Friday, 2 August 2013

Buddhism and Happiness

A few years ago as a first time mother I found myself one day feeling quite "frazzled".  I was a mum to child who did not sleep very well at night, he had been ill quite a few times, this combined with a return to the workforce had me feeling far from relaxed, if not a tad anxious. I remember having such a strong feeling of wanting to be better person and parent.  Unlike some, parenting didn't come naturally to me, but I wanted it to.  I wanted to feel more relaxed with my child and I wanted the anxiety to go away.

It was whilst visiting my local library that I came across a book title "Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring".  I remember being so drawn to this book,  I picked it up and just could not put it down.  This little book gave me some wonderful advice and helped me find the calmness within.

Since that day I have read a lot more on Buddhism and also the teachings from His Holiness The Delai Lama and whilst I wouldn't necessarily call myself a practising Buddhist, I do try to incorporate the beliefs into my everyday life.  I think they make me a better person.  That's not to say I don't slip up every now and then, but I know overall I am a much calmer person and suffer from far less anxiety than I ever have. 

An example of this is the joy felt from feeling and sharing genuine happiness for others. 

Today at work a fellow colleague of mine won Employee of the Month.  Sometimes a natural human reaction to such news, could be to feel "some" happiness for the person, but also to feel some jealousy, (hmm why didn't I win, why did she win).  A few years ago, these thoughts could have been mine.  If I reflect back to the person I used to be, I really do believe that I was perhaps that type of person.  I would of had a "level" of happiness for my colleague, but it wouldn't have been genuine and "honest" happiness and I am sure I would have allowed those jealous thoughts to enter my mind.

Today when my work colleague won her award I had nothing but pure, honest, genuine happiness for her.  I was so excited for her and also very proud of her.  She has been working long hours with a new program we have and she is also responsible for training other staff members on how to use this program.  The whole time Miss B has remained kind and caring, even though she has worked well past "overtime" and has been tired and unwell (I need to link her into this post!!).   When Miss B won Employee of the Month I so excited and happy for her, it was a lovely feeling to give her a hug and share in her happiness. 

Feeling and sharing genuine happiness is uplifting and good for the soul, I felt fantastic for the rest of the day.  I'd say that's much better than entertaining jealous thoughts, being false and having an "average" afternoon.  :)