Happiness Sutras

On September 9, 2020, I woke to a blood orange sky. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. Horror movies could not do it justice. I was totally surrounded by an alien, menacing sky and there was nothing I could do about it.  

At first I was not sure if the sky was going to kill me. Were there poisonous air particles in the orange sky? A quick check of the air quality provided some relief as most of the dangerous smoke particles were high in the atmosphere. Even though I was safe, I felt like crying. How could we be forced to accept yet another horrid reality. Not only a pandemic, severe racial unrest, threats of violence against me and my neighbors, 110 degree temperatures, devastating wildfires, and the worst air quality in the world. 

I lay down on the floor with my arms stretched out in an attempt to radically accept the moment. As I lay there, my little boy walked in. He knew something was wrong so we discussed the orange sky. I reassured him that we were all safe even though the sky looked different. He walked over to the bookshelf, pulled out one of my old journals and asked me to read it to him.

The journal was dated 2016. At the top of the page, I had written, “My Happiness Sutras.” In 2016, I was reading the book, “Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm” by world-renowned Zen monk, Thich Nanh Hanh.

In his book, Hanh wrote that everyone will face a variety of emotional storms in life. Emotional storms are unavoidable and inevitable. As a result, it is critical to plan in advance to navigate these storms. One of his recommendations was to write a Happiness Sutra. When the storm struck he suggested that we read our sutras in an effort to shift our emotional state away from fear and toward happiness.

A sutra is defined as a religious teaching, usually taking the form of a short story. It shares characteristics of a sermon of “well spoken” wisdom. Hanh suggested that we write short stories about wonderful things that happened in our lives. The story should teach us to marvel at the wonders of life.

My Happiness Sutra included four short stories about synchronistic events. A synchronic event occurs when you set your intention to manifest something into your reality using the Law of Attraction, and many different events occur in your favor which move you toward your desired outcome.

My son’s favorite synchronistic event is the story of his existence, which is one of my Happiness Sutras. There is no way to stop yourself from smiling or marveling at the wonders of life while reading his story. As I read all four Happiness Sutras to him, I navigated myself out of the storm.

I encourage you to write your own Happiness Sutra as the coronavirus rages over the holiday. Let’s preplan for more emotional intensity and develop a powerful strategy for navigating the storm.

If you would like help managing chronic stress or anxiety, please feel free to contact me to make an appointment.

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