I brought you into this world,
without knowing what you will mean to me.
Three of you are the pillars of my life,
a foundation to my well-being and satisfaction.
And if the foundation is not strong, healthy and immune,
how can my life be sustained, and in tune?
If I am not sustained as a mother,
how can my family ever be balanced?
Family is what society is build on,
so the nation will crumble with your weakness.
There will be nothing left if you are not here,
you, my three gems keep life going.
You make me what we are today,
give this nation a future to look forward to.
Just how the entire synthesis of life happened from a tiny cell, the entire foundation of our country and our society is based on a single life. A family makes a fundamental unit of a society and adds up to the strength of the nation. And for me, my family is based on my children. Don’t know what I mean? Or do you? Well.
If you have spent a helpless night watching your infant cry, you will know what I mean.
If you have given up eating and drinking because your toddler wouldn’t, you would know what I mean.
If you seen the vulnerable face of your child struggling against disease or illness, you will know what I mean.
But you know what? You don’t need to be a mother or a parent to know what I mean. You just need to be human, have feelings or even some basic sense. Children are the future of any society or any country. They are the foundation on which the future will be built so it better be strong. Right? So, the three pillars to my happiness are also this nation’s key pillars. And it is not just my children whose cause I champion. I am passionate about the health and well-being of all children everywhere. But let’s take baby steps (pun intended) and start off with India.
As a society, we Indians are close knit. We tend to live in joint families where children are grown up under the patient care of not only the parents, but also the grand parents, aunts, uncles and even neighbors! While this makes the upbringing much more balanced and watchful, it does not solve all issues that the child may face while growing up. So let’s talk about things that will go a long way in making India healthier, stronger and more immune. While I am passionate about children being a mother myself, I do believe that health does not stop there and everybody needs to devote time and energy in their efforts towards becoming healthier, stronger and more immune.
And for me to do so, let me introduce you to the three most important women in my life. Each of them has taught me a thing or two about being healthier, stronger and more immune.
The first gorgeous beauty that needs introduction here is my grandmother
My grandmother was a sassy woman. She was far ahead of her generation, believed in equal rights for men and women and lived life to the fullest. If you went to her with a problem, she told you how the mere fact that you had a challenge at hand made your day so much exciting. If she found you moaning in bed because you had fever, she winked and said how lucky you were to have an excuse to be away from school. And God forbid if she found you complaining about how much you had received in life, she instantly asked you to make a kilogram of besan laddoos and parcel it to god as a thank you token for already blessing you with so much more.
From my amazing grandmother I learnt that the easiest recipe to a healthy life is a healthy mind.
A healthy mind is firstly based in healthy fulfilling relationships. Healthy relationships are critical to an overall sense of happiness. Prioritize developing meaningful relationships above simply being social. It is not important to have a Facebook full of random acquaintances, as it if to have a very few people that you can truly count on, call up at 3 AM and ask for help when you are down or out. Surround yourself with people that enrich your life and make you happy.
Do not feel self conscious in sharing your deepest feelings as your true well wishers and friends will understand. But at the same time be receptive and understand of others’ emotions and feelings too as its best when its a two-way street. Be open about what you are feeling, try to understand what others are feeling, and be willing to compromise. Nobody likes to be friends with people who make the relationship just about themselves. Put efforts, take the time to call them or meet them I they are physically accessible to catch up on each other’s lives. Friends make you laugh, help you feel accepted, hear you out, add to your life, make your life meaningful in the larger picture.
And in order to be able to be able to build meaningful and fruitful relations with others, it is very important to be in touch with you own feelings first. This will help you empathize more thoroughly with others. Start meditating. Stress is unavoidable but what is important is your reaction to stressful things. Be aware of the things that stress you out and try to avoid those triggers. Manage your stress as nobody else will manage it for you.
A sure-shot way to stay younger and healthier for long is to have a younger and healthier mind for long. So keep your mind engaged. Play games, solve puzzles, read books, learn to play a musical instrument no matter what age you are, learn an new form of dance no matter what age you are of, find a hobby, join a club! Never stop learning. There is no wrong or right age for it. There is so wrong or right age to become smarter!
The awesome woman#2 is my mother
Some of you, who are now regular at my blog and read my posts, would remember a bit about my mother from a previous post of mine. My mother was a kind, affectionate and intelligent woman. She spoke less but spoke sense. She was strict but effective. She cared and loved with all her heart. Pity, she had to take care of eight gregarious and fairly notorious children, otherwise she probably would have been more peaceful too.
When I think of my mother, the image that comes to my mind is that of a giver, a nurturer. That of something connected to the roots. When I think of my mother, what comes to my mind is dharti ma, Mother Nature. And I am not just saying this in an emotional way. She was a pragmatist who believed that the earth has all the answers. She believed that the body is the most important temple we can pray at. She believed that before respecting any elder, any religion, any philosophy, we must respect our bodies. We must understand how it works and then we will know how to keep it working in the best condition. And she said that most of the ways to keep it the best condition were simple, available easily and connected to the Earth.
From my remarkable mother I learnt that our body should be our temple. A good immune system can keep you going for longer and give you the time to achieve all your dreams.
Eat healthy: eat fiber, fruit, vegetables. Have meat alternatives like beans, lentils, nuts, seeds. Use vegetable oils and that too in small quantities. Heat oil before frying to prevent the food from soaking up the oil. Don’t go by the label of low fat and make yourself aware of what goes into each food item especially those available off-the-shelf. And since there is so much to read and surf on this topic, I am just pasting a simple chart I found on forbaby.
Never miss breakfast. No matter how many times it has been repeated, breakfast still remains the most important meal of the day. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a common man and dinner like a pauper. Do not go blindly by what tastes good. A lot of things that taste the worst are the best for your body. Stop treating your body and your stomach like a step child – watch everything that goes inside it. That is what will be the source of joy or grief as you grow older! Have dinner two to three hours before sleep, it would ensure food is digested completely and keep you healthy.
With the environment changing so fast, our bodies may not be prepared for it. While our bodies have evolved vary slowly to adapt to our atmosphere, our minds have developed slowly to absorb in the changes in the planet and the primary foods have remained the same; the planet itself has changed very dramatically. Manual intervention has made it almost unrecognizable. The use of synthetic chemicals everywhere has altered life in ways we are unable to yet comprehend. While such a situation ideally calls for a long term change in the way we are producing chemicals that interfere with the nature, on a short term basis it is important for each of us to equip ourselves with guards. And what better way to arm our bodies than with food. Since normal food helps us deal with a normal situation and a normal planet, we need something extra given how abnormal things are around us now. Hence, my mother propagated daily intake of nuts like almonds in winter along with milk, ghee and butter. For summer, she advocated lots of lemonade (shikanji), very light food and . Today, however, we have condensed versions of such goodnesses. We have dietary supplements in the form of tablets or tonics, there are food products like chayawanprash which help build up our immunity without us having to look for individual ingredients required to do so. Dabur chyawanprash was the first branded Chyawanprash in the market. DaburChyawanprash has anti-oxidant properties and helps to strengthen your body’s internal defence mechanism – the immune system – thereby protecting you from day to day infections such as cough, cold etc. Dabur Chyawanprash’s magnificent brew of Ayurvedic herbs strengthens the body’s natural defence mechanism by increasing your NK cells (Basis In Vitro studies) or Natural Killer Cells three folds. NK cells assist in fighting with virus and bacteria in your body, thus giving us increased immunity from various infections.
Drink water. Drink a lot of water. Drink water the moment you get up in the morning. This would flush out, the excess acid in the stomach and other unwanted material that would have accumulated during the night. Also, coconut water and other liquids like fruit juices are very good for you.
Regular exercise and meditation keeps the stomach, the heart, muscles, digestive system and the nervous system in balance. It keeps various diseases at bay and helps in weight loss, increasing stamina and releases endorphins. Most days of the week, try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise. Not only does exercise help you weight, it gives you an energy boost. People who exercise regularly also tend to sleep better, be more relaxed, feel more positive and motivated.
And the third most wow woman in my life is my daughter.
Though many years younger than me and perhaps a completely different generation altogether (no matter how much I hate to acknowledge it), I learn a lot from my daughter each day. And in many ways than one, she completely belies her age though her deeds. She is a volunteer at a few community service organizations and believes in giving the best to the society and the planet as a whole.
From my incredible daughter, I learnt that the best way to stay strong is to make the world around you stronger. That when you put positive energy out into the universe, that positive energy will come back to you.
Doing good. This will make you feel good. Improving the lives of others will in turn, improve your own mental state because you will know that you have done good. So, if you have some spare time, allocate that time to helping others.
Being peaceful with our neighbors. Whether those living opposite our house or those living opposite our country will bring about an overall sense of calm. Understanding that everyone has an equal right to this planet, everybody is born for something specific to achieve, everybody can co-exist in harmony with others will bring about the much spoken but much elusive brotherhood to this country. It will put to rest our need to prove that our religion, caste, sect, language is superior to the other. It will remove the competition that we constantly have between brother and brother, friend and friend, man and man, man and woman. It will bring more trust, more love.
Treating the country as if it were our home. This will mean we won’t litter, spit, pollute, abuse that which not is our personal property. We will treat everything that belongs to this country as our own, as our responsibility, with respect.
Not focusing on consuming, gaining and amassing. There is life beyond how much we own, how much money, gadgets, fairness, beauty. Being humble and believing in the ultimate flow of the universe will help us channel our inner energy to the right causes. It will help focus on the here and now and not keep dwelling on the past and future. It will help us live the moment to the fullest as each moment is precious and will only come once. And if everyone lives in this way, then how can the country not be strong, healthy and more immune. Immune not only to external illness but also to inner turmoil.
Three lessons I learnt,
From three visionaries in my life.
An agile healthy mind sits at the top,
Running the body as an efficient pilot.
A sound body sits in between,
But it is the core that houses it all.
A tender heart seals the two,
Brings about harmony in everything you do.
The mind, the body and the heart,
Join together to play an important part.
They fortify the foundation of our country,
Make a healthier, stronger and more immune India.
My three gems fortify my happiness,
I want them to be blessed with these three forever.
(I have written this post for a Dabur Chyawanprash campaign on Immune India. Here is their attractive website where you can learn about the Chyawanprash.)
(All Image courtesy: Google images)