Ready for Joy
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011Hi everyone,
I painted this painting two years ago for a show for International
Women's Day, but it seems equally appropriate for International
Happiness Day. I have taught a school success, motivational
psychology course (part time) at Seneca College, a community college
for 8 years. Essentially this course teaches students how to
be happier, so that they can succeed in school and in life.
I was hired to teach it because I'd developed a course
called The Path of Change, with two friends, the artist
Jennifer Hinrichs, and the Financial expert and CFO
for many charity organizations, Susan Harnett. We
taught that course to City of Toronto employees,
to artists groups, and to the community at large,
with profound effects on people's lives.
Over the years I've studied happiness and techniques
to help people get happy. So I'm delighted that the United Nations
is making the connection between happiness and development.
This is indeed a joyous day! Nic Marks of The Guardian has
written a compelling article on the subject. International happiness
day: why it's a serious global issue.
Lately there's been a lot of negativity about the happiness
movement. That's okay. People who are deeply interested
in the promotion of happiness, know very well that we
are not all happy, that there are reasons to be horribly sad
about world problems: war, famine, racism, sexism, poverty,
environmental degradation. But we also know that on an
individual level working on being happier has huge positive
ramifications both for our own lives, and the lives of all the people
One of my missions in life is to help my friends, family,
clients and even random strangers have a better day, week,
month, year life. That's why I started my Happiness Blog called
Smile First. I may change the name because it will get confused
with Dentistry sites. I don't plan to write on that subject as often
as on my art blog, but I will when the mood hits me. Check it out here.
I try to create images that are joyous with my art and to spread
happiness with my life. In most ways it is working for me. That
doesn't mean I don't get grumpy, speak in haste, or get sad. It
does mean that I am working on it, and that I know deciding to
be happy whenever possible is both a brave and excellent choice.