Sunshine People

I call them Sunshine People. They are the ones who literally bring sunshine with them. Sometimes it is their smile, at other times it is their words and yet others it is just their aura that lights up the place.

How is it that some people can be so full of positivity while many of us are crushed by life’s knocks? It is not as if they don’t have their share of disappointments or sorrows. I am not talking here of those who put on a face in front of the world, though even that is not bad. But the true Sunshine People are those who face the odds and still find something to be happy about.

I had this neighbour who was in her early 50s. She had suffered a sudden stroke that had laid her up with the right side completely paralysed. A  painter, she also taught painting to neighbourhood children and women. With her right side affected, she could not hold a brush or pencil but she still taught a few students the nuances of the art from her bed. She needed help to get up and get around and yet not once did I see her grumble or frown. She enjoyed looking at the squirrels scampering up the trees outside her window, loved watching the children play on the ground across the street and was happy to find someone to say a cheery ‘hello’ to. I called her Sunshine Lady, a title she found mighty pleasing!

That was the time when I was grappling with my vision problems and I couldn’t even appreciate the finer aspects of her art. Unable to read or write, I spent a lot of time in prayers and chanting and I taught her some shlokas to chant too. She was very happy to learn them. We talked of a lot of things. She loved ginger tea and I made some for her and took it down one day, groping my way carefully. And you know what she said? ‘Don’t worry. We are discharging our karma and I know that one day soon I will walk up the stairs to your flat to drink your ginger tea and will teach you to paint.’

Then we laughed. We both knew that it might or might not happen. But it gave us something precious to hold on and look forward to.

Conversely there are some people who drain you out mentally and emotionally. They have nothing positive either to say or feel and can look for things to be gloomy about even in the happiest of scenarios. Even their smiles are the opposite of the sunshine people’s. I once had a friend, who would counter any congratulatory note with, ‘…but you know, it is not as it looks…’ and come out with a long list of things about why it was nothing to be happy about. These are also the people who keep asking, ‘Why me?’ as if they are some special beings who are above  hardships or tribulations. It is not the question alone, but the attendant emotions and reactions – anger, depression, envy and more that plant themselves insidiously into our psyches too. And we could do without those, couldn’t we?

Does this mean that acceptance of our lot is the best way out of problems? Or that passively enduring everything is the easiest option?

Certainly not.

We have to evaluate the problem and then take all necessary steps to find a solution to overcome it. Simply enduring hardships is not an option at all, though the highly spiritual find it the most empowering thing to do. But even for ordinary mortals like you and me, sometimes things are beyond our control and solution and in such cases it is best to let things take their own course. Like my neighbour — she was undergoing the best medical treatment, had a live-in maid to help her move about and do her work, she was keeping herself mentally and even physically busy, and yet, things were taking their own time to improve and she was suffering in the interim.

We have the choice to ask, ‘Why me?’ or shrug, ‘Ok, so it’s me; let me not fret but get on with my life and let things take their own course.’ Sunshine people deal with things by taking the positive route to equanimity.

I find the theory of discharging our karma, a very soothing one to accept. My father had a ready explanation for any catastrophe or calamity. You have lost your wallet with lot of money in it in a crowded place and he will say, ‘You must have owed that man that money in your previous birth.’ According to him, everything that went against you or which you couldn’t do anything about but move on, was because of some previous karma that you were discharging. It doesn’t bring back the lost wallet or correct other situations, but it gives you some solace that you are only suffering what is your due and helps put things in their proper perspective.

Image Courtesy: ku.wikipedia.org

Another thing that makes acceptance easy is faith. It can be either faith in God or on time or anything. But believing that things would work out eventually helps overcome odds wonderfully well. In college, I had a professor who used to always say, ‘This too will pass,’ whenever one of us looked upset over something and his words always brought an involuntary smile to my lips. And as the ends of my lips lifted, I found my spirits lifting too. I have gone through some nightmarish situations in life when I thought things would never end. But always, the smiling face of my professor swam before my tortured eyes and I consoled myself that it will end surely, as other things had ended before.

Likewise, believing that God knows best and would take care of us in every situation helps us face the worst situations with courage. Those who have unshakeable faith in God somehow manage to find hidden wellsprings of happiness to tide them over rough patches. ‘He will take care of it. I don’t need to worry,’ is their refrain.

Such faith is my envy, for I am still struggling with my ego and think that I am doing everything. The devout would say, ‘Your every action and even thought is God’s will.’ This might sound very simple, but if one gave a little thought to it, one will realise that it takes off all your burdens in one stroke. And by relinquishing the burden of worry, you are mentally free to actually work towards a solution to the problem at hand. Careworn minds are unable to think coherently or act wisely.

As I said earlier, chanting and prayers have always worked for me. These are monotonous, repetitive and have a soothing effect that calms agitated minds instantly. Every religion has this ritual. The tulsi mala of the Hindus, the prayer beads of Christians and the tasbeeh of Mulsims – all are used for chanting. Chanting simple mantras for a few minutes is enough to make me breathe evenly and think clearly – or not think at all. For at times, one needs to stop thinking to be able to act.

I don’t qualify by a long shot to be called a Sunshine Person, but I value every one of them that has come into my life at some time or the other. And I am sure they all use one or the other of the above mentioned methods to achieve equanimity in the face of adversity and spread their warmth around.

Coming back to my erstwhile neighbour, the last I saw her was two years ago when she had started walking — albeit with a pronounced limp — but walking nevertheless. And me?  Aren’t I here writing and reading blogs of my wonderful friends after nearly losing my eyesight?

🙂

 

Home Page Image Courtresy: bethszimmerman.com

101 comments

  1. That was just simply brilliant post. You literally brought sunshine into my heart through your words. I totally agree with you. It always makes such a huge difference to think positive and believe that the worst shall pass. It gives the mind the much needed clarity to look for solutions rather than excuses to lament about the problem. Whenever I am in a tough situation or face a big problem, I think about the worst times of my life and how I managed to come out of them. That gives me the confidence that this too shall pass.

    I really loved all of the sunshine people you mentioned. It needs a lot of courage, mental strength, conviction and inner peace to think so clearly and live life so strongly and radiate the happiness and positivity to others. Hats off to your neighbor and my happiness knew no bounds when I came to the last paragraph to see that she has started walking. Your college professor’s “this too shall pass” theory and your father’s karma philosophy are all ways to bring energy to our sagging minds and spirits. And last but not the least.. I feel that you are one of those sunshine people yourself. I admire your spirit to take life in best spirit and spread the inspiration around through this magical post bringing the sunshine into all our lives.

    Like

    1. Unfortunately, Raj, I am not a sunshine person at all, which is why I am a connoisseur of such people and like to surround myself with them. 🙂 It should be the effort of everyone to become such people since they really liven up the world. I am thankful to god for such people who have come into my life at various stages and affirmed my faith in humanity.

      Like

  2. Anilkumar Kurup · · Reply

    This is a pretty vast subject to comment upon. Each man to himself and his idiosyncrasies shall be the refrain.
    However, from an argumentative point of view if karma is the reason for one’s state , then we all must be marionettes. We dance, sing, eat, sleep, walk , procreate and so on not of our own volition but because someone up there wills.Then why blame us for the ills that befall us and the karma?the very same big brother who made the system could have pulled us back from infirm deeds.
    Losing one’s wallet is attributed to an unpaid loan in a past life ( to the pick- pocket) for instance is like extending the judgement and conviction eternally. The threat of eternal damnation religions use to tether man. The concept of eye for an eye , tooth for tooth! The very same pick pocket who picked ones pocket may have taken his loaned money back. But ,he himself has committed a crime which if going by the same logic will be squared when one is reborn and when one picks the pickpocket’s pocket.
    leaving aside this, the sunshine people indeed are the ones as you mentioned who always see a beacon yonder.It takes a certain body chemistry that is in the gene to emit sunshine even in the lows of life.

    Like

  3. It’s quite difficult for people to accept that they are going through a rough phase. They do so many things to convince the world that everything is normal. But the moment they accept it, becoming a sunshine person is just a step away.

    I feel that we are both sunshine people and non-sunshine people at different stages of our lives.

    Destination Infinity

    Like

    1. The idea is to be sunshine people all the time and that should be our endeavour too, don’t you agree? I am still taking toddler steps but hope to be there some day not in the too distant future 🙂

      Like

  4. awesome..nice post…keep up the good work..

    Like

  5. very inspiring post!! true how some people are as negative as Dementors..you know suck the happiness out of the place and some people are so full of life and sunshine that they cheer us up instantly.

    Like

    1. Loved the analogy of the dementors who suck out all the happiness out of people. 🙂 It should be everyone’s endeavour to become sunshine people, shouldn’t it?

      Like

  6. A post that makes one think, Zephyr. Everybody has sunshine people in their lives and one such person in mine is Krishnan, a colleague who retired last year. I have yet to meet someone who radiates positivity the way he does. I even wrote about him on my blog when he retired. http://thatandthisinmumbai.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/retirement-blues-and-a-thank-you/

    Though I try to be positive at all times, I am no Sunshine person. It is probably to do with lack of convincing faith and unnecessary analysis at times. I find solace in Karma at times, and at times this very Karma seems to mock me. It is a journey that continues and people like Krishnan are the best role models that I could have.

    Like

  7. Very sweet. I have lots of sunshine people in my life, too 😀 Amazing how inspiration and zest come from the least expected quarters sometimes!

    Loved the post!

    Like

  8. You know Zephyr, we crib about so many things in life, with the never ending why me. I was like that, but a death in the family sudden hit us like a bolt of lighting. We have only ONE life to live, and if we crib about things always, when do we actually live it! This post is full of positivity and Sunshine. The attitude is bang one and perfect.

    Like

    1. I agree that sometimes we do need a jolt to make us aware of our good fortune to appreciate what we have. And the moment we do that, sunshine can’t be far behind, can it? And do you know that it is the streak of dissatisfaction that ads play upon, so that we keep asking for ‘more and more’?

      Like

  9. Thank you for that lovely post. Every word you have written is so true. I’m glad this blog was tweeted.
    Keep smiling for the sun is always shining somewhere. 🙂
    Anne

    Like

    1. I am glad you liked the post 🙂 Though we know these things, we tend to forget them and it does us good to be reminded of it from time to time. Visit again 🙂

      Like

  10. Dimple · · Reply

    Hey,

    This post cudnt have come at a better time…….Just what I need to hear and read it over and over again!!! That when life gets you down……stand up and smile back and defeat it!!!

    All the while reading this post I cudnt help but remember my Dad who wen suffered a paralytic attack never once complained or cursed. With his sheer determination and never die attitude he fought and started walking again in less than a year and driving too.. He is and always will be my true inspiration. Never give up when the going gets tough is what he made me realize

    I am termed a Sunshine person by most of my friends who think I laugh through anything in life…. I had lost that knack recently but this post reaffirms my faith that when everything else fails just turn to God. Have faith and if things have to work out they will. If they dont, Just hold your head high and smile like you have never been crushed.

    Thanx again for yet another meaningful post…

    Luv,

    D

    Like

    1. I am so glad that my post reaffirmed your faith in Faith! Sometimes a stray word can do that to us, can’t it? You dad sounds like my friend the Sunshine Lady. She managed to lick her misfortune too. And you know what? Many of us do it too, but we are not able to remain that way all the time. So it is good to be reminded of such things periodically so that we can be Sunshine People all the time. 😀

      Like

  11. And apparently I can comment here using Opera, though not through Internet Explorer, which I was using till now! 😀

    Like

  12. Forgive me for being so late to comment, but the notification for this post didn’t show up in my reader. I come here today to see why you hadn’t posted for a long time and found this post.

    Lovely, lovely post! Yes, Sunshine people (such an apt description) spread joy all around , don’t they?

    I aspire to be one of them, but am never successful. I’m lucky to have a few in my life, though. 🙂

    Like

    1. So glad to see your comment here, Manju! I will ask Vinni to check out the reader issue. Many people have complained about this for this particular post. Whether or not you are a sunshine person is not for you to say –others around you will know and say. And I know that you are one, Manju. Why else am I still friends with you, hmmm? 😀

      Like

  13. I heard it said somewhere that if you believe in God, then you have no business worrying. For if you do, then you are doubting His ability to take care of you. When things are out of control, I’ve found it easier to transfer my burden of worries to His shoulders. I do this after a lot of crying, yelling, screaming and generally being a pain in the a$$, but there comes a measure of peace when I finally say “Ok, this is Your problem, now You deal with it.” He does, in his own time and the results are way better than anything I could have accomplished on my own.

    Like

    1. Ah, but I have been there, done that! 😀 It is our massive ego that makes us fight till the end since we believe that we control our lives, till the reality hits us hard on the head and we have to lift our arms in surrender. And like you I have found that the solution is better than anything we could have come up with, though sometimes, it takes a long time to realise that 🙂

      Like

  14. Sweet post…frankly being sunshine is the only way to beat the depression and stay connected. Sunshine people are easy to be around and yes, give you plenty of energy and strength.

    But I have seen the opposite in United States where if you do not appear to be a sunshine person then you are either recommended a counselor or avoided. When I had a very rough patch and went into complete withdrawal, it was hard to have social support–who will take care of a mentally paralyzed person unless they get some cheerful strength back? I learnt the hard way that the only way to ensure you survive is by smiling and beaming literally–that has led today to an extraordinary network of friends and well-wishers.

    But because I know this– I reach out for folks who have no shame in walking the Dark Night of the Soul as St John would say in complete acceptance. Optimism and Pessimism are two sides of the same coin. As you rightly pointed out, it is equanimity that we strive for–not mere sunshine. But the ability to be equal in happiness and sorrow, among friends and enemies, in receiving and giving, health and sickness, in life and at the moment of passing.

    Yes, I too find tremendous solace in the notion of Karma and also gain my strength not merely in prarabdha and sanchita karma but in Purshartha–the way I am now also predicts the future.

    A lovely post, Zephyr touching on an important theme.

    Like

    1. Forced cheerfulness is not bad unless it is the result of extreme depression and usually those close to the person is usually able to detect it, if they do have a circle as you now seem to have developed. And by reaching out to those who walk in darkness, you have automatically become a sunshine person 🙂 And when when we look at others’ suffering , we see our own in its right perspective, which again helps to heal and radiate warmth. You are lucky to have been able to see that our karma is of our own making. It took me way longer despite the most difficult odds that I faced and overcame, not just health issues. And yes, each must necessarily learn to deal with his or her own problems to become a ray of sunshine, however feeble, but a ray nevertheless.

      Like

  15. How I loved this post!! It’s so true about sunshine people. I wish there are more of them around us. I am not sure if I can qualify among the sunshine people. Yet, I am happy that few of my friends feel me that way. That’s so true that we think,”Why only me?” as if troubles don’t occur to human beings…:) How come I don’t get notifications of your posts? I thought I subscribed. Let me do it again.

    Like

    1. You must be a sunshine person if your friends feel that way about you. And most of us are sunshine people sometimes like Rajat Gaur has observed in his comment. We can always aspire to become full time Sunshine People 🙂

      Others are complaining about not getting notifications either. Let me check it. In the meanwhile, be a sweetheart and subscribe again, will you? 🙂

      Like

      1. Latha · · Reply

        Oh I did…how won’t I? 🙂

        Like

        1. thank you Latha!

          Like

  16. First of all thanks Ms Zephyr for this wonderful post. I myself fall in neither the category of those sunshine people nor I’m one of those who drain everyone’s brain. Some times I’m very optimistic and feel the positive energy flowing through my body. But after one or two hours, clouds of pessimism start thronging around the sunshine of optimism. And then I start feeling like hell. And I live my life between this transformation of personalities. This post has made me realise that its high time that I do away with that hellish pessimistic face of my personality. And one again thank you very very much Ms Zephyr.

    Like

    1. You are welcome Rajat. Not all of us can be sunshine people, but the mere acknowledgement that we should become one is important enough and is the first step. If only we stopped looking at the dark cloud and wait for the silver lining, as so beautifully put by Suranga in her comment, we would all be happier and more content in life.

      Like

  17. Sunshine people make this world a better place to live in and we should feel blessed if we have at least one such person in close proximity. Loved your beautiful narration.
    My dad’s eldest sister who is no more,was one such person.She spread kindness,love and happiness till she died of cervical cancer.When ever I was stressed out, I just had to call her and from thousands of kilometers away,I could feel the positive energy and cheer.If you have the time,do read what I wrote about her here : )
    http://sharmila-mymind.blogspot.in/2010/05/when-she-lost-herself-in-time-and-space.html

    Like

    1. It is amazing how those who lived in the earlier generation were happier and more contented than the subsequent ones. Wonder if it was because they were able to see the good in life because they were spiritually more evolved than us, maybe? We do need to recharge our batteries by ‘plugging on’ to such sources of energy and they in turn recharge by ‘discharging’ their energy 😀

      I will definitely read the post. Thank you for the link 🙂

      Like

  18. All sunshine folks
    have an amazing ability
    to sight the silver lining
    behind
    a threatening bad loaded cloud.

    Some folks are born that way,
    but some,
    smile at the cloud,
    while moving just so imperceptively,
    that the silver lining
    simply emerges out on its own
    like a guiding path,

    Lightening doesn’t blind them,
    and thunder ,
    well it simply moves away
    guaranteed of a defeat.
    An occasional wind
    cools
    what might have been an agitated mind,
    but isnt,
    and they enjoy the raindrops
    on their face,
    like a divine facewash.
    till
    so many birds,
    bees, flowers, fruits
    emerge,
    smiling,
    because they have just seen a Rainbow.

    Zephyr, your wonderful wonderful post reminded me of the many Sunshine folks I knew and I still know.. There is a certain strong grace about such folks. There is a huge amount of giving. I wonder if we are able to be even half as good ….but must keep trying to learn from all the sunshine folks …

    Like

    1. Thank you Suranga for the lovely poem and the sentiments expressed in them. You are right, even a storm can’t stand in front of Sunshine 🙂 I wrote this when I realised that we would all be a bunch of sad people had we not the joy of being surrounded by these sunshine people. Starting with the security guard who gives you a bright smile to one of our dearest who spreads good cheer, we have them in aplenty. Only when we let the storm in our minds to overwhelm them that we can’t see them. SO it is important to keep our minds open to receive the sunshine, in fact, that is the first step towards becoming one ourselves. It is never too early or late to begin this spiritual journey. 🙂

      Like

  19. The Serenity prayer is something that keeps recurring to me often – and specifically in times of trouble. “God! Give me the courage to change that which can be changed, the patience to endure that which cannot be changed and the wisdom to know the difference”
    The Sunshine people, to me, seem to be those who have been granted what has been wished for in the prayer. I have been lucky enough to meet a few of them in my life – most notably my mother who, while undergoing chemotheraphy, could still go around the wards cheering up other cancer patients!

    Like

    1. G.N. Balakrishnan · · Reply

      Really excellent.

      Like

    2. Your mother sure sounds like my friend Chitra’s younger sister. There is no way you can be downcast in the presence of such sunshine people. And you are right about them having been granted what prayers wishes for or rather shall we say they have reached that plane of spirituality to be able to radiate that warmth.

      Like

  20. Beautiful post.
    I call it the Domino effect. All of us are like dominos. An incident which happens with you is like a stack of dominos falling. You will not even realise that the effect which made you fall was long in the making. BUt then we can always make the dominos stand back, so that they fall again.
    Some things just have to happen. There are no whys. Important thing is to get up and get going.

    Like

    1. The domino effect is right. I smile at the rikshawala as I pay him, the shop assistant who rings up my bill and my maid when I open the door. These are the people who need a look of appreciation the most and I can see them smiling through the corner of my eye as I leave them. 🙂 Like you said we all face hardships but the important thing is to pick ourselves up and get going. 🙂

      Like

  21. Of course, you are a Sunshine Person! And I like to keep such people around me :-))

    Like

    1. Thank you Giri! I am not so sure of that myself but I am trying my damnedest best to become one for sure. 😀

      Like

  22. You have summed up so neatly,all that is needed to keep us happy & sane……each to his own;although all the roads to happiness as delineated by you are true gems…..BTW have you noticed , nobody asks ” why me?” when the going is good?

    Like

    1. Each to his or her own, but try to radiate some warmth, right? and the reason why we don’t ask ‘why me’ when the going is good because of that super ego, which whispers that it us who is responsible for the good times, the same ego that makes us believe that we are above suffering. 🙂

      Like

  23. Oh, this is a shining gem Aunty! This one is indeed very special! Strong belief in things does help us cross hurdles in life. I myself crib and fret a lot when things tend to move in the opposite directions but I am grateful to God to surround me with some truly wonderful people like you who bring me back on the right track 🙂 I am still learning and though theres a lot of distance yet to be covered to get into the elite sunshine group, I am willing to learn and I sure do dream to be there someday 🙂

    Aunty, you are one of the warmest people I have encountered in my entire life.. You think I will really mind that you missed some of my posts? you have given me so much more… Thank you for all your love that you shower on me 🙂 I know that I am your favorite niece and travel blogger, arent I 😉 and that is truly reason enough to take me to the moon 🙂 🙂

    Like

    1. The very act of trying is important in the quest of spirituality. Except for the few enlightened ones of this world, we are all but students in this quest. So you are already a sunshine person in the making. 🙂 Thank you for the endorsement of my being a warm person. I remember Vinni telling me that I have a ‘froning’ look when I was worried or upset, when he was very young. I used to consciously try to remove that ‘frone’ then 😀 And of course you are my favourite blogger niece and please come back soon from the moon. It is too far away 🙂

      Like

  24. Hi Zep,

    The issue/topic you have brought out does not seems to be an ordinary one or a simple one. But you have come out with very simple answers to that. Yes we need simple answers to complicated questions that is how shining people do it.

    Anyway, I am not going to write in this comment everything that came to my mind when I read ur post. But I highly appreciate you for bring it out. i hope, it becomes a national topic.

    But i do have a general doubt. If belief in god is a means to be shinning or closer to that, then the Indian majority should have been shinning. Compared to most nations, India has its 99.999 percentage people who are staunch believers in god. So I am wondering why this dilemma.

    Like

    1. Most of the complicated things in life are simple, aren’t they? If only we saw them that way 🙂

      Unfortunately faith is often confused with religion and rituals. Because if the faith were real, it would give strength and solace without having to go through elaborate rituals and endless visits to places of worship. These though have their own place in the scheme of things. you will be surprised to see the humble folk around us going through their terrible lots with equanimity, only because of their faith. My maid for instance, or that presswali I told in my reply to Sangeeta about and countless more. We see the few hypocrites who donate money to charity or go on pilgrimages and are still unhappy. That is not true faith.

      I would love to hear what all came to your mind when you read this. Do share the thoughts with us, Prasanna 🙂

      Like

    2. But, most of the people in India, believe , more in rituals than in God , who comes after the rituals.
      Most of those who perform rituals/visit temples , show off their religion, are also doing lots of things which are away from God:-)

      Like

  25. Pratibha · · Reply

    Sorry, I am really short of time. Will read your post later.
    But had to tell you, “YOU ARE A SUNSHINE LADY.
    I request all your blog readers to support me, if they also feel the same.

    Like

    1. That was praise of the highest order — even without reading my post! I am nowhere near being one, Pratibha, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart 🙂 It will give me fresh impetus to try harder!

      Like

  26. Lovely reminder about all those Sunshine people one met.

    I go with your father’s understanding of Karma. When I have lost money, emotions or got cheated, I consoled myself.

    I believe there is a reason that things have happened , I am to draw my lessons from what God is trying to tell me. That makes things bearable.

    I also believe sunshine people are born that way. I try , but fail, most of the time.

    In a subtle way, you have stated what you went through and recovered.Though I do not know the details, my salute!

    Like

    1. Even those who believe in karma absolutely, sometimes waver in the face of adversity because it is hard to believe we deserve what we are going through. But with mind training, this can be accomplished. I remember reading a zen story about a middle aged monk slogging in the heat in the kitchen from three in the morning to late night in order to feed the inmates of the monastery. When he was asked about whether the heat didn’t bother him, he said, ‘What needs to be done, needs to be done.’ If we can follow this simple rule, we wouldn’t at least crib about the hardships.

      I don’t agree that Sunshine people are born that way, but one can’t become sunshine overnight. It takes years of practice and training the mind. I am still trying — very hard. 🙂

      Like

  27. G.N. Balakrishnan · · Reply

    Though I am a staunch believer in God and eve miracles, I am unable to fathom the means by which you have expressed exactly what I believe and wish to propagate. Only, you have said it in a much more beautiful language.. In fact, one of my sisters, who is now aged 85 and is almost crippled and bed ridden with rheumatoid arthritis, always keeps smiling at all times and at this age is daily learning some krithi or other from a book of notation of Carnatic Music. She was an A grtade artist in AIR. When once, I asked her whether I could find some remedial measures to cure her of her malaise, she confidently confided that she wants to suffer the fate of her past life in THIS life itself and not carry it forward to her next birth. On reading this wonderful blog, I was immediately reminded of her. How nice it will be, if the universe is studded with such positive thinking persons.

    Like

    1. Thanks sir, for you appreciation. You were indeed blessed to have a sister who cheerfully underwent her suffering. Her faith must have been tremendous to be able to do that. Otherwise most of us only mouth our wish to complete all our karma in this life so we are not reborn, but the moment pain and suffering start, we begin cribbing. We will have more people if we have more who have faith in something — even oneself. Alas, we only have many who have super large egos and as we all know ego is the first hurdle to happiness.

      Like

  28. Wonderful post.

    We need more and more sunshine people around us definitely. I have seen a few and I am grateful to God about their presence in my life.

    There is one more thing which i feel makes us see the sunshine. If we are ourselves open to accept the sunshine and reflect it is more ‘useful’, otherwise we reject it many times. After all, you made ginger tea and took it to the lady as you wanted to see and reflect the sunshine…how many people did that?

    Have seen this rejection of sunshine happening a lot too. Only positive minded people can see the sunshine and reflect on it, others feel it’s all crap as it makes them realise their own darkness…Sad.

    This theory of dispensing karma, I don’t believe in. This theory in particular has been slung on me in bad ways during the 7 year period of my daughter’s illness (I so hate to mention that time) , I never believed that angel had done something wrong ever and still was suffering…

    So i started believing in the theory of ‘Bloom wherever you are thrown’ , a botanist could never had come up with a better idea 🙂 Worked for me. I think we all find our path of believing…and start blooming and may be start being sunshine or simply reflecting sunshine…good anyways…

    Like

    1. I forgot to write about this presswali who had six children — all boys had in the vain hope of having at least one daughter! She was run off her feet and had to manage so much. fortunately she had a supportive husband. This woman would always be smiling, even when she told about her young one falling and breaking his arm, though the smile would be tinged with pain. A plain looking woman, her face became beautiful because of that smile and its warmth. I loved the sight of her 🙂

      I can completely empathise with you for abhorring the karma theory while seeing your child suffer and it being attributed to karma. But sometimes people can be cruel even if unintentionally. I love the theory of ‘bloom wherever you are thrown.’ And yes, we all need to find what makes us either become sunshine or reflect it. I also forgot to add that going through life’s traumas and not becoming bitter is being a Sunshine Person. (Thanks to my readers I am finding new points to widen the scope of Sunshine People) And Sangeeta, you are one 🙂 Hugs.

      Like

  29. Wow.. Sunshine people.. You know my best friends mom was one of those people, she was so good I tell you. She was suffering from cancer but I never saw her without a smile. We a couple of friendsalways found ourselves spending our evening together with her, anything we wanted to start a business , some job she would be the one who always had so many wishes for us, anything went wrong we somehow always ended up talking to her first.. And she was so beautiful.. Such a sunshine just thinking of her now brings a smile on my face.

    I believe that god helps those who help themselves.

    there are some beautiful people around us we just need to see them.

    Like

    1. That’s the best way to be when you are suffering, though it is damn hard to do it. So your friend’s mother was indeed a sunshine person. But she would have been one even before she became ill, otherwise it is very difficult to change into one overnight. You are lucky you were around her and could recognise her as one. And yes, you are right. There are beautiful people around, if we could only see then and get benefited by their warmth!

      Like

      1. Oh yes she was like that all the time , the best woman i ever met , always smiling, I mean I could talk anything with her, she would scold us also in a good way .

        Like

        1. We sometimes think (like children) that those who scold us don’t love us, but it is not true, is it? Only where there is love is there concern to better those we love.

          Like

  30. I’ve always felt that happiness is a state of mind where you just choose to look beyond the imperfections in your life and focus on the good things, the blessings. 🙂
    Some people are incapable of that and it is best to avoid their company since they tend to drain the positive energy of others around them as well 😐

    Like

    1. Happiness is indeed a state of mind, but sometimes it is so hard to remain cheerful in the face of adversity. That is why people like Chitra’s sister who is undergoing chemo and my friend who is still limping to normalcy are the true sunshine people because they are able to radiate that positivity in the face of extreme adversity. I agree about avoiding the sunshine drainers. I run from the other friend I wrote about. She can make the sunniest day look gloomy and stormy 😦

      Like

  31. It is a fabulous article.You have summed up in this write up how one should lead his/her life given the ups and down that each one of us encounter.Sunshine is synonymous to happiness that should radiate from within, from our own attitudes and understanding.
    I am really moved when I finished reading it and felt I found a sunshine person.

    Like

    1. Thank you for visiting my blog and for the wonderful words of appreciation, KP 🙂 I have been trying to do what I wrote about for a long time and am just beginning to feel that I might one day make it there. Do visit again!

      Like

  32. Nice write up and believe me ,the first such person to come to my mind out of the contemporaries was Farida Rizwan. Do you agree?

    Like

    1. Absolutely! She is the Sunshine person of Blogosphere!

      Like

  33. I read this article like a shishya sitting under the Bodhi tree- soaking in it’s immense wisdom.
    While some radiate an aura that fills everyone around them with a sense of well being, bringing out the best in them. There are others who drain you with their poor me attitude. Then there are specimens who make you feel like a lesser being with their condescending outlook.

    I guess, we need them all for balance.

    Like

    1. We do need all kinds to create a balance, but there can never be too many of Sunshine people in this world. I am just taking baby steps towards radiating the weakest of sunshine, you already are there 🙂

      Like

  34. I so totally agree…while its easy to find people who crib about everything..a sunshine person is definitely rare….I so loved the post..errr…I think I should just save the line ‘I love this post’ in a word file named ‘copy in every of Zephyr’s post’ :):)

    Like

    1. LOL about saving the words you want to add to your comment on my posts. Thank you so much for liking them. Hope they also make sense 🙂

      Like

  35. I have been going through these thoughts presently and ur posts gave clarity to my thinking. I have always been the ‘this too will pass’ type but then sometimes that belief gets shaken. And during those times I will get beck to reading ur post.
    Sometimes some events happen to bring u on track to ur goal; like the way it happened with me. From my childhood I was on a quest but somehow it got side tracked. And then the events that happened brought me back in focus. Now I am in as stage where I accept myself as I am. 🙂

    Like

    1. You said it Bhagya! The moment we are comfortable with ourselves and accept for who and what we are, we are there! The constant quest for perfection of some unattainable standard that is materialistic and worldly makes us whiners and sunshine drainers. But the moment we set our sights on a higher plane of spirituality, we are able to radiate some sunshine, feeble maybe, but sunshine, nevertheless. Shine on! 🙂

      Like

  36. This is I call a wonderful, off-beat post that brought a smile on my face and I thought what an inspirational way to start the weekend…I have been sliding down the gripes way this week and in the process of mentally psyching myself to pull out of the mess…you just set the pace of the weekend for me! Thanks Aunty Nag, let me add another aspect to Sunshine People…they also are very good at subtly nagging you out of funks and directing you into new avenues of thought – enriching your life by their mere intellectual presence ( not necessarily) and constant encouragement. 🙂

    Like

    1. Aha! approval at last from the Journomuse for a non-L&M post 🙂 Why are you wallowing in the gripes when you are bringing out one superlative post after the other? Ahem..do I take it that my third brat is calling me a sunshine person in the most back-handed manner? 😀

      Like

      1. What’s the back-handedness in this?? It is a straight-forward deal..and I think I got a case of gripes due to the summer heat addling my brain…;) All sorted…all sorted..can’t continue to feel awful after reading such posts..:D

        Like

        1. Do you remember me telling you that your smile cheered me up every time I saw your comment? I am a sucker for sunshine 🙂 Wish I could say that I am sending you some coolness, but Delhi is roasting now.

          Like

  37. A post that is very close to life. You know Zephyr, I am still to come across a sunshine person. The draining ones, they are all around us :). I’ve come across nice people, but no one who had such a positive attitude to life like your friend. I do agree that having a matter-of-fact approach does help us go through tough times. But, when we are going through them, sometimes depression takes over and makes us wonder, “Why me?” I specifically remember feeling this way when I lost my mom. Why did she deserve to suffer so much? Why did we deserve to lose her?

    And faith in religion. I was never very religious to begin with. And, call me a pragmatist, but I have no faith in God. I am almost an agnostic. I feel that those who feel that God will be there to help them out in tough situations are fatalists who do not have the power to face the tough situations in their own life. Yet, I’ve seen faith move mountains. I respect those who have unshakeable faith in God. But, it is not for me. Also, the more I see the good people suffer and the horrible ones prosper, the more my convictions are strengthened. I do, however, believe in karma. Karma kar phal ki chinta mat kar. I do try to do good to others out of my own convictions.

    And, the logic of penance and suffering fails me. Why would someone wish to make this already tough life tougher by doing things the harder way?

    And, then there are those people who are so sugary sweet, they give you diabetes :). I wonder if they are really nice, and I always find out sooner or later. I have a pretty good memory and somehow the false kinds always goof somewhere. Am I too cynical? But, I get very wary of those who seem to be too “nice.”

    So, there you have all my flaws laid bare for you.

    Like

    1. I have told you many times that I love your honesty the most, haven’t I? 🙂

      I agree totally with you about getting depressed when we are going through things. Ask me. For five years, I had almost given up hope of ever being able to see well enough to read or write. And then, I began doing the only thing I could — get immersed in rituals that kept me grounded and gave me solace and positive energy. And today, though I am not keeping up the rituals as I did then, the faith remains and gives me strength. And Rachna, religion is just a part of faith. Faith is much deeper and larger and what we hate about even religion is the seemingly mindless rituals. You should do what you are comfortable with. For me and millions like me, it is a way of bringing the much needed solace and calm. You might find something else to soothe you and make you happy.

      Believe me when I say that the world is full of Sunshine People. We have to just get to know them. And hey, maybe you are attracting the susnshine drainers because you are a Sunshine Person yourself 😀

      Like

      1. I agree with you that it must be the rituals that I despise and sometimes the outdated thinking too. But, I’ve faith in overall goodness. I do believe that meditation, reading, spending quiet time with myself relaxes me along with chatting with someone nice, sensible and caring like my siblings or my dad. To be fair, I know a lot of Sunshine people too. How could I not remember my own family! And, even if you called me a Sunshine Person in jest, it was enough to give me terrific ego boost that will last me many days :). Thank you for your warm words, as always! Kudos to you for emerging stronger from your ordeal.

        Like

        1. I did not mean it in jest, though the smiley must have given than impression. I meant it from my heart, Rachna. We all have our methods of imbibing sunshine and then radiating it, as Deepak so aptly put it. Shine on, girl. 🙂

          Like

  38. I think acceptance and adjustment is the key to happiness and harmony in life. I also say that like ur father. Recently we went to Thirupathi and there just in front of balaji, my husband lost his wallet with all cards, pan cards and money. I didtn fret for a minute and told everybody to enjoy the trip and thought of that as a donation to god..But it doesnt mean that we shouldnt be careful in life, but if inspite of everything anything happens, then I take it as a will of god and accept it happily.

    Like

    1. Such wisdom rubs off on you as you keep hearing it and letting it grow on you. Like you, even I simply went about doing what needed to be done, when I lost my purse with a good amount of money and the house keys. I got hold of a key smith to break the lock and wished the person who had taken my purse to consider my debt settled. I wouldn’t have done that had my father’s words not seeped into my consciousness, would I? It is imperative to try one’s best to remedy a situation but then one has to let things take their own course or let God do the rest.

      Like

  39. Humans are complex beings. There are people black and white and then there are people blacker and whiter: these are relative terms. In between, we have myriad shades fo gray. The aura of people, therefore, depends on the station one stands on as also on the station the others stand vis-a-vis the darker and lighter shades of yet others.

    Having said that, I fully subscribe to your conviction. You’d be interested in what Tulsidas has to say on the subject:

    Bichurat ek pran har lehin
    Milat ek darun dukh dehin

    ‘There are some parting from whom is like losing one’s life. Then there are those, very meeting with whom brings unbearable miseries.’ My father would often croon those two lines as he’d move around sometimes.

    Follow Nietzsche’s mantra, I tend to fly away quickly from the flies. Though for all I know, I may be a fly myself!

    Like

    1. you have a point there. The aura certainly depends on the station one stands on. But there is always the scope and the goal of becoming a Sunshine person oneself. After all, it is easier to change oneself than others. And when we do, the perspective changes for the better. I envy all those of you who can remember quotes and bring them out at the right time 😀

      Like

  40. Zephyr this was like reading one of the condensed thoughts from Louise L Hay or Rhonda Byrne! I totally agree on the different aspects you addressed and it is the Sunshine people who bring cheer and happiness and make this life worthwhile! Thanks a lot once more to stress the need for having company of such people to improve our own lives!

    Like

    1. It is good to be in the company of Sunshine People, or aspire to become them ourselves. Every one of us should demand more from ourselves instead of just demanding ‘more’ of everything, right? 🙂 And please don’t embarrass me by comparing my puny efforts at writing with some of the best brains. But thanks for doing it 🙂

      Like

  41. debajyoti · · Reply

    wow!! this is such a lovely post. again i have to say the same thing – how nicely you organize your thoughts and express them. brilliant!!

    by the way, i didn’t get this post notification. is there any problem with the feed? found this post on indivine.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the compliment to my writing Deb. you are one of the Sunshine people too, for you bring a smile to my lips everytime I see your post, comment or even a mail. 🙂 Email notifications go a little later, I think.

      Like

  42. Oh yes the sunshine people….they seem to have positive energy and spread positive vibes all around !
    My younger sister who just completed her 12 cycle chemo is one such person ! Not once did she ever say “why me”, but suffered the rigors of the chemo with such positive attitude and equanimity that was amazing ! I marvelled at her strength and courage though all this ordeal…always smiling and laughing, never letting all this ever pull her spirits down…Have learnt much fom my little sister!

    Then there’s this young 16 year old Italian exchange student kid who’s being hosted by my other sister in Bagalore for almost an year. My sister and the rest of her family call her ‘a ray of sunshine ‘ or ‘sunshine girl’, who seems to be bringing happiness and sunshine all around..with her happy positive attitude – ready to learn, ready to help always !

    Thanks for the “sunshine” post Zee..

    Like

    1. Oh yes, your little sister Sanjeevani! She is the perfect example of a Sunshine girl and am I lucky to know her! That has pulled her out of the worst period, without a doubt. Age has nothing to do with being a sunshine person. It is inborn, though it can be cultivated like a habit. After all we get so many habits over a lifetime and this is perhaps the best of them — to be habitually joyful.

      Like

  43. The Sunshine Girl · · Reply

    Beautiful post chithi and its makes me appreciate and love my nickname even more. It is a blessing to make those around you to feel special, happy, take off their burden even if its temporary…Just see the other side of things which is happier, brighter and full of sunshine…

    May the sun, its warmth always shine on you! 🙂

    Like

    1. That was a typical Sunshine statement and wish. Thank you so much! 🙂 It is wonderful if we are able to make someone see the brighter side. but some people can puncture the best intentions with their gloom and pessimism 😦

      Like

  44. I think the trick is to know when to try and when to give up. Some people have that gift .. unfortunately, all don’t have!!

    Like

    1. It is not exactly a gift. It is when we accept that we are not all powerful that we can accept some things that can’t be changed. The Zen way of living is the best way to be 🙂

      Like

  45. Bravo!

    All of us need to create the positive aura by any means that we are comfortable with……

    Life is beautiful!!!

    Like

    1. You said it! Create those good vibes with any means you can, but do create them 🙂

      Like

  46. Agree with every word of yours, Zee. As you said “everything is indeed God’s leela”; there are many times, I have wondered “how did I act that way” as the way I acted would be totally against my nature only to realize that I am supposed to be acting that way due to God’s will. When you realize that, you are detached from not just the burden of action but even fruits of your action and that is very liberating (forget realization 🙂 ).

    Like

    1. Faith can do great things. When we believe that God is guiding our actions, we can rest assured that it will turn out right. But faith in God is out of fashion. So have faith in something. Having faith in oneself is good enough but there are situations when there is nothing one can do. So what then? We have to learn to accept the situation with good grace that’s all; if not good grace, at least with resignation. Anything but become a sunshine drainer!

      Like

  47. I agree with the point that people who are always spreading positive vibes and joy don’t have any less sorrows or troubles to deal with. But others tend to overlook that at times and forget to appreciate the strength that goes into smiling while walking along life’s path.

    People who are always cheerful draw more people towards them. And I think that matters a lot. Either you get upset on every little obstacle-illusion and keep whining all the way or laugh on every ‘problem’ and turn it into a ‘situation’ that you have at hand.

    Sunshine People are also those who everyone turns to when they are troubled in the head, and go back happy. Just a pep talk with them can keep you going for days together. And that’s why, it’s very essential to have a constant source of ‘sunshine’ in everyone’s life 🙂

    Like

    1. You are right Swati, the Sunshine people have others gravitate towards them too, much like sunflowers follow the path of the sun 🙂 It should be our endeavour to imbibe some sunshine and become like them too, isn’t it? But the sunshine drainers can sometimes make even these hardy people duck for cover, so draining they are!

      Like

  48. I loved reading this. I have had my own struggles with acceptance when life does not go as planned. I think learning to deal with the situation with equanimity helps and frankly so does Faith that the good lord is watching over us and all will turn out well in the end. In my experience positive thinking and a good attitude helps you handle the situation better. Also one must feel a heartfelt gratitude for all the positives in our life– I believe the more positive and grateful we are for what we have the more our lives are going to be filled with positive things!

    Like

    1. Sometimes though it becomes really hard no matter what we try, doesn’t it? I am all admiration for the Sunshine people who can keep their equilibrium and carry on. I usually take recourse to ‘surrender’ to the divine power only when the water has reached my eyebrows but the moment I do it, I feel liberated from the yokels of suffering. It sounds funny and even corny, but that is how relieving it is. And then I can smile again. You are right about contentment and gratitude since these two go a long way in making us radiate that sunshine.

      Like

Enter the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: