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Nilanjana Krishnan
4:05 PM

“You have what it takes to get you to wherever you want to be” ~ Sustainable health and a fulfilling life (re)defined

 

“The quality of your life is determined by the quality of questions you ask.” ~ Tony Robbins

 

Do you wake up each morning feeling that there is more to your life than this (whatever “this” means in your specific context)?  Is there a greater purpose to your life than your default, next activity?  Perhaps you wish you could smile more from your heart and not just from your lips?  What makes your heart sing?  What does your ideal (dream) life look like?  Where are you holding yourself back? Do you sometimes feel stuck or stagnant?  You have done all that you should be doing - all the “right” things, and those around you have nothing but accolades for you.  Yet, you are not truly happy.  Are you wondering why?  You want to be seen and loved for who you really are.  Has that been your reality?  Do you know who you really are? 

 

Answers to these contemplations lie within your innermost being.  Once you tap into your innermost being and “meet life” each day from that space, you will find that you have what it takes to get you to wherever you want to be

 

This naturally leads to the next few questions: “Where do you want to be?”  “What does the grandest version of “you” look like, feel like, act like?” “What does a fully self-realized life look like to you?” “If you tapped into your full potential, how would your life change?” “What is the legacy you wish to establish?”

 

As you pose clear questions, you will receive clear responses.  Some people do ask questions, such as in prayer, but not everybody listens or interprets the responses.  The answers or guidance can come in many ways, such as epiphanies, ideas, visions, synchronistic meetings / events, crumbling of established “structures” / “constructs”, and so on.  Responses are perpetually flowing (perhaps in one or more forms as described) towards you, but if you have blocks to receiving or listening, then you are bound to miss them, and may end up feeling like a victim – as if life is happening to you, and you are powerless!

 

Major blocks are almost always internal (within you).  Some external realities such as natural disasters, family drama, political climate, etc., may certainly be triggers, but the shock, fear, trauma, and memories get lodged internally, within your bodily systems.  Internal blocks must be released, else they may manifest as illnesses and / or imbalances in all areas of your existence – physical, emotional, mental, energetic, and spiritual.

 

The famous poet and philosopher, Rumi has said, ““Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  This can be modified slightly to read: “Your task is not to seek answers, but to merely seek and find barriers (and blockages) within, that you have built against receiving those answers.” Once you find the blocks and barriers, you will be able to find ways of overcoming or at least, minimizing them, and hence be able to listen to your inner guidance or answers.  Once you have the guidance / answers, you are at choice, as to what to do with it.  You have the potential to become a victor, and cease to be a victim!

 

Many have a tendency to put off what must be looked in the eye - which again is a block, is it not?  Procrastination only delays the inevitable.  If you want to make any shifts in the desired direction, why not wake up to what is so, and do what needs to be done?  This may seem more easily said than done (perhaps that is why is considered a block)! 

 

However, you will notice that once you set the process in motion by taking the first step of committing to your own wellbeing, you will have tapped into a new found inner energy / vitality that comes into play, almost magically.  This is primarily because you have put your needs first and are committed to taking the necessary steps in the direction of inner-growth.  This shift in attitude allows you to open up the channels of self-awareness.  You may wonder, how a shift in attitude can affect self-awareness?  Your newfound inner vitality can be likened to a light switch that comes on, and illuminates your inner workings, which you are able to sense (at the level of body, mind and spirit). 

 

Once you begin practicing self-awareness, you will realize how empowered you feel with the knowledge of your own self – of your bodily systems (physical and non-physical).  You can no longer play the “victim” game.  This empowerment creates choice, and you get to choose the action you wish to take (or not).  This in turn leads to a true sense of (inner) freedom.  With this freedom, comes true joy and bliss.  You do not require anything from the outside to make you happy.  Your happiness and bliss stem from within you! 

 

As a renewed version of you, how would the quality and authenticity of your (inner) voice, answer the questions posed in the opening paragraphs?  Can you fathom the (life affirming) effects of connecting to your innermost being?  Are you inspired to commit to your inner growth and set this process into motion, thereby busting the first block (i.e., lack of commitment) that stops many on their tracks before they even get started?

 

If your answer is a resounding (or even a faint), “yes”, then we congratulate you on your success and invite you to take another step forward with us!  In this milestone step, we will show you how we can fully support your unique journey of inner-growth, step-by-step, and help you cross the chasm from feeling low, lost, despaired, and unbalanced to feeling vital, self-aware, empowered, and whole. 

 

This chasm can be effortlessly crossed, once you clearly define what you truly desire or wish to create in your life.  Then you commit to taking the necessary steps towards harmonizing your physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual bodily systems so that “you”, who are the vessel / channel / instrument of your (divine) will, can carry out what you came on earth to do! 

 

We are committed to supporting your journey of inner growth by helping you:

 

a) identify and clarify your individual goals/dreams/intentions for your overall health and life;

b) explore your innate strengths, talents and potentialities;

c) create a roadmap for how you can achieve your specified goals/dreams/intentions;

d) identify roadblocks, barriers, resistances, blind spots, shadows, and belief systems that interfere with the realization of your goals/dreams/intentions;

e) devise creative ways to overcome these roadblocks to manifestation using a myriad of tools, tips, and techniques;

f) integrate and anchor the new set-point or way-of-being, within your nature to ground and cement these changes/shifts; and

g) receive support, guidance, mentorship, and encouragement for an extended period of time until these positive shifts have taken solid root within your being, and become your second-nature

 

We use two primary approaches to facilitate the above, step-by-step process; namely, integrated health & life skills coaching and in-depth energy healing.  This is made practicable by the implementation of several scientific, metaphysical and divination tools as well as through the integration of conscious living strategies, all of which are rooted in ancient wisdom and explained by modern science, including also, anecdotal evidence.  Several of these suggestions and recommendations are repeatable and therefore, also sustainable.  These time-tested and validated tools, techniques, and modalities are offered and explored through open-ended reflections and heart-to-heart conversations – fundamental for self-awareness, empowerment and transformation, leading to inner growth in all aspects. 

 

Our service offerings are based on the following guiding principles:

 

i) You are as unique as a snowflake, and there is no one, quite like you.  This underlying philosophy governs our value proposition and we tailor the program according to your individual needs at the time.  One size does not fit all. Hence, our offering is designed to fit your individual size, so to speak.

 

ii) There is never a dearth of information or self-help tools available for you to choose from.  However, one way that our offering is unique, is that we not only share with you the tools and resources you need, but also hold you accountable to the steps you have committed to take.  This is where the rubber meets the road!  Good intentions (and innumerable tips and techniques) are no good, unless they are implemented in daily life.  This is the crucial step where many a deviation occurs.  We are experts in helping you stay accountable to your word, and ensure that you stay committed and on the path.  You will never be left out, feeling lonely, or sidetracked, on this journey.  We will walk right by your side, through the entire life cycle of the program, as outlined above.

 

iii) Nobody knows you better than you, yourself.  We will have peer-to-peer type interactions, where we will discuss and share perspectives on the situation or idea at hand, rather than simply offering a “prescription” or “to do list”, for you to blindly follow.  “Holier than thou” is not our approach.  We will support you in clarifying your own answers that lie within you, through exploration and reflection.

 

iv) You did not end up in your current predicament, overnight.  Several years or decades of non-action or delays in committing to self-care and / or implementing changes, have contributed to how you are feeling about your life and overall wellbeing today.  Therefore, be patient with yourself (and your journey) and allow ample time for the U-turn.  Easy does it.  Gradual step-by-step shifts are sustainable in the long run, rather than rapid, overnight, and forced changes.  We will not suggest more that you can handle, in any moment.  We will encourage you to get to your edge, comfortably.  This can be likened to your doing a yoga pose or a certain exercise routine; you come to the edge of your comfort and hang there for just a bit longer, before you ease out of that pose / routine.  Once you are comfortable with your new “edge”, you would be naturally ready for the next layer of shift / change.

 

v) Slip-ups or backslides may occur every now and then, when implementing the recommended action steps.  This is often expected and encouraged, as valuable life lessons in behavior patterns and self-awareness can be learned from such experiences.  We, as qualified and experienced advisors, are able to foresee and address potential slip-ups, ahead of time during the sessions.  Once we identify the potential snags, we discuss ways to help you overcome or minimize them.  This helps you feel better prepared to meet any such eventuality, should it ever occur along your path.

 

vi) This inner growth process, although facilitated and guided by us, is executed entirely by you.  You are the one living your life and implementing the suggestions we jointly explore on the sessions.  Your results will directly correspond to your dedication, will, and ability to follow through with your commitments. 

 

vii) You are nourished by not only the foods you eat, but also “non-food” foods that you consume on a daily basis.  The quality of your relationships, career or vocation, physical activity, spiritual or religious practices, home environment, self-care routines, etc., impact your wellbeing.  In order to address the various tangible and intangible facets of your life, our value proposition / service offering encompasses diverse forms of coaching, counseling and healing modalities.  Life rarely unfolds in a linear fashion, so why must health and healing strategies be approached in that manner?  All aspects of life that nourish you, will be addressed concurrently in order to ensure a successful implementation and hence lead to the fruition of your desires.

 

viii) In order to set you up for guaranteed success, we propose a series of pre-determined, structured sessions as opposed to random sessions, based on whims and fancies.  Implementing any action step; experiencing the results; making iterative changes as needed; dealing with self-sabotaging behaviors and roadblocks that stall progress; and making gradual step-by-step shifts takes more than just a few sessions here and there.  This is especially so, if you are intending long-term sustainable health, healing and wellbeing in various facets of your life.  That is why we have designed our program to span a longer period of time, with at least a week in between sessions where you can practice or implement the recommendations.  Within a lengthier span of time: seasons change, planetary positions shift, life ebbs and flows, external environments change, and so on.  Consequently, your day-to-day needs, habits, life style choices, nutrition, etc., might change or alter accordingly.  You would get to learn and apply new life skills and healing tools to face the demands of, and adapt to, these (and other) changes occurring in and around you.  Feeling supported through times of challenges and opportunities may prove invaluable in the long run.  You will likely experience a rainbow of emotions, within that span of time. 

 

ix) Your investment in terms of time, effort, and money, will yield you back, multifold, if you took the needed time to bring your individual goals / dreams / intentions into fruition and thus experience true inner-growth in all areas of your life.  As the (modified) saying goes, “Gradual and consistent, wins the race (and sustains…)!”

 

If you have specific questions related to your unique situation, and would like to understand how our service offerings may apply to your individual needs, please contact us via http://wellnesswithnilanjana.com/pages/contact-me to set up a complimentary strategy session.  This will help us get to know you and your specific situation, and we will together, come up with a road map of how to best serve your needs.  Depending on where you are located, we can determine the best way to connect with you – phone, Skype (or any other agreed upon web-based tool), or in person!

 

Please note that this program may not be suitable for you, if you:

-       want a quick fix;

-       desire a one-size-fits-all “out of the box” solution;

-       like to be passive and receive instructions or “prescriptions”;

-       want results with minimal commitment / effort from your side; and

-       are not open to exploring different ideas, perspectives, or healing modalities

 

If you are resonating with the information shared, and are experiencing any degree of impulse to connect with us, then before your mental chatter or any other considerations, talk you out of it, please contact us ;-).  We are eagerly looking forward to connecting with you individually.  The link again for your complimentary strategy session is: http://wellnesswithnilanjana.com/pages/contact-me.  Hop onto our calendar and we shall take it from there!  

 

May you meet the grandest version of you and thus claim your rightful place in this world.  Many blessings on your journey…:-)


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Nilanjana Krishnan
7:44 PM

Health revolution in schools ~ Got wise choices? Will choose wisely.


Setting the stage

Are we modeling a consistent message of health, wellbeing and sound nutrition to kids in our school systems? Some schools are exemplary, no doubt whereas there are others who are either still in the dark or are feeling helpless. Candy or chocolate being offered as a reward in the classrooms alongside chips, soda pops/ colas being served at lunch time or in vending machines; celebrating an achievement with ice cream or a gift voucher for fast food; pizza parties for end of year celebrations; and fundraising events with donuts and cookies. A consistent message of health, wellbeing and sound nutrition? I don’t think so.

Facts and figures

Our children spend on an average, over 1000 hours in school in any given academic school year. Over the lifetime of a child he/ she spends an average of about 12,000 hours away from home, from preschool through 12th grade, and then some more as the child moves through college. Students in classrooms are a captive audience, receiving over 1000 instructional hours per year. Are we leveraging this time and their presence, effectively? Probably not.

Today, there is a 400% increase in the rate of allergies, 300% increase in the rate of asthma, a 400% increase in the rate of ADHD and a 1500% increase in the rate of autism. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that 50% of today’s children will become obese by the year 2030. Even those children, who may look thin on the outside, may actually be carrying fat on the inside. Diseases often masquerade as learning disabilities, behavioral disorders and chronic ailments like diabetes and heart disease. There are still more morbid statistics out there, as you can very well imagine.

That was then

The current state of affairs has its roots in the industrial revolution, about 200 years ago when agrarian life was abandoned for the lure of wealth in the cities. As a consequence, slums expanded and so also malnutrition, causing diseases which disproportionately affected children because of their greater developmental nutritional needs. Charitable groups and governments of industrialized nations realized that as education became a universal norm, the school was the common denominator for all kids. So they instituted school nutrition programs throughout the schools.

During World War II, there was a lack of healthy recruits due to diseases of malnourishment. That’s where the National School lunch Program was born to grow healthy kids for the American army. This welfare strategy worked really well as government surplus commodities were provided to the schools, to be included in their lunch programs, thereby turning the tide on malnutrition.

However, in the 1970’s the U.S. government’s focus shifted to agricultural exports, thereby limiting the subsidies and as a result the school lunch programs were negatively impacted. Earlier funding for the lunch program was included in the general school budget, along with books, salaries, transportation, etc., but now food programs had to be compromised in order to break even.

This is now

The nation’s food and agricultural interests for control over school menus have exploited these welfare programs. The rationale became that kids like pizza, pasta, bread and it’s cheap, so let’s feed them that. Federal government covers just $1.06 per meal for a fully subsidized school lunch.  Over 3000 such substandard meals are eaten by a child on an average from K -12, in a given school year. So now kids, from both the poor and the wealthy families suffer from diseases caused by malnourishment.

Today, just 10 companies control 90% of our food supply. From a farming nation we are today a consuming nation and grow less than 2% of our food. In fact U.S. has more prisoners than farmers, 2.3 million and 1.9 million, respectively. Just compare the 31 million kids that are fed each year in schools throughout the U.S. at a mere $11.5 billion per year to the diet related illnesses where $260 billion per year is being spent, not to mention wars that cost us $3 billion a week. Food companies in America are spending $17-20 billion per year marketing junk food to children. What travesty!

This as you can tell is not just a social justice issue but is also a political issue.

I shudder to think - and so would you - that we are growing “sick adults” who will be our leaders and decision makers. It appears morbid today, but I see hope (and hope you do too).

Do you recall that we can leverage the presence of our students as a captive audience for over 1000 instructional hours per year, and for about 12 years in a row? It’s all in our hands.

Ideas to consider and explore
  • Wellness as a core value of education
    • Integrate weekly lesson plans on important topics related to health, nutrition and sustainability, along with home assignments/ experiments so they can carry the positive learning experience at home as well and share with family members. Some examples of topics could be natural vs. artificial sugars, balanced meals, mindful breathing, how physical activity impacts focus, and so on.
    • Growing a garden at school and learning the joys of sowing, tending, harvesting and tasting. If space is limited, growing potted plants and herbs in every classroom are alternate options. Imagine sharing the harvest at lunchtime - yum!
    • Learning to cook or cooking demonstrations done periodically by the lunch staff/ parents/ other volunteers in school cafeterias at lunch hour. Perhaps having a juicing or smoothie day might be fun for kids.
    • The school principal, teachers and parents dining with the children at lunch once a week and talking about the food, getting feedback and taking stock of what is working and what’s not.
  • Demonstrating wellness in thought, word and deed
    • School staff can send a profound message to the young when they choose to keep a bottle of water and an apple on their table as opposed to keeping an artificially sweetened beverage and a bag of Doritos.
    • When demonstrating scientific concepts such as specific gravity of liquids, comparing fresh juice vs. water sends a positive message as opposed to say, Coke vs. water or Gatorade vs. water. Likewise, children could be encouraged to showcase experiments that convey a message related to sustainability, such as comparing the effects of using acidic water or depleted soil to grow a plant versus mineral rich water and quality soil, and such.
    • If a reward is absolutely necessary, then considering a non-food based reward such as words of acknowledgment or a printed certificate mentioning the reason for the reward or maybe every once in a while a healthy snack or treat might be better options than offering candy and chocolates laden with refined sugar, artificial colors and hydrogenated oils.
    • Celebrating children’s birthdays with the class using healthier forms of food, devoid of refined sugars such as fruit skewers or treats made with wholesome, recognizable ingredients.
    • Just as putting up a sign saying, “This is a drugs, smoking and bully free zone”, consider perhaps also adding a sign saying, “This is a refined sugar, chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and additives free zone”.
    • Make unlimited free water available as opposed to installing vending machines spitting out cheap, low quality drinks and snacks.
  • Teacher wellness programs
    • An individualized approach to teacher wellness is needed because not only are they each unique as human beings (based on age, gender, health condition, financial situation, etc.) but also their environment may be drastically different.  For instance a teacher in San Francisco may have a varied set of needs and challenges when compared with his/ her counterpart in Oklahoma City, where one may have farmers market to visit on the weekends, the other may be living in a food desert! Programs need to be culturally relevant as also practical.
    • A series of private or group coaching and wellness classes could offer ways to empower them with the requisite knowledge, ideas and tools to enhance their own health, and from this place of wellbeing, they can support the students under their care and tutelage. Teacher wellness translates to student wellness. It’s contagious!
  • Coming together as one
    • USDA has mandated that every school district have a wellness policy. The school districts must go above and beyond the boilerplate policy guidelines to create very specific criteria for their food programs if they are to make a positive change.
    • Wellness committees, signing off on these regulations must represent the larger community and hence be made up of parents, students, teachers, school food service people, school board members, administrative staff and community members.
    • Individuals who are advocating for better food and other wellness programs in schools can also form nutritional advisory committees (similar to wellness committees) and serve as consultants, doing school food environment audits; interviewing lunch staff to determine their needs for say, cooking from scratch or new equipment; reviewing how food is used in the curriculum; offering viable solutions and plans; and so on.
    • There is always a way to find funding for superior quality foods and ingredients. With standardized specifications such as hormone and antibiotic free meats or pesticide free carrots, the suppliers can supply large quantities to all school districts. They can do the same for compostable or reusable plates and utensils. As districts band together they create great economies of scale and hence save money. Federal grants are also available for kitchen equipment. The PTO and committee members could organize creative ways of raising funds. Some members could possibly offer their services, say a chef selling food at a farmers’ market or a certain number of car sales at a dealership, and divert a portion of the funds thus raised to support their local school food initiatives.       
Finale

It takes a village to raise a child. Or better said, it takes a healthy village to raise a healthy child. We must be a team. Parents, school staff, school district members, policy makers, corporations, media, farmers, restaurateurs, and our society as a whole must constitute the team. We need to accept that we are collectively and equally responsible for the current state of affairs. If we each made conscientious choices, we could reverse the morbid statistics and ensure that our young ones grow up to be happier, healthier and thriving adults. It’s about time we created a new normal in our children’s lives, many of who think that junk food is real food. We must be seamlessly integrated if we wish to create sustainable changes in the health and wellbeing of our young by inspiring them to not only make wiser choices but also contribute towards making the available choices, wise.

~         ~         ~

A personal invitation from Nilanjana Krishnan:

If you are an educator, a parent or someone who is a passionate children’s advocate, I invite you to connect with me. I am actively seeking to support committed individuals who wish to be the change they want to see in this world, so that together we can make a difference in the lives of our young. For more information about me, visit www.wellnesswithnilanjana.com. You may get in touch with me at healthcoachnilanjana@gmail.com

I offer a no obligation, complimentary 50- minute consultation where we explore your health, wellness and other important life goals and I explain strategies for how I may be able to best support you in achieving them. Remember, your optimum wellbeing is closely interlinked with the wellbeing of the young ones in your life. They are looking up to you as their role model. Are you ready to be the change first? Let me know at healthcoachnilanjana@gmail.com.

I have another free gift for you - the first 12 chapters of my book, “I Know the Way – 81 fun ways to live the Tao”. Visit my website at www.wellnesswithnilanjana.com to claim your gift.

References

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Nilanjana Krishnan
7:42 PM

My Child, My First Spiritual Teacher

t is a popular belief that our parents are our first teachers and I absolutely agree with that notion. Everything was hunky dory as long as I was a child (because my parents had to do all the worrying ;-)), but now that I am a parent, the responsibility of being my child’s first teacher is not only immense but also intimidating at times. I realized that something needed to change to make parenting enjoyable, effortless and effective. This called for a shift in perspective – my perspective.

For a very long time I had believed that I, the parent have all the answers that my child needs because a little one is not very likely to know all that I, the adult know. This was my first parenting fallacy! In due course of time I realized that my child has so much to offer and I had hardly ever acknowledged him for the gifts he had given me. My son has shown me what it is to live in the moment and that worrying about the past or the future is futile. He has even demonstrated that we are all one; he treats everyone equally, no matter what race or ethnicity they may belong to. 

Therefore, my new perspective is to allow my child to be my teacher. My child knows as much as or maybe even a little more than I do about life. How do you think I know this to be true for me? Well, so often we adults remind one another to look at the world through the eyes of a child; now why would we say that? I believe that deep down inside every grown-up there is a child waiting to be unleashed. This inner child wants to love unconditionally, trust every person, get curious about every little thing, express every emotion, and be so much more. So I felt that if I surrendered in faith to my child, he would show us the way – the way he would like his life to unfold; the way he would like his family interactions to be; the kind of activities he would love to engage in; the type of friends he would want to bring home; the kind of foods he would like to try, and what not.

Does this mean I let him cross the road alone or let him fix his own breakfast at the stove-top? No, I don’t mean that. I am his custodian; I am responsible for providing his basic needs for physical sustenance. As a caretaker, I also feel responsible for holding the space for letting him be what he is being moment to moment; be his witness and cheerleader as he experiments with his limitless mind and experiences being the free spirit that he is. 

Let me reiterate: I am my child’s custodian only and not his owner. Kahlil Gibran, the famous Lebanese poet and spiritual teacher has written a poetic essay on children in a collection that’s named, “The Prophet” and an excerpt from this is as follows: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday." This message resonates deeply with me and I remind myself ever so often to embody the wisdom from this beautiful piece by Kahlil Gibran.

So, have I figured it all out and am I now an infallible parent? All I can confidently state is that I am on a conscious parenting journey for which there is never a destination; the journey is all of it. There are several moments where I temporarily lose my connection with my inner guidance and dump my emotional baggage on my child or state something in anger or frustration. The good news here is that I get the awareness in the moment (or soon after) I display my “not so graceful” emotions, and I am quick to apologize to my son. I also add, “Please remind me to be a better mom. Whenever I get angry please remind me that I can talk to you about it. Also remind me that anger weakens and love strengthens.” This is how I make peace with myself and my son. When the roles get reversed, and my son is throwing a fit or is in a bad mood, I gently remind him to express his emotions in words; and then hold the space for him to express himself.

As you can well imagine, all of this takes a lot of discipline, practice, faith and commitment. What I have learned from a spiritual perspective is that when I set an intention for my state of being (example: being patient, being accepting, being communicative, being confident, etc.), I am able to easily embody that state for as long as I hold that intention. This has helped me a great deal with respect to parenting.

My son has started me on a spiritual journey: a journey that has made me delve within and uncover parts of me, I had never seen before. I am ever so grateful for this boundless spirit housed in a tiny body that has chosen me to be his mother in this life experience, and for handing down gifts that are priceless. I am so glad that our children refuse to be born with user manuals, for if they did, how would we experience our life lessons and what would happen to evolution?:-)