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

On Perfection

May 7th, 2015FB_IMG_1433509991678

 The other day I was travelling by car and was trying to brush off this recurrent and nagging thought which didn’t give me a good feeling about myself. Then suddenly I saw this beautiful bougainvillea tree. The first thought that came to me when I saw it was that it’s so perfect- and it doesn’t even know it. The minute it becomes aware of its perfection, it would cease to be so.

I then remembered what Dr Michaela Glöckler said in one of the IPMT s.

Of all the kingdoms that is, mineral, plant, animal and human, the human being is the most highly evolved and yet at the same time, the most imperfect.

The minerals, plants and animals are so perfect!! One can’t find anything wrong with them. But perfection ends there…human beings cannot be perfect. That’s because it is the essence of the human being to be unique.

But unfortunately…the higher aspect of the human being- his free will- interferes with this perfection and renders this too imperfect.

Dr Michaela said that a human being has to strive all his life to attain the perfection of the lower kingdoms….a human being can only be perfect when he is one with the great expanded consciousness of the natural world….as a baby, as a person with autism or other intellectual or developmental challenges or as a Perfect Master who has found his way back to the perfection of the universe…..

AUTISM IN THE LIGHT OF THE DIVINE

I recently heard the interview of Anita moorjani who was in a coma for 30 hours and had a vivid NDE. She was suffering from last stage cancer and was in intense pain- until she went into a coma and had an NDE (near death experience). In the NDE she found herself in a beautiful realm where she felt no pain….she only experienced unconditional love and oneness with all creation. Time was not linear and she experienced past present and future all at once. The minute she focused on someone, she knew what they were thinking and feeling!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tjLouLHH-_I
As I listened to her more and more, I started comparing her out of body state with that of the children with autism. Children on the autism spectrum are also in an out of body state as their soul is not fully embodied or incarnated into the body. Hence they are partially in the earthly realm and partially in the unified consciousness or, spiritual world. (Read works of Lyrica Mia, Suzy Miller, Weston Schmier, Mary Ann Harrington and so many others to see what I’m talking about and what Rudolf Steiner said about incomplete incarnation a hundred years back)

But unlike NDE there is a thread of consciousness connecting person’s with autism to their body. Anita experienced bliss in her state of total astral disconnect with the body. But the children on the spectrum, unfortunately, due to the partial or improper connection, feel the pain of their improper integration resulting in poor metabolism, sensory overload and processing problems which is normally handled by the fully integrated ‘ego’ or ‘I’ or self/spirit. However, the other world or realm that children on the spectrum inhabit at the same time, all the time, is the same world that Anita and others who had an NDE visited- temporarily…the world of angelic light beings, the world where there is no individual ‘I’, the world of telepathy and empathy, the world where time is not linear and the world without gravity.

People who have NDE often report that they never wanted to come back….as the other world is really a blissful place where there is only unconditional love, only oneness exists and there’s no judgment. The higher beings have to convince them to go back as its not yet time…they’re not done with the earth yet.
This is the parallel world that children with autism inhabit while at the same time living on the earth due to the incomplete incarnation of the soul.

Why does this happen?
There could be two possibilities …one being the aspect of karma and destiny….of the parents and of the children. Its a choice- a pact they’ve made with each other to progress in the evolution of their souls but forgot about it once they were born. They choose a vulnerable constitution that is easily affected by the impurities in the world today.

Or it could be the conscious decision of the highly evolved soul to be born this way… to raise the vibration of other ordinary souls to a higher level by being in this state of pure and positive vibration. A state of oneness with the source.

All this may sound very hunky dory but one cannot even imagine the pain of living in two such worlds simultaneously. And more than that, the pain of not being understood and accepted.

To escape this pain of being in this painful alien earth world, some persons with autism engage in behaviours that will keep them in their world of angelic beings…these are self stimulatory behaviours like spinning and flapping that takes them out of their painful bodily experiences.
This is exactly what the sufis do when they dance the dervish….twirl their bodies to be out of body and feel oneness with the source.https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3gG8YAUqVIs
Children with autism however are always in a state of oneness with the source and this is a problem if they have to live in our society. Many children want to ‘belong’; want to be more embodied but can’t feel their own bodies unless they touch themselves so intensely that it manifests as what we call ‘self stimulating/injurious behavior’ like head banging, hitting or pinching oneself, etc.

Hence the various therapies that bring their consciousness and awareness into their bodies, like occupational therapy and sensory integration, movement activities, special diets and lifestyles to purify their physical being, etc. have come into being. Unfortunately this covers only the physical aspect.

Many parents suffer with their children when they see the aggression, anxiety and all the difficult manifestations of autism. This is why we have so many organisations trying to ‘cure’ or ‘defeat’ autism.

However when the parents, therapists and care givers start viewing autism as a way of being and no longer as a condition that needs to be cured, something begins to shift….in the child as well as in the parent. When the parent starts accepting the child as he is and starts connecting deeply with the child knowing that there is something in the child beyond physical- an Ego (higher Ego) connection is established between the parent and child and this assists in the process of incarnation or descension of the child’s spirit into the physical realm. As this happens, the painful aspects fade away, giving way to a happy, healthy life filled with wellness and purpose. The gifts begin to emerge from behind the veil. I have seen so many parents and children leading happy fulfilled lives with autism in it!!

But for descension to happen another process needs to happen simultaneously.  Ascension. Ascension of the parent, therapist or anyone who is close to the child and would like to connect better with the child.

This is the reason we hear so much about unconditional love.

Love is healing.

When we come in to the frequency of love, we raise our frequency to meet the child where she is….in the divine world!

I recently came upon the life and work of Mehar baba who is said to be the Avatar of our times. He was an Avatar, a God realized Master who stopped speaking and did not speak for 44 years. Why did he stop speaking? He said that it was because enough has been said already and that now is the time to put into practice what has been said so far!
(Is this also the reason why these divine souls who are manifesting as autistic, choosing not to speak verbally and as their existence is an energetic one?)
He did not speak for 44 years, but communicated his divine messages at first through a letter board ( which is now used in a revolutionary method called RPM that is giving a voice to many nonverbal autistics (http://www.halo-soma.org/main.php…)) and then later gave that up as well to use only gestures which were understood and interpreted by his close ones.
Now one of the most important missions of Mehar baba was that he used to seek out those whom he called the ‘Masts’- those exalted beings who were God-intoxicated….so one with the source that they were not in their body. (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=co3Ft271-rs )
They had no interest in or awareness of their physicality. Mehar baba said these were evolved souls passing through the space between two of the highest relams, who met God but lost the body awareness as they were stuck or lost. Mehar baba used to seek them out and serve them, bathe them, feed them and work to bring them into their bodies so they can bless the world with their mere presence.

This is exactly what Anthroposophic Curative educators (http://www.en.khsdornach.org/) are trained to do. Attempt to bring the incompletely incarnated souls as much into their bodies as possible so they can meet their true destiny. But this they are trained to do with an attitude of reverence for their true divine nature. And then again, it upto the child and his soul purpose how much they want to inccarnate….they need to be connected to the spiritual world in order to fulfil their divine purpose on earth, while some choose to get eventually integrated into society as they have different lessons to teach and a different purpose.

The main pillar of Curative Education is Inner Work of the Educator.  The educator needs to raise him/herself spiritually to the level of the person (in need of soul care) so that they can be guided intuitively as to the true needs of the child which may be different from the agenda of the educator.

Many professionals and parents are now working with the similar philosophy where the primary focus is on the energy work of the parent or care giver!!

This knowledge or perspective changes the way we approach our work as care givers when we change the way we perceive them…as divine beings rather than disabled children.

What we do may remain the same…but how we do it will undergo a 360° change.
We will then work with reverence, with devotion and serve them in the same way that the priest serves the deity in a temple although the deity promises nothing in return.

What I’ve shared is totally my personal experience and my understanding. However it is heartening to see that more people with autism are finding their voice and expressing the truth of their being and purpose. They have found a way to get across to the world through their parents and carers who are open and ready to receive their divine messages through FC, RPM, telepathy and various other modes, hence validating my understanding.

Thank you for reading,

Nirupama Rao

Nirupama Rao's photo.
Nirupama Rao's photo.

THE HORSE BOY

fEBRUARY 6, 2011

 I just read ‘The Horse Boy’ given to me by Sangeetha and realised something. The father Rupert Isaacson decides to take his son to Mongolia to seek the help of the shamans to help his son with Autism and it works for him. However, it doesn’t mean that other parents also should try going to Mongolia. But what it means according to me is that every parent looks for his or her own path in trying to help the child. This search is a spiritual quest for every parent which is highly individual guided by the karma of the parent and the child. The very quest itself is the end as it depends on the attitude and intention with which the parent makes this journey…is it with love, joy, being in the present moment or enjoying being with the child, with faith, with conviction?. The outcome or the end result becomes less important than the journey itself…for the real outcome of positive intentions may or may not be limited to this lifetime, but lasts for eternity

The Horse Boy

AUTISM AWARENESS

April 2, 2013

APRIL 2ND WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY
AUTISM IS NOT A DISABILITY
It is a state of being.

Autism is one part of who the child is.
A child with autism is a child like any other who loves to play and have fun.
Autism is like Sufism- a state of pure love for all creation.
The main therapy that helps children with autism is:
Unconditional love,
Complete acceptance,
True listening
Deep understanding
Warmth and Calm
Belief in child’s intelligence and potential
Knowing that they are listening to what we say and don’t say, even if they don’t speak.
Everything else is extra.

Our children are brave little soldiers who are here to start something new. They have chosen us to be their facilitator…to be our teachers.
But they are sensitive and need respect!
Let us embrace autism as a new way of being for humanity.
Let us stop trying to fix the child.
Let us fix our education system,
Let us fix our thinking patterns
Let us fix our society
Let’s fix ourselves………
EMBRACE AUTISM

GLARES

glares
I Wear my new glares.They make me feel cool. And stylish. And safe.

Safe from the harsh rays of the sun.

But that’s not the only reason it makes me feel safe.

Eyes are the windows to the soul, they say.

There are times, when am not out in the sun, I wish I could wear my glares.

Those times when I feel threatened, vulnerable, exposed- through my eyes. As if they reveal everything about me that I want to hide. So I look away. Avert my gaze. Examine my shoes.

When I wear my glares, I hold my head high, as if I have nothing to hide. I can mask my insecurities behind my glares and still look cool.

Now am unafraid of looking right into the face of a total stranger and not worry about that awkward eye contact.

Eye contact!

Now my thought wanders to a friend….a friend who has nothing to hide.

Does such a person exist, who has nothing to hide?

Yes he does because he has autism. A pure soul.

He has a different problem than mine when it comes to eyes and eye contact. Opposite to be precise.

Yes, eyes are truly windows to the soul and for my friend, into other people’s souls. That is a package deal with his autism.

When my friend looks at someone, he can through their eyes, really look deep into their soul. Whether he likes it, or not. He’s privy to their worries, anxieties, fears and what not. That’s not somewhere he likes to be.

But fortunately he has one choice. The choice to look away. To avert his gaze. To examine his shoes, just like I do- when I don’t want someone to look into my soul – when I can’t wear my glares.

Am glad I have glares to hide my soul. I wish my friend had glares that would hide others’ souls!

Nirupama

April 28, 2013

THE MESSAGE OF AUTISM FOR THE ENTIRE HUMANITY

THE MESSAGE OF AUTISM

For the past two to three years, I’ve been living with the question about why Autism exists and why it is increasing in today’s time. The answers are slowly beginning to unravel. First there was Down syndrome (DS). If you look at people with DS, we can see that they are positive, happy, sociable, friendly people, who can change the mood of the place they step into. At the time when there was an increase in incidence of DS, the world that was stricken by war and hatred, actually needed these pure, positive and happy people. But then technology stepped in to terminate these happy souls before they could be born. But they did manage to bring in a social consciousness among people.

Today it is Autism. Why is Autism on the rise? What are these new angels that are being sent from the heavens trying to convey?

Autism is not just the responsibility of the family in which the child is born. We are all responsible for the increase in the incidence of autism and other conditions like ADHD, Learning disabilities, asthma, allergies, etc. Wondering why?

If we ask ourselves why is there increase in these conditions, we will begin to understand that it is because of the direction in which we’re all collectively moving. We are moving away from all that is natural. We are all moving away from real human contact and more towards technology. We are making this world too toxic a place for our children to come into- physically, mentally and spiritually.

All children, but especially those on the spectrum are PURE beings. They thrive in a pure, calm, non-toxic environment which is now not available to them. Let us stop and think about how we grew up, how we played, what we ate and the number of loving people we were surrounded by, how our childhood was- free and without pressure and then let us look at how children are growing up today. People say that we need to keep up with the times, but then we have to pay a price for it. Our children have to pay a price for it.

We keep thinking about bringing a change in their behavior. But to do that, we (the entire human race) need to become more conscious and provide all young children with an atmosphere that is calm, quiet, peaceful, clean and pure. Not surprisingly, this is what our Mother Earth needs too! She is trying to talk to us through these children who in my opinion are Messiahs who have come to awaken us! To STOP and question the choices we are making….not just parents of children with autism, but the entire humanity!

Just imagine for a moment about the children that will be born to this whole generation that is feeding on junk food, processed food, chemical fertilisers, GMO foods and glued to gadgets like mobiles, tablets, video games, internet, etc?

As parents, therapists and all the people associated with autism and all the conditions and syndromes of our modern world, we need to wake up, realize, become conscious and then give our voice to these children who speak to us not with words but with their being- the way they are. They are all the time trying to tell us something. If we listen truly, we will understand that they bring some lessons for the whole world:

  • Children on the autism spectrum are one with the universe. They are not individualized or ‘separate’ like the rest of us. They do not suffer from ‘ego’ problems like us as they are ‘selfless’ beings. They teach us the lesson of oneness. But because of this, they feel the vibrations of our thoughts and feelings! That makes them way more sensitive than all of us!! They can’t express it but they are deeply affected by our thoughts and attitudes!! So the more conscious we are in their presence, the happier they are and they actually thus helping us to evolve into better human beings!!
  • Let us teach our children by example. Let us be inclusive in our thoughts! Let us be more tolerant and accepting of imperfection. Perfection is a myth! Let us raise our children as sensitive human beings who can reach out to those that can use some empathy and understanding. If we hear that our children are being bullies, let us not jump in to defend them. Let us look in to the matter and if it’s true, use the opportunity to teach our children to be more sensitive!
  • Be in touch with Mother Nature. Human beings are products of nature. We can’t afford to forget that! When we are in harmony with nature, we are in balance and healthy. Children calm down in quiet natural places; and as they are ONE WITH NATURE. They’ve not fully separated from it. To be aware of and follow the repetitive and predictable rhythms of nature- being random and whimsical makes them feel insecure (read Patrick Jasper Lees note on Natural Rhythms); to make nature a part and parcel of our life- what we eat, what we drink, how we entertain ourselves; over-stimulation that is, loud music and noises, electronic media and entertainment is addictive, making children restless and causes them to lose their ability to be in the present and to be grounded- to think, to concentrate. We want our children to achieve more, but we are not providing them with a suitable atmosphere for them to do that!
  • Early stimulation is not limited to stimulation of the brain. A human being has many more aspects other than the brain. The brain can come in later. But first we need to develop their senses, their physical bodies, their emotions and their will. Parents are falling for the trap of early brain stimulation and children are losing their childhood too early and are becoming precocious. We need to preserve their innocence for their own good!
  • Realize that children are affected by and learn from ‘who we are’ and not ‘what we say or do’. Our state of being as a parent or a teacher has a direct bearing on their well-being. If we are well, so are they.
  • But, we need to refrain from being judgmental of ourselves and others; nobody’s perfect. We all can be better and it’s important that we are on the right path.
  • Not dwell in the past or future but to enjoy the present;
  • There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ experiences- only learning opportunities.
  • The children being born in this generation are vibrating at a high frequency. We need to increase our positive vibrations so we can reach up to them; to think pure thoughts- for they are sensitive enough to know what we think and parents will vouch for the fact that their behavior deteriorates when there are negative emotions in their environment and they calm down when we are calm. Calmness is a state of being where we can just be– neither positive, nor negative
  • Use technology and wealth for the betterment of life and society, instead of becoming slaves to it!
  • Slow down! Calm down!

We need to become conscious of our choices and make suitable and healthy changes in our lives to enable our children to cope with the world. We need to look at the deeper causes of the problems our children are facing, and deal with that- like food intolerance, lack of healthy rhythms, healthy emotional environments, etc. rather than try to ‘cure’ or ‘treat’ symptoms.

We all need to get together and work towards PREVENTION. We now know what is causing these syndromes, so we all need to become crusaders. This is not the time to blame or find fault with one another. This is the time to join hands and do what our children want us to do.

Create a better, cleaner world! Develop healthy lifestyles-Together, we can prevent and reduce the incidence of Autism, ADHD, asthma, allergies, obesity, malnutrition, childhood heart diseases, and increase the ‘well being’ quotient of the world! With the help of internet and Facebook, we can spread this message all over the world!

But for making this possible we need to start with ‘the man in the mirror’ so to speak. Let’s begin with ourselves- are we ready to let go of something that is convenient but unhealthy? Are we willing to make little sacrifices for the betterment of the entire world? Are we willing to give up our attachment to the material and move towards the natural, the spiritual or at least find a balance?

Let us try to listen to what our children are saying even if they are not speaking. They don’t need words, we do. We need to use our gift of intuition- with which we can listen to what our children are saying. They have chosen us to help them. Let us try to understand who these children are and what they need us to do to make this world a better place- at least for all the children who are yet to come.

Nirupama Rao

-Inspired by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner (Spiritual Scientist and founder of ‘Anthroposophy’, who started ‘Curative Education’ for children and adults with special needs. Curative Education Centers and Camphill Communities are established all over the world and in India there is Saandeepani (Hyderabad), Friends of Camphill (Bangalore), V-Excel (Chennai) among others, including Niraamayaa (Mumbai) that are inspired by Steiner’s philosophy),

Also William Stillman, Suzy Miller, Patrick Jasper Lee, Temple Grandin, Gayle and Lyrica Mia and most importantly by all the children with Autism from whom I’ve been learning and many, many others who are also on this journey with me.

NIRAAMAYAA- Nurturing Children Naturally

First posted on 30 December, 2010

NIRAAMAYAA

Sarve bhavantu sukhinaha

Sarve santu Niraamayaaha

This verse from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad means:

“May everyone be happy, may everyone be well (without disease)”

But what does Niraamayaa actually mean?

One of our parents told me the true meaning of the Sanskrit word Niraamayaa. Although I did know that broadly it meant freedom from illness and a state of complete wellness, the actual meaning of the word is clearer when we break it up into nir+aamay. ‘Ama’ in sanskrit means ‘toxins’ or ‘impurity’. So nir-amay means a ‘toxin free state of purity’. This was such a revelation for me as this is exactly what we are striving for at Niraamayaa…..the children who come to us from the spiritual world are so pure, that they cannot take in anything that is not pure- like synthetic food, electromagnetic radiation, vaccines, antibiotics, allopathic medication, etc. We need to instead, try and purify their environment for them, serve fresh, home made food and last but not the least, purify our own heart and mind spaces for them so that everything that is fed to them as food and through the environment (that includes us) is ‘digestible’ to them….then they can reach the state of ‘niraamaya’…..

Everywhere we look these days; there is talk about wellness- Wellness spas, wellness stores, wellness foods, and so on. Why this sudden need for wellness? Perhaps we have realized that in our struggle to survive in this pressure-filled competitive world, we are compromising on our well being. Perhaps we are also realizing that as we are getting sucked in by the hypnotizing realm of technology, gadgetry and modern day living, we are somehow losing out on the human touch and are losing touch with Mother Nature.

The further we move from the comforting and harmonious rhythms of nature and rely on synthetic, unnatural products and ways of living, the further away we move from feeling well. This lack of well being manifests itself as physical, emotional and mental symptoms and syndromes. We wait for something drastic to happen before we awaken and realize how far away we have moved from being really well.

Especially when Mother Earth chooses to express her anguish through our children….whom we value more than anything else in the world.

There is increasing incidence today of children with various special needs- learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit and hyperactivity and so on.

Increasing number of studies seems to be pointing to a deep connection between unhealthy lifestyles and habits to Child Mental Health issues. For instance there was an article in the Times recently linking speech delay in toddlers to homes where the child does not get enough language stimulation. There are also issues because children do not play enough. Parents say: “what can we do? We don’t have a choice! This is what everyone’s doing. It’s the norm today.” But is this norm the healthy for our children? Is there a better way to live? Don’t we want our children to lead healthy, productive, balanced lives not just for themselves, but also so that they can contribute to the community? And most importantly, are we willing to come out of our comfort zones for the sake of our children? Are we ready to make aware and conscious parenting choices?

This is the objective behind Niraamayaa, a “Centre for the well being of children and parents”- to help parents make the right choices. To provide them with healthy options for the well being of their children, irrespective of whether they have special needs or not.

In her experience of 15 years with children needing special care, Nirupama Rao the co-founder of Niraamayaa, a psychologist by qualification, has learnt that doing therapy directly with children is only one part of the job. Of equal importance is the home environment, lifestyles, dietary and sleep habits and last but not the least, the physical and emotional well-being of the parents themselves.

Hence, at Niraamayaa we believe in spending as much time with parents as is possible, through counselling and guidance as to the healthiest possible ways of raising children in today’s time and age, along with creative and rejuvenating activities which leave them feeling refreshed and cared for. This is done by way of workshops as well as individual counselling sessions.

Very often what we ‘want’ for our children is not the same as what they really ‘need’. What we ‘want’ is that they fulfil our expectations and perform to ease our anxiety; but what they really ‘need’ is for us to slow down, understand them, observe them and accept them for who they really are.

Our main purpose at Niraamayaa is to

  • help parents understand children and their needs,
  • to create awareness about the connection between child mental health and healthy life styles and

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  • to sensitize the society about the true needs of growing children- that children, at least in the first five or six years need to play, connect to nature,  need good role models and need to really remain children for as long as they can, without the cares and pressures of adult life which they will have to face as adults anyway.
  • To help children and even us adults to actually try at reach that state of ‘Niraamayaa’- the state of freedom from toxicity and the state of purity in body, mind, soul and spirit!!

Nirupama Rao,