Monthly Archives: August 2013

Effective Parenting: Charms and Challenges

Infant Grasping Mother's Finger

Heavenly happiness embraced me when I came to know that I was pregnant! I can never forget that moment in my life. Thinking about the chuckles and giggles of our little one, his coos and babbles; his naughtiness and cuteness…All these filled my and my hubby’s heart with unending happiness.  I am sure many to-be parents like us would have felt the same way and even more when they must have known about the advent of their little angel.

However, behind the curtains there is also a flip side of being a parent. Can we be successful parents, can we give our child the best in the world, can we take care of him nicely, are we physically-mentally-socially-financially ready to be parents? Many questions like these kept on hitting our minds. You must have also felt the same. Nothing in the world can be matched when it comes to the joys of parenting. But, at the same time it has its own charms and challenges.

Have you ever thought about bringing up your child in the best possible way? Have you sacrificed a significant portion of your life in giving the best to your child? Do you feel that even after doing so much for your child, still a lot has to be done? Are you a rule-maker or rule-follower when it comes to parenting and managing everything at house? If you are also thinking about these dimensions, then you are in the perfect track of becoming an effective parent.

Parenting: When should it start?

You will be astonished if I say that the process of parenting should start right from the moment you exchange your marriage vows. Yes, friends…Parenting skills and values are something that should be nurtured right from the beginning of a marital relationship. This will not only help in a healthy conception, but also increase your potentialities of being an ideal parent. If you procrastinate to build these ideals right from the beginning of your marriage, then you may miss out many milestones of effectual parenting. For some couples children come as surprise gifts, for some they come in a planned and timely manner. No matter when a child enters in your life…try your best to be the best and give him/her the best.

This can only be possible if you and your partner respect each other, have better understanding between each other and if your marriage is build on the foundations of mutual trust, open communication and mutual understanding. Let us discover the different challenges to becoming an ideal parent and how you can surmount the odds. I hope these wonderful words will give a clear picture on what you can do to be a successful and effective parent:

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I’d do more hugging and less tugging.
— Diane Loomans, from “If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again”

Effective Parenting: Do’s and Don’ts

  • Try to make your marital relationship bloom before you start thinking about a baby. Spend ample time with your soulmate in nurturing love, affection, trust, mutual respect, communication, and mutual understanding. Your little angel won’t like to see his/her parents fighting and blaming each other when he/she will arrive in this world.
  • Seek a pre-conception counselling just before you plan for a kid. This will help you to enhance a great level of insight on you and your partner’s health; it will increase the odds of conceiving and will also prepare you for the upcoming parenthood. Moreover, any medical issues can also be easily identified and intervened with the help of pre-conception counselling.
  • When you start the love-making process for conception try to speak to your partner about the kind of baby you want: His personality, behaviour, your aspirations about your child, the way he will look, etc. This will have a tremendous positive impact on your psyche, love life as well as the soul you are going to attract towards the mother’s womb. Many couples don’t know about this and get all messed up when the D-Day arrives. This is a practice in spiritual psychology, alternative healing, parapsychology and philosophy.
  • Planning your finances, insurance, medical facilities, emotions, relationships and issues beforehand will make your parenthood even more easy and worthwhile.
  • The very moment you discover that you are a mom or dad-to-be, talk to the baby as much as you can. Creating a pregnancy tour diary – from both the parents for the litte one is one of the best ways to enjoy and nourish the moments of parenting. Talking to the foetus, singing for him/her, soothe touching of the belly will improve parent-child bonding, understanding, aid to overall sense of physical and psychological well-being.
  • When your baby arrives in this world, your world will change a lot. Along with heart-melting happiness and thrill you will also have to get geared up for sleep deprivation, noises, physical strain, mood swings and so on. Preparing yourself for being a new parent through self-help books, internet, talking to your partner, taking advice from friends, joining a parents group will by immensely helpful.
  • Never yell in front of your child or throw your frustrations on your little one. This will make him/her more submissive. It will also affect his/her self-esteem, confidence, and mental-physical health.
  • Never disrespect your partner in front of your child for whatever reason it may be. This will reinforce your child to disrespect your partner too.
  • Take ample care of yourself. This will help you to take proper care of your baby too.
  • Rather than becoming only a rule-maker, try to be the rule-follower in the house. Children learn very easily by seeing/observing their parents’ behaviour. If you want your child to be filled with positive traits of punctuality, truthfullness, neatness and cleanliness, leadership, truthful, discipline, etc then you should be punctual, truthful,neat and clean, confident, disciplined first. Rather than making your child to follow some other person, let him learn by setting your own example. This will not create a contradictory picture in your child’s mind.
  • Do not thrust your own ambitions, aspirations and control on your child. Discover the potentialities of your child and help him to nurture it.
  • Do not ever compare your child with other kids. Pamper you child no matter how big or small success he achieves. Comparing your child with his other fellow-children creates a very negative impact on his self-esteem; positive feelings towards you; self-confidence and his personality as a whole.
  • Try to be your child’s best tracher, best ideal and best example. If he says, “I want to be like Bill Clinton, its great….but if your child says that “I want to be like my mom or dad”, then that day you can consider that you have mastered the skills of being an effective parent. 🙂

Parenting is one of the best gifts showered on a person. Many couples do not get this golden opportunity though. If you have been blessed with this gift try to make your child’s journey in this world worth-living, worth-cherishing and worthwhile. Even animals reproduce and procreate…but, what makes you different and unique from the other is your power to make love meaningfully and spread love unconditionally.

“Treat your child the way you want to be treated, respect your child the way you want to be respected and love your child the way no one has ever loved his child in the entire world…”

Happy Parenting!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Addiction: Onset and Aftermath…

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Hey folks! Hope you have read about my recent blog post on “The A, B, and Cs of Addiction: Psycho-education”. Now let us see about how addiction starts and its aftermath.

Addiction and its various creep in into your life with some common roots. Sometimes you are aware of it and sometimes it gobbles you up sub-consciously. Do you wanna know what these common roots are? OK, let’s have a look at these:

1)    Family / Home Environment:  As an innocent child and a curious teenager I used to “ape” or replicate whatever my mom, pops and siblings used to do. It used to fascinate me so much. I felt victorious every time I could mimicry them successfully. In this way I picked up many bad habits too. Only when I grew up to a certain age I could differentiate between what is good or bad for me. And then I made rectification in my thoughts, habits and behaviour. I am sure, many of you must have done this…trying to dress like your mom, shave or smoke like your father or brother, use make-up like your sister. This is a natural human behaviour. But, problem arises when you pick up unhealthy habits from your home environments and the older ones. If at any point you realize that a certain habit is unhealthy and you should abstain from it, then it’s really great. However, if this realization does not strike you at the right time, then that recurrent habit easily tends to become an addiction. Often smoking, alcohol, sex addiction are some of the addictions easily picked up from home environments.

2)    Peer Group Influence and Social Media: Being the limelight of my peer group was always on my mind. The moment someone made me feel down or challenged me, I would do everything to fulfill that challenge. Have you also felt like this or have gone heights to do “dare” stuff? In a peer group we all want to do our best and show our best side in order to impress our friends and followers. But, this attitude back-fires sometimes. When you try to impress others by going beyond your safe limits, you are very much likely to fall into a deadly trap. It’s good to do challenging things, but not at the stake of your health and safety. Breaking self barriers in order to fulfill challenges, “do and dare” stuff, heroic acts, etc are often the first threshold towards deadly addictions in the form of alcohol, drug abuse, gambling, smoking, shop-lifting and so on.

Similarly, social media also is one of the major causes in addiction. Exposure to illicit and negative content in an inappropriate way and age can lead to fatal consequences. If you come across some promiscuous content through the media (TV, Internet, etc) your mind is naturally tempted to explore about it. Porn addiction and sex addiction, and so on are some of the examples whose high incidence rates are due to wrong exposure to such content.

3)    Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms: Faulty coping to life’s stressors can lead to addiction in manifold ways. If you are depressed, frustrated, abused, tensed…and you do not know how to cope with it healthily, then addiction may silently sneak in.

As I had said in a previous blog post, “Use and Abuse” are two similar sounding words, but can make either hell or heaven out of your life. In the same way; alcohol, sex, masturbation, social media, etc are not bad. The way you use them in your life is what makes the whole difference. Using them for healthy purposes will ultimately be for your betterment and abusing them will take you into a world of pains, illness and agonies.

Addiction of any form can land you in serious physical, social and mental health problems; memory and concentration problems, opportunistic infections, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, social stigma and discrimination…Well, this list is endless! A knife in a doctor’s hand saves a life but a knife in a thief’s hand takes a life. So it’s your choice whether to use the resources for your development and well-being or decay and death. The choice is all yours.

But, this is not the end folks. There are still many things you can do to prevent addiction from curbing your life. There are endless ways in which you can kick addiction out of your life. Some of the ways are:

  •     Knowing safe limits of an addictive substance and self-control.
  •     Abstinence is the best way so far.
  •     Taking suggestions or advice from a friend/elder if you feel that you are getting addicted towards something.
  •     Knowledge about healthy way of coping with the ups and downs of life.
  •     Eating good, sleep, exercises, hobbies, good social circle are some of the finest ways of staying away from addiction.
  •     The courage to say “NO” to unethical deeds and unhealthy behaviour/practices.
  •     Choose your friends and social circles wisely. Good friends and social circles are the one who lead you towards health, happiness and prosperity. Stay away from “toxic” people who tend to destroy your life.
  •     Age-specific and appropriate use of Internet, media outlets and so on.
  •     If you fall prey to any kind of addiction, do not waste even a second and contact a Counselor / psychologist / self-help groups / de-addiction centre in your area.

Life is too short to waste it under the influence of addiction. It is our choices and wisdom that makes or mars our life… Stay safe and Stay healthy.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Lifestyle Management – from a yogi’s perspective

Life management - from a yogi's perspective

Its half past five o’ clock in the morning and my mom yells, “Get up! Get up!”With a gasp and anger I get up from my cosy bed and am compelled to do all the routine work: Brushing, bathing, exercise, meditation, blah blah blah. As a teenager I did not like the way my mom used to wake me up early in the morning. She always used to say the famous saying “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. And my reaction to it was “Hah, whatever”. But, do you know guys, until I followed this regime I did not fall ill at all. Things started taking a negative stride when I overlooked my mom’s words. I became a prey to a hundred and one diseases on and off. Finally, my Yoga class changed my life. Before joining my Yoga classes, I used to think that Yoga was all about body postural modulation. But, in fact, Yoga is much more than we actually know. The most worthwhile and life-changing thing I learned in my class is about Lifestyle Management. I want to share this with each one of you so that you also know how to lead a healthy and happy life.

Life and lifestyle are closely related to health and well-being. If lifestyle is healthy, then life is also healthy. But, if lifestyle is maladaptive or wrong then the body and mind becomes a house to a hundred and one problems. Lifestyle defines the physical and mental health of a person and influences his or her functioning in his/her day-to-day life, thoughts, behavior, habits, interactions and other complex cognitive process. Lifestyle includes everything beginning from waking up in the morning till going to bed at night. So here’s a layout of how an ideal lifestyle should be with reasons validating their origin/being:

1)    Rising up or waking up in the morning:

Ideally, you should rise up before day break because it is the time when the whole environment is filled with Divine, pure and vital energies. If getting up early in the morning is not possible due to certain reasons then the alarm should ring by at least 6:00 AM or 6:30 AM. While stepping out of the bed, try to check which of the two nostrils is carrying out the respiration process and then the corresponding foot should be placed on the ground first. For eg: If you are breathing through your right nostril then put your right leg on the ground first and vise-versa. If you are respiring through both the nostrils then use both the legs.

Reason: Since time immemorial we have been taught the proverb: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy – wealthy and wise”. Yet, we don’t follow its meaning and practical implications. Rising early in the morning fills our body, mind and spirit with the vital and pure energies of the environment around us. So naturally when we start our day with fresh air and vibes we will be physically and mentally healthy. Wealth will obviously pour in if our body and mind are competent and healthy enough to work and put in the best of our efforts in any work we do. Getting up early also makes us wise because our brain tends to have taken rest during the previous night’s sleep and has rejuvenated with the advent of a new dawn. Therefore, rising up early has multiple benefits. It not only makes us healthy, but also leaves us with ample time for productive work throughout the day.

Exceptions: Very old and small children; during illness

 2)    Bathing Process:

In our fast-paced life we seldom take bathe the proper way. Even if it’s a shower or sponging there is a healthy technique of cleansing the body and re-energizing it throughout the day.

Before taking bath or cleansing/sponging/shower, etc any essential oil should be applied all over the body applying bit of pressure. The sole of the feet, fingers and ear lobes should be rubbed and pressed thoroughly and repeatedly.

Try to take bath in luke warm water. You can apply soaps, body wash after that. But in the final body wash a pinch of table salt should be added to the water and then poured on the body. During the sponging process also the same thing can be done. Here you can self-affirm that the salty water is absorbing all the negative energies and ill-health and your body-mind-spirit is getting filled with cleanliness and positive energies…freshness and positive spark.

Reason: Taking bathe with oils, pressure, salt, luke warm water play manifold roles of acupressure, massage techniques, pranic healing, self-affirmations, mindfulness meditation overall energizing oneself by taking out dirt and negative/disease – causing energies.

3)    Exercise and Meditation:

Whether it’s a simple exercise like brisk walking or a complex workout on the treadmill, whether it’s a powerful yogic exercise or a subtle Tai Chi’, exercise always leads to all-round development of a person. Whenever, you exercise do not over-do it and select the kind of workout that suits you best. Working out with music / pet/ family / partner etc. is the best way if you need motivation to exercise. If everything else fails then try to think about the benefits you will reap following an exercise regime. This will load you up with a lot of energy to exercise.

Following an extensive or soothing exercise pattern, one must surely meditate after that. Meditation can be paired with a breating exercise too.

4)     Breakfast:

Many of us have a very bad habit of skipping breakfast or eating breakfast in an unhealthy manner. It is the most significant meal of the day. Breakfast should comprise of milk and fresh fruits. Remember if you like fresh fruit, juices it is a good option but taking mixed fruit juice can be fatal. It is because different fruits have different vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. When they are mixed wrongly they can lead to severe nutrient-interactions leading to diseases of varied kinds. The effect may not be seen soon or at the moment but they act as slow silent killers. Even mixed fruit pies. Jams should be avoided. Try having a single fruit composition whether you eat it on the whole or take it as a juice or jam.

Junk foods, fast foods should be strictly avoided in the breakfast. Drink before and after 1 hr of each meal of the day. This will prepare your stomach and digestive system for food intake and processing.

Fact: Food is the fuel for the body and mind as well as the spirit. Let me tell you how. Whatever you eat becomes the breeding groung of hormones in your body…neurotransmitters in your brain and…..energy system for your soul (in terms of Yoga and Spiritual / Para Psychology). So try to eat correct and in the correct way. Prefer hand-made, home-cooked food.

5)     Activities Of the Day:

After your breakfast, it is always a good habit to take a planner or notebook and plan all the activities for a given day. This way you can track your achievement, shortcomings and what needs to be done. Don’t over-fill your day with a lot of activities and don’t over expect….instead start simple, start slow….other activities will easily follow.

If you have to go outdoors for some work or job then check which nostril of yours is carrying out the breathing process then put the corresponding leg out of the door first. This will fill you with a lot of motivation and success.

Don’t forget to celebrate even if you achieve anything small, pamper yourself and help others too.

According to the Yogic way of life try filling your day with the three-dimensional activities of USA i.e Upasana, Sadhana and Aradhana. Upasana means to take some time of and sit near the persons you adore or get inspired by. It can be in a praying room, with a good friend. Try to attract their positive energies and inspiration towards you. Sadhana means self-refinement. This can be done by reading good books; self-retrospection…Finally Aradhana means utilizing your capabilities and goodwill; work and efforts for the welfare of others.

So through the above route you can work for self-development and work for the well-being of others too.

6)    Leisure Vs Hobbies :

If you are left with a free time then you can socially interact with persons you like, spend time working out a hobby. Try some creative work you enjoy or simply take some time off and take rest.

7)    Evening snacks:

This is also necessary nebause with all such energy draining activities you need some power-plug to rejuvenate yourself too.

8)    Supper:

This should be the lightest meal of the entire day. Before having dinner or supper you can have a brief walk or some simple household chore before that. This will help your stomach more hungry and cater to good digestion. As mentioned earlier have water before and after 1 hr of consumption of food. Avoid fiber food during the nights as it may stick to your abdomen, intestines and make the digestion process more challenging. This will also make your body with small amount of energies left for your brain, repair and rejuvenation process.

9)    Diary Writing:

Writing a diary or journal will help you to keep a track record of your work, feelings, emotions, and strengths, weaknesses, learning and planning for the next day. So try to write a journal/diary at night focusing on all these points. It will help you vent out all your feelings, thoughts and emotions, it will develop a deep level of insight and recharge you for the next day.

10)   Sleep time:

Before going to sleep wash your legs, hands with luke warm water with table salt in it. Wash your face with cold water. If possible fill a tub with luke warm salty water and dip your legs in it. This is a naturopathic technique that will absorb all your body-mind stress and tiredness away.

Before retiring to bed, make a small self-suggestion about you. Feel happy about the good things you did and ask the Almighty for forgiveness for all the bad deeds. Ask him to take care of your and your loved ones body-mind-souls while you all are in sleep, ask for strength and inspiration for the next day….(Make a wish) or even think of something that soothes you and puts you to sleep.

So folks, try to follow these steps. It will be difficult in the beginning but, it will be worth all your efforts and health. Lifestyle management changed my life into a healthy and happy way. Since these are scientific and therapeutic techniques, they tend to have a positive effect in each and every dimension of life. Wish you a healthy and happy life ahead.

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Explore the Magic Within Yourself

Explore the Magic Within Yourself

Do you remember the last time when you laughed heartily, when you rolled on the floor laughing, when you stretched out your arms to embrace the cool and fresh breeze? Do you remember when you chuckled and cackled over some silly deed of yours, do you remember the last time when you felt the hugs of your loved ones, heard and got mesmerized by the distant chirping birds – ringing bells, when was the last time when you got awe-struck by the beauty of nature around you… Like you I am also trying to remember, when was the last time I experienced all such beautiful moments in my life.

In the midst of our fast – paced life, long jumps of fast-track competitions, commitments and responsibilities towards our roles / responsibilities / relationships, and in the efforts for living for everyone everywhere… Have you felt that you are “missing yourself”? Sometimes some question strikes that who am I, what is my purpose of being sent on this Earth, have I forgotten myself in the rat-race of living life, where I am standing today is that the place I was longing for, am I true to myself??? Like these many such thoughts make me think that we all should try to take out some “me time” from our fast-paced lives and start “the journey within”.

If you know yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, values, philosophies, potentialities;  your entire being as a whole, then you will be a boon for yourself and the entire world revolving around you. Knowing thyself is an art and it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Everyone can do this undoubtedly, but sadly they don’t give a thought towards this. Knowing yourself will help you in your overall physical health, mental well-being, meaningful social behaviour, and worthwhile deeds for your all-round development. Once you know yourself, you can know who you are, where you are, what you can do and what you can become.

Many a times we get stuck in the whirlwind of our lives. We struggle hard to get off it. We can handle some situations very easily while some situations just rip us apart. Do you know why this happens? Of course some may be thinking it is because of “that person, or that incident”. You are right, folks. But, this is just one part of the story. It’s because we haven’t looked into our own cocoons yet. And this leads to a half-baked perspective and increased suffering. Remember that; “No one or nothing can harm us until we allow them to”. So it all depends on our mindsets. Almost everyone reading this post of mine must know the “Optimism – Pessimism” story in which a glass is half-filled with water and we are asked to say whether it’s half-filled or half-empty. But, have you thought beyond that? Guys, at least you have that glass with you! Many people are not lucky enough to have that too! You may be having something less or something more in your life… but, in someone’s life in some corner of the world; that “something” itself is missing.

Therefore, love yourself, take some time out and live for you… For all these you should know about yourself. Many people come and ask me; How can I live for myself? Well, here are some ideas that you can implement to explore the magic within yourself:

  • Take out some time, at least 10-15 minutes each day when you are with yourself and no one else is there.
  • Meditating about yourself and your life will help a lot.
  • Diary-writing is also a method that you can use. The writings should be based on: what you are, what you wanted to be, your achievements, mistakes, learnings and planning for “tomorrow”.
  • Look into the mirror after you get up, self-affirm about yourself and pamper yourself with good, motivating self-suggestions.
  • We write letters, fax, emails etc. to others on a daily basis… How about writing a letter to yourself today?
  • When you get negative thoughts about yourself, don’t avoid them. Just let them flow out, let them vent out…. Because only when you know your weaknesses, you can work on them and transform them into your strengths.
  • A walk in the fresh air, spending time with your loved ones… All these will also give you an idea of what you are and what you can become.
  • Never ever underestimate yourself. Do not compare yourself with others. By doing this you are criticizing your existence on this world. You are the most precious creation in this entire universe and no one can take you place in any way.
  • Love yourself as your first love, tame yourself as your fiercest mentor, pamper yourself as your best well-wisher…and try to be the one you once wanted to be.
  • Do not be harsh on yourself if you feel that you are not able to know yourself or be what you wanted. Just take baby steps ahead. Slowly and gradually things will settle down and sink in.
  • “Every wish wished for a good purpose, every deed done for a good purpose will surely be answered”. If not today, then one fine day it will surely be. Just hang on to your faith and trust. Never ever let it break.

Explore the magic within yourself is significant because it will help you to help yourself and others too. It will keep you more physically healthy, mentally stable, and emotionally strong. It will help you to deal with every situation of your life with greater efficacy. So next time you get some free time, grab it and spend it for yourself. It’s not a selfish deed at all. It is a giant leap towards self-knowledge, self-refinement and self-development that will ultimately lead to the knowledge, refinement and development of one and all around you.

“Your life is beautiful and life is fair; It just needs a chance and not despair”.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta