By Yasmin Darsot Cassim

In late October 2014 Irtiqa I was invited to the “Inspir-Art” open day at Picture Perfect Art Studio in Ridgeway Johannesburg, hosted by well-known local artist Gulshan Hoosen. What made this event so unique was its focus on art as more than just a hobby, but a way of life. Furthermore, the event was made richer by the presence of Life Coach Khalid Jassat who delved into the inner realm of self-realization and positive thinking.

At the very onset, what struck me was Gulshan’s art studio. Saturated in natural light, the studio immediately energized the atmosphere and drew attention to the exquisite paintings that were being exhibited. Introducing ‘Inspir-art’ to her audience, Gulshan shared with us her life story and passion for painting, emphasizing the therapeutic nature of the art form. Painting, according to Gulshan, can take you to another level. It becomes a safe space from the current issues and challenges of life that each of us face. Gulshan drew on her personal experience with art claiming that she experiences a sense of achievement when an art piece is completed. She mentioned that the first time she felt a great sense of contentment and inspiration was when she did her first “Allah” painting.

Gulshan always had an artistic flare but never had the opportunity to pursue it. However, a few years ago she started painting as a hobby. Her enthusiasm, creativity and natural talent were clearly expressed in her first painting. Her friend snatched up the art piece immediately and went on to request another one- that was the start of Gulshan’s journey. By word of mouth she started painting frequently. At client’s requests, she was even invited into their homes to identify their need for artwork in a specific space or area and she always met their expectations by delivering exceptional paintings. In 2009 she decided to start her own art classes which took off with a bang and which were an immediate success. She was running classes five times a week with a maximum of 10 students at a time. She found it very fulfilling to share her knowledge with her students. “I gave people the opportunity to create something beautiful and that was very fulfilling for me, I believe that I helped them in a unique way and gave them a sense of accomplishment”, she said. It was then that she found her purpose- Art by Gulshan.

After briefly thanking her friends and family for all their support and encouragement, as well as all her guests for making the time to be there, she introduced Khalid Jassat and the talented Iqbal Khan, who went on to sing one my favorite songs: “Tum Hi Ho” from the movie Aashiqui. Khalid Jassat told us a little about himself and how he turned his passion into his vocation by taking on the role of being a Life Coach, much like Gulshan and her art. His presence at the Inspir-Art open day was a reminder that we can do what we love if we just believe that we can.

Khalid is a certified Life Coach, Cognitive Therapist and Neuro – Linguistic Programming expert who specializes in personal and relationship counseling. Khalid’s purpose is to help people old and young with anything and everything that he can, whether the individual suffered from a traumatic incident, or requires guidance to meet their goals. He referred often to the laws of attraction- that has commonly been dubbed as ‘the secret’- which I found enlightening. You only get what you give out, so why not give out the positive? Khalid went on to express how important it is for us to take care of ourselves and that we are the only people that are responsible for our happiness. He emphasized how important it is for us not to procrastinate if there is something we need to complete, “the time is now because there may be no tomorrow. If we don’t make a change in our lives we will not be able to reach our dream and we are the only ones holding ourselves back”

His talk was not only motivational and inspiring, but his words were striking; everything we want is out there whether it’s a new house, a new car, a new job… The only thing we need to do is get up and claim it. Work hard for it and get what you want. I also learnt that there is a difference between happiness and contentment. After Khalid spoke, I realized that contentment is to love what you have, whilst happiness is having what you want for that moment- it is merely a temporary thing. Let us all learn to be grateful for what we have because that is true happiness. The little things count; our health, our loved ones, our homes and everything that we have is a true blessing from Allah. Therefore the more grateful you are, the more you will be blessed with.

After a private chat with Khalid he advised me that he will be launching his new book “Living Limitlessly” soon- something to look forward to. Overall, the Inspir-Art open day was informative and enlightening. Khalid and Gulshan are passionate about what they do, and this reflects in their daily work…