♥LOVE TIP – Friday November 11, 2011
Auspicious day, hey – 11.11.11!….a new beginning for you maybe?…
Well, I’ve decided that the auspicious act to commemorate today for me is to share with you dear ♡Ones of Susies♡heartpathblog community about a serendipitous gift I received on the plane trip yesterday from Perth to Brisbane…
Yes Yippee!! we are again in BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND [for those of you who don’t know Australia it’s on the coast in the mid to north-east and is the capital of the state of Queensland]……….and we are feeling well cared for in the ♡LOVE-ing embrace of the wonderful Catriona & Brett and their beautiful family…. We are here this time to present the Imago Getting the Love You Want Communication Workshop for Couples and a couple of Introductory evenings….
So back to the plane flight….and my serendipitous gift…..which came from watching the in-flight entertainment….Well the fact is I adore movies so I often spend my time on our many long flights watching movie after movie which is one thing Qantas are generally good at offering….
Yesterday the only one that appealed to me of the 14 offered that I hadn’t seen yet was The Beaver starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster….incidentally this is a great movie about a guy called Walter Black who is deeply and hopelessly depressed…..and to quote the intro to the movie –
“Somewhere inside him is a man who fell in love. Who started a family. Who ran a successful company. That man has gone missing. No matter what he’s tried, and he’s tried everything, Walter can’t seem to bring him back. It’s as if he’s died, but hasn’t had the good sense to take his body with him. So mostly what he does is sleep….”
What he does is finds a discarded beaver hand puppet in a dumpster and he uses it as his sole means of communicating….. this movie alone merits a blog post as there are many issues in it that are about relationships….and would be good to share at the Movie Nights…..but back to my serendipitous find and gift…
Well, because there weren’t any more movies I wanted to watch I started checking out the TV shows which is extremely unlike me as I very rarely watch TV …… and actually didn’t really expect to find anything at all!!…….. I found a category called Reality TV and still not expecting anything I scrolled through it and guess what?……
I found a show called Making Australia Happy which originally showed on the ABC back in November 2010. You can check them out at their website – http://makingaustraliahappy.abc.net.au/ What an amazing program and discovery!
Making Australia Happy
Eight Volunteers. Three Experts. Eight Weeks.
Three of Australia’s leading experts set themselves a challenge: take eight people from Australia’s unhappiest area and give them the tools to become happier using research and tools from the science of happiness .
The experiment took place in Marrickville (which is in New South Wales and is one of the suburbs out from Sydney) which is in the heart of an area identified by Deakin University’s annual Wellbeing Index ** (see below) as one of the unhappiest in Australia.
They chose eight volunteers from eight walks of life who all lived within the Marrickville area but were unknown to each other. This group represented a range of ages, backgrounds and life circumstances. What they shared in common was the desire to get happy. After screening for clinical depression and mental health issues they selected eight individuals who were “relatively unhappy but ready for change”.
We learn that the happiness levels of the eight volunteers are way below the national average. The team of three experts has just eight weeks to change the volunteers’ scores and their lives.
In the late 1990s, pioneered by American psychologist Dr Martin Seligman, the emergence of Positive Psychology marked a shift away from the disease model of traditional psychology (that is, focusing on and treating dysfunction) to “the science of optimal human functioning”. Seligman has written many books including Authentic Happiness, Learned Optimism, and the Optimistic Child.
Simply put, to quote Seligman – “Positive feelings about a person or an object get us to approach it, while negative feelings get us to avoid it.”
The central idea is ♡Happiness can be learned…
Dr. Seligman defines a happy life as a life filled with positive feelings and activities and says the degree to which you experience these feelings most of the time is your level of enduring happiness. Although the origin of the word happiness came from luck or good fortune, this definition is obsolete because the keys to happiness are now known and we can learn to enhance our happiness at any time. We no longer need to rely solely on luck to experience joy.
Since then, a vast amount of international research has emerged exploring the value of positive emotions, positive traits (or character strengths) and positive social institutions (eg, families, schools, workplaces, communities).
In the series they get the participants to experiment by each week having a go at a wide range of activities that are scientifically certified to increase happiness levels.
So I thought it would be a valuable experience for us as a community of people who are interested in expanding and growing our ability to ♡LOVE and increasing our positivity to participate in some of these experiments over the next few weeks. I would be willing to post a new activity each week on ♥FuN & HAppY fRiDAyS..…if people are interested. Are you willing to join in?
The volunteers begin their journeys in the last place they expect which is in the local cemetery…….with the instruction to write their own eulogy. They take the group to the cemetery for the challenging task for some which is to contemplate their death and to think about how they want to be remembered. The idea behind this is for each person to identify the values that are important to them. Says one of the three experts, coaching psychologist Dr Tony Grant:
“Thinking about death and the legacy we leave behind can be a very powerful way to identify the things that are most important to us, the things that bring meaning and purpose to our lives. Our highest values.”
Here’s the instructions from the website for Writing Your Eulogy – http://makingaustraliahappy.abc.net.au/gethappy.php
- Imagine that you are at your own funeral. You’re listening to what your loved ones are saying about you: the good stuff (and the not so good), the dreams, the aspirations, the things that you were connected to, the things that meant a lot to you. Perhaps they mention the things that you didn’t get to do, or the opportunities that were lost.
- Take 15 minutes to write up your eulogy. Be honest. What are the core values and the achievements that you would like to be remembered for? If you are finding this process difficult, you can spend time on it.
- Some time after you have completed the eulogy, reflect on your experience of the exercise. Ask yourself what you learnt from writing it.
- Next, consider whether the values you listed are really yours and not someone else’s (eg, what you think they should be). Settle on the values that feel most real to you.
- Finally, think about how you can turn your core values into goals. They may be small things, like coming home from work earlier, or bigger things that you’ve been wanting to do for a while. Whatever these steps are, write them down, make sure they reflect your authentic values and do them!
“Happiness means different things to different people and most people don’t actually know what makes them happy. Visualising your own funeral may seem like a strange way to find out, but it’s a powerful way to identify your “core values”, or the things that really matter to you most.
Values are similar to goals. Where goals are often quite specific concrete descriptions of things we would like to achieve, values are more conceptual. To “go to the gym three times a week” is quite a specific goal. To “be fit, active and healthy” is a value. To “get married” is a goal, whereas to “have loving relationships” is a value. Other values include honesty, compassion, justice, creativity, community, adventure, etc.
So whilst you may succeed or fail at reaching goals, your values remain constant. Identifying and staying true to your values will keep you on track for a happy and more meaningful life……”
♥MIRRORING EXERCISE: Share with someone using the ♥MIRRORING format for a minimum of 5 minutes what you learn and what comes up for you doing this exercise.
** For more information on the Wellbeing Index, visit here
Published annually by Deakin University, the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index is considered to be the most comprehensive study of subjective well-being (or happiness) in Australia. The survey asks respondents to rate their level of satisfaction in areas like health, relationships and life achievements.
Interested to hear how you go and what comes up for you, LOVE and BLESSINGS, SUSIE♡