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Make time for ‘happy hour’

Bharat Savur | Updated on May 09, 2013

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Create a special space of solitude, where you can go to connect with your soul-self.

Not many people truly understand the dynamics of energy and how it makes life heaven — or hell! Simply put, when our inner energy is in an upward flow at the spine and reaches the brain… Boom! We’re dynamos! Of course, there’s the corresponding downward flow that helps balance the upward thrust and keeps us stable — mentally and physically.

When we’re tired and aching, it’s due to energy blockages. The stagnant energy puts pressure on those spots. This pressure then radiates as pain through muscles, joints, and cells.

What causes these energy blocks? Largely, our emotions. I have a friend who constantly reiterates, “I’m fed up!” Consequently, she is always having migraines and a host of other health problems. She literally hosts discomfort within the four walls of her negative thoughts. Another friend’s entire body aches, as if she is in for the flu, whenever she feels slighted and hurt. This is what fevered emotions can do.

My suggestion is to create two safe spaces of solitude, or two healing homes, for yourself - outdoors and indoors. Here, you bask in the sheer simplicity of life, in being your true soul-self. Let your emotions experience this uncomplicated sweetness and learn to relax.

Outdoors

Walk slowly amidst nature - trees, plants, flowers. Feel the warm sunlight and breeze dance on your shoulders. Walking loosens up certain tight spots in the pelvic and back region.

Allow your mind to open up and welcome the sun, trees, even the slumbering stones as your companions. It is because we think only of other people as companions that we miss out on the beauty of spending time with nature.

When a Master was dancing ecstatically in the forest, a passing villager asked him why he was dancing all by himself. “Who said I’m alone?” replied the Master joyfully, not missing a step. “I’m surrounded by friends!” We tend to label such people as ‘crazy’ or ‘eccentric’, but they’ve touched a mental dimension that’s not yet been understood by us. Personally, I relate at a deep level to the setting sun as my ‘father’. I need no human company when I’m with him.

Being with the stunning stillness and rich natural bounty also teaches you to let go of those twin tormentors — greed and jealousy. You can gaze at the splendour of the sun, the sea, and the mountain without desiring to possess it. When there’s neither greed nor jealousy tainting your emotions… ah! You’re deluged with great love, appreciation, admiration, gratitude — a cocktail of pure contentment.

Indoors

Surround yourself with celestial music, companionable books that inspire, uplift, cheer, reassure with their wonderful wisdom, and a yoga mat. You can do these beautiful exercises to ease mind-body weariness:

On a pillow, sit on your calves, feet stretched behind you for 10 to 60 seconds. Breathe normally, consciously. Your weight on the calves acts like an acupressure ballast. You feel the ache lessen, the tiredness reduce correspondingly. Get onto the next exercise to gently stimulate blood circulation.

Lie on your right side, right arm below head, left palm on floor in front of you. Now, keeping knee flexed, raise left leg to 90 degrees from the floor, then lower. Repeat this 30-50 times. Next, turn to your left side and raise-and-lower your right leg 30-50 times. Follow this up with a third exercise that stretches and further relieves your leg muscles.

Lying on your left side now, bend your right knee and hold your right ankle to your butt so that your right thigh gets a thorough stretch. The thighs should not touch. Hold for 60 seconds. Turn over and repeat on your right side.

After these three exercises, the fatigue and ache will have faded like unwanted memories.

Speaking of unwanted memories, these are the guys that we allow to get to us, and bring up a bile of emotions. Their acid stings and corrodes not only our moods, health, and environment, but also our relationships. The thing is to decide firmly: “I can definitely do without these mind-awful emotions!”

The best way to shift into positivity is to listen to happy stories from happy people, fulfilled people, good people — in person, on TV, from books and videos. Start a ‘Happy Hour’ with the understanding that when you meet, the environment should ring only with good thoughts, meditations, readings from the works of poets like Walt Whitman, sage-philosophers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, masters of spirituality like Ramana Maharishi. Listen and absorb. Let your heart rest in happy truths, let your mind see from the eyes of the masters, let your emotions drink in the positivity that radiates from such works.

We all need these sublime experiences. It is only from such expansive feelings that we can replace revenge with forgiveness, resentment with understanding, depression with lightness. From this elevated space, we can do with ease and grace what the masters advise: “Forget all the harm done to you by others and the help you have rendered to others.”

The write is co-author of the book ‘Fitness for Life’.

Published on May 09, 2013

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