While kids are occupied with home-based learning, homework and boredom, something has been helping them stay calm, focused and reflect. It’s the Art Excel programme by The Art Of Living Foundation. I usually don’t enter the room when they are in action. Today was the last day. And an hour before they saw their teachers, the girls were busy with sheets of paper. It was homework, but the kind they like doing. Strangely enough, when they told me they had been asked to reflect on three action items, I felt interested.

They were – STOP, START, CONTINUE. They were to fill in 5 things under each heading. My kids had zero trouble coming up with answers. Which was a discovery, ‘Children can reflect too, especially when no grades are involved’. And that stuck in my mind. They don’t need 21 days to do what I have been trying so hard to get by. Does that mean I lack the focus or the drive? I guess it means I just chanced upon the direction that was missing. What do I need, moving forward once the lock down is over and done with? For right now, if we were to come out of this situation feeling it was all a bad dream, but a very vivid one; one that we remember every minute of, would we still want the same things from life that we did before the pandemic or lockdown started? There are things we have seen in a new light, there is work we have managed from home, there are courses our kids could survive without and there is a whole chain of activities that didn’t stop life from continuing. What then would I like to STOP, START and CONTINUE? And what would you?

I would like to Start-
1. Going easy on myself and my family.
2. Working towards better health – both mental and physical.

I would like to Stop –
1. Finding intent in the action of others.
2. Rushing into action without the end in mind.

I would like to Continue –
1. Loving and caring for my family and friends.
2. Being an enthusiastic traveler finding stories where ever I go.

As a storyteller, my best definition of story is the change that the protagonist goes through because of a series of life changing events. In that respect, this pandemic has jolted our core. What kind of survivors would we be, if we came out of this experience unchanged, unscathed?

Today’s Lesson: A simple plan about what I would like to STOP, START and CONTINUE doing the day life goes back to normal is all I need. Can life be enjoyed and lived meaningfully despite being less busy, staying minimalistic and slowing down a little? Only time will tell.