In one word, what describes your approach to life?
We were honored to interview fashion blogger Soraya Bakhtiar about her passions and lifestyle, and how the Transcendental Meditation technique has fostered the strength, awareness, and presence to support her in accomplishing her ambitious goals.
The world of fashion has become a cyclone that whizzes through each season, and despite the overwhelmed audience left in its wake, the storm only continues to gather speed. At the eye of this confusing whirlwind, Soraya Bakhtiar can be found, calm and confident. With designer-clad feet rooted deeply in her desire to share her creative vision and original style with both designers and devotees, Soraya is a faceted force all her own, navigating fashion’s offerings with effortless class.
What are your passions? What does a typical day in your week look like?
“All things fashion related, working out, and I also love fragrances and traveling. My days are never the same. I like to mix things up by working from home, or from a cafe near my house. I can get a bit restless at times and find myself constantly on the go. Therefore, I don’t have a consistent routine. But no matter where I am, my day starts with a my TM practice and a workout.”
Do you see yourself as somebody who took a leap of faith to create your current lifestyle, or do you think it kind of just happened?
“It’s a combination of both. I followed my passion for styling, and things naturally fell into place with one door leading to another, and it’s been this way for the past 8 years. I do feel that I also took a leap of faith when I moved to London to study Fashion Journalism in 2011, and again when I left my job to pursue blogging. Both following my passions and a few leaps of faith led me to where I am today.”
What are your 3 favorite “tools” for a healthy, happy life?
“Healthy diet and exercise, surrounding myself with a mutually supportive community, and time for self-reflection/Transcendental Meditation.”
How long have you been practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique, and what inspired you to learn?
“It’s been almost a year now! A friend told me about it. I have a hard time switching off, which can give me anxiety sometimes. I’m never settled in one place for too long, and the fashion industry doesn’t have a lot of room for imperfections, both of which can add to the anxiety. It’s not always easy to put yourself first, but things are finally starting to change. When I looked into Transcendental Meditation, everything aligned. The teacher I reached out to turned out to be my French teacher from High School. I had no idea he’d been practicing it for so many years. It was meant to be.”
What was your perception of meditation in general before you learned the TM technique? Did that perception change after your first few experiences meditating?
“I always envied people who were able to meditate because I was never able to until I tried TM. I had tried so many different techniques, and this one worked immediately, and I started to feel the benefits rapidly.”
What’s the oddest place you’ve fit in your TM practice?
“In a public bathroom at a fashion event. I was running late as I walked into the event and started to have social anxiety. So I rushed to the bathroom and gave myself 20 minutes to recenter.”
Is there an experience related to your practice of TM that stands out in your mind?
“I feel lighter and more focused. At times, I do feel tired after it. It quiets my mind and lets my body respond to what it needs naturally. “
What are your core values and how does the TM technique enrich those in your life?
“Be present, and be real. My TM practice has allowed me to be myself and live in the moment. Ever since I opened up about my anxiety and the benefits of my practice on Instagram, I’ve received hundreds of messages from people around the world who were interested in learning more or learning the technique. Overall, the feedback I’ve received has been outstanding. I’m so happy I’ve been able to help others around me by being open and honest about my experiences.”
Talk about the biggest failure you’ve had. What did you learn from it?
“In hindsight, I don’t believe my failures were failures, because everything has brought me to the path I’m on today. I still encounter bumps in the road today, no matter how life may seem on social media. But I’ve found I learn and grow the most through difficult times, and accepting that is a lesson in itself.”
What’s your greatest success, and what did you learn from it?
“On a personal level, I’ve learned how to be true to myself and be confident. It’s not been an easy task, but with hard work and self-care, I’ve managed to know my worth and never settle for anything less than that. That comes with learning how to say no, listen to myself, and be ok with that. Sometimes it’s hard not to please everyone, but in the end, you’re the one paying the consequences of a bad decision. That’s why work-wise I try to filter and only work with brands that are in line with my vision.
“On a professional level, being able to live the life that I want and have always dreamed of has been a beautiful accomplishment.”
If you could give a person one piece of advice when thinking about pursuing a life/career like yours, what would you tell them?
“No one says it better than Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.””
Soraya graduated from the renowned London College of Fashion with a Fashion Journalism Master’s degree, counting internships with for renowned publications such as Elle UK and Tank Magazine, and worked in PR for Elie Saab in 2013. After devoting herself to her career through these prestigious opportunities, Soraya made the fortuitous decision to concentrate solely on her popular, ever-growing blog and exciting freelance opportunities. She is trusted to represent and support the most authentic, ground-breaking brands such as Chanel, Piaget, Bulgari, Piaget, Chopard, Net-a-Porter, to name a few. She has recently become focused on guiding new and extraordinary labels to their rightful place in the spotlight. Whether it be styling a shoot, contributing to pivotal product developments, or assisting in the design and execution of a strong visual identity, Soraya is dedicated to bolstering emerging names and contributing to their success.
Today, Soraya calls London home. She thrives on the buoyant pulse of the fashion capital, and is a vibrant participant in its fresh and exciting scene. And though her love for London is absolute, this natural influencer craves and is truly inspired by the mosaic of diversity that she is exposed to on her global adventures. Recently, her strong family heritage drew her to the Middle East (Cairo, Lebanon and Dubai), where she was enchanted by the talented, emerging designers the area boasts. Since then, her heart has become set on increasing her expertise in the Middle East by fostering relationships and creating magic with these glittering newcomers.