The Happiness Seminar

If there is a word that describes the past few weeks in my life that word is “accomplishment.” I mention this because I am taking a test course on”Happiness,”conducted by one of the world’s premier educational consulting groups, Landmark Education Corporation.

What I have noticed after my first on-line seminar  which I watched and listened to Sunday night, rather than participate live, was that this morning I woke up and checked into myself, deciding that I was ready to get up before my wake-up alarm sounded. My usual Pavlovian reaction would be to bolt out of bed like a racehorse at the sound of the bell. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

The “takeaway tenant ” from the first Happiness Seminar was that I “we”‘ have been operating out of the fundamental misperception that  we are not the source of our own happiness. Therefore,  we seek external  circumstances to determine whether we are happy or not. Crazy.

I also saw that my recollected sense of “happiness” included the elements of accomplishment and tears often bitter because the road to that attainment was rocky and filled with the desire to quit.

Seeing this connection created an opening to not interpret my life from rules or memories from an already given background or past, but instead to feel life intensely in the moment. Otherwise, we miss life and re-live and asses the report or story about what happened. We miss life because we are not present to it.

Shortly after this realization, moments later I picked up a bottle of hair shampoo that looked similar to a bottle of body lotion and slathered shampoo all over my body.

 

So, the Seminar reminded me to be present in life rather than in my head assessing and judging everything.

Theses insights have already altered the actions I have taken since listening to the Seminar 12 hours ago.  I got so much already, I cannot wait for the next six courses.

This  is a “test course ” and hopefully Landmark Education will offer it to the public via the internet. Until that happens, I will keep sharing with you.

With that said, “How do you experience Happiness?”

 

 

 

 

 

LET THEM EAT CAKE

It has been heart- rendering to read about the cuts in social and arts programs that this administration has proposed in its budget.

Can they really be this mean?  How  can this Administration gut social programs and the arts to create guns and war and a wall? Meals on Wheels and the eradication of the National Endowment of the Arts followed by a roll-back of protections for student loan borrowers and the dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency cuts a swath across what creates Humanity.   Who is not hurt by these proposed cuts?

America  wake up. Trump is creating an oligarchy to rival the current and past Russian Oligarchies. If not the 1% who agrees with him -then “Then let them eat cake.”

There is no time, in American or World History except for the French and Russian and American Revolutions that more reminds me of what is occurring in this country today.

Each of us must take a side.

 

 

BIRMINGHAM AND MENDING “CRACKED” PEOPLE

I returned to Baltimore, which the snow storm of 2017 apparently missed,  after my airline carrier cancelled my return trip two days in a row. But this is not a tale about the storm or about the delays returning home; it is about the hope and love I encountered while in Birmingham, Alabama  the first city on the book tour for my novel, Cracked.

Cracked is not only about the main character’s  addiction, but also about her untreated trauma which years later when she is without support the stresses of her career and motherhood lead her to escape with a trust fund crack addict. The book is about relationships and whether those relationships are mutually beneficial or damaging.

While in Birmingham, I met people who had been negatively impacted by addiction and trauma.I met women and men, mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers who were themselves addicts or related to one. As I spoke about my own former addiction and recovery and broken relationships, they recalled their own, each understanding that trauma-of the physical body can translate to the mind, the human brain.

I was also privileged to speak with medical doctors and residents of Alabama’s St. Vincent’s Hospital, reminding  them that addiction is a disease of the mind and body, “Unless we heal the psychic wounds your patients in your future practices will be largely compromised of  people  seeking something to stop the pain” , something they have seen with our country’s growing opioid addiction epidemic.

While there were tears, there was healing and love and hope and a community which are all the things required to mend broken or “Cracked ” people.

Make it a day of light;touch somebody’s heart today.

Brianna S. Clark