Thursday, June 23, 2016

How to be Joyful on Demand

I am generally a happy person, but there are times when I hit rock bottom. This happens when my happiness tank rans out. I saw it coming already mainly because I was away from home (Manila) and away from family (hubby/Mom) and friends. I was having little bouts of depression and was oftentimes sick. The culmination of this was when I got sick early this month mainly due to overfatigue (traveled too much in May). My whole body hurt, I was having palpitations, spaced out and my comprehension was an all time low.

It was bad and I got scared.

I'm normally self-sufficient. My boss never needs to motivate me. I can work in whatever condition. I got scared because if I couldn't get myself to be my normal self, nobody can.  My doctor asked me to take a week off to rest. He said my heart was stable, I was just fatigued. So I just rested, prayed and spent time with my family. I only started to feel better after attending Sunday mass. I prayed that my happiness tank would be refueled so I could pick up from where I left off.

I had the opportunity to attend Chade Meng Tan's class, "Joy on Demand" yesterday. It was very timely for me since I want to learn how I could prevent myself from going too deep into my well ("cave" for men). I have been okay since I went back to work a week ago. I just woke up and things were just okay again. I noticed that I get really cranky when I'm tired, so I guess the week-long rest worked its magic that's why I just woke up and was my normal self again.

I was excited to attend the class because I missed meeting Meng when he was still at Google. Ten years ago when I was new and visiting headquarters I visited his desk to meet him and check out his photos with famous people. I got to see the photos, but Meng wasn't around. I was thrilled to finally meet him after ten years (haha). I also looked forward to learning more about his new book "Joy on Demand: How to Cultivate Joy in Our Fast Paced Lives".

Johnny and me with Chade Meng Tan.


Meng taught us some meditation exercises that would help bring joy. It was short practical exercises that helped us relax and bring joy to the surface. He said that "joy" is just always there, we just need to allow ourselves to feel it. He differentiated between sustainable joy and instant joy. Sustainable joy is where you are just simply at a blissful state all the time, instant joy is more like when you are ecstatically happy. He taught us how in three breathes you can bring up joy. The secret is to be relaxed, be grateful and to wish others to be joyful. It worked so well for me and by end of the day my cheeks hurt from smiling too much!

Me fan-girling haha. 


I have been wishing 2 people to be joyful every hour all day today. I have been so joyful I feel like bouncing around (or it may be from the Starbucks white chocolate mocha I'm having right now). I realized yesterday though what brought me back from the other side. It was my family. I remember while I was resting one afternoon that I thought about being grateful for finally having my family complete with me in Singapore. I took a nap after that and I felt much better after I woke up.

Meng's Pinoys fan club, Johnny, me and Cathy. (Photo from Johnny's camera)


Meng said that being contented doesn't mean you are settling on something, but you should look at being contented as being grateful. And wishing others to be joyful as well helps a lot because it is a sincere way of giving. Giving is always a good thing because it leads to being selfless.

My homework is to read the whole book so that my happiness tank never runs out.

*Banana - did some research and banana actually helps raise potassium which helps raise ones energy level