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BEING HAPPY

A presentation of the DFW chapter of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (dfwions.org)

 

When asked, most people will tell you that what they want most in life... is to be happy.

Yet when dying people were asked "What regrets in life do you have?"*

"I wished I wished I had let myself be happier." ... was in the top 5 answers given. It's sad when the realization arrives when it was too late to change it, wouldn't you agree?

How does such a coveted quality of life, end up being unfulfilled for so many?

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BEING HAPPY

This February's DFW IONS presentation is an inquiry as to "Just what does it take to be happy in life?"

We'll watch the documentary "Happy"   75 min.

And follow-up with a discussion led by DFW IONS chapter coordinator, Daniel D'Neuville who has made happiness a study of life.

Some of the topics explored:

  • the biochemistry of joy
  • is happiness a skill?
  • what is the science of happiness?
  • is there a mental technique to cultivate happiness?
  • what would our country be like, if instead of measuring the GDP (gross domestic product) we measured the GNH (gross national happiness index) like Bhutan?
  • Do we have our priorities mixed up?

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* Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."

 

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