Shivani Dhillon

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Disability- A catalyst for spiritual awakening| Blog by Shivani Dhillon

Shivani Dhillon Disability Blog Bookosmia Not That Different

Disability- A catalyst for spiritual awakening


The past week had been extremely stressful. I found myself shouting and screaming at the smallest of things and at some point I broke down, crying as if the flood gates had opened up. While my two neurotypical children were taken aback with my outburst, Shreya on the other hand quietly took my hand and asked me to sit and pray. My heart was filled with love for Shreya and we both sat down to pray.  


As cliched as it may sound but where is spirituality placed in your lives? Don’t get me wrong this is not about what religion you follow. Today, spirituality encompasses our moral values and a broader concept beyond our religious beliefs. It’s also about your faith in the force that powers this universe. 


As parents of children with disability, we have heard multiple times about the sin we or our child may have committed to be born in this lifetime with such challenges. I do believe in the theory of Karma but I don’t see my life with my daughter Shreya as a consequence of my negative actions but as an opportunity to make a difference. 


I have been through phases of heart breaks and failed exams where my belief in God was tested. But Shreya’s birth was one of those moments when my faith in God was undeterred and in fact helped me tide over those difficult days. 


I very distinctly remember the day when the pediatrician gave the news to me. A single tear had rolled down my cheek which I wiped away with one hand, and I remember saying- “So what if she has Down Syndrome, I am here to look after her and everything will be fine.” This courage came to me from my strong belief in God. I knew that this was not just a challenge but something with a deeper meaning. I just had to find that meaning. 


Looking after a child with disability encompasses our whole life. But we are also given a chance to rediscover life once again. 


Making spirituality a part of my life became my most important coping mechanism. We all find our ways to cope with the stress & anxiety, we take a break, go out for a party with friends, go for a holiday, find a hobby. But Covid has been a real game changer. It made us realize that all these coping mechanisms were dependent on outside factors and if it was not available like during Covid times, our world could just collapse. 



Praying and meditating helps me to keep calm and happy. There is no bigger gift that we can give our children than the gift of happiness. True happiness will only come when you have embraced your life with all the challenges and struggles. 


I always make it a point to sit and pray with my children, make them close their eyes and chant. My intention was to connect Shreya to the higher power so that when I am not there with her she can draw her strength from God. Like other neurotypical children Shreya may not have the maturity to train herself to deal with challenging situations but she will definitely have the strength and power of prayers to take her through all kinds of situations in her life. 


An ex-journalist, Shivani is an award winning social entrepreneur and Founder, Samvid Stories and Down Syndrome Support Group,India. Mother to a beautiful daughter Shreya, with Down Syndrome, Shivani is a fellow at the India Inclusion Summit’22.

This post is a part of “International Day of Disabled Persons” blog hop hosted by Sakshi Varma – Tripleamommy in collaboration with Bookosmia. #IDPD2022Bloghop. Access all posts of this bloghop at


21 Responses

  1. That was such a warm, personal and comforting read. One can find peace in spirituality and the first step is to accept oneself. Best wishes for your journey.

  2. Prayers have power and help to guide you in finding the right path that helps in overcoming the struggles of life. During the lockdown, I also started a daily meditation with my both kiddos. Truly said, the best gift we can give our kids is how to stay happy.

  3. Deep down when something disturbs us we all seek answers from almighty in the form of prayers and prayers are really magical that calm our soul and mind. Each and every one requires this divine connection to stay motivated and focussed.

  4. I can understand what you mean. As a mother of a special needs child, I can identify with a lot of what you say. I too am in search of that deeper meaning. Having Anvay has brought many many changes within me and in my life.

  5. Thanks for sharing a truly unique perspective. My son’s name is Shlok ( God’s Praise) and believe that he has made me a better person with his pure heart.

    I loved the way you mentioned that our kids may not have the maturity to deal with challenging situations but the habit of “prayers” will definitely give them strength to deal with the life as it comes…

    By the way, It was good to hear you during DSFI, Raipur conference as well.

    Sachin Jakhotia

  6. You are on the right track. When we pray, we tap into a power greater than ourselves. Our prayers are like arrows that pierce the heavens and release God’s power into our lives and situations. When we pray in faith, believing that God hears us and will answer us, we open the door for Him to work in our lives in amazing ways.

    Prayer is not a magic formula or a good luck charm, but it is a powerful weapon that God has given us to use against the enemy. When we pray, we are partnering with God to see His will done on earth as it is in heaven. As we pray, He works in us and through us to accomplish His purposes.

  7. I absolutely love your post. We each come with a bag of karma in this life and that’s beyond our control. But we do have control over what we do with the cards we are dealt with. And the way you have dealt with it is phenomenal. I see many parents saying “there is nothing wrong, its ok”. Thats denial. To say “Yes, my daughter has Downs syndrome, I will take care of her to my best ability, but its not the end of the world” requires tremendous faith, strength, love and patience. More power to you.

  8. Prayer is powerful. The conscious act of connecting with one’s self and ones breath. Important for all of us, able, different or otherwise. Thank you for reminding us

  9. Such a personal story that you shared to inspire others. Truly when things get rough, it is only through faith that we can sum up the courage to stand up knowing that there’s someone who can move mountains to guide us. Know that you’re a strong mom!

  10. When nothing works on the outside one tends to look inside and that is when they find their true self. Lovely post. Great to see how you have brought both the topics together. Keep the great work going.
    #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

  11. Having faith and taking time out to pray is an extremely calming coping mechanism. It keeps one grounded and calm – a fantastic tool to impart to your child, something she will always be able to turn to as she continues to navigate this world.

  12. Shivani, I literally had tears in my eyes while reading your beautiful post. You’re the chosen one to nurture and raise angels like Shreya. I loved how you wholly embraced the news and using our voice to spread love, hope, and make a difference in our world. Lots of Love and God Bless.

  13. Your inner strength and the ability to connect your kids with spirituality is inspiring and I am already thinking of ways to initiate this in my kids’s life. Thankyou for sharing your invaluable practice with us

  14. Wow!! I have so much to talk to you now being mother of a kid with CP. Your writing has inspired me to son to develop his spirituality more. Thank you!!

  15. Your post highlights the growing importance of spirituality in our lives, especially after the pandemic where during the lockdown we were forced to spend time with ourselves and our close ones. I admire your courage and optimistic outlook on life. I especially love the line ” I don’t see my life with my daughter Shreya as a consequence of my negative actions but as an opportunity to make a difference.” Faith and positivity is a superpower.

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