world was never changed or transformed by politicians, or
for that matter, by scientists. The mothers of the world hold
the keys. . . ." - from the Foreword.
she eagerly awaited the birth of her first child, Mallika
Chopra began to craft a unique gift that would express her
profound loving commitment to the baby growing inside of her.
to My Baby is that gift - one that reflects her deep awareness
of the sacred responsibilities of parenthood. Here the author
shares the vows she made to help her child - and all children
- grow up feeling cherished and secure, look at the world
with wonder and curiosity, and learn spiritual values that
enrich life and contribute to making the world a better place.
Accompanying the 100 promises are short essays, reflections,
poems, and stories that have inspired the author throughout
her life and that will inspire readers to think about their
own lives, values, and beliefs, and what they would like to
pass on to their children.
reprinted with permission
found out that I was pregnant several years ago, it was one
of the happiest and most exciting moments of my life. I was
awed by the fact that I had a living being growing inside
of me. I spent hours visualizing what my baby would look like,
talking and singing to her, caressing her, and beginning to
plan for our new family with my husband, Sumant.
as my love for my baby grew with each new day, so did my apprehension
about whether or not I would be a good mother. Would I know
how to take care of my baby? How would I contribute to her
happiness or unhappiness? How could I make sure that she treated
others well, that she felt secure, that she was on the right
path? What was the right path? I became overwhelmed thinking
about the responsibility of being a good parent.
at this time that I appreciated, probably at the deepest and
most sincere level, how grateful I was to my parents, Rita
and Deepak Chopra, for the security, patience, love, and support
they had given me growing up. For much of my life, people
have asked me, "What was it like growing up as Deepak
Chopra's kid?" or "How did your parents teach you
and your brother, Gotham, spiritual values and ideas when
you were children?" Of course, for Gotham and me, our
father was always just our father, and Mom was Mom. We never
analyzed what it was like to grow up with them or how that
was different from others.
the context of becoming a parent, I started to think more
about the way in which my parents taught us, how they made
us feel loved, and how easy it was for us to communicate.
Because of my father's work as a spiritual teacher and writer
and his eagerness to impart his knowledge to us, I understood
at a young age how love and compassion set the foundations
for everything else in life.
and I did have a wonderful childhood -- not only because of
the fascinating people we met, but because we were taught
to look at the world with magical eyes, curiosity, and passion.
Perhaps because of this background, during my pregnancy I
was inspired to make commitments to myself about how I could
emulate what I had learned from my parents, as well as from
other family members, ancestors, friends and from my own experiences
in life. My hope was to give Tara a childhood filled with
wonder, magic, adventure, and mystery. And I felt intuitively
that the time to start was while she still a part of me --
I somehow knew she would be listening.
to bond with my baby reflected what I knew scientifically,
that the love and support a child feels -- perhaps even in
the womb -- results in specific biological outcomes for health,
self-respect, confidence, and behavior. And intellectually,
I knew that my baby and I were connected at every level. But
now, I actually began to experience my unborn baby as an extension
of myself, of my body, of my mind, and of my soul.
So I started
to write down promises to myself and to her. These promises
were inspired by all the love and hope that I felt for her
and by the anticipation of who she was going to become. As
I wrote, I realized that each promise was inspired by something
that I myself had actually experienced or learned. I started
to write down the stories, memories, and lessons that I wanted
to share with Tara as she grew up, as well as the values and
intentions I myself needed to be reminded of as I faced the
challenges of parenting. The result was that I could feel
our bond grow and deepen as I wrote. This bond only strengthened
after Tara was born and continues to evolve as she grows.
I see that my love for Tara is reflected in her love for me.
I know that we are constantly growing and coevolving.
now two years old. With her birth and the ensuing year, my
writing project was pushed to the side as I immersed myself
in actually being a mother. I have loved mothering Tara more
than anything else I have ever done in my life. I have also
realized that some of it comes naturally and that other parts
of it are hard -- very hard. You need patience, determination,
and understanding. And frankly, some of the original promises
that I had made to Tara were not really practical (i.e. I
promise to never say no to you.)
became more interactive, learning day by day and soaking up
the environment around her, I opened up my promises and decided
to focus on them again. I wanted to remind myself of the commitments
I had made to her when she was born, and I was inspired to
write even more promises. A few weeks after I opened the promises,
I also discovered that I was pregnant again! Hardly a coincidence,
my passion for the project was driven by the love for Tara
and my new baby, Leela, who was growing inside of me.
realized through this process that the bond between a parent
and child is one of the most important bonds between two beings.
Parenting today comes in many guises with unique challenges,
from single parents to those managing divorce or separation,
to parents from different cultures, adoptive parents, those
who are older or younger than the norm, and those who are
managing full-time jobs or daily pressures. But no matter
where we fall on the parenting spectrum, we are all bonded
by the role we play in shaping the innocent minds of tomorrow.
As parents, we have the ability to create new global citizens
who have the power to change the world. In a world that is
often colored by fear and violence, this role becomes all
the more important. If we all make promises to teach our children
love, respect, honor, and acceptance, then we are playing
our parts in creating a safer, more secure, and more nurturing
world for them to live in.
here to read the entire article!
CHOPRA, mother of Tara and Leela Mandal, is an author
and producer who enjoys taking creative concepts and developing
them into cross-cultural, empowering products. She is a partner
in Chopra Media, which develops television programming, film
concepts, and media products. She is also a partner in the
popular K Lounge in New York City.
• 100 Promises to My Baby
• 100 Promises to My Baby
• 100 Promises to My Baby