There is a Buddhist tradition known as Watering the Seeds of Happiness. I learned of it after my mother died through my beloved teacher, Joseph LePage, founder of Integrative Yoga Therapy. During the time a person is dying and for several weeks after the transition, loved ones recount loving memories from that person’s life. The intention is to support that person being at their highest and happiest state of awareness when they leave their body.
I have made this practice a part of my life because it is such a loving way to deal with dying and death. It strengthens, comforts and supports me as well as the person making their transition. Along the way it occurred to me that there is no need to wait until someone is dying to water the seeds of their happiness. How would life feel if I did this consistently throughout life? I can tell you from experience that life feels softer, more joyful, and more fulfilling.
How do you do this? Here are a few examples of things I have done to water the seeds of someone’s happiness. Instead of a gift this year, I wrote my brother (my only sibling) a letter describing what it was like to grow up as his little sister. He was a wonderful big brother and I ended up writing 6 full pages of memories of how he influenced me in loving, powerful ways. I had to make myself stop at 6 pages! My only intention was to express the memories dear to my heart. The results have been close to miraculous as our relationship has returned to the sweetness we shared those many years ago.
When I was married, I called my mother-in-law every year on my husband’s birthday and thanked her for bringing him into the world. My mother called me on my birthday and told me something about the first few hours, days, or years of my life that no one else knew. Who else can tell us about those times but our mothers? I carry that tradition on with my children. No one knew them in the womb like I did, yes? When you tell a loved one Happy Birthday, how about adding “I’m so glad you were born into this lifetime with me!”
Take a little time today to think about those you love. What might you say the next time you see them that would water the seeds of their happiness? Imagine how your life will feel if you do this often and it becomes natural to you? Then stay aware because you will be watering the seeds of your own happiness in the process as you realize how blessed you are to love and be loved.
Don’t hold your love in! Express it! No need to wait! Just do it!