TV per­sona turns healer, So­phie Navita

Bali & Beyond - - TEAM TALK - By Wi­win Wir­widya­phien­

So­phie Navita has been a TV pre­sen­ter since she was a lit­tle. But ever since she moved from Jakarta to Bali with her fam­ily, she has turned her ca­reer path from en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try to the holis­tic and culi­nary world that makes her a healer and one of In­done­sia’s first plant-based chefs, as well as a nu­tri­tion en­thu­si­ast – she is the founder of “In­done­sia Makan Sayur”, a na­tional move­ment that en­cour­ages peo­ple to eat more veg­eta­bles. She also jug­gles her time as a wife to Pongki (an In­done­sian mu­si­cian) and a mother of two chil­dren, a teacher at many cook­ing classes as well as a pre­sen­ter and singer when she trav­els out of Bali. She has pub­lished books – her sec­ond one is com­ing out at the end of this year, ti­tled “Hati yang Gem­bira adalah Obat” (A Happy Heart is a Medicine). To Bali & Be­yond (BB), So­phie Navita (SN) shares her se­crets…

BB: So, you are a singer and a plant­based chef, among other things. And you are into nu­tri­tion as well. How do you ac­tu­ally want to be rec­og­nized?

SN: I’d like to think of my­self as a speaker and a lis­tener. Ev­ery time I say some­thing, my words can ac­tu­ally ei­ther help peo­ple or bring them down. Re­cently, I learned that I should give more en­cour­ag­ing words and be re­ally care­ful with my words. I have been through an episode in my life you could call ‘de­pressed’. I am not proud of it but I don’t want to be ashamed of it be­cause I went through it. And now I feel like I need to pull peo­ple out who are still stuck in that ‘hole’ and help them.

Some­how, many peo­ple come di­rectly to me to share what they have been through. I learn that some­times peo­ple need me to only lis­ten, while other times all they need is a smile or an opin­ion, though I am care­ful about giv­ing my two-cents be­cause I think they have to be lis­ten­ing to their own voice. When I speak or write, I re­ally lean on God, The Source of All Words, and I be­lieve that I can help bring a dif­fer­ence to a per­son’s life.

BB: What made you start the “In­done­sia Makan Sayur” move­ment?

SN: I want all moth­ers to be able to serve healthy food at home. The def­i­ni­tion of healthy food is food with high nu­tri­tion, and it can be found mostly in veg­eta­bles, or­ganic veg­eta­bles es­pe­cially. I am happy enough to en­cour­age moth­ers to cook and serve healthy veg­etable dishes for their whole fam­ily mem­bers. But see­ing some pic­tures of tu­mis kangkung (sautéed kangkung), sayur ben­ing (spinach

soup) or green smooth­ies that they made and posted to our In­sta­gram ac­count @id­makansayur, it makes me feel even more de­lighted. That kind of re­sponse al­ways sur­prise me!

BB: What do you want to share in your classes?

SN: I want peo­ple to have bet­ter knowl­edge about or­ganic veg­eta­bles. Choos­ing or­ganic veg­eta­bles also means we sup­port our lo­cal farm­ers. That is why, “In­done­sia Makan Sayur” is also a moral and im­por­tant move­ment that strives to bring a lot of ben­e­fits to ev­ery­one in­volved in it, from when the veg­eta­bles are planted, then grow and are har­vested from farm fields, and then cooked, served and con­sumed.

BB: Your book is about self­dis­cov­ery. How do you en­cour­age peo­ple to love them­selves?

SN: I think that is the bat­tle for ev­ery sin­gle hu­man be­ing on this earth. We were born into the fallen world, we were born from a fallen legacy — I learn a the­ory of cre­ation where Adam and Eve fell and we are their off­spring. And there is no way, no mat­ter how gen­tle and lov­ing your par­ents are, even for a new­born baby to love him­self or her­self. We still have a 10 per­cent chance of de­vel­op­ing some sort of self-loathing be­cause we sim­ply can’t con­trol other peo­ple and their en­ergy to­wards us.

The jour­ney of my own self-love is a re­ally long one, es­pe­cially be­cause I have is­sues with my fa­ther. He is a fa­ther fig­ure, he is al­ways there for me but we just didn’t get along un­til two years ago when my world was fall­ing apart. Every­thing went wrong and I started to grow thin­ner be­cause of de­pres­sion. That mo­ment, I de­cided to stop blam­ing oth­ers. It was a very big step for me be­cause I have been a per­son who had al­ways been putting blame on other peo­ple. It was like a short­com­ing for me. For in­stance, when I could not tol­er­ate things that hap­pened at work, I thought about get­ting out of the place to find some­thing else that works for me. Af­ter that recog­ni­tion, my life started to fall into place, slowly but surely. And I re­al­ized that ac­cep­tance is the an­swer, or as the Ja­vanese call it, “Nrimo.”

BB: Why did you and your fam­ily move to Bali from Jakarta?

SN: It was a holis­tic rea­son, ac­tu­ally. My hus­band and I wanted to re­build our fam­ily val­ues. I do not blame Jakarta for it. But in Jakarta, we could not func­tion as a fam­ily as well as we are here in Bali. But there are chal­lenges, of course. When Pongki is out for a tour, I have to stay at home with the kids and that is not easy. I used to have my own in­come, and stay­ing at home is like train­ing for me on how to be a real house­wife. Man­ag­ing the fam­ily fi­nances is not easy, yet some­how it hum­bles me be­cause I know my hus­band works so hard and I can­not spend the money ir­re­spon­si­bly.

BB: What do you do to make your­self happy then?

SN: I have been work­ing since I was 9 years old, and now I am in my early 40s. I used to think that I de­served every­thing in this life, that I could do any­thing I wanted with the money I got from work. That was my hap­pi­ness. But you can­not pay for hap­pi­ness, can you? Now for me, when my kids are in bed early, and I have my “me” time in my room to pray un­til I cry my eyes out or check out Pin­ter­est, I feel bet­ter. That is my true hap­pi­ness. Sim­ple!

So­phie’s gluten-free dough­nuts are avail­able on the week­ends at Pi­son Cof­fee in Seminyak.

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