Monday, January 4, 2016

Go To Move #8: Meet my Imaginary Friend

Recently a spate of Balika/Bal karaykars have come up with some really amazing ways to keep our kids attention during sabha. So for the next few weeks we are trying to send out and share these ideas. This week Kirtan, who presents regularly in Bal Mandal, shares with us his go-to move.

Do you ever get tired of presenting in Bal mandal because Balaks don’t listen to you? Do balaks always start talking while you are trying to make a point? Here is an idea that has worked for me. It grabs all the Balaks attention when they start to fade and is my favorite Go-To Move.
Many balaks understand the concept  of “an imaginary friend.” This idea is riff on that concept. The key difference being the imaginary friend is Swamibapa. For this to work, you really have to sell the idea that Swamishri is present in sabha. There are several strategies to establish this. I like to start by having a conversation with Swamishri  as soon as I enter the room (even before I start my talk). When balaks see you talking to your imaginary friend they will get confused and start laughing and think it’s funny. That is okay, it is unexpected and you now have their attention. But for this idea to really work you have to quickly make it clear to the balaks that your imaginary friend is Swamishri and that he is truly present and that we need to act as if he is present. If you can sell this the kids will be amazed that you have an imaginary friend that is Swamibapa. Leverage this amazement to make it clear that: “Bapa is going to be here in our sabha today so let's make sure we to pay attention and not mess around.” Once this is established, start the presentation. During your talk to can ask Swamishri questions. If you are about to recite a prasang, say it as if Bapa was really there. Try saying: “Bapa do you remember during your 51st Birthday in Dharmaj when you picked up all those used datan?”
One reason I really like this idea is that this is something all of us should really be doing in any sabha we sit in. We sing prarthna to invite Swamishri into our sabha, but then act as if he is not there. If we can instill this concept in our balaks, they may actually do this throughout their lives in any sabha they sit in (and we may start doing it as well).

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