Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dealing With The Loss Of A Loved One While In Recovery !

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult for anyone. If you’re a recovering addict, however, it can often feel like the biggest hurdle that has ever been placed in front of you.On top of trying to handle the usual grief that accompanies any death, you must also rise above your gut response to take quick solace in drugs or alcohol.

Mr. Manpreet Raheja a recovering addict, wrote about what he experienced when dealing with the death of his mother while in recovery: “while we (recovering addicts) are entitled to feel the same range of emotions as “normal” human beings; we cannot afford to feel them with the same intensity. It’s just way too dangerous, as it is in these intense moments that even normal people temporarily lose touch with reality”.

What he likely means, is that many non-addicts when faced with death might indulge in a three-day drinking binge, or pop a few anti-depressants to help with the short-term emotional pain. Addicts,however,cannot use substances to numb the pain, not even once – even if they have been sober for years. So what can you do when the grief and emotions come flooding down on you?

1. Reach out for Support -

The most important thing to do is to reach out to your support system be it freinds,families,cousellors,sober mentors or anyone else trustworthy who has your best interest in mind.In your recovery program you've probably already made a list of who these people are.Be open with your feelings,and allow them to try to understand how you are feeling.The more you let them in the better the help they can offer.

2. Acknowledge and Honour all Emotions-

Being honest and accepting of the emotions that are flooding through your mind, no matter how crazy they might seem, will help bring you closer to being able to accept the loss and get past this hurdle in your recovery. Whether they are feelings of anger, sadness or disbelief –recognizing those feelings and letting them run their course is important. Sit down and cry if the feeling strikes, hit some golf balls to let off steam if you’re feeling angry, or grab a friend and go for a walk in the woods to help clear your mind.For many addicts, losing friends and fellow addicts along the road to recovery is fairly common.If the loved one that has passed is a current or former addict, it’s not uncommon to have guilty thoughts such as “why him, and not me?”. However important to remember that your life was not spared because his was taken. Their death and your survival are not related. Instead, you need to appreciate the fact that you got help before it was too late, and make a decision to stay sober, strong and healthy in their honour.

3. Attend Group Meetings

In the beginning stages of recovery, group meetings are common place but often wither out with time.After a traumatic event, it’s a good idea to return to regular meetings – at least for a while.Either head back to the same group meetings as before, or join the local AA or NA meetings with a new group of people.
At the very least, being surrounded by people who understand the cravings you’re experiencing will allow you to speak freely of your feelings and hopefully come to terms with these feelings faster. As well, speaking to others who have been down the same road before and have come out on top can be very encouraging. Likewise, any members of the group who are just starting out on the road to recovery, or who have recently relapsed, may be a helpful reminder of all the pain that comes with indulging in your substance – and will aid in providing you with another good reason to stay sober.
4. Get Personal Counselling

If the urges to take mood-altering substances are strong, then a professional counsellor should be brought in immediately. Counsellors are not only trained to  deal with this situation, but they’ve seen it many times before. They will be able to help you through the grieving process – help you come to terms with your own feelings and what life will be like without that person in it.
Getting over the death of a loved one is a very difficult task, and for many, grief and sadness is a feeling that will follow for months or years beyond the death – so staying ahead of your addictive tendencies is incredibly important. In the words of recovering addict Mr. Manpreet Raheja, “If you’re an addict on the road to recovery, be prepared to experience emotions in a new way – the good and the bad; and be sure to have a plan in place to fight off the cravings while you’re in that vulnerable state.”

He stayed sober after the death of his mother, and so can you stay sober when tragedy hits you.

This article is the sole property of "The Cabin", they are its original authors.

Friday, August 29, 2014

“Transcending time and space with Pranic Healing”

On Tuesday 26th August 2014, the residents of SHAFA HOME Kotdwar were visited by members from the Delhi-based Yoga Vidya Pranic Healing Trust. The team was headed by Mr. Kishore Vij. Kishore Ji hosted a 3-part “super-session” regarding the spiritual progression of the human soul within its earthly incarnation.
When Mr  Kishore and his crew entered  Asha Greh, we knew it was high time for a period of self-reflection to ponder upon the meaning of life...exactly what do we need to achieve in this life? And how did our soul come to get reincarnated into the physical vehicle of the human body anyway?
Kishore Ji opened the session by frankly stating how “many of us [humans] are frightened by spirituality and accepting there are spiritually divine beings. These pure beings deliver us signs and subtle guidance as to how we can progress spiritually in this lifetime. These Divine Beings certainly don’t grab us by the collar and plonk us near the top of the spiritual ladder. Only we can make our journey to ascend the spiritual ladder a successful one and it all lies with the choices we make.
 In Kishore Ji’s first part of the spiritual trilogy, he discussed the journey from birth to death and the relationship between making wholesome choices by incorporating the five virtues of honesty, moderation, loving-kindness and generosity towards our brothers and sisters of mankind. Basically, do good, get good. If we make rational, positive choices that sustain our bodily health, sanity, relationships and personal dignity its inevitable we will feel safe and happy. If we make negative, destructive choices we will clearly encounter a rough time in life. It’s as simple as that.
The second session was dedicated to the discussion of the origins and journey of the soul. The session kicked off with ‘Superbrain-Yoga’ which facilitates improved concentration and awareness by harmonizing the functioning of the physical brain. Our residents definitely needed this boost in concentration before delving into the session’s heavy topic of ‘achieving mukti (liberation) from the cycle of birth and death’.
Our soul has infused into amoebic bacteria ranging right up to creature forms in a whopping 8.4 million rebirths. In this human roop (form) God has best equipped us with a fully-functioning mind and body in order to think positive thoughts and do virtuous karam (deeds) based upon our five virtues we had discussed in the first session.
The more we love and respect God’s creation, the more we worship and remember Him. After we die, we will be judged for our deeds on earth. If we play life’s game without resorting to sneaky, dirty tactics then we will be one step closer to ‘mukti’ (Salvation ). Who wants to stay stuck in worldly hassles? Haven’t we got sick and tired of it after 8.4 million rounds in the boxing ring? Mukti is the ultimate target, all souls must strive for.
In the final session, residents learned about the components of effective meditation. Here Kishore Ji gave an in depth discourse about proper posture and breathing techniques. Our residents have been taught the “6-3-6-3” dynamic which allows for maximum ‘prana’ flow into the etherial body.
Towards the end of the session, they embarked on the ‘Om’ meditation to seal the day’s event with peace and good wishes towards their brethren.

Today’s “super-session” was an incredibly profound and interesting series of presentations interlaced with resident’s questions and opportunities with hands-on practice. Kishore Ji never fails to  ‘wow’ us with his sincere enthusiasm and panache for raising spiritual awareness amongst our residents. Our thanks goes to the Yoga Vidya Pranic Healing Trust for their ongoing time, effort and dedication with our residents. 


Even though you may realise that you need to get clean, the thought of sobriety can be scary. Here are the most common fears, and tips for overcoming them.

Major life changes of any kind add stress to life. Compounding such stress is the fear of the changes themselves. This is certainly true of recovery, where fear of sobriety can be a major obstacle to becoming sober. In this blog, we will explore common fears of sobriety and how to handle them.

#1: Fear of Sobriety : It may seem counter-intuitive, but sobriety itself can induce fear. As the saying goes, better the devil you know, meaning that what we are familiar with is more comfortable than the unknown. Facing sobriety is a major unknown, so even when we recognise the benefits, a lot of fear can come up.
How to handle it: To overcome fear of sobriety, two strategies are helpful. First, acknowledging the fear can go a long way towards dispelling it. Second, focus on the benefits of being sober.

#2: Fear of Failure : This fear focuses on whether or not your attempt at sobriety will fail. You may have tried to clean up your act in the past, and it didn't work. Or it may be the first time you are attempting to get clean. In either case, choosing sobriety has within it the potential for failure, and with it the fear of failure.
How to handle it: Facing this fear involves acknowledging it, and then building confidence in your ability to succeed based on strategies and resources gained in recovery treatment. It is possible that you may fail. And yet, resolving to be successful is a key to success. Knowing how to be successful will go great lengths in resolving this fear.

#3: Fear of Success: The fear of success is the flipside to the fear of failure. While fearing failure revolves around not believing you can succeed, fearing success focuses on your lack of value as a person who deserves success. You may believe that because of who you are, or because of your past, you cannot be successful.
How to Handle It: Understand that everyone is capable and deserving of sobriety. You are not alone in feeling this fear, and others can support you through this challenge. So, seek out support from people in your life, and this will help you believe in your ability to succeed.

#4: Fear of Rejection: When we make changes to our life, our old friends may not value these changes. This is particularly true in the case of addiction, where a large part of social bonding occurs around substance use. You may therefore fear the rejection of your old friends.
How to Handle It: Make new friends through recovery. Choosing a sober lifestyle means making many changes to your activities, and your social relationships will also change. Embrace these changes and the benefits they bring to your life, and value the new friends you make.

#5: Fear of Losing Identity: Alcoholics and others with addiction have their identity meshed with their addiction. So, when becoming sober, it means changing a part of how they think about themselves. This can invoke fear, as who you are changes and old parts of your identity are absolved.
How to Handle It: Redefine yourself in recovery with the support of your community. It is also beneficial to think about who you really want to be, and your ability to become that person.

#6: Fear of Suffering: Addiction brings its own brand of suffering to your life. However, getting clean does not mean that your life will suddenly become a fairy tale happy ending. On the contrary, remaining sober involves maturely facing life's challenges without escaping through substance use. As a result, there can be a lot of fear of the suffering that naturally occurs in life.
How to Handle It: See how, as you face life sober, you grow as a person. The process of recovery is about growth, and there are challenges in this process. Believe in your ability to face them. Becoming sober will give you the confidence to face most challenges in life, so long as you remain sober.

(These articles are the sole property of “The Cabin Chiang Mai”, they are its original authors.)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Silencing the suffering by seeking the golden fruit of self-sufficiency :SHAFA HOME’s visit to Chetanalaya.

On Tuesday 19th August 2014, SHAFA HOME proudly sent two of its ambassadors; senior social worker, Ms. Sangeeta and media team executive Neelabh to Seemapuri in New Delhi. They attended the Chetanalaya centre to give a succinct and flavoursome discourse regarding SHAFA HOME’s unique modalities and key principles within the treatment of substance abuse. Chetanalaya is a multi-faceted organisation which endeavours to aid and uplift deprived members of society i.e. the “slum-dwellers”.
Slum dwellers endure the brunt of daily life with neither basic necessities nor optimum living conditions to support healthy living. This is coupled with a gaping absence of counseling and emotional support.  With whom can they share their woes?  These people were later met with the outstretched hand of Chetanalaya!
Chetanalaya breaks cleanly away from the typical social ignorance of the destitute by altruistically giving physical, financial and emotional help to let the individual build a hopeful, productive and sustainable future for themselves.
Ms. Sangeeta’s presentation discussed how SHAFA’s treatment programme successfully overcomes perceived helplessness, inadequacy and low self-esteem. The women quickly noticed how there was a striking common principle between SHAFA HOME with their Chetanalaya – the concept of “hands-on” learning.
Members of a suffering community are taught strategies that intend to boost the self-esteem of that ailing individual in order to generate self-empowerment and self-sufficiency. Once an individual has been trained at Chetanalaya, they venture out into their wider community as outreach workers who strive to help those in need like they were once before – thus keeping a continuous chain of guidance and help in motion.

Ms. Sangeeta chipped in with her own two cents to add that SHAFA HOME firmly practices this notion too! Our younger residents learn their behavioural and life skill “training” from their older siblings. Once they feel adept enough, they teach their younger siblings what they have learnt.  
The 20 female community workers who attended Ms. Sangeeta’s presentation had entered the doors of Chetanalaya as hapless, broken individuals and over time, had become resilient towards life’s hardest knocks. In doing so, they gradually achieved a self-sustainable, productive and positive life through providing service to others. The key thing is never an overnight process. What these women had to endure to emerge as the shining, strong sisters they are today required patience, effort and dedication to “fly-right”.
Just take a step back and imagine...if these amazing women have managed to progress exponentially within their own lives by overcoming their strife and misery in the darkest times, there is nothing to stop our residents from overcoming their personal hurdles and achieving groundbreaking personal growth within their own lives.

Ultimately, self-empowerment is the key that unlocks us into a dynamic and successful mode of living. By helping others, we are practicing the most honourable form of self-love and for ourselves but also the world around us. After all, if you want to keep have to give it away.    

To view pics please click on the link below: 

Monday, August 25, 2014

“How a tap a day keeps your problems at bay!”: Elementary EFTT With Mr. Sree

On Thursday 7th August 2014 and Thursday 14th August 2014, Mr. Sreekumar; noted life coach and EFT (Emotion Freeing Tapping Technique) practitioner presented his eighth and ninth sessions at SHAFA HOME, Delhi. Due to the continuous shifting of residents from Delhi to Kotdwar, our previous batch of participants had left to embark upon their treatment at our senior house. Consequently, Mr. Sree felt it was necessary to host an introductory session allowing our newer members to learn more about this profoundly interesting energy-healing technique.  
These two sessions allowed Mr. Sree to establish rapport with our new arrivals to the centre and members who had arrived from Kotdwar. On Thursday 7th August 2014, Sree gave a short but poignant overview of what EFT entailed and its benefits. Our new participants were intrigued and engaged by his discourse into the mesmerising world of self healing through energy and thought-channelling. By harnessing our often intense and self-destructive energy, we direct it into the creation of a remedial process that keeps us guarded from physical and mental ailments.
Sree interlaced his explanatory discourse with his own personal experiences. Members were moved and amazed to hear that EFT had successfully allowed him to fully recover from severe lethargy and even despondency, mood swings, hurt and painful memories. The process has worked wonders for him in his active daily practice to along with his morning walks to mould him into the grounded and charismatic individual he is today. Now he travels across the nation to help people seeking much needed liberation from their physical and psychological problems. Three months on, his magnetic spark and genuine enthusiasm still dazzles our avid-to-learn residents.
On the 14th August, Mr. Sree took feedback from the residents. The general consensus from residents suffering from bodily ailments was that that their pain had reduced from a scaled 7 out of 10 to 4 or 5. One member noted to have felt an astonishingly strong reduction in their pain, to 3! Sree commented how fantastic it was to hear of our residents’ continuous dedication to the practise. Towards the end of the session, Mr. Sree embarked on a one-on-one work with a resident suffering from bouts of rage and explosive anger. Sreekumar guided him through a relevant set-up statement that would allow him to forgive himself for his destructive temperament and his chaos-laden past and remind him of his winning qualities.
With time, with dedication to the practise and faith in his personal abilities, he will be able to transform himself into a strong individual able to keep his cool despite life’s turbulent moments.

All in all, this was another fabulous investment of time and our continuous thanks goes to Mr. Sreekumar for conducting another hope-inspiring session for our residents as they progress through their recovery journey.   

Monday, August 18, 2014

Janmashtami 2014: Festivity, fun and frolics on Lord Krishna’s glorious birthday!

On Sunday 17th August 2014, our residents celebrated the birth of Lord Krishna at both Kotdwar and Delhi facility center. Janmashtami is the festival that marks Lord Krishna’s birth and is a highly revered and auspicious day throughout the nation, promoting a message of courage, focus on positive goals and remaining pure and virtuous while overcoming life’s oppressors to gracefully stride through turbulence into serenity. Our staff on duty, Pradeep Ji even went as far to oversee jewellery and make-up! Who ever knew he would be such a dab hand at transforming mere mortals into mythological heroes and villains. Everybody looked a gem as they sparkled from head to toe.  Our scenery and props team demonstrated their inventiveness and resourcefulness as they recycled old sheets to create a dynamically flowing river, created a huge cobra from basic scrap materials and climbed into trees to affixed pots and swings. Only through complete trust and teamwork, were they able to achieve all this…and more was on the way!!          
At the stroke of five thirty sharp we were transported back in time as the evening’s programme kicked off with a selection of still scenes. A group of our residents performed a sequence of ‘Jhankis’, staging memorable moments from Lord Krishna’s life story. Our boys dazzled us with superb renditions of His fight with Kans, Krishna’s familial separation, the Great One defying an invitation into the fatal jaws of Seshnag (the cobra). The last stop was the iconic scene of the timeless union of mischievous Krishna with his beautiful and devoted consort, Radha. Our colourfully exuberant production even attracted the attention of our neighbours from Mawakot village!  
As residents meandered their way back into the facility, our host for the night introduced our musical pieces and two theatrical productions; a play about Sudhama’s unfair dismissal from Lord Krishna’s domain and Lord Krishna’s battle against Pootna and Seshnag. First was Subin and Vikrant’s acoustic guitar jam, which was then followed with our sweet-voiced and melodious Vipin serenading us with his version of ‘Om Jai Jagdish’ spreading the spiritual current of joy and peace high into in the air.
Our event drew to a close with our guest, director Mr. Ranjan Dhar congratulating all participants for their outstanding time, effort and dedication to make the day a seamless success. Last but not least, he also praised the kitchen team, who had cooked scrumptious halwa, puris and kheer as part of the mouthwatering alternative menu for the 120 residents. The empty plates and countless satiated smiles said it all!  
Janmashtami 2014 was a sparkling accomplishment of creativity, innovation and teamwork. It was clear to see that our boys were fantastically capable of producing and directing a smashing show. We hope that this special day may be the gatekeeper allowing continuous strength, bliss and success to pour into the hearts and minds of all residents.   

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Breaking free from the shackles of the past: Independence Day 2014

On Friday 15th August 2014, the atmosphere reached fever pitch as our residents celebrated the 68th Independence Day of our nation in both our Kotdwar and Delhi centres. The mood was ablaze with electric excitement as our patriotic boys wholeheartedly immersed themselves into the festivities of the day. At the back of our minds, we knew a large proportion of India would undoubtedly be celebrating the occasion with a bottle in their hand and this resurrected past memories of previous Independence days during our using period. The defining point was that our residents rocked the day to a totally different rhythm: we set the day on fire – without requiring any chemicals to ignite the sparks!!
In Delhi, our residents had dedicated two long weeks preparing and rehearsing plays on the Swadeshi movement and the legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, two group songs, dances and a fashion show! Initially a lot of our residents were shy and reluctant to participate, but as the patriotic spirit was cultivated, events flourished into a beautiful and victorious success. Everyone had a part in the day; whether they were performing or preparing the scrummy food up in the kitchen – nobody was left idle! Treats of the day included burgers for breakfast, then a tantalizing paneer pulao with raitha for lunch and a mouth-watering chicken dish for dinner.
Our boys merrily broke free from their insecurities to present a fantastic display of their creativity, painstaking dedication and personal triumph over limits. Our cultural events kicked off with our charismatic host making a seamless introduction into the events of the day. Our very own Neelabh demonstrated his fantastic speaking skills as he shed light upon the history of our brave nation and its courageous citizens; the thousands of heroes who sacrificed themselves so that our country could be free from oppression. That same fearless spirit belonging to our forefathers is what we strive to emanate today as we fight to overpower our personal tyranny to succeed living a drug and alcohol free life.
Our first event was an emotive speech capturing the essence of the events: glorious conquest over   a music interlude of our boys heartily sung a jolly anthem of hope and brotherhood, accompanied by one of our residents on the harmonium. It was really beautiful to see how engaged our residents were as they proudly showed their hidden talents to the cheering audience! The song was followed by the fashion show wherein a few of our boys modelled apparel of the age and slung patriotic slogans into the whooping crowd. This year’s fashion show was a totally fresh innovation into the Independence Day scene at SHAFA HOME; rest assured it was a superb addition to the day.
Next, Tushar threw himself into the programme to put on a rib-tickling splay of laugh-your-head-off impersonations and jokes. Towards the middle of the programme, the mood grounded and became serious as Marco, our voluntary staff member from Africa eloquently delivered an emotional speech about the power of treatment and breaking self-imposed boundaries...he ignited a beacon of hope and courage within his little brothers; showing if he could overcome the boundary of language to integrate at SHAFA, the treatment programme was limitless as to what it could achieve for them.
Dance was the following cultural event where our boys got footloose to hit the floor and get their groove on; our boys performed a flawless choreographed sequence taught to them by the infamous Bob Ji. Then one of our members made an impromptu appearance on the dance-floor and simply bowled us over with his moves...who knew Rohit was a secret dance star? The crowd went wild for him!
The programme wrapped up with SHAFA’s director Mr. Ranjan Dhar giving a resounding commendation to our resident’s first-class preparation and performances and they were congratulated for their individual efforts. The final event of the day was a candlelit prayer of strength and a recital of our national anthem.

All-in-all, Independence Day 2014 was a beautiful embodiment of triumph, brotherhood and hope. May this be the gatekeeper that allows the following years to bring freedom and illumination within all of our hearts!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sometime We Are The Windshield...Sometimes We Are The Bug

On Monday 11th August 2014, Ms. Maheshwari Jani, experienced behaviour analyst and master of Neuro-Linguistic Programming presented her twelfth session at SHAFA HOME, Delhi in which she discussed the super interesting topic: emotional intelligence. The aim of the session was to identify the definition beyond these two words. Our residents were encouraged to dive below the surface level to investigate exactly what it means to be emotionally intelligent. A few of our more conscientious residents were eager to share their opinion. One young chap commented that an ‘emotion’ are the same as feelings; the term is interchangeable. Emotions or feelings are reaction to a stimulus generated from our interaction with the environment around us.
Once a definite explanation was decided upon, then residents were asked to delve deeper into their mind to analyse the multitude of different emotions and feelings that they simultaneously feel at any given time. After all, it’s a proved fact that addict’s naturally have a tendency to create a scrambled, confused mess of the emotions they are truly feeling at any given time. Due to this it is crucial to pinpoint exact emotions. By understanding ourselves, then we can begin to understand others and act more compassionately.
The first activity involved our residents grabbing hold of three of their fellow brothers to ask them to write their good qualities and their working points. In this exercise they had to purposely choose somebody they got along with, someone who they felt neutrally towards and lastly someone who they wouldn’t regularly interact with. So, the residents quickly got to work meandering round the ‘Asha Grah’ to catch their three lucky companions.
When the activity was over, residents grouped back together into a circle and collectively gave each other’s feedback. This activity pushed our residents to act with honesty and maturity to deliver both praise but also eye-wateringly pinching criticism. Basically, our boys didn’t beat around the bush with this task...they jumped straight in to dish out sweet and savoury opinions of their peers.
Whatever our emotions were and whatever we felt towards others, we were reminded to act without bias to appreciate the unique quirks and beauty of all. Maheshwari explained this idea was not exclusively restricted to the activity, but was also a golden lesson to apply in wider living. By being kind and appreciative of everyone, we form and strengthen healthy relationships...something a recovering addict craves for in their new, substance free life...and the beautiful thing is, it’s 100% achievable!

The last activity of the day involved our boys picking a partner to tickle their funny this activity members were instructed to make their companion laugh. Positivity is contagious and smiles were flying all round the hall. From the session, it was evident to see that our residents have improved upon their communication skills, emotional intelligence and confidence leaps and bounds in recent weeks, thanks to Maheshwari Ji’s dedicated support and work with our residents. We endeavour to meet with her very soon for her next exciting session!   

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Sacred Thread Of RakshaBandhan

On Sunday 10th August 2014, our residents at both our Kotdwar and Delhi treatment facilities celebrated Raksha Bandan; a commemoration of the unique and everlasting bond between a sister and her brother. Despite the fact our boys were away from their dear sisters, some for the very first time in their life, it didn’t put a downer on the spirit of the day. Both Kotdwar and Delhi bustled with vibrancy and enthusiasm as preparations were duly made to transform this day into a colourful and joyful salutation to the strong, loving women who have supported and stood by their brothers for all of these years.
At our Kotdwar centre, the day kicked off with a culinary difference. The boys tucked into a yummy treat of sizzling puris and mouth-watering pulao, which was relished by all judging by the mountain of empty plates and satiated smiles radiating from residents’ faces. Many lucky boys were gifted with a visit from their families, who travelled from far and wide to specially spend time with their sons, husbands and brothers...we witnessed that love is limitless, it has no boundaries nor conditions. This beautiful notion was crystal-clear when the residents met with their doting and devoted relatives. The atmosphere became a tad emotional at times, but it was clear to see that the boys acknowledged that their SHAFA HOME treatment period would transform them into productive family members and establish prosperous and harmonious relationships with their dearly beloved. One resident even celebrated his biological birthday, adding to the festivity and electric excitement buzzing in the air.
At SHAFA in Delhi, our residents were visited by the Brahma Kumaris. Our guest speakers bestowed an important lesson of love, compassion and tolerance towards entire mankind upon our eagerly attentive boys; igniting a beacon of hope within their hearts, allowing them to traverse their path with much needed guidance and illumination. One of our voluntary staff members also chipped in with his short and poignant speech regarding the priceless value of respecting and serving our families. These were the people who never forgot us, even while we were totally consumed within the dark depths of our addiction. He added that he was now ready to go to any lengths to protect his little sister from harm come what may, he would never henceforth take her love for granted; striving always to bring her comfort, security and happiness.
Towards the end of the session, our Brahma Kumari sisters tied rakhis on each resident and applied a chandan ka tikka on their forheads. These are symbolic gestures of togetherness and eternal spiritual protection.  

All in all, our Raksha Bandan 2014 celebration was a fabulous success at both our Kotdwar and Delhi. Our boys demonstrated their solid intention to remain loyal, not only to the women in their lives, but also to recovery, since it is the foundation for a stable and flourishing life after leaving our doors. We have high hopes for our residents and truly pray that God will gift them with a peaceful and fruitful future. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Don't Stay On Your Island...Let me in with Maheshwari Jani

On Monday 14th July 2014, Maheshwari Jani; experienced behaviour analyst and master of Neuro-Linguistic Programming presented her tenth session of behaviour development at SHAFA HOME, Delhi and the session was attended by all residents and staff members. Today’s exciting topic was “how to deal with emotionally-trying people and difficult situations.
Ms. Maheshwari made her signature bubbly entrance into the ‘Asha Grah’ hall and greeted our residents to brief them with the day’s focus. The session kicked off with the first activity where participants were instructed to stand up and hold hands in a circle. This activity allowed them to feel how strongly they could grip the hands of their companions. This kinaesthetic activity measured the subconscious level of both negative and positive emotion directed through the body’s physicality. From previous sessions we have learned that our body language never lies...Any bitterness or irritation our residents had towards their peers was gauged in this simple exercise. This means we should endeavour keep our emotions in check at all times. 
The second exercise was a public-speaking “jam” session; a fast-paced, continuous debate on a variety of topic regarding insidious people and circumstances. Our eager beavers were kept standing in a circle and took it in turns to share their views on “monetary inflation, how care is best demonstrated, whether men have the right to hit females and whether the chicken or the egg came first”. The debating exercise was a true testimony of how far the residents had progressed regarding proper diction, eloquence and feeling confident. The result was fantastic! We had young men fearlessly expressing pertinent and convincing arguments. This also demonstrated how well their listening and empathy skills had improved too. This activity
 Amongst all this an important notion was raised that all of us could relate to in our lives...this was to remember our verbal and moral boundaries. To respect each other is to ultimately behave with awareness, responsibly and respect life.
Ms. Mahi then led us to our final task of the session. Residents viewed a short and succinct verbal presentation on “assertiveness”. Residents learnt that when they adopt a gentle and impartial communicative manner, we are able to act more harmoniously with others. Saying “no” without offending is an art form. It relies on the individual remembering and practising tolerance and brotherly concern of all, regardless of whether that person irritates us to high heaven. Peace and understanding is the best way to operate.

All in all, the session was a brilliant success. Our boys learned that by keeping their body language in check and by practising love, understanding and compassion. Ultimately when our residents leave SHAFA, they will have worked upon their patience and magnanimity. This will facilitate stronger and more fulfilling familial relationships. Our ongoing thanks is directed to Ms. Maheshwari Jani for her ongoing time, effort and dedication to work with our residents!