She has just released the book –Building a Happy Family-11 practices of mindful parenting, published by Penguin Random House.
Raageshwari Loomba Swaroop has been an actress, VJ, now she is an author and coach of mindfulness. Talking about her book, her perspective of parenting and the book, Raageshwari shares with Mums and Stories beginning with her idea to write the book, “ It’s been 20 years since I recovered from facial paralysis, so my journey of collecting notes and writing in my journal began then. I also got introduced to Mindfulness with the collaborations I had with Jack Canfield and the late Louise Hay, and the journey to grow in Mindfulness continues.
It was during that time that I got introduced to the concept of re-parenting. How we adults are basically children trapped and being forced to conform according to the wishes of well-meaning parents and carers ( who were in a similar cycle when they were young).
It elucidated a stunning fact that we adults carry patterns from being disciplined, moulded and conformed by our our well-meaning carers and parents from our childhood.
Today Harvard research and science proves that the early years of a child define the architecture of his/ her brain and the rest of his life.
Mindfulness is all about living in the present ; which children are masters at. So we parents and adults will have to learn it so we can stop this cycle of moulding children into versions of ourselves.
I truly wanted to write something only if it could help people and inspire them to live happier lives. That was and is my most honest aim. I finally felt I could and then I put pen to paper.
Mindfulness is about zero judgment so no parent is going wrong ; how can you blame an adult with a wounded inner-child ? We think our children are not perfect the way they are because we adults think we are not perfect the way we are.
We bombard children with the fear of the future and fear of failure because we have been scared of failure and rejection all our lives.
We as children were not accepted for who we were. We were always compared unconsciously by well-meaning parents and carers to another child smarter, faster, clever etc. Love seemed conditional only when a child performed well, behaved well or even ate well. For the clean mind of a child this seemed like he/she had a lot to add to his/her personality.
Instead of inspirational it seemed a burden and a task. So we will first have to heal ourselves, nurture ourselves, love ourselves. Then the love we have for our family and children will thrive.”
Talking about how we need to change our communication mode with kids, Raageshwari shares, “Kids don’t have to lead necessarily but walk alongside. The hierarchy in a family will have to stop. We will have to be a unit of equality. You want your child to be Einstein? Then treat him like one. The feeling that we own our children, the dialogue “you WILL have to listen to Mummy because Mummy said so” will have to leave.
We will have to treat them as geniuses, honour their minds, respect their decisions, hear them out and then offer explanations if we don’t agree. We adults are in a rush to end a discussion, say ‘no’ and move on.
No wonder children show up with frustration, anxiety and boredom because they feel unheard – unseen and undervalued.
Adults live their lives in a paradox but refuse to see it. It’s like screaming at your child when telling him or her to speak softly. It’s like spanking your child to teach him or her to never hit their friends. It’s like looking at your phone while asking your child to turn off the TV. It’s like comparing your child with others and expecting a confident child, behaving like Frankenstein and expecting Einstein! With these mixed signals, we consistently undermine our own intelligence and value in the eyes of our children.
Interestingly, this dynamic matches how we deal with spouses and family members too. “
Talking about how lockdown can teach parents a lot in life, Raageshwari Loomba Swaroop shares with Mums and Stories, “ Solitude is underrated and so is slow life. No wonder the lockdown is creating such a panic even in families who are healthy and financially safe.
Since childhood we have been subliminally told it’s not good to be alone “Poor you, don’t you have friends” , “Why were you alone my child”
Then we subliminally program them that being slow is bad!! We keep telling them to hurry up , – don’t keep dreaming, – what are you lying around for, – why are you doing nothing ? Write fast – work that sum fast – Gosh you are so slow’
We adults are hilarious if we heard ourselves mindfully.
We were all brought up in an environment where solitude and sedateness were looked down upon.
Today science research tells us that solitude and sedateness are the portals of creativity and true connection with self. Only when we connect with our own self will we connect with others.
So yes this lockdown is a fantastic opportunity for us to gain wisdom – if only we will allow ourselves to walk through it fearlessly, enjoy solitude and enjoy being sedate.
To share on how I am managing my time now under lockdown here in London , let me share that it is hilarious, challenging, intense, hectic but greatly reflective.
My schedule is made easy by a time table as it sets me free. I’m up at 4am and then start finishing all the emails and interviews. I try to squeeze in a workout these days, which is extra hectic due to promotions of the book.
By 7 am ( these days by 8) Samaya, my daughter is up and then she highjacks the day. I play with her with focused attention, just 20 minutes. Then we have breakfast and chats.
When I have a live session and I don’t know how to handle Samaya as I have no help and my husband is working during lockdown too, I put on the Mojo series on TV ( I explain in my book that if TV is the only option when you have an only child who is 4, and the child cannot read themselves and entertain themself for long periods and you have a conf call, take the help of TV as the last resort, but pick something with mental exercises for children) I give her snacks with some milkshake so she is entertained and well fed.
But there are days when she has barged into a live session, and it’s all fine. Thank goodness this is a book about being an easy-going and stress-free parent.
During the lockdown, everyone understands that you could be wearing pyjamas under that blazer and your child will run in to give you a cuddle.
It’s all fine and a deep breath always helps.”
Here’s a short excerpt from the book
Our aspirations with regard to the success of our children may still be pure, but our modus operandi has gone haywire, just like the education system in most countries. Our own growing stress levels are pilling over to affect our babies and children, masquerading as discipline. Parents may be giving their children access to the best toys, the best schools, the best non-scholastic classes, but they often ignore the cornerstone of a growth mindset, which is self-discovery and mindfulness.
We may be building state-of-the-art schools but most curriculums lack intrigue, interaction, self-awareness and, most importantly, the celebration of an individual the way he or she is. Schools may teach children maths and science but they are not teaching them life skills to handle downfalls and stress.
Children are born with an amazing spiritual radar, but the majority of well-meaning parents are so disconnected from their own true core and self-worth that they tend to collide with their child’s free spirit and knowingly or unknowingly try to suppress it. Hence, they find it bizarre that a toddler wants to play in rain and mud, lick another toddler or connect with a stranger. These are a child’s pure ways of connecting with the planet and other beings and awakening all of his or her senses.
On a subconscious level, parents want their children to be a better version of themselves. The desire is so intense that they turn children into lost and directionless individuals just like themselves.
Raageshwari has elaborated on many subjects which she feels are important for kids to have in their loves while growing up. She has spoken on Dream Boards, Love, Music, Dance and talking about fine arts she shares , “ We may all superficially know of the benefits of music and dance but in my book we have gone into detail of the ‘Mozart Phenomenon’. The chord progressions of the Mozart symphonies are such that they create ripples of positivity in your being. The Mozart effect first came to light in a 1993 study when a neuroscientist showed that college students who listened to Mozart’s sonatas regularly performed better on a spatial reasoning test than students who listened to rock music.
Mozart’s symphonies have been proven to calm babies and improve their spatial-temporal reasoning.
So music all your life but especially when you are pregnant and during early years of a child will be absolutely enriching. In the same way, dance has immense healing powers too. The combination of music and dance is a remedy for depression and anxiety. I feel it has the greatest impact on mental growth compared with any other activity. I wish to introduce dance as a healing medicine to parents, children and especially our beloved grandparents.”
When asked on women and various facets of life like marriage and kids, Raageshwari having had a late marriage and late pregnancy shares, “ I would like to add that we especially as women will have to redefine marriage. We don’t need to step into marriage to enhance well-worth. The self-worth has to be independent. With that you will have to look at other women in a similar light too.
We have bought into a wrong idea that a relationship, spouse, child or a career will make you happy. The happiness has to be in the inner world.
Just affirm “ I am my greatest soul-mate”Believe it and live it.
Communicate with yourself, your inner child and then you will see everything differently. I met a man like Sudhanshu because I was fine being single. It took me a long time to recover after my first heartbreak, but once I did I worked very hard on myself. I worked on being at ease with myself, with being single. Being a mother comes with the some perils. Don’t have a kid because society will think ‘now your are complete’. Have a child if you want to grow and be a student.
Don’t worry about the clock. I never did. I knew if I could not have my own, adopting a child would be equally a blessing too. It’s just a perception and perceptions change within seconds. Sushmita Sen is such a glorious example of that. Her love for her children far exceeds what biological mums may feel for their offspring.
So take your time, live your life, relish every moment. “
On how her mom has influenced her style of parenting, Raageshwari shares, “ My mom is such a simple housewife but has the most evolved advice.
1. Treat your kitchen like a temple ; the food you cook there is medicine for the soul.
2. Treat your husband the way you wish to be treated.
3. Ego should have no place in a family and tell that to yourself every morning.
4. The best thing you can do for your child is to love your spouse/partner because your child sees itself as a half each of you two.
Lastly would like to share that ‘Walk light. Walk free. I’m aware many of you perhaps have had troubled childhoods. If past wounds of your own childhood show up, re-parenting through mindfulness will help you greatly. A mindful way is to take your childhood picture and simply converse with it.
The relationship you have with your inner child will determine your relationship with your children. So work on your inner child with consistency, patience and love.”
You can buy the book here (Kindle version)- https://amzn.to/2STmXHB