The Mess Before Success Interview with Guruti Kaur

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Guru Kaur is a woman who has integrated into her life ancient wisdoms in a way appropriate for the 21st Cen...
Guru Kaur is a woman who has integrated into her life ancient wisdoms in a way appropriate for the 21st Century woman. She has a great breadth of understanding of the demands placed on a modern woman, both here and in the East and is an authority on the integration of professional and personal ambitions. She has worked in predominantly male environments, lived in rural India and run her own business. Guru Kaur is renowned for giving very straight talking spiritual guidance in highly practical terms. Many lives have been inspired by hers and her guidance. Amongst the many roles she plays are: * Founder of Regally Graceful™ * Highly respected teacher of Kundalini Yoga * Corporate Consultant and Leadership Trainer * Author and regular columnist Guru Kaur is also a Sikh Minister (the first among white women in the UK) and ran a KRI Certified Teacher Training Programme of Kundalini Yoga for several years. She runs, with her business partner Hari Karam Singh, the Be the Woman You were Born to Be Course and Online Community. Guru Kaur attends regular lessons in London as a beginner in the Japanese Art of the Way of Tea. She is married to the photographer and photojournalist, Nick Fleming (they've been together since they were 16) and has a little white Bolognese puppy named Millie. They are based in London, UK. Those who know her are touched by her deep ability to connect, her outstanding sense of humour, her rugged determination, but most of all, by her attitude of non-compliance with the norm. Through trial and error, the teachings of her spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan, have proven themselves over and over again. Undoubtedly Kundalini Yoga and her daily sadhana practice of rising in the amrit vela (the first light before sunrise) are the backbone to her life. This testimonial describes her most accurately: “We all know that special and talented people exist, however, it is seldom that any of us have the opportunity to meet or share time with them. When I first met Guru Kaur I knew instantly that she was a totally unique person motivated by her love of life. She not only understands life itself but at a level of perception beyond the norm. She is naturally driven to help others by means of her knowledge and example. She is young and British and has embraced the most valuable aspects of spiritual enlightenment and lifestyle from Eastern cultures. She is one of the most approachable, intelligent and open human beings I have ever met. Her advice, inner warmth and encouragement have already helped me to balance my own life, and I have no hesitation in recommending her to others.” - Mary Poulter of tenderella.bolognese**** Listen here to Guru Kaur speaking about True Leadership to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship Leadership Programme when she shares the story and lessons of her life. This is how she got here: The different strands of my life have woven together to create an experience of life way beyond anything that I could ever have dreamed of when I was just starting out. With a Classics degree from King’s College, London in the bag, I really had no idea at all what would fill the rest of my life. Becoming a Chartered Accountant seemed like a sensible start: “get a good professional qualification under your belt; it will stand you in good stead”. The day that the final exam results came through I was totally surprised to find that I had indeed passed them, first time. This was quickly followed by a deep sinking feeling: now what? It took a further 18 months before I joined the City, in its effervescent just post-Big Bang euphoria, first as a Small Companies Analyst before migrating to what became Merrill Lynch’s Corporate Broking Department to set up and run their Investor Relations Team. It was an amazing time to be in the City. It was undoubtedly a man’s world into which I had wandered but I felt well qualified to be there in my own right. I remember one day sitting on a train coming back to London from a company visit thinking how incredible it was to be exposed to such diverse businesses, exceptional high calibre people and the outstanding training it was giving me. However, underneath there continued to be a deepening sense of unease which began to manifest through various illnesses. These led me to explore alternative ways of caring for myself and became the crossroads into the next phase of my life. Just after my 30th birthday, I met my first Teacher, Guru Singh, who guided me through a very deep self healing process. He introduced me to the sacred science of Kundalini Yoga and to Yogi Bhajan, the wise and straight-talking man who had brought this ancient, and previously inaccessible, technology to the west, and opened up Sikh Dharma to those of non-Indian origin. It was Yogi Bhajan who blessed me with the challenge to live as Guru Kaur. Meeting him gave me the feeling of being completely understood and a sense of self which had first been awakened by Guru Singh. In 1995 I went for 5 days to the Golden Temple in Amritsar with Guru Singh and a large group of White Sikhs. I had gone there as a perfectly (in)sane stockbroker; how could I possibly have undergone such an intense meditation and healing experience? It was beyond my understanding. For the next 3 years I combined my spiritual and my professional life by keeping them separate: I qualified as a Kundalini Yoga teacher and taught 3 regular classes a week while still maintaining a heavy work travel schedule around the US and Europe. In 1998 I took Amrit (Sikh baptism), left the City and went to live for the year in the run-up to the Sikh Tercentenary celebration in Punjab as a representative of Yogi Bhajan. I lived for 3½ months in the Golden Temple complex, ironically in the very same room that I had seen 3 years before (“I could never live in a room like that” were the precise words I had used) and then 7 months in Anandpur Sahib, where I lived in a family who took me in when I had nowhere else to stay. Punjab at the time was still very un-westernised and was not particularly accustomed to seeing western women. I spent a lot of my time doing seva, selfless service, in the Gurdwara kitchens or washing floors. This year gave me an extraordinary insight into life. It was as far from my City life as it was possible to imagine. Instead of the 5 star hotels there was one bucket of water (cold) per person per day. Hospitality was spiritual rather than corporate. On my return to England it was obvious that my life would be very different from before as I sought to integrate my spiritual outlook on life and my English professional life. I set up Amritvela Limited with my husband, Nick Fleming (we’ve been together since we first met at school aged 16) and began a journey to fulfil a lifelong dream of running my own clothing company. Inspired by Yogi Bhajan's comment to me to be "Regally Graceful" I created Amritvela's Regally Graceful® bespoke couture and clothing collection, and concept. To support this I began running Regally Graceful® courses and consultancy to help men and women maintain their grace in any environment, find and build professional and personal fulfilment. At the end of 2005 we discontinued the Bespoke Couture side of Regally Graceful allowing me to focus more on the bigger concept of Regally Graceful, taking it to a larger audience through teaching and digital media. Throughout I have continued to teach regular classes of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, and ran Kundlalini Yoga Teacher Training Programmes in London each year until 2006. In 2002 I was ordained as a Minister of Sikh Dharma. In 2003 the International Kundlaini Yoga Teachers Association awarded me their accolade as an Aquarian Teacher for my outstanding service. The same year I was selected by Yogi Bhajan (Siri Singh Sahib) to join the International Khalsa Council, the subtle and meditative body which serves the spirit of Sikh Dharma in the Western Hemisphere, as a full member. I served as the Chairwoman of the European Khalsa Council from 2004 to 2007. In recent years I have shared my love of Northern India by leading Holy Days Tours combining the intensity of spiritual experience with the wonders of Indian culture. In January 2008 I launched with my business partner, Hari Karam Singh, the Be the Woman You were Born to Be... Online Course and Community. I am deeply touched by the outstanding feedback from the women who are part of this and love being part of the subtlety of teaching and leading virtually.