Guzz guzz gruzz the anxious buzz

Guzz guzz gruzz the anxious buzz

Part 1
guzz guzz gruzz goes the anxious buzz. This is the background score that plays relentlessly and restlessly on the instrument of my body in its many nuances. It pulls at my fascia(the connective tissue that is really is our second skin) here and there, tugging and drawing on my bones, sinuses, adrenal glands and physically raging a ceaseless war with an unknown, unnamed, unsought enemy.

War is not my thing, yet war ravaged my inner landscape for 33 years. To understand what this meant for me, I invite you to come and experience my life here, come inhabit myself, come journey as me.


 I am playing; I must be about 5 years old. I use the upturned boxes of my father’s visiting card boxes, with the tiny finger holes in them to make a stove. I place upon them my kitchen vessels and as I am cutting out rotis from leaves with a discarded metal soda topI am unable to be absorbed and completely immersed in what I am playing.  I am five, I am curious, I want to be absorbed and immersed by my play of making rotis but I don’t understand the guzz guzz gruzz anxious buzz. It feels like a restlessness, like this is what I want to be doing, but it’s not what my body wants, and there’s no peace and stillness inside.  It is a very live wire, electric shock kind of experience that I can feel in my body.  I cannot be still and must keep doing and planning for the next do-ing when one thing was nearing completion. Although I don’t know what this anxious buzz is, my little self knows it must be vanquished 


As I am growing, I try role playing, I make different kinds of friends, I seek out new experiences……anything to get rid of the guzz guzz gruzz anxious buzz. Perchance, I dance, I discover the freedom and catharsis and pure fluid relief that movement can bring…..somewhere in that experience, the buzz gets a little faint, sometimes, if I’m lucky, it is so faint, it is almost gone. I realize I have a possible solution, I feel elation even in the buzz that still scourges on.


Whenever I am angry or upset, the buzz pulls my whole body taut, like a stretched violin bow. The sound that I hear and feel inside is like the highest pitch on the violin. I feel the tautness more than I hear the high pitched sound. When someone is yelling at me or a friend is saying unfriendly things to me like she doesn’t want to me my friend, the sound inside me is louder and more dominant than the yelling or the unfriendly tone of my friend itself.


I also discovered that slamming the door shocks the buzz into a state of freeze. It is like the buzz is still there, but doesn’t move. It is frozen. Then I discover when I lock myself in a room with music, drape my dupattas just so, and stare into the long mirror on my dad’s Godrej almirah, I can transform into another character and I dance and I spin……and boy! can I spin…… In the dancing and in the spinning somewhere in an uncertain space….there is a moment, sometimes longer of bliss. The buzz is gone, oh so momentarily, such a will o the wisp, almost like that special moment when your child did something unique or funny and then it was gone.


I am in the 9th grade. I am fiercely competitive. I love learning and still do, but I also vociferously want to always stand first. I put myself through all this self-imposed expectation and then there are all those fat ICSE textbooks that need to be studied. And I remind myself that I must not lose my rank because my Hindi is not good enough. Exams stress me out and I have these horrible migraines. It’s like my head will explode and burst. I am short tempered, the smallest thing will annoy me and I am drinking coffee and studying at night. Coffee helps intoxicate the buzz, so it doesn’t grab attention over the books.


I am in college. Someone I know throws a toffee wrapper on the ground, just because they know I will pick it up, and I do. I am called Captain Planet and it’s not funny. When someone is sarcastic as some people just are, my entire body goes into clamp down mode. It’s like in Prison Break, when there’s a security breach and the alarms are buzzing and red lights are flashing the order is lost and all the heavy iron bars and doors are racing with the siren to clamp down and shut down. It’s all inside my body; my mind is completely aware and able to make sense and to just ignore the comments. I cannot emphasize enough that this is what I feel entirely in my physical body alone. 


The anxious buzz made an over achiever out of me, not allowing me to be, just do do and do….it’s not entirely a bad thing to be charged up for achieving, but oh those moments of silent bliss, where there is no background score, just a feeling of lightness and quietness and a silence could give me the feeling of being ‘rested’. 


At some point I realized the entire quest of my life had been to get rid or quieten  the guzz guzz gruzz anxious buzz.. I had dancing highs, Vipassana highs, yoga highs and love highs.)These highs were the silent symphony and it was becoming more frequent. I sought it …….always. I remember sitting in psychology class and hearing about self-actualization and wondering if that was what those moments of silent symphony were. 


I never spoke to anyone about this anxious buzz in my body; I just assumed everyone must have it in their body. I want to say here, that origin of the buzz was in my body and its effect on the mind was completely an escalation of the physical experience of it. Though like everyone I have challenges in my personal and professional life, the buzz was only further escalated at these times….but it always existed.


It would also feel an excruciating overwhelm physically to be in the presence of many people… The anxious buzz would feed on other people’s vibrations. If someone is angry, even a random women fighting for a seat on a crowded local train, the buzz in me would go befriend her energy. So the buzz was gathering unto itself all energies it came in contact with. 


Travelling in Mumbai was a hellish experience anyway and add the buzz to it; it would feel like I am gathering energies of random people that tend to be restless, hasty, quick to anger and racing. Being in local trains was so excruciating, with the energies of women that had woken up too early to cook and pack tiffin’s and catch the right bus to catch the right train and get a seat so they could chant or chat before they went on in exactly 18.55 minutes into the next necessity. I invested in a Walkman and listened to the best of Gypsy Kings or Madonna hanging on that central pole of the train by the door, alighting at every stop, safeguarding that final step before the train left for my feet to find, space, my hands to find space, my ears were plugged in, listening to Madonna….. “Just like a prayer I’m going to take you there.”


I experience many moments of sometimes extended silent symphony as my yoga practice gets stronger. I have experienced that with Latin American dance, which really calls to me with its unsurpassed joie de vivre, the silent symphony is shorter and further between. A month in the Himalayas studying yoga begins healing a terrible L5 slip disc that doctors said was only degenerative because of my congenital scoliosis (irregular curvature of the spine to one side, also a midline defect) and brings me experiences of silent symphony that I only later read about in books from great masters. 


A few years later my time spent in Bermuda, quite deeply immersed in my yoga practice in the lap of nature, and in dance too bring home to me a discovery of personal truth. Not as flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods, but rather, as butterflies, sheltered in a cocoon of grace as we go through intense and necessary periods of metamorphosis, because fly we must, it is our very nature to do a fluttering dance, that comes from the stillness within our bodies and beings, dancing in rhythm to change that is inevitable.


guzz guzz gruzz goes the anxious buzz….it is not gone yet…will it ever?

Click here to read Part 2 : The Silent Symphony

Mommy Madness & Mandalas

Mommy Madness & Mandalas

Chanting while coloring a mandala

Mandalas are geometrical patterns that are contained within a circle and bring great balance and harmony.They exist everywhere in nature, in the trunk of a tree, in starfish in the sea, in snowflakes and in cells.
Colouring mandalas with your child or having your child color mandalas are great motor exercise that bring deep harmony and an inner sense of accomplishment and contentment.
I don’t believe in forcing a child to colour. However, there is a time when kids are obsessed with coloring. It is what they call in Montessori education, a “sensitive period”, a time when learning of that topic will be most welcome as interest is at peak and persistent. At such a time, having mandalas available with easy access to the child can be helpful. I’m not too sure about boys, but my little girl cannot but help be attracted by the designs.
We have a community silent hour every month, where people of all ages sit together, doing whatever they want in silence. Some read, some nap, some colour, some journal. Being only 4 and having attended these gatherings since she was 2, the little one likes to busy herself coloring. Little hands must do and this is something she loves.

Though I have worked with children in the space of dance education and storytelling for over 12 years, I’m no expert on education, but I am a keen observer. These are a few things I noticed about mandala coloring:
Coloring from inside to out or outside to in, whichever way the child chooses, brings a sense of focus and inwardness.
There is a natural silence that this harbors, the symmetry and balance bring peace and the face looks focussed yet serene.
Since coloring is a precursor for developing the fine motor skills needed to write, coloring mandalas, with their intricate patterning helps develop this in a very organic way. Whoever enjoyed drawing straight, slanting and curved lines on blue and red lined paper anyway!
My daughter and I more often than not chant while coloring. We often colour together, on the same mandala maneuvering space and her indicating the colors she wishes me to use silently. Its such a great experience. Often after long periods of togetherness, we get on each others nerves. At times like this, we are both glad to quietly colour mandalas and avoid saying impulsive and possibly hurtful things to each other.
As an extension, we observe mandalas in nature, someday we will make mandalas with leaves and flowers and kolam/rangoli and when she is old enough and interested, we will learn to draw yantras.
For now, we enjoy our mandala meditations. Do try it and share your experience in the comments.

Is your Water ALIVE?

Is your Water ALIVE?

“Hail water, ye bring health and bliss, ye help us to energy, that we may look on great delight!”

-Sama Veda 9:2:10

Water is the only element that has the power to store, receive and transmit energy.  Yet, it is one of the resources we most take for granted. Our bodies are 75% water, the earth is 75% water, the energy in water is very potent. My post is just to touch upon and create awareness on this elixir of life.

Most of us are unaware of the kind of water we drink. What is its composition? What is its source? What is its composition? How is the water stored and transported? What are the methods used to purify or rather make water potable or drinkable? What do different kinds of water purifiers do? The list of questions can be quite endless.

Many years ago, when I was doing my yoga teacher training at the Sivananda Ashram in Uttarkashi, india, I heard about the experiments of Dr. Masaru Emoto with water. Swami Govindananda Saraswati, our guru, was citing this experiment as a modern validation of why mantras are chanted over water and given to people, specially children to drink. Also why there is the presence of water to anoint and holy water in churches. 


What Dr. Emoto did was figure a way to freeze water and observe the crystals it formed. What he found was that water from taps, bottles, and rivers and lakes near big cities did not produce beautiful crystals. However water from sources in the midst of nature and quite untouched by human contamination produced beautiful crystals. He also studied the effect of words on water crystals. He found that water that had been exposed to mantras and words such as love, gratitude and other kind words produced beautiful crystals and water that had been labelled with words such as hate produced crystals that were distorted. This free book version for children, is a fabulous read.

This information facilitated a big shift in me. I have little or no control over the source of the water i consume, but i do have control over how I can activate it. So what i do is label my water source and try to keep water storage as plastic free as i can.

  My parenting guru Effath Yasmin took this experiment a step     ahead. In her daughter’s class, where some children seemed to be bullying and/or ignoring others, she took three identical closed containers partially filled with cooked rice. She labelled one Love, the second Hate and the third was unlabelled and ignored. Children watched on and off and after a month, it was noticed that the rice in the container that said love looked almost unspoilt. The one that said hate looked pinkish and the one that was ignored was full of fungus and blackness. Infering from this, one could see that a person, composed mostly of water treated with love would thrive. Conversely a person ignored or alone or lonely, would experience the worst state of be-ing and a person hated would experience negative effects of hate, but still be better off engaged with an energy than being ignored. Now think about what our relationships with the multiple people in our lives and our physical environment can do to the water in our bodies.

Blue-Bottle-Love-Blue-Solar-Water-BottlesI also charge water with sun rays….part of surya chikitsa in India and Ho’ pono pono in Hawaian culture and part of several other traditional cultures worldwide. This has the effect of adding praana or life force to water that is otherwise dull and “life-less”. For this I use glass bottles in blue and green. Other colors of the rainbow spectrum may also be used.

A few weeks ago, our family went on a bioluminiscence tour with CaymanKayaks and the experince was one of the most incredible of our life. Our 4 year old says it is the best thing she saw in her life. The bioluminiscent organisms absorb sunlight in the day and glow in the night. Words are utterly useless to try and describe this phenomenon. Interestingly, most marine bioluminescene is blue and green in colour.

I have also been pondering on the effect of salt and salt water. Living near the ocean is making me think about this often. I know that salt is used to absorb negative energies. It is used in the process of removing “nazar” in many cultures. Every time I live in a new home and there have been many, I use sea salt to clear the energy. Even in the west bath salts are used for relaxing. Himalayan salt lamps are a craze to remove negative ions from the air. Isn’t it amazing that the most water on the earth is salty and also that we feel so super energized after a dip in the salty ocean water. It feels so different from a dip in chlorine water from a pool isn’t it.

The function of water in the cells and muscles has been studied extensively by Dr. Pollack. His findings are an interesting read. A book that made a big impact on me with regards to water and cells is Cellular Awakening by Barbara Wren. I bought this book in a spiritual book store in Bermuda and refer to it several times, when i need to re-orient myself to health when i’ve gone off the path. This is one book you must read!

Now for some great music to do with water. One of the most beautiful songs for healing i have heard in modern times is Magnificence by Deva Premal. Its a great song to listen to on repeat, to cry to and let go to. Really captures the healing of water. 

….its time for your water to come A-LIVE…..