#Happiness Series: The World According To Birdy (With Video)

Musings / Friday, August 16th, 2019

I am always baffled when someone says I inspire them. I simply can’t believe that. How can you not know what a fraud and impostor I am? But unlike me, I want to share with you those genuine people who inspire me. The Happiness Series, I hope, will chronicle what I see in you and what we can learn from every encounter, from the hands we clasp, and the hearts we hug.

Let me start with someone I know a little. Not very well. But we are getting there. 

This is Ms. Dalai Lamaness.

This is the world according to Birdy:

Relentlessly hope

I have had pitched fights with Birdy because I can’t understand her “positive” outlook to everything. “Why do you always say there’s something better?” I ask in exasperation. 

“Why should you not? What’s wrong in looking ahead with hope?” she asks.

For Birdy, it doesn’t matter what yesterday was. There’s this thing called tomorrow. She believes this tomorrow is infinitely better than the yesterdays you brood over. She thinks this approach is honestly better than imagining dark scenarios. And she is right. 

Research shows that the more we consider our future with light and hope, the better our happiness now. 

Live in the moment

No one epitomizes this cliche more than Birdy. But it’s not a cliche. She truly loves her day. She takes delight in her coffee. Savors a bar of the darkest chocolate I can gift her. Jumps up and down because someone gifted her a book.

Had a fight the last night? It’s forgotten because today is a glorious day and the sun is on her face and she heard a bird outside her window – and that’s good enough for now to feel happy.

Watch this video, if you don’t believe me. This was just the day AFTER she was upset about something. 

(And if you are wondering, I had asked her to dance according to THIS video, which you can’t see in this version).

Don’t brood. Mull not on the negative threads.  Don’t overthink. Make space for something new every day. Be relentlessly curious. That’s the Birdy way.

Have enduring loyalty

We are often guilty of giving up too much too fast. Birdy is unlike me – she doesn’t have many friends – but who she has, she guards them for life. I give up on people after a while. Not her. 

I can sleep in peace because I know that she is not going to give up on me, no matter how much of an asshole I am. And if she is your friend, you can sleep in peace too because she will do anything for you. Except – don’t ask her to visit India. That. She.Won’t.Do.;-)

Have empathy

I only preach about kindness. I rarely practice it because I am guilty of not always seeing the other’s perspective. 

Birdy can really feel what the other person is going through. “Paaapa,” (Poor thing) is probably the one word she uses the most. And yes, empathy is one of the greatest factors in leading a life based on compassionate happiness.

No one guides me more in understanding empathy than Birdy. Every time I struggle with it, I am amazed by how much love she has for another’s struggles, foibles, and flaws.

Forgive and be quick to apologize

I haven’t known Birdy hold a grudge. Except, perhaps, with my ex-fiance. He remains the only person she doesn’t quite bring herself to forgive. Sorry, Mr. SA! Don’t meet her. Ever. If you fear for your life.

Birdy forgives easily and often. And she doesn’t have an ego – it’s far better to apologize than be right, she thinks.  And she knows that anger is not the way to resolve things. Learn SM, learn.

How can Birdy be happier?

So, I have to sound like I know everything, right? Otherwise, how will this sound like SM’s blog?

Here’s what I suggest:

Marry empathy with honesty

Empathetic individuals can sometimes struggle to tell the truth. Being empathetic does not mean condoning someone’s bad actions or behavior. It means we understand why a person is behaving the way they are, and offer support in guiding them. It means listening to your heart just as much as you are tuned in to someone else’s heart.

Express emotions and feelings

It’s my wish that Birdy opens her heart up – and releases a hundred winged angels of feelings. We are happiest when we can share our innermost thoughts and feelings with someone. Often, we are so used to fighting our battles in our head that we forget to say what we feel. Yet, talking about our feelings releases us.  It makes us understand that sometimes we are not what we feel. Our life is not what we feel. We are clouds, drifting into rain, falling into earth, rising back into sunshine.

We are amazing, wonderful human beings who are gifted with the capacity to be alive. And Birdy is one of the most beautiful inspirations on being alive.

How do you think you can be happier? Do you think we can learn from Birdy? Let me know. And if you want me to write about someone who inspires you, please write to me. I would be happy to. 🙂

13 Replies to “#Happiness Series: The World According To Birdy (With Video)”

  1. This post has cheered me up today or let’s say pumped in some good smile on my face… I have been laying low, mulling, iterating , reiterating all possible dark thoughts… and I somehow landed on this post… it’s uniquely….. how do you say …mmmmm… very gently celebrating a good friend… and friendship…or something more deeper and lighter … I guess ………( that’s a lot of mmms and ….s)

    Thank you for writing this…

  2. Swati…. I can’t stop laughing…. And this is after hours of crying… Lol. My god naughty person u r. Good your friend recorded lol….

    1. My little one – you and the Bangalore weather are just the same. :-). Hugs. I am sure you will be smiling today. That’s how YOU inspire me.

  3. Yep, that’s Swati! I really wish I could let go and just DANCE.

    And it was great to see your sister, Ankit and Nacchu yesterday in Houston. We had a good start at a catch-up and will continue that when Karen and I go back to Houston 21-23 Sep to see if we can get in their way as Ankit settles into student life at Rice. Savitha passed along the book for Karen which made her weep at the end of the story. (She liked it.)

    Love and hugs to you both, my dears.


    1. Awwww, I am happy that you met them all. I am sure Anku will feel great knowing that you guys are around. Hugs and kisses.

  4. “Yet, talking about our feelings releases us. It makes us understand that sometimes we are not what we feel. Our life is not what we feel. We are clouds, drifting into rain, falling into earth, rising back into sunshine.” The written word is how you inspire us, Smitha.

    The ‘embarrassing video’ is too cute. Swati is an inspiration also.

    We are honored to have you two in our lives all these years. Hugs.

    1. The honor is all mine, Karen. All mine. Good people always leave notes of gold in my heart. And my heart is lined with gold from you guys.

  5. Oh this is Birdie to a tee. And I so admire these qualities of hope, loyalty and forgiveness. These are precepts that I try to live by.
    Smitha, you do too inspire me. And I thank you for our friendship. I couldn’t do without you.

    1. Yes, our Birdy is one annoying, irritating goofball – sigh. Keep working on her, please. Wink wink. Thank you Poodle – I can’t believe I inspire you but I am great that we are there still fighting after almost 20 years! Like I told Karen, good people like you just shine light in all the dark gloomy places of my heart.

  6. This is one of the most touching posts you have written about me… Thank you. I am happy that I have touched your life in some ways… But you teach me and inspire me in a lot more ways than you will ever know. I felt so good reading this. But not so much about that embarassing video!!

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