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Happiness Now E-zine, Issue #003 -- teaser here
September 01, 2012

Hello and welcome to the September edition of the
Happiness Now E-Zine"





Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well!

My, how time flies! There is a definite chill in the air here in Scotland these last few days as we move slowly into Autumn. The heather is the hills is like a stunning blanket of bright purple.

I have been working on my next book, entitled "Awaken The Happy You," which will hopefully be out by the end of the year.

As I have been receiving more and more emails from afar as well as requests for information on happiness coaching, I feel it is time to set up a facility on the website to offer Skype calls. I just need to figure out the technicalities first! I would also love to add a forum to the site so we can chat in real time and so people can leave messages.

I hope you enjoy this month's article and, as always, I would love to hear from you.


Wishing you peace and happiness, Richard




In the happiness workshops I run, one of the first things I ask the group is the question: “Do you REALLY want to be happy?”

People generally look puzzled at being asked. After all, why on earth would they be attending a happiness workshop if they didn’t want to be happy, right? If you were to ask 100 random people in the street the same question, most of them they would give you a funny look and say “Of course I want to be happy. Who doesn’t?”

The second question I ask is “If absolutely nothing in your life were to change – if your life situation were to remain exactly as it is now – could you be HAPPIER? I don’t necessarily mean jumping for joy, but could you be even a little happier?

After giving the question some thought, the majority of people answer in the affirmative. I then ask them to write a list of concrete things they could apply to their lives right now in order to experience more happiness.

They come up with things like:

o be more grateful for what I already have
o actively praise others and show more appreciation
o focus on giving rather than taking
o practice loving kindness
o be gentler on myself
o forgive those I hold any grudges against

I then say: “There you have it – your blueprint for happiness. If it is true that you really want to be happy, then you know where to begin.”

When I do my follow-up calls a couple of weeks later to see how people are getting on, how many do you think have been actively practising the items on their list?

To be fair, there are usually one or two who have reached the point where they are tired enough of suffering and are really ready toturn their lives around. There are many, however, who have stopped practicing the items on the list and are already looking for the next self-help book or workshop.

And the truth is this: Most people don’t REALLY want to be happy. Many will, of course, deny this but it is nevertheless true.

What we do want is to keep the level of suffering in our lives at a manageable level. To be truly happy would involve being willing to let go of our addictive story and to take full responsibility for our own inner experience – no more blaming anyone or anything on the outside for our woes. And most of us (including myself for many years) are not willing to do this

I have lost count of the number of people who have taken the meditation weekend course (which I used to teach) and by the Sunday afternoon were saying things like: “This is amazing. I have never experienced so much peace in my life. I can’t believe it could be so simple.”

The very same people would then give up practising after a week or two. I remember one particular woman who used to show up once every few months at the weekly meetings we held. After the group meditation, she would always say the same thing: “I can’t believe how relaxed and at peace I feel. I really must start coming regularly.” And then she wouldn’t. As long as things are ‘not too bad’ in our lives, we settle for that. Being too happy and content may not fit in with the story we hold of who we are.

To let go of our familiar old story is to take a step into the unknown. Our whole sense of identity, of who we are, is tightly wrapped around the ideas and beliefs that we hold about ourselves, our lives and the world. Who would we be without a story? Most people feel safer to stick with what is known. Even if it is painful at times, at least it is safe and familiar.

There are also many (perceived) benefits, particularly when we used to playing the victim role. It can be a way of getting attention or of standing out from the crowd. Nobody suffers in the same unique way that I do. It makes me special. If I was happy all the time, who would care about me? Drama can make our life more interesting. That was a big one for me. The mind can find it pretty dull just being content all the time.

By the way, it is a great step forward to see and acknowledge that we don't really want to be happy; that we are more interested in being comfortable. Seeing this, without any judgement, can be wonderfully liberating! There is nothing wrong with it. It is just how it is. Not good, not bad.



I am intending to get the Skype Coaching up and running over the next week or two so do keep checking the site if you are interested.

I will be charging $75 US per hour for Happiness Coaching or Spiritual Life Coaching.

The first 10 people to register interest will receive a 50% discount on a coaching session.

You can register now by emailing me through the contact form.

Wishing you a happy month!

Richard :)


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