Salmaan Sana in 5 Questions
Already on multiple occasions, Salmaan Sana has contributed to our Transformational Retreats with his compelling workshops about Journalling. Besides his passion for writing, Salmaan currently sits on the board of TEDxAmsterdam and is involved with a lot of interesting projects. We are super curious about what he has been up to, plus we want you to get to know him better! So, decided to blast 5 challenging questions at him. Here is Salmaan Sana in 5 Questions.
Can you share with us how your love for writing and specifically journaling developed?
I have to answer that in two parts. One has to do with me loving to write. Back in high school, I remember writing mystical stories about spirits, the mountains and the winds.
These were often some form of reflection of what I was experiencing in my life. I even decided to share one story with my English teacher, who didn’t believe I wrote it. Remembering this makes me want to go back into writing more of these spiritual tales.
My love for journaling started a little later in life, I would say in my University years. I remembered going through a rough emotional time and wasn’t sure what to do with my thoughts or feelings. So, I decided to write a letter, as if in a dialogue with myself.
I remember I held back, afraid someone might read these words. There was a shame that even came with being that radically honest with what I was feeling and thinking inside. But I realised; the more I wrote, the more I reflected, and the more I could make sense of the chaos I was experiencing inside.
You have previously stated that it’s your mission to help people discover who they are and how they can positively impact the world around them. Tell us a bit more about how you do this.
To discover who you are and how you can positively influence the world, it is essential to dive a little deeper into some challenging questions.
First, ask yourself what you find crucial? What is something that you want to change or see different? Howard Thurman asked the question: “what makes you come alive”.
I believe if we can find a way to transform our frustrations into something positive and constructive, we can most definitely have an impact on the world.
What kind of projects were you working on as a Meaningful Learning Specialist at Better Future?
My time at Better Future was nothing short of iconic. In December 2020, my time there ended, and I couldn’t be more grateful for everything I experienced.
What we did was create awareness within organisations, helping them to connect to their purpose, develop their leadership, and find ways of connecting the NGO and corporate world.
Bringing these worlds together, you’d often notice magic happening. Just seeing both sides supporting each other and most of all realising how to have an even more significant impact.
What made me a Meaningful Learning Specialist was designing, orchestrating, and facilitating these trajectories and journeys. What I felt was most important was that each person stepping in could connect, get a sense of their purpose, and find ways of creating meaningful experiences.
We also read that you sit on the board of TEDxAmsterdam; maybe you can tell us about a specific TED talk that was exceptionally moving, inspiring, or special to you. Who gave this talk, and what was it about?
Oh wow… this is a tough question. There are so many talks! There are older ones that I have watched multiple times and some newer ones that offer a fresh perspective.
Let me give you a small list, and this is really at the top of my mind because I could spend all day sharing TED talks:
- Master Shi Heng Yi. – 5 hindrances to self-mastery
- Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy
- Luvvie Ajayi Jones: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
- Johann Hari: Everything you think about addiction is wrong
- Siyanda Mohurtsiwa: How young Africans found a voice on Twitter
- Guy Winch: How to fix a broken heart
- Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability
- Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire others to action
These talks have inspired me in many ways, and I have most definitely watched them multiple times. Either because I was using them to showcase a group of people I was working with or as a reminder to myself.
The TEDxAmsterdam board offers a stage to special sung and unsung heroes, for their ideas that are worth spreading. I hope that after watching a TED talk, whether it’s one I have listed or one you find yourself, it inspires you to some new perspective or positive action.
What are the transformational stories that you have experienced through your practice that you could share with us?
If we talk specifically about journaling, one participant of a journey didn’t like to journal and was stuck in the limited belief that she couldn’t write well. After some talks and a few low thresholds prompts, she decided to give it a go.
The following day, she shared her reflections during a breakfast session, and it blew everyone away. Her writing was a mix of openness, poetry, vulnerability, and power.
Once she finished sharing, she apologized assuming it wasn’t good while the listeners were silenced by how impactful it was. She received positive feedback, and I could see how it helped her find a channel to reflect and share what she was experiencing.
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Salmaan Sana in 5 questions. If you would like to find out more, check out his Temple Teacher profile, or his Facebook and Instagram. We can’t wait for him to host another Journalling class during one of our retreats, can you? Check out The Temple of Babylon to see when the next events will take place.