Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why Gratitude Matters

Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier

This year as Thanksgiving approaches I am more aware than ever of the importance of practicing gratitude and thought it might be helpful to share some particularly good resources on the why's and how's of cultivating gratitude starting with a 4 minute youtube video clip of Robert Emmons, author of "Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier."

Other resources I'm particularly appreciative of include:

Gratefulness Org

I Am Thankful

Spirituality Practice's collection of pages on gratitude

Yesterday I was sent the following quote by Melody Beattie, "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." I am working to tap into the enormous potential contained within a sustained gratitude practice.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Reality Show Worth Watching on Happiness

In the process of developing a psychoeducational course entitled, "The Art and Science of Happiness" I was referred to the first episode of a new reality show entitled, "Making Australia Happy" http://makingaustraliahappy.abc.net.au/episodes.php?watch=1 which is based on a research project that yielded impressive and hopeful results. The website introduces the project with the following:

" The experiment begins in Marrickville, the heart of an area recently identified by Deakin University's annual wellbeing index as one of the unhappiest in Australia. As we meet the eight volunteers, we learn that their happiness levels are way below the national average. The team of experts has just eight weeks to change the volunteers' scores, and their lives.

How will socially phobic Cade cope with the challenge of connecting with strangers at the local mall? Can mindfulness really help stressed-out real estate agent, Tony? Will gratitude help father-of-four, Stephen, strike that elusive work-life balance? How can the youngest of the volunteers, Ben, benefit from writing his own eulogy?

Science claims that happiness is easily within our reach, but how will these scientifically validated techniques play out in the lives of ordinary Australians? The results are more than startling."

You can watch the first episode by following the program link above.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Present Moment

A very special person sent me the following meditation by Taoist poet, Chade Meng.

"A lifetime is not what is between
the moments of birth and death.
A lifetime is one moment
Between my two little breaths.
The present, the here, the now,
That's all the life I get.
I live each moment in full,
In kindness, in peace, without regret."

A perfect message here and now....