A lovely message from Gerardo Korn

Thanks Gerardo for this message 🙂

I love the sounds and the rustic, authentic feel around you!


Check out my interview with him tomorrow on ‘chriselda.blog‘…’ARTICLES

Read all my articles

Check out my books

Check out my Specialized Healing Bracelets

Check out my entire Jewelry collection : Hand Made By Chriselda B

Interview with Jalpa H Vithalani – Serial Entrepreneur, Creative Head and Director at Cosmic Heart Gallery

Interview with Jalpa H Vithalani – Serial Entrepreneur, Creative Head and Director at Cosmic Heart Gallery

Jalpa H Vithalani

Hi Jalpa, thank you for joining me. You are such an entrepreneur! Apart from being the Creative Head and Director at Cosmic Heart Gallery you also are the Director of numerous other institutions and a Reconnective Healing Practitioner. Tell us about which path has been your true calling and one that has touched you the most?

Right from being a farmer, to Reconnective Healing, journey with travel and logistics, art and curation… this is essentially a part of who I am and has been an integral part of my evolution. So it’s all inter-related and dynamic. The common thread is bringing in creativity and my own uniqueness to whatever I do. Also I am a people’s person whether you put me in the city or in a village. I like to involve and engage with others. It comes naturally.

You somehow manage doing so many things efficiently! Tell us what your source of inspiration is?

I think I am simply flowing like a river on the paths as they unfold. While I am good at multi-tasking, I think I hibernate and consolidate as much as I engage in action and implementation. I do whatever I am passionate about, touches me and makes me happy. That is inspiration enough. Life itself is about an expression. I believe that life as you see it, awakens you to the artist inside you in whatever you do and once that happens, you want to contribute back. This is what has motivated my work.

There must have been hard times or delays on some projects. What was your most difficult experience and how did you manage to overcome/succeed in the end?

I had a dream that I must open this gallery. I was given complete direction…..and it was totally out of my comfort zone. I was a floriculture entrepreneur exporting roses around the world, we were representing the Finnish Tourist Board and I loved that part of my work and was also so busy with Reconnective Healings. I am an artist myself. I came across many artists who had no idea of my dream, who started asking me to launch them…The incubation process for the gallery took a year… I ignored this idea for a long time…but the gallery had to manifest. It’s a gift of the universe. We have had over 130 successful events related to art, culture and music in a short span of seven years.

Mother’s symbol by Thakker P

Being the Creative Head and Director at Cosmic Heart Gallery, how difficult is it for you to curate or choose from various artists that you would want to exhibit in the gallery? What is the deciding factor or the key-element that helps you choose?

The key deciding factor is it must be beautiful and appeal to me aesthetically. It must be something I would put up at home. The selection or choosing process is instant. Curation, creating a story around it and a meaningful one at that, comes naturally after the connect is made.

Your Gallery showcases many prominent artists and collections. Which collection/showcase do you think stood out amongst the rest and managed to touch audiences in a more spiritual way?

Each show that I have curated is unique in its own way. However if you ask me about touching the audiences in a more spiritual way, what comes to mind is Natasha Lalla’s work and the latest ongoing exhibition Kensho ~ Seeing into one’s true nature by Sarfaraz Laskari.

Kensho is a Zen collection of lyrically abstracted Buddha’s and stunning representations of nature.  This serene series take you to a place of silence, peace & joy. Through these paintings we are inviting you to have a pure, direct experience, where the inner and outer worlds rhyme.

Kaveh Afraie – Bird of Bismillah

The exhibition showcases a ‘Shikantaza’ series which literally means to sit and depicts a practice of Zen Buddhism that involves understanding emptiness. When we reflect that there is another world beyond our limited experience, we can empty ourselves of preconceived ideas and accept things as they are.

The beautiful Lotus series, Pipala series, the Fig tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment, Rushen series ~ denoting & depicting clarity, a Nature series also form part of this unique exhibition. The artist’s philosophies are influenced by spiritualists like Eckhart Tolle, Rupert Spira, Mooji & Allan Watts. Sarfaraz’s artistic freedom showcases Buddhist perception – everything is alive and influences everything else revealing bio- spirituality.

Shailan Parker – Luminescence

We have presented a prized creation of Sarfaraz Laskari to His Holiness, The Dalai Lama in Mumbai and were blessed beautifully.

Painting for over two decades, Natasha Lalla has developed a distinct style of her own, which involves painting with her fingers. She is a one of the million artists who has never owned a paintbrush. Natasha unleashes a host of creative and universal energies. Abstraction in acrylic is what she derives in her paintings which to a lame-eye can be summed up as exuberant harvests of blending colours and finger strokes. One could say that Natasha’s art style is something on the lines of the famed artist Rassoulli whose work has been quoted as ‘the art that dances… without dancers’.

Jalpa with Artist Natasha Lalla

Natasha’s art helps one journey into parallel realities and experience a larger, more colorful take on life! In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson – “The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.”

Natasha’s use of colours and her unique style of painting is unmatched. She has a deep understanding of how colours impact one’s overall sense of well-being. Painting in free form, stream of consciousness is a form of artistic meditation. Natasha has a unique way of reflecting her spiritual and sublime experiences by expressing images from her subconscious onto canvas by swirling finger strokes.

Natasha Lalla – Parallel Realities VII

The artist has been sharing her unique gift of helping people discover their souls through her paintings. She started her journey with Cosmic Heart Gallery and we have sold hundreds of her paintings around the world.

Cosmic Heart Gallery from India was one of the 16 international galleries invited to showcase their work at Art Bahrain Across Borders 2019 which was held under The Patronage of Her Royal Highness, Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of His Majesty the King of Bahrain, President of the Supreme Council for Women. Natasha’s work was widely appreciated and is with the Royal families in Bahrain.

Where does your love of “Art” stem from?

I have loved art since childhood. My earliest memories is attending art class at Uma Mallik’s home as a 5 year old. I loved sketching, creating and could sit endlessly for hours with pen and ink.

Gerardo Korn – Barrio Retiro

Can you tell us more about BPW International. What does your involvement and work entail?

BPW (Business and Professional Women) International is the largest organization in the world for Business and Professional Women in more than 100 countries, empowering and promoting women.

Representing India at the 29th BPW International Congress in Cairo, Egypt.

I represented India at 29th BPW International Congress in Cairo in 2018 and was invited to speak about Art & Reconnective Healing. I was subsequently appointed as the President of BPW Mumbai. I represented India at The United Nations Headquarters in New York at CSW62 session on the Commission on Status of Women.

Representing India at the United Nations Headquarters in New York at the CSW62 Summit on Commission of status of Women.

What is exciting that I am a member of International Task Force of Arts for Peace and Intercultural Understanding. The vision is to create a worldwide committee and pass subliminal messages through art and give a platform to talent.

Along with Dr. Amany Asfour, President of BPW International and Ms. Susan Jones, Vice President of BPW International we launched the cultural and environmental project of BPW South Mumbai, at the sacred river Narmada in Jabalpur during SWEEP 2019. We recorded a special ‘aarti’ with talented artist Josh Crooner and launched a special initiative to keep the river pollution free. This supports Sustainable Development Goals of UN.

Jalpa, there are only a handful of people practicing “Reconnective Healing” in India and you have been instrumental in spreading its awareness. Could you educate us some more on this kind of healing and its eventual benefits?

My sister Toral and myself were among first few Reconnective Healing practitioners in India and I must say has been a very fulfilling journey. Reconnective Healing® is quite simply a gateway to accelerated life progress – whether you are looking to affect change in your own life, experience yourself in a new light or to live with inspiring health and balance. 

Reconnective Healing® is founded by Dr Eric Pearl and is internationally recognised as a comprehensive approach to energy Healthcare. Its benefits are measurable, effecting positive physical, mental, emotional and spiritual change.

Re-connective Healing

Reconnective Healing is strongly supported by the latest theories on nuclear and quantum physics. In a published study by Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., Lab Director of Advances in Consciousness and Health at the University of Arizona, the longevity of different groups of leaves taken from the same tree was tested. The control set was left to die naturally and perished between 3-12 days. When Reconnective Healing was applied to the fourth set, the healing began quickly, some leaves regenerating roots, and the leaves’ lifespans lasted up to 90 days – longer than those treated with Reiki and Qi Gong.

Stanford Professor Emeritus, Dr. William Tiller, says that when information carried through The Reconnective Healing frequencies is introduced, it creates coherence and order. In other words, greater harmony and balance within us.

How has “Reconnective Healing” impacted your life on a more personal level?

My own life transformed 180 degrees, ever since I had my Reconnective Healing & The Reconnection done in September 2010. I experienced shifts at every level – mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, financial…

My gallery birthed in a dream after I had my Reconnection done and I was given complete direction on the name Cosmic Heart Gallery, the space, the logo and much more. It is truly a gift of universe and we have curated over 130 successful events related to art, cultural and music in a short span of 7 years.

It is a three way process and the practitioner is also in receiving mode. The more healings I do, I find that the more life is opening for me.

Jalpa, you also are the State Director of the NGO – Humans For Humanity. What they do is absolutely life-changing. Please share with us some inspiring stories from your experiences here? One of the projects headed under “Humans for Humanity” is WASH! I found this particularly interesting and empowering. Tell us something more about it and how it has positively changed mindsets?

Humans For Humanity is an NGO headquartered in Delhi, which was founded in 2014 by Anurag Chauhan. The organization also works on the following projects, Street Smart, Each One Teach One, Clean India Campaign and Promotion of Indian Culture and Heritage.

What we have launched in big way in Maharashtra is WASH – Women Sanitation & Hygiene. There is still a huge population of women in India who die due to poor menstrual hygiene. Every year in India, it is estimated that about 240,000 women die from extremely poor personal hygiene practices.

Workshops are held with young girls to make them aware about Menstruation – biological reasons of menstruation, hormonal changes, nutrition, natural remedies, taboos, looking after and loving themselves. These workshops are conducted not just in urban slums but also in villages, tribal areas, cities and every possible venue to reach out to the women.

We distribute free sanitary napkins during the workshops. We are producing eco friendly cloth kits in different parts of the country even during this lockdown period, which can be used for over 2 years. These are produced by women and provides them a livelihood.

The biggest invention after WORLD WAR II was Sanitary Napkins for women. It was the biggest step in empowering women around the world.

It’s been an incredible and fulfilling journey to take in the WASH project all around Maharashtra. I started with the first workshop in Nasik at the Priyanka Technical Institute and trained hundred ‘Anganwadi’, workers who are each in charge of one village. They in turn raised awareness to at least 100 women in each village. So it is like a domino effect.

I started walking into slums in Nasik and those days covered 600 ladies in three days. It went viral and I started receiving calls and started getting invited. I was amazed that one of the venues chosen by the ladies was actually a Hanuman temple. When I reached I found a group of over 200 ladies along with their children waiting enthusiastically for me. Obviously at least some of them might have been menstruating; that itself was breaking the taboo. Since then I think we have conducted workshops in several temples, organically so. It is a common meeting ground for many.

We always engage the older ladies as well, as they can support the younger generation to make shifts and break away from taboos. It’s also important to sensitive the men and often they have been part of the workshops. Our Founder Anurag is an incredible young man too. We have covered over 10,000 women in Maharashtra so far in a short span of time.

And then there’s “Global Agritech”. What sets it apart from other Agri-firms in this domain? How has your vision been incorporated here?

What sets us apart – the professionalism and commitment with which we work. As a Group we have been into Aviation & Logistics since the last 45 years and engaged with several international partners. When I set up Global Agritech from ground up it was a backward integration process; since we were already shipping perishable produce. What set us apart from other floriculture firms is that we could not only grow a quality product; but package it excellently and ship it on time.

Global Agritech (I) Pvt. Ltd. is one of the pioneers in rose cultivation in India. I am the Vice President of Western India Floriculture Association. Global Agritech represents one of the world renown Dutch breeders Schreurs in India. Breeders are ones who genetically engineer new varieties of roses. We test their products in Indian climatic conditions and market them to other companies.

80% of the employees are women and that is fulfilling indeed. We provide quality employment to rural youth. Their families believe it is respectable to work on a rose farm. They are also good with handling of flowers. Our strength also lies in training – the women love their work & environment (imagine being at a rose farm day in and day out), we love the family bonds and relationships created, so it’s a win-win situation for all.

Farmer in the field

I was fairly young when I appointed on APEX body of APEDA – Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority by Shri. Kamal Nath – who was then Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. We used to be only two women in the boardroom of 70 men.

Global Agritech represented one of the largest Auction Houses in Europe, Flora Holland in India and was training other floriculture units to package and export their produce. This is the only time in history that they have appointed someone in India to represent them.

I am a ‘kisan’ (farmer) at heart. So the love for the soil and bringing a professional and humane approach on how we run the project is what made the difference.

Truly amazing work you do! This also means that your daily schedule must be very hectic. How do you manage to maintain your calm through it all? How do you create balance in your professional and personal life?

Yes the daily schedule is rather hectic. Multi-tasking is something I am doing constantly. But then I hibernate as much as I do things. This helps me assimilate life, just be and do nothing at times. With this I regain my sense of purpose. Balancing happens naturally and yet is an ongoing process, as eventually everything is about nothing…and it is important to be and enjoy that space nothingness on this journey called life.

And remember it is in the stillness that you can create…so even when I am curating a show, writing something it just flows seamlessly in the quietest moments. These things are spontaneous and cannot be forced.  

You also work closely with the Dalai-Lama…such an incredible honor! Tell us your journey getting there and what has impacted you the most about meeting/speaking with him?

These are life’s biggest blessings, thanks to the gallery. His Holiness has always blessed the path of Cosmic Heart Gallery…the most beautiful time with Him has been at His Palace in Dharamshala where I was invited for an International Youth Peace Summit by United States Institute of Peace. We were a nice intimate group of 40-50 young leaders engaged in the work. For me it has been spreading love & peace through art.

My parents were also granted a personal audience and His Holiness presented a Buddha from His own altar to my father. These are the priceless timeless treasures. His compassion and sense of humour touched me the most. I realized later I was childlike around Him; just soaking in the frequencies.

“Healing through Creativity”….What are your thoughts on it?

Everyone is creative by virtue of their existence. It is the gallery’s journey to touch the innate sense of creativity of every person whose path we cross. When we engage in anything creative, we heal at subliminal levels and in powerful ways.

What can we expect to look forward to from you in the near future?

You can expect lots of beautiful art to adorn your homes, events related to music, taking Reconnective Healing around the world and social work.

What advice would you like to give young women who look up to you and everything that you have achieved in your life?

“Love yourself. Live each moment. Do what makes you happy. Life is truly about being happy and well.”

Jalpa H Vithalani

It is so important to nourish ourselves and not wait for something or someone outside to do that. 

And remember success does not always entail us to be on the move. Sometimes we need to sit back and sip the moments like a cup of tea.

How can our readers contact you or find out more about your future projects?

Readers can mail me at jalpavithalani@gmail.com / art@cosmicheartgallery.info and reach us on our website: http://www.cosmicheartgallery.info/. The events page gives an idea of all ongoing and upcoming initiatives.

My social media handles are

FB : https://www.facebook.com/jalpa.vithalani.1

Instagram : jvcosmicheart

Twitter : @JalpaVithalani


Signup to my mailing list to receive a reminder to my future articles. See you next time!

Check out more projects by Chriselda Barretto :


BLOG – chriselda.blog — 

HAND MADE BY CHRISELDA B – Healing Jewelry —  




 THE DIG —  


Signup to my mailing list


Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page







Goodreads Author Page 

The International Aircraft Cabin Air Conference 2019

What an amazing Conference!

Considering that the fight is ongoing and strong with the many crew and passengers still being severely affected after taking a flight, this conference gives us another incredible shot at trying to work towards finding an effective solution.

Thanks to Tristan Loraine, his efficient team and the +30 speakers that made this event a thorough success.

It has definitely motivated all of us and given me the fuel to launch the follow-up to my Podcast series “The 3 Pillars” – Aviation. Stay tuned for more information on Aerotoxic Syndrome and positive ways moving forwards…

Interview with Laurence Koutny – Founder of ‘Art of Chocolate’ & Winner of 2013 Belgian Business Manager Trends Woman Award

Laurence Koutny – Founder of ‘Art of Chocolate’ & Winner of 2013 Belgian Business Manager Trends Woman award

Hello Laurence, it is such a pleasure and honour to have you speak with me today! You have over 17 years in the chocolate industry…Truly amazing! Could you tell us some more about you, the woman behind all this knowledge and experience?

Hello, nice to meet you. Indeed, I am passionate about chocolate. As a kid, I was a fan of my Cote d’Or, as a student I started to discover the world of the candy-bar, when I finished my university, what a dream……Mars employed me on the campus. I worked there for 3 years understanding the world of multinationals and chocolate.

I then moved to Levi’s and travelled a lot. After years, my passion for chocolate came back and I got the dream job @ Godiva Chocolates. I was in charge of Marketing, the Retail design and then the entire innovation internationally.

I realised how much the Belgian savoir-faire was highly respected and recognised around the world. I then thought about how important it was to continue to claim our savoir-faire.

Your experience is overwhelming considering the various fields you have worked in, to mention a few: Accessory, Fashion, Sport, Education….Which one of these fields spoke to you the most and why?

I love fashion as it’s a continuous innovation process. You need to reinvent all the time and make people feel good in what they wear.

I love sport as it’s a must to live and to feel good and more importantly experience nature.

I love chocolate as it’s the best indulgence in life and then finally what’s best to pass legacy and educate people on what you love.

Which project has been the most difficult for you in your entire career?

On the 30 years of my career, there have been several.

Probably, the most recent one was the celebration of the 90th anniversary of Godiva in February 2016, where I organised an event with 150 journalists from all around the world. This event happened between the terrorist attack in Paris in November 2015 and the one in March 2016 in Brussels.

The level of stress was very high at our event, with everybody thinking that an attack might occur while we organised a week of events for these very important journalists.

You also were the winner of the 2013 Belgian Business Manager Trends Woman Award! That is a prestigious title to have! What were your feelings when they announced you as the winner?

I felt so thrilled as I had no idea I would win. It was a tough process to get there but when they call you on stage, I felt so proud……..amazing experience!

You are the founder of “Art of Chocolate”. Tell us about your journey in getting this huge project started?

It was a natural journey…after 17 years in chocolate, passionate about it, convinced that we have major talents in Belgium on the matter, I thought it was a must to share this savoir-faire worldwide.

I talked about my academy with highly respected people in the industry, to teach everything about chocolate from the bean to the consumer experience, to buying chocolate. They followed me on my thinking and supported me in the adventure.

Has “Chocolate” changed your life, because I know that the masterclasses you offer, do train and change other people’s lives?

Yes it did. I saw so many things in life but the most amazing thing is to see every smile on each face when people taste chocolate, not only chocolate but good chocolate. The nice thing is to keep contact with the participants after they pass by our masterclasses and see how they applied their learning.

One opened a chocolate shop in Ghana, another one launched a food truck ‘bean to bar’, and another one re-merchandised his entire store….so many nice stories!

I am so curious together with all my readers, to know more about your masterclasses. Could you tell us some more on that?

In the heart of Brussels, ‘Art of Chocolate’ delivers dynamic masterclasses aimed at chocolatiers, chocolate entrepreneurs, chocolate professionals in any field or anyone with a passion for chocolate from anywhere in the world, and interested in learning from the best to take their chocolate skills to a new level.

The philosophy is to cover all the steps from the bean to the consumer experience and cover the entire chain.

Our interactive masterclasses are centred around the following themes:

  • The chocolate making process for starting chocolatiers
  • Advanced chocolate making – Bean to bar
  • Sensory – Creating innovative, premium products
  • Building a successful chocolate business through developing rich customer experience

Please share with us some of your expertise in building a strong, coherent team and its impact on one’s business!

People are the base of everything if you want to succeed in business! It is crucial to have people with the same passion, respect and vision. With “Art of Chocolate”, I only met fully passioned, talented people who are ready to share their knowledge with others.

Everybody respects each other for their competency and the way they complement each other towards one same goal to train about the Belgian chocolate savoir-faire.

I replicated a recipe that I used during the last 30 years with the large numbers of teams I have had to manage.

Have there been other role-models that you have looked up to, or that have influenced you in some way?

There have been many people who had a real impact on my life. From a famous side, it goes from Mandela to Madonna to MèreThérésa (Mother Teresa) to Arétha Franklin to Simone Veil to Jorge Donn to Stromae to finally some amazing chocolatiers such as Laurent Gerbaud, Pierre Marcolini, Jean-Christophe Hubert from Milenisme, Patrick Roger, Stephane Leroux  and many others for their beliefs and passion!

Then on my career side, with 23 different bosses, you have some who really show you the paths and those who you really don’t want to be like, and you learn a lot from that too.

What is your advice to young entrepreneurs?

I wouldn’t say enough, have the passion for what you do, believe in what you do with concrete facts to validate your idea and be honest to admit the skills you miss and surround yourself with others who have those skills, to allow you to shine in your best qualities.

You must have a very busy schedule. What does a normal workday look like to you?

After a good breakfast….. it goes from managing the social network to recruiting participants; having to contact them to understand their real motivation. To develop new courses with teachers and to meet people for consultancy jobs, to organise sessions and prepare all the material.

Days go fast…..I constantly meet new fascinating people with the same passion for food and more especially for Chocolate.

The other day, I met an incredibly passionate ‘perfume’ guy, who was developing the best perfumes you would have never smelled before, in his garage in Brussels .

What do you do in your free time, and how do you manage to make time for it?

After having been in corporation for 30 years moving to Independent is a challenge! I want to be outside all the time but so much to do ……..I spend time with my 2 kids (or they do with me as they become older😊) and party with my friends.

I walk a lot, bike a lot , play golf and travel when I can to discover new things.

What is next for you…your next big project?

I have seven sessions to organise from now till end October. 3 very exciting confidential consulting missions in the chocolate business and I am preparing the whole schedule for 2020 with new, exciting modules.

How can my readers contact you, find your work?

The best way is to visit our website: www.artofchocolate.be or contact me at laurence@artofchocolate.be


Signup to my mailing list to receive a reminder to my future articles. See you next time!

Check out more projects by Chriselda Barretto :

Her Blog – chriselda.blog





Signup to my mailing list

%d bloggers like this: