Pioneers like Archana and Maitreyee Are Walking their Talk
When the sun is out, there is light, especially after a long, cold winter. We get excited by the promise of Spring, which brings with it birth and renewal. Two women who bring sunshine into my life are Archana Parsai Gehlot and Maitreyee Gehlot.
I met them both online through our connected passions. Archana runs three social impact communities: Asmakam and Self-Learning Cafe, which focus on self oriented education and Cotfoo, an organic nutrition startup promoting natural food as medicine. Archana and Maitreyee envision connecting people to farmers and home chefs so they become aware of the three most important aspects of food:
- What are we eating?
- Where does it come from?
- Who makes it?
Maitreyee writes this about her mother: “Catch our very special guest today Archana Parsai Gehlot, the most beautiful and amazing woman inside and out in my life. I’ve been part of her amazing and adventurous journey in person – From Indian Institute of Technology Bombay alumni to Director, product strategy, Oracle to mother of 2 self learners (me and Atri Gehlot) to social entrepreneur to natural farmer to eco natural architect.
Her creative and minimalist life style has taken over her corporate life and she started slowing down to find deeper meaning of her existence via life oriented learning, self exploration, natural living and healing, sustainable architecture, optimal use of resources and food as medicine. We talk about unlearning outsourcing and how it’s helped us grow as a family.”
Dialogue Between Archana and Maitreyee on the unlearnedED Podcast
- All the seeds are sown in our childhood, which means that we need to go to the source of the seeds and question. This is where unlearning becomes a key component of our journey.
- Archana shares that her father and mother brought her up to be fearless; “I was prepared to take on any challenge in the world. And I’m an adventurous person who doesn’t shy from experimentation. My life partner shares the same philosophy and vision towards life and we are able to create together.”
- Education, health and food need not be outsourced. Current education needs to be life oriented with a focus on balancing material, emotional and spiritual aspects in daily life. We need to increasingly become aware of the source of our food and what we are putting into our body. So much of the food consumed today, especially fast food, does not provide the nutritional qualities the body needs, which ultimately impacts our overall health.
- After Archana left her corporate career, the family moved to Colorado where they started their own farm with a vision of providing their children natural, chemical-free food. And the family worked together on their health and wellness by staying active and also taking a holistic approach–mind, body and spirit.
- Today, they farm on 20 acres near Indore, work on water conservation and forest growth to ensure sustainable living. The family designed and built their own eco natural house, together.
- Unlearning encompassed becoming less reliant on outsourcing food, education and health to external systems in order to become increasingly self-reliant. They also focus on helping local economies grow.
- And for Archana, the biggest unlearning was letting go of the need to be productive and busy all the time. She no longer needed to stuff her life with activities, achievements and material possessions. Over time, she started to simply slow down, not think of the future, and be in the present moment.
- She imagines living in a world where our youth consume less and create more; one where young people imagine more and pave new paths to healthy ways of living.
It’s exciting to know pioneers like Archana and Maitreyee who are so passionate about living a conscious, sustainable and purpose driven lives. They have chosen a healthy way of living that more and more people are starting to explore in different parts of the world. You can listen to the entire conversation here.