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This month I am joining CELESTIAL SEASONINGS in kicking off the New Year right with the TEALC WELLNESS CHALLENGE. I have committed to the personal challenges; "To Be Happy(er)" and to drink tea daily. I thank each one of you who has shared their personal challenge for 2013 in THIS POST. You have inspired me and encouraged me to keep growing.


In Photo: My late grandfather J.P. and I. He had a jovial spirit and always made time for family.

If you're needing a lift this weekend (or are holed up with The Great Flu of 2013 like we are), may I suggest setting aside an hour or so to watch the documentary Happy™? You may rent it here or watch it on Netflix. It is overflowing with positivity and proof that you can indeed up your happiness meter through intentional behaviors.

The film is based on the premise that:

  • 50% of our happiness is determined by our genes—that we have a genetic set point for happiness
  • 10% is determined by "things and stuff"—social status, job, wealth, etc.
  • And that the remaining 40% is up to us—through intentional behaviors

Addressing this remaining 40%, the film gives us several concrete ways to enrich our happiness quotient in ways that do not involve making more money, having more things, or working harder. Surprisingly (or not) they free and include:

  • Play
  • Physical Activity
  • Personal Involvement in Nature
  • Appreciation
  • Compassion and Service
  • Connecting

In my last post on the topic I challenged myself to live a more balanced life with plenty of outdoor play thrown in. This week I am pondering this thing of "Connecting"—enjoying positive relationships and a sense of community.

Here the director of the film, Roko Belic, talks about the observations he made of the beautiful—and happy—people of Okinawa and how "connecting" is such a huge part of their culture.

I don't know about you, but this connecting with friends, family and community and the resulting happiness makes sense to me. So this year I want to put more effort into "connecting." Here are some little ways I plan to do that.

Connecting with My Husband

  • I will be diligent about taking at least 10 minutes out of my day to sit down with my husband and give him my undivided attention for "Talk Time"—simply sitting on the couch together and talking about our day or what we've been thinking.

Connecting with My Kids

  • I will have Talk Time with my kids, too. For at least 10 minutes a day we will chat, cuddle, play a board game—just be together and I will be 100% present. 

Connecting with Friends & Family

  • Once a week, instead of "connecting" digitally, I will call or write a letter to a friend.
  • I will host more dinners for friends and family and enjoy conversation and connecting.

Connecting with My Community

  • You, my readers are a HUGE part of my community. I am not sure you realize how loved and treasured you are. Some of you have helped me in ways you will never know. And so I will continue to blog, and help friend and stranger alike, as I can.
  • I will be active in my kids' school.

Do you ever feel the need to be more "connected?" How do you go about it?


Celestial Seasoning invites you to visit their FACEBOOK PAGE to enter to win one of 31 fabulous gift baskets (through the end of January 2013). During "Talk Time" my husband and I have been enjoying SLEEPYTIME EXTRA WELLNESS TEA. This relaxing herbal tea starts with the time-honored blend of chamomile, spearmint and other soothing herbs found in Sleepytime herbal tea. Valerian, trusted as a natural sleep aid since the days of the Greeks and Romans because of its mild sedative properties, has been added—the result is a tea with the trusted calming effect and great taste of Sleepytime, plus just a little “extra” to help you rest.

Reader Comments (8)

I love the post! And the picture is really cool. I am so happy you have developed this blog community for all of us to have. XXOO

January 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPoha

These are great goals. I drive to and from work with my husband so we have about an hour and a half each day to talk. With my 22 year old son, I have to wait until he wants to talk with me and that works out the best with us, then he is engaged and not trying to get away. LOL. I love spending time with the rest of the family but not for too long. We have a tendency to push each other's buttons and I often leave their presence feeling worse than when I arrived. But we still get together at least once a fortnight.

January 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne Perazzini

Thank you Poha! xo

January 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterLexie

I'm so with you on connecting more. I've been doing the talk to friend on the phone each week as a new thing this year - will have to call you soon!

January 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa

Suzanne, what a great thing to commute with your spouse. Car talk has been some of the best times for us. And I also totally get family thing. When I was writing this post, I really paid attention to the "positive" in positive relationships. Those are the ones I want to pay particular attention to. And not all relationships in life are positive. Thanks for taking a moment to share : ) xoLexie

January 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterLexie

I just finished watching Happy! and loved it! Great suggestion.

I feel connected by volunteering. I find it helps me stop focusing on myself and refocus on others. Plus, it's a nice way of being part of your community, learning about things you might not otherwise be exposed to, and make new friends.

Take care and I hope you're family is well soon!

January 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDevra

We watched Happy last night! What a great suggestion. We're from the San Francisco Bay Area and we almost fell out off the coach when we saw Michael Pritchard at our friend's middle school! We LOVE Michael Pritchard, we used to hit all the local comedy clubs just to see him.

That was sooooo much fun to watch and it was a great reminder of the meaning of life. Hope you had a great weekend. too.

January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGratefulfoodie

Devra ... I am SO glad you liked it. When I make recommendations like this one I rarely hear back on what people thought. Thanks so much for sharing and your awesome advice and hopes for this year.


January 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterLexie

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