Journeying with Peaceful Warriors — A first-hand account

Sehar Dabur • Published on October 13, 2023

For as long as I can remember, I have been the listening ear and pillar of support for my friends and family, someone they can comfortably confide in and share their worries and insecurities with. However, as I grew older, I began to crave the same support for myself. Despite finding solace and understanding surrender through spiritual practices, the desire to share my struggles in an empathetic space persisted.

A Different Journey

After my daughter’s birth, I decided to step away from the corporate world of auditing and finance. 2 years later; I got an opportunity to transcribe for the Outliers’ podcast. The conversations were vulnerable, thoughtful, and inspiring stories of founders, VCs, celebrities and philanthropists. I felt a strong connection to FactorDaily’s humanistic mission. The stories were few but profound, highlighting the human impact in every narrative.

Discovering Human Stories

Last year, FactorDaily published a story titled “Beware of Entrepreneurship”, where Sunny Ghosh, a struggling entrepreneur, openly discussed his hurdles and difficulties. The story acted as a mirror, revealing the hidden lows behind the glorified world of entrepreneurship, shedding light on the mental health of the founders’ community. After its publication in October 2022, a small closed-room discussion was arranged with Sunny Ghosh and a group of 10–12 founders at the Capillary office led by Aneesh Reddy, Pankaj Mishra and Avinash Raghava. Witnessing founders openly sharing their everyday and inner battles prompted the recognition of a need for a dedicated space where founders can heal and realize they are not alone in their struggles. Thus, ‘Jagah the Space’ was born.

When Pankaj shared this development with us at FactorDaily, there was joy and gratitude in his voice. Journalism found its purpose, nurturing the roots of FactorDaily’s mission. As I read his first note on Jagah, the community project’s purpose resonated deeply, like a nurturing force for my soul. “It’s a space where everyone puts their weapons down and looks into each other’s eyes with trust and hope,” a safe haven to share with understanding individuals who relate to each other’s struggles. Driven by this deep connection, I requested Pankaj to involve me in building Jagah.

Embracing the Mission

Off late, being actively involved with Jagah, having engaged in discussions on the Jagah website and contributing to the planning of the 3rd Jagah Inner Peace Retreat, I have personally experienced the thoughtful and compassionate approach underlying the creation of this community. The concept of “community”, which once puzzled me, now holds meaning. In the dictionary, it’s defined as a group of people living in the same place or sharing common characteristics. Resilience is the shared characteristic within Jagah’s community, where founders exhibit a remarkable zeal for bouncing back from challenges.

We recently concluded the 3rd Jagah Retreat, where 30 founders took time out of their startups to invest in their most valuable assets — themselves. I witnessed each one of them lower their defences, step away from their war zones, and quiet their minds, as they all attended the Retreat with hopeful hearts. Initially reluctant, they all handed over their phones to us as we helped them escape distractions and delve into the serene surroundings of Kshemawana. They embraced various techniques for daily reflection and inner peace. Over two days, they wholeheartedly embraced and honed their already-existent resilience through different meditation techniques, yoga, and mindful eating practices. They happily dedicated themselves to over 12 hours of silence, recognizing the deep need for self-care.

Interestingly, networking and talking about their startups took a back seat. Instead, they cherished the opportunity to reconnect with themselves. Everyone held onto those emotions tightly, forgetting to pick up their phones at the end because they didn’t want those feelings to fade away. The experience felt like unlocking doors to their guarded lives, providing a liberating and heartwarming atmosphere. Facilitators Aneesh Reddy and Phanindra Sama led the way, openly sharing their professional and personal failures and patiently listening to fellow founders as they shared their coping mechanisms. It was a powerful display of unity and support within the community.

3rd Jagah Inner Peace Retreat Cohort at Kshemawana, Bengaluru

Personal Growth and Reflection

Personally, planning and organizing this Retreat brought me immense joy as I tapped into skills that had been dormant for six years. Professionally, interacting with 30 unknown people was liberating, and personally, the Retreat gave me the space to rejuvenate myself. The deep resonance came when I reflected on a recent interview with an entrepreneur for Jagah. There he shared a beautiful and relatable comparison between the challenges of entrepreneurship and parenting. Being a parent, I could relate to the ever-working mind of a founder, constantly analyzing and self-criticizing every aspect of their startup, seeking encouragement and sanity. As a mother and a professional, I appreciated every aspect of the Retreat and returned with a valuable takeaway — “Stop thinking and Start doing.”

I eagerly look forward to the beautiful and fulfilling journey of building Jagah the Space, one step at a time.

Let’s Journey Together

If Jagah’s purpose and mission resonate with you too, and you wish to contribute in any way, be it with your time or resources, please get in touch with us at Jagah. or directly contact me, Sehar Dabur , pankaj mishra , Avinash Raghava , or Matthew John.

Written by Sehar Dabur

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