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!