Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Aboriginal wisdom from Australian Outback: emotions & completing the circles

Few years back I had read a book: “Mutant Message Down Under” by Marlo Morgan. It is an amazing book. It is an account by an American woman doctor who managed to cross the Australian outback from east-coast to west-coast with an aboriginal tribe.

I learnt that time that most of central Australia (called outback) is an extremely tough, hot, completely dry desert. Averse to all life, even trekkers cannot cross it easily with all their water supplies. No one survives there, except for the aborigines. These people who call themselves “REAL PEOPLE” have an amazing relationship with the environment. They communicate well telepathically and have little need for spoken words. They are really connected with nature. They live in harmony with it. They carry no possessions and leave no traces. They use everything that comes on their way with lot of honour. By looking at a plant they can sense if it’s underground tuber is ripe to be eaten. They have their own innovative ways to find water in that extreme climate. They even healed a compound fracture in 2 days!!

As I read the book, I started realizing that in the name of progress, or taming nature, lot of original insights and knowledge has been suppressed. Interestingly these people call the progressive society MUTANTS! - who have mutated from the original design.

Last week I came across another book “Mutant Message from Forever” by the same author. In this the aborigines have an interesting view on emotions. What follows here is an excerpt from that book. You may find it interesting even for our society!!

“Earth is a place for learning by experiencing. As a Forever spirit, you desired to come here and helped to create the way to do so. It was your energy that took the essence of food your mother ate and created a body from what was available. You were aware of the environment, the hereditary, the situations you were setting up and agreed that it was the perfect place for you to experience a special sort of spiritual enrichment.

“If we could only remember our Foreverness, we would easily see that the earth is the school of emotion. Our energy is combined differently from the energy of other things like rain or fire and is different from the energy of other growing forms, the plants and animals. It is unique. We as humans are here to experience emotion and to use our bodies as vehicles to achieve emotional wisdom.

“The body is the way in which humans receive guidance from the spirit world, from the Source, from all our ancestors, from our own perfect Forever Self. All the body senses – seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, and smelling – are connected to emotions. Actually, I should say emotion is connected to the senses, because the emotion is the foundation.

“Babies are born in a state of emotional peace. What happens to their senses is linked to emotional feelings. As we grow older, for instance, the sound of eagle’s wings seems either to make us feel at ease or to feel apprehension, depending upon our experience with an eagle or what we believe from what we have seen or been told.

“I know as Medicine Man, that when people are aware of this, they can live healthier lives, and I know as a Clever Man, that knowing enables them to bring more Forever light into this human time.”

Googana stood up and, borrowing a digging stick, he began to draw designs in the sand.

“This is the Rainbow Snake. It is the pattern coming from the Source and moving across and under the earth. It is part of the life force going through us like this,”

Googana said, pointing to one of the designs he had just drawn. “The emotion of anger is shaped like this spear.

“When a person becomes angry, instead of flowing freely like water over slippery rocks, the energy of life is pushed off to each side and becomes sharp and pointed. It digs into the body and injures your organs. Just as a spear will inflict a wound and is difficult to pull out, so too, is anger.

“The energy of resentment is like this,” Googana continued,

pointing to another design. “Resentment, too, has a pointed end, but it also contains a barb, so it digs into the person and clings much longer. Resentment is more destructive than anger because it lasts longer.

“When you worry, the energy pattern goes down like this,” Googana said, drawing another design.

“Envy, jealousy, or guilt are more complex then worry and the knots can be in your stomach, under your skin, or can slow the life flow anywhere.

“Sadness is a very minor disruption. And grief is a form of sadness that is actually a loving bond. It can last for the survivor’s lifetime.

“Fear brings things to a halt. It disrupts blood flow, heartbeat, breathing, thinking, digestion – everything. Fear is an interesting emotion because it isn’t actually human. It was taken from the animals, where it serves a wonderful, very temporary survival role. No animal lives in fear. People originally had nothing to fear. They knew they were Forever. They knew any pain or discomfort was temporary. Now fear has become a major energy force surrounding our planet. This is the harm it does inside you.

“When you are happy, smiling, laughing, feeling good, this is how the body receives and uses energy,” he said, pointing to another design.

“And peace, quiet, rest is like this drawing.

“Emotional detachment, such as observation free of judgement is a smooth, complete, healthy, life-enhancing energy like this.

“So you see,” Googana continued, “You are responsible for your energy and for the discipline of your emotions. Everyone experiences how it feels to be in a negative state, but to linger and not to learn from it is to be irresponsible, immature, and unwise. There is alive and non-alive time. Just because someone is breathing doesn’t mean he is alive. Depression is not spending your time alive. It is necessary to mature, to live a long healthy time. Ultimately, we are all accountable for our time as humans and how we use our free-will gift.
“In mutant terms, I think they would refer to it as an eternal scorecard. There is an entry indicating how many seconds you were alive. The record is divided into how many seconds of your life you spent in peace, feeling fulfilled, feeling good, as you do when you help someone else, seconds spent in the joy of laughter or in the bliss of music. Also recorded are the times over your one hundred years or so of existence when you were angry and chose to stay angry, or felt hatred and harboured it.

“Every word you utter goes out into the vapour and can never be recaptured. You can say ‘I’m sorry,’ but that doesn’t retract the first energy. Intent is energy. Action is energy. But a person may act one way with a very hidden intention. All human consciousness is cumulative. There is now such a thick layer surrounding Mother Earth that in some places people are fed by taking in the breath and thought of collective victimness and in turn they replace the void with more of the same. There is also a layer that developed from the beliefs and actions of, ‘me first, nothing else counts, get what is wanted at any cost, it doesn’t matter.’ People’s intentions have been to see what can be invented, what can be used without any concern for the life left tomorrow or even if life will be possible tomorrow. Spirits of the newborns and young children are so wonderfully positive that many now come to earth and stay only a short time. They put all their energy into balancing and eventually removing the negative.

“We as individuals either add to this destructive force by everything we do daily, or we direct our energy into supporting the harmony, beauty, and preservation of life on this earth.

“Your life, your body, your future can be like this,”

“or, this can be your world.

You alone determine which it will be.

“Human life is a spiral, we come from Forever and we return there, we hope at a higher level. Time is a circle, and our relationships are also circles. As aboriginal children, we learnt early in life the importance of closing each circle, each relationship. If there is a disagreement we will stay awake until it is resolved. We wouldn’t go to sleep hoping to find a solution tomorrow or at some future date. That would be leaving a circle open with frayed ends.”

“But,” Beatrice asked, “What if you asked someone to do something? Say you asked a person three or four times, and he failed to do it. Certainly you would be disappointed in that person. It would not be easy just to say forget it, and close the circle on a positive note, as you say.”

“Well, the alternative is to continue to associate the emotion of disappointment with that person. Ten years later the mere thought or mention of that name would cause the feeling, which in turn would cause physical distortion to your body. You must admit that that isn’t very wise.”

“So how would you handle it?” Beatrice asked. “What would you do?”

“Personally I would say to the other person, ‘Guess what? I felt disappointed when you ignored my asking you to do me a favour and I asked again and again and felt more and more disappointed.’ I would laugh and add, ‘I must be a slow learner. I should have realized after your first response that you weren’t going to do this. It wasn’t something you wanted to do. You probably thought it was pretty silly when I asked again. You are right. It was silly. I am sorry it took me so long to see that you weren’t interested.’ We would end up laughing at my actions and both would be the wiser for the encounter. Then my circle would be closed.”

“But what if it were a really serious matter? For instance, a relative of yours was doing or saying things that were very offensive to you. It really upset you. The person was truly acting in a manner that, as you say, didn’t smell right for you. What would you do about the circle in that relationship?”

“I would say to this relative quite firmly, ‘I love you but I do not like the actions you take. I realize they are not a mistake. I know it is right for you to be this way because that is how you chose to express yourself. But I have tried and I cannot accept what you say and do as being right for me, so I must now release our relationship. I cannot put any more energy into it. I love you, but I do not like what you do. So you have my best wishes and good-bye.’”

“Wow,” Beatrice said. “So you are saying that if I close the circle on a spiritual high, that’s the end of it for me! If the other person accepts, then the circle is closed for him too. If he doesn’t accept what I say, it doesn’t matter because any circle left with frayed edges is strictly his circle, his spiritual challenge. He is keeping it open.”

“Exactly. You don’t have to like everybody. Not everybody is likeable. What you did agree to do before you were born was to love everyone. It is easy to do. Love the Forever in all people, and put your energy into those who are of like consciousness. The only way you can influence anyone else is by example. They aren’t going to change until they are ready. And remember, it is okay. In the scheme of Forever, it really is okay.

“You have come into this world on one level of spiritual awareness and have the opportunity to leave on a broadened plane.”

After a moment of thinking, Beatrice asked, “What about people from years ago? People I still feel resentment towards. Someone I may never see again.”

“No matter. Have the talk silently and send it to them on a rainbow wherever he or she might be. It will find them. Turn your old judgement into an observation. No one has to be forgiven. We just have to be more understanding. Heal the wound in your mind, in your emotions, in your wholeness. Close the circle and walk forward.”

Excerpt from “Mutant Message from Forever – a novel of aboriginal wisdom” by Marlo Morgan

I sincerely wish that this excerpt give you a new insight to emotions in life.

warm regards,

Rohan Singal

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Some explorations on health, fitness & well being

I have been doing a lot of explorations on what is the true source to remain fit & healthy.

My mentor taught me many years ago that our body is a fort which is guarded by a shield (aura) around us. If you have seen Star Wars, all the space ships had a shield deflector. This saved them from all meteors etc and yet they could travel very fast. In the human body this shield, our immunity, is a function of how much we love ourselves, our existence, our body system, our lives, our current station in life. I lived a large part of my life resisting, sometime despising what was made available to me. Everything looked greener on the other side. So I actually would demean my accomplishments, what I had etc. This led to a total dissatisfaction. Another side effect came with this. Regularly falling ill. Regular coughing. I used to pop combiflam pills randomly.

When I learnt that I had been practically creating holes in my shield, I corrected my ways. I was also told that I should stop inviting illness!! All self-invalidating comments or even thoughts are equal to inviting illness as they punch holes in the fort walls. Instead I started being positive about my own life’s journey so far. It has had quite a magical effect, leading to perfect health since the last 15 years.

I experimented with many people. E.g. on a trek, if someone had a headache and he came to me for a pill, I would suggest to him to just say “I revoke & cancel any invitations ever given to this headache. I choose to be well. I love myself”. Some people said it with self-belief. To their amazement, the headache disappeared without taking the pill.

Last few months the focus of research has shifted to a fit, healthy body with high stamina and strength. I read lot of books, consulted physical trainers & dieticians. Some remarkable books have been
·         “Don’t loose your mind, lose your weight” by Rujuta Divekar (famous for her size zero advice to Kareena Kapoor)
·         “Women & weight loss tamasha” by Rujuta Divekar
·         “Accidentally overweight” by Dr. Libby Weaver

I always knew regular exercise and eating healthy is essential. Then I learnt that the game is of consistency. I kept searching for some logic that will inspire me to follow a regular exercise regime and also a diet with awareness.

I am listing some concepts that I found useful, they may be elementary for you, but these helped me in bringing consistency in my exercising & eating. I have managed to wake up around 5 am in the last 1 year & cycle to the gym (at least 250 days) despite frequent travel. My target of flat abs is looking closer day by day!

1.   Key elements: Fitness is a function of 1) attitude towards life, 2) eating with awareness & 3) regular exercising 4) proper sleep.

2.   Life threatening & famine signals to the body!  Our body has an amazing involuntary mechanism. It is designed to ensure survival of human species. E.g. a cut clots immediately. The two key events that must be defended by the body are: a life threatening, dangerous situation & famine. What is considered as dangerous or famine is directly decided by the body. Just like in the blood clotting situation, brain is not consulted – body seals off the cut.

Whenever we are stressed, upset, angry or have similar emotion, it results into adrenalin secretion and body immediately thinks life is in danger. All energy, blood is prioritized to reach brain, hands and legs so that we can react, run, fight, think fast etc. So the energy required to assimilate the food is taken away. The food instead of being assimilated, get stored as fat.

When there is longer gap between meals, e.g. lunch at 2 pm, straight going to a late dinner at 9 pm, with 2 cups of coffee/tea, a quick chocolate to kill the hunger pangs, the body thinks “it is famine time”. It will conserve as much emergency energy as possible – in what form?? Fat!!

3.   Love handles: Another interesting point I learnt that most of the critical organs except brain, lungs, heart, are located in the abdomen region: liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney, intestines etc. These organs work day and night to assimilate food and transfer energy wherever required. When the body regularly experiences famine & danger situations, it has to store energy packets near these organs!! Voila: love handles and extended tummy.

4.   Core: I learnt the importance of Core muscles in the abdominal region: all these vital organs are held in place by the abdominal muscles (abs). That is why it is very important to exercise the core muscles and keep them strong, so that these organs function to their best. Weak core muscles result in a jiggly tummy. I found that core is very important for balancing as well. At the gym when my trainer asked me stand on one leg and maximize the extended time, I initially could not. Then he told me to focus on a spot in front. It improved my balance. Next step was to simply focus on my core and pull it in. I could stand and balance much easily and for longer time.

5.   Analogy of the bridge: I have noticed that with old age many problems show up. I understood the logic behind and decided to say bye-bye in advance to all those issues.  Body has the following key components: fat, water, muscles, bones. Let us take two samples:

Average male
Overweight male
Fat %
50% more fat
Water %

Muscles %

Bone %

Load factor
Fat / (Muscle + Bones)
100% more load on bones !!

Imagine a bridge, (say Mumbai’s Worli Sea-link type) and correlate with the body: We have pillars (bones), steel ropes (muscles) and vehicles (fat). If muscles (steel ropes) are weak (due to lack of exercise) & more fat (vehicles) are to be supported, the load will come on bones (pillars). And where exactly will the load hit? All joints!! So as people grow old, with little exercise, muscles are weak, fat gets accumulated, all the load comes to bones, especially to knee joints and the back bone (particularly lower back). Once I understood this I decided to feed the muscles by exercising regularly.

6.   Sugar: A friend who is very fit & lean told me that in last 5 years, they bought no sugar in their household. I found it unbelievable. I read that it is advisable to limit added sugar intake to 2 teaspoons a day. Also, if we eat lots of salads & green veggies, we will start moving away from craving lots of sweets!! For some of us, sweets have an emotional connection. When we are less than fully satisfied with the taste of the meal we have eaten, we look for something sweet to fill that emotional gap. Later it simply becomes a habit. I have found that bringing sweetness in my life has reduced my urge for mithai (sweets)!!

7.   Eat food with Low HI: HI is Human Intervention: Anything that needs too much processing, needs marketing and causes the body to put lot of effort in digesting. (have you seen ads for “Eat more apples” or “Eat more carrots”??)

Compare 1 orange v/s 1 glass orange juice: the juice has zero fibres and 5 times the sugar (5 oranges make that glass of juice). I used to gulp fresh juices thinking I am consuming very healthy stuff. It is certainly healthier than aerated drinks, but not over a fresh fruit itself. I also learned that food that has travelled further to be made available to me would have gone through cold storage, reducing its nutrition value. I learned to eat fruits & vegetables which were local and in season. In a session I attended, Rujuta Divekar suggested: “upgrade your fridge to smaller size”!! While freezing may keep food edible for long, it diminishes the nutrition value. Clear the fridge every week.

8.   Chew, eat peacefully: When we focus on what we are eating, the body assimilates nutrients from it and tells you in time, how much is enough. If we eat while watching TV, the entire attention is consumed in TV and we won’t know what & how much we ate. So it is useful to give honor and attention to food. Also when we eat peacefully, looking at food, its presentation, texture, even waiting in anticipation for the food, the body gets time to secrete digestive juices. If you shock it with immediate food – take it, heat it, gulp it!! – the body is simply taken by surprise. Also instead of gulping (inhaling) the food, it is good to chew it fully – 15 to 20 times. Only then pick up the next spoonful. This helps the digestive system processes the food much better.

9.   PC Posture video (click here to see): In today’s times of I-Pads and Tabs and PDAs, this still applies to people who work on the laptops for more than 1 hour. Please do see this video on some best practices while using a computer/laptop. One main thing I learnt that the top of your screen must be in line with your eye level. Once I realized this, I searched for a good laptop stand. The best one I found and bought on flipkart.com. It can elevate the laptop upto 16 cms, has 4 USB ports and a silent cooling fan: here is a link for Cooler Master NotePal Ustand Cooling Pad @ Rs. 2712/- Adding a set of cordless keyboard & mouse completed my setup!!


Here is wishing you amazing health, fitness & well being.

Warm regards,

Rohan Singal