Monday, November 7, 2022

10 Reasons to be Happy

Spring Table
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 36 inches
Barbara Muir © 2007 

Tonight was my once a week college evening class, and it
was very good.  It reminded me of the excitement I used to
feel teaching positive psychology.

Thirteen years ago I described what happened when I first
introduced the idea of 10 reasons to be happy as an exercise
in my college class.

But first here are my 10 reasons today:

1.  It was my son Sam's birthday today, and we got to sing
Happy Birthday with the dog to him over the phone, and may see him
tomorrow night.

2. It was my husband's "real" birthday today, although
even after all these years the real date is up for debate.
10 years ago his mother told him that his father got his
birthday wrong, and that's why they celebrated it on
the 8th, even though it was the 7th. We continued with
the 8th, because Sam's was on the 7th too. But I did give
Steven a card today. And tomorrow more festivities.

3.  It was a beautiful day, and even though I had to work
inside all day, I did see that glorious colour out the window.

4. I finished my delightful book, and I recommend it --
The Muse by Jessie Burton. A book you can't put down.

5. The school strike is over temporarily.

6. Steven has a day off Friday and we may see friends
or family.

7. I got a calls today from several friends, all happy
and funny.

8. I got two new dresses to give me options at an upcoming
family wedding -- and they were extremely reasonable.

9. I am well. 

10. Life it good!

Now here's how this practice began 9 years ago.

"I had one of my "aha" moments on the way to school and
decided to introduce a new exercise called Ten Reasons to Be
. I explained that in a negative news world, this
whole concept was decidedly radical. But we started.
Each day when we had time, ten people (and towards the
end of the term more) would go to the front of the class
and each student said one reason that she, or he, was happy,
and related it back to the course.

The impact was dynamic. In fact I'd never seen anything
like it in all my years of teaching. This exercise filtered into
the students' daily lives as they thought about what they'd talk
about if it happened to be their turn in the class. I picked
the people to go to the front at random, unless they
volunteered, but all were welcome. In my very last class,
the whole class went to the front and it was a delightful
sight to see.

Their reasons were connected to the course, so some were
doing well in school (study skills), some were learning to
love themselves and others (self knowledge), some were
managing their time better (time management). But the
smiles on those faces really blew me away."

Have a loving your happy life day.

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Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!