First, something to make you smile:
Now onto the main point of the post – which was also the point of the picture: happiness.
There are several different projects to increase happiness going on around the world, and thus around the Internet.
The very first Happiness Project I ever came across was the one started in the UK by Robert Holden. I met Robert at the A Course In Miracles group that he and his then wife Miranda Macpherson hosted at their house in Birmingham (UK). At the time, he was running the UK’s only NHS Happiness Clinic.
In 1996, the BBC broadcast a documentary featuring his work, called How to be Happy, and the rest, as they say, is history. Now The Happiness Project is a joint project between Robert, Ben Renshaw, Avril Carson and Ian Lynch.
Built on the insights at the core of mystical philosophies the world over, Robert’s work focuses on choice, gratitude, clarity, forgiveness and loving relationships. The Project’s work is largely built around books and courses to enable people to implement Robert’s proven tools, to increase their own happiness and that of the people around them.
The second Happiness Project I’ve come across is that of Gretchen Rubin, based on her book The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.
As well as the website for the book, with videos and links to local groups. An associated website is The Happiness Project Toolbox, on which you can create your own toolbox of resolutions (both individual and group), personal commandments, inspiration, lists, brief journal, ‘Secrets of Adulthood’ and ‘Happiness Hacks’.
All I know about Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project is what I’ve read on her websites; certainly the toolbox looks like a good, practical, daily regime for increasing your happiness. It doesn’t appear at first glance to have the depth of Robert Holden’s work, but the simplest practices can reveal surprising inner vistas and joys.
The third Happiness Project is a music project of Charles Spearin.
“Charles Spearin is a multi-instrumentalist who has been an active and influential member of Canada’s independent music community since the mid 1990’s. He is primarily known as a founding member of the instrumental post-rock ensemble Do Make Say Think and an original member of the indie-rock collective Broken Social Scene. Spearin’s most recent work – his first solo album – innocently titled ‘The Happiness Project’ centers around recorded conversations with his downtown neighbours and plays with the cadence of their voices as though they were songs.”