Meet The HONey: Qarnayni Sitta
On Valentine's day I was not able to spend the day with my own Valentine, instead, however, I had the opportunity to interview the solo founder of Mohini Love Project. This felt so fitting! In 2011 I tattooed “Love Thyself” on my inner left arm after finally committing myself to do some much needed inner work through therapy. Ever since self-acceptance and self-love have taken on an essential and central role in my growth and understanding of life. I had met the founder before, during the House of Notoire retreat in Bali in September 2018, where she gave a self-love workshop to the HONeys attending. Her workshop really resonated with me and I went on to follow a second workshop of hers about cravings and compulsions. So naturally, I was excited to be able to ask her some more in-depth questions and get to know a bit more about her. We met at Echo Beach in Canggu at sunset hour where we enjoyed sipping on a coconut whilst the day dimmed into the night and we spoke about her life, carrier and vision. Originally from Jakarta, and as of three years happily based in Bali. This self-love & spiritual teacher develops her own material through her intuition, providing workshops, classes and one-on-ones to a broad spectrum of people. Additionally, she also designs and sells unique jewellery online. Let me introduce to you the lovely, creative and let’s not forget, the always stylish Qarnayni Sitta (nickname Sitta)!
Let’s begin with a brief introduction. Could you please tell our readers what it is you do?`
I do two things, I teach self-love and spirituality and I design jewellery. I would describe my teachings as a calling to help people better their understand and develop deeper self-love. The jewellery I design is a part of my creative expression.
How did you get into this?
Well, in 2016 I felt my intuition strongly calling on me to move to Bali. I had always known I wanted to live in Bali at some point but never really knew when it might happen, but somehow in 2016, I knew I had to go. I flew out spontaneously without a place to stay or any work. I was able to crash at a friends place briefly and within three weeks I had landed a job at Alchemy, a plant-based restaurant in Ubud. I didn’t realize I had a soul calling to serve at this point in time but I was receiving signs and little by little I came to realize that teaching is what I should be doing. I was doing a lot of inner work and this gave me the answer I had been longing for, it made me realize I can create and design, and start Mohini Love Project in 2018. From there on out, I took inspired action. The project has been going to a year, and it’s growing the way it should be. I am learning a lot, keep getting more interest, more projects and I continue to be inspired and create new material. It’s been really exciting and has been really rewarding.
Can you give us some more insight into your teaching philosophy of self-love?
The thing is most of the time, people need other people’s validation about themselves, in terms of work and creation. But I don’t feel like how people should function. I feel like one should take action for oneself, and then share it with the world. Every person should share themselves and their creations but first and foremost, they should do it for themselves, that’s what we owe ourselves. Do it for the sake of (self)love. When people practice and become their passion when they share their creations because they are aligned with themselves, it’s called love and the need for external or external validation lessens.
What’s your favourite part of your work?
I love everything about I! I’m completely in my element. I love teaching and providing new ways of thinking for people. I love the way the words flow out of me and the insight I receive while teaching or writing. It’s the best! As for designing, my favourite moment is when I see the finished product when I can see my idea has manifested into reality. I admire the piece with amazement, and I think to myself “I’m a genius, thank you!
How do you balance your work and private life?
I do not plan it, I just listen to my intuition. When I feel the need to slow down, I slow down, when I feel the urge to go full force and work hard, I work hard. I am constantly absorbing and integrating everything I experience in my daily and private life into my work.
So I know you are involved in some volunteer work, could you tell us a bit more about that?
Yes of course! Last year I collaborated with an NGO that provides alternative after-school education after school for children between the ages of twelve and seventeen. They offer profession orientated subjects like marketing and design and life skills, such as mindfulness, self-love and self-compassion, which is what I gave lessons in. I also volunteer for BaliWISE, which is an NGO organization empowering impoverished girls and women with skills and education to create sustainable communities in Indonesia. As Bali’s main source of income is through the tourist industry, most people end up working in tourism and this organization gives them the chance to develop skills to make them employable. I provided classes for these girls in self-love and self-compassion to empower them to follow their dreams.
What about your Sunday cooking?
Oh yeah! So once a month I cook together with my amazing roomie and best friend ( Arsy Medina - link to her interview) for the less fortunate. We cook a bunch of food and go hand it out to people, generally speaking to people who don’t have much income. The concept is pretty simple but effective. In Indonesia, everyone loves food, and it’s a way to show appreciation and life feels better when you can eat and feel satisfied with a full belly. Whenever you go visit family or friends, there’s always food ready. So giving food to the less fortunate you aim to make their day by giving them some home cooked food.
What are your future goal for Mohini Love Project?
I have two books which I’m working on and planning to publish in the near and distant future. The one I am working on right now is a pocket-sized book, designed to easily take with you where ever you go. It’s a little book full of love affirmations which will lift your mood in low moments and will make It’s fun and light-hearted. It’s about embracing all of oneself unconditionally, so there will be affirmations to love our so-called “negative side”. Some people are too focused on the positive side of their personality. But I want to share to people to love themselves completely, and that includes their so-called “negative side”, that we should embrace both our darkness and light at the same time. Shame is one of the biggest blocks and not constructive for personal growth and self-love. If you want to love yourself you have to love even the part of you that you do not like. I’m just waiting for the graphics to finalize.
The second book is a bit heavier, It’s about healing our trust with the Universe and the Divine for this i call it God. I am still experimenting on how it would come out for this one.
And lastly, would you be willing to share some of your favourite spots in Bali?
I’m actually a real home-body, so I’m at my house a lot, to be honest. But the perk of living on an island are the beaches of course. I love the Uluwatu beaches, and recently i love the Blue Lagoon in Padang Bay. My friend also owns a restaurant in Ubud which I always go to when I’m in Ubud, It’s called the Fu Shoe Noodle Club, and had the best homemade noodles. Yummmm.