Time with Myself

I have been constipating sorry contemplating on this post for a long time…it’s about spending time with ourselves…
Long ago when we were doing the Steiner Education course, the teacher asked us where it is that we spend real, quality time with ourselves….we all came up with different answers…in the morning with a cuppa, while walking, on the bus and so on. But the answer that our teacher was leading to was the toilet seat…This is the most private and sanctimonious place where we spend quality time with ourselves.
I have often called this IP- Inspiration point. This is where I pick up all my brilliant ideas from the thought ether.
Sadly, this Sanctum Sanctorum of our inner world has now been taken over by the virtual world….we now take the mobiles with us into this only place in the world where we would commune with our inner selves…we take other people into the toilet with us. We WhatsApp, we browse, watch tv shows, read, talk, and what not….we are losing connect with ourselves….that is the saddest side effect of technological progress I guess….

(Pic courtesy: googlespeak.deviantart.com/art/Cell-phone-On-Toilet-Thinker-394535695)

UNDERSTANDING AUTISM AND SPECIAL NEEDS FROM AN ANTHROPOSOPHIC PERSPECTIVE

(Written on request from a friend to create awareness about Anthroposophy and its importance in Autism from my perspective)

My name is Nirupama. I am a psychologist. I work with children with special needs and mostly autism. Currently my focus is on parent training, education and support. I started my career in 1994 when the incidence of autism was relatively low, that is six for every ten thousand children. Today it is one in every sixty. It is worth pondering over the rise in its incidence.

A decade into my career, the conventional therapies mainly focused on academics, speech and behavioral therapies which focused on correcting, educating or ‘fixing’ the children. And I was doing the same.

It was in 2008 that I attended my first annual conference on Anthroposophy. Anthroposophy is the philosophy founded by spiritual scientist Dr Rudolf Steiner in the beginning of the 20th century. It’s a philosophy that when applied to any walk of life or field of work our everyday tasks become more enlivened, conscious, and more humane.

That was where for the first time I heard someone talking about ‘connecting’ with the child. The concepts I heard in that conference shifted completely my paradigms, not only on autism but on life itself.
The branch of anthroposophy that works with Special Needs, is called Curative Education. Without going into the details of the spiritual-scientific principles, I would like to mention the concepts that I found useful for all children, but more so those with autism, ADHD, Learning disabilities, sensory processing and developmental disorders. These concepts are now more widely accepted in the mainstream society. The following is what became clear to me, personally, in the past nine years with Anthroposophy with regard to autism:

• A child’s behavior, emotional state and ability to learn depend on his well-being and his internal health. A healthy child is a happy child. No amount of therapies can yield complete benefit until the child is feeling well and balanced. For this, it is important to look into what he eats, when he eats, when and how much he sleeps, what he does during the day, his lifestyle, the environment at home and so on. This is much in line with the principles of Ayurveda.

• Autism is known as a neurological disorder. However, like Rudolf Steiner said about almost a hundred years ago, it has a lot to do with metabolism and gut health as it is being widely accepted these days and parents are seeing amazing results with special diets like wheat, milk, sugar free and other diets.

• A child with autism has an intact intellect (unless there’s comorbidity with other conditions). However, the body doesn’t cooperate with the mind. Therefore therapists need to focus more on the physical body with movement, balance, core muscle development, reflex integration, physical fitness, massages, sports, horse riding, walking, trekking, and most importantly, real, meaningful work with hands, etc., to help the child ground into his body, to become aware of his body, so that his body is able to access the intellect that is already present and use it to function more productively in this world. In other words, improve the mind body connect. This is the reason that Occupational therapy, when done effectively, yields positive results.

• Even if the child is non-speaking (lack of expressive language), it is incorrect to assume that the child is unable to comprehend, follow or grasp what is being said (intact receptive language). We need to assume intellect and address his actual age in teaching him academic concepts, exposing him to books, stories and life experiences, as their receptive language is much better than their expressive language. Children have proved this true with the help of the RPM method that is helping them learn and communicate age appropriately.

• Children with autism, because of their awareness not being completely grounded in their bodies, are less individualized and much more at one with the natural world as compared to typical persons. Hence, it is extremely beneficial to keep them close to nature, maintain eco friendly and natural living styles, food, rhythms and routines that are in harmony with the natural world.

  • They do not have a sense of “I” or Ego and hence they are not capable of any negative thinking or actions and are pure hearted. Interestingly, many verbal children on the spectrum do not use the word ”I” to refer to themselves. Instead they use names in third person!

• Therapy is more effective when therapists connect deeply with the children, respect and accept them for who they are and gain their trust by working from the heart and soul as opposed to working mechanically.

No two children with autism are the same and it is important to observe them and allow ourselves to be guided by their needs and not be bound rigidly by schedules and agendas although it is important to have a structure to begin with.

Steiner strongly recommended that teachers and Curative Educators do ‘Innerwork’. That is, work on their own conscious growth and development. Get in touch with their inner core and find their internal balance. This would help them serve the children and adults alike in a deeper, compassionate and a more intuitive way.

• Children are more deeply and subtly connected with their parents’ and more so the mother’s well being than we are aware. The sensitive children often reflect the mother’s state of mind. Hence it is equally important to work with the mothers, help them deal with their anxiety, help them accept their children unconditionally, to help them identify their children’s strengths and build on them. In addition, most importantly, to find something that will fulfill the mother’s personal need for joy and happiness. A happy, fulfilled mother is able to better care for her family than a mother who is giving more than she is receiving.

• Although technology is proving to be a boon for children on the autism spectrum, we need to be careful not to expose these children to too much technology as they are sensitive to the EMF and radiation that comes from the wifi and signals. The TV and video programming ensures that the children are highly stimulated and hence hooked on to them.
Children are responding positively to methods like communication charts, PECS and RPM which do not involve the use of technology. In this time and age of excesses, it important not to expose children to over-stimulation of the senses (example: noisy videos, malls, arcades). Care has to be taken to keep the children in calm and peaceful environments as many of them are hypersensitive to loud noises and to reduce the occurrence of hyperactivity which is rather environmentally induced.

• Children on the autism spectrum and other special conditions need to be helped to live a life of dignity and productivity. This is the central guiding principle behind the Camphill Communities (residential communities for adults with mental and psychological disabilities) based on principles of anthroposophy, located all over the world including India. It is important to keep the youngsters and adults productively engaged in order to help them become contributing members of the society in their own unique capacity.

These are just some of my takeaways from anthroposophy.
Hence, anthroposophy is not just a method of education or medicine, but it is a way of life. It is a holistic way of looking at the human being and serving humanity with a deeper understanding.
I sincerely believe that anthroposophy can improve the quality of life of everyone that is touched by it in one form or another. It has made my life and work so much more meaningful.

Nirupama Rao
Psychologist, Parent Consultant.
Author- The Autism Story
raonino@gmail.com

Curative Educational Institutes in India: http://www.anthroposophyindia.org/education.htm

ARISE, AWAKE AND QUESTION

(Especially written keeping in mind the young adults, people who are contemplating marriage and parenthood and parents of young children. This is not what we want to hear, but what we need to hear)

The world has changed a lot more in the last 5 years than it has in the last century.

Ola, Uber, flipkart, Amazon, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Google maps and numerous other apps have significantly changed our lives. Life is going to become increasingly impossible to live without our ubiquitous cell phones that can, incidentally also be used to make calls.

Technology has definitely improved the quality of our lives. It has helped save a lot of money, energy and time. It’s like any other invention like the knife or the atom bomb. It all depends on how we use it.

Netflix has a series called Black Mirror (the ipad, laptop or tablet screen that’s turned off) which projects into the future where technology takes stranger turns and transforms humanity in unimaginable ways. Many works of science fiction have been prophetic and that thought is quite scary!

In fact, even infants have their eyes glued to their gadgets that are stuck to their prams, as mom is busy shopping. Six month old babies don’t eat anymore without watching their favourite cartoon/nursery rhymes on YouTube or listening to their favourite Bollywood number.

My now adult nephew’s friend is earning in Crores by making nursery rhyme animations of questionable quality.

Ten year olds want have their own Youtube channels. Children are not going down to play as much as they used to earlier.

Parents in restaurants are feeding their babies but not before handing them their smart phones to keep them distracted.

You go to any social get together and you find children and adults alike busy with their screens, even relatives who get together after a long, long time. Couples in restaurants are busy looking into their own smart phones instead of looking into each other’s eyes.

Parents are not able to set limits as they are themselves hooked on to it as the IDEA 4G AD says “Look look, India hua hook”

Social networking apps have several people employed only to make sure people are always hooked.

I wonder if there’s an app to measure the number of hours people spend with their phones….(update: yes there are many)

HOW ARE OUR LIFESTYLES AFFECTING US

Given this situation, young children who are affected the most, are speaking less, moving less, playing less. This is giving rise to many issues like speech delay, poor muscle tone, coordination and many sensori-motor disturbances. It’s hard to imagine the repercussions this is going to have in the future.

Just as cardiac problems, hypertension, BP, infertility, cancer and diabetes are called lifestyle diseases among the adult population, children are also exhibiting various lifestyle related symptoms like hyperactivity, low muscle tone, sensory processing disorders, autism like features, speech delay, aggression and so on.

There are 4-5 children with issues in a class of 20 children at a playschool I visit. Since it was too time consuming to talk about the same causes and effects to each parent individually, we decided to address the parents of the whole school regarding these modern challenges faced by today’s children, and in turn, parents and teachers. The talk was surprisingly very well received by the parents who were being swept by the wave of technology and lifestyle. But when this was brought to their awareness, it was like an awakening.

Most of us adults are sleep walking through life, flowing with the current and doing what everybody is doing. As humans, we have individual egos that help us to think independently for ourselves unlike animals that are governed by a group ego and herd mentality. ‘Normal’ is no longer most healthy.

We need to think for ourselves and consciously question our choices, especially when it comes to our children. Is this the best that I can give my child? At every step, we need to question ourselves about the choices we are making. Is this what is good? Will this calm my child or excite him? Do I satiate him immediately or do I deal with the tantrum? Do I spend time with him or do I hand him the I pad?

HOW LIFESTYLES ARE CHANGING

Technology is only one part if the lifestyle changes we are witnessing. The world we live in and how we are living is changing in many different ways. Now let us look at what are the lifestyle aspects that are impacting the true potential of the future generation.

What are we doing differently from the previous generation that is giving rise to issues that they did not face?

  • Increase in the number of vaccinations and antibiotic As we are developing resistance, we need to look for stronger doses! The body is no longer allowed to fight infections on its own. We are reducing natural immunity by resorting to unnatural prevention.
  • The missing family physician that used to listen more, diagnose simply by checking the pulse, and not immediately order a battery of tests. Counseling was part of his job profile. Today there is no time for that. There is no time to lose. We need to get better immediately even if we have to suppress the symptoms- child or grown up.
  • A surge of packaged, instant, refined, fast and processed food in the market. As far from real food as it is possible.
  • Increased use of GMO in agriculture.
  • A sudden flooding of technology into our lives which is becoming increasingly indispensible. Children and adults are equally glued to gadgets, no matter where they are. Some schools have started using gadgets too. Movement and physical activity is reducing.
  • Early start in school and academics: Children are packed off to schools even before they are two (a mistake I admit to making with my elder one and am not proud of it). Children take about 6 years to get ready for school in terms of developing the necessary skills like sitting, focussing, pencil grip and so on. I realised the hard way that feeding young children information too early is detrimental to their physical health and well being. Early start leads to fatigue and burn out. Learning is a lifelong process. Even the elderly people learn. What children under six need to do is play, run, get messy and explore.
  • Lack of regularity in eating and sleeping times and in the rhythms of the day. Even children under 5 are not getting their sleep needs met. It is now normal for children to go to bed anywhere between 10.30 to 12. I have seen children who can’t sleep before 1 am!! Children need to eat early and sleep early.
  • Pollution: all kinds of pollution. Air, water, food, noise, wifi radiation, electro-magnetic waves, you name it.
  • Excesses: there is excess of stimulation- noise, visuals, entertainment, material abundance, food, flavors, sugar, excess of everything. We don’t know where to draw a line and say this is enough. Over-stimulation makes children Hyperactive. Once the stimulants are removed, children calm down. They will not need shadow teachers or go for therapies if healthy practices are adopted right from the word go. we do not need to be entertained all the time. Sometimes it is important to do nothing!
  • Consumerism: businesses go to any extent to make people want to buy their product. It doesn’t matter how the product may affect the gullible people- their body image, their self esteem, their self worth. As long as the product sells, everything is OK.
  • Media boom: Media is everywhere…it constantly keeps telling us who we are, how to think, what to eat, what to wear and gives us information that they want us to have. We are at their mercy completely and we have created these ourselves.
  • Role reversal: Children being only children and the recipients of the abundant resources, they are no doubt the centre of our existence. However unfortunately, the children have been given the control and parents listen to children instead of it being the other way around. Experts say “be their friend” and this has been completely misunderstood. Children need parents who will set the limits for them and handle them with firmness instead of becoming putty at their hands. There is a simple reason for this. We are adults, hopefully with the experience and they are children with apparently no experience to take decisions and make judgments. We have taken up the role and responsibility of being parents and we are not here to relinquish control to the little ones who don’t have the experience to weigh what is good for them and what is not. It is difficult for us to see them cry. We need to learn that sometimes a ‘no’ expresses much more love and concern than a ‘yes’. This is especially true in parenting. Having said that it needs to be balanced with a good measure of love and presence to make it work!!

THE AWAKENING

We need not wait until things go to such a head that we cannot reverse it anymore. I’m not sure how much of it can be reversed even today, but as free thinking independent individuals, we still have our capacity to think for ourselves and make conscious choices wherever it is possible.

People are doing that…and they may be judged for it, but that does not stop anyone from breaking the mould, seeking an alternate way of life. They are awakening in their own unique ways.

People are seeking out alternative medical practices, alternative schools, home births, water births, saying no to vaccinations, going in for veganism and organic food, taking to farming, minimalism, slow food movements, supporting sustainable and humane businesses, breaking gender stereotypes, going for yoga, meditation and other spiritual practices and so on and so forth. People are finding their own individual path and have started believing in natural and holistic lifestyles.

People are truly awakening and are refusing to follow so called ‘normal’ currents.

WHAT CHILDREN NEED

Children need to grow up in calm, simple, uncluttered homes with less toys, with good healthy routines, minimum entertainment, lots of physical activity and maximum time out in nature. They need parents who are warm, loving, playful, in the here and now, who believe that less is more and slow is good and are conscious, ecologically aware and most importantly, trusting. Children who grow up in such homes have better stamina, better resistance to diseases, recover faster from illnesses, are much more calm, grounded, balanced and happy, there is more resilience and are able to bounce back sooner from situations.

Even a child with autism who is brought up in the above-mentioned manner may experience reduced aggression, hyperactivity, sensory issues and will be able to realize his true potential using the gifts that autism brings with it.

Our lifestyle has changed, but the archetypal human nature remains the same across time and space. We are still a product of nature. We are still made of the same elements that makes the rest of the natural world. The more we are in harmony with nature and its rhythms, the more we are in good health- physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Human evolution is not over yet. We are still evolving. The human being is now peaking in terms of intelligence. There’s much more to be achieved intellectually. But what lies beyond human intellect? What direction is our next step in evolution going to take?

It will be interesting to see….until then, let us arise, awake, ask questions and think as the conscious beings that we are! We may still not be perfect and yet to do things the way they need to be done but what is more important is that we are aware and conscious of our actions.

This can be our practical, everyday, living and individualized spirituality.

NIRUPAMA RAO

(Psychologist, Parent Counsellor),

Co Author: Parenting-The Art and Science of Nurturing ( with Dr Shekhar Seshadri, NIMHANS)

Contact: 9987653780, raonino@gmail.com

THE AUTISM STORY

Autism has always existed but we are feeling its presence more today than we ever did before. Autism has impacted not just its immediate family but it is changing the way the world does and looks at things…

It is making the humanity think about its choices. About the role each and everyone of us plays in bringing about the new wave of differently-abled children who are here to give us important messages. The obvious ones being about the impact of vaccines, GMO, electronic radiation, processed foods and so on; and on the other hand subtler, deeper and profound messages about the importance of going back home to Mother Nature, embracing the principle of unconditional love, about Neurodiversity, about becoming an inclusive society, about raising our own vibration to come up to theirs, about going beyond what is known and towards the immeasurable expansion of our very souls and actually feel the ONENESS- a state in which these children always exist!!

The rise in the incidence of Autism and the rise in spiritual and eco-consciousness is going hand in hand….. THE AUTISM STORY is a fairy tale-like account- my perspective of the probable connection between the two. AUTISM has a message for all of us….once that message reaches the critical mass, nature will change its course… Hope you read this little illustrated booklet….this book will either sow or nourish the seed of human collective consciousness.

You can find it in the link below. Friends overseas can inbox me and I will arrange to have copies shipped across!!

http://www.amazon.in/Autism-Story-First-2016/dp/9380733003/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1487861471&sr=8-2&keywords=nirupama+rao+books

Below are a few glimpses into the book!! Please do read it and and do leave a comment on the amazon page!! Friends who have already read it, kindly do drop a comment!!

book 3.png

“Man was becoming invincible. He was intelligent. He was becoming a powerful creator himself. He created electricity that turned the days and nights upside down. He created advances in medicine that turned life and death upside down. He created machines that shrunk space and time.
With technology advancing, they did not even need a God!! Man had never experienced such abundance ever before. What man didn’t know was that he was being watched.”

book 1.png

“Up in that spiritual realm that these souls inhabited, they did not have physical
bodies. They were neither male nor female but were both. They were entities of energy that floated around sans gravity that belonged only to the earthly realm.
They communicated with each other in the thought plane. Spoken language
did not exist there. They were all made up of high vibrational energy and
were connected to each other with a grid, a network so that when something
affected one, they would all feel the impact. It was a beautiful world of eternal sunshine, colours unseen on earth, peace, joy and happy coexistence.”

book.png

How to Bond with Children through Mindfulness

In my last post I talked about building trust….so how can we build this trust? I’d like to share my learning and experience as a mom of a 20 and a 10 year old and as a psychologist with 23 years of working closely with parents.

To build trust we need to connect with our children deeply. Very deeply. And to do this, we can take the help of Mindfulness (Thich Nhat Hahn) and the Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle)

Here’s an exercise we can try….

By the way I feel every human being can do this exercise to connect with anyone or even with themselves.

Pick a time when you’re all by yourself, make sure there are no distractions…doorbells, phones, visitors, kids, etc.

Lie down in a comfortable position. Preferably Shavasan or Corpse pose. Starting from the toe upwards, tighten and relax every muscle of your body, one at a time…toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hip, waist and so on up to the crown of your head. Then become aware of any tension in any part of the body. Breathe normally. When you feel any tension anywhere, breath awareness into the part and try to release the tension in that part lovingly. Fill the part with the light of consciousness. You can use guided relaxation videos for this.

When you get a thought or feel an emotion, gently set it aside by focusing on your breath. You may already know that stressful thoughts and emotions manifest as tension in the muscles. A relaxed mind leads to a relaxed body.

Now when you’re deeply and completely relaxed, experience it fully with all your awareness.

Remember how it feels in your body. Remember how blissful it feels, how light your body feels. Feel your body letting go and sinking into the mat under you.  Remember, the only emotion you feel at this point is love. Love for yourself, love for the world around you.

Practice this for a week or longer.

Let us now come to the parent child part.

Look for a time when you’re child is relaxed…either reading or lazing or playing by him/her self, or any quiet time- indoors or outdoors. Go sit or lie down next to your child…

Now remember that deep relaxed state that you’ve been practicing for the past few days…try to go into that deep relaxed state.

You may get thoughts and emotions related to your child. If the child is busy playing with a gadget, you may get edgy or irritated. You may feel restless that you and the child are wasting time when you can do homework or practice something in this time. You may remember and become anxious about your child’s behavior or performance at school or elsewhere. Its okay…its normal to feel that way. But now is the time to breathe. Bring your awareness to your breath. Keep breathing. Calm yourself down. Feel your muscles relaxing. Feel your body getting more and more relaxed as you free yourself of every thought and emotion. Become aware of tension in any part of the body and let go consciously.

You may remember something important or urgent to take care of.  But that can wait. This is a precious moment with your child…..even if it lasts only 5 minutes.

Five minutes of doing nothing.

Five minutes of being-ness

Five precious minutes of total presence in the here and now.

If possible and if your child allows it, you can gently stroke his hair or play with her curls on your finger or stroke her soft cheek with the tip of your finger….

Can you visualize what I’m saying?

Picture yourselves on a lazy Sunday morning ..when you’ve just woken up….or in the afternoon when you’ve just finished watching your favorite movie for the umpteenth time or in the park, on the grass where you’ve both fallen…lying there after a game of catch- gasping for breath, watching an ant carrying a load together, building a sand castle together, standing at the beach and watching our feet get buried under the sand, sitting by a pond and loking at the fish….these are those quiet moments of nothingness where you’re in a completely relaxed state of just being there with your child….either dong nothing or enjoying a simple sensory activity together…the crux is full presence in the here and now and togetherness.

Such moments strengthen the bond..such moments deepen the connections….such moments bring us closer…such moments enable a relationship of warmth, safety and security.

Childhood goes away faster than we know…let us try to increase such moments, try to maximize and utilize such moments when they naturally arise…..these are precious little moments that the child will cherish all his life…maybe in her subconscious, but will help him to trust you, to connect with you, to bond with you and grow into a confident, secure, balanced adult. These moments help us and our children become more grounded.

This is especially important when your child is a sensitive one who tends to pick up your emotions easily. We find that when we are relaxed, our child is calmer and happier.

Remember this deep relaxed state and operate from here in various moments of anxiety, conflict or confrontation. This state connects you to your highest self. And decisions and responses from this state of deep calm and trust seldom go wrong. A clam mind enhances our thinking and efficiency. 

Being calm is one of the best gifts we can give our children.

Do share your experience, responses and feedback!!

Lots of love,

Wish you a happy and mindful parenting,

Nirupama

Here are some beautiful images and links:treasuring-the-precious-moments-with-your-children-1

http://rediscoveredfamilies.com/587/

From the above link: Slipping Through my Fingers- from Mama Mia featuring my idol Meryl Streep

Image result for parent and child relaxed moments

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQUeH-fWYSR6WvfMD-ENxFhMa7LgwkvPn_5pKQ_7lfv4oeTHzmA

Image result for parent and child relaxed moments

http://www.abundantmama.com/how-

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, sky, shoes, outdoor and water

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(Above pics shared with permission from a dear friend)

Parents need to be parents, not friends- till the children are adults themselves.

They say don’t be a parent. Be a friend.  I don’t agree with this. We need to be parents. Children need parents…parents who give them a secure base, who give them warmth, comfort and  unconditional love; parents who also give them consistent structure, limits and boundaries which in turn help a child become a secure adult. They need to be the “Loving Authority”. Only parents can give this to their children. Not friends.

But yes, as parents we need to establish trust with our children. They should feel safe to open up to us.

We need to listen without judgment. Even if what they’re telling us is outrageous, we need to hold back….hold a loving space for them to open up safely.

And then we take time to respond…not react. Then we can give them a chance to think about what happened and why it happened. The experience itself would have taught them valuable lessons. We need to give them time process it and later when they’re ready and calmer, we can discuss about what we learnt.

Nirupama

PS: like Poornima Rao rightly said, “parents till they’re in college, friends when they get a job” 😁

This is so important coz especially in India, parents continue parenting even after the children are full grown adults 😄😅

ARE WOMEN AND GIRL CHILDREN SAFE?

Our country has come a long way in terms of a woman’s progress and men’s changing attutudes.

But the journey is not over. Women are still not safe.

http://www.blush.me/lets-gab/republic-day-26-women-speak-theyre-not-proud/?utm_source=FB&utm_campaign=blushonpage

Tanvi’s article has faced a lot of criticism for generalising.

A woman would have been criticised in the past century for fighting for voting rights and for education. But she succeeded.

Today she fights for safety…hopefully much before the next century the woman and the girl child will be safe…..

Proud of Tanvi to have the courage to publish this …..what some of these women are saying may not be serious enough or agreeable to many….but what this article covers is but the tip of the iceberg…..there’s a lot more disturbing stuff happening which we can’t even dare to hear about. Scary stuff happens out there and people close their eyes and ears.
As I was thinking about Tanvi’s article, I accidentally came upon a very disturbing video on Facebook which left me rattled.

A woman is being stripped and molested in broad daylight and the incedent is being videotaped with 20 men watching as she’s crying for help. Not one “MAN” comes to help her or save her.
I speak for all those women and children who are being harassed, molested, eve teased, raped, violated, bought, sold, beaten and abused.
I speak for 2 and 3 year old girl babies who are being brutally gang raped and thrown in the gutter….what for? For a moment of pleasure?

I speak for female infants snuffed out in the womb or soon after they’re born.

Why?

I want us to create an India where a father Respects his wife in the presence of his children.
I want us to create an India where a mother teaches her son to respect other women.
I want us to create a world where a woman is respected as a human being and not treated as a commodity to be used and thrown.
I want us to create an India where a woman can walk freely in the streets….burkha or no burkha.                      I want us to create an India where every girl child has a right to life and a right to education.                                                           I want an India where women are remunerated on the basis of their skill and not gender.

Am I wanting too much?

I don’t think so. As a mother of two girls, I want them and all girls in all parts of the  world to be free, safe, respected, and valued.

Nirupama Rao

BUTTERFLY

butterfly

BUTTERFLY

Nirupama Rao, IPMT Mumbai 2014

Butterfly

You belong to the astral realm

I have astrality in me

What is the difference between your astrality and mine?

Where in our astrality do we humans stop being perfect like you and the other creatures?

Maybe we are perfect but what prevents us from feeling that we are perfect creations of nature- Just like you…

Where does the perfection of nature stop in the human being?

Where does my polarity come from?

What purpose does it serve?

You are beautiful yet not proud

What is in me that’s not in you that makes me proud and arrogant sometimes

And even inadequate at the other times?

I used to feel I am like you butterfly-

Carefree

Then somewhere along the way I stopped

But maybe you are still apart of me…somewhere

(Picture link: (https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjqg9baxPHPAhWLtI8KHSUyDSQQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwall.alphacoders.com%2Fby_sub_category.php%3Fid%3D134784&psig=AFQjCNHR_XtbqhPizWj1dh_8p9RKF-z51A&ust=1477332767892879)

IMPORTANCE OF RHYTHMS

(This article is inspired by Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy and is dedicated to Zainam)

Rhythm
Repetition
Reverence

These are the three Rs of Waldorf Education.

THREE FOLD AND FOUR FOLD NATURE
The human being is a product, a creation of nature. He’s made up of the same elements that are around us in nature. We have layers to our human body.
Physical – earth
Etheric- water
Astral- air
I consciousness /self-warmth

A human being is also made up of 3 systems- the Trinity, the tridha….

Brain and central nervous system or thinking,

rhythmic or heart lung system -feeling

and

thirdly the metabolic limb system which rules over the will and makes up the organs.

The head system is influenced by the metabolic system. The rhythmic system forms a bridge between both. You can imagine the 3 systems of the human being in the shape of an 8 (Lemniscate) with the head on top, metabolism at the bottom and the rhythmic in the middle.

IMG_20160605_132131

(https://drhauschkaaus.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/three-fold-nature-of-human-beings-plants-and-the-skin/)

As I have said earlier, our bodies are made up of 4 sheaths: physical, etheric, astral and the I-Consciousness. The Etheric or pranic body is connected to the rhythmic system.
So when we have good, natural Rhythms guided by the rhythms of nature, we are in harmony with the natural world as we share a common collective etheric body.
Paramahamsa yogananda mastered his breath and the Etheric body. His body did not decay for 21 days after his passing! The bodies of farmers take a longer time to decay as compared to a city dweller as they work on the farm and have a strong life force, someone told me once!

As nature suffuses us with etheric or pranic forces, so do Rhythms. Good rhythms give us health and vitality.

BODILY RHYTHMS
Our body being a product of nature just like the plants, birds and animals, has a natural Rhythm.
Unfortunately, the human being, the only creature with “free will”, has tampered with these natural Rhythms and we have lost our harmony and healthy balance resulting in lack of stamina and reduced immunity and new age illnesses.
Let’s think about it:
What are the aspects of our body connected to rhythms?
Blood,
Breathing and lungs
Liver and metabolism
Heart
Female reproductive organs, and so on
Although we have mastered the art of prolonging life, we are falling victims to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, hypertension, cardiac problems, asthma, infertility issues, cancer, ADHD, sensory issues and so on.
The more we tamper with nature- our nature, we are harming ourselves.

REGAINING HARMONY
Once we know this truth, we can slowly regain the harmony.
How do we do it?
By understanding bodily rhythms.
And
By remembering how our grandparents and great grandparents lived, how they ate, and most importantly, when they ate. They rose early, ate before sundown, slept early and did a lot of physical work. My grandparents had excellent rhythms and were healthy and independent right into their 80s and 90s. They never took the sick bed and decided the date of their own passing!!

LIVER RHYTHMS

Our liver has its own set of rhythms. It is in an accumulation mode from 3am to 3pm and in an assimilation mode from 3 pm to 3 am. That’s why wise people said have a heavy breakfast and a light dinner.
The liver rhythms are as follows:
Breakfast: 3am to 9am
Salad, fruit or soup: 10.30am
Lunch: 12-1pm
Mid afternoon light snack: 3.30-4.30pm
Dinner: 6-7pm (this is when they/we crave for junk food a snacks!)
Sleep: 8 pm especially for children as they need 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep for growth, healing and development.
We need to create optimum conditions and ambience for sleep by dimming lights, making sure there are no loud noises or excitatory activities including gadgets 2 hours before sleep.
Gadgets, especially touch screens use up the the Etheric forces and deplete our vitality.
A nice foot massage, a song or a story in the mothers soothing voice will help the child drift into sleep land.

EXPANSION CONTRACTION
Another important aspect about rhythms is the breathe-in, breathe-out aspect.
This is the aspect in us that constantly expands and contracts.
Like the universe- the big bang and the black hole.
Like the sunrise and the sunset.
Like the waxing and waning moon,
Like day and night
We breathe in and breathe out.
We awaken, we go to sleep
It is very healthy and harmonizing to bring this expansion and contraction into our daily Rhythms.
How?
Physical and movement activities, play etc. are breathing-out or expanding activities.
Painting, writing, thinking, fine motor activities, listening to story, eating, sleeping are breathing-in or contracting activities. As our in and out breaths alternate, so should our expanding and contracting activities.
When children are always out out out or always in in in, it affects the rhythms and the Etheric forces and robs them of their vitality, strength and immunity.
Yoga practitioners would have heard that the out-breath is longer than the in-breath.
Hence, the expanding activities should be of a longer duration than the contracting activities. Play and movement should be longer than sitting down and focusing.
A young 5 year old in whose nature it is to run and play, but is made to sit at a desk is bound to be restless!!

Other rhythms are the weekly rhythms, monthly and yearly Rhythms which include family activities, holidays, get togethers and festivals.

RHYTHMS, THE BRIDGE TO HEALTH
The metabolic system needs a lot of etheric forces for digestion. Since thinking, processing and cognition, are the basis to good digestion (yes, you heard me right! Not brain!), a good store of etheric forces and rhythms are required to build a bridge between the higher head pole and the lower metabolism pole.

Good rhythms lead to general well being. A healthy etheric body, strengthened by good natural rhythms, leads to good immunity, cognition,memory , habits and character formation.

Happy RHYTHMING dear friends!!!

Nirupama Rao

STRENGTH OR LIMITATION?

Never judge a fish by its ability to climb trees…. Said a wise man called Albert Einstein.

We are all endowed with qualities and abilities. Many, many of them. We sometimes use them in isolation and sometimes in combination.

The right skills or abilities in the wrong place may look like a limitation. For example, if an introverted guy with a creative writing capacity takes up a job as a salesman, he will look like someone with a lot of limitations, as the wrong fit of the job requirements to his capabilities may make him feel inadequate.

Instead, if he finds a job that can utilize his natural skill and talent of creative writing, for example as a copy writer, his limitations turn into strengths. His introversion and introspection may aid in creative writing.

So next time you feel limited, it may be worth wondering if that is because you are the right person in the wrong place!?