content='index,follow' name='robots'/> Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom: Alex Shalman’s Happiness: Group Writing Project

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Alex Shalman’s Happiness: Group Writing Project

I found out about this Happiness: Group Writing Project by way of Suzie Cheel’s post on Abundance Highway. The reason for Alex creating this project is for everyone participating to be left inspired, empowered and happier than they were before. Who wouldn’t want that?

I have to tell you, after reading Suzie’s response to these questions, it’s not a simple exercise. It requires some thought and soul searching to truly give to others in this process and receive the value. So, I decided to participate and the first thing is to answer these 5 questions.

1. How do you define happiness?
To me, it’s a state of bliss in knowing who you truly are in a given present moment. It’s not something that you achieve or acquire. It is a state of being that is a gift from our Creator when we were born and it’s what we enjoy and live with every day if we so choose.

2. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your happiness now, versus when you were a child?
Now, my happiness scale would be 9.5 versus my happiness scale when I was a child of 3.

3. What do you do on a daily basis that brings you happiness? (and how consistent is the feeling of happiness throughout your day)
On a daily basis my feeling of happiness consists of about 2/3 of my day. I meditate, read positive, encouraging spiritual books, blogs or poetry that remind me how grateful I am for the journey I’ve taken and the life I have.

When I wake up each morning all I have to do is look out at the beautiful Rocky Mountains and take in a breath of fresh air and listen to the sounds of nature to instill that feeling of happiness and gratitude. From this, I’m reminded to be still for a moment and look within in and feel the life energy within me that carries me through the day.

4. What things take away from your happiness? What can be done to lessen their impact or remove them from your life?
What depletes my happiness is when I choose to listen to the voices in my head and identify with old beliefs and tapes saying things like: “You’re not as smart as others.” “How are you going to pay the bills this month?” “Things just don’t work for you.”

What I’ve learned and am working on are twofold: the first is from Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback), in that I’m recognizing and becoming aware of these thoughts and what they are and how to slowly dissolve them by being present so they no longer exist to be triggered.

Secondly, is taking full responsibility for everything in my life, good and especially bad. Something I was reminded of in taking responsibility was to continue practicing the Ho’oponopono prayer from Stephen Hopson’s Gratitude post in his Adversity University Blog:

I’m sorry - Please forgive me - Thank you - I love you

I first heard about this prayer early in February from a site called Cyres Café – The Café of Dreams with a video post called 15-Minute Miracle by Dr. Joe Vitale of “The Secret” (if you take the time to view this video you'll not be disappointed).

In this video, Dr. Vitale talks about how he heard of Dr Ihaleakela Hew Len who started using this prayer as a staff psychologist in the forensic unit for the criminally mentally ill at Hawaii State Hospital for several years. When I listened to that video it couldn’t have come at a better time and through this very same practice I felt a shift but had forgotten about it until I read Stephen’s post today.

When we’re free of negativity and thoughts that tear us down and make us feel powerless then we shine and our happiness shines through us to others.

5. What do you plan on doing in the future that will bring you even more happiness?
Continue practicing what I had mentioned in the question before until my awareness of the present moment is constant and determine 5 things I want to do, see and experience, as John P Strelecky, inspirational speaker and author of The Why Café talks about in this video interview. This is how the universe will know what I want in my life and conspire to let it happen.

Participating in answering these questions on happiness has been inspiring and uplifting to me. It has given me a chance to reflect on my life as to what is important and why and to see where I’m at with it. Just taking part in this project I feel I’ve connected with the others that have participated ahead of me in an energy that has been put out to the world – the energy of happiness.

Maybe you would also like to participate. If so, click on Happiness: Group Writing Project to see what you need to do to get started.

Enjoy the gifts God has given you – enjoy the happiness.
Thank you Alex!

From the kitchen table - Pat
Hope you'll come back for another visit. You can sign up for free!

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Suzie Cheel said...

Hi Pat, thanks for the link. Happy to have inspired you.
I found your post inspiring too and found a couple a links to explore


Pat said...

Suzie - thank you for your comment and for stopping by to visit.

I'm happy you too were inspired and were able to tour through some of the links I included.

Alex has put together a wonderful project that, I feel, contributes to raising the energy of consciousness in what is happening in the world today in a positive way.

Hope you'll stop back again to share and explore.


Ayman Sawaf said...

Hi Pat. What an inspiring blog you have. I believe that happiness can be achieved, even in the midst of experiencing a negative emotion like fear, or anger. In my new book Sacred Commerce: The Rise of the Global Citizen, I explain how the Merchant Priests of ancient Egypt perfected a technique of adding a “drop of joy” to transform anger to courage and passion, which not only liberated them but created a positive resonance that enabled the high level of culture they attained. Happiness is about meeting our needs, of survival, security, belonging esteem all the way to beauty.. So here you go, the map is laid out already by maslow! Just heard today that the government of Bhutan announced the creation of the department or cabinet for happiness, and they measure their success by their GNH, gross national happiness, not GNP, gross national product. Thank you for your honesty about your own emotional inner life – this is the beginning point we must all recognize to begin the healing process.

- Ayman Sawaf, co-author of the bestselling Executive EQ: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership and Organizations. “Executives looking for a guide to emotional understanding can find one here.” NY Times

Pat said...

Ayman - Wow! Your comment was amazing. It sounds like you've done some work in your own personal discovery of happiness.

I liked what you shared about the Merchant Priests in ancient Egypt and the "drop of joy". I'm trying to picture what that is and what they did to demonstrate that.

What a lot of wisdom you have shared on happiness in just a short comment. I agree that honesty about our own inner emotions is the beginning of healing and happiness.

It's like a story Dr. Dyer shared in one of his lectures about a 92-year old woman excited about seeing her room in a nursing home for the first time. When the assistant asked her why she was so happy - she hadn't see it yet? She said, "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time."

Hope you'll stop back and visit and share more nuggets of wisdom.
Thank you again for your comments.

Ayman Sawaf said...

Thanks Pat, and if you want to know more about how the “drop of joy” works, check out the website This is a collaborative effort, and we’re putting it out to the online community to read the book, share their stories and add their insight – the best of these will be incorporated into the next book edition. No one person has the solution – we must all, as I like to say, “party-cipate.” Your voice would be a welcome addition to our forum, please drop by. You will be able to see a 5 min of it in a video in few days on a social media network I co-founded for the green space.

Pat said...

Ayman - you did come back - welcome. Thank you for your comment and giving more information on your site
Sacred Commerce.

I checked it out briefly and the concept is interesting in encouraging people to write about their views on the practices of business and sacred commerce.

I had similar thoughts when I started the talking-stick discussion groups in the corporate world. I wanted people to come together and share their knowledge and wisdom as humans.

Keep us posted when this becomes available and congratulations on the book.