My friend and I conducted a balchetna shivir at a slum four years back. During that week, we taught the children meditation, bhajans and talked to them about the importance of hygiene & cleanliness. Next week was Lohri- the harvest festival which we spent with the slum kids. It was a new experience for my son. He returned from there a lot more compassionate and full of gratitude. There were little kids living in the most unhygienic conditions, with running noses and feet swollen due to cold. But the adverse conditions couldn’t dampen their spirits. We had gone there to teach children but returned with a few learnings of our own.
Here are the six positive emotions reinforced during that day:
- Gratitude Gratitude is the best attitude. We make our lives miserable by focusing on what we lack in our lives but seeing the kids wearing minimal clothes in such chilly winter filled me with gratitude with all that I have in my life. We often take for granted the things that deserve our gratitude. Count your blessings. Learn to appreciate the little things in your life – one smile, that one person, one night in your cozy bed, one hot cup of coffee, one rainbow, one breath!
- Hope The kids living in tiny huts made up of mud in filthy surroundings had all the reasons to be pessimistic but that didn’t stop them from dreaming. They dreamed of a bright future. They were hopeful that one day, people around them would learn the importance of cleanliness and they drew on charts how they wanted their surroundings to be like. They shared their dreams of what they want to become when they grow up. And once you choose hope, anything is possible!
- Joy Joy in looking and listening to those beautiful souls was the most beautiful gift for the day. We are fond of counting our troubles but not our joys. If we do so, we will find that we have enough happiness provided to us. The best way to be joyful is spreading joy among others. Sprinkle joy!
- Serenity The children meditated to a guided meditation that I conducted. It was amazing to see the peace and innocence on the faces of the children with their eyes closed. The serenity and purity of the children touched my soul. Only if we could be be a child again- pure, guileless and serene!
- Inspiration Tough times serve a purpose. There are moments when troubles enter your life and you can do nothing to avoid them, but they are there for a reason. Revel in the beauty of challenges. Give your best to life, and life will return the favor many times over.
- Love That day I learnt a powerful lesson about love and kindness. In the words of Mother Teresa,”If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” See divinity in one and all without any distinction. It’s important to do small things with great love. Give a little love and you will get a lot more back.
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