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My Story

Active exploration of my own life journey, struggles and triumphs have led me to writing and sharing my story with you. As a result, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for my own life and the underlying currents taking me in the direction of my work today. I have gradually developed the courage and acceptance of sharing this story publicly; knowing full well that I will be judged by some and encouraged by others. I accept both. My intent with sharing this story is to serve YOU and help you awaken to the underlying currents in your own life and your deep truth. An invitation for you to explore your own journey, listen to the call of your heart and walk the path that only you can. So here it goes…


If I told you that I had

  • low confidence as a child

  • almost died as a teenager with hepatitis

  • lost my best friend

  • grew up in a family with dysfunctional finances

  • had my heart broken more times than I can count

  • struggled with anger for as long as I can remember

  • was afraid to lead

  • questioned the very purpose and meaning of life itself


Would you believe me? Here’s my story. 


Recovering from severe illness


I want to take you back to 1999 when I moved from India to the US as a teenager with my family. However just two months earlier, I had recovered from a three month long severe illness with hepatitis which almost took my life. I barely ate, was severely weak in both body and spirit so much so that when I went for a blood test on one occasion, I lost complete consciousness and collapsed. I was pale, my body itched to the point that I had scabs all over it. My parents found the most respected doctor in the field who advised us on the medical necessities but also the need for prayer. My family prayed for me day and night, took me to Hindu temples, Sikh Gurdwaras and Islamic fakirs to gain their blessings for my safe recovery. On one of the nights, I remember not being able to sleep through the night while staring at the picture of an Indian goddess, Ma Durga, while praying for better health. With the many blessings I received over months, my health gradually recovered.  

Navigating financial insecurity 

After this severe ordeal, as far as I was concerned, life seemed pretty rosy especially as I stepped on to my first plane ride ever into the US. On the flight, I remember being in and above the clouds with the vast mountains and ocean underneath and being completely mesmerized. If that wasn’t enough, we finally had some financial stability in our life as my Dad gifted me a giant stereo system for my 13th birthday. I was over the moon because I absolutely love music! 


This quickly changed when my Dad got laid off during the dot com boom and bust of 2001. On one weekend, I sat in PJs inside our two bedroom apartment in Fremont, California. What should have been a fun weekend, instead felt stagnant and dull. We weren’t going anywhere, nor planning anything fun. Instead what I overheard sitting in my room was one of several conversations I would witness about money between my parents. Without an income, I came to learn that our family had been racking up bills on the credit card for nearly two years. I began to be filled with a constraining sense of dread and became increasingly angry about our family’s financial health. 


What would happen to us like this? Would we end up on the streets? 


Though dad never made us feel a lack of money, he could no longer hide it. One day he took me to a meeting with our apartment manager to negotiate a lower rent. I realized that he took me with him reluctantly to show that he had a family to take care of so the landlord would have some mercy on us. Luckily the landlord was kind and agreed to lower our rent. Though after that meeting I remember the humility I saw in my dad’s eyes. I could sense the sadness in his voice and noticed his drooped shoulders. I felt his pain.  


Around that time I decided I never wanted to live my life in financial insecurity like I experienced that day (Sunkulp #1). We had no money coming in as a family and I decided I had enough of this limiting existence. I would go get a job myself, earn my own money, help my family and never have to ask for money from my parents again. Being fifteen and a half, the only place I could work was McDonalds where I spent an entire year busting my butt in the greasy and hot drive-through, which paid a whopping $5.25 an hour. I worked various retail jobs throughout high school eventually ending up at Costco where I had to work in the blistering sun and rainstorms pulling carts in the parking lot - the hardest physical work I’ve done to date. But, it paid twice as much as McDonalds and I got my first 401K retirement plan! 


I learned the value of hard work and what it took to earn a living. It made me strong and helped me pay my own way through college. It made me so resilient that I felt I could take on anything. I knew I didn’t want to do this work forever. I knew I could do better. I couldn’t decide on a major in college so I eventually settled on Business Finance - thinking once I can take care of my financial life, it’ll help me with other opportunities later. And it did. As soon as I became a sophomore in college, I started applying and landed an internship at Ernst and Young. Overnight I went from pulling carts in the parking lot at Costco to working on spreadsheets on a computer in an air conditioned office. I doubled my hourly pay again and got to drink beers on Fridays with my manager. Life changed overnight!


The Quest for Truth


Just as the hard work began to show me a light at the end of the tunnel, something deeper began to stir inside me. I started asking deeper, larger questions. 

  • What is all this? 

  • Why are we here? 

  • What is the purpose of life? 


These questions began to be stirred as I sat in my first philosophy class in University. 


It reminded me of the time in third grade when I first learned about the solar system and was blown away by what I had just learned. It took me more than a week until I could get my bearings straight - “You mean to tell me that we’re sitting on a round ball of dirt that’s spinning in infinite space around the sun?”  


My little brain wondered - “What the heck is going on here?”


Though this time in my college years, I was about to embark on a much deeper lifelong journey in search of Truth. One day I remember stepping out of one of my philosophy classes at university wearing black business slacks that I often wore to my internship. Throngs of students were walking out with me yet the campus was quiet in this late afternoon. There was silence in the air. I was in deep contemplation internally and something within me nudged me to stop walking. I saw everyone around me slowly moving and the voices gradually faded away as I became still within me. Even though there was movement all around me, my inner world had paused. I felt my consciousness gazing at me, observing everything around me and also at what’s coming ahead in life. I saw the trajectory of my whole life ahead of me. Graduating from college, getting married, having children, buying a house, having a good career and then wondering to myself, is that all there is to life? 


I knew I had to uncover a deeper truth (Sunkulp #2).


Stepping up as a Leader


The search for truth was deepening within me and it was also present within my quest for meaningful work. I transitioned from EY to Intuit where I initially started out working in finance but eventually after months of contemplation, mustered the courage to have the difficult conversation with my boss that I wanted to get closer to the business. 


I started asking bigger questions - if I could have the ultimate business mentor, who would it be? I thought of some of the greatest leaders in the World at the time and realized the leader I respected the most was right in front of me. I decided to write an email to Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit at the time, thinking the worst that could happen is I may not get a response. To my surprise and delight he agreed to be my mentor! Having the opportunity to be coached by Brad changed the trajectory of my confidence and career forever. 


I eventually made my way from finance into marketing and eventually product management where I worked with engineers and designers to create meaningful products for customers. Earlier in my journey as a product manager, I was called out by my boss for not leading my team and fully showing up. It felt devastating to receive this feedback but I knew I had to take ownership to grow towards my potential (Sunkulp #3). Within six months, I went from someone who was going to be put on a performance improvement plan to being respected as a leader. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I grew tremendously as a leader during this time!


While at Intuit, I rode the early morning tech shuttle buses from San Francisco to Mountain View almost every day. The search for deeper truth was with me all along and I read many books on philosophy during that time including holy religious books such as The Genesis, Bhagavad Gita and parts of the Quran. Eventually I found solace when I read about the path towards attaining enlightenment and ultimate union with God in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It beckoned me to travel the path and discover the truth for myself. I knew I had found a way forward. 

Search for a Soul Mate


Have you ever had your heart broken? Countless heartbreaks had destroyed my self-esteem when it came to finding love and I knew I had to take ownership of this situation (Sunkulp #4). On one of these shuttle rides, I began reading the book Power of your subconscious mind recommended by a dear friend. It suggested that I chant a specific affirmation night and day with deep feeling to attract my ideal life partner. This all sounded like wishful thinking but I was willing to try almost anything. I started practicing and gradually became open to coaches and books that completely shifted my mindset around dating and relationships. My confidence soared. Six months later, I met my wife and a year later, I was happily married to my soul mate. More than a decade of agony with finding love had been erased in less than a year! 


This experience was so eye opening that it firmly established my belief in a higher power beyond ourselves. I realized I had turned towards GOD, yet again. 


I wondered… if I could summon the powers of the universe to shift my biggest challenge in life to date, which I didn’t think was possible; what more could be possible in life?    


Search for a Spiritual Path


I was in search of a spiritual path so I began to apply the subconscious principles I had learned earlier to attract the blessing of the divine.  I went to various temples, lectures and meditation paths throughout San Francisco in search of a path that spoke to me. One day while we were dating, my wife walked in and brought home the Autobiography of a Yogi. Once I read this holy book, I knew I had found my Guru.


It still took me another five years, which included going to spiritual retreats, and becoming a certified yoga teacher, studying the self-realization fellowship lessons at home, practicing and failing in my meditation practice over and over until I would be able to fully commit to the spiritual path. In 2019, after many years of wandering, I traveled to the SRF headquarters in Los Angeles where I was initiated as a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda. I became a Kriya Yogi - a Kriyaban as they say. The path of self-discipline, awareness and development that the Guru offered in mind, body and spirit has been priceless in developing the strength, love and wisdom required to pursue the path of Truth. 

Search for purpose and meaning


Over the next five years, I got married, had kids, and a great career in product management. My wife had just given birth to our second child right at the peak of the COVID pandemic in March of 2020. Often when the kids would take their afternoon nap, I would be sitting in the living room of our beautiful house overlooking the garden behind me. The days were beautiful and sunny but the mood was solemn, partially due to the pandemic and its loss of life and partially due to the hole I felt in my heart. I had a great career as an aspiring product manager at Intuit but something felt deeply missing within and I didn’t know what it was. For months I explored this feeling within me with no resolution. 


I had achieved everything I could have asked for in life - financial success, confidence, love and respect as a product leader. Even though there was plenty of “movement” in my personal and professional life, life felt thought as if at a stand still. I had achieved everything I once dreamt of yet something deeper was emerging once again... 


  • What is the purpose of all this? 

  • Why are we here? 

  • Who am I? 


I recognized these questions from my days studying philosophy and the ever present quest as a spiritual seeker. These questions were a sign that I felt disconnected from a deeper meaning and purpose in life. It was my soul's call and the only meaningful way forward was to answer it (Sunkulp #5).   


It turned out I was holding myself back again. I was being called into the next chapter of my life, where I could utilize the foundation I had built to empower others. But I felt stuck and didn’t know how to move forward. 


That’s when I reached out Nick Palladino-King who was one of my teachers during Yoga Teacher Training. Turned out, he was just the perfect catalyst I needed at that point in my journey. With his help and building upon over a decade of self-development work I had done to this point, I was able to identify and break through the many limiting mindsets within which I had imprisoned myself. By deeply examining long held beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors, a stuck identity, fear of stepping into the unknown, confronting my anger and re-connecting with my deep spiritual core, I found a path forward. 


I simultaneously started pursuing my passion for making a positive impact on climate and coaching at the same time. Today Nick and I lead the Conscious Conversations podcast to share this gift with others. 


Through this work, I was freed from the many shackles I was holding on to. I was free to reinvent myself and be creative without the fear of losing a sense of who I am. There were new vistas to explore and new mountains to climb. New strength in recognizing how far I had come and the path I could help others travel. 


Just as I had done for myself, I realized that I was meant to help others step into their lives as the creators of their own destiny. I was meant to help unfold the next chapter in the lives of others. To wake people up from the slumber of safety and self-doubt towards confronting their fears and leaning into their deepest desires. To help them release their full potential in this life.  


Over the last two decades, I was blessed to have

  • gone from financial insecurity to financial independence

  • overcome self-sabotage to create beautiful relationships

  • taken charge of my career and risen as a leader

  • leaned into my deeper spiritual quest for truth and found my Guru 

  • become a creator of my own destiny


My hope is that reading my story has inspired you to get in touch with aspects of yourself you didn’t explore or accept before; perhaps because those aspects don’t conform to societal expectations or maybe because they feel like stepping into undefined unknown territory. Maybe it’s an unexplored area of interest, passion or calling. You’ll never know until you take the next step. 


Indeed recognize that the inner longing is your soul beckoning for your attention towards greater fulfillment and expression in this life. I encourage you to honor the parts of you seeking greater expression and breathe life into them. 


My greatest wish is for you to step into life fully and open heartedly, embodying your greatest truth in service of yourself and others. 


REALIZE that you too can become a creator of your own destiny! 


For that is how we create the beautiful World our heart knows is possible. 


- Nitin

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