Dear Reader,

I’ve been doing research for my next writing class — the Happiness Practice.

It’s my most ambitious creative writing class yet! Not only am I creating prompts and the creative writing materials, I’m also based it on something that, I think, people want — to be happy.

I’ve been reading some materials lately. It started with a basic Google search — as everything does. Here’s what found from that search and the link to them:

You would have thought that was enough to get started on the prompts and activities. However, I wanted to take a deeper dive.

Seriously, I’m nothing if not thorough.

I’m now reading The Book of Joy and listening to Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill by Matthieu Ricard.

I’m learning so much and sharing what I’m learning as well as my notes on Twitter under that #happinesspractice

So far, compassion and generosity have come up for happiness as paths or necessities to true happiness, not temporary or “selfish happiness”.

And that has been mind opening. This idea that happiness not only comes from within but that the work toward it, the practice of it, begins with understanding compassion and generosity.

That is what makes it hard. Because some of that compassion and generosity is also for one’s self. No, that’s not selfish that is the first step. Learning compassion for yourself, giving yourself grace, makes it easier to have compassion for other people. To be generous with your time and effort and, yes, sometimes your money.

I have also learned that research shows we may be hardwired to be generous!

Generosity as a part of our brain circuitry? That blew me away. And as a writer and creative, I’m wondering if that is why we are drawn to it, to be generous with our gift of art.

Lots to think about and ponder!

I am so excited about this writing class. And THAT brings me happiness.