As we gathered, the female’s in my writing group groaned about our topic of “Happiness.” Our lone gentleman just smiled.
Gary, one of the deepest and most reflective men I have ever met, noted that on July 4, 1776, our Declaration of Independence named the pursuit of happiness as our inalienable right.
And then on April 10, 2017, 240 years later, Gary received this from Sounds True, “Your experiences matter. And how experiences change your brain profoundly affects your happiness.”
Sounds True was advertising a Rick Hanson masterclass. Hanson has written many books including Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence and offers several masterclasses through Sounds True.
Hanson is a psychologist with a special interest in neuroscience’s research about our brain’s neuroplasticity and how we can rewire our brain to get our emotions back in balance. He says that happiness is far more than a positive feeling that comes and goes. It is a skill that you can develop. Bridging neuropsychology with the great contemplative traditions, Dr. Hanson helps people learn to let go of negative experiences to make space for positive thoughts and feelings.
When Gary received this advertisement about Hanson’s masterclass, he asked himself, “Am I happy? Do I need to take this class?”
He began to write his reflections on these questions and after three drafts, felt happy with his result.
Personally, I think “I felt happy with the result” is an understatement.
Gary realized that he is and always has been a happy person. He hadn’t known that in quite the same way and that led him to ask, “What is the source of my happiness?”
His answer was profound. “I am happiest when I am ‘Engaging the Transcendent.” He went on to share the various forms in which he engages the transcendent.
You can read what he wrote here.
How would you answer Gary’s question: “What is the source of my happiness?”
In what ways do you “engage the transcendent?”