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Global Indians

Introducing Dr. Shefali Tsabary

By Garima Goswami, 21 Nov, 2016

    Dr. Shefali Tsabary wears many hats; she is an author of three best-selling parenting books, an international speaker presenting at conferences and workshops, and a clinical psychologist specializing in the integration of eastern philosophy and western psychology. Her books – The Awakened Family, The Conscious Parent, and Out of Control have revolutionized parenting methods in ways never portrayed or discussed before; this and of course her speaking sessions on conscious parenting have curated a transformative approach for parents – advicing them how to reciprocate better with their children and self.

    Dr. Tsabary is a master in her field. Her individual growth as a meditator sprouting from 20-years of Vipassana practice has contributed to her immense insight on the subject. When she started implementing this insight on her clients, Dr. Tsabary says she “began to notice how teaching mindfulness to my clients helped them to immediately alleviate stress and integrate a greater sense of empowerment in their lives.” She also adds, “Marrying eastern mindfulness in my practice as a psychologist became as natural as breathing and continues to remain the key ingredient in my work as a healer.”

    Born and raised in India, Dr. Tsabary arrived in the United States at the age of 21 to pursue Masters at the California Institute of Integral Studies and eventually moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University. Her explorations on eastern mindfulness combined with western psychology have broadened a narrow pathway for parents to harmonize their connection with their children and helps them navigate better towards a conscious parent and family. “Parenting is one of the most challenging tasks we will ever experience. No parent is perfect,” she says while asserting her solidarity with other parents on the challenges of this institution. In fact, her books are replete with examples of her own parenting experiences. In 2014, when Oprah Winfrey interviewed Dr. Tsabary on her show, Super Soul Sunday, the clinical psychologist debunked traditional parenting methods saying the journey if propelled by a conscious mind, holds potential to a “spiritually regenerative experience for both parent and child.”

    Q & A
     
    What are some of the common challenges that parents across all cultures and ethnicities experience with their children?
     
    I think we all want to have supreme control over our children. The truth is that we can never fully control our children and this is disconcerting and terrifying for us. It is hard to detach from our children and still be caring. We find it hard to walk the delicate line of caring without over-interference and over-controlling. This is the struggle I find every parent has.
     
    A common challenge amongst parents of Indian descent is inculcating cultural values in children. What are some tips you can give them?
     
    I think parents in India are often rigidly attached to cultural ideals, sometimes at the cost of over-riding their children’s desires or inclinations. Again, finding the fine line between the demands of culture and balancing this with who their children are is key. Recognizing that their children are first and foremost their own sovereign spirits is very hard for parents from a collectivist culture like ours. I think finding the balance is key.
     
    How can parents benefit from your books?
     
    My books offer a path out of anxiety and fear. Most of our parenting is ruled by these two emotions and my books allow a parent to be free of these. Once they begin to apply the principles in my books they find that parenting becomes more of a joy and less of a stress. Also, my books are more than parenting books; they are truly ways to become more present, engaged and alive in life.

     

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