Art and Skills- A year long journey.

I was very excited when we started with “art and skills classes”, also after looking at the list of participants my reaction was, “MY GOD! mar gae, ye sab log bhi hai ismain”, inko art karwate karwate kahi hum apne skills bhul nehi jaen”……….. but as we started, slowly and gradually I realized that I was SOOOOO wrong, absolutely wrong. And now I am very sure, that whoever it may be, whatever profession he is coming form, irrespective of what he/she teaches, Art will always be an important part of their lives. 

The enthusiasm of participants made us (the facilitators) feel energetic even after the tiring hours of the day. I could see people being themselves on the days of life classes. It has always been a great experience working with all the participants. The best part about the workshop was nagging them to get up and go for breaks, for which they were never ready. It was difficult for us to make those enthusiastic bums to get up form their places. Those actions meant much more than appreciation. 

Be it a simple drawing or a time consuming artwork, everything was as unique as a Picasso painting………. All our newly originated Picassos will be soon displaying their talent. 

Here is a glimpse of the moment(s)…………………..

Neha Bhatia

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Being a teacher, its very easy for me to conduct classes, but to facilitate 32 adults was a very different experience. All of them were acquaintances to each other, but as we started sharing, the journey seemed to flow well. It had become like a family. I believe that “Nature gives you only that task, for which you are competent”. So having faith in this, I started my journey and took charge. It gave me a new perspective in life. Gradually, as the reflection of every habit was being shared, I realized that I can make a difference in somebody’s life and this made me feel more motivated and more dedicated towards the task given to me. I am not an avid reader, but honestly, as this opportunity came my way; it made me cultivate a habit of reading. This is the best thing that happened to me because as wise people say “A book is man’s best friend”. This simple sentence has a lot of depth to it. It conveys that if one cultivates reading in her/his life, he/she will never be lonely.Therefore, I realize that by being a facilitator I have already made a big investment for my life.

I would like to sum up, by saying that, “All the 7 habits are like swords that can be used in different battles of life.” Everyone has ups and downs in their life. But the skill is, when and how to use these swords of 7 habits effectively.

I acknowledge and appreciate the participants of life class beta for their cooperation and for indirectly contributing to my growth.


Nisha Jain

“Do it until you become it !”

Life is still the same. Now, more contented and happier within. And a lightness outside too.

Are we really in control of our mind, the thoughts, feelings or impulsively driven by the mind?

For many of us, the mind is very tricky to handle and goes haywire, keeps playing its tricks. We have a problem in letting go, urge to control leading to anxiety, restlessness and soured relationships. We always seek for perfection, this is how it should be or it shouldn’t be like this. We want people to live by “my way”/our standards.

There is a definite connection between mind and breath. How we feel simultaneously impacts the rhythm of the breath. Whenever one is angry breath flows rapidly, when one is sad or sick, the outgoing breath is longer. The feeling of incoming breath is almost negligible. When one is happy, joyful the breath is lighter, uplifting.

Despite my best efforts I could not control my mind or feelings, thoughts. Many people told me not to feel this or that, It will affect your health or don’t think this/that way. I studied through school, colleges but nowhere I was taught the link between mind and thoughts/feelings. We know so much about the outer world but not much about our inner world. Hardly any of my elders or teachers knew how to connect these two worlds. How to use breath to control the mind. What are the laws on which the mind works? How do I save my mind ??

Somebody said, “Your mind is your best friend and could be your worst enemy”. This is so true when it is playing a role of an enemy, it keeps holding onto past experiences and we can’t see things from a fresh perspective.  When it is a friend, it perceives knowledge and brings happiness and freedom. Being in knowledge, I could recognize that this is all my mind; judging people and situations, holding concepts about myself and others. And it holds me from moving on with peace inside and smiles outside. I recognized that I am making a mess of everything in my mind and around me. There is so much to do and the time in hand remains limited. The energy level becomes THE factor. How to achieve my personal and professional goals in such limited time!!

“Happiness Program” was the 1st place where I learned the connection as well as how to use this to my advantage. I also learned the laws on which the mind works. It helped me widen my smile. The techniques and knowledge sessions in it helped me, 1st of all to see the calmer, stable, happy (from within, without reason), joyous, quite me. My experience told me if I keep working on it, I can make it my dominant state on a day to day life.

Spiritual practices like few minutes of yoga, pranayama, Sudarshan kriya, and meditation on daily basis calms my mind and gives a deep rest. It doesn’t mean I don’t get angry or restless or anxious but it doesn’t stay longer anymore. It is becoming shorter and shorter in duration and intensity. I’m continuing to practice until they become my very own nature.

Listening to the experiences of the Happiness participants brings joy to me. Their sharings on how they are dealing with small little things of day to day life in a relaxed state of mind and about their improved health. They have become more patient with people around them, both at home and at work.

What I’m experiencing, I wish others to experience the same joy and peace within; become stress-free and maintain harmony with the uncertainties of life.

Shruti Patel 🙂


Love class- Sharing helps…..

I wonder sometimes, am I doing it right? It may be parenting or relationships or work. There comes a time because of some minor ups and down where we question our paradigms and actions. Love/Life class has always that impact on us (whether we agree or not), may be even temporary one but where we go back and introspect on our life and relationships and how we can change them.

As a love class facilitator, I got an opportunity to revisit the things which we learnt earlier (for me it was 3 years back) the ones we forget or ignore in our busy schedule. Every time when you read something or discuss with other facilitators while preparing for the class, you learn and understand something new.

When participants share their experience, you learn, connect it with your life experience and then reflect upon it. You again go back from a silent mode to an active mode. I recall giving my daughters a tight hug and saying I love you after the recent love workshop without any reason. That felt good and maybe that memory will always stay with me.

We do hear participants saying that these workshops are a waste of time. But from my personal experience, whether it is parenting or relationships it has definitely brought a positive change in my life. Earlier when I had a fight with my husband, usually it was followed by a cold war- (no talking for days) which was very frustrating. One thing I learnt after the workshop and now try and implement is, communication (of course I am still working on it). Talk and solve the issue instead of dragging it for days without any reason, which would eventually sour your relation.  

Of course, there are things which I still need to work upon, especially as a parent when we take that illegitimate suffering and anxiety.

I have attended all 3 classes (love, life and integrity)  and have seen life changing after the workshops. Sharing which normally does not happen in our so called happy life (koi problem hi nai hai) is done during the workshops and has made a difference in the lives of the participants too. It makes you feel good and you don’t feel guilty about it, as once we start sharing, we come to know that everyone is same and has same set of problems.

Thanks to Hasina ma’am and all my participants for sharing their experiences with us and hope that they witness the positive change in life using these amazing tools.




“Oh no! Not again…????”

“Arre ….. firse wahi rona dhona and all.”

“I don’t want to attend these classes. Kaise niklenge yeh din??”

But trust me Life classes are much more than that. It is a great platform to learn, unlearn and relearn. I would like to share my learning. As an individual, I, have gained a lot from these classes professionally as well as personally. People have come to me and said that, “You have changed a lot as a person and my answer is it because of FS.”

I am thankful to Stephen R. Covey and Fountainhead School because these classes have helped me in walking on the pathway of life with honesty, fairness, integrity, and dignity- principles that have given me the security to adapt to change.

Here, I would like to pen down my reflection on Facilitating the Life Classes (7-Habits) this year.

I did not even think of facilitating the class, but someone inspired me and I agreed and filled the form to take up the challenge. After filling the form I was still in a dilemma whether I will be able to conduct the classes or not but I went ahead. The day I got confirmation from Mariyam ma’am that, I will be facilitating I was literally thinking where to begin. I recalled the classes which I had attended 3 years ago but it was all blank. Each day was challenging for me, but I realized nothing is impossible. And now I feel contented and satisfied in bringing change in people’s thoughts and their lives.

The first day of Life Class!!

The day I met all the participants I was very happy and excited to know about them and to spend a year with them. They were so courageous, friendly, cool and always ready to share their experiences and perceptions. It felt like a family with them. All of them were ready and open to learn, unlearn and relearn. Listening to each one of them was very difficult for me. Listening to various responses was not easy for me, but these classes have helped me grow and so I could listen to the members empathetically.

Delivering the content to the participants was not easy for me as this was my first hand experience with facilitation. But when I look back the days spent with them, facilitating them and sharing my experiences with them I would like to say that, “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.”  

Last sessions!!

When we reached to the last two sessions I was sad and was thinking are we done with all the sessions. Will miss these days and all of them as we shared our personal and professional life with each other and shared good bond throughout the year. Was thinking that next year we will separate but was happy too as they gained something from the 7-Habits class and will learn more next year as it is said that, “Learning is a lifelong process.”

I would like to thank Vardan Sir and Mariyam ma’am for giving me this opportunity and making me learn through these classes. Also, I would like to thank all the participants for believing in us and sharing their experiences and feelings with us.


‘7 habits workshop’ – A journey within

When I got the call from Mariyam ma’am to facilitate the “7 habits workshop”, my first reaction was…. “Really…me???” But in the next moment I agreed to it. At the same time, I was not sure how the journey would be.

Now when I look back, I really feel amazed and happy to see that ‘YES…. I DID IT…’. For the person who was reluctant to speak in front of even 5-6 persons, standing in front of 30 people and delivering the content is a kind of achievement. But it was not easy. Initially, few nights were nightmares before each session….always thinking about. ’How would it go?’, ’Would I be able to convey the things properly?’…etc. But gradually I overcame that anxiety.

We know that ‘teaching is the best way to learn’. As a participant, I didn’t take pains to read the book ‘7 habits of highly effective people’. But as a facilitator I read it (both English and Gujarati versions) thoroughly which gave me a better understanding of the content. Apart from it, listening to each and every participant’s experiences and their approach towards life also helped to understand my life in a newer light.

As a participant of the workshop (2013-14),I could work on many areas in my life and could implement many things like time management, taking care of mind-body-soul, empathetic listening etc. But I was struggling with few things and the most important is being principle centered.
While reading about various centers in the book and during discussions in the workshop, I introspected a lot to understand my center. And I found that I am not principle-centered for sure as I always tend to end up doing stuff that either please me or others. The reason behind it is I don’t have enough courage to come out of my comfort zone and be ready to get hurt. I am quite vulnerable to criticism. But now I am happy that I could reflect upon it and I am giving my best to work on it.

No doubt it will take time and a lot of courage to live life with complete integrity.

I loved few lines from the personal note given at the end of the book by Stephen Covey and I can relate with them. “I personally struggle with much of what I have shared in this book. But the struggle is worthwhile and fulfilling. It gives meaning to my life and enables me to love, to serve, and to try again.” – Stephen Covey

I am really grateful to Vardan sir and Mariyam ma’am for giving me this opportunity. It was a wonderful experience!

Life classes – A rewarding experience

I was really scared when management approached me for taking a  life class on 7 habits. I agreed without thinking much but internally I was worried, then this came to my mind, My wish! yes, my wish….  I always wanted to learn the seven habits once again because I believe reinforcement is important.

I started following Secret which is my funda “Ask, believe and receive” but secret also says be specific for your wish, that I didn’t and it came to me the other way round not for only learning in fact with more than learning that is teaching and learning. I heard this quote- “The best way to learn is to teach” and that I did, it worked with me. I am really blessed that I got this opportunity to pass my knowledge which will help others in becoming the leaders of their life.

While planning and facilitating I gained immense knowledge which really helped me to take vital decisions of my life especially parenting. I started adopting its learning which says the change starts from within- The inside – out, first change yourself, work on maturity continuum from dependent to independent and then interdependent because the world today demands that. I did the same, I cannot control the situations under my circle of concern so I stopped reacting to them. I try to expand my circle of influence by following these guiding principles like fairness, honesty, integrity, human dignity, quality, potential, and growth, keeping in mind empathetic listening and seek for the best third alternative. The major change I brought in myself is fitness, there is always a need for balance between production and production capability applies to physical, financial, and human assets, which made me understand me and my health, I started with a 30 minute daily walk and adopted healthy food habits.

The workshop really inspired me to integrate different responsibilities in my  personal and professional life. It helped me to address the need to restore the character ethic in our society. Gregory J. Newell, U.S. Ambassador to Sweden rightly said- Stephen Covey’s deliberate integration of life and principles leads to squaring inner thought and outward behavior, resulting in personal as well as public integrity.

Special thanks to Stephen Covey for the inspiring and enriching book and to Fountainhead school for giving me this opportunity to learn.


Chesta Dhingra

Way to learn is to teach: Love classes 2016-17

In our school we have this practice of taking reflection from students after a major task, we all know the purpose of it, to know their understanding!!!

But when we ask the adults (us) to reflect on their learning or any take-aways (from life classes), there is always a pause. And then, after a push, some of us start hunting down all those thoughts, related to the topic, which runs everywhere except in our mind and brain.

Well, for a change, I am not feeling that way!!! Yup, you read it right. And, no, I have not lost it. I really want to pen down my thoughts. And not about anything else but my experience as a facilitator of love classes. You must be wondering…… what was Mariyam ma’am thinking and what was I thinking???

But honestly, I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart for giving this opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life (hope so) for better.This year was really a great year for me. Everything was new, I took a leap in my profession (as you all know) and along with that I was GIVEN the task to facilitate the love classes. In this dive, I was not alone, I had Nayna ma’am with me. We both had a good rapport and we complimented each other so well that most of the sessions were a great learning experience for me.

During each classes, while explaining the topics like: life, pain, love, problems, suffering, marriage, parenting; I revisited all my life’s instances and I reflected whether I had followed any of these principles as I was preaching. And the truth was NO. Not all.  And that was a reality check. Because when you are learning something new, it’s very exciting and we make lot of commitments to ourselves to follow, but as time passes in our busy schedules we forget all these learnings, at least few, if not all.

And that’s where my courageous self comes into picture. I grabbed this opportunity to LIVE my commitments. I not only shared my experiences but also accepted my mistakes and along with the participants wrote the forgiveness letter which was pending for a long time. I finally got around to writing a forgiveness letter to my family members for an incident that had been hurting me for 11 years! Believe me, it was hell of a difficult task. But because I wanted to be the person who is “ Do as I do” and not as “Do as I say” I did it. And it was worth it.

Many times we feel that these classes are just waste of time and energy. But frankly speaking, it’s not. I think we feel this way because we lack courage. And its ok. But “ek try toh bunta hae, boss!!!” Because no gain without any pain!!!