This is the topic given to the “thrive global community” on Thrive Global and we can share our responses. This gives me an opportunity to write on a topic that I would not have chosen on my own. I blog on Autism and I share experiences and know-how that I have applied on my son Parag who has autism. This topic beckons me to write about myself which I avoid. However, I am summoning courage to share. I am a mother dealing with my son’s autism which has no cure and it requires insurmountable ENERGY and COURAGE! The work required to make improvements in the deficit areas (behaviors, communication and socialization skills) is Herculean! Over time CONSISTENT and PERSISTENT efforts shows cumulative results. Yes, my path has major humps and bumps and sometimes roadblocks but that never deters me because my LOVE for Parag gives me energy/strength/courage/motivation/drive.


PRAYING is my source of energy. Let me share an anecdote. When Parag got diagnosed with autism, I started praying incessantly and regularly. One day while I was praying, a voice spoke in my head “are you going to sulk, mope and cry or do something about it”. In that instant in time I felt enormous courage and that is the moment I decided to face Parag’s autism head on. This voice was telling me to change WORRIES to CONCERNS. Worries makes us think dreary things but we DO NOTHING about it. Concern is taking the first step forward, to change something we don’t like, by DOING something about it. This incident made me a “karma yogi,” or a DOER.


I realized early on that to take care of Parag and to keep the balance in the family, I will have to take care of myself first, mentally, emotionally and physically. Therefore, I do yoga, Cross Fit, organic gardening and cooking. I taught myself Spanish and went to Jacksonville State University to get Masters in Special Education. I need all the ammunition of knowledge to fight autism and run the home school for Parag. I believe we cannot be kind to others until and unless we are kind to ourselves and same goes for love. Me first is NOT being selfish, it is an innate survival instinct that helps to cultivate ALTRUISM!


Taking a walk in the maze of Parag’s autistic brain is immensely challenging! I believe the intense mental challenge to understand an autistic mind propels me to find challenging physical activities. I seek to balance the intense mental with intense physical. When I am on vacation, I seek thrill by parasailing, scuba diving, zip-lining anything that will take me out of my comfort zone. I set goals for myself like running marathons or rope climbing, learning to do a split or handstand. The bottom line I feel ALIVE! Setting new horizons for myself gives me energy to tackle whatever comes my way.


I have this syndrome, I find reasons to be happy. I count my blessings that makes me thankful in my day to day life. The fact that Parag is happy and infects everyone with his beautiful smile has been a big ENERGY BOOSTER in this journey! As a parent, teacher and a caregiver I promised myself that my primary goal is to see my children (Parag and Ankur) HAPPY. The fact that Parag has found a vocation to make gel candles and natural body care products is even more satisfying.


I have learned that when I focus on one thing at a time, I perform better with great results. Therefore, I refuse to be a “multitasking mama.” Compartmentalizing is a state of mind to control its wandering. I have learnt to be PRESENT- right here, right now, in the moment. This is a big energizing SECRET. It gives me the ability to ENJOY the moment, place and people. This gives me FUEL/ENERGY to recharge myself.


The answer is LOVE! It started with love for Parag, to loving myself, my family, loving the people and the world I live in. Love has given me the strength and wisdom to be patient and disciplined. People think it is very hard to love. On the contrary, I believe it is the easiest thing to do. It is easy to love when we figure out how to GIVE. I have learnt to be magnanimous with my smiles, laughter and hugs because these resonate and create tremendous SYNERGY! Love has given me the NEED to reach out and HELP!