100 Promises to My Baby
As a new mother, I rediscovered the spiritual values taught to me by my own parents, Rita and Deepak Chopra.
BY: Mallika Chopra
When I found out that I was pregnant several years ago, it was one of the happiest and most exciting moments of my life. I was awed by the fact that I had a living being growing inside of me. I spent hours visualizing what my baby would look like, talking and singing to her, caressing her, and beginning to plan for our new family with my husband, Sumant.
However, as my love for my baby grew with each new day, so did my apprehension about whether or not I would be a good mother. Would I know how to take care of my baby? How would I contribute to her happiness or unhappiness? How could I make sure that she treated others well, that she felt secure, that she was on the right path? What was the right path? I became overwhelmed thinking about the responsibility of being a good parent.
It was at this time that I appreciated, probably at the deepest and most sincere level, how grateful I was to my parents, Rita and Deepak Chopra, for the security, patience, love, and support they had given me growing up. For much of my life, people have asked me, "What was it like growing up as Deepak Chopra's kid?" or "How did your parents teach you and your brother, Gotham, spiritual values and ideas when you were children?" Of course, for Gotham and me, our father was always just our father, and Mom was Mom. We never analyzed what it was like to grow up with them or how that was different from others.
But in the context of becoming a parent, I started to think more about the way in which my parents taught us, how they made us feel loved, and how easy it was for us to communicate. Because of my father's work as a spiritual teacher and writer and his eagerness to impart his knowledge to us, I understood at a young age how love and compassion set the foundations for everything else in life.
Gotham and I did have a wonderful childhood-not only because of the fascinating people we met, but because we were taught to look at the world with magical eyes, curiosity, and passion. Perhaps because of this background, during my pregnancy I was inspired to make commitments to myself about how I could emulate what I had learned from my parents, as well as from other family members, ancestors, friends and from my own experiences in life. My hope was to give Tara a childhood filled with wonder, magic, adventure, and mystery. And I felt intuitively that the time to start was while she still a part of me-I somehow knew she would be listening.