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Shanti is het verhaal van een baby wees olifantje dat geadopteerd wordt door 3 olifanten mama’s in India. Hedendaagse thema’s als afwijzing, je anders voelen, je niet aanvaard voelen, niet gewenst zijn, er niet bij horen, gepest worden, vriendschap tussen mens en dier, diversiteit, racisme, integratie en omgaan met angsten komen aan bod. Het adoptieverhaal van Shanti biedt de mogelijkheid om nog nog meer in contact te komen met de beleving van deze emoties.
Illustrator Elise Vandeputte van ‘La Cabane En Voyage’ tekent de ziel en het hart van Shanti en Raja in de prachtige illustraties.
Luister naar het verhaal en zing het liedje mee!
Born in the heart of Mother India in 1978, I was born as ‘Renuka’. After spending the first year of my life in an orphanage in Mumbai, I was adopted by a Belgian family at the age of 1. From that moment on, my Indian identity was whipped off the surface of the earth and replaced by Kim Van kuyk. After graduating as a building engineer, I worked for 15 years on construction sites. When Jesse, my son, asked me in 2015: ’Mom, do I have to become an engineer and be unhappy like you or can I do what I love, work with animals, earn less money than you but be happy?’, I got a hugh wake up call. This one sentence changed my whole life, and I dropped my work the following day. My intuition was stronger than any reasonable explanation why not to follow my heart…not quite knowing what impact this decision would have on my life/family, I felt a deep calling inside to listen to the whispers of my heart. I was so curious about how life would be if I’d be true to myself and what would happen to me and to my life if I’d give myself permission to follow my heart.
Days, weeks, months passed and I discovered I was stuck, following instructions from the mind out of fear and that there was so much pain inside of me that needed to heal. Unresolved emotions, trauma’s, surfaced and asked for loving and caring attention. The pain of being abandoned by my parents when I was just a baby left me with an ocean of dark emotions and a low self esteem. I spent so much time alone in nature and started to feel a deep connection with Mother Earth. Jesse helped me remember who I am deep inside, and reminded me day after day to follow my intuition at all times. His presence was a living example on how to follow your heart as he inspired me to stay true to whatever I felt deep inside. He showed me that life is worth living if you live it from the purest of your heart… Spontaneously, I started writing songs from the heart, despite everyone else’s harsh opinions and judgments saying ‘you can’t do it’, ‘are you crazy, you can’t even sing professionally!?’, ‘you have a son to take care of, what are you thinking!!’ But something deep inside of me grew stronger, my inner voice, my heart connection and inner knowing that the only path I could walk was the path of my heart, and that walking this path is my mission in life.
Every time I felt down, overwhelmed with emotions or overloaded with noise of people’s opinions, I went to nature to ‘just be’ and to reconnect with the Source. I would sing to nature…and nature replied…in the silence of my heart, I started hearing the voice of Mother Nature singing to me in the whispers of the wind blowing through the trees, in the whistles of the songs of the birds… A deep dedication to my authentic Self started to grow… Not being able to connect in a physical way with my birth parents, I connected with the Mother we all come from, Mother Earth, the Great Mother of ancient times who provides to us all in abundance if we trust Her, love and respect Her as our Mother. Meanwhile I discovered that my name refers to the Hindi Goddess Renuka, Mother of the Universe.
The lyrics and music come through me, I pick them up and write them down… the songs are about change, about Mother Earth and Father Sky, about emotions, about feelings, about life, about the courage to follow your heart… Each song helps me manifest my dreams into reality.
We are all born to shine, it is not just in some of us, it is in all of us… There’s no differences that can keep us apart if we live from the heart. We’re all instruments of nature, destined to share what lives inside of us.
As a building engineer, I used to build bridges to cross roads, rivers, and oceans…
My music now builds bridges of love between East and West, and unites humanity as one race, one tribe of many colors.
As singer-songwriter I write songs straight from the heart, and when I sing, I never write nor sing alone. It feels as if my ancestors are with me, whispering the lyrics and music through my soul.
My songs are inspired by the emotions, experiences and feelings I have experienced and that have enriched my life in so many ways. They describe the path of my heart, and the courage it takes to keep following that path…
We all are instruments of nature and once we are in line with our soul’s purpose and discover our biggest talents, we can manifestate our mission in life driven by an inextinguishable fire of passion. All we have to do is believe we can!
We are not the owners of lands, we are merely borrowing it from our children. It is our responsibility to preserve nature so that our children may thrive and teach their children.
Our children actually remind us of who we truly are. We’re too busy in our daily lives to even notice their powerful messages and observe their intuitive remarks: they are the guru’s of living in the moment and the real teachers of being fully present in whatever the moment holds within. They help us become aware of our love for nature and love for each other.
When we open our hearts to ourselves, and dare to live our authentic self, what a beautiful example we’ll set for the next generations to come.
My songs open the hearts for those who have ears to listen…and help them get more in touch with their feelings on the pathway of awakening the heart.
A world full of light is born when we dare to align with what matters
With love, Renuka ॐ
The childrensbook ‘Shanti’ is my debut as author and lines up with my personal expierences as an orphan in India. It forms the foundation on which all other projects are and will be created.
The book is beautifully illustrated with drawings, a self written song and spoken audio story.
Every child is special, every human being unique in their own special way and Shanti reminds us of who we are deep inside.
We are all meant to shine, it is not just in some of us, it is in all of us.
May the songs I sing and stories I write empower those who want to live their authentic selves and help build their dreams in a world that is continuously changing.