The quality and state of being happy.
Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
Living a meaningful life, not economic growth and consumption,
may be a better measure of happiness
We're living in a time of worsening environmental imbalance and may well have reached the point where the damage we are inflicting on our beautiful Earth is irreversible. But whatever we do; whether we abruptly change direction or just plunder on regardless, we can rest assured that the planet will live on and continue to evolve in the millennia to come. We may be lucky and be part of that journey, or we may not. Given the damage we've done, and our continued refusal to make amends, Earth would be entirely forgiven for casting humanity aside with a shrug and heading off in a different direction.
That eventuality will increase every day until we all take climate change seriously and change our behaviour. The surprising thing is that in the process of improving the climate and reversing environmental damage, we can also be happier people, living more meaningful and less stressful lives.
Society's development is currently based exclusively on the narrow measure of economic growth; our success is in increasing percentages of gross domestic product, GDP. To make progress we must buy and consume more, whether we can afford it or not. So we must be more productive, and work harder to afford to live. Life is a treadmill that's getting a little faster every day - undetectable day by day, but over the course of a year and more we feel the additional stress and pressure of having to run faster to keep up.
Life has become what we've got, not what we've given, and to be fulfilled we must buy the biggest, the best and the latest to show our friends and neighbours how successful we are.
Polluting the planet is the inevitable consequence of this consumptive lifestyle, but material gain has become the essence of our lives. We may just consume ourselves out of existence.
And yet we know that with material gain we can never be completely satisfied, because, in the cycle of consumer behaviour, we never stop craving more. As economist Professor Tim Jackson puts it, we are 'persuaded to spend money we don't have on things we don't need to make impressions that won't last on people we don't care about'. How right is that?
Yet we know that happiness has nothing to do with the objects we buy and the stuff we consume; instead it has everything to do with the quality of the relationships we forge, the connections we nurture with each other and the meaning our lives have.
"The gross national product measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile".
Robert F Kennedy
University of Kansas
March 18th, 1968.
Things can change
At Casita Verde we think that leading a meaningful life is a better measure of growth, not GDP. So we're nurturing ideas that create thriving communities and bring us closer to living in peace and harmony with planet Earth and with each other. Turning away from unfettered consumption and material gain, and in its place embracing a lifestyle of sustainability, social justice, happiness, the improvement of people's wellbeing, continued personal development and the pleasure of giving.
We share some thoughts and welcome yours.
Living in Balance
Nurture (verb) - to care for and protect, to help and encourage development, and to cherish a hope or belief or ambition.
Parents nurture their children, gardeners their flower beds and educators their pupils' ideas, dreams and ambitions. Nurture is growth and aspiration - the product of exposure to, experience of and learning about our environment and all of the nature that surrounds us. Nurture is about being happy.
We're making life easier for ourselves and the people around us; being comfortable in our surroundings, giving meaning back into our lives and demonstrating that less really is more.
5 Ways to Improve Wellbeing
Connect - social relationships are the most import corner stones of your lifeinvest time and energy with your friends and loved ones
Be Active - great for a posive mood
Take Notice - see the things happening around you - seasons changing, the wold around you
Keep Learning - keep being curious, learn new things - learning a new dish, play an instrument
Give - we feel good when we give
Happiness is having a meaning in your life, with the four pillars of a meaningful life:
A sense of belonging - being in relationships where you are valued for who you are and you value others in the same way.
Purpose - using your strengths to serve others. Gives you something to live for.
Transcendence - rare moments when you are lifted above yourself - seeing art, being at church, writing.
Story telling - the story to tell yourself about yourself - creating a narrative for your life. You can re-write your story.