All you need is Love! by Shelja Sen- the one book you must read on mindful parenting

“I accept and love you the way you are. You are unique, you are different and you are you. I will not compare you with others, I will not constantly keep expecting and demanding what you might not be able to do or give.”

– Shelja Sen

All you need is Love! The art of mindful parenting.

All you need is Love! The Art of Mindful parenting is not a book that will lay out all the answers that you need to know about parenting. It asks difficult questions to the reader and makes one rethink the understanding of what it is to be a parent. All you need is love- it is as simple as that, and as difficult as that! Love not just for the child, but for oneself as a parent, love for ones own family, society and the world that shapes our very understanding and the reflection of love.

The book launch was held at the India Habitat Centre on the 11 of July 2015, a particularly rainy day. Yet, despite the rain, the launch saw a full house with several friends and familiar faces of Children First, the organization cofounded by the author Shelja Sen. Among the audience were some famous people sharing their experience of what it is to be a parent- like Praveen Nair trustee of the Salaam Balak Trust (and mother of Mira Nair- the producer of the director as she puts it!). The launch was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Mohit Satyanand (Chairman & Founder of Teamwork Arts best known for their Jaipur Lit Festival & a proud stay-at-home Dad), with panelists Dr. Arvind Taneja (a renowned Pediatrician), and Ms. Manika Sharma (Director of Shri Ram Schools).

The panel discussion started with a short reading from the book by Shelja Sen followed by a discussion of honest and close-to-heart concerns about children that everyone in the audience could resonate with. The use of personal anecdotes of not just the positives but also the frustrations of being a parent, the guilt and constant struggle to be the perfect parent were some questions from the audience, along with the concerns around the display of affluence and the need to keep children grounded.

The book focuses on the 5 pillars or 5 Cs namely Connect, Coach, Care, Community, and Commit that tap on the mindfulness aspect of the book, which takes a rather Buddhist perspective to approaching parenting. In this day and age of chaotic pressure of being a “good” parent, a little mindfulness is probably what we need to remain grounded. The book is a wonderful read for everyone, not just parents, on nurturing relationships, the mutual growth and fulfillment in learning to live through the principles of love.

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