Chavi Behl- Women Are At The Top of Creation

Humans often have dreams and aspirations that may not come to fruition in the time and manner we desire. However, our Women Trailblazer, Chavi Behl, believes that there is a higher power that will ensure that our dreams come true at the right moment. Our responsibility is to maintain a positive attitude, manifest our desires, and exercise patience as we wait for them to become a reality. 

Childhood and Early Years

A happy child grows up to be a happy adult. And therefore, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that they give a happy childhood to their children. Children need to grow up in an environment with unconditional love, support, and security conducive to healthy growth and development.

Chavi’s joyful and untroubled childhood helped shape her into a secure and content adult with a strong sense of self-worth. She grew up in a large joint family with many uncles and aunts and activity in the household. The presence of so many people meant that they all had to co-exist with each other despite differences which was a critical life lesson for the children.

A large family also meant that Chavi had a lot of freedom to do what she wanted, though there were boundaries to that freedom. Being the only girl while she got a lot of attention, she also got influenced by the boys around her, so climbing trees and jumping terraces were her usual activities. She was also an impulsive kid who did what her mind told her to do.

Working Life

While her childhood was free, her parents were very particular about a few things, amongst which academic excellence is the most noteworthy. There was also an emphasis on music, dance and behavioural etiquette. The children needed to learn about the culture of India. And though Chavi was a girl getting her to pick up household skills was the least of their concerns. 

Also Read: The Journey of a Working Woman

This environment ensured that Chavi grew up to be an ambitious person who wanted to make an impact in life. Though her career goals were not defined, the fact that she would have one was undeniable.

While growing up, she also realised she had a knack for teaching. Whenever she studied with her friends, she always had a way of explaining things to people, though, at that time, she never imagined that she would get into the teaching profession. In fact, she wanted to get into Civil Services, and that is what she set out to do once she had finished her Master’s. She studied for that and got into the IES.

But as they say, Man Proposes, God Disposes. While all this was happening, she was also in a relationship with Anish, her future husband, and she had to make a choice. That choice was between moving on with her Civil Services career or getting married, which her parents also wanted. Anish was a banker who knew he would have to move places to progress in his career and could not stay in one place. And that meant that Chavi would have to take a call. They both could not go their ways if they were to be together. That’s when she decided that the relationship and the commitment meant more to her than her career, so she got married. 

Also Read: 10 Career Options for Women After a Break

But then, the ambitious streak in her did not die down. And so when she got the opportunity to teach at the University of Delhi, she took it up. Though teaching wasn’t her first choice, she was okay with it.

While she was settling into the teaching routine, her husband got transferred to Mumbai, and of course, she had to move with him. A new city meant a new life, settling in and more. While trying to figure out her job options, she discovered she was expecting their first child. This meant that, once again, she had to make a choice. And so she decided to enjoy her pregnancy, pursue her hobbies, and once again put her career plans on hold. 

Once her daughter was born, she wanted to focus on the child and put her hundred percent into raising her. However, despite everything, she continued taking up temporary assignments in schools though her primary focus was her daughter. And then she had her son, which meant that her career had to be completely put on hold for the next few years.

Chavi’s life exemplifies that what is meant to happen will happen despite all odds. And so her tryst with her career continued. Each time her career took a backseat, she rose like a Phoenix to pick up from wherever she had left.

Her life took another turn when it was time for her son to start schooling. That was when Chavi decided that she would teach in the school where her children studied, which would allow her to be close to them and let her do what she enjoyed, and that was teaching. 

So although dissuaded by a lot of people from taking up school teaching, she decided to go ahead. And that’s when her journey with The Shriram school, Aravalli, began and continued for the next ten years. According to her, those ten years were extremely enriching and rewarding in terms of the relationships she built and the learnings she acquired. She went on to become the Vice Principal of the school.

And today, she is running her venture PeakPotentia which is geared towards teaching students to focus, explore and balance to reach their highest potential.

Thus if you are clear about certain basic goals in life and stick to your guns, you will get there despite all odds.

Challenges and Roadblocks

As Chavi understands, the challenges she faced in life were similar to what all working women face: the continuous struggle to multitask. Still, she feels there was s difference, which had more to do with her than anyone else.

As she sees it now, it wasn’t that she had to do various things; it was how she wanted to do them. She was a perfectionist and wanted everything to happen in a particular way and time. And so when it didn’t happen, she would get disturbed and upset. It wasn’t as though anyone was questioning or doubting her; it was her own self that could not accept that things had not gone her way. The result was that her irritation/discomfort would be visible to everyone, who would then conclude that she was stressed. And that would add to her stress. So it was like a vicious cycle and self-inflicted.

Another challenge she faced was her desire to be a helicopter mom, always there for and with her children. Not only that, she also wanted her children to excel at everything they did, from their behavior to academics to extracurriculars and more. She was part of an institution which believed in holistic learning, and she, having imbibed that philosophy, wanted her children to absorb it as well. As a result, she pushed them and herself to ensure it happened. 

However, life is not perfect, and most of the time, things don’t happen as you want them to. You have to learn to appreciate what you have, but she would get plagued by self-doubt, questions, and concerns about her parenting. She now realises that it wasn’t the right way to be, but at that time, it seemed to be the only way to function.

The greatest impact of all this was that she could never give any time to herself. She was always involved in her work or children and had no time for herself, which she now realises was a big mistake.

As a woman, she didn’t have to face too many challenges as her family was always supportive and encouraging towards her work. Also, since she worked in a school, she was predominantly surrounded by women and so did not face any challenges because of her gender. But she has an interesting observation to make.

She feels women have the power to understand emotion beautifully, and they can use it both to their advantage and that of others around them. But when they use it negatively, it could lead to disastrous consequences.

They also have the power to manipulate, which, again, if exercised for the wrong reasons, could lead to unpleasant consequences.

In an environment dominated by women, she realised that while women can be great friends, not all of them are completely honest all the time. That could be true of the other gender as well, but she feels men tend to be more open about things, whereas women can be closed and secretive. 

The Balancing Act

Women generally have a lot on their plate, which could get challenging, and Chavi is no different. But with time, she found her way to manage. Today when she looks back, she realises that in the earlier days, she found it difficult because she did not feel appreciated enough for all that she was doing. However, the problem lay with her. She was not happy with her own self and so found balancing the multiple roles a struggle.

 As she was constantly juggling the various hats, she was unable to give time to herself and do anything she wanted. It was always for someone else, and that unsettled her. With time, she realised that she was more than a wife, a daughter and a colleague. She was an individual in her own right, so she needed to give time and attention to herself. She realised that amidst everything and everyone, she needed to be happy. Before taking on any role or responsibility, she needed to understand herself. This process of self-introspection helped her calm down and stop trying to rush into things. As a result, the earlier impatience and frustration were eased out of her life.

Since she is a happy person now, she can take on all her tasks with positivity, joy and energy. She is at peace with herself and with whom she has become. She feels that she is now the best version of herself. And she is only going to move ahead from here.

She also believes that to balance things; the one critical requirement is the power to say NO. She feels we liberate ourselves from unnecessary expectations when we exercise this power. Also, we prevent ourselves from doing things we don’t want to do and free ourselves from the accompanying frustration, anger and other negative emotions. 

She also feels that when you say No and move out of situations, you allow yourself free time, which you can use to delve deep into yourself and understand yourself. She has done this, which has helped her discover what she wants. She has realised that she enjoys time with herself, and once she can have that, she can face other people and situations easily. Her time with herself helps her understand situations better. She doesn’t need anyone else.

She also believes that there is a lot of power in being a woman. Compared to men, women have the flexibility of feeling a gamut of emotions, from anger to joy to sadness to love and more. There is a whole canvas of feelings for them to explore. This gives a woman the power to manifest, which she has started doing, which has also helped her efforts at balancing her different roles.

Life and Its Successes

The ever-positive person says life is not over and many more successes will come. But when she looks back then, she feels her biggest success is associated with her journey at The Shriram School. And that had to do with her students and the connection she built with them. She sees her success in the success stories of all her students. Like all teachers, she takes pride in their success, and when they remember her during the high points of their lives, it is like the icing on the cake.

Along with this, her journey towards becoming the Vice Principal of the school and being part of the senior management is also something that she takes pride in. The journey was fraught with hard work and choices, but the destination was well worth the effort.

Highs and Lows of Life

To cope with such days/ moments, she listens to music. She feels music helps her realign and centre her thoughts. But the practical person she is, she gives herself only twenty minutes to indulge as she doesn’t want it to become a habit. She has a corner in the house, which is where she does this, and this is where people can find her if she cannot be found elsewhere. 

In this ‘Me’ corner, she self-introspects to understand the reason behind what is happening to her or how she is feeling. She talks to herself in the first person, questions herself, and thinks back to understand what made her feel the way she was. These conversations with herself clear up her mind and help her cope with the situation.

Sometimes she even writes about how she is feeling. She writes to herself as she believes writing helps to imbibe deeper and enables her to get whatever is bothering her out of her system and understand the situation better. 

She has also made a habit of not going to sleep feeling bad about anything. She wants to go to sleep feeling happy, positive and upbeat about the next day. So whatever is bothering her has to be resolved by the end of the day.

She feels it is best to self-introspect rather than talk to thirty people who cannot understand or relate to what you are going through.

Ten Years From Now

In ten years, Chavi aims to become the CEO of a company that boasts significant international influence and branding while also occupying a unique niche within the education industry.

Learnings of Life

Chavi feels life has taught her many things, and she was happy sharing some of those learnings with us. 

The first lesson she has learnt is to have patience in life. She feels patience is critical, as many solutions come when you handle situations patiently. One has to believe that nothing can happen now or yesterday. It will take its time.

Then being a good listener is also critical. She has learnt this over a period. She was someone who wanted to share her thoughts the moment they came to her and couldn’t wait. But now she realises one must listen to others before sharing one’s thoughts.

So what happens if you are a good listener?

You get a lot of respect, and people start valuing you. Also, When someone is speaking, you should look at them because when you do that, the speaker begins looking at you because they feel they are being heard and acknowledged. And that boosts their morale.

You can challenge and question authority when you listen. Chavi feels that sometimes you don’t agree with what the authority wants you to do, but you must listen before reacting. Reacting without getting to the bottom of things may do more harm than good. That’s because the reasons for not wanting to do that become clearer once you’ve heard the other person out, and you can voice those reasons more effectively. Therefore you must always respond and not react.

Responding involves time, allowing you to process information and put your point across logically and effectively.   

Gratitude is the third learning of her life. She believes it is imperative to be grateful for what you have. She feels your strength comes from feeling that gratitude. When you wake up every morning with that thought, you will feel empowered and look forward to the day.

And then the most important learning is about finding your happiness. She believes everything will fall into place if you are happy and grateful. 

World and Successful Women

Chavi feels that though much progress has been made in how the world reacts to accomplished women, we still have miles to go. Almost 90% of the time, women are appreciated and applauded for their accomplishments. Still, there is that 10% when they are reminded of what they may have sacrificed along the way, like their families and other household responsibilities.

Along with this, society still believes that anything a woman does needs the support and buy-in of her husband. While a partner’s support is necessary for everyone, why are only women questioned about this?

She feels this is unfair, and people should be able to look at a woman as an individual who has dreams and ambitions and will pursue them like others. Why should anyone question them? 

She firmly believes that anything anyone does should be a collaboration, a partnership, and people, including men and women, should stop questioning a woman about her dreams or the sacrifices she has to make to realise them.

Switching Gears

On this trend of people taking to different and diverse careers in their mid lives, Chavi has some interesting observations. She feels this is happening because people are now not only recognising their inner talents but also trying to further their talents. Even though people had dreams and passions earlier, they never considered making them a reality because they never wanted to change anything about their lives. They wanted to lead them in a particular way and didn’t want any turbulence.

Today people are more vocal, expressive and willing to take that plunge which their mind wants. This is happening as people are now open to experimenting, questioning and changing the status quo if that leads to happiness. People are no longer satisfied with just one straight jacket thing. They want more from life and are happy to admit that.

Added to this is the inspiration all around us, thanks to social media. There is no dearth of people all over the world who are doing and experimenting with different things. These role models and the inner calling are leading people to change the narrative of their lives.

Advice for Young Girls

Having closely observed the young, Chavi is someone who can give some useful advice to them.

Chavi feels that whether you are a boy or a girl, you must always be aware of what you are doing and never be blinded by it. You always need to evaluate people and situations rationally. And this is especially so when you are on the threshold of a relationship.

She adds an interesting dimension when she says one must never fall in love; one should rise in love. That is because a relationship based on love should empower, lift, and enhance your being. It has to be a collaboration, a partnership, so if you fall, you demean your personality, and one must never do that.

She feels two people should get together to build a more beautiful life than the one they are currently leading. There she strongly advises the young to think before they jump into anything. They should use logic, rationality and emotion in that order before making any kind of commitment.

When it comes to girls, she advises them to step out into the world without feeling any gender bias. She believes that there is no need to perpetuate something like that by believing in it. 

And girls should never put their lives on hold because of any such misconceptions.

 She believes that a woman has a power that nobody else can have, and that is the power to handle a multitude of emotions and situations. That is something nobody can replicate. She believes women are at the top of the creation, and nothing can happen without them. 

Young girls should know this and accept this. They should know that they have the potential to change the world, and therefore they must work towards creating an impact. They must focus on making a difference with the inane ability the universe has bestowed upon them. 

A woman also has the power to manipulate and mould situations, which should be used positively and constructively. And A woman should always be proud of how she looks and what she can do with her mental abilities.

Can a Woman have it All?

Chavi firmly believes that a woman can have it all, and that is because she is a gifted being. Our culture and heritage show that a woman has been given the power to absorb and nurture, which places her in an enviable position. The many facets of her personality give her the ability to experience life in different ways, each more fulfilling than the other. And so there is no way that she can’t have it all!!

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