We all know it is true—when people are happy, they often whistle or sing spontaneously!
Some of the happiest memories in my life are when I have been singing—learning, practising or performing songs for a concert, perhaps. I often feel so happy whilst singing that I am moved to tears.
(Photo: Hridayinee (rt, in light blue) singing during a public outdoor concert)
Music that feeds the heart and soul
This singing needs to be of a special type of music: spiritual music that feeds the heart and stirs the soul. Have you ever heard a piece of music that just immediately lifted you up and carried you away from the earthly realm—something divine and beautiful, uplifting or joyful, peaceful or inspiring? Perhaps you have enjoyed singing this type of soulful music yourself.
For example, the songs composed by my teacher Sri Chinmoy—author of The Jewels of Happiness and himself a prolific, self-taught musician and composer—are the type of songs that really make my heart sing and my soul blissfully happy.
(Video: Swiss group Mountain-Silence sing a selection of Sri Chinmoy’s meditative songs)
Skip the sad songs
Let’s take this simple example: If you are having a depressing day for some reason, you could perhaps choose to put on some music to listen to. If you are feeling depressed and wallowing in this negative emotion, you may automatically choose some song that is emotional and sad and start crooning along to it. Well, guess what? This kind of music will only feed your downcast mood and prolong your depression. By identifying with this emotion, you are allowing your sad feelings to choose a sad song to listen to, which in turn increases your sadness, and the cycle continues.
Choose a different experience
BUT consider another option: What would happen if you were feeling a bit down or depressed and a higher part of you recognised this emotion without getting too caught up in it? You could therefore choose to have a different experience and perhaps listen to some uplifting spiritual music, or even better, you could try singing some soulful songs yourself! By choosing to do something positive like this, even when feeling sad, as I have experienced for myself, your mood can be lifted and changed very quickly, and with longer lasting results.
Singing—the happiness booster
A few days ago, I celebrated a long weekend here in New Zealand by travelling down south with friends to Christchurch for a three-day retreat of meditation, games and company. My teacher Sri Chinmoy affectionately liked to refer to such a get-together as a “Joy Weekend.” This particular weekend consisted of lots of good food, good company, meditation, runs or walks in nature, joy and laughter, and many beautiful singing performances and experiences. One of the three singing groups I was in chose to perform a medley of “happiness songs” by Sri Chinmoy—complete with clicking and clapping amongst the singing performance. It really gave me so much joy to sing these songs – just like a happy young child. The audience seemed to get much joy from hearing these as well. Singing does that to you. It is just such an easy, natural happiness booster.
These are the words by Sri Chinmoy of the three simple happiness songs we performed in Christchurch:
“Serve the crying earth, You will be happy.”
“Forgiveness is the only real happiness that lasts.”
“The children of happiness will create a new world.”
We are those children. Singing does make you feel like a child—in the heart-space, happy and free, simply living in joy. If we can be happy, we will be creating a new world.
Find the little opportunities and sing!
We cannot meditate 24 hours a day, but there are so many opportunities in our daily routines to simply sing a soulful, happy tune. You could sing in the shower (classic!), or whilst walking down the street, in the car travelling to work, or hiking in nature. This could be done with a friend or alone. The possibilities are great.
One last cute thing I would like to share with you. Tonight whilst cooking and cleaning in my home, I put on some music on shuffle as I pottered around. Suddenly, a voice memo began playing of my friend singing some of Sri Chinmoy’s songs with a harmonium. This friend used to live with my little budgie Joey (see the photo on the top), so when Joey heard and recognised my friend singing these songs, he suddenly got really happy and excited! He started chirping, tweeting, whistling and singing along with my ipod—loudly and full of joy! It really was very sweet.
Sing … sing a song!
Mother Earth has bountiful blessings to bestow upon us, and one of these is God’s creation of birds—who begin every day alive on this Earth by singing a beautiful morning prayer-song. I suggest you awaken early with the sunrise, listen to your neighbouring birds awakening with the dawn, and try to allow some time each day to sing your own happiness songs. I assure you, regardless of how your voice sounds, the simple act of singing will be a big happiness booster in your own life of aspiration and longing for a better world. 🙂