What makes us happy?

There is no single key to happiness, but according to psychologist Professor Ed Diener, the following ingredients are vital:

1.   Family and friends are crucial, the wider and deeper your interpersonal relationships the better.  It’s even suggested that friendship can ward off germs, by having a ‘protective’ effect on us, in the same way that stress can trigger poor health.  This is because our brains control many of the mechanisms in our bodies which are responsible for disease.  ‘Happiness’ research reveals that, on average, friendship has a much larger impact on happiness than a typical person’s income itself.  Economist Professor Oswald has applied a formula to estimate that we would need an extra 50,000 pounds to compensate for not having friends.  Marriage can also influence our happiness, adding an average 7 years to a man’s life, and 4 years to a woman’s life; it would be interesting also to know the statistics on a greater variety of intimate relationships, such as defacto, same-sex, etc.

2.   Having meaning in life; a belief in something bigger than yourself, be it religion, spirituality or a philosophy of life.

3.   Having goals embedded in long term values that you’re working for, but also that you find enjoyable.

Psychologists argue we need to have goals that interest us to work towards, and which draw on our strengths and abilities, to lead fulfilling lives.

Contentment: the undervalued component of happiness

An opinion poll for the BBC series revealed that 56% of the respondents equated happiness with contentment.  ‘Contentment’ can mean: accepting things as they are; mental or emotional satisfaction; a peace of mind.  Does this mean not worrying or arguing?  Having all you want or actually not wanting?  A clear conscience?  It’s a mixture of all these things, and it suggests ‘not fighting yourself’.  When it comes down to it, what we want depends on us, rather than the situation; therefore by changing our perspective we can affect our level of contentment as much, if not more, as we could do by changing the situation itself.

Some quotes on happiness taken from the opinion poll.

happy“For me, happiness is about personal tranquillity”, “Being at peace with the way things are going”, “Happiness is when you are ok inside about where you are and who you are”, “Taking the dog for a walk”.   “There is no key to happiness.  The door is always open for us to choose.”

A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. Lewis Smedes



Parenting and child stages

The best qualification of being a parent is to discover love and teach it to your children.

14 emotions art of livingParenting begins with the intention to conceive. Your intention will have an impact on your child.

Without love, you will not respond but react to your child from fear, frustration or hurt.

If a child is brought up without fear and anxiety, they are capable of giving love.

A child is born right at the moment of conception.

The period of conception to the first 6 hours of the child’s life is crucial.

Keep the child in the space of love for the first 6 weeks…. especially, no super markets, or negativity.

A child’s education begins in the womb, where the child is experiencing what the mother and father are experiencing.  In the womb, the child is experiencing “being”.

Yoga, meditation and being happy are beneficial for the pregnant mother and for the child. The father’s most important job is to make sure that mother is very, very happy.

as it isIn the first 6 hours, the child has an expanded state of consciousness and can sense the thoughts and feelings of everyone around.  Shower them with love and touch them and hold them.  Children make fundamental decisions before the age of 6, which they may carry for the rest of their lives.


0-6 years

Treat them like a King or Queen.  Lavish them with love, attention and affection.   Reduce the ‘no’s

Try to be present to the child.

The child’s responses and perceptions evolve from here.

6-12 years

Treat the child like a prince or princess.

Strike a balance between freedom and discipline.

Be an example of what you would like your children to become.

Children are natural imitators. Children see and children do.

12/14 years plus

Treat them like a friend and equal.  Bring respect along with love.  Children who are respected grow up to be great individuals.

After 12/14, you need not give instruction to your child, rather use suggestion and enquiries.

Most likely your child will start saying ‘no’ to you. Do not suppress this no phase. It will pass by around the age of 18-20.

Suppression of this ‘no’ phase may lead the child to ‘no’ throughout life.

Help the child think and make decisions to be independent and enquiring, whilst at the same time giving them your full support.

Don’t feel guilty for mistakes.  Love can heal.

Hold your child in your heart, and if you have hurt them, ask for forgiveness.

In their innocence, they come trustingly into your care.

Reference – Notes from a Oneness weekend course.