I got my Self-Realization with my parents when I was little and have been taught how to meditate and try to keep myself in balance since then. I was also lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to an international school for a few years with children from all over the world that were also Realized and practicing Sahaja Yoga. This foundation has helped me so much to be able to stay in touch with and introspect myself.
Now I'm in college, preparing to go to medical school. I've had time to look back and see what Sahaja Yoga has done for me, and I find that the ways it has helped me are immeasurable. It can be hard to be a teenager in America. The teen culture is very much based on peer pressure - who looks like what, who knows who, who hangs out with who, who wears what.. Where I grew up at least, we are taught to take a strong stance on individualism, but it does not manifest as true individualism. For a large majority, the term seems to translate into rebelliousness rather than individual identity. We put on acts of defiance and confidence, but at the same time, many are looking from the corner of their eye at the next person to see what they are doing, or what their judgement is.
I found this to be very frustrating. Individualism means being comfortable with oneself from the inside out and being able and allowed to express this feeling.
Sahaja Yoga allows me to keep in touch with myself by peaceful meditation, introspection and techniques for keeping the centers clean and balanced. I feel like I am more in touch with who I am than I would be otherwise. Each person is much deeper than their physical body, or even their words or thoughts. There is more to each of us - on the inside - that we often don't pay attention to.
As I said, I'm now in college, and this is a stage in life that many people are looking for something deeper than the high school ideologies. I feel like I'm very lucky to have my Self-Realization. I try to meditate daily and also to keep myself physcially and emotionally balanced, ready for everything that may come in my path, big or small.
I thank my parents, all the Sahaja Yogis that have been a part of my life, and especially Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi for giving me this gift.