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Seeing Happy Outside the Box

As we become aware of the roles assigned to us from birth, we awaken to shaping new roles and shedding old ones. This awakening emphasizes the importance of self-development through wellness, mindfulness, and spirituality.

Consider this: What if we could ask our ancestors about their sources of happiness, their struggles, and how they overcame challenges and fears? What insights might we gain?

Our ancestors faced different challenges, shaped by beliefs unlike ours today. Looking ahead, future generations will likely see our current limitations in choices and beliefs, especially concerning human rights, environmental issues, and social equality.

We follow a routine and repeat the same patterns over and over again, don’t we? Is the date of our birthday always a happy day? If not, why are we supposed to behave like we are happy? Our Valentine’s night is supposed to be filled with love… and our summers are supposed to be relaxed and filled with vacations and golden memories. Right? But what if they are not?

So why let calendars, holidays, seasons and religions… affect our mood and feelings, beliefs and lives?

If we are all in the pursuit of happiness, why not start by waking up for the fact, we all need to help each other to rise.

Happiness, sadness or suffering – for these, there are two levels: a sensorial level and a mental level. The sensorial level is common with tiny mammals, even insects – a fly. In a cold climate, when the sun comes out, a fly shows a happy aspect: it flies around nicely. In a cold room, it slows down: it shows a sign of sadness. But, if there is a sophisticated brain, then there is even a stronger sense of sensorial pleasure. In addition, though, our sophisticated brain is the largest in size and, therefore, we also have intelligence. — Dalai Lama

Life is an energy force. It expands and contracts; life makes us change all the time. Even though we know that changes can bring some positive outcome, we resist.

How about starting by simply breathing…
By giving permission to feel…
Allowing us to move onto something brighter.

As changes are inevitable we can start to contemplate the idea that even the sun will die one day. Everytime I take pictures of the sun, I understand more about patterns of life, the sun rises, the sun sets.

What if we created a window of possibilities to enjoy life no matter what…

How would our lives be if we didn’t try to recreate the same day or week over and over again?

How about a life full of possibilities, of being spontaneous and authentic and present in the moment?

I truly believe that Positive Psychology celebrates all these incredible pools of genes and strengths.

When learning from other cultures we also learn that we can experience other feelings and emotions. We have the opportunity to become less judgmental and we may understand other ways of experiencing life in many other ways. That is one reason I like the idea of exploring happiness beyond borders through my camera. My blogs are about going to places, exploring new cultures, learning from diversity and seeing happiness through my senses… Be ready to be open, to reflect and to exercise this happiness that doesn’t come in a box. Seeing happy exists outside of the box!

Lulu Carter

Born in São Paulo, Maria Luisa ‘Lulu’ Carter began her professional career in education, the arts, and community service in Rio de Janeiro, before moving first to Europe and then to the United States 26 years ago. With degrees from Brazil in speech therapy, art and psychodrama, and a Master’s Degree in science and education from Southern Connecticut State University, Lulu views the world through an eclectic and multicultural prism. Lulu has initiated projects that combine education, community service, and the arts throughout the world – including the Amazon, Haiti, Ghana and Bhutan. Lulu is the co-founder of Destination Partners, a travel management company that works with American universities, nonprofits and institutions focused on the science of happiness.

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