Friday, March 23, 2018

The homeschooling diary - An year of homeschooling iya

An year back I had decided to pull Iya out of school to home-school her. In this past 1 year, I have faced immense amount of opposition - direct on my face types, subtle types, the fire-is-on types, cold war types, sarcastic commenting types and so on. I've also had many parents and their children ask me with fairytale type wonder how I could manage it and what I had been doing with her.

This blog is dedicated to all those who have questions, doubts, sincere questions and sincere doubts about home-schooling and about what Iya and I have done in the past one year.

In the past 1 year, Iya and I did a lot of things together. We studied things meant for much larger classes. We studied things meant for much younger classes. We did loads of art and craft. We traveled for weeks together with no particular agenda. We worked on social change projects.We worked on our spiritual development. We had loads and loads of fun. We studied with a schedule. We studied without any schedules. We learnt while eating dinner at the dinner table. We read lots of books - fiction and non fiction. We played a lot. We also fought a lot. We got angry a lot. We slept late and got up really late. We slept early and got up really early. We didn't sleep at all some nights. We had sleepovers. We went around exploring the city - sometimes with friends whose mum made them bunk school so that we could all have fun together and sometimes just by ourselves. We found a great new set of friends - some of them home-schooled. We spent a lot of time with the new friends. We learnt a lot of new things through different activity classes. We lost a pet. We got a new pet. We shopped till we dropped. We watched movies one right after the other. We cooked together. We cleaned together. We laughed together. We cried together. We each took time off each other. We each wanted to take longer time off each other. We designed new board games. We played many other games. We went to paint streets at night. We went to demonstrate for a social cause early morning.

The list can go on and on.

But in a nutshell, the past one year was exhilarating.

All that I was guided to do during this past one year was based on intuition. One day I'd wake up knowing that it was time for Iya to start learning something new academically. So, I would design a lesson plan and for a month or so, we'd follow that. Then we'd take a break from that routine for 2-3 months, where no structured learning was happening and we were both taking each day as it comes. Then again a phase of structured learning was happening.

The journey so far has been wonderful. But wonderful does not mean it didn't have its own share of ups and downs. 

We had a lot of doubts. We had a lot of disagreements. We had plenty of moments of extreme emotions.

There was a time when my family including me, started questioning if the extreme emotions were because we had too much of each other, which was a by product of homeschooling. That made me wonder that if iya was schooled, wouldn't any of us have felt any anger? Or frustration? Do parents who send their children to school always have only roses, and no thorns?

And I realized that these emotions had nothing to do with home-schooling. These emotions need to be balanced. But it has nothing to do with homeschooling or schooling Iya.

The only one limitation which I felt in home-schooling Iya, was that I felt that Iya learns some concepts better in a peer group than individually.

But each child is different and learns differently. Also each child learns differently in different ages. A few years older, and Iya might want to be completely self taught.

Whatever I have experienced in the past one year, has given me some insights into home-schooling and I shall now share that for the benefit of those parents, who are seeking answers to some of the questions that I had had before I started home-schooling Iya.

So, here is a list of questions to ponder upon while musing about home-schooling:

1. Do you have enough time to give to your child? Having enough time, does not mean that you are bound 24 hours to your child, but rather that time is free to use as you (and your child ) please and it can be bent to suit your changing needs.

2. Are you open to learning? Homeschooling is not just about your child learning - it is also about you learning. Your learning may be academic (as in, you might have to revise all the stuff you learnt at school to able to teach it to your child) as well as non-academic (like being able to listen to your intuition, develop faith, patience and Joy).

3. Are you open to unlearning? To be able to home-school, you need to unlearn a lot of things - a lot of conditioning that you've had since you were a child. Are you ready to unlearn so that learning can happen afresh?

4. Do you have a plan to take some time off your kids everyday - for sometime? If you do not have any help/ classes/ plan to have time off your kid, then its like a concentration camp for both you and your child. To be able to come to your child with a freshness, you need to take time off her/him. So ensure you have a plan to have enough time off each other each day.

5. Are you dis-satisfied with the school your child goes to? There are many alternative education schools nowadays that are almost as good as or even better than homeschooling. If your child goes to one of them, then you may not want to pull them out of school.

6. Are you going to hire tutors for everything your child will learn at home? If yes, and if those tutors are like the conventional school teachers, then you are hardly going to make any difference in the way you are educating your child.

Once you have answered these questions, then you can work on the home-schooling plan.

There are many ways to home-school your child:

1. You can home-school with an online curriculum. There are plenty available online.

2. You can home-school without any standard curriculum but your own self built curriculum.

3. You can un-school - where you don't teach them anything at all but let nature and their own natural instincts teach them things in Divine Perfect Timing.

4. You can teach them a bit and un-school them a bit.

You can choose what suits you best. And you can change your choice when you feel one no more fits you. But overall, you need to follow your intuition on what is best for you, your child and your given circumstances. You need to have the strength to make changes when you feel the need for a fresh approach.

Also, I have learnt that home-schooling has to have a lot of freedom in scheduling. That is the beauty of it. School routine gets tiring for the child - the same thing everyday. Home-schooling doesn't have to follow that. You can have a lot of freedom in the way you structure your day - and in the way you structure it the next day or the next season. Winters have shorter days and so the daily schedules have to be made lighter to fit it easily into the daylight time. Summers have longer days and so more stuff could be done during the day. Winters could have a lot of outdoor day activities but summers would have to be a lot of indoors during the day. And the monsoons - you can actually go out and get wet without having to fear that you'll fall ill and miss school attendance :).

Home-schooling is not about learning everything the way school going kids do.

Home-schooling is not about competition or comparison.

Homeschooling is not about rote learning.

Homeschooling is not about just following orders - but rather learning to take lead in decision making.

Many parents comment that home-schooling needs a lot of discipline from the child and parent and since they or their child lack that discipline, they dismiss the thought immediately. But home-schooling does not demand any more discipline than a school going child does. In fact I would say it needs far lesser discipline. What it needs is freedom. Freedom to explore. Exploration of not just academic stuff but also of your own emotions, your feelings, your wishes, your choices. The exploration can be guided. The exploration can be mentored. But exploration has to be there. Discipline which cuts off the enthusiasm that comes with exploration is what schools do. That kind of discipline, probably needs to be kept away.

Is school better or is homeschooling better? I can't say. But I know for a fact that if you want to home-school your child, you have to have time to spend with your child. Whether you study in that time or not is not important. It is not about spending all the 24 hours with your child. That can become suffocating for both parent and child. But I wouldn't recommend it for those families where both parents are working. 

Lastly, I feel that each family has different circumstances. Each parent and each child has a special purpose in their life. For some, home-schooling is suitable. For others outsourcing of learning in the form of schooling is suitable. There is no right or wrong here. 

Some eat food made only by their moms. Some eat food cooked by their hired cooks. Some eat food served in restaurants. Each choice satisfies hunger. What one chooses in a moment is right for that moment. What one chooses in another moment need not be the same as what they chose in the earlier moment.

An year back, home-schooling Iya was the best option I had. The coming year, looks like schooling her is going to be my best choice. The year after this, looks like she'll be joining her own alternative education school.

As time comes, the path will be clearer. The answers will be shown. 

Home-schooling your child does not require you to hold a road map for the rest of your child's life - not anymore than it requires of a parent who schools their child, to hold a road map of their child's life.

Here is a 4 minute audio visual of a well spent year, homeschooling Iya.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The 'in-law' relationship of respect and hate

You grumble to yourself and quietly continue with your work.

Your mother-in-law is watching TV, and you are cooking in the kitchen, having to cook 10 different items in 40 minutes time, and then rush to get the kids ready for school, pack your husband's tiffin box, and your kid's tiffin boxes and your tiffin box, keep lunch for the in-laws in casseroles on the table, and then take a shower, drop off the kids to the school bus, and rush to office.

Atleast your mom-in-law could help with the kitchen, or maybe packing the tiffins or getting the kids ready! But she prefers to watch you struggle, while a saas-bahu soap goes on, on the TV.

If you identify yourself with a similar situation, then maybe its time to change things. Maybe the change should begin with you and the saying 'Be the Change you wish to see' should be put into action.

Practically, in this case, it would mean that you do unto your mom-in-law as you expect her to do unto you.

We all vibrate with energies. The energies that we vibrate with, also affect the people we interact with and as a result, their behavior with us.

So if you are having a positive vibration when dealing with your in-laws, you will get positive vibrations back from them, and if you are having negative vibrations while dealing with your in-laws, you will get negative vibrations back from them.

It may be true that your mother-in-law must be the one who started the negative vibes first, but can you be the one to start the positive vibes first?

If you find it difficult to suddenly start feeling positive about your mother-in-law, then a sneak peek into her childhood and her life as a young married woman may help you understand the space that she is coming from. 

Chances are that, she may have had a tough childhood, where little or no affection must've been shown to her, and her life as a young married woman must've also been tough, with her mother-in-law making seemingly impossible demands on her. 

Having had no one to confide in all the hurt her heart held, and definitely having no way to escape the situation, she may have lived her past 50/60 years of life, in deep anger, resentment, hurt, hopelessness.

Her only dream being that the son she gave birth to, will one day bring her the freedom that she so desires. 

Knowing this now, do you not want to make things better for her? Do you not want to hug her and tell her that it'll be fine now? Do you not want to make her smile?

Now, can you think of how to make your mom-in-law smile?

She may have lived her entire life feeling so 'un-special'. Can you do something to make her feel special?

What would you like for someone to do, to make you feel special?

Maybe send you a bouquet of roses without any reason? Probably leave little notes of love in clandestine spaces? Probably cook special meals of your favorite food? Maybe take you out - only you, for a lavish dinner, with a surprise gift waiting for you? Something out of the ordinary routine and ordinary things - wouldn't that make you feel nice and special?

How about doing something special for your mother-in-law?

Do it without any expectations. Do not expect changes in her from the next day onward. Do it just because you want to show her that you care.

Do not do this for any show off. But just do it because inside that 60 year old mother-in-law is a little girl who never knew what it is to fly, and because you want to help her fly for the first time in 60 years!

She may not learn to fly in the first time, but do it because you are sure that she will learn it over time.

Do it because within you, is an unending supply of love and warmth that can help your mother-in-law feel loved and special.

Do it because you know that Love ALWAYS Wins. 

Sometimes the mom-in-law may have had a decent past, but she chooses not to see your troubles, not out of choice but because of her past social conditioning. Social conditioning that says that once you are a mother-in-law, you can take a back seat.

In such cases, have you ever tried talking to your mother-in-law and asking for help?

Some daughter-in-laws do not want to ask for help, out of respect, and also because they feel they will be looked down upon and everyone will say that they are not being a nice daughter-in-law!

So they continue to feel anger every single minute they are around their in-laws and sometimes share the reason of their anger with their friends and other family members also. 

But what is that anger doing to you Dearest One? It is only eating you up from inside. 

Where is this respect taking you? It is only a farce whereas in reality there is more and more disrespect being built in, for your mother-in-law.

And what is all this doing to your other relationships? It is creating more and more negative vibes around you, which are affecting all of your relationships.

If you want your children to help you with something, you ask them for it.

If you want your husband to help you with a task, you ask him for it.

If you wish your mother-in-law would help you with some tasks, you ask her for it.

Chances are that she will help you out.

Along with asking her for help, continue to shower her with the affection that she needs, and probably has been deprived off, in the past.

Wouldn't it be much better to live every single day in your life without feeling resentment for your mother-in-law just because you had the courage to ask for help. 

Wouldn't it feel great to be able to then do things for your mother-in-law and father-in-law, not from a space of deep seated anger, but from a space Deep Rooted Love.

When you ask her for help, do it with love. Pray to God and the Angels for help with this if you've never done it before. They will give you the strength to make the desired life changes.

If inspite of all this, harmony still evades the relation between you and your mother-in-law, then there is karma playing its role somewhere.

In such cases, you need to surrender the situation to God and pray. Pray for the strength to deal with this situation.

Pray and affirm positively. Affirm that you are living each day to your fullest potential, happily and positively. Affirm it in present tense not a future tense. Affirm it from the deepest part of your heart. Affirm it a thousand times a day - even if the statement is not yet true. Affirm it with a deep conviction that it is true.

When you can believe in it, then you can see it manifest as a reality in your life.

You will see that you are able to handle the situation with great ease, and that things have changed. The relationships have either moved apart so that you don't have to deal with that anger daily, or that they have become harmonious or that you have greater strength and support in dealing with the situation. 

Do not dictate what outcome you want, when you affirm positively. Leave the outcome to God. Just affirm that you are happy. How that happiness will reach you is now God's work.

If God has the power to create you, then He certainly has the power to change your life situations so as to bring you more love and joy.

Have faith and continue to Pray and Love nevertheless.


Friday, July 28, 2017

10 ways to recognize your Extraordinary Star Child

Star children are here to herald a new era of living, where everyone lives in love, in peace and in joy.

Many people have heard the term 'Star children' for the first time and are completely unaware of what the term 'Star Child' means. Some have even asked me if by star child, I meant children of celebrities. So we've put together this article that will help you recognize your star child.

This article is for those parents who believe there is something extra ordinary about your child, though you may not be able to say what exactly it is.

This article is for those parents who wish to not only know who star children are, but who also wish to do something about this special blessing that they have received.

This article is for those parents who believe that Earth needs help, and that help is here.

Star children are one of the 'types of help' that has been sent, to help Earth out of the mess that it is in.

Star children are souls that have been born on Earth, but have come from other stars and constellations and other dimensions.

To understand all this in a much deeper way, we'll need to go through many years of learning and experiencing. So, we'll make it short and crisp, to facilitate a basic understanding.

First we need to understand why there are so many Star Children on Earth today.

Earth is going through a lot of changes - physically which we can see and experience, as well as energetically. Gaia (the spiritual name for Earth) is going through a process of Ascension. Ascension is the rising of Earth’s energies and vibrations. We are moving from a 3 dimensional planet to a 5 dimensional planet, which means that the vibrations on Earth have to become much purer and of a higher nature. These subtle energies are becoming more prominent to those who are open to sensing it.

This also means that in time, only those souls will remain on Earth, who raise their vibrations to match the Earth's higher vibrations.

To help Earth Beings in this process of transition, and to help them raise their vibrations, some higher souls from other dimensions and constellations, are coming on Earth. These souls are born as children that we refer to as Star Children. Star children choose to be born to parents who can nurture their special star qualities, so that as they grow, they can help the people around them elevate their energy vibrations; to match up to Earth's rising energy vibrations.

Imagine the star children on Earth today like a city that you see in the night time, from a plane a couple of minutes before landing. There are many dots of lights that you see. These dots of light are the star children. Their life purpose is to increase the brightness around so that no corner on Earth is left in darkness.

Your job as a parent of the star child is to help your child shine bright, so that he/ she can do the work he/ she has come here to do.

Star children are also known as Indigo children, Crystal children, Rainbow children and so on.

Here are some characteristics of Star Children that may help you recognize if your child is a star child or not.

A lot of these characteristics are displayed before the age of 4/5, as post that, if their special qualities are not nurtured well, they start dimming as the child is exposed to more and more social conditioning.

At the same time, if your child exhibited these qualities as a young child but not as they grow older, it doesn't necessarily mean that their qualities have not been nurtured. It could also mean that they are now displaying their qualities in different ways, ways that are conducive to the environments they live in.

Here are 10 characteristics displayed by young star children until around the age of 5.

1. The one most important characteristic of star children is that they sometimes exhibit wisdom far beyond their age. This wisdom comes from their life in higher dimensions and their awareness of it.

You might find a 2 year old telling you what posture to sit or lie in when you are feeling tired, so that you may feel better quickly. Or you may find your 18 month old rubbing their tiny hands on your head to comfort you when you feel low - and you actually feel better. You may find your 4 year old telling you not to shout because it makes the energies go low, or you may just find them wanting to wash their hands and have a bath too often (as it helps to cleanse off the low energies they've absorbed).
There have been instances of star children as young as 3 years old consoling their parents about life beyond earth (or life after death); a conversation especially triggered by the death of a close family member.

2. With star children, you may often face difficult situations especially if you've been a soul disconnected from your Inner Wise Self.

So you may find your star child push you to an extreme emotional situation, such that you are forced to look for ways to find inner peace. Star children begin their missions by helping parents and immediate family raise awareness, by directing them to question life beyond the material.

3. Star children have wise eyes and sometimes they look real deep into your eyes - and you know that they are seeing beyond the physical you.

4. Star children may seem to communicate with invisible beings, especially till the age of 3 or 4. That is before they start to familiarise themselves with the ways of this world. Some continue their communication with their spirit friends and guides even after they pass this age. Some can even see passed over loved ones and may give messages from them to you.

5. Star children have sensitive energies. They are like sponges. So if they have been with a very aggressive person, they'll come back very aggressive. Similarly, if they've been with a gentle person, they'll come back feeling gentle.

Star children are also very sensitive to your energies. So if you are feeling frustration, anger, irritation inside, they will act in the same way back to you.
The best way to work with them is by being an example of what you may wish for them to learn. In the process they teach care-givers the biggest lesson of having to 'walk the talk'.

6. Star children like to express themselves through right brained activities such as art and craft, drawing and painting, singing and dancing and so on. This is not about doing well in structured drawing or dance classes, but about the ability to express themselves freely and wordlessly with an art form. Though some may even express themselves through poetry.

So you may see that when your child is sad, they sit with a paper and are drawing something or that they will play some music and sway to it and sometimes even sway to some imaginary music.

7. Star children have great connection to nature, animals and some feel very drawn to the night sky and stars and moon. 
So you may find your star child spend hours quietly gazing at water flowing by or rain falling. Some may love to spend hours in nature, walking around, picking up stones or flowers or leaves. Some may have an almost magical way of being with animals. Some may love gazing at stars in the night and if you wake up in the middle of the night, you may catch them looking up at the stars and moon.

8. Star children have lots of energy and do not require much food to sustain their energy levels. This is because they are able to naturally get in energy from Prana - the cosmic energy that sustains all of life. However at times, they'll go on an eating binge - which could be mostly to deal with some form an emotional upheaval that they are feeling.

9. Star children are very connected to the cosmic and world energies. So you may find your child displaying sadness for no apparent reason - when there is some tragedy that has happened somewhere in the world. Or you may find sudden change in the behaviours of your child - hyper or real slowdowns during full moon and new moon days.

10. Some star children may display healing energies. You may actually put your head on the lap of an 8 month old and feel peaceful and calm. The star child may even sometimes use their tiny hands to send you healing energy that could heal away your physical pains - atleast for a bit.

Not all star children will necessarily display all these characteristics. And neither is it necessary that if a child displays any one characteristic, they are a star child.

Finally, it is about their spiritual energy and the aura that they carry.

It is a thing to sense, though the seers who can see the auras with their naked eyes can see the children and know.

We hope this article helps you recognize the great gift that you have. We would love to know how your child has pushed you to question the deeper meaning in life.

If you feel that your child is a star child, then it means that you have a great responsibility in your hands, and you may need to work on a lot of things; including yourself so as to be able to help your child shine.

If you are not sure that you have a star child, even then, it’s worth parenting them as though they are a star child. This is because all children are closer to The Light, than adults are. And if we nurture them in ways that are gentle and peaceful, we will be enhancing their life experiences.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Growing up with Star Children

Blessed with 2 star children, I am going through a phase of intense learning and growing up.

What are star children?

Many people ask me if by star children I meant children of famous movie stars and celebs?

So, no dear parents, star children are children who are born on earth from another dimension of space and time, from other stars, from other planets or other constellations. (Yes, this does mean that there is life on places other than Earth :))

Many souls are being born on Earth at this time to help it in 'The Shift' which it is going through right now. This shift is about elevating the energies of Earth as a planet.

These souls are called star children, and also go by other names such as indigo children, crystal children, rainbow children and so on.

Star children have very sensitive energies. Just like a sponge soaks in all the water around it, so do the star children soak in all energies around them - good as well as bad.

Parenting star children means to be aware of their sensitive energies, and to make the required changes in your habits, behaviors and lifestyle so as to help the children deal with their sensitive energies better and in turn raise your own vibration levels as well as that of Earth's.

Parenting the star children also means growing up. Spiritual growing up of the parent :).

I have 2 star children - one daughter aged 6 and one daughter aged 1.

In the past 6 years, my life has changed and I've grown by leap and bounds.

I grew up spiritually.

I was like a little baby - so demanding about everything.

I wanted my food to be a particular way, I wanted my job to be a particular way, I wanted my house to be in a particular way, I wanted my life to be in a particular way. If I didn't get things my way, I would throw a tantrum of fear, anger, restlessness, feelings of unworth and so on.

But once I had my first daughter, I became a toddler, and then rapidly and steadfastly I became a young teen - spiritually.

By the time my second daughter completed her first year on earth, I turned into a fine young adult - spiritually.

These are some of the life lessons that helped me grow from a  baby to a fine adult in 6 years.

1. Practicing yoga, mindfulness, meditation are the 3 most important methods that helped  me tune within and connect better with my children.

2. Unbiased self analysis went a long way in helping me dissolve barriers between my higher self and my ego self, between me and my children, between my material life and my spiritual life. Not only did I do a lot of self analysis, I also made changes in areas where I realized it was 'me' that needed to change and not the situation or the people involved in the situation.

3. Taking notice of my intuition and taking action on it. Intuition is a way of communication between the higher self and the ego self. So when you act upon your intuition, you are actually working on the advice of the higher self. I took a lot of notice of my intuition and acted upon it, however weird the option seemed to me at that moment.

4. Taking time out for myself. This is a very important point that most parents ignore. I realized that to be able to give my daughters better quality time, I needed to take some time off from them, doing what I loved doing. Once that was realized, it was easier to decide what I wanted to do in my time-off and what my children would be doing in my time-off time.

5. Switching to a healthier lifestyle. We've all had unhealthy lifestyle phases - phases where we ate too much of junk food, smoked, drank alcohol, slept too late, got up very late and so on. But we moved ahead. We changed our behaviors. I made many lifestyle changes as guided by my daughters, so that I could be more in-tune with the true reality.

6. Balancing between conventional parenting patterns and intuitive parenting. Conventional parenting has an answer for almost every thing - but does that apply to the star children? My intuition did not agree to many of those patterns. For example, conventional disciplining, food habits, schooling, sleeping times etc were all questioned by my intuition and taking in the guidance from my higher self, I parented my children intuitively. I realized that conventional parenting techniques were not working for these sensitive star children.

I'm going to use one of my favorite analogies to explain this better:

If your body is getting insufficient rest or improper nutrition, you develop certain medical symptoms like aches and pains, blood pressure, acidity and so on. These medical symptoms are ways that your body is demanding you to take notice of it and take better care of it.

Similarly, when we are not listening to our higher self that knows all and can guide us, then we get children, who demand that we go deep within to find answers to the impossible situations they put us in.

When your body develops the first medical symptoms, you may choose to ignore it or numb it down with temporary medicines.

Similarly, when the kids first start being demanding, you may choose to quieten them down with anger and threats and do nothing to change yourself.

But when the body starts developing more severe symptoms, you are finally forced to take notice of what your body actually wants.

Similarly, when the kids become more and more demanding, and you've shouted and slapped them several times out of anger, you can choose to do something about it and start looking at the situation from another angle - that of your deeper, higher self.

What an analogy, you may think, but doesn't it make sense?

The children today want us to take notice of our Self.

These children are mirrors of our Self and what we think and feel within.

You can try this out for yourself some day.

One day when you feel particularly angry with your child for their behavior, quietly and truthfully analyse yourself. See if somewhere within yourself, you are having feelings of unworth, anger, irritation, helplessness and so on.

Chances are that you will mostly see a pattern building up.

When you feel angry within, so does your child.

When you feel insecure within, so does your child.

When you feel frustration within, your child also displays frustrating behavior.

So what are they then, but mirrors of your own emotions?

And what better way could God show you what you are feeling within, than by sending you mirrors that reflect your deepest thoughts and emotions!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Home Schooling Iya!!

Back again after a long time.

Have been trying to figure out the best way to home-school my daughter.

Yes. Home-school.

After sending Iya to school for 3 years (lower kindergarten, upper kindergarten and 1st std), I've finally decided to get her out of the factory production module and home-school her to hone her true self.

People ask me how I home-school her and how much time I spend with her daily, teaching her.

Well, I calculated the time I need to spend 'teaching her' in the following manner.

Out of 365 days of school, 2 months are vacations - which leaves 305 days. Taking out the weekends, that leaves roughly 220 days. Taking out the festival holidays and the occasional bandh and monsoon offs, there are roughly about 190 days of school.

Out of the 6 hours that she takes to go and come back from school, 2 hours were for travelling to and fro and settling down in school or packing up. Taking the breaks and Good Morning teacher formalities, taking out the books etc time away, I figured that actual learning happened for about 2-3 hours for 190 days. That is roughly 550 hours an year, which if divided per day is about 1.5 hours.

Now that was quite doable!!

The next question was how to home-school and what curriculum to follow.

I found along the way that there are 2 branches in homeschooling - one that un-schools and one that follows a curriculum.

So un-schooling is where you basically just allow your child to learn on their own as and when they feel ready to learn. You do not 'teach' them until and unless they come asking you to explain to them something.

And following a curriculum is like school but, followed at home, with assessment and some even have 'home work'!!

As of now, considering that Iya is just 6 years old, I am really not bothered about following any curriculum. I have taken a mid path - un-schooling her as well as teaching her a few things off and on. Right now, I'm just letting her explore her interests, and every once in a while, our general conversations point out to certain topics that need further explanations, and so we sit down and learn about it.

For example, just the other day, Iya was questioning on the dinner table why she had to eat dal! Iya is very fond of vegetables and fruits, so feeding that has never been an issue with her, but dal has always been a difficult one. Being vegetarians, dal is an important source of protein.

So, we sat down to learn about the different nutritional needs of the body, the foods that supply those nutrients and what each nutrient does for the body.

Learning is done in a writing, exploring, googling, researching mode, ending with a diagramatic table of the foods she can eat daily to get all the nutrition that she requires.

Why she needs to eat dal is now answered - after 5 days of learning.

Once, on a holiday, we were staying at a retreat close to a forest area. We heard a barking deer, and as she questioned about the deer and what it eats, we went on to learn about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores.

Isn't this how learning should be?

Will she ever forget this now?

I suspect not.

Conventional schooling is left brained, where the right brain is left to fend for itself - bringing on confusing imbalances in ones life. You feel this imbalance when you do not know what subjects to study, what specializations to take up, when you join jobs that don't satisfy you, that don't complete you, that you do out of habit, or because of the degrees you've earned, but not out of your fondness for that subject.

Homeschooling, with sufficient exposure to the world, and with sufficient freedom for exploration can actually bring about balanced growth of the left brain and the right brain.

For me, this was very important.

To nourish her Body, Mind and Soul, we enrolled her in various fun activity classes that work on her body strength and stamina or that stimulate her brain - both left and right, while also doing many left and right brained activities at home.

Having heard often about our ancient wisdom and how science which we know today, has been coded in our ancient texts, I was quite keen for Iya to learn our ancient wisdom. So our Soul nourishment plan includes learning the sacred chants from the Vedas. As she learns each mantra, she shares it on a YouTube video with the world, so that everyone can benefit from that knowledge.

With ample of time for all sorts of exploration, we are truly having as great time home-schooled. home-schooling for both - Iya and me.

We cook together some times, we build tents from bedsheets and read story books inside it, we play board games, we even design new board games, we do art and craft together, we look after the dog, we play with the little sister, we float paper boats and get wet in the rain, we talk, we watch TV and YouTube; we live each moment together.

Yes, at times I do feel tired of the constant attention that is required out of me (especially since I have a 1 year old daughter and a really old and critically ill dog), yet, home-schooling has been a great experience for me and I am loving every bit of what each day brings on for us.

Will I forever home-school Iya?

I don't know yet.

Just as I follow my intuition on what we need to do on a daily basis, so too, I'll let my intuition guide me on how long I need to home school her and when I'll need to school her (in a conventional or a holistic education school) or home school her with a curriculum.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ufff...that fever once again

Its that time of nightly vigil again!

My daughter is running fever once again. Surprisingly, the fever seems elusive during day time when I am fresh, and can take good care of her. It comes only at night time when I am exhausted, tired and groggy!

Giving her a dose of the conventional fever medicine at that time seems the easiest way out - to get back to my sleep.

But is it really the best thing for her?

Fever (burning of the body) is a mechanism of the body whereby it cleanses the body of certain organisms that are not conducive for the good health of the body. Unless the fever goes high (I measure high as going beyond 101 F), there is actually no need for medicines. It is the body's mechanism of self healing, and we must allow it to run its own natural course. Our bodies are intelligent. We must respect its intelligence.

Another reason for fevers are 'burning' anger towards something.

In such a case, a cooling dose of love and a sincere prayer for healing is enough for the healing to occur.

I have noticed that most of the times, my daughter  got a fever if she had got a shout from me the previous day. (Gulp Gulp - yes sometimes even I am guilty of having lost my cool).

Yet, the understanding that it was my anger that caused her fever, was a great learning.

It made me think twice before shouting at her again. And it also taught me that love and love and more love along with prayer was the best way to cure that fever.

Sometimes the fevers are a result of some karmic cleansing (like the one that comes only at night time and doesn't go too high). These kind of fevers, if shown to a doctor, won't yield any 'medical diagnosis'.

This fever again does not require any kind of medications. Some extra love, attention, hugs and prayer will be sufficient to heal it.

So when do we need medicines? If the fever continues to go high despite all the love and prayers, then we may require medicines as helpers.

Note - medicines as helpers - not as the leaders.

The leader should be the body; the medicines are just helpers.

Natural home remedies are superb helpers.

Acupressure is another great helper.

Homeopathy, which works on an overall harmony of body and mind, is also a great helper for healing fevers (or even other dis-eases, that require medical helpers).

Inspite of all this, if the fever doesn't subside, then, and only then would I go for conventional medicine (and I've never actually had to reach till here if I have tried all the above levels of healing first).

Imagine if you had a nail stuck in your toe. If you didn't take the nail out, it would become infected and start oozing pus. So, you go to a doctor and the doctor cleans up the infection that is oozing, bandages it and gives you a pain killer.

But the nail is still in.

So again the wound becomes bad and it hurts you terribly. The area of infection also increases. The amount of infection also increases. Other body discomforts set in as well.

The doctor again cleans up the ooze, and gives stronger pain killers.

But the nail is still in there.

Will your wound ever heal if this continued?

The common pharma medicines most of the time work as the pain killer in the above example. The nail is still stuck in there.

For any wound (physical or mental), the cause of the wound has to be first looked into. Once the cause is looked after, then the healing will happen naturally.

The 'pain killer' can then be given to aid in the healing process. But it cannot heal completely on its own.

Well, with this, I hope that you all are better able to fire fight the burning fevers of your children (or yourself as well).

While I have given an example of fevers here, the same funda applies to almost any dis-ease of the body - of your children as well as yourself.

The cause of almost all dis-eases are mental, and 'You Can Heal Your Life' by Lousie Hay is a wonderful book to read and understand what mental patterns cause a particular dis-ease, and how that mental pattern if changed, can heal the body.

Using this knowledge and prayers, I have healed my fevers, cold, cough, back ache, migraine, thyroid and many other dis-eases which I was carrying in my body earlier.

Disclaimer: This article does not intent to stop anyone from using conventional medicines. Neither does it aim to show the doctors of conventional medicine in any low light. Just as God created human, God guided the human to create the conventional medicines. This article is rather an advice against an abuse of the medicines, that should ideally be used only in severe conditions.

A short note on the power of prayer: Prayer is a powerful tool, that can be used to manifest what we may need in this world. However, this has again been abused. Most people pray for their material wishes to be fulfilled - for more money, better job, partner in life, passing an exam and so on. Little does one realize that in every prayer, there need to be action steps taken by You. Few years back, before I knew of the power of prayers, all my prayers went 'seemingly' unanswered. When I realized the power of prayer, all my prayers were miraculously answered. If God has the power to create human, does he not have the power to heal His child of fevers or fulfill his other desires?

Sharing a small story here as a foot note:

Once a man who was tired of his work and angry with his boss and his colleagues in office, got high fever. The next day he had an important meeting with his boss. His intuition and tired body said. 'Stay in bed'. But the mind said, 'Get up and go to office or you'll get kicked out'. So the man pops in a pill, dresses up and goes to office for another day of thankless, unappreciated work.

But God had another plan for him that day.

If the man had listened to his intuition to stay in bed, God had planned that he would be thrown out of this job and God had a much better job lined up for him the next day.

He had only needed to pray sincerely to God for guidance. God had even planned to cancel the meeting before the man called in sick.

But the man chose not listen to his body or his intuition that screamed to take rest and hence lost a great opportunity that day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Love - the one stop solution to all your problems. Really?

Love, Love, Love. 

Love is all you need.

A Master once was asked by a disciple that if what if the issues they were facing with their child was not getting better by love, the Master replied - 'Try giving higher doses of love'.

Love is the one stop solution to all problems with your child. All questions - of frustration, anger, irritation, behavior issues, adamant behavior, indifference and so on - the one solution to all problems - Love!

Like get real! 

The Master who would've come up with this solution probably never had kids, or even if he did have, he may not have been responsible for their bringing up, by being for them every minute of every day.

The Master wouldn't have known that Aha! feeling when the child goes off to school and that Arrrghhhhh! moment when they are back.

I remember the first time my daughter went off to school. I had 3 hours!! Like 3 hours to do whatever I chose to do! 3 hours where I wasn't on a fire fight mode, always ready with diapers, food, toys, books, my own work and a zillion other things to handle! I could relax!!! What a blessing it was!

Then when my daughter returned from school, the mind was still in the relax mode but there was no more time to relax, and  there was this great imbalance happening - between what I had wanted to do and what I had to do.

And then of course there started arising frictions! I don't want to all the time do things that I have to do. I want to be able to do things that I love to do and want to do - and those things don't count that which I want to do for my child. (Yes I do love my child to the moon and back - so there are things that I want to do for her and love doing for her...but not 24x7, 365 days a year). So, I started feeling anger.

And then someone says Love!!! Love is the solution to every problem!

It didn't make much sense.

But then in moments of contemplation, when I started thinking of this statement, I could see some form of reality in it. Like wouldn't I always want to be asked to do things nicely and with a lot of love? Wouldn't I want to feel unconditionally loved?

But when it came to putting that into practice with my daughter, there were a million challenges!

So, if I wanted to read my book but my daughter wanted me to spend time with her then, talking nicely and with love to her didn't work.

Or if I wanted her to finish her meal nicely, sitting in one place, and chewing without being reminded to chew; with love; it didn't work either!

Overall, I was going out of my way, to be nice to her and spending all my time with her (as I thought that was what love was), that I had little or no time left for me. This brought in a lot of anger and dissatisfaction with my life, and as a result, the 'love' feeling was fast disappearing.

Then I had a realization. My daughter is my life - but she is not everything in my life. I like to do other things as well, and I need time for it and that its okay to take time out to do these things that I love. I love to work on my mind, body and soul through walks, yoga and mediation. So I decided I will take time out for it. When I started spending 2 hours a day on my walks, meditation and yoga, then I didn't mind spending the next 2-3 hours purely with my daughter.

I made a list of the things I wanted to do in a day. Then I divided it into the things that I can do with my daughter - like cooking, cleaning, laundry etc and the things that I don't want to do with my daughter - like my walk, yoga, meditation and so on. That way, if I had to spend the next 6 hours with my daughter - I could choose to spend half that time by doing work with her helping me, and thereby becoming more responsible and aware of the work load that has to be managed. And the other half by being with her - completely. so in that time we could play games or do some art and craft or dance or jump on the sofa! 

It worked wonders and we both had great fun!

As I started to feel more peace in my mind, my heart opened up and I could feel more love.

When I felt more love in my heart, I could give her more love as well.

The activities that I had to do without my daughter were planned at a time when she was asleep or in school.

Now with my daughter being a terrible sleeper, many times I didn't get time to do the things that I wanted to do in her sleep time.

This again brought in a lot of anger and frustration, and though the rest of the hours were happy-happy, but if my me-time was disturbed, I was very upset.

Then someone told me that if my daughter is asking for time when I want to mediate, maybe its God's way of telling me that being joyful at that moment with my daughter is the kind of meditation he wants me to practice that day.

This brought in some peace again.

I began to notice that peace in my mind always brought out love in my heart.

So, peace of mind and love were directly proportional.

And I also noticed that the situations didn't change for me to feel more at peace. The situations were exactly the same, what changed was my attitude to each situation.

Oh! Now I see, I thought.

So if I changed my perception of a situation, then I felt more peace at mind and thereby I also felt more love in my heart!

That made sense. This was something I could easily understand.

Now, I started using this technique for almost every situation where I wasn't 'comfortable'.

Slowly, my mind was at peace most of the time during the day, and that meant I felt more and more love throughout the day. 

My heart was expanding!!

For every outburst of my child, I started seeing things from a different angle which brought in more clarity and more peace of mind and thereby more love!

Then my daughter started getting older. And that meant she was spending more time at school. And that in turn meant she met more people, had more friends and learnt a lot of things, which I didn't teach her.

Like throwing tantrums!

Like being adamant.

Like not responding to something I asked.

Gulp Gulp. 

The angers were flaring once again.

Peace of mind was getting lost once again.

Love was there - but on the verge of getting 'lost'.

I could not see the situation from her side if she wanted to skip school everyday, or not do her homework everyday or not study at all for her tests or not bathe even after 2 days!

I needed to find a balance here.

Some boundaries had to be set - for the good of my daughter.

I noticed that in my overwhelming love for her, where I overlooked all her not-so-good behaviors, I spoiled her.

I could see her becoming rude to others, intolerant of others mistakes, impatient and much more - because she thought she'll be loved nevertheless.

Its true, she is loved nevertheless.

But this is not the kind of behaviors I would want my child to have. I needed her to be a good adult who would be more grateful, patient, gracious and so on.

So I started to impose rules and if those rules were not being followed, (leaving some margin for allowance) there would be some form of a repercussion.

The repercussions were never physical punishments.
Yet, in doing this, the mind was at great unease, thinking that I didn't want to be the kind of mother to impose rules that had repercussions but then I had a realization of a whole new angle to this 'Love Story'.

If I loved my daughter enough, then I had to do this in order for her to grow up to be a responsible, caring, empathetic adult. 

She has to learn her boundaries.

One wouldn't go though all this mental turmoil to get their child to behave if they didn't love her? Would they?

So, love, love, love here meant watching my daughter evolve. 

Just like a river that flows, my daughter flowed. I had to just watch her flow, and place rocks (somewhere big and somewhere small) in places where, if she went, she would be straying from her path to the mighty ocean or wasting her energies by creating too many tributaries or bringing a flood that could destroy all of life.

This realization again brought great amount of peace to my mind.

And then the love quotient increased again :) 

So, its true. The Master who said this - Love is all you need.

Love can be in many forms and all are 'valid', as long as you are honest in the way you show your love.

Let the love come from the depths of your heart to have a truly loving relation with your child and not from the shallowness of ego that says that you are right and your child is wrong and so you take an action based on ego, though it may go under the name of love.

My salutations to the Great Master who made that statement and my deepest gratitude to my daughter for bringing forth these realizations through my life experiences with her.