I am Manasi Kakade.
I go by pronouns she/her.
I am a Practical Spirituality Mentor, Speaker and Writer for Bridgewalker visionaries.
My clients often describe my work as the "Liberation of the soul".
Here are the moments that have shaped me into being who I am.
I had a 2-wheeler accident in which I completely ruptured my left ankle. Orthopedic surgeons did a wonderful job in making the joint functional on 3 screws but they said,
“She will limp all her life, and she won’t be able to dance again as she does now.”
But I refused to accept this to be my future.
After 3 months of complete bedrest, 6 months on crutches, 6 more on a cane, I learned to walk again. 6 more months of physical therapy and gentle stretching, and I was walking without a limp.
I continued stretching and Yoga, and finally after 10 years, I did the same dance that I had done just before my accident – EXACTLY as it was choreographed then. I have been dancing as I please since then.
I left everything I identified as mine – my family, culture, food, language and my country (India) – to come to the USA, alone.
I came here with 2 suitcases and $300 (which is still a lot more than some immigrants and refugees get to have. So I am certainly grateful for that.)
From there, I went on to get not 1 but 2 Masters Degrees – MS in Electrical Engineering and MBA.
It may seem like the work I do now has nothing to do with my degrees but that's not true. My engineer's mind puts chaotic, abstract and complex information (including spirituality) into systems that are easy to understand and apply. My knowledge of business gives me confidence in decluttering business strategies so that entrepreneurship becomes simple, effective, and aligned with who you are.
I graduated just before the 2008 recession hit. Nobody would hire me because I needed a special work permit as an immigrant. Their lame excuse was,
“You are overqualified”.
Fortunately for me, I had lived such a frugal lifestyle (even when I could only work part time, on campus) that I ended up saving enough money to get me through 2 more years of unemployment.
I didn’t sit still in this time though. I volunteered with non-profits (NGOs) to run their Social Media when it wasn’t even a thing yet. I knew it was going to be big soon, and I was collecting the experience.
I married my best friend.
When you grow up in India, you keep hearing messages like,
“Marriage is a compromise. You are never going to get everything you want in a life partner.”
Well, true to my nature, I REFUSED to believe this to be my destiny. I had decided what I wanted in my life partner, and I didn’t settle for anything less.
We just celebrated 12 years of blissful married life.
We argue. We disagree. But each day we love and respect each other more than the day before, and we bring out the best in each other.
I finally got hired as a Marketer in High Tech industry where a company was willing to process my work permit.
Guess why I got the job?
Because of my experience in Social Media Marketing. It had become a thing by now.
Then came the event that changed the trajectory of my life, and accelerated my growth in the last 8 years.
I lost my favorite aunt in a freak accident.
She wasn’t just my aunt but a confidant, a trusted advisor, and like a second mother to me. She was only 58 years old and healthy.
Her untimely, shocking death instilled in me the fear of dying - not just a fear of dying but the fear of dying without making an impact that I knew deep within I am capable of making.
Everything was fine on the surface but inside I was grieving and afraid. I would have to take bathroom brakes just so that I can deal with a burst of crying. I would wake up in the middle of the night just to scream in a pillow.
Finally, I decided I just can’t live like this anymore.
I got to take control of my life.
But I didn’t know how.
I asked myself, “What makes me happy, right here, right now?”
The answer was, “I am finding solace in knowing that just a week before my aunt’s passing I had talked to her on the phone and told her how much I love her and how much she has impacted my life.”
So I took on a project.
Over the next 11 days I wrote a Facebook status update thanking people in my life for their love, and for how they have impacted my life.
Those 11 days changed the trajectory of my life!
I uncovered my skill of writing.
I had developed a loyal readership of friends who would come to read my post every day.
I had found joy again.
My fear of dying without an impact had turned into an inspiration, drive and urgency to create the work and life that WILL make an impact.
I was let go from my job.
I had offers for interviews already in my LinkedIn inbox.
But after 2-3 interviews, I decided, it's not worth it. I am never again wasting my talents on working for somebody else where I am not valued for who I am.
This photo is after that last interview, when for the first time in years, I felt free.
I made a decision and declared to myself, “I am an entrepreneur” even when nothing in my physical reality said so.
Internally, I started making decisions and taking actions like an entrepreneur..
I finally got the special permit I need as an immigrant to start my own business in the USA.
By then, those gratitude posts had turned into weekly articles which turned into an inspirational blog that brought me my first clients, and paid speaking gigs.
My business had launched!
I will never forget the excitement and hope that comes with that first client's payment.
After a year of solo-preneurship, I realized just how much trauma this industry induces with its outdated ways of marketing, sales, pricing, and ways of making money under the name of “Business strategies”.
I was feeling defeated in my strategies, and disconnected from my business, the joy, the excitement I used to feel when I started the business.
One weekend, when I couldn't take it anymore, I left my laptop at home, took a break from social media, and went to the White Mountains in New Hampshire just to reset and recharge in the nature. And it worked!
I realized that the problem wasn't in me or my business strategies. I know exactly why a certain strategy works and why it doesn’t (Thank you, MBA!).
But the problem was, I was listening to all the advice on what I "should" do in my business vs. what is actually aligned with who I am.
So I set out to create my business, in my own, unique way.
Little did I know that this business exploration is going to turn into an adventure of a lifetime.
One day, I realized, I had money mindset issues. I started digging deeper spiritually to heal the trauma and wounds around money.
One thing led to another. I kept uncovering deep-seeded, subconscious fears -
- fear of being seen (I was literally uncomfortable with taking photos and doing videos)
- fear of being judged by others
- fear of not getting things perfect
But I kept at it, and took small, practical actions to stretch my comfort zone just a tad bit at a time.
These practical actions started healing my fears.
I was liberating my soul.
Combine the spiritual exploration and the rebellion of building my business MY WAY with my lived experience at the intersection of many marginalized identities – a woman, of color, from a marginalized caste, an immigrant and from a culture which is NOT treated with respect and almost always appropriated for commoditization especially of spirituality.
I had to go through my own journey of accepting who I am by dismantling my own internalized racism, sexism, castism and effects of colonization that told me I am less than somebody else, not as beautiful, not as worthy of abundance, and not worth being seen and heard for who I am.
It culminated during the social justice movement of 2020 in the USA when I finally burned down all the shackles of systemic oppression, and freed up my voice.
The journey of liberating my soul continues.
With my liberation, emerged the inspired and aligned business that I am uniquely capable of doing.
I now serve as a Practical Spirituality Mentor for Bridgewalker visionaries, leaders and change-agents.
Bridgewalkers are analytical, critical thinkers fascinated by spirituality. We have the analytical ability to understand what needs to be changed in our outdated social systems and structures, and our spiritual beliefs in love, kindness and equality for all souls.
Bridgewalkers, are uniquely capable of creating a lived human experience that reflects these spiritual principles in action on Earth.
I help Bridgewalker visionaries who are on a mission to do that, align with their Dharma (meaning their own unique way of being) so they expand in their message and mission.
7 Chakra and business
I have a signature system of using practical business actions as a healing modality to bring your 7 Chakra in balance, and in turn, let your business strategy be an expression of who you are.
I teach this signature system of “7 Chakra and Business” through my 1:1 mentorship, online and in-person group workshops, and speeches.
I teach it in my own unique way that is deeply rooted in ancient Indian wisdom and uncolonized expression, and free from the dogma of wounded patriarchy and organized religion.
Here's a mini-course on 7 Chakra and Business that's my gift to you. Enjoy!
my committment to Equity & inlcusivity
I continue my journey of examining my privileges, dismantling my own internalized marginalization, and educating myself on lived experiences that are different than mine.
So currently, I can confidently say that my business is a safe, healthy and welcoming space for:
- BBIAPIPOC (Black Brown Indigenous Asian Pacific Islander People of Color)
- People of all sexual orientations, and genders including Trans
- People from even the most marginalized castes
- People from the most targeted religions including Islam and Jewish faith
- People from all different cultures
- People for whom English is a second, third or even sixth language (I know how it feels. I got you!)
I am also striving to make my teachings more digitally accessible to people with disabilities and a variety of learning needs.
I am certainly not where I want to be yet. But getting there is my personal and business priority.
My philosophy is best captured in this quote by UnLabelMe:
Label me to see me. Unlabel me to know me.
I am here, with you all, sharing my scars, wounds, and the perfectly imperfect journey that has made me who I am.
THIS is who I am!
So once again,
Hello! I am Manasi Kakade.
How can I help you?