Chit Chat With . . .
Founder of Aura
She has worked in the corporate world for 15 years, and has always had the gusto do more and thrive. She has always loved being creative and creates her own style that is comforting which puts others at ease. She creates opportunity and provides a platform for those who wish to break away from social pressures and address topics that are a taboo. This month our Chit Chat is with Kiran Kaur, Founder of Aura, who talks about Aura, morning routine, winding down, and living the dream.
Aura turned 1 this month, what led you to start the online Magazine?
I watched a series on Amazon called “The Bold Type”, and it is about women in the media industry. Magazine to be precise and how the writers’ tackle with social and personal issues. During the pandemic and lockdown people were panicking, listening, and watching depressing News leading to mental health issues. Thus began my journey to start Aura – A Magazine for the Soul in the hope to help other who are going through mental health issues.
What sort of material do you publish in your magazine?
There are 4 features on the magazine.
- Have a Go – Being practical and experimental, once I see it then I work on it, I keep a look out for techniques that generally help with the wellbeing. I write about the ones I have tried and share with the wider audience. My favourite one was the Chakra Series written by Disha Sharma, it was so informative.
- Chit Chat With… I meet with individuals from all walks of lives and we speak about their work and get to know them better. I will not pick a favourite because they are all dear to me and we have had budding friendships out of it.
- Food Talk – My love for food has no bounds, hence I share recipes and approach foodies like me to share a recipe that they enjoy cooking.
- Inspire Tale – This one comes with a warning “Not for the faint hearted”, these are true stories of people who share anonymously or otherwise their experiences and it has been an amazing journey of revelations.
How do you manage your daily tasks?
Working in the corporate world, meeting deadlines was second nature to me, it was easy to work with the Magazine in a similar manner, and I learnt to be disciplined and having a task list to work through. And planning is a crucial part.
How do you approach people whose stories are narrated in Aura?
In the past year, I have met so many people and while having a conversation and connecting at a soul level, I would go on a different tangent and shamelessly ask “Would you like to write for the magazine?” or “I would like to feature you in the magazine to share your story.” Then the rest is recent history.
What suggestions do you offer to the writers who wish to write for Aura?
If you want to write an article it should be from the heart, and one that connects with the audience, rather than material that has no soul, we have google for that. 99.9% of the time we nail it!
In your Chit Chat With… feature, what is your approach in getting a good Q and A session?
There is a lot of research that is carried out on the individual by viewing their social media pages and website. And we arrange a zoom call and from beginning I put them at ease by saying this is not an interview session, it is more of a fun and informal chat between friends. And in some cases for whatever reason, we cannot arrange a call then a questionnaire is sent and completed on return.
What makes a good recipe in the Food Talk feature?
The recipes shared in Aura are from the heart, these are dishes made with love and we have very talented individuals who create soul food and recipes.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned from your worst job you ever had and what was it?
I will not say worst job, because I have been fortunate to have worked for some nice companies. With a corporate background, many get caught up in the rat race and meeting constant deadlines as it is a fast-paced environment. I just wish that people were kinder to each other and show more compassion. I learned to be more kinder and share the knowledge.
Do you have a morning routine to set you for the day?
I have always been an early riser, 5.30am start and I begin my day with a session of yoga, shower and pray. And in this period, I avoid checking my phone for messages and social media. This routine sets me for the day. In the summer, when its high tide in the morning, then I have a swim in the sea after a yoga session.
What two or three books would you have impacted your life on who you are today?
The first book that really changed my life was “Wishes Fulfilled” by Dr. Wayne Dyer, it was simple to read and a catalyst that changed my perspective on working on myself, releasing the dead weight of drama and letting go.
Another book is “You can Heal your Life” by Louise Hay, being aware of the relationship between emotional trauma and physical disease, has enabled me as a therapist to help heal others through reiki and reflexology therapy.
What’s your go-to way of winding down after a long day?
A hot shower, comfort food, followed by reading a romance novel, I am a romantic at heart and I love happy endings.
What do you like the most about your work?
I love being creative, thinking outside the box and talking to like-minded people who I got a lot of common with. I feel I connect with them at a spiritual level.
What do you dislike the most about your work?
When writers you approach disappoint you in meeting a deadline and leave you in a limbo.
What is the one word that you want people to associate you with?
How has the pandemic affected you?
Starting up the Magazine to help and motivate others not just at a national level, but also global. We all became tech savvy and connected with others in various parts of the world. My husband and I spent more time in nature and we began to adapt to a slow-paced life.
How do you contribute to the community?
Through Aura, this is my way of giving back to the society especially those who have been fighting their personal daily battles. Volunteering my time to a charity call Vibe Southend, working, and helping special needs young adults with IT related issues. Charity work.
If you were not the founder of a Magazine, what would you be doing?
Along with being the Founder of Aura, I am living the dream of being creative through Kiran’s Magic Candles!
How can people contact you?
Photos by Harman Singh Heer
"Candle magick is ‘not a one size fits all’, all my workings are customized to an individual’s circumstances."
"There are many words that I can think of. If I had to pick just one, it would be Nurturing I think."
"Don’t be afraid to do what you love and what you are passionate about just because certain people or society puts you down for it. Ultimately you want to be happy so do what makes you happy."
"If we define spirituality as a way of life, an alignment with virtues and our true nature, then pranic healing is greatly beneficial. "
"It sounds like a cliché but touching and changing lives. I recently received an email from a young suicidical man, who told me how much my piece had helped him that day. I also really like reading my own piece many months later and feeling like it was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment."
"My mother, just like most African parents would ask me what I wanted to be and I would shout a singer. However, in an African household, you have only the choice of becoming a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer.
In order for my mom to stay happy I'd tell her that I would become a doctor and I would operate on Michael Jackson one day and the moment he hears me sing I'd become a singer."
"On Sundays, a group of us head out to the countryside near a river and begin with a meditation followed by a swim in the cold water, we compete on who can stay longer in the water, no pressure, you stay in the cold water as long your body lets you. This boosted the immune system and increased the blood circulation. I am now used to cold showers, and I meditate to improve my mental health, detach, and enhance on my spirituality that I had started years ago. I really recommend it."
"Tottenham Hotspur, I am a season ticket holder. I miss going to the matches. I was one of the lucky ones to get a ticket to the Arsenal match when they only allowed 2000 fans in the stadium during the pandemic. When I walked into the stadium and the atmosphere reminded me of why I love the game, it is a different experience."
"I suffered from depression from a very young age and when I came to the UK (from Kenya), my doctor suggested that I see a therapist. I had sessions with an NHS therapist and private therapists. I felt so blessed that I had got the help I needed at the time that as soon as I got an opportunity to train as a counsellor, I decided to do so."