We had the good fortune of connecting with Meera Sharma and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Meera, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My work-life balance has certainly changed over the past years, more so since the pandemic hit. Pre-pandemic, whilst I would go on vacations, outside of this I was always working or spending my free time working on a project. I would never have a Sunday where I would just read or do something that is not related to work. Now I’ve realized the beauty in saying no to things and not having to do everything. It’s fine to take days off to just chill and watch your favorite TV shows or read a book, there’s nothing wrong with taking time out for yourself.
Whilst work does provide an income, work should not be the end-all where you put it above your health and wellbeing. It’s important to separate out your work life, from your actual life. Making certain changes to your day can help this e.g. I start my day with a workout, yoga and I don’t check my work emails or phone until my working day begins. I keep evenings and weekends free to do things I enjoy and are good for my wellbeing. I also limit the amount of time I spend on my mobile, again having certain cut-off times. This was never the case pre-pandemic and by making these small adjustments I’ve noticed a positive impact. Now I realize, getting the right balance is key – work (if you enjoy it great), and then have a good amount of time doing the things you enjoy and taking time out for yourself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I came to the limelight on ITV’s Take Me Out, which is a dating show that’s really popular in the UK, since then I’ve been using my platform to talk about identity, representation, and staying motivated! I’ve written for the likes of The Independent, as well as appearing on BBC radio to name a few!
I’m a firm believer that you can achieve your goals and dreams but at the same time, I do acknowledge we can all have a down day, which is exactly when we need someone to cheer us on. I was always the friend out of my friend group that would be the go-to when people needed cheering up, or some motivation, and that inspired me to publish The Little Book of Sass, featuring ‘sasspirational’ quotes to perk people up when they need it the most. On the back of this, I created my platform The School of Sass to educate everyone on the skills they need to stay motivated, positive, and live the life they’ve imagined by channeling their inner sass. I honestly just want everyone to feel good about themselves and not have any regrets!!
Currently, I’m the host of my own weekly motivational talk show, The Sass Life, airing on DASH Radio. It launched in June 2021 and it gives a new meaning to Monday motivation! Every week I speak to notable women who are experts in their fields to learn how they’ve channeled their inner sass to create the life of their dreams. It’s great as I have creative control and have interviewed inspiring women such as Sydney Cummings, Maya Vander, Ayesha Perry-Iqbal to name a few!
Mindset is really important so when I was faced with a challenge I viewed it as an opportunity to grow and push myself out of my comfort zone. Everything that has happened has made me who I am today. It’s taught me to not listen to anyone who tells you you can’t do something, don’t take no as an answer -instead find another way to make it happen, work hard and follow your gut! The right opportunities will present themselves at the right time – rejection is redirection after all!
The thing I am most proud of is when I’ve made an impact so writing about the importance of South Asian representation in mainstream media, for major publications. Even having women say they loved seeing me on TV as it was refreshing to see someone they could relate to. Although, nothing beats the feeling when someone says that my advice or sayings have given them the confidence to pursue their goals. Making people feel good about themselves is my proudest achievement!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I LOVE LA and I actually love recommending places people should visit. There’s so much to do in LA, really depends on what you are looking for and the time you come but below are some go-to places all around.
Hang out places, of course, the beaches are a must – Malibu, Manhattan beach. Whilst I know this is outside of LA – a day trip to Newport Beach, or if you fancy going further afield then Miramar Beach in Santa Barbara is also a must.
The museums in LA are also great – LACM, CAAM, The California Science center are all must-visits. I loved The Annenberg Space for Photography, which has sadly now closed due to the pandemic but they always had great exhibitions on – when Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop was on I told everyone to go visit!
Hiking is something else that’s a must, of course, people new to the city would love to visit Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook offers another great view of LA. Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park is really scenic too.
Depending on your religious and spiritual beliefs I would also visit Hsi Lai Temple, it’s just really great if you want some peace!
Parks to visit for a picnic lunch can include Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.
Brunch spots would include The Butchers Daughter in Venice Beach, Zinc Cafe in the Arts District.
For dinner Gracias Madre in West Hollywood is a must, the Mexican food is to die for and it has a really nice ambiance. Broken Spanish (DTLA), the restaurant in The Firehouse in DTLA and Rossoblu, are some other great restaurants.
If you fancy hitting the clubs then Le Jardin & Nightingale Plaza should be on your list. If you’re into more of a rooftop pool/bar vibe then hit up the Dream in Hollywood.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people who have encouraged me to get to where I have, from my Grandmother, who was a strong figure in my life, to my family and friends. I also have to give a special shout-out to Dash Radio and Rukus Avenue Radio’s, Raoul Juneja for giving me the opportunity to have my own show.