Greetings and welcome to Awakening With Brahma Kumaris. Welcome, Sister. Om Shanti. Om Shanti and welcome to Soul Reflections. Thank you. We were talking about changing our habits. We would say – Our children have made this habit, what to do now? This says – It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults. So cute. It does not say much because this itself says volumes. It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults. Look at the power of this line. Which means when the soul takes a new costume or body, leaving behind the old one Its attachment to the new costume has just begun. At that time the Catching power of the soul, its Absorbing power and Becoming power – whatever it will become – are all at their highest levels. That is why at that time, parents can easily make whatever effort they would like to put in But if they don’t do it at that time and then radiate their own unhealthy belief systems to the child And then if that child adopts those belief systems and starts becoming like that Then when the child grows up, changing those habits will take more efforts. So today we need to be sure about one thing – not to have this belief for ourselves that habits cannot be changed. And most important as we were discussing last time Do not have that belief for children. Parents need to help the child to change his habit and take him through the process of changing And have the child experience success in changing the habit – this is a parent’s important responsibility. If the learn from childhood that this is a habit and it can be changed this way. This is a Sanskar and it can be changed this way. And if we experience this Then the way we learnt reading and writing in childhood We will also start playing with our habits from childhood itself. I would like to add a little more. We are talking about how to change the habits. But I would like to ask how they got formed in the first place. Once I asked a maid why the air conditioner was kept On when it was so cold in the room. She said her child cannot sleep without air conditioner. She said it is her habit. When the child was born she did not insist on having the air conditioner On. The more you put in such habits, they will start asking more of it. How will they know the rights and wrongs. But later on it troubles them. That is why it is written as broken adults in the quote. Habits are several, but the one big habit which most of us have is It is our habit of saying – we cannot change your habits. This is also become a habit to say – I cannot change it, I cannot quit this, I cannot leave this, I cannot do this – we say all this so easily. The more a soul says or believes – I cannot quit this, I cannot change this, I cannot do this What is the soul doing to its inner power? Sometimes I say it very humbly to myself – what do I do, this is my weakness. This is my only weakness and it is very difficult to let go of it. Each time you are accepting that weakness Believing it, repeating it, affirming it – we are reducing the soul’s will power. So this is the first habit which needs to change – the habit of saying that habits cannot be changed. We don’t even say that the level of big Sanskars. We say that for small things. I cannot live without drinking tea, I can’t live without this, I need a sweet after my meal. After my meal if I get to eat a sweet, it is good. Even otherwise it should not be a problem. But what has our vocabulary become? I need this, no matter what. I cannot live without this. Every line like this. I cannot drink plain milk, I need something else added to it. We can definitely say – I like to eat this dish. Or – I like to drink this. Let me say – If I get it then I feel good.
But if I say – I definitely need it or that without it my mind gets disturbed. I have a relative who says he gets a headache if he does not get a cup of tea at 4 p.m. It means the addiction is no were at the level of the soul but is at the level of the body. At a physical level. This all seems very small but they are not. If we look at all these external habits If for such small habits a soul starts saying – this is difficult, this cannot be done, this I cannot change, this I cannot live without, this I cannot do without When we start speaking like this then changing Sanskars feels impossible to us. We will feel that. If I cannot live without tea, then how can I think of changing a Sanskar? Someone who cannot run a few metres cannot expect to run a marathon. He believes that he cannot do it. The fact is that if you start practicing he will be able to do it. See when I look at myself – this is self-introspection. If I look at myself and say I cannot give up drinking a cup of tea If I cannot live without a cup of tea, then how can I change the Sanskar of criticizing somebody? How will I change the Sanskar of going into pain? How can I let go of anger? At least giving up it is in my hands. But the rest of them are dependent on other people – people come and say unexpected things to me, somebody tries to harm me So giving up those things is something which we will not even think about. So the very first habit which we need to change today Is the habit of saying this way. Yes, it has become our habit to say – I cannot live without this. Some people experience discomfort if they don’t read newspaper in the morning. I know some people who read old newspapers if that day’s newspaper has not been delivered. If we make a list of addictions Addiction is no more restricted to alcohol, smoking, tobacco or drugs. Addiction is a very very long list. There are so many addictions. Addiction means my dependency on anything. And I believe that without it – although it is not the truth – but I believe that I cannot live or go on without that substance. I believe that I cannot let go of it. It means I am now a slave to it. There are so many people who can’t sleep at night if they do not watch TV. Watching TV at night is a choice because maybe that is the only time you get to watch it. So it is a choice. But if we start saying that without watching TV I am not comfortable That is where it is no more a choice. That is very important. There is a difference between choice and an addiction. Once it becomes an addiction it will no longer be a choice. That is what is an addiction. It is a choice when I say I like to do this, eat this or drink this. It is a choice which means Choice means – If I do not get it, it will not influence my state of mind. This is a checking we need to do – that when I do not get, it influences my mind and body. Some people say as soon as I wake up I need this. Other say just before going to bed they need that. Some people say without a particular thing they just cannot sleep. I have a friend who turns on air conditioner even in winter. But he wears jackets and uses blankets to cover himself from the cold. He says he’s got used to that sound of the air conditioner. The more we start becoming slaves of these habits The moment a soul becomes a slave of one habit, then the chances of the souls becoming a slave of many other habits increases. This is very important. If I am a slave to 1 habit, then the probability of me becoming a slave to any other habits is high. This is because – just because of that one habit, I the soul have depleted my willpower. On the other hand if I win over one habit and give it up, or if I overcome one addiction Then the soul becomes strong overall. So it becomes easy to change all other habits. It is like increasing the body’s immunity. When that happens the body resists not just one illness, but prevents 10 illnesses. If we can increase our immunity and fight a virus Or if we can fight against the cold, then the body can fight against bigger illnesses also because we have strengthened our overall immunity system. But if we start saying – this climate always makes me sick, I get a headache because of that By saying this we are reducing the immunity of both soul and the body. We are strengthening the weakness. If the soul is weak, as a result the body will also be weak. So today we should change the habit – of saying that we cannot change a habit. I feel first of all parents need to have this awareness so that they can tell their child that it is okay, and he will also change his habit. When they are sure they can make it happen. What is habit? It is not even a question of right or wrong first of all. For example children at home say I asked the staff why kids are having iPad While having lunch. They said kids do not eat without an iPad. Each kid is looking into a separate iPad while eating. Kids are so busy watching the iPad. They don’t even realize what they are eating, how much, and whether they are chewing food properly. They said, otherwise kids will not eat. The next day I took the kids to the film studio. I ordered for lunch and told the kids that iPad is not allowed. They were fine with it. It just took me 1 second to say iPad is not allowed in the studio. I also told them non-vegetarian food is not allowed there. They were fine with that also. They understood immediately. Otherwise they will snatch it the moment the seat in anybody’s hands. But that day they were absolutely fine. But did they have lunch or not? That’s so well that I even took a picture and showed it to my family for them to see how well they ate without iPads. So just as you read out it is very easy to raise strong kids. If we have to change this habit in an adult it would take a few days probably. Even if you have to change that habit in yourself. The thing is it is a very old habit carried for years. If you have the habit of watching TV while eating, and cannot eat without watching Can we call it a comfort zone for everybody? It is easy to feed them with the TV On. Otherwise it takes effort. But the comfort zone has now become an addiction. There is a difference between comfort zone and addiction. For example, If I like working in this way then I will say this is my comfort zone. But without it if my mind starts getting disturbed, then it is an addiction. I am talking about the comfort for the parent If they have to feed the child without television, they will have to run behind the kid. There is a little hard work involved. But today the kids being 3 or 4 years of age, are getting into habit of watching the television while eating. Now you visualise them at the age of 20 years. When they are 20 years old do you think they will be able to eat without watching television? It is a little difficult. Unless somewhere on the journey they change that habit. If somewhere on the journey they get the knowledge maybe even from their school We can just take this example there is so much awareness shared today in schools in our country That we should not burst crackers and we should not use plastic We should protect the environment, we should conserve electricity We should conserve water The kids are getting knowledge. They are getting this information from their schools. The result is that when they get the information along with the understanding And once they like it Today kids are telling their parents that they do not want to burst crackers on Diwali festival. So we are seeing the results. Adults are still bursting crackers. But kids are saying they have learnt at school that busting crackers is not good for the environment. So they were able to change the habit. If it had not changed, then for many more years the environment pollution would have continued. What did it take to change a habit? Information, a little support and understanding. Now if a 3-year-old child is eating only if he is watching television And on his journey, if he does not get a suggestion or help to change this habit Even when he is 20 years of age – just visualise 20 years from today that 20-year-old youth watching TV while eating. Now if you will tell him – turn off the TV and have food. It is very difficult, because he has reached an age where he decides his habits and Sanskar himself. Today when children have grown up and parents complain that they do not obey them Parents often say – Children don’t do what we say, or they are not able to do what we ask them to do. This is a sign that over the years that soul (child) has become weak. It is because of these small habits for which we said they cannot be changed. Although it seems a very simple thing it has become very common that small children refuse to eat if they are not in front of the iPad or phone or television. Distractive eating. Yes when his mind is elsewhere, that child will not even know what and how much he is eating. If we just introspect and see how damaging this single habit is Let us reflect on this. Which, as a parent or staff we are doing it 3 times a day, unaware. That at breakfast, lunch and dinner time, switched on a video game or a cartoon movie, fed the meal and made a child drink milk also. Reflect on the damage this habit is causing. Whatever will be there thoughts at the time of eating, that energy goes into the food and get consumed. Yes, so we see the influence. It means at that moment we are not only depleting the will power off that soul Like we read last time – you are what you eat. As is the food, so will be the mind. And as is the mind, so will be the food. Now as adults we know that while eating if we are watching television If the news is being telecast or serial is going on and has healthy scenes If we are watching anything unpleasant While we are eating Then what is our state of mind while eating? Our thoughts will be connected to what we are watching. Here we are having food and what is the mind radiating? So am I giving health to my body? There was a time when we were taught that the moment food is placed in front of us, immediately connect to God and fill his vibrations into that food. Thank God for food on the plate, and eat in silence. Even our Shastras mention that eating food should be sacred like a prayer, like you do it in a temple Clean environment and hygiene around the place We were taught to recite God’s name. We were even told to chew food 32 times because we have 32 teeth. This is called mindful eating or awareness while eating. It becomes like a ritual. Where everything has a particular process or sequence. How to sit down to eat, how to serve food What to think while eating How to remain silent and how to think of God at that time It becomes completely a ritual And if this ritual is done as prescribed, what will be the result? The soul will be powerful and the body will be healthy. So if we look at that eating practice and today’s eating practice Today the kid does not even know what he is eating. He is so focused on the gadget that he does not even know who is feeding him and what is he being fed. He is very focused on the game that he is playing. And most important, what is the quality of whatever he is playing or watching? Wrong quality. Is this right for my child? Leave alone saying whether it has become a habit or not. I can tell you the reply which I get. They say – at least my child will eat something by this way. Otherwise from morning he is not even eaten anything. That is right, that at least the child will eat. Important is to first pause and check whether the method and the habit are right. If as a parent, we understand that it is not right but still we do not make an effort to change the habit Don’t they understand that it is not right? No, it is like any other addiction. Suppose I am addicted to say alcohol or tobacco. I understand it is not right. But I say I am addicted to it. It is okay. It is okay because at least the knowledge is there. First is the knowledge that it is not healthy. Second is whether it is an addiction. Third step is to see how to change it. But right now at least they have the knowledge. Today why is the government insisting that a simple and a message should be printed on the cigarette packs? And even write it on the advertisements? What are they trying to give people? Knowledge that it is injurious to your health. It is their duty to give knowledge. What we do after that is our choice. We are getting knowledge from all sources. Doctors are sharing knowledge and the Government is also sharing it. Even kids are being told at school that it is injurious to health. Similarly if we look at this particular habit, every parent has this knowledge. That this habit is not healthy for their child. Second thing they say is that they are slaves to that habit. But that is secondary. First, I have knowledge. So today I need to pause and ask myself But despite knowing that it is unhealthy for my child, and despite the awareness that it is damaging for the child on a long-term basis We feel when their young we can feed them this way. They will change once they grow up. That is not going to happen. If they say they are going to eat while watching television, then even as adults they will eat while watching television. It will become a lifelong habit. So we need to understand that it is not about a few years. It is not that this habit will remain only as long as the kid is 5 or 6 years of age. One of the reasons for obesity is this habit. Because even after having food they keep munching on snacks at midnight also while watching TV. They keep on eating something and the focus is on TV. What has happened is – the mind, body and brain have got connected to two things Which are TV and food. How are they now wired in the brain? They fire together. We have seen that once before. That – neurons that wire together, fire together. So when food and TV got connected together since childhood. They will go together always. I experience this concept of ‘wire and fire together’ when I enter the pooja room in our house. If the incense stick is not lit, I immediately light it as soon as I enter. Otherwise I do not feel I am in that place. They are connected. The same way, the moment television is turned on, many people’s hand automatically goes into a packet of chips or junk food. So what has happened to the equation? Earlier we used to watch TV in order to eat. So now while watching TV, we start eating. We don’t even realize what we eat and how much we eat. You mentioned about why obesity has increased. Earlier we used to eat food for 10 minutes And parents were turning on a gadget at that time for our sake. Today when we have 10 or 20 years of age and we are watching TV for 2 hours a day, for us TV and food are connected together. So as long as we are watching TV, we are eating something. Addiction. Habit. Neurons that wire together, fire together. So while watching TV we either have cookies, chips or coke with us. It is not even that we have salads or fruits. Even if they go for shopping and you ask them what they brought, they say – a few fruits, few vegetables and a whole lot of snacks to have while watching TV. Next time we will see how to get rid of this habit. But today let us introspect and really write this down What is to be done and whether or not it is possible is a second stage. Don’t think right now whether you can change your habit or not. We will only prepare a small list of our habits which are not healthy for the soul and body. Let us also prepare another list – which of these habits have now become an addiction. Which means their presence or absence will have an influence on my mind and body. Let us make this small list for ourselves and for our children. Our kids habits and our habits, which will influence the mind and body by their presence or absence. Whatever we have a dependency on, let us make a list of those things. Sure, sister. I will also prepare that list for myself and we will discuss further in the next episode. Thank you. Thank you so much. Om Shanti. Om Shanti. thank you.