Healing

How men store stress in their body

Disclaimer: All of these views are my own from my own experiences. I am not a man hater & what I have observed may not apply to all men.

Stress was a very important emotion which kept humans and many other living beings alive through the ages. The ages where the world was savage and all about survival. But fortunately for most of us, stress is not a primary emotion anymore. Nowadays, usually it is an emotion which gets created when a human is storing many other repressed emotions inside their body-mind complex. It’s very interesting how men and women store stress differently in their bodies.

So how do men store stress? They usually store it in 4 places : Jaw, Shoulders, Lower back and Feet.

Jaw and Shoulders: Have you seen a man clenching his jaw? There might be a big chance that this man is not speaking his truth, and usually it is not because he is scared or inauthentic – but because he has a lot of responsibilities  to fulfill which he thinks might get jeopardized if he expresses himself in his most authentic form. This is related to the throat chakra (Vishuddha Chakra). Also, check if the guy always keeps his shoulders slightly raised up instead of keeping them relaxed – another sign that he is stressed.

Lower back and Feet: Let me tell you a secret, men get hurt too. I frankly feel most men have fooled themselves into thinking that ‘they don’t feel hurt – because they are a man’. This is not their fault though, evolutionarily men were the hunters, the gatherers, the protectors, the warriors, the soldiers and therefore, it was indispensable for them to be a bit unemotional, a bit indifferent to hurt. Again, fortunately most men in the world today might not have to physically endanger their life to provide for others. However, different feelings come up in life, but men seem to have lost a way to express it over the ages and due to societal conditioning.

The primary feelings that come up in men (or boys) are usually heart based feelings – feeling of hurt, being abandoned, feeling betrayed, feeling taken advantage of – but they try not to feel these, deny them and repress them. This results in a blockage to the energy flow from their heart chakra (Anahata Chakra) and due to repression this energy usually goes back to the solar plexus chakra (Manipur Chakra). Here it expresses itself as anger.

Now, anger is an emotion that most men seem to be ok with. They are able to express it, but expressing anger incorrectly can do irreparable damage. So overtime, they start suppressing this anger too.  This is the time when any emotion that is too heavy to handle will quickly turn into stress. This results in lower back pain.

Feet get affected too because in all of these repressions – a man is still trying hard to be a solid foundation, appearing cool, collected and be grounded in the midst of this chaos that keeps brewing inside of him.


 

If you have a male in your life who maybe in a stressful work environment or any other stressful environment and you want to try reducing their stress – I highly recommend giving them massages in the following areas :

Problem Area : Clenched Jaw and non-relaxed shoulders. Give him an upper body massage. Maybe shoulders, back, hands, jaw and forehead.

Problem Area : Lower back and feet. Give him a full shoulders and back massage, followed by a foot massage.

 


 

And if you are a man reading this, please notice these signs in yourself and please go easy on yourself. Lifting crazy weights and pushing your body endlessly might transmute some of your anger but it is going to leave your body sore and agitated. So it has to be done only in moderation.

Take care of your inner world and don’t worry about always trying to be ‘strong and silent’. If you are acting from your awoken part – you are going to be our hero, always!  <3

 Image credit : Warner Bros.

Healing

DIY feet massage for stress relief

This is my technique for a gentle feet massage which almost always puts my spouse in a deep meditative state. By the end of this massage he has dozed off to wake up only next morning. So try to relieve some stress off a special one or you can do it for yourself as well. In all healing techniques setting intentions is important, also it is important to not simply rush through the massage but give each and every rub a lot of love <3

Time: Approx. 30mins.

Setting: I highly recommend getting a Himalayan salt lamp and a peacock feather for the area where you plan to do the massage. Something as simple as the picture below is good. I will make another post explaining why I think these are helpful. Even if you don’t have this, it’s not a deal breaker 🙂  Make the person comfortable with a blanket, pillow, etc.

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Music: Mul Mantra from Kundalini Yoga is best to support the root chakra (Muladhar chakra). Feet are related to root chakra. If you plan to chant the mantra, it is recommended to cover your head. Please find the two links to Mul Mantra below the post.

Lotion: I use ‘Stress Relief’ by ‘Bath and Body Works’ Aromatherapy line of products. Picture below.

Process: 

1. Apply one-by-one on both feet.

2. Place one foot in position and apply lotion.

3. Fingers and thumbs: Start massaging the thumb – especially the back of the thumb – this is the brain point in Chinese reflexology and puts the brain in a relaxed state. After that hold the thumb in your fingers and move it in circles ~10 times anti-clockwise and then ~10 times clockwise. You might hear some crackling type of sounds because the thumb muscle are loosening. Next rub all the fingers and similarly start circling the fingers clockwise and anti-clockwise. There could be more crackling sounds. Give a good rub to the fingers one last time.

4. Middle of the foot: Trace and rub the area just below the fingers horizontally while applying some pressure. Rub the foot from below the fingers to above the heel. Continue this for sometime. You can use all your fingers. This feels extremely relaxing – you can do this horizontally first, then increase pressure and do it vertically.

5. Heels: Hold the foot in your hand below the heel. Then with both the hands massage the heel with a lot of pressure. This area also feels wonderful to be massaged – stay here for a good amount of time. This has pressure points for the lower back, knee, ankle, gonads, insomnia point and sciatic nerve. No wonder it feels so good 🙂

5. Stretch: Hold the foot in both your hands. Now turn the whole foot in clockwise circles, then anti-clockwise circles. Then stretch the foot from left to right and then right to left. This can be done 5+ times.

6. Same thing for other foot.

This is the process I follow. I hope this helps you in some way to relieve someone’s stress.

Wishing everyone lot of love and light!

cream

 

Poem · Poetry · Rumi

Rumi poem interpretation – Unnamed Poem

Here is my interpretation of Rumi’s unnamed poem:

Which is worth more, a crowd of thousands,

or your own genuine solitude?

Freedom, or power over an entire nation?

A little while alone in your room

will prove to be more valuable than anything else

that could ever be given to you.

In this poem Rumi is trying to explain how important he thinks being alone with oneself is. It is only when we quiet the mouth as well as the mind’s chatter that revelations happen. These aha-moments which happen in a meditative state are priceless according to him.

He compares an extroverted leader who might have power – maybe over an entire nation to a mystic who has freedom and who is completely satisfied in his own solitude, and asks the reader which one they think is worth more? There is no right or wrong here, obviously. Leaders are just as important to the society as mystics. A person who is a good balance of extroversion and introversion, leadership and mysticism would indeed be like a dream come true.

Taken from The Essential Rumi

translated by Coleman Barks

Image credit : me

Hafez · love · Poem · Poetry · Spiritual

Hafiz poem interpretation – What Happens

Here is my interpretation of Hafiz’s poem ‘What Happens’

What happens when your soul
Begins to awaken
Your eyes
And your heart
And the cells of your body
To the great Journey of Love?

First there is wonderful laughter
And probably precious tears

And a hundred sweet promises
And those heroic vows
No one can ever keep.

But still God is delighted and amused
You once tried to be a saint.

What happens when your soul
Begins to awake in this world

To our deep need to love
And serve the Friend?

O the Beloved
Will send you 
One of His wonderful, wild companions –

Like Hafiz.

In this poem Hafiz first describes someone who is falling in love – in the worldly ‘love’ sense – with another human being, with expectations of love being returned. This ‘great journey’ of love is what slowly makes this human being feel alive. In this love, we make a lot of heroic promises which we obviously break over time as this love/relationship becomes a mundane thing in our life. He says, God is truly amused at this childlike behavior of humans but God still appreciates that humans try to be noble, brave and saintly in the name of love.

Then he says, similarly a person might have another type of soul awakening to love – but this time, it could be to a divine type of love – one that is free of attachments and expectations. It is the deep need to love anyone whom you see hurting or suffering, the need to serve those who need help. What happens to a person like this? Hafiz answers this by saying that God will send you one of his messengers to help you out, to show you the way, to guide you. A messenger, just like Hafiz 🙂

Taken from  ‘I Heard God Laughing : Renderings of Hafiz’ by Daniel Ladinsky.

Image credit : me

 

Khalil Gibran · love · Poem · Poetry · Spiritual

Gibran poem interpretation – On Children

Here is my interpretation of Gibran’s poem ‘On Children’

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, 
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might 
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

In this poem, Khalil Gibran – who himself did not have any child, is giving a message to parents about their children. He says that the children who are born to you – are not yours, you as parents do not ‘own’ or ‘posses’ them. You and your partner have been chosen by God to be the channel for this life – body, soul and spirit – to come into existence. You are to give them love and care, you will take care of their needs until the time they can do it for themselves – but that does not mean that in return for this you indoctrinate them with your thoughts. If you let them have thoughts of their own, they will surprise you with their brilliance. He says instead of teaching them, we can learn from them and strive to be like them. He says that parents are the bow from which the children shoot forward as the arrows – and God is the archer, orchestrating all of this. He says, be glad – you have this joy of being a parent – do all you do for your children in that gladness. For as God loves the brilliant arrows being shot forward – he similarly loves a bow which is strong, balanced, grounded and stable. He is basically, asking the parents to be a solid foundation for the children; solve your own issues – so that you don’t shake up your child’s childhood by your own mental imbalances; grow up first – before you try to help them grow up.

Taken from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

Image credits : me 🙂

feel good · Ganesha · love · Poem · Spiritual

Ganapati Bappa Morya!

My father chopped off my head

I died. He attached an Elephant head instead

And resurrected me – for he was the God Shiva.

I saw his regret and forgave him in a heartbeat

Adored, loved and respected him ever since.

This is how Lord Ganesha, came into being.

 

Do you think, you will be able to do that?

Forgive the one who chops off your head?

Can you forgive the car that cuts off in front of you in the city traffic?

The boss who makes you feel worthless?

The spouse who has no time to hear your heartfelt thoughts?

The parents who did not understand their sensitive child?

All those who make these tiny cuts in your soul – day in and day out?

Can you forgive them?

 

That is why Ganesha is God and we are mere mortals.

Let us pray, that God Shiva chop off our ego-heads

and replaces it with one full of wisdom and knowledge,

just like Ganesha’s and all our obstacles shall begone.

 

Ganapati Bappa Morya! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

Image credit : me 🙂

 

 

 

 

Marathi · Poem · Poetry · Spiritual

Marathi poem with translation – मनाचा आरसा (Mind’s mirror)

मनाचा आरसा

आपल्या सर्वांमधे असतो एक आरसा
हा कधी दिसत नाही
पण आपल्या असण्याची
जाणीव नेहमी करून देतो

ज्या भावना आपण स्वतःशी लपवतो
त्यांचं प्रतिबिंब हा दाखवतो
कधी स्वप्नांमधे,
कधी ह्या जीवनाच्या स्वप्नात

हा सगळं शोधून काढतो
आणि मग ह्या मोह-माये मधे
त्या भावनांना व्यक्त करतो
चांगल्या-वाईट परिस्थितीनमध्ये झोकतो

हे सगळं हा आपल्यासाठीच करतो
आपण आपल्या भावनांचे मान करावे
त्यांना शुद्रांसारखे दूर न ढकलता
त्यांच्यामधे पूर्णपणे एकरूप होऊन
त्यानां आपलाच भाग बनवावे
हीच या आरश्याची इच्छा

आरसा म्हणतो,
आरे माणसा, ज्या दिवशी
माझ्यामध्ये मला काहीच दिसणार नाही
त्या दिवशी मी फुटणार आणि
माझ्यासोबत तू ही मुक्त

राधिका

Here is a rough translation of the poem in English :
Inside all of us, there is a mirror – mind’s mirror
We cannot see it, but it makes it’s presence felt.
Whichever feelings we suppress,
This mirror shows us it’s reflection
Either in dreams or in this illusionary world that we live in.
The mirror pushes us into worldly situations
Where we are made to feel these suppressed emotions again
It does this so that we see this feeling, acknowledge it and make it a part of our own being instead of disowning it.
The mirror tells us ‘Human, the day I see no reflection in myself – I will get destroyed and along with me, you will be free from this cycle of Samsara (life, death and rebirth)’
Image credit : https://teejaw.com/self-reflection-can-be-good-for-you/
feel good · Poem · Poetry

Life breaks us all

Life breaks us all

In a million different ways

We all walk around

With holes in our soul

 

Try to look at others

Through these holes

In some you will find

Disease, decay and death

Some will have a light so pure

Like one you have never seen before

 

Image credit : http://www.soultraveller.net/authors/book-reviews/every-day-lightworker/

feel good · love · Poem · Rumi · Spiritual

Rumi poem interpretation – Love is reckless

Here is my interpretation of Rumi’s poem ‘Love is reckless’

Love is reckless; not reason.

Reason seeks a profit.

Love comes on strong,

consuming herself, unabashed.

Here the author is comparing logic and love. Love cannot be made to happen by a logical reasoning or conclusion. Love just happens – it is reckless. It can happen to anyone at any time – it does not see if this is in the person’s profit or not. When it happens it consumes the person – body, mind and soul. It is an all consuming feeling.

Yet, in the midst of suffering,

Love proceeds like a millstone,

hard surfaced and straightforward.

Love is also a very strong feeling – no matter how much suffering surrounds it – it keeps carrying on like a strong millstone.

Having died of self-interest,

she risks everything and asks for nothing.

Love gambles away every gift God bestows.

Once a person is in true love, the idea of selfishness does not occur to the person – for they start living only for the benefit of their beloved. In this love frenzy they don’t mind giving up anything valuable that God has bestowed upon them.

Without cause God gave us Being;

without cause, give it back again. 

The author says that God has given us this life and the many experiences it provides in a completely selfless manner – in true love for us. In exactly that manner, we can use our being to serve everyone with love and ultimately give our being back to God. It is not necessary to always do things with a profit in mind. This is akin to the idea – ‘Let all you do, be done in love’ 1 Corinthians 16:14

Masnavi: Teachings of Rumi

by Jelaluddin Rumi (Author), E. H. Whinfield (Editor, Translator)

Image Credit : https://hdwallpaperfx.com/lovers-in-nature/

feel good · Hafez · love · Poem · Poetry · Spiritual

Hafez poem interpretation – The Warrior

Here is my interpretation of Hafez’s poem ‘The warrior’

The warriors tame

The beast in their past
So that the night’s hoofs
Can no longer break the jeweled vision
In the heart.

Hafez says that the warriors are the ones who introspect and heal all of the pains of their past. They do this healing so that they are no longer in the vibration of hurt. Once they have done this healing – no other pain from the world can break the beautiful love which lives in their heart. They know that all the important battles are fought inside oneself.

The intelligent and the brave
Open every closet in the future and evict
All the mind’s ghosts who have the bad habit
Of barfing everywhere.

He says the truly smart people are the ones who go into all their thoughts of the future and remove the expectations which live here. He calls these expectations as ghosts and say they basically ruin everything. The smart ones do not expect much from the future.

For a long time the Universe
Has been germinating in your spine

But only a Saint has the talent,
The courage to slay
The past-giant, the future-anxieties.

Hafez says that this strength has been building in the warrior’s spine – growing steadily. Spine because it is from the spine that the energy moves up the body. He says that only a Saint though has the guts to heal all of the past hurts and issues and calm all the future anxiety. He emphasizes that a true warrior is also a saint. He is like a Samurai who has his sword tucked away in it’s sheath – but he always has a hand on it and can wield it effortlessly when required.

The warrior
Wisely sits in a circle
With other men
Gathering the strength to unmask
Himself,

A warrior is one who knows himself truly, who can completely unmask his own ego – not just in solitude but also in front of a group of men. It is someone who can be himself completely in front of any audience or when alone.

Then
Sits, giving,
like a great illumined planet on
The
Earth.

This warrior-saint then becomes like a light giving planet who spreads the light wherever he goes and keeps enlightening this world. He becomes a channel for the Divine’s service with the only purpose of giving. This is similar to what Krishna advices Arjuna in the battlefield – do your duty but do not be attached to the results. Become a channel for God’s divine energy to flow through you – whether it be in the battlefield or elsewhere. Follow your dharma.

Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Image credit : https://pixshark.com/spartan-warriors-in-battle.htm