"Last night a bird sang through the storm, lightning and thunder with unbridled courage and joy. I want to be that bird." #courage #optimism #joy
By all external appearances, I had a fairly normal childhood in a middle-class family in India. My mother was a deeply religious woman. She found immense comfort and solace in the words of the Sikh gurus. The Gurudwara, Sikhs' place of worship, became her second home, especially when domestic struggles filled our home with darkness. My father was perhaps the most intelligent and hardworking man I have ever known. While he harbored an immense store of love and affection, he was also a very angry and a deeply depressed man largely because he felt that life had dealt a very unfair and raw hand to him. Now that I am a father, I can see the logic behind his frustrations but I still have hard time reconciling them with his actions that included verbal and, at times, physical abuse of my mother, angry lashings against the children, and the violent nights that have left permanent scars in my mind.
Rape of innocence
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and My Addiction to Validation
Arun's personal story is a quintessential tale of an immigrant under duress finding success through the sheer dint of hard work, divine luck, and serendipitous connections with some amazingly compassionate and kind people. He tells his story during the chocolate effect™Experiences and much of it is recounted in the video titled Rape of Innocence which you can watch by simply scrolling down.
After being blessed with an insight during a deep meditation, Arun found his calling in helping transform adversity into happiness for abandoned and abused children so they can have a fair shot at life. He was inspired by the book titled The Element by Sir Ken Robinson to spearhead a project called Uno A La Vez (One At A Time) at the SOS Childrens Villages in Costa Rica which is now in its fourth year and has produced significant measurable outcomes far exceeding expectations.
His curiosity to deeply understand how the brain and the soul gets fractured by abuse, neglect and abandonment inspired him to enroll in the Masters of Clinical Psychology program at the Spirituality Mind Body Institute, Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. And in order to find ways to repair the fractured brain and soul, he is now pursuing an in-depth study in Positive Psychology to observe the affects of gratitude and mindfulness interventions on signature character strengths of children who have suffered unspeakable abuse and neglect.
ABOUT ARUN SARDANA
Arun is determined to help break the vicious cycle of abuse and abandonment. As a pragmatist, he understands that he cannot change the world but he believes strongly that he can change the world of a few. Arun's conviction is simple - that changing one life can be enough for a lifetime. To that end, he is now engaged in the development of an early childhood education social enterprise in Costa Rica with his strategic partners Bellelli Education based on the psycho-pedagogical model borrowed from the world-renowned Reggio Emilia Approach.
In order to help fund the two Projects, Arun has developed the chocolate effect™Experiences and has authored a book of the same title. One hundred percent of the profits earned from the Experiences and book sales are donated to these two projects.