The Happy Heart School

Living lifelong human care, development, education, learning and service for all.

The Neuroscience of Happiness & Wellbeing

I think we are conditioned to expect certainty in a largely uncertain world and that is why it is important to remember that whilst our cognitive processes tend to absolutes, it is the relational that most “defines” our inner mental states. The hardest struggle for me in this journey is to face and embrace my fears, anguish and inner/emotional pain, for which there are no words, only a deep searing pain that is undeniable and that no one can take away, until I learnt to make sense of it myself.

Until a new perspective can be framed from my own inner mental worlds and languages. Until there is a stable psychological integration that is satisfactory to me. Until I learnt to speak this and be courageous to stand on this inner ground of freedom, which I have come to understand as compassion/love/grace.

I searched for so many certainties but in the end, it is in the learning that helped transformed my own inner ability to first cope, then stay calm, then gain inner strength, then conviction, and then finally, joy – in order to reflect, reframe, re-design.

It is the re-visioning, the re-wording, the re-languaging, the non-denial that I think finally booted me from my inner space of deep fear, doubt, anxiety about my own inner ability to be a mom.

Many people have asked me how I learn so ferociously. There is no academia on this list. In all honesty, I was doing it to save my own life.

This is my list of “desert island book(s)” but it can be another, to another. It is an amazingly rich and diverse world of multiplicity of languages and cultures. Go discover, go weave, and go sing your song.

Never let the inquiries loop for too long, nor stagnate in easy, convenient answers. If you don’t seek it, you won’t be able to cognise it. Because it will be through your own life discoveries that the learning and cognition will be authentically yours – to internalise, keep, hold, become, be.

If you ask me where does one start, I would say, I don’t know. Start today. Start in the heart. Start in the core of your self. Start anywhere. It all leads to the same place which is you. Always beautiful, always unique, always amazing, ever loving.

Hope was my beacon, and learning the daring to love the open unknown is where I finally dared to drop anchor. And then to remove it as well. To continue sailing the amazing seas of life.

1. CCARE – Stanford

2. Rick Hanson – Buddha’s Brain

3. Self Compassion – Kristin Neff
4. Wholehearted Living – Brene Brown
5. The Neuroscience of Compassion – Tania Singer
7. Richard Davidson – Center for Healthy Minds
8. Richard Layard – Centre For Economic Performance
9. Antonio Damasio – Brain & Creativity Institute
10. The Art of Happiness – Howard Cutler
11. MindUp – Hawn Foundation
12. Positive Psychology – Martin Seligman – U Penn
13. GLADO – Ellen Langer
14. GNH Centre, Bhutan – Saamdu Chetri
15. The Spiritual Child – Lisa Miller
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