Today is World Happy Day . . . a day where many hundreds of people learned a little more about the science of happiness and wellbeing from viewing a film called "Happy"! As the day started, I was pulled between a road trip of seeing the showing. I decided, what the heck, it is World Happy Day - I can do both of the above.
World Happy Day is something I have been curious about since I first heard it announced in one of my positive psychology networks a few months ago. I was intrigued . . . but not sure if this was really about the research-based science of wellbeing. If you were around in the 70's, then you know that only Coke was the real thing . . . and now (when it comes to wellbeing) only evidence-based positive psychology are the real thing for me. Was this just another Shasta?
So, then I hear (about 2 weeks ago) that there is a showing scheduled in Montrose at Guru's Restaurant, just 6 blocks from my home and about 20 paces from my Uncle Homer's memorial bench. I am thinking . . . well, even if it is Shasta, it might be interesting to see what it is all about . . . and it is so close.
Of course, this being a rural, conservative community - I was curious about who would be curious enough to show-up. The Nepal connection made some sense, because Nepal has been written about (favorable) in much of the literature on geographic happiness. I guessed (correctly) that two of my favorite former nursing students (now both RNs) would be there . . . so that was also a draw. And, yes, much to my delight, they were there in traditional dress with young son and "grandma."
The movie was awesome - because many of the faces in the movie were familiar . . . these were the people who had taught me about positive psychology; my professors! COKE. The real thing! The message was a familiar one to me . . . it is flow, community and connection that bring happiness and wellbeing . . . worldwide.
What was odd for me about the experience was the seeming overlap of several decades in one place and time. My family helped settle this community a long time ago . . . and so my uncle's bench is about 20 paces from where I am seated to watch the movie. When I first arrived here, twenty-some years ago, the restaurant was Chinese. My daughters and I ate there often on Christmas, because I on-call to my nurse-midwifery clients. Now, I sit in the same room and watch my positive psychology mentors on a screen - with two of my favorite students from my more recent "life" in Montrose (teaching for Colorado Mesa University). Like a time warp where all my careers and roots merged - on World Happy Day - 6 blocks from my house.
I left feeling pretty upbeat. The science of wellbeing seems a good deal closer to home. It is a happy day for me. My only thoughts about improvement would have been a little larger and more diverse attendance . . . still, there were avenues left open to reach more people in the future. More showings to be announced.
I jumped in my car and took another road trip . . . this time to Hotchkiss . . . just to walk and take photos. It just seemed too good a day to waste doing the ordinary. So, I walked and I processed the day, the movie, the community experience. It is good to feel like there is a tipping point so close to home.
If your group of organization would like more information on positive psychology or the science/geography of happiness and wellbeing - I would love to come share my knowledge. I do a free initial 30ish minute presentation (can be via skype) - including introduction to some of the best happiness exercises! Please contact me if you are interested! I teach positive psychology for Colorado Mesa's Health Sciences Department (for the past 5 years). Happiness . . . yes, it is the real thing!
Cathy Hartt, RN, MS, CNM
Midwife of Changes Wellbeing Coaching Services
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