Real Life Heroes, Kind Kids, the Happier World Conference & A Celebration of the Earth!
Every day we are blown away by the heart-warming stories people share, the beautiful connections people make, and the inspiring people we come into contact with who help make the world a happier, kinder, more peaceful place.
Over the space of the past two months the MOH has been particularly blessed with the Happier World Conference, an Earth Day retreat, a visit from two real-life heroes all the way from the US, and witnessing children unlock the kindness that’s already inside them.
The Happier World Conference was a dream come true for the MOH! It was an amazing community gathering which brought together change-makers from all over the world to explore how to make the world a happier, kinder, more conscious place.
Our youngest change-maker was little baby Asher, who was only a few months old. An adorable “sleeping baby” corner emerged, which became a spontaneously happy feature of the conference. And our eldest member was none other than peace activist and co-founder of Schumacher College, Satish Kumar - who had the most energy out of all of us!
The secrets to Satish’s happiness and energy?
“Be a monsoon of love!”
Don’t criticize; cultivate gratitude…
Don’t compare; celebrate…
Don’t consume, create…
He went on to advise:
“Follow your heart”
“Don’t let fear hold you back”
“Have trust and faith in the universe”
“Don’t just be an employee, you have one life...do what really makes you come alive!”
The media portrays the world in such an horrific and negatively biased way. However after being at the Happier World Conference for 2 days, hearing all the amazing, inspiring projects and initiatives going on around the world, we now feel more hopeful than ever!
We had the honour and privilege of a visit from some real life heroes!
Dr Sri and Dr Phuoc, founders of the Heal Initiative, are an incredible force of hope, truth and devotion, shining so much light onto some of the darkest places and situations around the globe.
Sri and Phuoc met in the response to the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010, which killed over 200,000 people and left many more injured and homeless.They were moved by the will and pure hearts of the volunteers, and recognised their real need for crucial training in order for them to be able to provide high-quality healthcare to the victims of the disaster.
They put their heads, hearts and hands together and a few years and their labour of love the Heal Initiative was born, overcoming some of the greatest hurdles in disaster response.
Both Sri and Phuoc live lives deeply rooted in service, helping some of the most vulnerable people around the world and empowering other individuals to touch the lives of many.
They've been recognised for their groundbreaking and heart-warming achievements, and have been awarded multiple medical and humanitarian awards from all over the world.
Their key messages were;
Stand up for vulnerable people who don’t have a voice; do whatever you can to promote fairness and equality wherever you go
We don’t all have to do these grand gestures, it can be these small acts with great love that transform the world
Kindness is cool!
We spent the day with a group of young children on the Isle of Dogs who were struggling to show kindness to each other. We spent the day exploring ways to be kinder to yourself and others, made cards of gratitude to all the people who have been kind to us, and made “Capes of Kindness” for each other - a practise of writing kind things on A4 sheets pinned onto each other’s backs.
We also enjoyed a self compassion meditation, ending the day with a sharing circle. Our hearts were warmed beyond belief with what the children shared;
“Even if you’re feeling angry or sad it’s not ok to be mean or unkind to someone else”
“Don’t let others steal your happiness or kindness”
“If someone is mean to you it’s probably because they are sad on the inside”
“We aren’t going to do mean or unkind things to each other anymore”
“Help people to help themselves”
“Practice gratitude and kind acts to feel happier “
“We are all in charge of our own happiness”
Wow such wisdom! :-)
Earth Day Retreat
Kush opened the morning circle with a question he's been holding - what is a meaningful way to contribute to society? If we measure this as contribution to GDP, it's not always wholesome, but what if our metrics shifted and we made a meaningful contribution by meditating - how could that ripple out to benefit society?
Vicky reminded us about how society has conditioned us to believe that we will be happy and fulfilled when x, y and z happen in our lives, yet the goal posts shift every time we get there. In reality, we can find joy within ourselves and we are here to collectively to explore how generosity can help us to uncover this in our own hearts.
Nipun offered us seeds of inspiration to reflect on how we can deepen on our journeys of service through tuning into awareness and by expanding it to include seeing more subtle things in our context, which may otherwise go unnoticed.
Inspired by our guest of honour Satish Kumar, we held and explored the following questions;
Soil: if our global economy mandates 3% annual growth, which is unsustainable, what systems will allow us to create alternatives that honor our inter-connection with nature?
Soul: if our unhappiness levels rise with social media addiction, and simply being around our devices makes us dumber, what practices will help us cultivate inner transformation?
Society: when 3 out of 4 of us believe in pro-social values, yet 3 out of 4 believe that others don't care, it points to a tragic problem in our collective narrative. What is the new story and how do we embrace it?
We enjoyed meditation and stillness together, shared insights, took to the streets of Camden to spread happiness and ended with pledges to be kinder to ourselves and the earth.
Insights from the retreat:
We are all earthlings and we are ultimately ‘one earth - one family’
Be like nature
Let’s make a conscious effort to deepen our relationship with nature and with each other in an unconditional way
What an amazing month!
With love and blessings,
The Museum of Happiness (with special thanks to our lovely volunteer Anya for editing)