My name’s Heena Modi. I’m a primary school teacher and a coach for those who want to follow a plant based lifestyle. On this site, I write about topics which I am passionate about. Previous posts include content about amazing holidays, money saving tips, education, making actions, such as, recycling effortless and spirituality.
If there’s anything that I’ve not written about, which you think will serve those who visit this site, please do get in touch and share your ideas with me.
How I got into blogging
So how did I get into blogging? Funnily enough, my hubby, Suraj Shah gave me this website for my birthday a couple of years ago. I didn’t really know about blogging then so I didn’t know what it was for or what I needed to do with it! One night, we got talking about something that I was feeling passionate about and he said “You know you can write about that on your website.” That was it! I started and haven’t really stopped since! 🙂
What else can I tell you about me?
- I feel enriched by the sun!
- I like wearing bright colours.
- I follow a plant based lifestyle and feel SO much better for it!
- I love wearing saris!
- I like sharing helpful things I’ve found out e.g. how to stop getting junk mail in your name OR anyone else’s, via the post, text, fax or phone.
Helping other teachers
I’ve been active in the National Union of Teachers since July 2007 when I became the NUT School representative at the school I work in.
My desire to become more involved in Union work grew and my career had a bit of a transformation in September 2010 when I became the Assistant Divisional Secretary for the National Union of Teachers.
It changed a little more in January 2011 when I took on the title of the Union Learning Representative (ULR) for Harrow.
My journey! What can I tell you? I guess they can be summed up in these posts:
The loss of my father
My father passed away soon after we sold the family business and moved home in May 2000. I wrote a poem exploring my feelings around my father’s death and how life changed afterwards. I did a lot of that then. Writing poems helped me understand myself better, clarify thoughts and gain a sense of closure, which enabled me to move on.
As ten years since my father passed away was approached, I wrote a post about how the last decade had been. This made me realise how ‘full’ those ten years had been!
Inspired by how well mum coped
My immediate family was composed of my mum, dad and myself. Death can be difficult in any circumstance. However, I think it was particularly hard on my mum for a number of reasons; one of them being that my dad managed the money in every way! He signed cheques, went to the bank, managed the accounts, savings etc.
Mum had never done any of that stuff and she had to learn all these things, as well as, manage everything else that went with losing your partner, becoming a single parent and more. I’m proud of her for managing so well. 🙂
Taking steps to start the professional training that I discussed with my dad before he passed away.
My career in Education began at the Sybil Elgar School where I was a learning assistant for children and young adults with Autism. After a couple of years I decided to do the PGCE and become a teacher.
Dad and I spoke about it but he passed away before I began the course. I was determined to start it as soon as possible. I did the PGCE at the University of East London and have been teaching ever since.
I got married a year after my father passed away. It didn’t work out for a number of reasons but I can gladly say I have no regrets. We didn’t bring out the good in each other and deciding to lead separate lives was best for both of us. Going back to ‘losing’ my father; on the day of our wedding reception, I was overcome with sadness when I saw my mum dancing with her brother. This poem explains why.
Meeting Suraj was unplanned and unexpected but positive. We met by chance when I went out with some friends from work. He happened to know one of my friends, so he came to say hi and that was it! We ended up spending most of the evening together. We clicked. Naturally, we got talking about anything and everything. It was great! We kept in touch and we got closer. More about that later! 🙂
My love for animals
I have always loved animals. I adopted Brutus, my first pet when I was about 26 years old. He was a ‘wild’ cat.
There’s a huge void in rescuing ‘older’ cats. They often get left behind!
After Brutus passed away I was devastated but after a year or so I rescued a pair of cats. They were mother and daughter. Unfortunately Small, (the mother), became unwell and could not be saved. I cherished the daughter, Biggie. However, I re-homed Biggie just before we took a long holiday and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
I still think of her and I still miss her. However, I know that she was happy with us and better still, she was looked after in a way we couldn’t have managed during her final days. 🙂
Suraj and I went to an event called Mahavir Janma Kalyanak in April 2008. At this event we saw a video about the inhumane treatment of cows in the dairy industry. This was a huge turning point for us. We changed our diet from vegetarian to vegan. I’ve not looked back since! I feel healthier in my mind and conscience and that is hugely important to me. 🙂
Getting active within the Union
In 2008 there was strike by Unison members. Many schools had to close because the health and safety officers were on strike, learning assistants weren’t there to support specific children, support staff who cover classes weren’t in etc. This is when I was asked to do the duties of a learning assistant. For many reasons, it was wrong! I blogged about it and I believe that was the beginning of my increased interest in supporting the Union.
Suraj and I got married! We had a very unusual wedding. We wanted it to be minimalist and we wanted to put the money which could have gone into our wedding into our future instead. It suited us and all turned out very well in the end! 🙂
Work life balance
I began to question whether working full time, which was the culture I’d been brought up with, was something that I had to/wanted to, continue! For many reasons, including a few whiplash injuries, I started working 4 days a week. Here’s a post where I discuss my thoughts about working part-time. My quality of life is better. I feel less stressed and sick leave due to my back health has reduced dramatically.
On the path to quenching my thirst for spirituality
For some years I had craved going to events in which I could receive spiritual guidance to make daily living smoother, more harmonious & more peaceful. During the early part of 2009 I saw the key to my spiritual progress and I accepted it! It’s been a great journey ever since!
Previous extra curricular activities! 🙂
I’ve been a committee member of some sort every year for the last 10 years or so. Here are some of the committees that I’ve been involved with:
- Editor of the National Council of Vanik Association’s (NCVA) newsletter from 2006 – 2011
- Trustee of Navnat Youth Association (NYA) from March 1998 – March 1999
- On the Young Jains (YJ) Newsletter team from October 2007 – November 2009
- Part of the Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) from June 2008 – October 2009
- Secretary of the Grove Estate Residents Association (GERA) since its creation in January 2008 – October 2009
- Member of the Leaseholder Support Group (LSG) since its creation in November 2006 – October 2010
- Member of the Waste Group team since 2008 – August 2010
How to get in touch
To contact me, please fill out the form below, email me at heena [at] heenamodi [dot] com or tweet me @heenamodi.