Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Buddha says "NOW!"

Today, Buddha wishes to speak of the power of now

No doubt you'll have come across countless articles, books, and Facebook posts that talk of the great gift of the present. So over-saturated is this topic that I felt there was little point in writing, but Buddha twisted my arm and urged that he may speak for himself.

So without further delay, I'll let Buddha have his say:

Many have spoken of the present and its gift to us, and while a number of them have embraced its power, there are still those who dwell in the illusion of past and future. They follow the counsel of their past, one who cannot adapt the the shifting shape of time. This false counsellor then advises the person on their future, offering an old map of lands now changed. Some blindly follow to discover the old ways won't work in the here and now. How many elders have been locked rigidly in a set way, one that served them years before?

The truth is that if we can understand every aspect of the present, we can make ourselves more fluid. We can shift shape to match the time itself, ensuring there is no place we cannot fit. We become adaptable because our eyes are open. We open ourselves to greater detail and external understanding. If you are constantly shifting focus from past to present, much of the detail around you goes unseen. An answer to your troubles could stand beside you, yet you seek it in the wrong directions. That which could bring you joy goes unseen.

  I have spoken already of the abundance you may receive from following your joys. Now, I ask you to apply it to present circumstances...Not your finances or career, but the world around you - as it is - right now...

What's in this space around you that makes you feel joyful? Be it something large or small, focus on it...are there any thoughts or feelings you have that could bring you joy? 

Do your clothes bring it? 

Your shoes? 
The seat you may be sat upon? 
The sensation of breath entering and exiting your lungs? 
Do you notice how good it can make you feel? 
Can you allow yourself to relax right now? 
Does relaxation bring you joy? 

Or... would you rather feel excitement at the possibilities open to you...believe it or not, but you can make a decision to do something great today. The potential opportunities are there! Liberate yourself! Do something NOW that you normally wouldn't! 

(even if that means closing this article and doing something this instant! You can always come back to it later!) 

Whatever it may be, know that you are allowed to do it. The universe will not stop you! Only your own fear, which is another illusion the past gave to you. 

That isn't to say that joy cannot be found using the past. However, it's wise to use it only as an indication that something can - or has - brought you joy. Does the past say something to you that seems wiser than usual? If it makes you feel GOOD inside, then you can trust it.

The same applies to the future. If something indicates joy and makes you feel good, then its a good idea to follow it.

However, know that the force holding the two together IS the present. Past and future may only indicate and guide, whereas the present can create. A future hope is not enough without present action. A past issue cannot intervene with your life without the permission of the present. Both are illusions you have created for yourself. Both can be made to serve the present, and rightfully should! They owe it to their existence!

Many others have spoken of the present, and this is good. I am one more among a sea of great voices, yet I add one important note. The past and present shouldn't necessarily be ignored, nor should they overpower. They should be considered as advisers, and their counsel may be accepted or denied based on what you feel will bring joy.

Until next time, blessings of joy upon you :-D

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

How to grow your own happiness!

Today, Buddha says that when you grow your own happiness, you have a greater appreciation for it. 

Much like those who grow their own vegetables, business, or even hair (which Buddha is sadly missing out on), there is a greater sense of accomplishment and ownership. Truly the greatest thing a person can do is create! To nurture and aid the growth of your own happiness, is one of the finest creations you can make. The best thing is that it's yours!

Are you intimidated by the notion of being responsible for your own happiness? Do you often ask for external circumstances in your life to change for the better? Are you begging to become a lottery winner, rather than building your own riches? If this applies to you in any way, then perhaps you are feeding from processed happiness rather than your own home grown?

What is processed happiness? I'll give you an example:

A young man is told from a young age that he should grow up to be a lawyer, like his father before him. His dad truly believes this will make his son have a happy, productive life. Of course, all parents want the best for their child...however, who does this happiness belong to? The child or the father?

In our example, it would be the father. The child is passionate about drama, acting, theatre, creativity...yet the father insists it's the wrong direction. The father claims to know better than the son himself, what will bring joy into his life.

The son becomes a lawyer and is congratulated by his father. Yet the boy feels like a piece of him is missing...he feels he is trapped in an existence where he MUST be a lawyer. He must do something he doesn't like in order to have enough money... And money will bring stability and happiness into his life...

Is he happy? Why shouldn't he be? He has money, prestige, his fathers support...yet he can't help but feel empty. He is now motivated by money, and if only he could win the lottery he could retire...
He thought he was happy, but after 20 years he feels stuck in a rut. He's bored of his life, and simply exists...he doesn't really live at all...

Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common in the modern age. There are more people existing than there are living, and so many are dissatisfied with their lives...
Money is prized above all, and while people  constantly say "money isn't everything", most of the time they're just saying the words. If that were true, wouldn't more people be doing what they love? 

How did they get here? Because their happiness has been processed by social conditioning. The decision was made for them in some way. Be it parents, society, teachers, or friends...external influences have molded their beliefs about happiness, rather than their own internal knowing.

It's an easy trap to fall into...If it wasn't, less people would be struggling in it. If you've found yourself there, have no shame. I have too, as my first article will point out. In fact, these experiences serve a great purpose in the journey to finding joy...They teach us the wrong way so we can recognize the feeling.

So, how do we follow our internal knowing? Buddha says the answer is simple. It's a yes/no question you ask yourself...

Is this bringing me joy?  

If the answer is no, keep going through all the things in your life until you find something that DOES.

That's your key to more joy! The more you follow it, the more joy will flow into your existence. Follow that which doesn't bring you happiness, and the same rule applies. (As it has already for too many people...) 

Does this idea bring you joy?

YES: That's Fantastic!

NO: Okay, let's try something else!

Think back to a time when you felt unbelievable joy...imagine what you could see, any smells you might have picked up on, tastes or feelings you had...what you could hear...? What was on your mind...?

When you feel like you've got it, imagine there's a dial from 0-10. This dial will increase all the sensations of that memory... It's probably at one right now, and you can crank it up to 2 and 3 and 4...and right up to ten in your own time...make the memory really come to life...

When you feel ready, ask yourself this...

What was the spark that ignited this joy in you? Where can you feel it in your body? WHAT does it feel like?

Your inner knowing will have the answer, so patiently wait for it. If you have the spark, it's yours to use whenever. You'll know - when that feeling comes over you again - that you are following your own sense of joy! Think of it as a compass, guiding you in the right direction. When you feel it in any situation, keep going! Chances are you'll find more of the same!

It seems so simple doesn't it...? And it is! 

If you're following something that brings you joy, you're being a lot more honest with yourself! You'll begin to radiate a certain energy that attracts more! We all know that like attracts like, don't we? If you're telling the universe that something brings you joy, you'll find more of that something. Have you ever had friends who whine a lot about their lives? Ever noticed that they seem to attract more of the same? 

We all create self fulfilling prophecies, so why not use it to our advantage? Have a self fulfilling prophecy that you'll find joy, abundance and happiness!

And with that, I'll allow Buddha to have his say for the day:

Growing your own happiness is like growing a must find an idea, one small thing at first. It's size matters not, as it is the GROWTH that will bring fruits into your life. The flavor of those fruits depend largely on how you nurture that growth. You must take the time to feed it, and offer time for it to accept your gifts. 

True happiness is not grown overnight, and will have its own seasons and phases. It must first struggle through the soil until it can meet with the light of the sun. Fear not patience, for as each second passes you may know that your happiness will grow with your support. That it will one day do great things for you, and that every day it can bring more joy and abundance into your life. Then it will serve as an infinite source of richness and reward. 

When it comes to the end of its summer, it will rejoin the soils from whence it came, and live on through new seeds that you the end, your plant become a garden...this is the nature of abundance...what grows, grows AND will never die, only shift into something greater. Your smile can grow too, as mine grows for you.

Worry not of time and age, for the season of growth is never too late. Do it now and smile. Then, you can experience the light of happiness today.

Blessings of joy upon you :-D

Introduction to Joy

Greetings and welcome!!

First of all, thank-you for coming here! It brings me joy to spread joy, as the laughing Buddha would say! Within this online space, I hope I can share with you many insights that will guide you to joyous living!

Before I begin however, I thought it would be a great start to explain where the idea came from. :-D

It's called "What's Buddha say!" with good reason!  
When I create these articles, I look upon an image of Laughing Buddha and ask for insight. The result is a flow of thought that I feel compelled to write down. So great were these kind words, that I felt they needed to be shared. Buddha agreed of course!

So, how did it start?

Well, there was a week of my life where I felt so miserable, I began to carry a Buddha around with me. I'd started a new job - one which raised my hopes high - only to find that it was unsuitable for me. I was basically a cold caller.

To me - and a lot of other people - this was the worst possible job I could imagine myself doing. To have the dis-pleasure of intruding on people's privacy, only to hassle them into signing up to our service, then receiving the impact of their was rapidly affecting my state of mind. I remember arriving home at night and keeping myself awake, simply because I knew sleep would fast forward me to another day of miserable work. I don't know if anyone has ever felt that kind of dread before, but you can imagine how deeply this was affecting me. I'd gone from being a joyous positive person, to an unpleasant, angry, potty-mouthed individual. (Yes, my swearing was getting pretty bad!)

So, I placed the laughing Buddha on my desk and reminded myself to look upon it whenever I felt down...The image had always been enough to brighten my spirits in the past.
It worked well for a while... but I began to realize that I'd be lying to myself. I couldn't FORCE myself to be happy doing something I hate. Not even Buddha could help me there... 

My team leader was picking up on my negative state, and would often offer motivation and kick me back into a positive attitude. He'd come over, place his hands on my shoulders and ask...

   "What's Buddha say?"

After a while, I began to ponder...if the laughing Buddha could say something...If he could reveal himself from the ether and smile down on me...could he guide me on the path of joy again...? What would he say? 

I looked at him, into the gleam of joy filled eyes and asked a my thoughts, he answered. 

I don't know whether I was channeling, or if my subconscious streaming the insight. All I know is that his words brought me joy, insight, and inspiration. He had a way of speaking that was calm, beautiful and filled with wisdom. He also filled me with positive energy! I wanted to laugh, dive around, have fun and share it with everyone! 

Eventually, he told me this:

Many walk the narrow path in fear of going beyond the fence. Those fences were planted to protect the traveler, but also to deny them freedom. You have followed the flow of these fear-made fences... yet there is nothing to stop you climbing beyond fear right now. You cannot see what is out there - in the open lands - but there is excitement to be had for sure. There is always joy to be found in the great unknown! What is to stop you forging a path of your own? One that leads you to YOUR OWN joy?

I'd become trapped on this road because I'd given in to fear. 
I'd sold out my own dreams and ambitions for the sake of financial security. 
Because I felt my passions couldn't support my living. 

In the end, the choice was simple. Either continue to follow unhappy roads, or take a risk and opt out. I could find something wonderful out there, beyond fear! If I stayed on the path, the only destination was misery and more misery. I'd begin to accept misery as part of my life, and deny there was ever a possibility of escape. There'd be no chance to find a pot of gold, to do what I love, to live a joy-filled life...

I decided to take a chances, for the sake of my happiness! I cut my losses, got out of there, and haven't looked back since!

Laughing Buddha guided me away from that negative situation, and continues to guide me into positive scenarios that bring me happiness today. All he asks in return is that I spread MY joy unto others. So that's what I'm doing now! 

I hope that my future posts can enlighten, entertain and inspire you to follow one path...your OWN path...set the destination for JOY right now!

Until next time, blessings of love, laughter and life! :-D