Elements of Courageous Happiness

Positive Psychology and the Science of Happiness

There is a growing body of research in the field of positive psychology that shows how we can increase positive emotions, optimism and resilience, and consciously bring greater happiness and joy into our life. Some of the ways we can do this involve using our inherent strengths, practicing gratitude, savoring, and enhancing relationships through constructive responding. These practices can lead to improved physical and emotional health, greater productivity and creativity, inner peace and increased commitment to spirituality and a greater overall sense of well-being.

Creativity and Expressive Arts

When you claim your creativity, imagination, and playfulness, you tap into your authentic inner voice and are more able to express the fullness of your nature. You honor your wholeness through a variety of expressive modalities, including visual arts, working with natural materials, poetry and journaling, autobiographical storytelling, movement and body wisdom. You have the opportunity to create sacred objects as an anchor and container for your explorations, such as collage, mandalas, spirit totems, masks, prayer vessels and wisdom wands. This is a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental way to explore your unique creative form of self-expression, with the focus on process rather than product.


Mindfulness and presence are the fundamental elements of the Courageous Happiness process. Mindfulness provides the experience of being in the moment, appreciating the preciousness of life in the here and now. When we are more fully in the present, rather than focusing so much on the past or what will happen in the future, we experience a sense of peace and inner calm. When we breathe into the moment we become more aware of what is going on in our body, mind, heart and spirit. From this place we gain insight and wisdom about our intentions, visions and dreams.


We embrace the power of nature and the earth as a resource for connecting to our inner landscape. We spend time being in nature, through walking meditation and wisdom walks in the labyrinth and other places. We use it as a resource for creative expression, inspiration, nourishment and wisdom.


Ritual is a conscious act that supports and acknowledges a change. It can mark a life passage, the crossing of a threshold into a new phase of life, or a celebration. We learn to create daily rituals that honor and support changes we want to make. Ritual has the power to help us release, create intentions, manifest, and heal. It can be for self, others and the earth. In community it has a profound effect on all those involved. In Courageous Happiness, ritual is embellished through expressive modalities and may be anchored by the creation of a sacred object. In women’s circles and retreats, group ritual is a powerful co-creative experience.

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