Why do we exercise our joints?

Do you know why most physical exercises – be it yoga, aerobics, weight training, etc. – stress on moving the joints of the body? Why, even spiritual practices across religions - like the sashtang namaskars of Hindus, or the namaz that Islam professes, or the kneeling down in the church – all, involve bending and ‘activating’ the joints. The reason lies in the fact that the energy in the body gets ‘trapped’ at the joints and therefore it becomes necessary to exercise the joints to keep the energy moving.

For our body to be healthy, it is imperative that the energy in it keeps flowing freely. In fact, if you concentrate on doing just activity throughout life, life’s goodness will come your way. Everything that occurs or doesn’t occur in our life is a result of the energy flow in our body – both physical and mental.

This flow can get hampered due to a number of reasons like ego, bad health, faulty thinking, hidden emotions, a poor and thin aura, bad relationships, guilt, jealousy, etc. Conversely, it can also be said that all these negative attributes arise due to poor energy flow.

A major contributor of a lack of energy movement is when you do not exercise your joints. That is why the seers across religions, devised exercises and rituals in such a way, combining it with adequate amount of discipline and societal pressure that the individual indulges in activities that helps to keep his energy moving. So much so, that it becomes part of his daily living even without his realizing it.

What would happen if the joints are not exercised?

To explain this, I’ll give the example of a water canal since after all, water is a form of energy. Consider a canal that bends at two points. Water will flow in it smoothly in as long as it is long and straight. But when the bend occurs, the water takes a while to change direction. It will splash against the walls of the canal, create a vortex there due to the pressure before ultimately changing its direction. Ditto at the other bend as well.

This constant pressure situation at the bends will cause erosion of the soil and wear and tear of the canal’s walls in those areas, isn’t it? It therefore becomes necessary for the hydraulics department to keep cleaning the bends and making sure no silt formation takes place there. When the silt deposits increase, the quantity of water flowing further down the canal also decreases.

The same principle operates in our body as well. Exercises – spiritual and fitness – are techniques to avoid the ‘silt’ formation in the joints because when the joints are not exercised, the quantum of energy flowing down to the other parts of the body will also decrease. That is why, joint pain is usually the first type of pain that springs up in our body.

So, keep those joints moving and with it, your energy.

How important is anger?

Can you predict what will happen the next instant? Never mind the soothsayers, ordinarily, energy movements cannot be predicted. One can hope and probably surmise based on past experiences, but prediction can never be done with hundred per cent surety. The reason is the state of flux of virtually everything around us, where energy patterns get defined and redefined every nanosecond. It is in our interest that we understand this, and structure our actions and reactions accordingly.

A ‘state of flux’ is defined “as a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event) preceding the establishment of a new direction of action”. We watch our body’s movements and learn about life’s movements, which in turn help us discover how the universe moves. And in this discovery, we realise that nothing is rigid. Everything is in a state of flux, a state of change, and all we have to do is have enough confidence, love, courage and hope to move with this ebb and flow of life itself. And in this flow we begin to find a sense of meaning to life, a sense of purpose, which may have been evading us so far.

A classic symptom of this state of flux is the state of ‘anger’. Like all emotions, anger is a form of energy and as with all forms of energy, it is constantly in motion. An angry person is unpredictable. “Oh, he gets angry at the drop of a hat!” – we have often encountered and heard this expression.

Anger as an energy form can be creative and destructive. Anger by itself is a secondary emotion. What’s more important and primary is what caused the anger. Anger is otherwise clean, immediate, forceful and very active - occurring in response to a violation of how we think the world should work. Anger is not inherently violent. But the destruction and danger lie in the way people express (or show) anger.

Anger is a message. Our body is telling us something and it is our duty to listen to it. Staying with the anger -- feeling it without being overwhelmed -- will help in finding out about the problem or issue. Once we receive this message, the feeling will quickly change to energy and motivation.

Energy after all, is never constant. It changes forms every instant. The energy of anger can be converted into the energy of satisfaction pretty easily – all it requires is a change of attitude, the spirit of acceptance and the feeling of gratitude.

It’s important to realise that prolonged and repressed anger is unhealthy because when we are constantly angry, the brain downshifts to a lower evolutionary level.

The importance of centring

It is human nature to try to master everything around us. We want to score the highest, get the best jobs, the highest paycheques, success, fame, achievement – why, even burst the huge cracker bomb holding it our hand where prudence dictates otherwise! It hurts our ego if we are unable to master what we see around us. However, the moot point is – are we in control of our Self, of the energy we generate before trying to master other things? This is certainly the truth for leaders in any profession, whether it is sports, business, or academics. If you do not know your Self, it is that much more difficult to lead others.

On a similar vein, we often hear statements such as – “Oh, he hurt my feelings” or “He betrayed me”. The point is, no one can do anything to you without your permission. If you feel hurt, it is your fault because you allowed that someone to hurt you. It is always a matter of your choice and reflects how much you are in control of your energy. And one of the best ways to be in control is through a process called centring.

A term often associated with meditation, centring is, simply put, taking the time to be in the moment, to focus and calm yourself. Are you wondering how calming yourself helps in achieving self-mastery? Let me explain. If you are in a heated battle of words with someone, your anger will control the outcome of the argument. If you can centre yourself so that you are focused and calm, the battle winner will surely be you.

Centring is a sure shot way to prevent burnout. It is a distraction skill to pull you away from a bad experience, and involves:

1. Deep breathing: Deep breathe 10 times when you feel ‘out of control’. Take a walk, or climb stairs – activities that increase the breathing rate. A change in breathing changes your frequency and therefore the frequency of whatever is around you.

2. Deliberate relaxation of muscle groups (shoulders, neck, tongue, hand) – Shavasana is a good exercise here. Simply mentally telling every part of your body to “relax”, and then subsequently to “wake up” is a good technique.

3. Centre your balance over your feet – Visualise your awareness being ‘pulled’ to your navel. Many martial arts exponents do this. They move their arm from their heart to their navel as if ‘they were pulling down something’. Also stand on one foot, the other foot raised. And then do the same with the other leg. You should be perfectly balanced on both occasions.

Centring is a very important process that you should adopt as a daily activity. We all centre ourselves unconsciously (like when you take a deep breath before stepping onto the stage or going for a meeting), but when done consciously, the benefits are that much more.

Let's go on a treasure hunt!

You may be having a drawing book, a workbook, a craft book, a textbook or notebook at home. As a student of healing, do you have a healing book? Bewildered? I am not talking about the books available in the market on different therapies; it is a book through which you facilitate healing. Still bewildered? Read on...

A healing book is a combination of all the above types of books. It is an important tool in the creative visualization process that hastens healing in a big way. The first requirement is to have a blank book of any size. Second, be clear of what you want to achieve, and write it down in plain terms at the onset. Let's assume you want a promotion in your job. In your healing book, write down your intention as if you have already achieved it. This is called a cosmic affirmation. For instance, in this case, your sentence could be "I have been promoted to ...(the designation you desire). It is best to keep one intention at a time.
Don't stop at just that. Supplement it with drawings, collages, art works, signs and symbols et al - all showing you as already being promoted. Draw and picturise yourself the way you would want to be after getting promoted. If you want to sit in a cabin, visualise yourself as doing that. If you want to be reported to, write it down or draw and visualize your colleagues reporting to you. You can unleash your creativity here; there is no bar on how and what you want to express. Use lots of bright colours. You could break down your intention into steps, and work on achieving each step, which will in turn help you achieve your final goal. Keeping "feeding" this intention with energy till you achieve it.
This is a very power technique in creative visualisation that if done properly, works miraculously. It is like a treasure map, an actual, physical picture of your desired reality. It is valuable because it forms an especially clear, sharp image that can then attract and focus energy into your goal. It works along the same lines as a blueprint of a building. When you become familiar with this technique, you will find your intentions manifesting quickly.
Having said that, the ideal affirmation is one where the highest healing is sought – a simple affirmation as “may the best happen to me” is best because we in our limited understanding, we fail to understand why certain events happen in life, and the lessons that they teach us. At the same time, it is our job to keep the energy moving and infuse positivity constantly.It is in such a situation that this healing book comes handy. It is much like defragmenting your brain – the way you defragment your computer – and getting your thoughts in order. That way your subconscious finds it easier to process the information and make it happen for you.

Of green rasams and yellow papads

Have you ever been fortunate to taste white curd rice with a piece or two of red pickle floating on it? There's nothing more mouth watering if you ask me. Or how about hot'n'spicy dark maroon Vegetable Kolhapuri with white mixed raita? How about this - Olive green rasam with yellow papad for taste? Finished visualising? Now, here's something different - light brown chapattis with light green cabbage bhaji. Aah, neither is the taste great nor are the colours, right?

Are you wondering why I am stressing on the colour of the food so much? Well, just to emphasise that by and large, foods of the right colour and those that "match" with each other, taste brilliant. Take salad for instance. Orange carrots jostling for space with green cut cabbage leaves supported by bright red beet and yellowish cucumber. Just picture these food items mentally and experience the feeling and its energy. Don't you feel pleasant, energetic and ...hungry?

The colour of food plays a big role in determining your health, appetite and mood. Imagine going to a clean vegetable market, and wandering through the mass of green. Alternatively, imagine going to a dirty vegetable market and stomping over rotting onions and "sadela" palaks. Dull in colour and stinking. Won't you feel a difference in temperament? That's the power of colour for you.
The colour of food, and your surroundings affect the way you eat. Colours like blue, violet and black depress the appetite, and red, yellow and orange stimulate it. Have you noticed that fast food places are usually decorated with reds and yellows, encouraging their customers to eat more at a faster pace? The colour of your plate and tablecloth also affect how much you eat. (Now you know why food eaten on a plantain leaf tastes yummy compared to that on a normal steel plate).
So, next time if you were not that hungry and managed to eat faster than your companions, look at your plate. Is it red? Food colouring also plays a big role in the packaging industry. Given these colour associations, food can be rejected by consumers not because of bad taste, but simply because it isn't attractively coloured. And it is here that companies are accused of using non-permitted and excessive colours that may trigger a host of life-threatening disorders for you. However, that's another story.

* Why do we pour litres and litres of milk on a shiva linga on Mahashivaratri, and don't carry a glass of milk for a beggar on the street? Do we see God more in stones than in humans?
* Why do we make God a tool of our political machinations when we build temples just to capture land?
* Though we profess the values of earning money through hard work, do we really provide transvestites with opportunities to work?
* Why are we shouting ourselves hoarse about the corruption in society when we fall to the temptation of avoiding tax at the slightest instance?
* Why do we think of donations only in terms of money? Don't compliments, wishes, hugs, love, care, et al qualify for the same?
* If the parents of building construction workers had programmed their kids saying "Beta, don't climb up the ladder, you'll fall down", would any high-rise building ever be constructed?

The symbolism of festivals

Why do Hindus have so many festivals? For that matter, why do all religions have festivals at all? Don’t we have enough to do that we should spend our time celebrating festivals?

The answer is celebrations shake the energy pattern. It keeps the energy moving. Virtually all festivals celebrate the victory of good over evil. It signifies the vanquishing of the ego and the rise of the self. In the context of Navratri, the stories about the Goddess destroying the demon Mahishasur (and the entire universe cooperating to help her in her mission) is another way of saying “when you do good, the universe conspires to help you in your mission”.
Similarly, there is a symbolism behind the 'bull' being destroyed by the 'Devi'. What do we call someone who is very dull, thick-skinned and insensitive? A buffalo! The Divine Mother is symbolically conquering the buffalo of inertia and dullness.
Festivals have also been strategically devised as a medium for donation and bonding. Take Navratri for instance. There is so much of energy movements in this one festival – the garba dance, the nine nights of revelry, the golu celebrations of Tamilians where dolls are arranged on steps and people invited and gifts given, the nine days of Durga puja, et al.
At every instance, one can witness a coming together of people, participation, giving, involvement, donation, feeding, merriment, creation and a blissful forgetfulness of the rigours of daily life. Festivals help achieve all that. They change the energy movements; they change perspectives.
We are fortunate to have so many festivals; the loss to the national exchequer is quite another story! But the sheer drama and colour associated with festivals is what keeps us going in a way, isn’t it? It’s a period to look forward to, to make plans, to set aside money too!
It is in our interest that we see festivals in the right spirit, and enjoy them for the purpose that they were originally thought of. It would be a pity if we were to see them as – “Oh, Navratri’s coming” or “Oh Diwali’s coming” and think about the associated expenditure that comes along with it. These festivals were meant as energy boosters and not wallet drainers you know.

And the award goes to...

We live in an age that stresses on achievement. Where all we do is prove ourselves better than our neighbour. A mad rush for that 15 minutes of fame. But if we just ponder a bit, it would become evident that there are far too many contenders for every award. And some winners simply win hands down, like the ones listed below randomly...

Most Powerful Man: Fisherman. Tell me, will you dare go near him especially when he comes stomping towards you with his macchi ka tokri balanced on his head and fish water dripping all over? No, na? Why even the most powerful of politicians won't attempt to cross his path, isn't it?

Most Powerful Woman: A commercial sex worker. What matters most to us is shame. It is shame that we all try to protect. Anybody who has crossed that boundary has nothing to lose, and hence is in a position of strength. A CSW is just that.

Best Manager: The late Veerappan. That man may have been the most wanted criminal this side of the earth, but it takes tremendous managerial abilities to have been able to manage 6,000 sq km of forest area, a thriving sandalwood business, politicians and police personnel of two states, plus the Border Security Force and other paramilitary forces, rival gangs, and last, but not the least, his own troops, for over two decades, uninterruptedly.

Best craftsman: God. No two mountains are similar; every cloud has a different lining; there are a million varieties of soil, and a zillion varieties of living species. Doesn't all this require a master craftsman to be at work?

Best doctor: Nature. It provides a cure for every disease. You only have to search for it and be open to possibilities.

Best healer: Time. Yes, time heals everything - be it physical, emotional or mental problems. Even spirituality is attained only with time.

Best engineer/architect: Weaver bird. Have you seen how beautifully it builds its nest and how precariously it hangs from the branch? It does not suffer any damage even in the worst of storms. Bridge engineers could learn a lesson or two from it, what say?

Best sight: A baby's toothless grin. You cannot ignore it at all.

Best moment: Sitting together with the family for dinner.

Best go-getter: The humble ant. Hard work, perseverance and ants studied in school together.

Best tutorial: Experience. Nothing sticks better than a lesson learnt in life.

Best vocation: Volunteering. Sometimes the jobs no one wants conceal big opportunities.

Best gift: Peace of mind.

Greatest influencer: Kindness. Mother Teresa swore by it.

Best tip: The one you give to your hairdresser. Your looks depend a lot on his moods and abilities, you know.

Best human being: All of us! We all have our faults, but we are not all that bad!

The Martyrdom Syndrome

Have you seen people playing the martyr’s role to perfection? I am not talking of the martyr who lays down his life fighting for freedom, but the everyday martyr – the silent sufferer who believes that his duty is to suffer to allow others to enjoy.

People who subscribe to this thought, will always be found doing the donkey’s work, denying themselves pleasure and comfort even if it is their right, and offered to them on a platter. They will always be the ones carrying other people’s burden – slowly burning themselves out from inside. Helping out is one thing, but becoming the martyr unnecessarily is quite another. Such people are programmed to hold on to their suffering.

No matter what you believe with your conscious mind, your subconscious will always win out over the long run and control your behaviour. And this behaviour will depend on how you have programmed yourself. Remember, your subconscious is like a super-computer. It only accepts and implements programs. Your conscious mind works while you’re awake, but your subconscious works round the clock.

People who think they have to be perfect, can never be wrong, will be rewarded for their suffering and self denial; will end up holding on to their suffering. Those who fear change or don’t feel competent to face the consequences of change, will be mired in martyrdom.

Society places a high premium on those who play the martyr – martyrdom while fighting for freedom, the Nirupa Royish-woman of the house sacrificing her wants at the altar of family service, the eldest in the family sacrificing his/her wishes to raise up his/her siblings in the absence of the parents – we see it all over the place. Is there anything wrong with it? While to be a martyr or not is an individual decision, from an energy perspective, it is certainly not a wise thing to do.

In energy terms, martyrdom is the voluntary giving of a chunk of your personal energy. Sustained giving later results in your subconscious automatically giving away energy all the time because it is programmed to do so. Such a person becomes the fall guy – like Dinesh Kartik is to the current Indian cricket team, playing the role of substitute, water-bearer, etc., despite being a good cricketer.

Martrydom drains your energy to a point when you have little or no energy left. There comes a point when the martyr has no energy left to give, and expects energy from others, without realising that it is the latter’s choice whether to give off their energy or not. It is at this time that we get to hear statements like – “I have done so much for him, sacrificed my wishes to fulfil his, but look how has betrayed me”. The onus of generating energy and conserving it is yours. You need to take care of yourself so that you can also take care of others.

In friendship, 'bitching' is natural

Ø “We are such good friends, yet she bitches about me.”
Ø “I feel claustrophobic in my relationship with him. I mean, I just cannot dare say anything that will offend him: he may just snap the ties.”

Do these statements sound familiar? Many relationships have fallen by the wayside simply because of these issues or more. Is it wrong for good friends to bad-mouth each other, and then ‘renew’ their friendship as if nothing happened? Well, it is perfectly natural for that to happen, and the reason lies in a principle of energy movement.

When energy is created, you have to make space for waste because garbage is automatically created with any kind of creation. Take, for instance, your body. Just as you require the digestive system to assimilate what you take in, you also need the excretory system to manage the waste. Similarly, in your house, just as you need the front door, you also need the loo. The front of a building may be beautifully designed, but just walk across to the backside and you will see the not-so-beautiful side of it - the pipes, the air-conditioning ducts, etc. They don’t make a very pretty sight, but they are as much necessary as the front side if not more.
A relationship too is a form of energy. When you start a relationship, you generate energy in the form of that relationship. Which means – just like the previous examples I gave – there has to be a space or an avenue to manage the waste due to that generation. And waste in relationships can happen in the form of fights, inability to keep in touch, lack of time, need for space, elbow room for criticism, lack of sharing et al.
If you do not allow for and accommodate this ‘waste’ in your relationships, it is likely that that relationship will not last. Often, people get into relationships expecting only the good and the positive from it. Energy movements, however, don’t work that way. The positive and the negative co-exist - the yin-yang principle.
The package of being human comes with the good and bad, the positive and negative, the cool and not-so-cool quotients…all of which have to be factored in when entering into a relationship. As also the fact that when the negative side raises its head, just wait for it to subside. Then, the positive takes over. And the relationship becomes hunky-dory again. The mistake most people make is to not let it subside. That’s when war of words take place, and the negative energy starts multiplying thereby totally ruining the relationship.
Maintaining a relationship is an art; ask those who have nurtured long and strong relationships to know about the secret. They will tell you the truth lies in acceptance and accommodation.

The hostile takeover of childhood

Nowadays, when kids sing on television music shows, they don’t sound like kids, do they? They sing exactly like the original playback singer! There was a time when a ‘Naani teri morni ko mor le gayi’ sung so beautifully by Ranu Mukherjee (and composed soulfully by Salil Chowdhury apparently for his grand-daughter Antara) used to warm the cockles of many a music aficionado – purely on account of the innocence in the voice of the singer. Not any more. Over the years, childhood has been ruthlessly taken over.

Today’s children’s mental and physical growth is not the same. What has taken over is the desire to look and behave older than what they actually are. Fueling those pre-teen and early teen wishes to act and appear more grown-up is a behaviour creep that has some experts and parents worried that kids are growing up too fast for their own good, and they're not emotionally, physically or intellectually prepared to handle the responsibility that comes with it. Kids are getting all the trappings of maturity, but there is no evidence their emotional maturity is keeping pace.
There was a time when generation gaps were about eight to ten years. Now that too has shrunk to 2-3 years. Today, we find a 13-year-old is not able to mentally ‘connect’ with his nine-year-old sibling. He already experiences a generation gap at that tender an age.
Having said that, look at the other side. Kids today are far smarter than their predecessors. It is commonplace to hear “Gosh, today’s kids are so smart. When I was their age, I would not even dream of doing those things”. We see prodigies developing by the dozen.
What does all this translate into in ‘energy’ terms?
Every stage of life requires its own level of energy. A three year-old’s energy requirement will vastly differ from an eight year-old’s, never mind the difference in academic qualification and age. The energy framework of a human being develops when certain situations occur in life. For instance, a birth in the family has a different energy connotation; bereavement has a different energy impact. Similarly, success and failure have different energy impacts. The fact is that one needs to go through different stages of life in order for this energy to get fully developed and utilised. That is the reason we touch the feet of our elders. It is to acknowledge the fact that they have experienced the ups and downs of energy far more, and therefore are more ‘experienced’ in life.
When a shrinking takes place – like in the case of childhood – the energy in that person does not get an opportunity to fully blossom. As a result, the child operates on a reduced level of energy – a truncated variety that is kind of programmed into his DNA. The result is there to see in the form of not only a shrinking childhood, but in attention deficit disorders; the total disregard for details; the need for everything in a jiffy, etc. The solution to this issue is the age-old Hindi saying: “Bachche ko khilne do”. This is just another way of saying: “Let the child’s energy bloom fully”. Only then will it be able to experience all-round growth.

Keep your aura clean

The aura - that protective shield of energy surrounding your body - is like Srinagar: it's perpetually under attack from unwanted energy that we tend to absorb 24/7. Extending anywhere between a few inches to several feet, the aura is your psychic shield. Simply put, the aura strengthens your immunity, protects you from unwanted energy and brings you opportunities. Though the magic of the aura and its importance is much much deeper, we will not go into that aspect for now.
Your aura is in a constant state of change. It either increases in size depending on whether you have involved yourself in an energising exercise like sports, singing, laughter, etc., or, it gets drained depending on your mood, health or your interactions with people of lesser energy. When you get a ailment, it actually 'hits' you about 3-6 months before you actually feel the symptoms. That's because it touches the aura first, and that little voice inside you warns you slightly of an impending health trouble. That ailment takes that many months to come to the physical body.
Given this reality, it is a good exercise to "clean" it ie. remove traces of bad energy that may have got 'stuck' to it. There are many ways to cleanse any unwanted energies in your aura. Some of these are physical acts like smudging or showering, while some are visualisations.
When we speak of cleansing the aura, we are not implying that it is "dirty," but one can over time, especially when dealing with other people through the course of a day, pick up bits of their energy and emotions. These may be positive or negative, but they are not yours, and can affect your ability to stay grounded and centered.
In general, an aura-hygiene program should be part of your routine on rising and retiring, just like washing your face or brushing your teeth. This will ensure that your aura doesn't get depleted at any time.

Aura Cleaning Techniques:
* The concept of burning incense in places of worship and also in the house, is to clean the aura. Specific contents in the incense possess the ability to clean auras.
* Water is an excellent resource. Add a little rock salt to the water before bathing. Rock salt has the quality of absorbing negative energy. That is the reason why pilgrims are advised to bathe in the sea before entering a place of worship. A pilgrim with a clean aura has a lesser chance of polluting the energy in that place of worship.
* Visualising golden light or white light flowing down from the heavens and cleaning your aura is also an excellent technique. This comes under the process ' Creative visualisation'* One can cleanse the aura using nothing more elaborate than breath: when breathing out, visualize all your negativity being flushed out, and breath in fresh positive energy.

Is your personal budget in place?

  • Mrs Saraswati Ganesan was browsing through the marriage albums of her three daughters and was recalling her struggle during her early life especially since her husband’s income used to just about make ends meet. But it was her astute money management skills that helped her to manage her household expenses and save enough to get her three daughters married. What Ganesan did was very simple: she kept envelopes for different kinds of household expenses and when her husband got home his salary, she allocated a portion of it for the various expenses and put that money in the respective envelopes. The rest she saved. And today, that discipline and budgeting acumen done over the years has helped her manage her life well.
  • Rakesh Vora used to be a depressed individual till one day in a fit of emotional upsurge, he decided to do something about his life and lifestyle. He noted down all that he had always wanted to do – passions that he thought would never materialise. And once, that was done, he allocated time for each of them, with different periodicities – some were weekly activities like his singing class, while others, like a half-hour meditation and prayer session, was assigned as a daily exercise. Within months, he felt better, was more positive and his depression became history.

    What these two examples go to prove is that regardless of the annual budget that our Finance Minister presents every year, there is a budgeting exercise that we need to do continuously. The game is called energy management. In the case of the country’s budget, the FinMin is allocating energy in the form of money. In our daily lives, on the other hand, we allocate energy in the form of money, time, passion, love, etc.

Why, the earth too has an energy budget that includes all gains of incoming energy and all losses of outgoing energy. The planet is approximately in equilibrium, so the sum of the gains should be approximately equal to the sum of the losses.
Energy can be harnessed better if it is neatly allocated to different tasks. For instance, a father of two will be doing justice to his children only if he invests and allocates time towards both of them. It becomes necessary for him to do that if he wants to raise them well. On a macro level however, raising children becomes one aspect of his energy allocation. The rest would be in taking care of his wife, parents, providing the family income, investing for the future, managing his workplace, etc.
So, if you notice, at every stage, energy can be managed only if it is divided into manageable levels. Else – as explained previously in this column – the energy starts to manage us. And that is a dangerous proposition.
It is a good exercise to put down on paper all those activities that increase your energy and those that deplete. Divide them into two columns – the debits and credits. Having done that, judge intuitively how much energy (by way of happiness, achievement, confidence, etc) each activity gives you, and on the debit side, how much energy gets drained by each of your activities. You will then have a clear picture of which activities need to be moderated to curb energy drainage, and which activities need to be worked upon to generate more energy. It’s an interesting exercise. Try it out.

How good is your FQ?

We’ve all heard of IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient) and SQ (Spiritual Quotient). All these will not work, unless you are strong on FQ (Fun Quotient). A good FQ keeps negative emotions from developing. Scientific studies increasingly indicate a healing effect of laughter and light-hearted experiences on the mind, body and soul, which they say bring about changes in the brain chemicals that alter mood and immune functions. Absence of fun in whatever you do results in stress, absenteeism, low morale and output, and poor performance.
As humans, we like enjoyment and seek entertainment in all that we do. In fact, the times are such that if a product does not entertain us, we switch to another one. How often have you felt the need to change your mobile phone simply because its FQ is low? How quickly do you change the channel on the telly when a programme fails to entertain you? How often have you felt like changing your partner when he/she becomes ‘uncool’? We love people who are ‘so much fun’, don’t we? Even newspapers for that matter, strongly follow the entertainment instinct. News today is packaged in such a way so that it informs in an entertaining manner.
Recently there was an article in The Times of India about cyberslacking – the term coined for those who spend time in the office chatting online. Apparently, nowadays one-fifth of an employee’s office time is spent in chatting. While that’s not pleasant news for employees, it pays to look at what makes chatting more enjoyable than working. And if work were to become fun and if colleagues were to become close pals, would employees spend that amount of time chatting online?
The FQ factor has its influence in everything that you do. It improves performance dramatically. Perspectives change. Therefore energy patterns change. What earlier looked boring, suddenly changes colour, form and value. Attitudes change for the better. And life becomes fun to live. In other words, the FQ factor takes over everything that we do – be it brushing our teeth, sending an email, meeting deadlines, whiling away time in a traffic jam, dealing with health issues, et al.
Often most people spend too much time doing and thinking of unpleasant or non-rewarding activities. They often live in the past recounting unpleasant memories and trudge along in life carrying the heavy burden of depressing past experiences. If this thought has occurred to you, it is time to calculate your FQ.
Fun activities could also mean incorporating light-hearted activities that refresh you. Identify your passions, interests, hobbies, etc., and get in touch with them. Allot a time of the day for such activities and indulge in them in small ways. These are huge energy boosters and can sustain you through the rigours of daily living.
Every weekend make a defined plan for a significant FQ activity. Once you have this time set aside, guard it as a sacred appointment. Re-evaluate your strategies after a few weeks and check if your FQ factor is higher.

Who has the time?

  • “Nowadays there is just no time…”
  • “Today’s generation has no patience for anything, I tell you..”
  • “I have so many dreams…I want to achieve this, this and this..”
  • “I feel so tired nowadays.”

    Do these statements sound familiar? Have you ever wondered why you feel “time flies so fast nowadays”? Should we blame it on the pace of our life or the times we live in? Well, the blame for this hurry-hurry zindagi lies in the changes in the earth’s frequency!
    Believe it or not, the Earth behaves like an enormous electric circuit. It has a frequency of its own and also an energy budget. Since several decades, the earth's background base frequency or ‘heartbeat’ (called Schumann Resonance or SR) has been measured at 7.8 cycles per second. This was once thought to be constant; in fact, global military communications were developed on this frequency.
    However, since 1980, this frequency has been rising dramatically - to 11.2 cycles some time back, and recent reports indicate the frequency to be as high as 13. Science doesn't know why, or what to make of it. This ordinarily means that a 24-hour day actually equates to only 16 hours a day today! In other words, time is speeding up!
    At the same time, the field strength of Earth's gravity is dropping at an alarming rate. According to reports, in the last few years, the earth’s magnetic north has been moving pretty fast as well. Science acknowledges SR as a sensitive indicator of temperature variations and worldwide weather conditions. Scientists believe the fluctuating SR may be a factor in the severe storms, floods, and weather of recent years.
    The geomagnetic field of this planet has been growing weaker very gradually for about 2,000 years. It was at about 4 gauss then and about 500 years ago started dropping down at a quicker rate. Right now the geomagnetic field measures at a mere .4 gauss. The field has also become erratic and is affecting the migratory paths of many species that rely on internal senses tuned in to the geomagnetic lines of force that have been stable for thousands of years. Migratory birds are now going to the wrong locations and whales and dolphins are beaching themselves because the lines now move into land whereas earlier they did not.
    So what effect does all this have on us?
    Exactly what I mentioned before – lack of time, too many things too soon, lack of patience, and an inability to focus. It also translates into truncating and shortening everything to fit in a 16-hour time frame. The effect is seen in everything – from the way we flick channels on the remote, to the way we multitask while doing our daily activities. Why, even the pace of our breathing has become faster.Is there anything we can do about it? Well, the earth is too powerful a magnet. If it’s power has to be countered, only a collective effort may help. Controlling and slowing down our breathing will alter our frequency levels, and when many people do it collectively, the frequencies around us will change.

    Type rest of the post here

Personal Energy Management - 2nd workshop

(left) Pendulum session in progress
(below) Some explanations about science and spirituality
The entire group

The next workshop's here! After the success of my first workshop on Personal Energy Management on August 18, I will be having the next one on Sunday, Sept 9.


Workshop date: Sept 9, 2007 (sunday)
Venue: Nalanda Centre, Kamala Mills, Lower Parel.
Timing: 9-4 pm.
Age Group: 16-25 years.
Your investment: Rs 800 per participant. (which includes a working lunch, tea/coffee, and written material)
No of participants: 18.
Registration compulsory.
Register by emailing ur contact details to

The earlier workshop was very satisfying for both the participants and for me.


The workshop was really a perfect blend of knowledge,enthusiasum and energy hope we continue to share the same thru the group.

Thanx for the workshop. Already operationalized some measures & what' s great is that they seem to be working.

Well Sridhar, it was indeed a wonderful experience & m looking forward to level when are we planning for that ??

oh boy.. sridhar sir,, you have no idea ow much the energy's been shaken in these past few weeks.. please inform us abt the other workshops as well..

Well, I too found the workshop to be very educational....Other than the learnings that came out of the workshop, I was happy to have met people who yearn to lean on their spiritual sides, are positive and openminded. I came to the workshop with the experience of energy leaking out and left with the knowledge to prevent it.

The art of breathing right

Do you know why we have two nostrils? It is not because we have two eyes, two ears, two hands and two legs, and therefore two nostrils. The reason is far different. The nostrils help to maintain body temperature. The right nostril represents the surya nadi and the left one, the chandra nadi. Yogis believe that regular practice of alternate breathing will clean and rejuvenate the vital channels of energy, thus the name nadi sodhana (purification of nadis or channels).

Medical science has recently discovered the nasal cycle, something that was known by the yogis thousands of years ago. Scientists have recently found that we don't breathe equally with both nostrils; that one nostril is much easier to breathe through than the other at any particular time and that this alternates about every three hours.

The yogis claim that the natural period is every two hours, but we must remember these studies were done on people who do not have an optimum health level.Scientists also discovered that the nasal cycle corresponds with brain function. The electrical activity of the brain was found to be greater on the side opposite the less congested nostril. The right side of the brain controls creative activity, while the left side controls logical verbal activity. The research showed that when the left nostril was less obstructed, the right side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects were indeed found to do better on creative tests. Similarly when the right nostril was less obstructed the left side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects did better on verbal skills.
Medical science has not quite caught up with the ancient yogis yet. The yogis went one step further. They observed that a lot of disease was due to the nasal cycle being disturbed; that is, if a person breathed for too long through one nostril. To prevent and correct this condition, they developed the alternate nostril breathing technique. This clears any blockage to air flow in the nostrils and reestablishes the natural nasal cycle.
For example, the yogis have known for a long time that prolonged breathing through the left nostril only (over a period of years) will produce asthma. They also know that this so-called incurable disease can be easily eliminated by teaching the patient to breathe through the right nostril until the asthma is cured, and then to prevent it recurring by doing the alternate nostril breathing technique. The yogis also believe that diabetes is caused to a large extent by breathing mainly through the right nostril.
Having said that, it is important that one learns pranayam techniques only from a good teacher. It has to be taught under supervision initially because it is a powerful technique that generates a lot of energy in the body. The practitioner should be in a position to manage that energy.

Tell-tale signs of energy

The post ‘Your garden determines your energy’ prompted many people to take a deeper look at their balcony gardens. Many were surprised to know the link between gardens and the host family’s energy management skills. Plants are just one of the many ways of judging energy flow. Here are some more:

· Observe the way people open doors while entering a room. Some would open it wildly – not holding the door knob, but just a strong push that would make the door swing open furiously. They don’t care who’s on the other side. On the other hand, there are those who open the door carefully, opening it only a wee bit – just enough and a bit more for their body to fit in. Some, after entering the room, would shut the door with a bang or would leave the door to shut by itself without bothering to see if anybody is following them.
This is not to say that the former is the uncouth, uncaring sort and the latter more understanding. The point I am making is that the way one behaves – be it talking, sitting or even opening a door – speaks about the energy flow in that person. Opening the door is usually directly proportional to the amount of mental space you seek. It also reflects your territorial instincts at that point in time. The door opening habit would change if your energy make-up changes.

· Observe the way people walk. Ideally, one should walk straight with shoulders drawn back, head straight, chin parallel to the ground, and hands freely moving. We all know that. But do we walk that way? No. Some walk bent forward, some bent backward, and some tilted towards the sides. Of course, I am not referring to those with physical disabilities.
Our gait determines the way energy flows in our body – from top to bottom and vice versa. Have you noticed how when depressed, your shoulders tend to stoop, your back arches and your feet do not touch the ground fully when walking. Well, an ailment strikes us when our energy flow is disturbed. One way to shake off depression is consciously correct your posture. This restores the energy flow down the nadis or the energy paths in the body, and this refurbished energy helps you get better.
Prolonged distortion in posture and gait will change the energy mapping of your body. The ‘incorrectly postured’ could have ailments depending on which part of the body is out of balance and where the energy is exerting its ‘weight’. Remember, energy is seamless and weightless when in balance, but when imbalanced, it can exert a lot of weight and pressure. For instance, when breathing normally, you don’t even realise the breath that flows in and out. But when you catch a cold and are forced to breathe with a blocked nose, you know how tough breathing can be. You can then feel the ‘weight’ and ‘pressure’ of energy in the form of breath – and that happens because you are imbalanced.

Every second we display telltale signs of how well the energy is flowing in our body. We only need to know how to understand those signs and interpret it.

Have you hugged yourself?

How often have we gone through the motions without appreciating ourselves for a job well done? Have you ever said to yourself: “Hey you’re a rockstar”? Have you ever gone on a date with yourself? Are you one of those who would castigate yourself for failing a task? Have you ever hugged yourself? If the answers to these questions is ‘no’, then you are dealing with a serious case of low self-worth.

Unconditional self-worth is not dependent upon who we are, what we do, what we have, or what anyone thinks about us. Appropriate self-worth is the ability to see our strengths and weaknesses and to still accept ourselves. If we have self-worth, then self-confidence is a bonus. A healthy self esteem or worth is different from hubris – which is defined as excessive or exaggerated self-pride.
Low self-worth creates its own energy patterns – a thin aura, weakening of joints, frequent ‘shifting’ of the nabhi chakra, pain in the shoulders, a drained out feeling, inability to finish work on time, lack of opportunities coming one’s way, etc. Every instance of self-beating increases the holes in your aura and therefore, the chances of energy drainage.
A number of methods have been prescribed for increasing one’s self-esteem. These include meditation, psychotherapy, autosuggestion, spiritual activities, yoga, music, sincere praise, fitness and exercise programmes, accomplishment, achieving goals, public speaking, fashion, education, participating in a team sport, charity, integrity, trying your best and pampering yourself.
All these techniques and much more, help to plug auric holes and bring about completion. It is in your interest to keep egging yourself, and praising yourself for acts well done. The point is to continue to create ways to generate energy because the depletion of energy automatically happens. For instance, you bother more about eating different types of nutritious food isn’t it, (generation of energy) – do you really bother about how your body absorbs it and creates the waste matter? You don’t: it automatically happens. Of course, you look into it only when the latter doesn’t happen.
So the techniques mentioned above are ways to boost your energy flow, which in turn increases the size, thickness and quality of your aura, and that in turn helps to cushion you against anxiety attacks.
One of the simplest ways of feeling good about yourself is to hug yourself. Try this technique:
Lie down on the floor. Fold your arms across your chest, with fingertips on opposite shoulders. Hug yourself and breathe deeply. Feeling the expansion in the back. As you exhale, press the base of your spine on the floor and let your whole back spread out.

Your garden determines your energy

The next time you travel by road, observe the various ways in which people keep their balcony gardens. Some would be having the pots neatly arranged, the plants well-pruned, the garden area clean, the plant varieties correctly chosen – basically, a balcony garden that accentuates the beauty and homeliness of the house. On the other hand are gardens where the plants grow wildly on dirty pots; some of them not watered for weeks, dry leaves and stems hanging loosely – looking much like unkempt hair searching for direction in life.
You can judge the amount of energy that will be entering a household by simply observing the way the family takes care of its garden. When you grow a plant, you are actually nurturing a seed of energy. Your plant’s growth is directly proportional to the amount of care and effort you put in.
A badly kept garden indicates a family that doesn’t know how to manage its energy. The principle about energy that I have explained before in this column is that it should be managed. Else, the energy manages you. Ditto with plants.
When your balcony is virtually taken over by wet mud, and wildly growing foliage obscuring your view, your garden is in effect controlling the amount of time you spend in the balcony and the degree of enjoyment you derive there. In other words, your garden’s energy is controlling you instead of the other way around.
Your attitude towards energy runs through all the activities that you undertake to generate energy – like cooking, fine arts, even raising a child. A child, like a plant, is a seed of energy that you nurture. If you are unable to ‘manage’ that energy, upbringing is that much tougher a process.
So, if you have a poorly maintained balcony garden, try this:
a) Prune the plants to confine it to below your eyesight level.
b) Paint the pots.
c) Clean the area surrounding the pots of wet mud and dry leaves.
d) Make sure, the plants do not disturb you when you stand in your balcony. Wherever you choose to place plants in your house, make sure they are adornments and increase the energy in the area around them – both by way of colour and presence.
e) Replenish the soil by adding manure. The principle is the same as reinventing yourself in life, by dressing up differently or taking up new courses. All these steps help to add fresh energy. Similarly, a plant’s energy has to be replenished.
f) Practise crop rotation: try different plants in the same soil.
g) Gift your plant.
h) Talk to your plant. Studies have indicated that plants that are ‘spoken’ to grow better.

A garden can be a wonderful source of energy. It all depends on how well you maintain it. When things don’t seem to be going too well in life and when matters generally seem to be getting out of hand, check your garden and the way your plants are growing. They will give you a complete picture of your energy pattern.

Doses of fresh energy

My colleague was discussing the film ‘Déjà vu’ with me. The film, she explained, was about the force of positive energy and how it has the capacity to change the past. The truth couldn’t have been further from that.
Consider this situation: You return from a month’s vacation to find your house dirty and dusty. What would you do? First, you would open the windows (Translated, it means you let in energy in the form of air); second you would dust the furniture (again, in addition to air energy, you are adding energy in the form of time because you are investing time to do all this); third, you would probably mop the floor (thereby adding energy in the form of water); you would light the lamp on your puja altar (fire energy); and last but not the least, you would probably just stretch yourself on the sofa saying “Ah, it feels nice to be back home” (space energy).

Through these exercises, you are adding a force of fresh positive energy (like the film Déjà vu explains) to the past (in this case, your locked house). This fresh energy has the power to change the frequency of the energy already existing, and if strong enough can completely change the complexion of the energy that previously existed.
This concept applies to every situation. Often, especially in the case of strained relationships, we hesitate to remedy the situation thinking and fearing about how the past experience will influence results. “Oh, I have been so rude to her in the past; I’m sure she’ll not want to see my face”. Just that thought prevents any kind of rapprochement. The solution is simple: just apply the concept of the ‘force of positive energy’ that I’ve explained. Visit the friend (time energy), discuss the issue preferably outdoor near the sea (air and water energy), send her a nice gift (space energy), treat her to lunch (fire energy) and work on changing the complexion of the relationship.
Even in the case of colours, we add white - which is a combination of all the colours - to lessen the impact of a colour. Similarly, we add water to dilute the contents of a solution. In both these cases, we have introduced fresh energy in the form of white colour and water, to bring about changes.
Energy is never permanent. Its frequency can be altered to change its state - much like clay that can be moulded into any form by adding fresh energy in the form of water.

Is 'ritual' that bad a word?

“Oh, he is so ritualistic!” – have you heard this dismissive statement? This is particularly relevant to religion where the faithful have to perform scores of rituals. And often, since these rituals have been passed on from generation to generation, and strictly coded by the clergy, there is a sense of irritation of having to perform rituals without understanding why we perform them. The argument is justified, but does it make ‘ritual’ a dirty word? Does being ritualistic bring down your ‘cool’ quotient?

First, the definition. A ritual is defined as “an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite”. There is another definition: “A ritual is any practice or pattern of behaviour regularly performed in a set manner”.
The second definition implies that we are ritualistic all the time. Brushing, bathing, applying gel, having breakfast, going to work at the set time, catching the same train, taking medicines, etc – all these are rituals because they are as per the definition – “practices or patterns of behaviour regularly performed in a set manner”.
However, we never castigate anybody for following these rituals, do we? We don’t say “Oh, you are so ritualistic – brushing your teeth everyday”. In fact, we come down on them if they don’t follow them. Are we not then adopting double standards?
The point is we ‘accept’ a ritual if we understand why it is performed. We know why we brush our teeth. We may have baulked the first time we were told to do it. But over time, we know the implications of not brushing. Ditto for the other daily rituals we follow.
Religious rituals too have some purpose. If we understand them, we probably will agree to do it. The issue with religious rituals is that they have been handed down over generations, and every successive generation has learnt less than its predecessor. Our grandfather’s generation probably knew more than our parents’ generation. The worst hit is that generation that left their roots in the villages and started life in the city. Strangely, urban living makes you compromise on tradition. What became more important was to earn money and send enough back home.
As a result, the spiritual knowledge that had been passed down since eons, suffered. The grandpa knew, but the papa didn’t. Therefore when papa’s son asked the meaning of the rituals, papa just expressed helplessness. And as a result, the son – who is from the current generation – chose to dismiss rituals, and thereafter branded it as a bad word.
Rituals help in bringing about discipline. They help in regulating a daily activity so that you don’t forget to do it. They act as an inbuilt alarm that programmes you accordingly. Rituals are useful as long as you understand why you do them. If you don’t understand them, well, go and find out. We live in the information age and hence are most equipped to find out things that our forefathers couldn’t. It is not fair to dismiss something as nonsense without understanding its purpose in the first place. Find out, understand, and if you don’t agree, dismiss it. But remember, a ritual hides many a hidden truth.

Oh, how we program ourselves

You have a backache which for some strange reason only comes in the evening. You get it for four days in a row. The fifth day, suppose it doesn't come, your brain works overtime - "Uh, how's that possible? The pain comes every evening. Why hasn't it come today?" There. Your computer-brain immediately programmes itself and provides you with the pain, and leaves you with an "I told you so" expression.
We learn how to get sick at a very young age. We are actually programmed for it with such messages as, "If you get your feet wet, you'll catch cold". The brain neurons accept such programming as an instruction, an order to be obeyed. And so such a message becomes a self-fulfilling prediction.
Day in and day out, we programme ourselves. Therefore it wouldn't be wrong to say we create our illnesses, in fact, even our future. It's all a question of mind over matter. Have you seen the priests of Banaras having a holy dip in the Ganga at 4 am in the coldest of winter mornings? They have nothing more than a towel on themselves. And the freezing temperatures hardly seem to bother them. Would you be able to do that? They are able to because they have programmed themselves to brave the elements.
The brain has within it approximately 30 billion neurons, about three pounds of material in all. These neurons are like the components of a computer. Your computer-like brain is programmed to run your body, store your experiences and learning, and feed back this information to you on demand. It has been estimated that we are born with some 2,000 separate programs in our mental computers, which are designed to run our bodies perfectly. The defects in these otherwise perfect programs are caused by stress, which begins almost the moment we are born.
Stress first affected your system when the doctor caught you by your feet and hung you upside down as soon as you entered the world. When it happened, it caused you anxiety. You wetted your nappy and there was no one to help? More anxiety. More stress.
Stress interferes with perfect programming. The greater the stress and the longer its duration, the more the interference. Eventually, that interference wins out. Perfect programs become imperfect and vital organs and essential systems of the body begin to function less than perfectly.
Prgramming is also caused by worry (We watch others get sick and we picture it happening to us), thoughts and words (negative thoughts and expressions produces unhappiness, failure and ill-health, and positive thoughts just the opposite).
A simple solution to most ailments is simply reversing the programming we have been doing all these years. You could either repeat a strong postive sentence like - I enjoy the best of health - while meditating. Or at the end of the day, write down this sentence how many ever times you can. Keep mentally repeating this sentence throughout the day.
What this does is to stimulate a programme for your brain. The rest, of course, is automatically taken care of.

Temple hai na!

The next time you pray at a roadside temple, it's just possible that you could be attracting negative energy instead of positivity? Surprised? "How's that possible? All places of worship exude positive energy, isn't it?" you may ask. Well, not necessarily.

For instance, in the case of temples, it depends on how and where the temple is built, how and what kind of material is used to make the idol, and what rituals are performed to energise it. Now, this is common knowledge. However, we often tend to assume that every stone sculpted in the form of a god or goddess emits positive energy. We tend to see God as a form, not as energy.
This article is not about all roadside temples, but about those built with ulterior motives and improper techniques. Today, temple building is a national pastime and crores of rupees are sunk in it. In reality, it has become a territory grabbing exercise where devotion often takes a backseat. So, we find temples near garbage dumps, near sewage canals, and what not. Even the directions that the temple is supposed to face are sometimes not adhered to. Some temples are well maintained, while many others languish with cobwebs for company - a far cry from the euphoria that followed their construction probably weeks or months back.
Roadside temples best epitomise the impersonality of city life in Mumbai. It appears as if we have become so busy in our lives, that a visit to a temple has become a chore. So the best solution is to "bring" the temple near our houses instead of us going "all the way" to it. How convenient!
Before we analyse the importance of temples, we need to understand why a temple or any place of worship is built. For instance, if God is omnipresent, why should we go to a temple, mosque or church to pray? Can't we do that in the bathroom?
Well, a temple, or any place of worship, is a place where positive energy is accumulated through processes (rituals) that have been known to enhance such energy. For instance, in a temple, rituals like ringing bells, performing the aarti, lighting an incense stick, circumambulating the idol, chanting mantras and reciting shlokas, etc., enhance positive energy. This energy is also increased due to the architecture of the temple and its location. It’s amplified by the yantras or geometric diagrams that are embedded in the walls of the temple at specific locations.
This accumulated energy is then stored in the dome or vimana that is above the sanctum sanctorum (garbha griha or the place where the idol is located) in every temple, because positive energy being light, rises. When you go to a temple to pray, you add to that positive energy and also "bathe" in the energy that is already accumulated there - and you come out spiritually washed. This washing is essentially a cleansing of your aura, which is exposed to continuous attacks of negativity due to thought, illness, physical contact, etc.
That essentially is the purpose of a place of worship. The techniques to raise that positive energy may differ from religion to religion, but the basic purpose remains the same.
Now cut back to roadside temples. Building places of worship is no child's play. If it has to be done, there are a lot of rules to be followed; else instead of positive energy being emitted, the place will emit negativity. And those who worships the idol there, will take in that negativity. The issue, you see, is about how we harness energy. Also think about the negative energy that all these illegal and improper temples release into the ether, and the effect it must be having on the energy of the city. Scary, isn't it?

When your aura starts to leak

  • Do
  • you know why we develop joint pain?
  • Why
  • do some people drain us while others are so nice to talk to?
  • Can
  • your energy start to “leak”?
  • What
  • is the impact of unfinished work?
  • Do
  • you know the impact of drugs and cigarettes on your aura?
  • Why
  • does a death in the family make you “feel empty in the stomach”?

The answers to these questions lie in our aura. We all have a three-dimensional energy force field called the human aura, that surrounds our physical body in all directions. In a healthy individual, it makes an elliptical shape around the body. Its thickness varies from a few inches to many feet depending on the health, thought, charisma, and energy of the person. A sick person would have a weak aura whereas a spiritual guru will have a strong one.

Reams can be written about the aura; there are numerous articles written about it too. It all points to the importance of keeping your aura clean because its health determines how well you will live your life. While it is important to know what gives you more energy and thereby a healthier aura, it is equally important to know causes the aura to “tear” and the energy to “leak”.
Largely, the aura is weakened by poor diet, stress, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, negative habits, and lack of exercise, fresh air and rest, to name a few. The aura ‘tears’ when the fabric of the auric field is damaged due to wear-and-tear, strain or physical trauma of some kind. Leaks are usually found on the front of the body, and over joints viz. knees, shoulders neck, ankles and elbows.
Tears cause ‘holes’ in the aura and your energy starts to leak from here thereby draining you of energy. They also make you vulnerable to outside energies, which means a person with a weak aura falls prey to all kinds of influences – suspicion, insecurity, fear, ‘evil eye’, etc.
Apart from the points mentioned, leaks in your aura can also happen on many different levels and for many different reasons. Here are a few for you to monitor:

Keeping agreements: Even small agreements with yourself (I'm going to bed tonight at 10 pm) when broken, leak energy.
Incomplete tasks: When you decide to do something and don’t end up doing it, you cause a hole in your aura. In fact, you can sense your energy draining because that little voice inside you will constantly nag you and remind of you of the unfinished task. Only when you complete it do you feel a sense of accomplishment. Sounds familiar? Similarly, all those unanswered letters, emails, phone calls, unread books, stacks of magazines, unfinished hobby projects around the house drain your vital energy reserve.

So how do you prevent it?
At the end of each day declare all unfinished or incomplete projects complete, appreciate your accomplishments as good and well done. Write down all the agreements made with yourself over the last month. If you are not going to keep them - renegotiate or declare them null and void.
Take a thinking break. Worrying, obsessing, negative mind chatter, rehearsing unspoken conversations distract focus, attention and create unnecessary energy leaks. Observe your thoughts. Let go of distracting mind patterns and redirect your thoughts into upliftment, beauty, gratitude, or contemplating the goodness that you are.

The chupa-chupi game

It's strange, isn't it, that we spend much of our waking hours in camouflaging ourselves - in hiding our true self from the outside world. It could be in the form of make-up to hide our dermatological flaws, or clothes to hide physical irregularities, or false expressions to hide our true feelings, or having attitudes to hide our fears. Sadly, little do we realise that try as we may, we will never be able to fully succeed in painting a different (read better) picture about ourselves. That's because verbal communication is only a part of our communication package.

Largely, we communicate non-verbally, through body language, gestures, behaviour, habits, etc. Also, there are various sciences that help to read a person like a book - like physiognomy (face reading), graphology (handwriting analysis), palmistry, astrology, numerology, even doodling for that matter (which we have dealt with previously in this column), and of course, the best among them all - understanding energy levels of a person.
These are of course the formal ones. Apart from this, one can analyse personality by observing gait, sleep postures, swing of the hands while walking, hairstyle, table manners, dressing sense, email etiquette, telephone etiquette…why even from left-over tea bags!
Knowledge of these sciences helps a lot, especially when meeting people. For instance, when appearing for an interview, it would help to know the mind of the interviewer simply by understanding his gestures, doesn't it? On the other hand, if an interviewer receives a hand-written resume, he can use graphology and numerology (by seeing the birth date) to judge the candidate. And during the interview, the candidate will offer more room for discovery - his palms, gestures, clothes, facial structure, et al.
Do you realise that in the process of making fools of others, we end up making bigger fools of ourselves. The truth is we cannot camouflage ourselves fully: we spill the beans in some way or the other, often without our knowledge.
Since people communicate different types of information at different levels of understanding, you can derive immense benefits by understanding non-verbal language. Anybody with a fair idea of these sciences can make his way through life by choosing the "right" person, the "right" time, and the "right place" for doing their work.
This is a learning process that could be as difficult as learning a foreign language. Ideally, set aside some time daily to study these sciences. Buy some books on these subjects from the market. And most importantly, make it a habit to observe people. Utilise your travel time to do this exercise.

Be in touch with your passions

Have you ever found yourself listless, depressed, bored, and basically wanting to break the face of the first person you meet? Well, at such times, you are experiencing low energy – which means that either the energy entering your system is less than what you require, or the energy leaving you is more than what you can afford to let go.
This situation can be altered by infusing doses of energy from different quarters. You could do many things - go for a walk, sit on the seashore, listen to music, play with children. In case you are unable or don’t feel like doing any of these, consciously find out your sources of energy. Each of us has some activity or avenue from where we derive our energy. For instance, Neha may revel in painting; for Naren, it may be modelling. Swati may be in her best of spirits when watching horror movies, whereas for Rabin, it may be in reading Tintin comics - each one to his or her own. These activities raise your spirits, ward off depression, act as a stress reliever, and provide that "getting-away-from-it-all" experience.
Have you heard people moaning – “Oh, I used to learn dance when I was younger…now where is the time..?” Typically, as time passes by, we forget what our childhood passions were. Maybe you do face a paucity of time, but there are many ways to keep in touch with that interest. For instance, if learning dance is not possible, how about watching dance performances, joining discussion forums on dance, teaching children dance. We often feel 24 hours are not enough. The truth is everybody has 24 hours. How is it that some are able to achieve a lot within that time, whereas others aren’t? The trick is time management, and in the case of passions and interests, all it takes is to allocate a little time – maybe half hour a day or week - to that activity to be in touch with it.
Despite our busy schedules, subconsciously we never lose contact with these passions. Something within our body gets activated every time we indulge in it. Doesn’t this explain the various interest groups that exist in a city – the kitty party tribe, the old Hindi film songs lovers’ tribe, the Art of Living tribe, et al. How about the various satsangs and the thousands that throng it? Have you wondered “How and where do these people find the time?” Well, in these cases, the individual not only derives energy from the activity, but also from the other participants in that community.
Ultimately, it boils down to providing your body with the energy it needs. And as explained, energy comes not only from food, water and sleep, but also from the various passions that you have buried deep inside you.

Till the gears meet

There is a time for everything, and everything comes when it is time. "Abhi samay aaya nahin hai" - We have heard this adage so often, isn't it? What is this concept of time? According to Indian mythology, the smallest unit of time is a kaashta which is 18 times the amount of time it takes to blink an eyelid. Ten kaashtas make a kshanam and 12 kshanams constitute a muhoortam. 60 of these muhoortams constitute a day. Thirty days constitute a month and three months make up a ritu. Twelve months of course, constitute a human year.
How does time measure from a cosmic energy point of view? The cycles of time based on the cosmos work together like the gears of a watch. Each connects with the central sacred cycle and all these "gears" rotate and also revolve - thereby creating what we can call energy portals. Did that sound confusing? Consider this then...
Every thing rotates - the universe, the solar system, earth. In fact, we term everything as 'cycles' or circles. We have a life cycle, a time cycle. We also say "Fashion has come a full circle". Many ancient cultures speak of cyclic changes in human consciousness. In the Hindu tradition, such ages are known as yugas. So, metaphysically speaking, everything is rotating and revolving.
Observe the movement of gears; you will notice that if a groove of one gear is to meet a groove of another gear, it has no other option but to wait till the rotation and revolution of both gears synchronise. How much time that will take, cannot be said. One thing is sure, though: there is no shortcut. We often experience the effect of this gear-movement in our relationships. For e.g., Ramesh and Suresh were close friends for many years. Suddenly, one fine day, they just separated and went their own ways. For many years, they didn't meet. Then, all of a sudden after many years, they meet at the marketplace, exchange numbers, and their relationship gets renewed.
The point is this meeting may look like a coincidence, but it is not. Nothing is a coincidence. It was meant to happen. The answer lies with the gear concept of time, when two gears in their cosmic map, got separated and had to wait for a period of time before being in touch again.
So, it wouldn't be wrong to say that there is a time for everything. Translated, it would mean, we will have to wait till the gears meet.

Mystery of the phrase

Ordinarily, we use many expressions and phrases to express ourselves. Often, they are unrelated to the actual symptom, yet we understand exactly what that sentence or phrase means. You will be amazed to know that most of these oft-used phrases have a relation to energy movements in the body. Here are some of the more famous ones:

“Responsibility weighs very heavily on his shoulders”: Why shoulders? Why not the hands or legs? Why shouldn’t we say “Responsibility weighs very heavily on his little toe”?
Answer: When we take on too much responsibility, the aura just above the shoulders becomes discoloured: it darkens and becomes thick and heavy. As a result, it exerts a pressure on the shoulders due to which you feel the ‘weight’ on that part of your body. You may have noticed that those who feel the ‘weight of responsibility’ have drooping shoulders. Their shoulders will pain, and the pain will also travel to the neck. No amount of pain balms will help, because in essence, this pain has a psycho-somatic cause.
Tip: When having a bath, vigorously rub the shoulder areas. You could use a rough cloth for this purpose. This action shakes the stagnant hardened energy in that area and will relieve not only the pain but also the ‘weight’.

“I can’t stomach this”: Why not “heart this”? Or “brain this”?
Answer: The solar plexus chakra is located near the navel and this chakra is the seat of our emotions. We habitually go to the loo to rid the body of its physical waste matter. However, we never think of discarding the millions of thoughts that bombard our mind every instant. Instead, we internalise them. In other words, we ‘stomach’ these thoughts and emotions, and as a result, they get stored in the solar plexus. They harden over a period of time, and then start to affect the nearby organs.

“He’s a pain in the neck”: You would probably use this phrase to refer to a person with whom you just can’t communicate.
Answer: The throat chakra is the centre of communication and any malfunctioning of that chakra, will cause discomfort in the neck, shoulder, and even the arms. When you meet such a person, your inner brain programming causes this chakra to malfunction a bit thereby leading to this phrase.

“Lump in my throat”: This phrase also is related to the throat chakra.
Answer: A lump in the throat is caused when you are not able to communicate or express yourself – typically, you get a lump in the throat when you face an audience. Again, it is a classic case of throat chakra malfunction.

There are numerous such phrases that we use daily. On the surface, they may seem unrelated to the symptoms experienced, but as explained, they hold a deeper meaning. Fascinating, isn’t it?

From my tan tien to yours

Relationships are fascinating associations, aren’t they? Every moment, we are defining and redefining relationships. What is it that binds us to people, things, events, or even births? Is there a connection to a past life relationship or are we continuously making new associations? Why is it that at times we feel a sense of familiarity and comfort with particular people? Why do we feel that some people are better to be avoided?

The universe functions cyclically. And every component of the universe also functions cyclically.
- Take the earth, for example. It rotates and revolves, and reaches its source point in a given span of time.
- Seasons too follow the same pattern.
- Life also, begins from energy and goes back to energy; again, a cyclical pattern.
- We feel hungry, eat food, excrete and again feel hungry, thereby reaching a full circle in our daily lifestyle.
- Plants grow from seeds and develop seeds in turn.
- Relationships too are cyclical. It is customary for Hindus especially, to name the grandchild after the grandparent, so that the family cycle is maintained.
- Spiritually speaking also, many religions believe that we continue from where we left off in the previous birth - the law of Karma. Again, a cycle of birth and rebirth.
What determines this bonding? What are the energy changes that take place when for instance, two lovers meet? Or when you meet a long-lost pal. How does that surge of emotion come by?
Talking of human relationships, a bonding is "energetically" described as a band of energy that connects two people at the tan tien, which is an energy centre near the navel. We are at a time, connected to so many different things. It is said that for each association we have a band of energy from our tan tien centre to that particular object or person.
We may use words like "I have cut off the relationship", but in real terms, no relation is ever cut off. There is always a slender connection that is always maintained, which manifests itself either in this birth or in future births. As it has been said, "If we were to form new associations and relations all the time, there would be no place in the heavens".

Doodle to get answers

Do you have the habit of scribbling or drawing something on paper when deep in thought? The scribbles could be anything: straight lines, jagged lines, lines as in a graph, a house, flower, bird, humans, odd shapes...They may be just scribbles, but they actually represent our mental state at that point of time. Doodling, as the art is called, is a symbolic way of projecting our innermost thoughts.
Much of our creative expressions find their source in our subconscious. It is here that we drown our worries and also, where we find our solutions. When we are desperately looking for an answer to a question, what do we do? We rummage the subconscious, don't we?

Doodling is one way of doing this. Doodling helps us to unleash the hidden powers of our subconscious mind. It allows our intuitive feelings to express themselves in pictorial symbolic form. A symbol conveys an entire thought in one image. It has universal as well as personal meaning. Interpreting these symbols can help to unveil meanings that are not apparent to our linear mind. To practice the art of doodling, do the following:

Focus on something that you are attempting to create or resolve. Hold the initial idea or desire in the mind and allow yourself to go into a blank stare or soft focus, preferably against a neutral background (sky or a white wall). As ideas and feelings come to the mind, simply doodle them onto a piece of clean white paper.

You could also allow yourself to focus exclusively on an idea and discuss it with a friend, and while discussing it, doodle on a piece of clean white paper. Continue to doodle as you talk and listen. Don't interpret or inhibit what you are drawing.

When doodling just allow your hands to follow your impulse. It's best if you can go into a mild trance and disengage the conscious mind. In some disciplines, this is called automatic writing. The difference is that automatic writing tends to focus on words in sequence. In doodling, we simply want to the engage the subconscious mind in an imaginary way and record the images that are brought to the surface.

When you have finished doodling, set the paper aside for a period of time. When your mind is fresh, look at what you've drawn. You will begin to get feelings or ideas. You may even see actual structures in the doodles. You may have unconsciously drawn the solution to your problem in those structures.Doodling can also include numbers.

In ancient traditions, numbers were considered to be powerful creative symbols and the primal organising principle that gives structure to the universe. After all, numerology is based on this fundamental principle.No one can interpret our doodling except ourselves. Your subconscious mind is attempting to contact you all the time. It is usually blocked by habitual conscious thought patterns or emotions. Learn to allow it conscious expression, preferably every day. It's a wonderful experience.

Thank God I experience pain!

Ooh! Aaah! Ouch! That friendly neighbourhood pain balm may have epitomised pain with these three expressions, but we all know that pain manifests itself in a myriad ways - physical, mental, emotional and also spiritual. And we are more than familiar with the first three varieties, isn't it?
We relate to pain in different ways, but largely, it's an emotional distress - a fundamental feeling that people try to avoid. Of course, pain is horrible to bear. Thanks to painkillers that we pop in with alacrity, we happen to 'manage' pain. In fact, pain management forms an important part of medicine. But the question is: do we really need to 'manage' pain or 'understand' why it is there in the first place.

Is pain that bad? Why do we get pain anyways? Is there something to learn from it? For instance, take this situation. You are banging a nail into the wall and you accidentally happen to slam the hammer on your finger. Thanks to the shooting pain that you get, you immediately withdraw your finger and rush to give it first aid. If you hadn't got that pain, you probably would go on banging your finger to pulp and would never know about it till there was no finger left! So, in this case, the pain was actually a blessing.

Pain is your body's way of telling you 'Hey, something is wrong inside, I need your attention here'. It is an emotion experienced in the brain: it is not like touch, taste, sight, smell or hearing. It can be perceived as a warning of potential damage, but can also be present when no actual harm is being done to the body. Remember, the only way that your body can get your attention is by causing pain. Ordinarily, would you remember your little toenail during your daily course of events? No, isn't it? So, the only way your little toenail can get your attention is by causing pain. Therefore, be grateful that you get pain because that is your body's communication mechanism.
When we get pain, instead of asking our body what's wrong, we run all over the place - to doctors, hospitals, friends, etc. - for the solution. The reality is that the solution lies in your body itself. The next time you get pain, try this out: Close your eyes, and address that pain. Speak to it. Speak to the affected organ and ask it why the pain is there. You will get an answer. Remember, this is an intuitive process, so be in a receptive state of mind. Our body is far superior to even a super computer. If there is a discomfort in it, it has the ability to tell you about it. We just need to understand its language.

Words have power

Words have power - power to create energy blocks in your life and also to dissolve them. If we just observe the way most of us speak, our choice of words, our sentence construction, we will realise how much this simple act contributes towards creating stress for ourselves.
In this context, the Hindi phrase "Shubh shubh bolo" (speak positive) makes a lot of sense. If we were to just change our vocabulary a bit, substitute positive words for the negative ones and make it a point to use these positive words on a continuous basis, much of our problems and negative patterns that we have created for ourselves, will disappear.
For instance, take the sentence "I hate him". Here, the word 'hate' is so strong that it immediately creates a strong barrier in your relationship with him leaving little scope for any improvement. It does not help you or your cause in any way. It just creates acids in your stomach when you say it. It causes an energy imbalance, resulting in stress.
Suppose you substitute the words 'I hate' with the words 'I prefer', it not only retains the positive tenor in your emotion, it also does not create energy blocks.
So instead of saying "I hate him", you could say "I prefer not to deal with him".
So it is very important to choose the right words while speaking. If you were to practice substituting "positive" words for the various negative ones you may be uttering, it will add a sparkle to your life. Overbearing problems will cease to appear as problems.
These words are coined from the neuro-linguistic programme (NLP). The next time you feel a bit under the weather, shrug off despair by shifting vocabulary. Here are some changes you can make. The 'better' word is in brackets.
Afraid (Uncomfortable); Confused (Curious); Exhausted (Re-charging); Failure (Learning); Hurt (Bothered); Insulted (Misunderstood); Jealous (Over-loving); Lazy (Storing energy); Lost (Searching); Sad (Sorting out thoughts); Stressed (Energised); Problem (Opportunity); Terrible (Different).
Try to jot down your most frequently used words and phrases. Analyse them to see the effect they have on you. Consciously change those words and make it a point to use these positive words in your future interactions and utterances. There's bound to be a difference.So what do you do when you feel afraid, hurt or confused? Simple, just feel uncomfortable, bothered or curious!