Happiness Resources

In stark contrast to yesterday's post, I want to talk about happiness today. Do you know anyone who radiates happiness? My friend L. is one of those people. The very happy photo above was taken in her garden. The food and flowers she grows and sells at the farmer's market always have a tinge of her special yummy radiance. When she sees you, she greets you with a huge (again, radiant) smile and warm hug, and says something like "hellOOO gorgeous!!!" as if you were her long lost best friend. She seems truly happy to see you. When L. has a bad hair day, she'll put on a big smile and a headband with sequined cat ears, because it's likely to cheer other people up and distract them from her hair (yes, that actually happened.) She's generous with food and compliments. She is almost always smiling.

As life goes on, the value of this attitude grows on me. Cool sophistication is less likely to draw my admiration these days: bring on the hugs and sparkly cat ears! In the interest of bringing more of a sparkly cat ears feeling into my life, I've been doing some reading about happiness, and wanted to share some of my finds with you:

I picked up The How of Happiness at the airport last spring on my way up north to teach a weekend workshop. I love airport bookstores - for some reason when I'm traveling I give myself permission to buy books I normally wouldn't. This one is a really interesting analysis of the science of happiness, along with practical suggestions for getting more happiness in your own life. Even though the prose is a bit awkward, this one has become a dog-eared bedside stand-by.

I'm reading The Happiness Project right now. It's light and fun, and sprinkled with little pearls of wisdom. It's a memoir of a year the author spent methodically researching and applying happiness strategies to her daily life, with varying degrees of success. Definitely a fun and inspiring read. Even better is the Happiness Project blog, where you can start your own happiness project.

Here, for me, is where the pursuit of happiness gains some depth and soul resonance. As in all his works, the Dalai Lama brings the message that kindness, equanimity, mindfulness, and compassion are essential to our fulfillment and sense of joy and belonging in the world. If you have not delved into Buddhist readings or the works of HH, this beautiful book is a really good place to start.

Artful Reminders:

Soulful, artful island RETREATS for women - make art, journal, dance, do yoga, practice deep self care, learn to celebrate the sacred in daily life - all with a group of like minded women in our forest retreat at the heart of our Gulf Island... YUM!!!!!! Read more here, and join the mailing list here.

Seven Keys to an Artful Life - I'm so excited about launching this on-line circle for artful living - begins February 15th! Read more here.

I'm participating in the Help Haiti Blog Challenge, brainchild of blogger Kelly Diels. Participants offer a product or service and donate the proceeds to helping in Haiti. My pledge: I make these lovely little buddha dishes, which I sell in my Etsy shop. I will donate 100% of the profits from any of my buddha dishes sold in the next 28 days to Medicins sans Frontieres for their efforts in Haiti.

1 comment:

Madame One Tree said...

That photograph is amazing! the little yellow heads of the flowers are just reaching, and stretching for that blue sky and you can feel it. It makes me smile.

Your friend L. sounds like someone I would love to have a hug from and some tea with while wearing sparkly cat ears. ( I have Mickey Mouse ears that sparkle in the dark like a disco ball... shh, don't tell.) LOL.


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