The long and short of it.
I am Suparna Chhibber. A clear-sighted optimist; not because I haven’t encountered hardship, but precisely because I have. My perspective on life and my life’s work has been profoundly shaped by the loss of my beloved humans on one side and the love of my beloved humans on the other. My most recent losses have made it impossible for me to ignore a long-standing inner nudge to build ethical and purpose-driven businesses that create genuine and meaningful human connectedness.
I have worked passionately as an intrapreneur, a business and marketing generalist, and a culture and community builder in large organizations. For the better part of last decade, I did this work at Amazon. I am also committed to deepening my understanding of business and humanity. I believe in the potential of business as a powerful force for positive and sustained social impact. I consider business as my primary tool of seva (service) in this lifetime and that’s why, in a tough personal year, I invested in joining Harvard— the nerve center of well-rounded business education.
Amidst these successes, I grappled with deep personal grief and post-traumatic stress at the loss of two brothers within a span of ten months; the second occurred just three days after my Harvard graduation. This was layered over the loss of my father when I was a child. I also felt the pointlessness of waiting to act on the internal guidance that seemed to be constantly coming my way. I felt at a cellular level that I was meant to use my intellect, passions, skills and unique vantage point fully before my life is cut short mid-sentence, as it most certainly will be.
This realization amidst my life’s debris was inconveniently timed and didn’t make my obscure path any easier. I had to (have to) find the courage everyday to put one foot in front of the other. As I took baby steps towards a purposeful life that’s uniquely mine, I practiced yoga and meditation to re-anchor myself to this world. I also started writing my observations on life, work and everything in between in a document titled “musings”. Over time, these notes to self and my yogic learnings not only helped me make sense of life as it was unfolding, they gradually changed my lens on life.
I am just getting started on this path and meaningful work, learning, collaboration and impact awaits. What also awaits is the fear and resistance that is braided with any personally meaningful endeavor. In these moments, I instinctively channel my mother’s profound example of living a life of love and service despite numerous hardships. I can summarize her teachings in this phrase – our karma (action) is the path to our dharma (values).
Working Meditation are my “notes to self” where I capture the fleeting wisdom of my life, as I am becoming who I know I am meant to be. It is my commitment to myself, my ancestors, numerous teachers and loved ones to keep paying attention with intention, while engaged in action. A commitment to being present to the learnings as they unfold while staying fully engaged in my life’s work. I may write about complex and difficult things that I don’t yet really understand, using writing as a way to make sense of them. What I write today may no longer be my experience in a few years, months or even weeks; that is the natural progression of life and living.
I don’t have an agenda other than to share my journey, which is likely everyone’s journey at one point or another in life, in the hope that others benefit from my writing as much as I do.
At the end of my life, I hope the world says that I cared, that I showed up with my whole self, and that I couldn’t have tried harder. I hope they say I helped those who had been left out; that I renewed myself, living with a sense of curiosity and wonder; learning, changing, growing and contributing till I took my last breath. In the meantime, we’ve got a world to build. — Excerpt personalized from Manifesto for a Moral Revolution by Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO, Acumen and a beautiful example of Working Meditation.