13 March 2009

Ma Phen Rai

I was poking around Marci Shimoff's Happy For No Reason website today, and stumbled across her blog. I went back through some of the posts from the last couple of months, and this one really spoke to me.
I read the Happy For No Reason book last spring, and it had a huge impact on my life. I started to practice some of the exercises in the book, and suddenly life seemed so much better. Or maybe it was that I had learned how to choose to be happy. After a tough winter, I am glad to be reminded of this again. Old habits have a way of resurfacing and convincing you that they are real. When I read this blog post , I found a technique that fits with our style to help us choose to be happy. She shares a story of a trip to Thai, and the wise answers that her guide had given her to why the Thai people seem so happy.
Here is an excerpt from 'Learning To Laugh At The Sky':
First, Mam said, “We don’t worry about things, we let them go. There is a common expression in Thai, ‘Ma Phen Rai,’ which means ‘Don’t worry, never mind.’ So whenever something doesn’t go our way or makes us a bit irritated, we just say, Ma Phen Rai, and we let it go. If someone’s late, we just take it easy. If we forget to do something that can be done tomorrow, it’s fine.” (It sounds like their version of “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”)

Secondly, Mam said, “We are contented, which leads to happiness. We are satisfied with what we have, whether it is a little or a lot. We feel, ‘I have enough, and I am enough.’”
Finally, she added, “We don’t compare. We appreciate what we have without looking at what other people have or what they do.” 
The phrase 'Ma Phen Rai' has stuck with the kids and I. It reminds us that everyone around the world has things happen that they don't necessarily want, and I think we will adopt it as our new phrase. When we start to think globally, we realize how much we CHOOSE whether we want to be happy at every moment of any day. This makes it so much easier to just let go of our expectations, and accept life. And since happiness is about what is inside of you, not what is around you, we are straight back on track and ready to move on.

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