Category Archives: conscious parenting

On death and dying in life

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other—that man, that woman, that child is my brother or my sister.” – Mother Theresa

Sat nam dear family,
Last weekend in the Kundalini yoga teacher training level 1 I was sharing the teachings on death. A question came up for which I was not prepared and my answer was not very deep. Since then I want to elaborate more on my own experiences with death, and I take this opportunity to share it with all of you.

I die every day with every breath. Every night before going to bed, I prepare myself to die. I let go of every thing, every experience that happened in the day. I die when I allow these to take over: all my thoughts, all my praises, all my glory and my shame, all my errors and shortcomings, all my lessons to learn, all my attachments, all my ego, my greed, my anger and my desires. My limited self dies when I let go of these.

I died many times when as a young brave fearless woman committed many mistakes. I am forever thankful to my Guru for keeping me under his protection in these times. I died little deaths every day when I retreated from the world, either by disgust or by unconformity with this world, with the reality of how it is structured and the banality under which it runs. I die every moment I see injustice and all I can do is trust Guru takes care of it.

I grieve, oh I grieve for that comfort zone, for that ignorance which is sweet and does not question anything. I grief and remember how life was so easy being unconscious. When I wouldn’t challenge myself every day to become a better person. When I would just be a passive animal wandering in the earth without purpose nor connection to the me within me.

I died along with my precious daughter Vida, the moment she left her body as a newborn, far away from me. Oh how I wandered around those blue ethers, acquired a wisdom which is deeper than the deepest ocean. I wandered like a ghost around her memory, around my empty hands and empty womb, around those moments of bliss she brought me. I wandered and found God, Brahm himself, who told me I should come back and live again in this world, celebrate her memory and the futility of life itself, attaching myself a the feet of the Guru where all is forgiven. In every cell of mine, through deep deep pain, I was reshaped. Oh it hurt. Every single cell hurt more than death itself. Every single cell shook and vibrated with an unknown caliber to me. I was reborn into this life, back from where I was left, with a new mission, with a deeper connection to God.

And I forgot. I forgot all these times I died and my mind wandered away with my ego. I did not honour the beauty and the effort of all these beings who helped me die in my limited being so I could live in my limitless self! I was angry to anger itself for ripping me off my most profound experience within this lifetime.

So yes, I have died. I have died and keep on dying until I truly and infinitely die in my ego, die in my selfishness, die in this time and space. I die with every challenge and I am grateful for each one of these deaths. For when I truly go, I will already know the path and will not need to kill each of these inner monsters in those three seconds, when the film of life runs through my eyes.

Yes I die. I die every time I am grateful. I die when I let go of my limitations. I reform myself again and again and again every time I take on a challenge and turn it towards God, coming out victorious in my soul, in my heart and in my infinity.

For peace is found at the end of the path, not at the beginning. To begin with, we need to work, work, work, sweat from work so that we can liberate others with us, when the time comes.

Jinee Naam dhiaaiaa gae masakat ghaal, Naanak te mukh ujlee ketii chhuti naal. 

In humble gratitude to the divine in all,
Sukhdev Kaur

Those first three years…

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Being a mother is one of the greatest gifts I have ever come to experience. Life has a “before”, and an “after”, never ever will life be the same than after giving birth.

Building a strong foundation for my child is the most important thing in my life the first three years of his life (and beyond of course). Learning to listen to his cues, and being there for him to feel safe 24/7 is just one of the greatest sacrifices and blessings as a mother (my husband would also agree). It does mean that many opportunities in the professional life, in the ‘fun’ life, in the holiday life have to either be dropped or wait. I am very proud to say that I’m there for my child any time he needs me. This strong relationship and building of foundation starts with a strong and loving breastfeeding relationship. I can see already the wonderful results of breastfeeding my 2.2 yr old. Also, I know that the sacrifice I made of staying at home with him (and still for one more year at least) has helped me set the priorities in my life, and reassures me that I have indeed given 200% of me to him. I won’t regret any decision I made now, because I have had the opportunity to enjoy him to the max.
There are some mothers whose intuition points the same way. Yet leaving a job is not easy. Money wise and etc. so many fears, habits, comforts to confront. Yet I would say- trust your intuition and drop those fears. Money will come, and if you need to drop some other things, like belongings and such, it’s a big big energetic cleansing. After all, if you see the big picture, what are all those houses going to serve you after you leave this world? It’s the values, the goodness, the service you bring to others that will leave a living legacy of you. We spend so much time of our lives working our energies off to get the property so we are prisoners in our own homes full of loans. We miss the opportunity to spend those precious moments with our loved ones for a set of unbalanced priorities. Yes, having a roof and a place of your own is important, but never as important as to miss those moments with your children. Those first three years. It’s gold! It’s the most beautiful, pure diamonds, because those smiles, those jumps, those laughs, and those healing kisses will become their consciousness. That will stay forever with them. The house can be burnt or sold, but those healing kisses will resonate even then. When your time comes, you will depart in complete contentment and peace.

So yes, not all experiences in life will be beautiful. Most will be challenging. But when you build up your strength of heart, and your soul-intuition (intuition is very different than the voice of your ego-mind), you will live in the moment without judgement, in constant forgiveness and compassion, so that every challenge and accident will become the greatest learning and healing. And by the way, breastfeeding is one of the biggest healing opportunities we have as mothers- it is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to heal the destiny of our children, specially if they had a traumatic birth, and also to build that strong connection with their own infinite.

To finish this post, I want to share with you Yogi Bhajan’s Five Forgivenesses:

– forgive God that he separated you from himself and created you as a creature
– forgive your destiny that it is as it is
– forgive the distance and the environment which are always challenging and the cause and effect which are happening
– forgive your capacity, your ability, your duality and your divinity
– forgive yourself that you have to go through it. That is most important.

The cleaning lady from my kindergarten

Today I am sharing a personal childhood memory. I’m doing this because it is very vivid, since I have experienced the same through Theo and other children at the daycare center.

Lets go back to Mexico in the 1980s.
Kindergarten. A very beautiful blue building, two actually, surrounding a big playground which had two carrousels, animals you could climb, lots of slides, rings, even a pool. Dreamland. Lots of children who were very happy. And I remember the fence. That metal fence where mama would walk out and sit in the car for hours peeking if I was ok. I don’t remember much of inside of the buildings because I was probably very rarely there. I cried all the time. I didn’t want to go there. I wanted mami. I cried so much, teachers couldn’t take care of me while holding the group. So a very kind lady, the cleaning lady, would spend the mornings holding me and riding the carrousel. I remember her kindness, her compassion, and I don’t remember any of the other teachers, nor much other than that putter playground.
The kindergarten itself was very posh and on the edge of new technologies. That was on the early 80s. I do remember the English classroom. It was on the farther building, on the first floor. There were these big headphones hanging from the ceiling, ones over each chair, and children would put those and listen to (a tape?) the English lessons. It was scary to say the least. But it was high end technology.
Back to the playground. The carrousel. The kind cleaning lady. My sadness, I missed my mami. And she was heartbroken herself she left me there. And I was not a small child, I must have been 4 or 5 years old.
I must say though that my mother was the most caring and loving person I could have asked for. She never left us alone. She was practicing mostly attachment parenting without that term even existing back then. She left her professional life, her whole career behind to stay home with us kids. No blame or guilt intended here whatsoever.

Fast forward to 2013, and my feelings come alive when we are trying out a daycare center with Theo. I stayed with him all morning (we were there for two hours actually), and all this time a little boy, about 2.5 years old, was crying for his mommy. My heart went out to him. Of course, the care takers were in a hard situation, having to deal with him and at the same time take care of all children. And having parents around. The poor boy kept crying until we left, and we left early mostly because my nervous system was so tired from hearing that boy cry. We came home and I slept so deep rejuvenating sleep I needed to heal that inside me.
All te time I felt like reaching out for that boy. Of course he didn’t want that, he wanted mommy. (And I didn’t try, who knows who might feel I’m exceeding the boundaries by hugging a boy). He was clinging into one caretaker, but mostly she was urging him to play or ignoring his cries. And all the other children were looking at him now and then. It was pretty intense.
As a mother, maybe I am too sensitive. Because of how I am, probably influenced also by the fact that I lost my first child. I am extremely compassionate and in any situation I feel the impulse to reach out to those in need.
So I was holding myself today. It was, after all, not my issue. But I did reflect on the fact of how that whole situation is affecting the psyche of that child, the other children, the caretakers and all. It felt to me that that boy, same as me 30 years ago, was not ready to take that step. At the same time, my heart goes to the mother, who was probably in a situation that had to put her child there. And to the caretakers, in such a difficult task.
I do believe strongly that I can express all what I feel. I felt that child’s feelings being neglected, everybody pretending he was not in a deep state of grief. And I don’t want my child to learn such rudeness. Also a little more love from the caretakers could have changed the whole situation. Of a lot more love, which was what the boy needed. A group hug, having all the other children acknowledge what was going on instead of ignoring it, having all children sing to him so he could heal. I thought of making those suggestions but felt it was not my place, as I’m an observer. (Probably I should have). I feel we need a lot more kindness, understanding, reaching out to others in this world. Love, treating others as they are worth, as respected human beings, evermore when they are desperately crying it out for help. They communicate, but we ignore it. They learn that speaking out is useless. So they submit, learn to ignore their emotions, dig them down deep and keep them for themselves. And yes, at some point that child will give up his cries, and prove that we won the battle, but aren’t we the ones who must give up our ideas of how a child must behave? Of how much love or kindness he needs? Aren’t we te ones who are not understanding the signals, when he uses all his might to communicate as a complete human being worth of being listened to? Aren’t we the ones who should stop pretending to ignore and deal creatively and lovingly with every challenging situation?
Instead of telling him “don’t cry, mama will come” (and him waiting for mama for one second, and asking again- *small children don’t have the sense if time as adults do), showing him lovingly “yes, mama is not here, it is very sad, but we are all here for you!”. Maybe it doesn’t work and I’m just stupid, but trying it (for 100 times, not less) doesn’t hurt anyone. In fact it may teach the other children to reach out. And make the day lighter and brighter for everyone.

At the end I listened to my intuition (after all, I am teaching about intuition right!) and have had such a wonderful time together with Theo with no need of daycare or playrooms. At this age, what a child most needs is attention from the close circle (mother and father) and yes, occasionally a babysitter or another playmate who has a fully loaded battery. (That is, beside other kids of course)

Blessings and kindness to every soul,
Sukhdev Kaur