Happiness In Another Dimension

I love the feeling of being happy. I don’t expect it to be an “all the time” thing but I look for it any chance I get. I am always looking for unusual stories. I look for people who are choosing happiness every day. In my latest search on how to achieve happiness, I recently came across an idea that I would like to share.

Scientists now believe that there are multiple dimensions. Some people believe that there are millions of other dimensions and that we have different lives for each decision that we make in these dimensions! In other words, for each decision that we make, there is an alternate universe that is created by the decision that we did not go with. If that is so, then you may be choosing happiness in some or many of those alternate dimensions.

Choosing Happiness In Another DimensionIf you could bridge to these dimensions then you could ask your other selves how to be happy! I have used such a technique, created by The American Monk. It entails imagining yourself in another dimension where you have already gotten those things that bring you happiness and contentment. I will explain more about this in future blogs. You can look for The American Monk on YouTube. He has some interesting videos there on how to achieve happiness.

©Christina Florence – December 2010

Are You Choosing Happiness?

I came up with the idea of this happiness movie 3 years ago. As I worked with my clients, I noticed some clients were naturally happy while others were not. What was it that caused a pair of twins that I worked with, for instance, to have completely different outlooks on life?

One was happy and the other seemed quite miserable. How could this happen? How is it that two children who came from the same mother, at the same time, grew up in the same environment and have such a different emotional makeup? I wanted to find out also how a person that I worked with who grew up in a hut in Africa had decided, against all odds to come to America, learn English and get into a PhD program! She is much happier here than when she was growng up in Africa, but what made her ask the question “Am I happy?” and then make that choice to be happy?

Happiness Movie and Choosing HappinessThese are the kinds of questions that made me want to make a documentary film on the nature of happiness. We are looking for people with amazing stories to interview for our movie, The Chronicles of Happiness. If you have an amazing story about how to achieve happiness, please send an email to Christina.

©Christina Florence – November 2010

Happiness Chronicles Debut

Michele and I have been working for months now and we are so excited to have our trailer/teaser to show the world what we have been up to!

I am pleased to present the trailer to our happiness movie, The Happiness Chronicles.

The Happiness Chronicles asks some revealing questions: “Are you happy?”, “What makes you happy?”, “Do you believe in happiness?” and most importantly, “Are you choosing happiness?” These questions may sound simple, but, we discovered when a person is asked the question “Are you happy”, it isn’t always readily answered. We also explore the question of how to achieve happiness.

Am I Happy Movie DebutThe idea for the film really came into focus as I was writing my recent guide to happiness, Be Alive in Five, a workbook featuring exercises you can use daily to create a happier life. I wanted to understand why some people are happy and some are not. What makes the difference? Are there those of us who are predisposed to happiness? Maybe there is indeed a “happiness gene.” Is achieving happiness tied to health, wealth, race, career, religion? If we understand that happiness is a choice, well then, why aren’t more of us choosing to live happy lives? Is happiness out there somewhere, or part of the internal workings of our mind?

Michele and I have really just begun our quest, as there are many interviews to be completed. Every person we talk with brings a new insight into what may perhaps evolve into our “Happiness Chronicle’s Exceptional Philosophy of Happiness.” (Hmmm, another book perhaps?)

Michelle and I would like our film to help you discover how to achieve happiness. We are having so much fun that we intend to travel the world to define the importance of happiness, why it often remains just out of reach and what we can do to grab it and hang on!

More to come from the Road to Happiness, so stay with us!

©Christina Florence – November 2010

Am I Happy in My Relationship?

Some of you out there see your relationships as a guide to happiness. You may feel that by having a good relationship you are choosing happiness. But what is happiness, really, and how do we get there if we are in a less than happy relationship?

I’ve known quite a few men and women who think that having a good partner is the one thing that will bring complete and utter happiness. They see things in their partner that they themselves would like be. It may be that they want to make a lot of money or are good looking or both and because they perceive their partner to be this way, they believe these things will come to them and this will bring happiness. For whatever reason they’re convinced that their partner can somehow make them happy as a result of all of these external things. Aside from the ego issues, the problem with thinking that your partner can “make” you be happy is: “What does that make you? Unhappy?”

If you are not happy on the inside then how can any external condition. partner or otherwise “make” you be happy. This is false reasoning. Happiness is not external no matter how hard (and we certainly try hard) we try to make it so.

©Christina Florence – October 2010

Laughter is the Best Medicine

I believe that laughter is the best medicine. Why? Because it feels so good! The act of laughing causes an instantaneous production of hormones such as endorphins, serotonin and other hormones in the body that are associated with feelings of contentment and happiness.

Laughter shakes up your body and uses muscles that you don’t use otherwise. Laughter can even help you lose weight! Laughing changes a bad mood to good instantly because of the increase of serotonin levels in the body. Laughter spreads fast, moving quickly to those around you. Next time you are in a group, watch people’s reactions as funny things are said.  Notice how seeing and hearing someone laugh causes a laugh response, like a ripple in a pond, to the next person and the next, who then continue the passing of the laughter, to the others in the group. For this reason, laughter is extremely important to your emotional and physical health.

Get a bunch of funny books and videos that can make you laugh. Or look at funny pictures or comics. Then laugh as often as you can. I recommend  laughing for at least 30 minutes per day! It’s so important to your health.

I recently found out that there is something called “Laugh Yoga” which is spreading like wildfire in India and now in the U.S. Go to www.laughteryoga.org  to find out more.

©Christina Florence – September 2010

Am I Happy?

Am I happy?

I believe that every one of us should be choosing happiness every day. The question is, how to be happy? One important element in choosing to be happy is laughter. Laughter has a many benefits for our mind and our body. Even if it is a reaction which is regulated by the brain, our body needs laughter as much as our mind does!

We all love someone who can make us laugh. I myself am a laugh junkie. I love to laugh! If you have a sense of humor, don’t be stingy with it, share it. Not only will you feel better but you’ll also find that you will have more friends. Laughter releases endorphins, which suppress pain, and plain old “makes ya feel good.” It boosts our immune system and, as recently discovered, plays a role in healing. Laughter integrates both sides of our brain.

The best way to find laughter is to watch a funny movie, or find a comedian that makes you laugh and rent DVDs of them. Remember the now famous story of how Norman Cousins laughed his way back to health from death’s door? I’m serious! You can read all about it in his book, Anatomy of an Illness.

A sense of humor will help you rise to any challenge, handle the unexpected with ease, and come out of any difficulty with a smile. Humor isn’t just about telling jokes. Humor is the way we view the world. We can be honest about life without taking it quite so seriously. We can laugh at ourselves, at our mistakes and pain.

Louis Kronenberger explains: “Humor simultaneously wounds and heals, indicts and pardons, diminishes and enlarges; it constitutes inner growth at the expense of outer gain, and those who possess and honestly practice it make themselves more through willingness to make themselves less.” The most wasted day is a day in which we have not laughed!

©Christina Florence – September 2010

Is Happiness a “Thing” or a “Feeling”?

Now that I’ve explained that Be Alive In Five is a guide to happiness and a tool to help you choose happiness, ask yourself this question once more: “Am I happy?” This question is a tricky one. In order to answer it, we first must answer the question: WHAT IS HAPPINESS?

According to The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, happiness is defined as a noun, “the feeling of being happy”. That isn’t very helpful, is it? Upon looking up the word ‘happy’ in the same dictionary, we are told that happy is an adjective which means “feeling, showing or causing pleasure or satisfaction”. Somehow these definitions seem a bit vague. In my opinion, these standard definitions give more questions than answers.

Is happiness a “thing” or a “feeling”? What is “true happiness”? Has the definition for happiness changed over time?

Further research on the definition in specific reference to the philosophy of happiness gives us another word, “eudaimonia”. Eudaimonia is a Greek word which is often translated to English as the word “happiness”. Eudaimonia differs quite a bit from happiness as it is defined above, adding some clarity to it’s definition. Whereas in English, the happiness definition references a subjective state or measure of the quality of one’s life, eudaimonia’s definition refers to the experience of a life course which is objectively desirable in and of itself. This definition describes what Socrates considered to be the highest degree of happiness, or “true happiness.”

So, now that we have this improved definition of happiness, let’s put it to use by reading a bit about more about Socrates:

Socrates was a Greek philosopher (469-399 B.C.), widely considered to be the first western philosopher to develop a philosophy of happiness. In this philosophy, he states that the highest good achievable by any human being is happiness. Socrates’ philosophy also states that whatever action a person chooses in life, this choice is motivated by his/her desire for happiness. He furthermore declared that knowledge, virtue, and wisdom were all the same, since people choose an action according to what they think will bring them true happiness. Therefore, according to Socrates philosophy, the more a person knows, the greater their ability to reason out the correct choice and to choose those actions which truly bring them happiness.

From Socrates’ philosophy, I learned that knowledge is a key to finding true happiness. And that the knowledge that is most important in finding happiness is self-knowledge. In my book, Be Alive In Five, I tell you how I got to know myself and found true happiness. By sharing what I have learned, I can show you how to explore the knowledge inside yourself. By using the helpful exercises I discovered along my journey towards happiness as a guide, you should soon be upon your own path towards true and lasting happiness.

©Christina Florence – August 2010

How to Achieve Happiness Using My 5-Minute Exercises

Be Alive in Five is the culmination of years of research on the historic journey to answer the question “what is happiness?” Due to its workbook format, it can be used either as a companion to my first book, The Magic of Zero, or as a stand-alone guide to happiness.

In Be Alive in Five, I share personal stories from my own journey to choosing happiness as well as exercises designed to help you achieve happiness. I’ve also included other key information I feel will aid you on your own quest to choosing happiness.

You might be wondering, “What does Be Alive In Five have to do with happiness?” When I started this book I had been thinking a lot about how busy we all are in our everyday lives, and how many people have made to comment to me that they don’t take the time to consider their answer to one simple question “Am I happy?“, let alone actually taking the time to find out how to achieve happiness). As a possible solution to this great lack in our society, I decided to write this book – my very own guide to happiness!

In the happiness video I call Happy Arrows, I explain how a person can achieve happiness. By choosing 5 exercises from the book and doing them for 30 days you can teach yourself to feel better every day. You will find the exercise Happy Arrows in my book Be Alive In Five. This exercise takes only one minute and I just know you’ll be amazed at the impact it will have. You’ll also find several other exercises all designed to help you toward your goal of achieving happiness. I suggest combining multiple exercises to create your very own 5-minute (or less) session. I used this same technique myself, 5 minutes for 30 days, to move through this process and so can you. With this book as your guide and 5 free minutes each day, you’ll make quick progress toward choosing happiness.

I’ve found that when you take yourself off autopilot you find a whole new world of wonders waiting to be discovered. Perhaps the secret to being happy is simply in choosing happiness!

©Christina Florence – June 2010

Hypnosis and Animal Magnetism

When you think of the word hypnosis, probably the first thing that comes to mind is some man at a party trying to hypnotize guests into thinking that the onion in his hand is a juicy apple. If that’s what your mind conjures up, you aren’t alone in thinking that maybe it isn’t the solution to a serious problem that you might have, like weight loss or a phobia.

The word “Hypnosis” comes from the Greek word hypnos, meaning “sleep” and has been around for a long time. It’s a fact that every day, hypnosis helps people all around the world.

The history of hypnosis is interesting. The first type of hypnosis started with animals. In the 1600s, farmers calmed chickens hypnotically using different methods. In the 1800s people hypnotized birds, rabbits, frogs and others. B. Danilewsky experimented with animal hypnosis and studied its physiological workings in animals.

Austrian doctor, Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815), who is acknowledged as the “Father of Hypnosis” started the theory of “animal magnetism“. He believed that there was a quasi-magnet in the very air we breathe and that a “cosmic fluid” could be stored in inanimate objects, such as magnets and transferred to patients for curing their illness.

He cured a 29-year-old woman who suffered from a convulsive malady. During one of the woman’s attacks, Mesmer applied three magnets to the patient’s stomach and legs while she concentrated on the positive effects of the “cosmic fluid”. Her symptoms subsided when Mesmer gave her this treatment. Mesmer believed that because the “cosmic fluid” was directed through his patient’s body, her energy flow was restored and she regained her health in this way.

Mesmer had great success treating thousands of people with “animal magnetism” and the process became known as mesmerism.

Now, if you are thinking that a hypnotherapist can make you share your deep dark secrets, and there is no way you are going to let yourself feel comfortable enough to give into it, you are probably right. You will not ever really completely go out of your own comfort zone unless you have a good reason to. That is unless you want change badly enough and you trust your hypnotherapist. In hypnosis you aren’t actually losing consciousness, what is happening is that in hypnosis you are brought into a state of deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness, which is called a trance. You’ll still be able to think for yourself, but you won’t have those inhibitions that might be holding you back if you were fully awake.

Another advantage of hypnosis is that you can learn how to master your own state of awareness. If you can do this, you can start to control your own bodily functions and psychological responses.

Hypnosis has been used to control phobias, change bad habits into healthy habits and modify behavior. If you think about it, that’s pretty amazing to be able to do all of that without using drugs. If you used hypnosis to change a bad habit that you have, it could make you richer, improve your self-esteem or even change the dynamics of your relationship with a child or a loved one. It’s incredible what hypnosis can do for you.

Once you learn more about yourself and how to bring yourself into a state of deep relaxation, the sky is the limit. You’ll be able to change your attitude – including the way you think about yourself, which will reap rewards for the rest of your life.

©Christina Florence – June 2010

Our Happiness Movie

One evening some time ago, I was sitting around with some friends discussing life in general. Eventually, we began to talk more specifically about the way in which different cultures and age groups experience happiness. We felt that the perception is that everyone wants to be happy.

But then, after a few moments, we reconsidered. Does everyone really want to be happy?

As happiness is indeed a choice, do people intentionally choose happiness? Maybe some people make that choice but countless others wait for happiness to arrive or be bestowed upon them by some miracle. Everyone’s idea of happiness is different and every person’s way of achieving it it different. I myself was not a happy person up until about 10 years ago when I began to make the choice to happy. I looked in the mirror nearly every day and asked myself “am I happy?” That question, among others, inspired me to write two books about my journey towards happiness. That is also why I want to make this “happiness movie”.

How to Always Be HappyThe Happiness Chronicles is a documentary film project that I began 3 years ago in an attempt to answer the question “what is happiness?” Every person on this planet has the right to be happy but just what is happiness? How does one explain it and, more importantly, how does one achieve it?

I set out on a mission to find out how to achieve happiness. I decided to interview people from all walks of life, any culture and any age group to discover the answer. So I put together a small team experienced at documentary filmmaking and we decided on 10 important questions we wanted to ask. Though some of the questions have changed over the course of time, we have maintained the basic format throughout.

One of our many subjects is a street musician named Stu. He lives in a small apartment near the University of New Mexico. We spent some time with him at his apartment before following him downtown to his outdoor “gig.” Stu is very lively, kind of funny and way out there. I was a little taken aback when I first arrived at his place. It was a typical bachelor pad – you know, stuff everywhere! During the course of our interview, I came to realize that he was quite an amazing character, as you, too, will see in the film.

Cecelia – collector of art and a beautiful soul! She is a small business owner in Albuquerque who keeps a beautiful and extensive art collection. Recently, she was forced to downsize her store and get what many consider a “real” job – a direct result of the current economy. Cecelia has maintained a most wonderful outlook on life even though she has experienced a great deal of adversity.

Singer and songwriter Rex Warren is one of my favorite subjects. He is an incredibly talented musician who seems to be endlessly in a good mood. We all ask ourselves why he is not famous already and why he has had to keep a job with a forklift company. When he plays his music you just want to jump up and dance! He, too, has overcome his share of tragedy and soon plans to relocate to Hawaii. What a great spirit!

Some of the people we interviewed for our happiness movie did not even really believe in happiness even though they were surrounded by people who seem to be happy.

©Christina Florence – April 2010