Welcome to Simply Consciousness…. I am honored today to have the opportunity to interview Dr. Mandeep Rai. She is a global authority on values, working with companies, institutions, and individuals around the world. She has traveled to more than 150 countries and reported as a broadcast journalist for the BBC World Service and Reuters, among others. She began her career in private banking at JPMorgan, and later worked for the United Nations, the European Commission, and grassroots NGOs before setting up the UAE’s first media venture capital fund. Mandeep studied philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE), has an MSc in development from the London School of Economics, and completed an MBA at London Business School, with a year at Harvard Business School and MIT. She also holds a PhD in global values.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

 I am (a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, and) a piece of divinity who is flawed as the next person, or even more so, and is discovering life through challenging herself again and again.  I am here to experience the oneness between us all – that is when I am happiest.  

What is your definition of consciousness?

Consciousness is the state of being aware of myself and my surroundings.  I know when I am in the NOW and feel the FLOW, I feel that I am connected with source and everything around me. This is a magical way of being, but I am not necessarily in this state as often as I would like. 

How did your awareness process started?

People normally find that their awareness process comes out of a time of desperation, pair or despair.  In my case, it began when I first took to the road or began to travel.  When it was just me and the world – no layer of familiarity, no friend, and no family to offer comfort or routine in between.  This is when I have felt most alive, most connected, most vulnerable and most happy – I would even go as far as to say… This is when I felt the lightest, and hence my awareness process and consciousness awakening began. 

What are you the most aware of in your daily life?

I am aware that our values are guiding us or when left unexamined, sometimes they are ruling us.  These values come from our experiences and are playing out rather automatically.  No matter what circumstances we are born into, no matter what the geography, history and culture of our country, we all have one thing in common.  We are all aiming to be the best version of ourselves – and therefore, we can also practice (self) love, forgiveness, compassion and care.

What was the deepest internal change that you have personally experienced from transforming your consciousness and how it did impact your life in both spiritual and practical ways?

The deepest internal change that I experienced was going from having muddy waters (internally) to experiencing crystal clear waters once all the mud had settled.  This led to clarity and serenity.  It occurred after an extended period of silent meditation (11 days).  When on the road, in flow, traveling – I also experience a sense of clarity and serenity. It is what it is and being completely in the now.  Practically this means being able to flow with whatever is occurring in the external world and for it not to rock my internal world. Whilst spiritually there is greater love, compassion and wisdom – it feels like an endless supply, and therefore an overwhelming state of gratitude also. 

What is the best advice, words of wisdom that you would like to share with our readers about the importance of becoming more conscious?

When you have a greater sense of consciousness or awareness, then you are less likely to hurt or harm others, nor yourself.  There is a greater sense of harmony, and yet also an unbounded energy. Together this makes for a powerful concoction – one that can enable you to relate to others, empower others, and have you engage in the world at a whole new level.

Please inspire us by telling us about your current project or projects.

I believe there are some projects that we cannot run away from in life – they are like stardust, always surrounding you, waiting for you to turn around and look straight at it.  That is how this book, The Values Compass, is for me.  Ever since I took my first trip overseas I needed to express it, write about, share it, inspire with what had inspired.

Over the years, as I travelled over 150 countries, this need just grew, and when I became pregnant, I felt as though I need to give birth to this project that had been growing inside of me, before I could really give birth, and start the next chapter of my life.

This is why this book inside of me was originally called ‘Letters to my unborn child’. It was wisdom from all around the world that I wanted to share with my newborn, to engage, empower and educate him or her.

However, the stories I had inside of me took longer than 9 months to write, because as I began writing I began to realize that I was writing about values, not just random lessons.  I also wanted to visit all the countries that might be difficult to travel to post children, like North Korea or Mongolia, and so I picked up my bags and tried to squeeze it all in before life changed forever. 

Having not finished the project in the first pregnancy I tried again – but my second pregnancy was not enough either, and having more babies was not the answer – so I changed gear, let the project speak to me, and slowly this morphed into The Values Compass which needed greater rigour and research, and led to a PhD.  Finally, now nearly decade on…

I am so excited to share my first book, The Values Compass, which is a journey around the world, to 101 countries.  “In a revelatory new guide to calibrating your own internal values compass, broadcast journalist Mandeep Rai takes us on a journey to 101 countries highlighting a single, unique value that has defined each nation’s history, culture, and global influence—and how we can apply them to better our own lives and make decisions more effectively.”

Every day, whether we acknowledge it or not, we make decisions based on what we believe in. The choices, challenges, or opportunities facing us—and how we engage with them—reveal something important about our character, desires, and personality. When those values align in a single population, they have the power to evolve a nation, and teach the world valuable lessons about success. It’s a game changer and will shape your next decade for the best –

What is the biggest problem in the world today?

The biggest problem in the world today is that we seem to be still be focusing on division, on the negative, on the problem (excuse the irony), rather than seeing what is feeding our human evolution and emphasizing that energy, those values, and those examples that can create and feed the opposite.  The time is now.

For 2020 vision into the next decade and to build a future on strong foundations, with powerful roots – reserve your copy of The Values Compass!