Having a child has made me so much more aware of all the elements, experiences and perceptions that will shape the mind of my little babyT. I am constantly looking out for and watching what I say and do to him and to others in front of him. Right now he is under my wing, but tomorrow he will step out into the big, bad world and meet a new battalion of people in the form of friends, teachers etc. I cannot really control these influencers. Just thinking about it sends my head into a tizzy and I am sure it would be just as confusing for young minds.
And it is not easy to get through a young mind. They don’t want to talk to their parents or family. I have memories of my angst filled teen years as if they were from yesterday. If there was a book which would be light and easy and at the same time would send some vital messages home to them, it would be so great, wouldn’t it? Well now there is a book that doesn’t come with just a few ideas, but 150 of them.
Neeraa Maini Srivastav talks about 150 Brilliant Ideas to keep young minds ft and fine. She categorizes her ideas into three vital areas
- Mind your Body
- Mind your Mind
- Mind your Spirit
Together these 3 areas make up a healthy and mindful person.
Neeraa’s writing is simple, succinct and relatable. Without sounding too preachy, it pushes the reader to think about their current (or own younger days) situation and how it can impact them. Some of my favourite points from the 150 are here.
About Neeraa Maini Srivastav:
Neeraa is a writer and advertising professional from Mumbai, India. She has been associated with creative giants like Mukta Arts and The Times of India. With 3 works of young adult fiction to her merit ‘The White Crow’, ‘The Adventures of the Bubblegum Boy’ and ‘1 Friend Request Sent from Hanuman’, Neeraa has captured the minds and hearts of young folk today.’
She says that “While adults have infinite choices and options to course-correct paths, young adults have increasing evidence of mental and physical health challenges, have litte or almot no aids to holistic health and wellness.” With this aim in mind she wrote “150 Brilliant Ideas to keep Young Minds fit & fine.”
Mind your Body
- Sun bathe with vitamin buddies – Vitamin D deficiency is a very real problem today. When I was working I got to the office around 9 and left at 8 or later even. I hardly spent time in the sun. There are many people like me and some of them suffer from the lack of vitamin D. I really do wish that more people understood the importance of it.
- Take a day to detox – Can we imagine our lives without technology? I have still managed to shun TV, the laptop, and Ipad from my life. But I cannot live without my phone. Should something happen to the wifi or my phone I am at a loss. I feel anxious and like I am disconnected from the world. This is not a good sign. I promise to spend one day per week in digital detox.
- Eat fruit, don’t drink it – Fruit juices, smoothies, and milkshakes are so commonplace today. But why aren’t people just munching on the fruit instead? Valuable fibres and nutrients from the fruits are lost if we process them in any way.
Mind your Mind
- There is only one you – This reminds me of the famous Dr. Seuss quote “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Nothing can take this away from you. Know that you are unique and special in your own way.
- You are not how you look – Most teens and young people spend these years worrying about being too fat/ thin, too dark/ fair, too curly/ straight. Media and advertising have convoluted the concept of body images so much that children as young as 10 want to get rid of body hair permanently and even have desires of getting plastic surgery to change a shape or get a tuck here or there. How sad it is that they don’t see how beautiful they truly are.
- Thirst for knowledge – My one advice for all young people is to take it all in. Read books. Read books which you wouldn’t dare to. Read biographies, manuals, study books, cook books, even the dictionary. Be like a sponge soaking up all the information you can lay your eyes on. It will hold you in good stead for all of life. Maybe write a journal. This Woman’s Journal I started writing in has helped me relax immensely. Read my review of the Matrika’s Woman’s Journal here.
Mind your Spirit
- Manifest your desires – I have personally seen the benefit of this. I was told by someone very wise once, Imagination and Visualization equal Realization. I only wish I remembered to do this more often. Most of it did come true for me when I did.
- Understand rituals before banning them – I see two sets of young people today. One that will blindly follow all that is told to them about God and religion and the other who will question everything, refute it and kick it down. A middle ground is best and I encourage young minds to think, question and most importantly understand and choose what they want to do with religion or rituals that come with. For instance, menstrual taboos. Are they still relevant today?
- Don’t dump yourself – If there is one thing that made a person fail it is their self-belief and faith. Questions like “What if I fail?” and “What will people say?” have killed many dreams and people than actually trying.
All in all, Neeraa manages to keep the reader engaged and eventually gets them thinking. One may not agree or find each of the 150 ideas relevant or applicable to your particular situation. The book will get the young minds thinking about ways to build their Body, Mind & Spirit with positivity. And each small step in that direction counts to making a better individual.
What I liked:
- Simple, lucid writing
- Good structure – small one paragraph points make it easy to follow and read without being too heavy on the eyes.
- Very real issues addressed
What could be better:
- Some of the points seem to be repeated but of course they have been explored from a different viewpoint
- More illustrations – young minds love visual appeal
- Real examples of young people and excerpts from their interviews could make it more interesting.
My ratings for this book: 4/ 5
<< This book was sent to me for review, however all the opinion expressed in here are my own.
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