Last weekend I taught Radiant Child Yoga to a wonderful group in Edmonton Canada (prairie expanse and the bluest sky ever filled with puffy super-white clouds!).  I was telling Gita, my assistant, about a boy who my husband, Kartar, and I raised for three years.

His name was Hari, and he came from Harlem, in NYC.  His mom was part of our yoga path community.  He was four years old when he came to live with us and stayed until he was seven.  His mother sent him to us because he was more than she could handle at the time…. “hyperactive” (we didn’t have terms like ADHD in the early 80s) and pretty angry.  He had never known his father, mom said he was from Trinidad.  His mom did her best but was exhausted at the end of her long work day, and didn’t have much energy for this hyper boy.  And to top it off, he grew up in an area where he had to stay away from the window in case a stray bullet went by.

He got out of the car on the first day we brought him to the Baltimore suburbs where we lived, looked down and said “Oh, that’s grass!”  Like he had seen it in a book, but not in real life. The second day he lived with us, the garage door opened as Kartar came home from work.  He said “I hear my papa is home!”.  This boy was very much in need of a stable male energy to bond with and that would be Kartar.  They had a great relationship.

One day he got angry and cut my curtains to bits.  I am not proud to say that this action stirred up my anger too.  I remember that I grabbed him and marched him to his room where he stayed for the day, meals brought to him.  Not wanting to see him was just a natural consequence of his actions, so that I felt okay about.  But I could tell that there was some work for me to do about my own inner rage.  Duly noted–and improved as time went on.

Hari was the second child to live with us for a period of time, and he was our first boy. He was our child, and we loved him, and he was his mother’s child and she loved him as only a mother could.  As time went on his anger mellowed out, but he was still pretty hyperactive.  We took him to a natural health practitioner who used applied kinesiology, or muscle testing.  He was tested for all the foods he ate, and was found to be allergic to at least half of them.  The main culprits were wheat, dairy, corn.  We already had a really pure diet, vegetarian, and organic, but even healthy foods like raisins could set him off.

We explained to Hari that we were going to try an experiment.  For 2 weeks he would stay strictly on the diet and we’d see the results.  We made sure he had lots of good and tasty foods to eat that were on the good list.  After two weeks Hari seemed like a different person.  And he was.  He was who he truly was–without the irritating foods to make him irritable.  It was clear to all of us that the foods were causing him to act out in a hyperactive, emotional way.  He stayed on the diet in a modified way for most of the rest of the time he lived with us.

The last time I saw Hari he was about 13, and I haven’t seen him for 15 years.  I send him loving energy when I think of him.  I hope his life is good and he is living on the bright side with lots of green grass and people who love him.