Soulful Success—Is It Possible? Publicist Tanya Khani Says Yes.


Tanya Khani, known in most exclusive media circles as the Soulful Publicist, is the public relations representative of choice to wellness thought leaders, social impact leaders and wellness brands.

She shares with 24Life her passion to bring to the mainstream the important stories, ideas and changemakers that make the world a better place—now and in the future. At the heart of the conversation is how can we all show up authentically and get clear about who we are, what we want to give and how we can serve.

Lashaun Dale: One of the things that is so striking about you is your magnetism and love for people. How did you cultivate this compassion and genuine interest?

Tanya Khani: I began emotional intelligence training at such a young age. I started at 13. I did a transformational training, and at first, I didn’t really know what I was going there for, but as I started to unravel deeper parts of myself and really understand that I am the creator of all my stories and I give evidence to who I think I am, I started breaking those [stories] down and started just getting much deeper in my work within myself, and I’ve been doing that for I guess the majority of my life.

Tanya Khani

LD: How did that understanding even enter your life at that age?

TK: I have a mom who is very progressive and is very active in the Persian community. She is unlike any woman who I have ever met. Because she was so devoted to her inner work and really developing and strengthening that for herself, she offered that to me.

LD: And then this ultimately led you to the work you do today—the Soulful Publicist.

TK: Yes, I started studying personal development when I was young, but it didn’t really land until I reached my late teens. Once I left high school, I was able to go deeper into my personal development, and luckily my early work experience showed me so many different ways of how you can develop yourself as a human, how you can be compassionate, and how you can create community.

I went to New York after college to study further, and the culmination of the training helped me see that there is more that I want to create in this world. I kept thinking I belong in [the field of] therapy, I’ve got to go back to school. But someone my mom introduced me to—an astrologer, if you can believe it—said, “Tanya, you were meant to represent people. You need to be in media. You need to be in PR. You need to find someone who can mentor you.”

At first, I thought, There’s no way. I had no connection to that world. But it put me on this path. And what really helped is that I had learned to trust and listen from another transformational training. The question that was posed to me during that training was, “When are you going to stop playing small?” And my answer was, “Now.”

So I put in my notice at my [retail] job, although I loved it, and once I did, it opened this pathway to what was possible, and I ended up at an amazing PR firm where the woman I worked with is one of my mentors to this day.

LD: How do you work with your clients on their stories? There isn’t a sense of constructing something, so how do you help them attract attention?

TK: Most people have come to me with a higher vision. They were connected to a purpose that was beyond themselves and that drew me in. They are mission-driven, and they’re led by heart work. They’re not in it for the money, or in it for the fame, it’s not that artificial presence. It’s the presence of impact and change and transformation, and it’s notable when you meet these people. Their whole soul and being are in their work, and I will get behind it and do everything I can to bring it to the limelight.

Someone pointed out that I’m not just a publicist. I’ve also taken on a coaching role, so I’m empowering, I’m coaching them through the process because the process can be really tedious at times. I don’t think mindfulness is part of publicity, but that’s what I love to do—understand how the world is occurring for them and how I can serve them so they can serve the world.

LD: How critical is your own wellness? How does that impact your ability to show up and serve others?

TK: I realized that energy alignment is a real thing. If I don’t feel connected to what I’m doing, it completely blocks what I’m doing and disrupts my results, and I can see it showing up in all aspects of what I do.

The more I get aligned with who I am and what my truth is, then I start attracting the people who I’m meant to work with. It’s not like PR is separate from the expert’s efforts, we’re co-creating this and I want to be part of the mission of people who I feel most drawn to. I’ve discovered that you need to tune in to create that and be a magnet for it.

LD: What do you do to make sure you’re able to be aligned?

TK: I love meditation. When I meditate, I have more clarity and I’m able to go deeper in my sleep and I’m de-exciting the nervous system. So naturally, I have less cortisol for the day. Less stress. Singing is another one because I’m so connected to vibration and harmony—for me, singing and dance are total game changers. I love Pilates, and I love challenging my mind. If there is some type of physical activity that I don’t think I can do, I love strengthening that and pushing past those barriers.

LD: A lot of people think that publicists are there to spin the story, but that’s not your philosophy, is it?

TK: There is that perception to overcome, but all I can do is stand in my truth and work with the reporter and the journalist or the reader to help them really understand the “why” behind my client and the bigger message. There are way too many fear-based conversations, and I have a vision that if people like my clients Shaman Durek and LaRayia Gaston and Aarona Lea have a chance to share their stories, then we have the possibility of transforming how we wake up every day and shift our inner dialogue.

LD: Your work and their work is driving a conversation that is disrupting mainstream media.

TK: Yeah, I mean when I see Shaman Durek or LaRayia Gaston on TV, I know that people are taking in what they’re saying and it invokes some kind of hope and faith for our humanity.

I can’t stop breaking news from happening, but I can start breaking patterns and disrupting narratives by offering messages that are about peace, unity, empowerment and community. If we expose more of this through some medium, I truly believe we’ll create more of that in the world. I believe that our collective consciousness will increasingly upgrade if game changers like Shaman Durek are brought forth and positioned as the authoritative and impactful voice in media. We have too many naysayers and too many seekers. Observation is one thing—playing on the court is another. When we shift our focus onto stories like Gaston’s and Shaman Durek’s and are the change makers, then we will start to see a radical shift in consciousness and a shift in human evolution. Let’s get out of the stands and get on the court and lead this new conversation of radical transformation.

Video & photo credit: Todd Cribari, inspirostudio.com