Wise Women Wednesday: Chandni Saxena

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Q. Who are you? What is your background? 
A. Hello!!! My name is Chandni Saxena and I am a tea lover, bollywood devotee, 9-5 survivor, a misfit, a seeker, a volunteer, a believer, a preacher, and a dreamer. I was born and raised in India and after completing my Engineering in Delhi, I moved to Iowa to pursue my Master’s at Iowa State University. After graduation, I worked at Drake University for a couple of years and then four years back landed in Winston-Salem and loving it here since then! I am lucky to be a daughter to the most amazing and strong woman I know and a sister to an incredible brother who also is one of my best friends. I am also blessed with the most wonderful boyfriend and friendships all around me. A part of me is defined by all these beautiful relationships I have in my life, the work I do, and the connections I make on a daily basis, but the other part of me is an out and out right-brained hippie-explorer, always wanting to travel and wander, seek adventures, do moon ceremonies, go to these spiritual retreats, meditate, and learn new things and skills (…and when I say skill it’s not learning a programming language, but more like learning to read tarot cards!!). I love both me and love that the world is full of opportunities which feed both pieces of my soul!

Q. What is your work?
A. Professionally, my background is in Information Systems, I am an Analyst/Programmer at Wake Forest University. I work with different departments on doing integrations with third-party vendors based on their needs, lots of SQL/JavaScript programming and designing integrations, etc. I love my job (90% of the times), and my boss and co-workers are the best, couldn’t do without them!

Outside of my professional work, I love to volunteer, it feeds my soul and I enjoy it like nothing else. I have been lucky this past year, as I got to work a lot with Interfaith Winston Salem to organize a festival for kids and other events. I enjoy my work with Compassionate Winston Salem in organizing Bethesda Shelter Meals. If there is any such thing as 'the citizen of the world', then I would like to call myself that; I am passionate about organizations which work to bring people closer, form connections and promote the message of Love and Unity over anything else. It gives me so much hope!

I also completed my Yoga Teacher Training earlier this year, my initial motive was to strengthen my own practice, but now one of my goals for next year is to learn more and teach a few classes.

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Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. I recently bought a house and that has become my new project! I keep thinking of all the stuff I want to get done in and around, but then my bank account doesn’t always agree so I take a deep breath and slow down! Haha. On a serious note, I have set a few goals for my career and need to get some certifications done, so I am getting myself organized to work toward those.

Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. Bought a house! With no money for down-payment and my work visa status, I was not exactly sure if I am making the best decision, but I was tired of paying rent and I am SO GLAD I went through! Every time I enter my house, I feel a little proud of myself and feels like an accomplishment.

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Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it?  If not why not what's stopping you? 
A. First, I want to talk about the things I want to do and I am doing them- Serving people, being engaged in the community, and exploring the spiritual side of things. Two years back, I was not exactly at the best spot in my life (in hindsight though no regrets), I was almost at the bottom that there was no more going down, but then that forced me to go out and seek and try things which would make me feel better, get out of my comfort zone and me-zone. I started volunteering more, formed these amazing connections outside my regular circle, learned so many new things- tapping, meditating, reiki, ACIM, sound healing circles, kundalini yoga, and so much more, and Winston-Salem is such an AHMAZING place- it all happens here!! I still try to attend and be out there as much as I can and can’t be grateful enough for the opportunities!!

Now, on to things I do want to but hasn’t happened YET – I really want to pursue a PhD, a career in research, I love to read about all the great research they do in Information Systems and Marketing, the combination of two is what interests me most, and I would love to be a part of it. I need to work out my finances before I can quit my full-time job.

All of you out there, who have left their comfort zone (whether it was a corporate job or something else) to pursue your dreams—YOU ALL ARE MY (S)HEROES!!! I think that’s the reason I am so drawn to the Yoke and Abundance community- SUPER inspiring! 

Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. You are A-Awesome, you are Loved, you are Enough, you are NOT less than, and NEVER let yourself believe otherwise! Don’t care what other people think, own it and you got this! 

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Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. One Step at a Time. It always gets better, if it’s not better yet, then it’s not the end, keep moving.

I love to pause, it’s easy for me to get on a downward spiral, and when that starts happening, I like to take a step back, and think of the universe as a video game (in a Law of Attraction sense), and things will happen if I pause, slow down, organize myself, stay patient, focused, have faith, trust, and BELIEVE.

Sometimes, I think of all the things which eventually worked out in the past and even if they didn’t then how in hindsight they lead to something even better… and just thinking that I am taken care of gives me a lot of comfort.

And, of course, when I want to play small (which is so often that I can’t even…) I remind myself of this quote from Marianne Williamson – ‘Our Deepest Fear...’ (google it!)

Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. Deadlines!

Also, listening to uplifting podcasts and interviews and knowing that there are so many people out there on to such amazing things and I can’t be sitting here doing nothing!

Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. Be Authentic and keep it real! It’s more of a reminder for myself than others, but just felt like sharing!

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Q. What's your favorite yoga pose? 
A. Knees apart extended Child’s Pose. It just feels like I am letting it all go, everything is okay and I am in peace. 

Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. By doing things which bring joy to my heart- walking, volunteering, eating tacos, biryani and butter chicken, drinking ginger chai with a good book or a TV show, meditating, attending a yoga class, journaling, listening to audiobooks, being grateful, attending ceremonies, spending time with my loved ones.

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