Happy Life Book Club–April 25

bookclub-april

 

Time for another book club meeting and you’re all invited!  We will be meeting at my house again on Thursday, April 25, at 7:00 p.m.  Please come and join us.  We will be discussing the “April” chapter from The Happiness Project and Stephanie Nielson’s book Heaven is Here.  Stephanie is also known as Nienie and you can read her blog here.  She has a pretty amazing and inspirational story.  Her book is a quick read and will make for a good discussion that will contrast nicely with last month’s novel, The Book of Mormon Girl.  I love both books and both authors, but for very different reasons.

Remember this book club is all about being happy and enjoying life…so come be happy with us and enjoy life.  Come for the food, the friendship, and the discussion, even if you haven’t read the book.  Hope to see you here!

Email me at lori.cartwright@gmail.com if you need directions to my house.

Advertisements

Happy Life Tip 3-Make Your Bed

hl tip3-make your bed

 

Simple enough, but apparently this is a big factor in a person’s level of happiness.  I’ve actually been working on this for the past month and it really works!  I always feel happier in an orderly room, and because the bed is the biggest item in my bedroom, when it is in disarray, the entire room feels messy even when it isn’t.  On the other hand, when the bed is made, I hardly notice Joe’s pile of clothes or my overly large stack of books on my nightstand.  It also feels calming and restorative when I head to bed at night and my bed is nicely made.

Read this post by Amy Hackworth and the corresponding links.  Then give it a try.  The resulting happiness is definitely worth the effort of taking a few minutes each morning to make your bed.

Happy Life Book Club–March 28

march bookclubI am so excited about this month’s book club selection!  And I’m afraid they are purely for selfish reasons.  The March section of The Happiness Project is all about work and with a new job on my plate, I’m especially interested in discussing how work contributes to happiness.  I read our novel for the month,  The Book of Mormon Girl last summer, and I wrote about it here.  Since then I have desperately wanted a great discussion on the book and all of the ideas that it provokes.  I’ve wanted to know how people of my own Mormon faith view Joanna Brook’s experiences and thoughts, as well as share my own.

My dream is coming true this month and I can’t wait for a great book club night.  Please come!  The more opinions, the better the discussion.  If you hated the book, come tell us why.  If you loved it, share that too.  There are no wrong or right answers, just differences, and those differences make everything in life great.  And remember, as Joanna writes, everyone belongs…and you especially belong here.

Happy Life Tip 2–The Price of Invulnerability

hl tip 2

I think that Brené Brown has changed my life!  Her Ted Talk on The Price of Invulnerability has created the biggest paradigm shift I’ve ever had, and one that I’m sure will lead to greater happiness in my life.  I had never really thought about vulnerability vs. invulnerability and the role it plays in my happiness, but as I’ve listened to her words again and again, I’ve realized that most of my life I have been shielding myself from being vulnerable.  And I’ve been using the exact tools that Brené describes:  disappointment as a lifestyle, low-grade disconnection, perfection, extremism, and numbing.  Like many of you, I fear vulnerability because it often leads to fear, anxiety, shame, and guilt.  But as Brené points out, vulnerability is also at the core of joy, love, belonging, creativity, and faith.

Brené also talks about scarcity and the constant messages that we receive that there is never enough and that we are never enough, or not extraordinary enough.  Do you ever feel that way?  I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t struggle with some form of these emotions and it always gives me such comfort to be told that it isn’t true.

In closing, Brené offers these two solutions for embracing vulnerability in our life:  practice gratitude and honor the ordinary.  What beautiful, yet simple reminders of what we need to do to be happy.

You can find more about Brené Brown on her website.  She has also written several books…I just ordered this one and can’t wait to read it and share some thoughts.

Happy Life Book Club–February

book club-febDon’t Forget:  Happy Life Book Club tomorrow night, February 21, at 7:00 p.m.  Come and share your thoughts from the February chapter of The Happiness Project  and the beautiful Bel Canto.    And if you haven’t read the books, come for the discussion, the refreshments, some intellectual stimulation, some socializing, and a shot of happiness on a cold winter night.  I can’t wait to see you…or hear from you if you’re joining the book club virtually.

 

 

Happy Life Tip 1–Disruptive Innovation

hl tip1

In conjunction with the Happy Life Book Club, I’m going to be sharing some great happiness tips that I find along the way.  If you have tried these tips in your life, feel free to chime in with how they worked for you.  If not, give them a try and see if they lead you to a happier life.

This first tip comes from Whitney Wilson Johnson, a BYU Alumni whose goal is to “help people–especially women–identify and achieve their dreams.”  She encourages “disrupting the status quo” in order to create a happier life.  Her message and the title of her new book is Dare, Dream, Do.  Isn’t that a simple, but great mantra.  I especially like that she is inviting us to take action.  I have learned over the last few years that I am much happier when I’m actually acting upon something.  It might not work out, but at least I’m making an effort to make my dreams come true.  I’ve also found that the older I get, the more daring I become.  Age and wisdom definitely have their benefits.

For more information on Disruptive Innovation, here are some links to Whitney’s website, book, and a speech she gave at BYU.

Happy Life Book Club–January

bookclub

I started my little book club last week and we had a wonderful evening discussing happiness, and getting to know each other a little bit better.  I had written down a few topics for us to discuss, but our discussion took on a life of it’s own, which is always what makes a book club so great.  A few things that I found especially thought-provoking…

-at some point each of us had suffered from or are currently struggling with major depressive disorder.

-happiness means something different to everyone; it feels different to everyone.

-the happiness “set point.”

And a couple of questions that were asked during our discussion…

-Is it self-centered to devote time to work on my own happiness, while taking time away from my family and other obligations?

-How do I work on my own happiness when someone close to me is not very happy, specifically my spouse?

Our unanimous answer to the first question was absolutely not!  But the second question is more difficult.  It is hard to be happy when members of your family are not.  There can be a lot of guilt and holding back and eventually you can be sucked into that dark hole with them.  Often, though, helping someone else increase their happiness set point raises our own as well.  And being around happy people usually rubs off as easily as being around someone who is miserable.

I’m interested to hear any thoughts you might have on this question or anything else that is happiness-related.  Have you ever struggled to remain happy when someone close to you isn’t happy at all?

By the way, I hope you will join us on February 21, either virtually or in person.  We will be discussing February’s chapter from The Happiness Project as well as Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto.

Book Club Tonight!

bookclub

A reminder–The Happy Life Book Club is starting tonight.  I hope you will come if you can.  I am dying for some intelligent conversation, thoughts on happiness, and new books to love.  Don’t stay away because you don’t have the book or feel like you have nothing to contribute to a discussion.  We all learn from each other and this is a place where all thoughts and ideas will be encouraged and respected.  I hope it will be a place where there are lots of different ideas and opinions and thoughts and even some great arguments.  I hope it will be a place of learning and growth and comfort as well.  Please come, and bring a friend if you like.

If you need my address please email me at lori.cartwright@gmail.com.

The Happy Life Book Club

happy lifeLast year I spent a long time working on being happier.  In fact, I devoted an entire month of blogging to being happy.  But really, my quest for happiness has been going on for a long time.  I’ve read, exercised, medicated, slept a lot, visited a therapist, prayed, served, discussed, written, celebrated, and searched for happiness.  And most days I feel like I’m really getting there.  Don’t I look happy?

My next step on the happiness road is to create a happiness book club.  Want to join?

This is my plan:  every month we will read a section from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, complete any activities, and then meet to discuss the results.  In addition, there will be a novel to read each month that shares the story of an individual’s happiness journey.  We’ll talk about that, too.  Oh, and the book club will be called, “Happy Life.”

I’m actually going to host this at my house every month, and if you live nearby, it would be great if you could join me.  But if you can’t, I’ll be posting notes from the discussion and you can participate with comments and questions both before and after.

I’m planning on hosting the first meeting on Thursday, January 31, and then every third Thursday after that at 7:00.  I hope you can come…and please let me know if you will be attending at my home.  Since it is such short notice, we will just be reading the first chapter in Gretchen Rubin’s book, discussing happiness, and making plans for the rest of the year.

I feel happy just thinking about it!  Don’t you?