Monday, March 17, 2014

Consciously Happy

If you've been following me for awhile, you would know that I've always focused on providing my family with home-cooked meals. Sharing these recipes here on c-cooking, brought me to take a year-long nutrition course at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) which started in July. One of the key philosophies of the school (which makes total sense) is that it's not just the food you eat, but also elements in your life, such as relationships, career, physical activity... your happiness, that has more impact to your health and being healthy. This month the awareness of happiness led to today's post.

A few weeks ago at IIN's Live Conference, I had the honor of listening to numerous knowledgeable speakers in the health and nutrition industry as well as inspirational speakers such as Deepak Chopra, Arianna Huffington, Harville Hendrix and Gretchen Rubin.

Harville Hendrix's lecture spoke about his approach for strengthening relationships through the Zero Negativity challenge. A group of fellow classmates suggested that we start a 30-day Zero Negativity Challenge together. (Some of us call it the 30-day "100% Positivity Challenge"). It's been just over a week and while every day hadn't been perfect, the awareness is there to take note of your feelings and comments. Negativity brings everyone down, and there are all always positive ways to deal with everything."It's not WHAT you say, it's HOW you say it."

Gretchen Rubin was a dynamic speaker who gave us all insight to happiness. I immediately reserved her book "The Happiness Project" from the library. In an effort to reduce personal possessions, I've been utilizing the public library a lot! However, I love this book so much I'll definitely be buying a copy to keep for myself.

Before you start thinking it's about love, peace, rainbows, and fluffy bunnies, it's actually a very practical guide. Her book is about her year-long self-discovery and awareness of how to achieve and appreciate happiness each and every day. Each month she focused on improving happiness in all aspects of her life: vitality, marriage, work, parenthood, leisure, friendship, money, eternity, passionate activities and mindfulness. It's page after page, full of inspirational quotes, research, entertaining personal anecdotes and responses from her blog readers. The one that resonates with me states that there is no better time to maintain happiness than when you are content. Don't wait for emotional disasters to arise before looking to find happiness. This reader's analogy is perfect. "Now, I see that it's like saving money, you can't save for when you get laid off; rather, you have to save while you have a job and money is coming in."

All these happy influences in my life, coincides with the second International Day of Happiness coming up this Thursday, March 20th. This day is inspired by the peaceful country of Bhutan, a country that recognizes the importance of the country's happiness over the national income. Check out Pharrell Williams (of course!) and The United Nations Foundation Countdown to this 24-hours of happiness, at Where you can see the world's first 24-hour video of "Happy" – what an infectiously uplifting song, no wonder that is at the top of all the music charts.. Hashtag your happy moments with #HAPPYDAY on Twitter and Instagram.

My question is, why only celebrate 24-hours of happiness one day each year? Like with other observances, love should be expressed every day, not just on Valentines Day; we should be thankful everyday, not just on Thanksgiving; and we should celebrate every New Day, not just the New Year... Why not start your own Happiness Project to last a lifetime? Everyone's project will be unique, you can download the tools to start at here

Let's start together on March 20th, The International Day of Happiness!! Join our Facebook group, Consciously Happy (by March 24th) for a FREE 12-week "Happiness Project". Follow me on Instagram @conscious_cooking  and upload any photos or inspirations #consciouslyhappy so we can motivate and inspire each other. 

"One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself." – Gretchen Rubin

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