I want to wish you all a happy Spring. When the shining sun comes out from the clouds and we are putting our winter clothes back into the closet, our hearts and minds begin a mode of self-cleansing. In Spring, when flowers blossom all around the world, we enjoy it in many different ways. We all have childhood memories. We all come from different cultures and traditions. When we are young we like to explore new ways of life. As we grow older, we want to reconnect with people and memories from our past.
Last Christmas, I returned to India to celebrate the Holidays with my family. I was raised in a typical for India, extended family that included aunts and uncles as well as grandparents. As a parent in the U.S., I try to follow one of the customs from my childhood, which was to share meals together. These were some of the best times in my life that I remember. Now, we in the U. S., and many people in India as well, live for the most part in a nuclear family and we lose the opportunity for bonding. Love and support from family helps heal wounds in your heart and lessens the stress of daily living.
In today’s stressful world many of us are isolated and yet we are all trying to find our Happiness. We get lost in our lives because what makes us happy today; won’t make us happy tomorrow. I had many questions in my heart when I traveled to India last December. It was my honor to spend a long time with my teacher, Dr. Kushala Das, and receive her wisdom. She is also my mother’s good friend.
My questions to her included how difficult their life was 50 yrs. back when women could not be so independent. Now, both of them are respectfully living their lives alone. Dr. K Das dedicated her life to building a community through yoga. At a time when women were not allowed to work outside the home, she built a training and support system to help underprivileged women become independent by training them in yoga therapy. Now she has over 50 years experience running a successful organization lead solely by, and for, women.
And yet, just like my mom, her life was centered in the home and with providing for the day-to-day needs for families. The thing that these two women have in common is their “struggle.” I find it humbling that they as individuals can carry on and live their lives while commanding such respect. They gave me the advice not to hold on to unhealthy thoughts that will only cloud my mind and heart. We all have difficulties but through the struggle we find our own strength. Growth comes from Love. Share only Love, if your Love is unconditional. You cannot be afraid of the opinions of others.
Another thing that my mother and my teacher Dr. Kushala Das, have in common is that they look after their health. Discipline in life is the key to a long, healthy, and happy life. We do not have to go far to find happiness. Please think about people from your own family who inspire you. In my experience, the words of my mother, and my teacher Kushala-di, have been the most empowering and gracious in my life. Ask questions and find out the stories of your family mentors. I have no doubt you will find your essence in Life, from discovering your family wisdom and from the source within. How to embrace that is our own responsibility. Only if we love our life can we embrace others.
Here are the answers to questions posed to Dr. Kushala Das:
1. What words of wisdom/advice, do you have, as 21st century businesswoman, for women in today’s fast paced world?
Take care of your health. Today we are often chasing irrational targets at the cost of our health. We need to slow down and take vital stops in order to move faster and last longer.
Health is our greatest wealth!
Physical and mental well-being will provide us with the much needed self-confidence and courage to face the challenges ahead.
2. How do you maintain femininity with power?
Apply the power of love, power of creativity, power of patience and tolerance. Women have these powers in a higher quantity over their male counterparts. Probably that is the reason God has shouldered upon us the responsibility of labor.
3. What are your health tips for a long life? Or what is the secret to living a long life?
Leading a disciplined and healthy lifestyle is the key.
Developing control of the mind will help to lead a disciplined life. One needs to keep the mind clear of obstacles such as anger, greed, hatred, etc. and replace them with the positive forces of peace, generosity, and love.
This needs to be combined with a physically fit and active life.
A regular practice of yoga helps to achieve all of these. It takes care of the mind by making it calm, focused and goal-directed. And physically it helps to build strength, endurance and flexibility.
In addition one needs to maintain a healthy diet.
4. What is your morning routine?
I am an early riser. Early to bed and early to rise…!
Do a regular yoga practice.
Every morning spending a significant time in the prayer room fulfills the daily dose of meditation. Once in the room, assume a static meditative pose (dhyanasan) and try to detach from the distractions and focus on the idol/light/object in front if eyes are kept open. Or might close eyes and objectify things in mind and try to focus.
Utilizing the mornings to do yoga and re-energize can provide sufficient fuel for the day’s work.
Love & Peace,