Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Air Force wife Cashmere Lashkari’s energy healing brand & creative ventures

Hello everyone! I’ve been very sporadic on the blog and the internet – #fauji life beckons. I’ve been accompanying my husband on his many work trips across the country + gearing up for yet another move. Between this and finding my new homeschooling mojo (when the kid can't go to school, the school comes to him!), work and writing have kind of been plonked on the back burner for a bit. But I’ve popped back in for my favorite series – The Brigade That Builds Brands. This week, we’re featuring Cashmere Lashkari , fellow Air Force wife, Reiki healer, entrepreneur and writer.

Here’s how Cashmere has always found something interesting to do wherever they are posted, and continues to build a light-filled brand.


C. Please tell us something about yourself – what do you do, where are you based and how long have you been a fauji wife.

Cashmere: I am an Army daughter and an Air Force wife. I’ve called more than a dozen cities home and have loved exploring each one of them. For the first two decades I saw the services from the child’s perspective and the last two decades from the spouse’s perspective. Life on both sides has been interesting with its own challenges. Currently I am in Pune and loving being on a “home posting.”

Living at home, literally since we didn’t shift to the MES accommodation, has opened up a number of new vistas for me. I am currently juggling the hats of a Spiritual Workshop Facilitator for Reiki and the Law of Attraction under my brand of Healing Energy 888, a Life Coach to create Work- Family balance for Women Entrepreneurs, and an Editor/Writer for a newly launched publication house called ActiveMuse.

C. What has your business or creative journey been like: how & when did you start your venture?

Cashmere: I am an HR Trainer by academic qualification, and a certified British Airways travel agent. Like a good fauji biwi, I have enjoyed my ladies club meets, husband’s nights and met my welfare obligations. However I have also constantly been working as a trainer and blogger, doing whatever work became available in each station we were in.

I have been writing stories since I was 7 years old and have been published in Salute, Good Housekeeping, Chicken Soup for the Indian Teenage Soul, Diplomatist, and Asian Age. I also self publish on the Kindle Store and have four books out under my pen name Candy Laine. I am working on book number five.

Cashmere with her Reiki students

I began Healing Energy 888 (www.HealingEnergy888.com) after completing my Reiki Grandmaster qualification. I offer Reiki Healing, Tarot Readings and Law of Attraction coaching. I started practicing Reiki in 1998 and over the last couple of decades have offered my service to a number of friends and family members. I began my Reiki teaching workshops in 2015 when we were posted to Delhi. Now I continue the spiritual workshops at the Wellnessence center (https://www.facebook.com/wellnessencepune/)on Salunke Vihar Road in Pune.

C. Were you in a different profession and re-trained for the current one? If yes, can you share how/where you learned the skills required for your current profession?

Cashmere: Absolutely! I started out my career as a Java programmer who shifted to web content development. Then earned an HR post graduate qualification, giving exams when I was 6 months pregnant. I worked as a personality development trainer at Air Hostess Academy in Chandigarh and Agra. Post which I went back to SEO content creation and blogging. At each stage I constantly updated my qualification to do the next job in front of me. However, Reiki was my constant companion through this all, and eventually I realized that my Life Purpose was to be a Light Worker. I went back to complete my Reiki Grandmaster training, did a course on becoming a Life Coach from Blackford Center and then PLR from Life University.



C. Fauji wives make their home in an assortment of obscure places across the country. Our lives are about living in the moment and doing what we can, when we can. Can you share how you stayed creative or found work that satisfied you while moving across the country?

Cashmere: The Internet is an absolute boon to our generation. I could take periodic breaks during postings from working as a web content developer and get back to it after settling down in the new place. Of course it also gave me the liberty to enjoy the new city and explore new hobbies whenever I felt like it.
Before I started my own Healing Energy 888 brand, I was happy to work at whatever happened to come my way. I’ve done training for spoken English, personna enhancement, personality development, travel and tourism, and anything else that came my way. I spent time learning about blogging when it first became popular and educated myself about Google and it’s dreaded algorithm changes.

Cashmere wearing her baker's hat

I spent time on forums online and widened my world view as I chatted with people from all over the globe. I networked with Indie Authors and reviewed their books, even as I took creative writing courses to improve my own writing skills. I’ve done candle making, jewelry making, card making, soap making, chocolate making, baking, and have found satisfaction in selling these products through the local AFWWA shops.

The one constant in my life has been to always have something new to learn more about. That’s how I keep evolving and redefining myself.

C. How do you market your business and products while moving from base to base, place to place, and often to remote areas?

Cashmere: The smartphone combined with social media has been an invaluable tool. Having groups on Facebook and WhatsApp (https://chat.whatsapp.com/HrwEJHD2Ep2KA3RSRoB6QQ)  have allowed me to offer my online workshops to people everywhere. Plus promotion of in-person events is also much easier when you have a group of people already tuned in to the meditations and Reiki healing that is on offer.

Essentials for the marketing of your products and services are a website, coupled with social media handles like twitter, instagram and facebook. Don’t shy away from paid promotions. There are many instances where I’ve seen women who don’t want to pay for advertisements in the newspaper or boosting paid facebook posts.

Do remember that if you consider it simply a hobby, you are not giving your business the chance at success that it deserves. Honor your own passion and commit to creating a successful venture.

Cashmere teaching a Law of Attraction workshop to children

C. How do you juggle that load of social commitments & welfare activities that are an integral part of the fauji community, while nurturing your passions and meeting work deadlines?

Cashmere: It’s pretty much a choice you make. There’s no reason why you can have one but not the other. As long as you stay organized and manage your time well, you can meet all your commitments with the fauj and still nurture your own business. Yes, there may be times when you are burning the candle at both ends, but that’s just a temporary thing and passes.

I remember writing ten articles a day for my SEO work in the morning and still being available for Ladies Club rehearsals in the evening. It may have been a super tiring day, but it was also a very satisfying one. I’m not saying that at times it will not be difficult, but I will reiterate that it’s something that can be done. So many fauji wives are already doing it beautifully.

C. As a creative/entrepreneur + fauji wife, is there something that you cherish very much about being part of this community? And is there something you feel must/can change for the better?

Cashmere: Of late I have seen a disillusionment with the services creeping into the attitude of fauji biwis. I have seen the changes in this lifestyle from the time I was a child, and things are not the same. Still I feel that the services offer us a wonder arena to bring up our children in safety and with exposure to so many cities and cultures.

For me the intention to start doing my spirituality based workshops included giving fauji wives a sense of empowerment. When you are at peace with yourself, you are at peace with the world. There is always a way to do what you really want to. By becoming more connected with your Higher Self through these spiritual practices, it becomes much more effortless to live a meaningful life.


C. What challenges have you faced in balancing work and fauji life?

Cashmere: The biggest challenge has to be the constant shifting. Postings are heralds of packing and unpacking cycles that last for a couple of months and completely disrupt our lives. Thankfully being my own boss means that I can schedule things in such a way that work can be shelved during this time. Still the loss of productivity has often resulted in much slower growth and of course periods of no financial income.

C. What tips would you give to fauji wives out there who’d like to pursue their dreams while living at small and busy bases (many still believe or led to believe that you can either be a fauji wife or a professional, and that’s not true)?

Cashmere: Be very clear about what you want to do. When I was working from home as an SEO writer, I would have a number of ladies approach me and ask what I was doing. They wanted to try their hand at it, but even when I set them up with projects, they would shy away from it. Just because you want to do something, doesn’t mean that you have to do what someone else is doing. Follow your own passions.

Nothing is impossible in today’s world. You can be connected with people all over the country even if you are living in some small border town. All you need to do is work out your own business plan and then stick with it. No business succeeds in six months! It’s always a cycle of ups and downs. You need to have the patience and persistence to stay with it and nurture it to grow.


C. A parting quote or philosophy that helps you stay calm and do what you do?

Cashmere: Now that’s a difficult one! Over the years I have had a number of meaningful quotes help me through whatever I was currently struggling with. Most recently the one that touched me was something a close friend sent me on my birthday. It said, “you were born to light up the world.”

I honestly believe that we live in a benevolent Universe that is constantly listening to us. It wants us to have what we want. Unfortunately so many of us are busy focusing on what we don’t want. The Universe feels our deep vibrational energy attached to these things and has no choice but to send those unwanted things to us.

Make the Law of Attraction work for you. It’s easy when you follow the 7 Essential Spiritual Laws. Create from a space of love, not fear. The Universe has always had my back. All I have to do is ask, with a heart space of love, and it brings me everything. I am so grateful for all the wonderful opportunities it has brought my way and continues to do.

Thank you for answering these questions! J

If you enjoyed reading Cashmere's inspiring story, do read more such interviews and fauji wife stories here.

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#thebrigadethatbuildsbrands #faujiwife #faujiwifeentrepreneur #entrepreneur #energyhealer #reiki





2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much Chandana for sharing my journey on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooh! Another one of my dear friends featured among these pages. First Meghna and now you Cash! Youre doing a great job highlighting the many ways that women professionals can make the best of a fauji life!

    ReplyDelete

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