Happiness Should Be Fun

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The issue of happiness is of considerable importance in today’s world – and one to which many great minds are devoting their attention. Depression is on the increase, particularly in the United States and the UK, and behaviour therapies and mood controlling drugs are widely prescribed.

How-to-be-HappyA lot of people are taking happiness very seriously – and this is entirely legitimate and important. Yet I can’t help but feel that something is being missed – that happiness need not only be serious; that it should also be fun.

These thoughts were with me when I began work on How To Be Happy – The Maxus Irie Book of Happiness. I thought of this book and the whole concept of Maxus Irie, as a way of teasing out the fun aspects of religions and cults, both for those who are religious and also for those who, like me, are not. Everyone should be able to enjoy prayers, rituals, hymns, psalms, catechisms and myths – so why not democratize our natural instinct to rejoice?

Sing, and you almost immediately feel happier. Pray, and you immediately have a sense of connection with the world into which you are sending your words. (It’s like performance poetry where everyone is the poet.) Rituals imprint mood patterns more firmly on your mind, while at the same time affirming your principles and beliefs within the material world. These are marvelous ways of expression and they deserve to be shared.
If you say these words, taken from one of the prayers in my book, out aloud:

“The power and the light
And the warmth
Of the sun
They are in me
They are in me
And they fill me with joy”

then you will almost certainly feel a little bit happier – or, if you are unhappy, they will at least suggest and affirm within your mind the possibility of happiness.

And what of cults? I am the last person in the world who would be likely to join a cult. In fact, I have spent years researching and writing about cults or neo-cults. But people do join cults and there are reasons why. There’s the feeling of inclusion, of being part of something. And there’s the feeling that you are reaching out towards truths which are more important than the practical and material concerns which occupy our everyday lives. So I thought to myself, why not launch a kind of anti-cult cult, a cult that is quite simply happy and friendly and nice and devoted to happiness, friendliness and niceness?

It was an over-the-top left-field idea… but one that immediately amused me and put a smile on my face. And in a way, for me, that legitimized the idea. If it made me smile, perhaps it would make other people smile too. So that’s what I’ve done. I’m now the founding member of Maxus Irie, the captivating cult of happiness and joy. You can join it simply by wanting to increase the amount of happiness in the world. You can be a practitioner simply by trying out some of the hymns and prayers in my book. And you will know you are getting in on an in-joke: you are part of something – a movement – designed purely to make you and others smile…

So enough of this very long introduction – particularly since I have to confess that I am not only amused by the amusing aspects of happiness, I also take happiness seriously too. So, while some of my prayers and rituals and hymns are humorous, some are perfectly serious too. There are things we can do and say to make ourselves happier. I would like to think my book contains a few of them. Let me know what you think.

Prayer 1111
Solitary Prayer
The Power And The Light

The power and the light
And the warmth
Of the sun
They are in me
They are in me
And they fill me with joy

The beauty and beneficence
And the light
Of the sun
They are in me
They are in me
And they fill me with joy

The fire and the splendour
And the power
Of the sun
They are in me
They are in me
And they fill me with joy

The power and the light
And the warmth
Of the sun
They are in me
They are in me
And they fill me with joy

Prayer 1221
Shared Prayer
We are loved

Sharer: We are loved
We are wanted
We are needed
All: We are loved

Sharer: We are deserving of respect
We are worthy of desire
We are wanted
We are needed
All: We are loved

Sharer: We are beautiful
We are human
We are nature’s creatures
We are needed
All: We are loved

Sharer: We are the pinnacle
Of evolution
We are its bounty
And its treasure
We are needed
All: We are loved

Sharer: We are gifted
With compassion
With drive
With imagination
With skills
Beyond measure
We are needed
All: We are loved

Sharer: We are loved and deserving of love
We are wanted and deserve to be wanted
We are needed and deserve to be needed
All: And we are loved

The Maxus Irie Thought Exercise

Ritual: Relax your shoulders
Let the tensions of your day slip away
Let the skin on the back of your shoulders move down, down towards the ground behind you

Relax your shoulders
Relax your arms
Relax the space between your eyes
Relax your hands, your arms, your shoulders
Let the tension slip away
Now close your eyes

Let your eyes soften
Let your eyes sink backward, downward, inward
Soften your eyelids
Rest them gently against one another
Soften your cheeks, your lips
Soften the muscles of your jaw
Now… think…
Think…
…sunshine
Think of sunshine caressing your skin
Think of a soft, lazy light like a soft, lazy breeze, caressing your face, caressing your hair
Think…
…sunshine

Now… think…
Think…
…of green fields
Think of green fields stretching away into the distance
Thing of green grass swaying softly in a gentle breeze
Think of the soft sun touching the gentle green leaves
Think…
….of green fields

Now… think…
Think…
…of the wind
Think of a soft wind gently touching
The leaves
Touching the leaves of a field of grass
Think of a soft, gentle breeze
It is like a parent’s fingers
Trailing through the tresses
Of its child’s hair
Stroking softly the green leaves
Of a field of grass

Now… think…
Think…
Think of the sensation on your skin
Of the sunlight and the wind
Of the gentle light and the gentle wind
Think…
…of birdsong
High in the sky
Like a spirit set free
Singing of light
Singing of the gentle breeze…

Now think…
…think of the rustling of leaves
Touched by the breeze
Touched by the sunlight
Touched by the mystery of life and of time
Think…
…how coolness feels when you are hot
Think…
…how warmth feels when you are cold
Think…
…how friendship feels after being alone
Think…
…how kindness feels when you are in need
Think…
…how laughter feels
Think…
…how strength feels
Think…
…how peace feels
Think of sunshine touching your skin
Think of a gentle breeze touching your skin

You are happy now
You are peaceful now
You are happier now
You are more at peace
You are calm and you are strong
You are filled…
…with a gentle light
You are filled…
…with a happy light

Now bow your head
Take your chin to your chest
And, as you raise your head, slowly and gently open your eyes

Hymn 901
Our Contentment And Love Last Forever

Leapfrogging, cart wheeling, gyrating and spinning
Our lives are the laughter of the now and ever after
Where happiness and joy
Are a part of forever
And our sadness and tears
Are in the never-never
And our contentment and love
Last for ever and ever
For ever and ever
For ever and ever
And our contentment and love
Last for ever

Bounding, somersaulting, tumbling and leaping
Our lives are the laughter of the now and ever after
Where kindness and love
Are a part of forever
And our losses and our sorrows
Are in the never-never
And our smiles and our happiness
Last for ever and ever
For ever and ever
For ever and ever
And our smiles and our happiness
Last for ever

Stepping out, jumping up, ducking low, leaping high
Our lives are the laughter of the now and ever after
Where caresses and smiles
Are a part of forever
And our troubles and woes
We face them together
And our kindness and compassion
Lasts for ever and ever
For ever and ever
For ever and ever
And our kindness and compassion
Lasts for ever

Cartwheeling, leapfrogging, gyrating and spinning
Our lives are the laughter of the now and ever after
Where happiness and joy
Are a part of forever
And our sadness and tears
Are in the never-never
And our contentment and love
Last for ever and ever
For ever and ever
For ever and ever
And our contentment and love
Last for ever

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