Raj Girn: So this week’s theme, being that it’s almost like one of the new month, is Mindset & Clarity where I’m going to be deep diving combating overwhelm at work because honestly, enough is enough.
Here it is, folks. If you’re one of those people who are looking to go on real tips and insights to move past your current narrative, that is preventing you from cultivating an optimal work-life balance mindset, then this two-part series is for you. Additionally, if you’re looking to operate from your own trajectory to accomplish this by moving everything that doesn’t serve you out of the way, as well as all of the lotions and potions and mantras that come at you from outside of your comfort zone, that push and pull you in all kinds of directions that doesn’t really serve your peace of mind. Then I’m thrilled to bring you a breath of fresh air perspective with this week’s conversation with the fabulous founder of Pure Minds, Nina Purewal.
Before we say hello to Nina, let me set a bit of context for you. Pure Minds is a social enterprise focused on wellness, which was developed after a personal revelation that Nina had that led her to leave the corporate rat race in search of an alternative way to lead her life. She is also the international bestselling coauthor of ‘Let That Shit Go, Find Peace of Mind and Happiness in Your Everyday.’
This is part two of our conversation:
Raj Girn: So let’s talk a little bit more about the book. For anyone out there that’s just joining us I am chatting with Nina Purewal. She is the co-author of this fabulous international best selling book called ‘Let That Shit Go.’ I want to ask you this about the book that I’m very interested in and curious about. Why did you feel that you wanted to portray the message that you’re doing in your workshops and all the other ways as a book?
Nina Purewal: Well, let me let you in on a little secret.
We touched on this earlier. When you follow your heart, when you follow the path that is right for you, the universe will support you. I had no intentions of writing a book. I tell all the high school students I talk to that I failed grade 12 English. I didn’t want to write a book. This book fell in my lap, to be honest. Kate is my co-author. We were doing workshops in the city and HarperCollins, which is one of the biggest top five publishers in the world, approached us and said, we love how you are because we had courses saying mindful AF or learn how to meditate.
“When you follow your heart, when you follow the path that is right for you, the universe will support you.” ~ Nina Purewal
And again, I don’t want to be disrespectful, but it just was a very approachable way for people to feel like I don’t have to go to a temple, I can come to the Drake Hotel and learn how to meditate. And they went viral. And so HarperCollins got wind. We got so lucky. The timing of it all. I don’t know if you recall the book by Mark Manson, ‘The Art of Not Giving a F*ck.’ That’s also by HarperCollins. And they said, we really want a book with that kind of tone, but that talks about mindfulness and finding your peace and your happiness. Would you be willing to write it? And we kind of said, “Are you kidding me?”
And then and then they said, “Okay, well, you have nine weeks.” We wrote the book in nine weeks. We had quite a bit of debate over the title, which is a whole other story. But the book, honestly, I feel really blessed and grateful. It landed on my lap. Getting it in the U.S. and other countries was was challenging and it took a lot of grit. But in Canada, it just happened.
But think about Canada like . . . I think that as a Canadian, you would agree with this. It’s almost like the epicenter of trying new stuff out before it becomes big and other countries start to get into. I feel that we’re a very innovative and inclusive country. Way above and beyond or before most of the other big countries in this world. So I can understand why it would have happened the way it did. Anyone out there that is interested in purchasing this book, because this is like low-hanging fruit, accessibility guys. Like if you’re not quite yet sure whether you need the workshops and or any of that, but you kind of want a bit more information, you need to go grab this book. Nina, where can people go purchase the book?
Thank you so much. You can purchase it on Amazon. You can check out my website, ninapurewall.com. There’s a link to where you can get it in Canada. You can get it at Indigo in the U.S., Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million is now available. And just to reiterate, what Raj has just said. The book is 120 tips on how to find more peace and happiness in the everyday. You don’t even have to read it cover to cover.
I know some of our readers say “I’ve kept it on my night table and I just open a page read a tip, which is a page or two, and suddenly you feel accomplished or that you’ve learned something.” Or you can spend that next week just implementing that one tip. Kate and I try to really take the ancient wisdom and mindfulness . . . There’s not even . . . Our publisher was adamant about we don’t want you even using the word mindfulness until you get to the mindfulness Chapter 8, because that might be too intimidating, even though it’s written from two ex corporate employees who did the grind and got stressed out. It’s just very practical tips.
I love that. I love the fact that the book doesn’t hang upon a beginning, middle and end because that’s always the challenge as well when you come across books and a lot of self-help books are like that: you have to kind of start at the beginning and get the foundations and then you kind of work through the journey of it and see how you can kind of adapt and implement it into your life.
The fact that your book is kind of like, dare I say, the Bible or the Bhagavad Gita or something, where you can close your eyes, you can do this and something will just come up you and it will be enough, right? You wrote it with that kind of mindset. I don’t know if you resonate with that.
Yeah. You hit the nail on the head. I think it was Refinery29 that said it’s the millennial mindfulness bible. They actually did say that. Or the Gita. I mean, I don’t want to even want to go there. It’s the handbook. It’s like a very tip-based, practical, easy to read the type of book. Again, you don’t have to go cover to cover. You can just pick little spots that resonate with you.
So you don’t need to have had any kind of prior touchpoint with mindfulness meditation or anything like that. Do you?
Not at all. And that’s what I really want people to know, that mindfulness meditation is for everyone. And meditation, again, it’s the last chapter, we pitch it as if you’re interested. If this is something that calls to you. Here are some tips on meditation. But the whole book is really about the mind. And we have on average 6,000 thoughts a day and that translates to 35 to 42 thoughts a minute. Everybody has this racing mind and everybody needs to get a better handle of what’s going on in there.
“We have on average 6,000 thoughts a day and that translates to 35 to 42 thoughts a minute. Everybody has this racing mind and everybody needs to get a better handle of what’s going on in there.” ~ Nina Purewal
So I will say read the first few tips of Chapter 1 because it is a bit foundational. It’s like 20 pages or so and then the rest of the book is kind of fair game. If there’s a chapter on self-love and smack talk, 80 percent of the things we say to ourselves are negative in the sense of those 60,000 thoughts are self-deprecating. How do we handle that? There’s a chapter on forgiveness and I talk about the relationship with my father; a chapter on authenticity, owning yourself and stepping into who you are. So there’s really something for everyone. We thought the book would be for millennials, but there are teens to people in our 80s reading it, which kind of surprised us. Very humbling.
It just goes to show how everyone is on this parallel journey to find that peace and happiness. Right?
Absolutely. So anyone out there who has a unique idea and wants to write a book . . . And the reason why I’m bringing this to you is because I read on your social that you had a number of facts to be able to get picked up. And why is that? Do y9u feel like it’s because this was kind of like a first-time book? Even though you were being asked to write this book. Can you share that journey a little bit for first-time authors? What do they need to know?
Yeah, first time out there. So I got lucky within Canada and then we launched in the U.K. and in Australia and New Zealand with HarperCollins. It was the U.S. where pitch after pitch we were getting rejected because we were Canadian, because we didn’t have a big platform. We weren’t famous because self-help was oversaturated. And again, I go back to the very simple principle. If you feel like it’s your calling to write a book, because everybody has a message, everybody and I know you talk about this and you’re an advocate of this to everybody is here for a reason, for a purpose. And if you step into that and you feel like your journey is to write a book and get it out there, start there and trust. From a practical standpoint, there are so many publishers out there. Send your manuscript, be relentless as a business, an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, a business individual will be relentless, be tenacious, do what you need to do to get it in the right hands, to get the testimonials, to get it in media. We did all those things and if you are meant to write it’s going to manifest. And that’s one of the hard work combined with the knowing and the trust and the universal support and magic will happen.
You touched base on something I think is really important for people to hear, and that is we seem to think that if we don’t have a huge following or we’re not verified all over the place, we’re not famous and all of the above, that we don’t have a message that someone’s going to want to hear. But here you are. You just touched upon it. You’ve been across all kinds of major media have covered you. For those people who don’t write the book because of that, because they feel they’re not going to get coverage by all the media that they need it to cover.
What would you say to them based on your experience? And that also goes for getting kind of reviewed by critics. Can you share some of that, because that is one of the biggest reasons I find with my clients who say I don’t think I want to go through the effort of writing a book because what media is going to cover it? What critic is going to cover it? I’m not famous. Talk to me about that piece once and for all. Get that kind of road block out of the way. So more everyday people can tell their bigger, larger than life stories that could potentially help heal and change the world and shift the dynamic that we live in today.
Yeah, it’s such a great question. And I started with I know I’m not famous and I’m not bringing ancient wisdom, but I said to myself, if this book helps one person live a better life, live more peaceful, lower their anxiety. We had someone say that after eight years (and again, I’m not making any claims at all) but we had this review that said after eight years I read this book and I was able to go off my medication. And again, I’m a firm believer in medication, if you need it. But big impact. And that’s kind of the intent: if one person is impacted by these words, then I feel accomplished.
It’s kind of going back to the objective and not feeling like you have to jump in and change the world. I mean, that will happen organically and slowly. But just if you feel like you have this message to share, it doesn’t matter who you are and the benefit of social media. I mean, how many people have we seen? Nobody. Not nobody. But you don’t have a big following. And suddenly overnight there’s like 100,000 people on Twitter you can access people.
No longer are the days where only big media can feature you and that’s the only way people are going to find out about you. There are so many creative ways. I mean, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn. There’s so many ways to get to people. And your message is one that resonates. It’ll start to manifest and it’ll start to bubble up and the snowball will just keep rolling. And before you know it, you’ll be like me going, “Oh my gosh, we just got into the US. What just happened?” It took us three years.
To the point where I just I had given up. Not given up, but I just thought it’s okay, itt wasn’t meant to be. And I think to that push and pull because being in corporate, having an A type personality, we have goals and I say to people, you have goals planned for the future, but don’t be attached to that plan. Let the world do its thing. I write in the book how my 25-year-old self wouldn’t even recognize my 35-year-old self because I had all these goals and nothing went to plan. So have the goal. But don’t be so “Okay by year one, I have to have this many followers. I have to be in this many countries.” Just go with the flow a little bit too.
“I write in the book how my 25-year-old self wouldn’t even recognize my 35-year-old self because I had all these goals and nothing went to plan. So have the goal . . . Just go with the flow a little bit too.” ~ Nina Purewal
And that’s the magic, the Holy Grail right there. Go with the flow. Something I find so hard to do. As that A type person that you’re talking about and talking to and all those people watching, listening and reading this you know who you are. Try and maybe focus a little bit, as Nina said, on this whole concept of going with the flow. This doesn’t mean you don’t have a plan. This doesn’t mean that it’s all kind of woo woo when it’s for the creatives and all the rest of it.
We all need a little bit of everything in order to grow and expand the experience that we’re looking to accomplish. And I think that’s the thing that would be my takeaway from what you just said there is the flow will ask you and it will allow you to tap into things that not being in the flow and being too regimented doesn’t open you up to experience. And I think that’s the key here.
I want to ask you one more question regarding the book before we get ready to close out. Can you believe that we’ve been chatting that long? I feel like there’s so much more I want to ask you, which means that we need to do an encore. I need to bring you back. Maybe we talk a little bit specifically about any of the seminars or workshops that you do. And maybe we kind of tap into that.
Would love to be able to share that with everyone, for them to kind of get some true internal value, to understand why they actually need to go and maybe pursue this or, if they’re an employee, speak to the department and say we need to be able to bring in the service, or maybe you’re in C suite in a leadership position where you haven’t really looked at how valuable and integral this piece that is still missing in most of corporate. How important this piece is into really helping the bottom line at the end of the day? It helps the bottom line because if people are looking at their best, which they can only do if they feel good about themselves, right? And that’s the other thing here, that there really is an ROI at the end of this.
A hundred percent.
And I ask the executives that I work with, do you want me to do this workshop through the lens of the PNL or people’s just personal happiness. And they always say that it’s definitely a bit of both. I care about my team. I care about these individuals. And so not only does it kind of allow you to become a better version of yourself, but naturally when that happens, you’re going to perform better. You’re going to have more focus and concentration and just genuine overall happiness will lead to you being passionate about what you do. So absolutely, it does impact the bottom line, but more importantly, it impacts the mental health of each individual that you work with.
Absolutely. And I I want to just kind of close off on the book part of this before we kind of move to closing out, Nina. And for all those people who are experts and coaches and consultants and executives and entrepreneurs. Can you once and for all, through your own lived experience of having written the book, explain the value of being an author of a book today when it comes to business?
It definitely gives you a lot of street cred. And we went through a big publisher, but you can easily self publish to just have a book. And now a lot of publishing companies are doing what they call the hybrid model, where you pitch your manuscript, they approve it, you invest a little, they invest in you. It is becoming a lot easier to publish your own book. And within the entrepreneurial corporate setting, it definitely it gives me material because my workshop is basically all that work and we wrote the book in nice weeks. But honestly, Raj, that was 20 years of contemplation.
Absolutely. This is what I’m hearing. All you did is you downloaded your entire lived experience in all kind of capacities and layers of what you know in nine weeks. That’s what you did in nine weeks. That’s what I’m hearing you say.
Absolutely. And everything that you’ve been contemplating and now it’s in this book, that’s material. That’s content that you’ve suddenly created. So not only does it give you the street cred, but it also gives you a jump start to, okay, if I am an entrepreneur, where do I want to go? What message do I want to adhere to? What value system? What’s my what’s my mantra that I want to live by? And it just allows you to kind of continue to to live through live on with those with those thoughts and emotions and feelings and objectives through the book.
I want to ask you this as we get ready to kind of close off for today. Let’s kind of go in a direction that I feel for those people who aren’t quite clear on this whole idea of mindset, especially when it comes to the corporate arena. Can we bust some myths around? Like what can you share to open up those minds?
Yeah, I feel what helps best to open up the mindset dialog is that mindfulness and meditation have now been scientifically proven to change the structure of your brain. There’s a lot of neurologists and neuroscientists that have gotten behind mindfulness meditation. But one I have loved and followed for a long time, Sara Lazar, she’s associated with Harvard Medical School and she has done studies where she’s actually taken MRI scans of the brains of experienced practitioners and then people who had never practiced mindfulness meditation before. And she found in as little as eight weeks, I believe, if you practice for 27 minutes a day on average, your brain will start to mimic those of experienced practitioners and the structure will shift.
There’s many things that happen that we talk about in the book with the two most common things are the amygdala starts to shrink and that’s associated with fight or flight, with stress, with anxiety, with everything everyone is experiencing right now, corporate. And simultaneously the prefrontal cortex thickens. And that’s associated with focus, with concentration, with decision making, with awareness and what you need to be a good leader. Focus, concentration, decision making.
“[Sara Lazar] found in as little as eight weeks, I believe, if you practice for 27 minutes a day on average, your brain will start to mimic those of experienced practitioners and the structure will shift.” ~ Nina Purewal
So scientific proof that focusing on mental health. And if you just think about a stressed out employee who’s maybe got financial stress, they’ve got kids stress, they’ve got their own mental health stuff. Maybe they’re taking care of aging parents, all the things going on. How do you think they’re going to perform at the end of the day when they sit down at their laptop and they’ve got all these things? And not only that and the 6,000 thoughts are just consuming them. How do you think that brand plan is going to show up or that PNO when their head is not clear?
I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it’s going to impact your output. And so the more mentally calm and clear, and there’s always going to be something going on, but the more coping mechanisms and tools and tips . . . And I always start my workshops with I want you to walk away with as many tips as possible to use in your every day because life is going to throw shit at you. So the more tips you have, the better you’ll be able to cope. And so it kind of begins with that. You need everyone’s minds to be able to feed the pencil and the bottom line and the more clear and the more calm they are, the better output you’re going to have.
Absolutely. And I love that you talked about the the third eye there without really speaking about it. You kind of talked about the expansion there that you need to be truly aligned with your highest self and and your higher purpose and to be the leader of your life. It’s wonderful. Is there anything that you feel I missed that you’d like to share before we close off?
Just to say that even though you might feel nervous or intimidated by mindfulness meditation, just start somewhere. That year at the ashram I came back (we studied the Geeta and all this incredible ancient wisdom) and worked in corporate again because I didn’t have the guts to start my own business. And I thought everything I learned is so practical and applicable in today’s stressed out, overworked, overwhelmed world. Well, I encourage you to shift your thinking if you think it’s not very practical give it a shot. Give it a shot, because I promise you, you’ll never turn back. You’ll see who you become by practicing this. And the great thing is you don’t need to rely on anything. It’s all within. Once you learn the tools and once you learn the knowledge, it’s all there. It’s just for you to to leverage.
Absolutely. This is a great kind of yogic practice as well, isn’t it, that whenever you read anything from any of the yogis or any of the masters in spirituality, they always say it’s all in here. We focus on the here and now, focus on the in here and recognize who you are. Like, have a relationship with self. You want that relationship with self because, just like in science, everything starts with a nucleus, everything starts with ground zero. Everything starts with the root. And what is that? All of that. What is it? It is in yourself. And you go out there and expand the horizons and teach people and mentor people on anything. I really do feel that you need to touch it on an intimate level because why do you want to teach people the black and white way? You can teach them the black, white, green, blue, purple, orange and all of the above, right?
Absolutely. The entire colour of the rainbow. And it’s all within. It’s all there. As I alluded to earlier, we are born, we exist. And we have this happiness and peace and joy within us. So the more inwards we can go, the more we’re going to be able to access that. I talk about happiness, too, in the external, constantly seeking happiness in the external in house, in that job and that vacation. But those same external things pissed us right off right? Like the house and we have a mortgage and then the partner we love to death the next day they drive us crazy or the vacation we book and then it rains the whole time. So yes, there is happiness in the external, but it’s temporary happiness. If you want that permanent bliss, that calm, that peace, you have got to go inward
And you can control the inwards. You can’t control the external involved no matter how much you try. I’ve already been her. I get it.
Yes, absolutely. Actually, one of the monks . . . I share this last analogy because I love it so much. One of them said the hurricane of life will forever swirl. There’s always going to be this hurricane, things being thrown at you, the unexpected things thrown your way. And he said, try to sit in the center of that hurricane. So every hurricane has a 10 to 20 kilometer radius of stillness. So the more you can sit in that stillness and just observe what’s going on versus getting enthralled in what’s going on. And that’s when you have a little more control over your mind, is when you can observe versus getting emotionally involved in everything. Of course you will. But it’s that lesson that life is full of the unexpected. It’s never going to be like this so you have to control what’s inside. And by doing that, you react to things so differently.
Absolutely. That warrants so many more questions from me. So we’re going to have to bring you back then. You know, it needs to happen.
I feel that we’ve only touched on the outskirts of this massive, magnificent iceberg that we need to melt and garner more wisdom from. So let me close off by sending people to where they can go hang out with you. Other than your website, social media, is there a newsletter? Is there anything else they can consume and find out more and be a part of your ecosystem?
Yeah, I love that quote ecosystem. I love that. So I’m on Instagram. You can find me at nina.pure.minds. Instagram and LinkedIn are my two kind of social media. I picked my poison at the beginning. I’m debating TikTok. I haven’t gone there yet, but so Instagram is nina.pure.minds and LinkedIn is Nina Purewal.
Well, Nina, thank you so much for joining me for this really insightful conversation. Girlfriend, I wish you so much success with this because the world needs more of you.
Thank you so much. It’s been such an honour to be here and honestly, going down the road of, understanding what path you have been on, just as a South Asian woman, you are such an inspiration. And you have really, really empowered me and inspired me in so many ways. So thank you so much for having me on the show.
You blessed me so much, sweetheart. You know, really, your journey for me is just so exciting. And it’s funny because people look at my journey, but I speak to and I bring on people that I wish I could be like when I grow up. So I really hope that one day I’m able to tap into more of what you represent, because I feel that these are the things that really change the game and who we are and how we feel about ourselves. So thank you so much for being on the show.
Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
Of course. Thank you all for hanging out with Nina and I today. Folks, I really hope that you got real insight and value from our discussion and that you understand that your well-being should always be first and foremost. It should constantly be something that you’re nurturing in order for you to operate at your highest contentment level in life and then your business. First self, guys, always. I say this all the time, first self and then others. That’s my mantra and one that I will always tell you to follow. Feed the nucleus so that you can set it up the right way from the get go to grow in the direction that you want it to go in.
“Your well-being should always be first and foremost. It should constantly be something that you’re nurturing in order for you to operate at your highest contentment level in life and then your business. First self and then others.” ~ Raj Girn
And if you are kind of halfway through the process and you need to reinvent the wheel, stop and do that, there’s nothing more satisfying that feeling good about who you are and what you do. For more trainings like this, please subscribe to our YouTube channel at The Open Chest Confidence Academy on our podcast platforms, Apple, Google, Spotify, search ‘The Transform Your Confidence Show.’ And I also encourage you to join our free coaching news that a community just head over to TheOpenChestConfidenceAcademy.com/newsletter and join our free professional development incubator at Facebook. Transform your confidence
Until next week, folks. Take care of yourselves.