contemplative dog

(my contemplative girl)

I recently completed a free online course called “The Science of Happiness.” Sounds hokey, touchy feely, worthy of an eye roll, I know, but it was actually very good. The course covered things like gratitude, meditation, social connection, kindness and compassion, appreciation of other people, forgiveness, and the power of awe and mindfulness. There’s a Science of Happiness Mooc starting up December 1, the same course only self-paced, if you are interested. Or you may just want to check out the Greater Good site for articles and videos.

The topics covered are ones that almost everyone I know is familiar with to the point that overused words, like “mindfulness,” have lost their meaningfulness. How much more can a person stand to hear? But the great thing about the class was that it presented stunning scientific information about the benefits of these practices that had me tripping over myself to fit meditation into my day. You tell me something is going to help build up my gray matter (brain) and help decrease my reactivity to chronic pain and I am on board!

So today I am thankful for what I learned in that class, for all the lovely people in my life (especially Steve), for warm, cuddly dogs who blanket my lap on a cold winter night and for so much more that it’s too long to list here.

I hope, whatever your circumstances, you too can find reason to give thanks on this holiday and always.

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