Put A Sun On It.

Hello dear readers… Greetings from Indiana, where the wind is blowing and clouds are gathering, as the rains from Tropical Storm Barry make their way up here. I am grateful for the cheerful birdsong and for my colorful room, as I write and sip my strong black coffee.

This morning while eating some soaked oats (watch for a recipe post soon), I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, and I noticed that there was a balance between good happy news and bad sad news, which made me think of the happy-ing up practice I already had in mind for this post… This practice brings a little humor and helps shift your perspective with regards to good and bad times.

Years ago there was an episode in the TV series “Portlandia” (that I never watched but heard about) in which an interior decorator’s solution was to “Put a bird on it.” That expression became a popular catchphrase, and when I heard it, somehow it tickled me deeply, so lately I’ve been playing around with the idea… That is how I came up with today’s practice: “Put a Sun on it.”

Having a bad day? Put a Sun on it.

In the Adhyatma Ramayana (translated by Swami Tapasyananda), Rama’s brother Lakshmana tells Guha, “In the midst of happiness, misery can occur, and in the midst of misery, happiness too can occur.”

So, beyond the humor of “Putting a Sun on it,” in this practice there is also a shift in your perspective. In times of misery, it is all too easy to spot the misery, but can you find the happiness in the midst of the misery?

The next time you feel less than happy, try this practice… Think to yourself, “Put a Sun on it.” Next, ask yourself, “What is right in this situation? What happy thing is happening? What small joy can I find in this moment?”

I hope this practice helps you to happy up… And if you are already feeling happy, that’s awesome… Put a Sun on it, and perhaps you will feel even happier! 🙂

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Riding a Grief Wave Successfully

In my post on Monday (“Writing a Book Strengthens Many Virtues”), I mentioned that while writing my next book (Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life), more than once I have witnessed myself applying a concept from the book in my life.

So this post is a story of how I rode a grief wave successfully by using some of the very tools I had already written about in the new book!

One evening last month I was suddenly overcome by a huge grief wave over something that happened in my past… I have experienced a lot of grief in my life, but this particular wave was incredibly painful, so much so that I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by the intensity… While I was crying really hard, as if by some Grace from Beyond, I spontaneously began speaking out loud to myself in a very soothing voice… Here is what I said:

“Remember that emotions are just energies… these are big energies, but they are just passing through you… soften, and give them space… allow them to flow through… remember that emotions rise and fall like ocean waves… they won’t take you out… relax into the pain… just let it go through you… you are stronger than the energies that are passing through you… you don’t need to be afraid of these energies… these energies will not overwhelm you if you just soften and allow them to move through… they will shift…”

After coaching myself like that for a while, I stopped crying, and the energies did shift… and I was okay… No, I was more than okay… I was triumphant!

I successfully rode that painful grief wave because I practiced what I preach, so to speak.

Perhaps you might like to print out those words that I spoke to myself, so the next time you feel grief, you can read them aloud to yourself. If you do so, please let me know how it goes…

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo by Mathias Reding on Unsplash.

 

Guided Imagery for Shifting Negative Thoughts

Here comes the Sunshine Train!

How often do you witness negative thoughts going through your mind? Are you aware of what triggers negative thoughts for you? How quickly do you shift negative thoughts into positive thoughts?

Last night a simple little thing happened that set off a chain of negative thoughts in my mind. Because I have established a long pattern of cultivating the witness, I watched those thoughts quickly spiraling deeper into negativities, and I thought, “Wow, that’s a really dark train!”

I laughed to myself, thinking that yes indeed, that “train of thoughts” was very black and heading into a dark black tunnel… and that’s when I thought, “Good-bye dark train… Here comes the Sunshine Train!” Spontaneously I visualized a cheerful train filled with Sunlight… and I imagined that God was driving the Sunshine Train, and all I had to do was surrender and take my happy seat… then I mused that my small self had been driving the dark train, but on the Sunshine Train, my higher self could just relax and trust that all is heading in the right direction!

You can use this visualization anytime you notice a negative train of thoughts beginning to chug through your mind… Simply banish the dark train into a black tunnel… and get on the Sunshine Train! You can visualize your Sunshine Train to be however you like… paint it in your favorite colors… decorate it in your personal style… and notice who is driving your Sunshine Train… and is there any music playing on your happy train? Is coffee being served?

I hope this funny little visualization helps you to shift your negative trains of thought into positive trains of thought! This is yet one more way to help Happy Up your life! Choo, choo!! 🙂

And remember… Shift Happens!

ShiftHappens_StarFireTeja

 

“Shift Happens” Hubble image credit: NASA/ESA/Andrew C. Fabian

Train Sunset Photo by Rene Rauschenberger on Pixabay