Be A Happy Person

 

“Mind is the means to happiness.”

~ the Upanishads, a collection of wisdom by the ancient mystics of India.

 

Dear readers,

In a Q&A video with Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh, someone asked, “What can I do to help others?” He answered, “Be a happy person.”

Our happiness helps others, just like our peace helps others.

That answer may sound too simplistic, but it is actually quite complex and profound, because, for most humans, it is not easy to be happy.

Being happy is a choice and a commitment and a practice. We choose happiness, and then we have to keep making choices that create and maintain that happiness. It’s an ongoing, moment by moment process, with plenty of pitfalls into un-happy zones.

Being happy has been challenging throughout human existence, but perhaps it is more difficult now than ever before.

Knowing that my happiness helps others inspires me to keep happy-ing up, again and again. Over the years I have learned many tools for happy-ing up, which I recently compiled in a book: Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. In the Practices section I explain the term “Happy-ing-Up” as follows:

“Happy-ing Up is not the same as putting on a fake smiley face. When you do practices to Happy Up, you actually shift your state UP to a feeling of happiness. So it is not an act of “fake it till you make it,” but rather, it is an act of elevating yourself to a higher vibration in which you truly do feel happy. Sometimes that happy state only lasts for a few minutes, and that is okay. Simply keep practicing and happy-ing yourself up again and again.”

And, beyond helping others, being happy helps boost your body’s immune system, which is an especially good thing during a virus pandemic!

I hope this post is helpful to you or to someone you love.

May the happiness centers activate in the human minds!

May all beings be free of suffering.
May all beings be happy.

With happy vibes,
StarFire Teja

 

 

Photo by Bradley Howington on Unsplash.

 

Why Orange?

Dear readers,

In response to the title of my book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, some have asked, “Why Orange?” So in this post I will share the section from the beginning of the book in which I answer that question…

Why Orange?

The color Orange represents Happiness, Joy, Enthusiasm, Warmth, Fire, Sun, Heat, Sunshine, Creativity, Courage, Vibrancy, Playfulness, Cheerfulness, Encouragement, Optimism, Radiance, Confidence, Success, Fun, and Fascination.

On the Hindu Yoga Path, Orange symbolizes the Fire of Renunciation, the Orange Fire that burns all the external desires, attachments, and expectations that cause suffering. Once those external causes burn, the internal happiness is experienced.

When you were born into your earthly body, you began experiencing desires and attachments right away, and pretty soon you became identified with your body and all of the sensations, thoughts, and feelings that arise in your body-mind. Those desires, attachments, and identifications have caused your cycles of joy and sorrow… all those waves of happiness and misery…

Consciously deciding to renounce those external causes of suffering does not mean you have to leave the worldly life and become a hermit in the woods. Rather, it means that you intend for those external causes to burn in the Orange Fire of Awareness, so that you can enjoy the Happy Orange place inside your own being.

I have been doing daily spiritual practices for more than fifteen years, and those practices have helped me tremendously with my own growth, healing, and happiness. I feel passionate about sharing do-able spiritual practices with you, because I want to help you to also heal yourself and to find your own happy place inside.

I grew up Catholic, then I practiced Judaism for ten years, while also studying other religions, and then at age thirty-three I found the Raja Yoga Path, which includes meditation, chanting (singing sacred mantras), studying spiritual teachings, and serving others. I have always loved religion and ritual, and I respect all religions and other cosmic belief systems. The practices in this book are for you to incorporate into your own individual spiritual path.

During a particularly dark and difficult time in my life, I visited a beautiful ashram (spiritual center), and the daily practices there re-kindled my inner happiness and took me to a new level of self-love and healing. It is my deepest wish that this book will take you to a new level of healing and help you to happy up your life.

Every day we are all reaching: reaching for a cup of coffee, reaching for a snack, reaching to hug someone, reaching out to a friend or neighbor in need, and so on. Most of our reaching is reaching outside of ourselves.

Reaching for Orange is reaching *inside*: doing practices that burn the external causes of misery and take us to that Happy State inside our own beings.

The ancient sages of India taught the same thing that Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within.” That Divine Source of healing energies is inside of you already, so take a little time each day to connect with your inner being. May the practices, visualizations, and blessings in this book help you to reach your Happy Orange place inside!

 

So, that is why Orange!

With hopes for your happiness,
StarFire Teja

 

 

Background image of the Sun courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

 

Video: Guided Imagery for Releasing Anxiety

Dear readers,

This morning when I was singing my daily prayers, the inspiration arose to record this visualization for you. Ironically, just the thought of public speaking increased my own anxiety… But, I decided to shake out my nervous energies and do it anyway, because I want to help reduce the Collective Anxiety.

So here is a little guided imagery for you, to help you shake out your own nervous energies. This visualization is from my book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. Below the video you will find the text for this guided imagery…

 

Guided imagery for releasing anxiety… This visualization includes some gentle movement that you might prefer to do while standing, however, it can be done while sitting or lying down. Alternatively, if you do not wish to do the physical movement, you can simply imagine yourself doing the movement…

Breathing naturally… drifting down… into your inner world… breathing down… into your center… allowing effortless relaxation to flow… from your head… down to your toes… relaxing… surrendering… opening to the ground of your being…

… following a pathway down… from your root… down into the Earth… and standing on the surface of the Earth… feet firmly planted on rocks and soil… and seeing the beauty of this blue-green planet… the oceans… rivers… mountains… meadows… deserts… canyons… forests…

… standing strong and calm like a tree… extending its roots down into the Earth… and beginning to very gently shake your arms… legs… hips… hands… and feet… and while gently shaking your body, imagining that all of your nervous energies are shaking right out of your body…

… and watching your anxieties shaking down into the Earth… down through the rocks and soil of the Earth’s crust… down through the layers of hot minerals… and all the way down through the inner layers of Deep Earth…

… and watching those anxieties entering the hot ball of iron at the center of the Earth… that iron is ten thousand degrees hot… like the surface of the Sun… seeing all of those anxieties burning in that hot ball of iron…

… feeling gratitude for releasing those nervous energies… feeling strong in the ground of your being… and bringing that feeling of release back with you to the outer world… feeling calm and centered…

I hope this guided imagery is helpful and healing for you…

With gratitude and strength,
StarFire Teja

 

StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Light a Living Fire of Love

 

May you face changes with grace.

May you accept and bless everything that has happened in your life.

May your weekend be blessed with reminders of your inner resources.

May you light a living fire of love in your heart, in your mind, and in your whole being.

(The last three blessings are from my book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life.)

 

Dear readers,

Change is the only constant here on our sacred planet Earth, and yet, the kinds of changes we must face are always changing.

Change comes in many sizes, shapes, colors, and varieties! Some changes are exciting, while others are devastating. We have time to prepare for some changes, but others surprise us quite suddenly.

May you face your changes with grace.

And speaking of change, I have decided to let go of writing these StarFire Friday Blessing posts… After writing them weekly for more than one year, it is time for a change. Let us see what arises next!

With living heartfire,
StarFire Teja

 

Fire photo by Zoegar on Pixabay.

 

The Last Book

In my post on January 19th (“Maintaining a Balance”) I shared that I was going to take a few days off from blogging in order to re-read the books I published last year… Well, that same day my Dad went into the hospital, and later that week he had double bypass heart surgery which he did not recover from, and he died on January 25th.

During the week that my Dad was in the hospital, I had already finished re-reading my book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, so I was re-reading my book, The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes.

The week prior to that, I had written the following in my journal: “It appears that once again I have failed, because my books haven’t sold and the blog hasn’t gotten a big following… It appears as failure on the outside, but on the inside it feels like success because I really LOVE both books so much, and I really LOVE the blog so much! ~ When I re-read the two books and the 270+ blog posts, I feel so pleased and so proud of my work… My work isn’t successful externally/financially for many possible reasons: my health issues; my inability to effectively promote (“Realizing (Again) That I Am Not a Salesperson!”); karma; destiny; fate; astrology; and/or I am too fringe and/or too spiritual for this worldly realm… “It’s Whatever.” ~ My work is very successful and satisfying internally! Om Namah Shivaya, Jai Sri Rama!”

So, while my Dad was in the hospital, I once again really loved reading The Tejaswini Ramayana, and I visualized many people being elevated by watching it as a major film like Avatar

Then my Dad died… and the day after he died, my Mom told me that he had taken my book, The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes, with him to the hospital… So, he and I were both reading The Tejaswini Ramayana during the last week of his life, but neither one of us knew that the other was reading the same book at the same time!

It was actually my Dad’s third time to read The Tejaswini Ramayana, because first he proofread the original copy prior to publication, then secondly he read the published book in order to write a review… Well, after he spent many hours writing a review on Amazon, it wouldn’t save and he lost all that he had written… And then the months of busy living flew by…

So, my Mom said that in December he was planning to read it for the third time in order to surprise me with a written review for Christmas… But he didn’t get around to doing it, so he was planning to write the surprise review for my 50th Birthday, which was on January 29th… So that’s why he had taken the book with him to the hospital on January 19th… And he finished reading the book that week, but he didn’t have time to start writing the review…

So! After a lifetime of being an avid reader and researcher, the last book my Dad read on this Earth was my book, The Tejaswini Ramayana. I am so stunned by that, and tears are blurring my eyes as I type this post…

As he read the book, he told my Mom, “She is a good writer,” and he made comments about what was happening in the fantastical story, such as “The blue beings are coming!” My Mom said he really enjoyed reading it, and I can tell the truth of that by reading his marked-up copy…

Last week I really loved reading his copy and seeing what he had underlined. I especially appreciated seeing all the comments and smiley faces and other doodles he had made in the margins! What a blessing, what a gift, for me to have his copy of my book!

The Tejaswini Ramayana is based on the ancient epic story from India, which I had been studying for nearly fifteen years… My version is quite fantastical, and my Dad was more of a realist, so a lot of his written comments questioned my “fantasy-based philosophy”… While reading his marked-up copy I enjoyed talking to my Dad and explaining my cosmic beliefs to him! It was the only spiritual connection I have felt with him in these long three weeks since he died… I am so very grateful for that little spark of magic during this difficult time.

I am pretty sure that Reaching for Orange is the last book I will publish… I am not sure what the future holds for me, but for now I still feel that my purpose is to be a happy spiritual helper shining the light through writing blog posts…

Thank you so much for reading this post.

May you be blessed in every way, every day.

I love you all,
StarFire Teja