to be on the podcast sharing my story. You know putting my energy out there. Uh you know I really want to commend the job that you've been doing on this podcast and bringing people on having all these different conversations, varied conversations, very many different topics that you're covering.

So yeah, I want to commend you for the amazing job that you're doing and thank you for having me here, love and abundance ah you are so awesome varun thank you so much. It was so great having you

Blossom Your Awesome Podcast Episode #79 Life Orchestration With Varun Gandhi
Blossom Your Awesome Podcast Episode #79 Life Orchestration With Varun Gandhi
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