See Yourself As Whole: Dr. Shari Keller

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Dr. Shari Keller’s biography has its true beginning in the year 1975 when she made her first trip to the ashram of Avatar Meher Baba with her parents.

Meher Baba’s motto, “Master in Servitude” has been her inspiration and guiding principle from that time, and is the operational basis for the company she heads in Jaipur, India—Mehera Shaw.

a7e6e55489faa2bec19a886677a7a111Shari graduated from Pomona College with a double major in pre-med and music, and went on to gain her doctorate in cultural anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin. Along with her husband, Mark, Shari launched the Mehera Shaw brand in 1999, and then went on to found the production company of that same name in 2007.

Shari is the mother of three, a home-school teacher, and the Director of both Mehera Shaw Textiles, Jaipur, and the Mehera Shaw Foundation, which is dedicated to artisanal development, the preservation of traditional textile crafts, with a special focus on the advancement of women.

Sustainability Leadership & Fair Trade

In 2013 India’s Consortium of Green Fashion awarded Mehera Shaw Textiles Pvt. Ltd. the sustainability in leadership award. This textile and fashion industry honor is in recognition of Mehera Shaw’s efforts in the fields of sustainability and ecology. Importantly, Mehera Shaw’s stated Fair Trade principles speak volumes about Shari’s values:

“We believe the message behind fair trade is passed on to the next generation when people work together and see each other as human beings first. We believe this is the most important type of understanding which will create long-term positive change for humanity. We believe an environment of empathy and respect is key to our whole future; together we all benefit. We believe the benefits of simply treating each other as human beings are there for all of us who are willing to join hands and see ourselves as part of this ‘trade’.” –Mehera Shaw Fair Trade

Fearless Females Forum 5 Cs With Dr. Shari Keller

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“It is not what strangers think of us that matters, but how we live our lives, what we give of ourselves which gives us our strength and wholeness, as women, as human beings.”

1. What’s the most courageous decision you’ve made?

To start and continue our own business in India in the face of so many obstacles and cultural differences.

2. What choices are most important to you?

Doing what’s best for my kids and family firstly. Doing what’s best for our family business secondly.

3. What fears have you conquered?

Worrying what others think of me.

4. What conversation made the most impact on you?

It was a discussion about the meaning of real freedom I listened to when living in India years ago—a man who was a seeker of truth and who had given up his possessions and worldly life said in reply to the question, “What is freedom?”

Freedom is following truth within oneself regardless of the judgement or perceptions of the world. Freedom is an inner state of not being owned by one’s possessions, by social constraints or by the ‘shoulds’ of life. Further, real freedom is being free from wants or desires.

5. What do you want women to get clear about?

Believing in themselves, being themselves and being supportive of each other. Seeing themselves as whole rather than wanting approval from others. Believing that each and every role we have (mother, wife, sister, business woman, friend, etc.) is something to embrace and value. It is not what strangers think of us that matters, but how we live our lives, what we give of ourselves which gives us our strength and wholeness, as women, as human beings.

A huge thank you to Dr. Shari Keller, the globally Fearless Female, for sharing an inspiring herstory! 

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Are you a Fearless Female ready to have the spotlight shine on you? Calling All Fearless Females tells you how to share your story.

Fearless Females Forum is a showcase for inspiring women who push past fears, find the courage to meet her calling, solve a problem, or take a road less traveled.

Images via MeheraShaw.com include women’s development program and Shari with the people of Mehera Shaw.

Comments

  1. Terrific “herstory,” Jone. Shari is an inspiration.

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