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Natural Awakenings San Diego

June 2013 Publisher Letter

May 31, 2013 10:10AM

Pet sitting Simon is Happiness!

Happiness is something we all want. I recently watched a documentary on Netflix titled Happy and I’ve been consumed about the subject of happiness ever since. The timing and topic is perfect for all of us as happiness is the topic of our feature article and an essential ingredient to live a healthy life. Did you know that the simplest communities are said to have the highest rate of happiness and many live to be over 100 years old? Gross National Happiness (GNH) is now a well-studied and valued indicator.

No country understands GNH better than Bhutan, where the term was coined by His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, back in the 1970s. According to the website, “The concept implies that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing. The concept of GNH has often been explained by its four pillars: good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. Lately the four pillars have been further classified into nine domains in order to create widespread understanding of GNH and to reflect the holistic range of GNH values. The nine domains are: psychological wellbeing, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and resilience.”

The government worries they would be accused of wasting taxpayers’ money if they began focusing on GNH instead of the gross national product, GNH’s predecessor. With all our latest technology, convenience shopping, and vast amounts of information coming and going, we live an extremely high-paced, tumultuous lifestyle. I believe our environment is forcing us to return to our own gardens to grow food, our local communities to exchange goods and services, and cohabitation with our family members and friends to help with economic pressures. The outcome is increased happiness. Imagine life without our friends, family, animals and nature. We don’t need a measuring tool to determine that outcome.

U.S. wealth per capita has soared in recent decades (if not in recent years), but Gallup and other surveys suggest Americans might not be any happier. Meditation, yoga, sustainable energy alternatives are also on the rise because we need it. Passion, purpose and socialization continue to be necessary to achieve happiness.

I love my role as Natural Awakenings publisher. It makes me very happy to be able to share information and events so you can participate and help yourself and others achieve personal, local and global happiness.

This is our Men’s Wellness issue. I invite you to embrace all the men in your life, fiction and non-fiction, past and present and be happy this Father’s Day.

Smile, it brings happiness!

Elaine Russo San Diego


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