Happiness 2.0: Digging Deep in 2014

Those of you who've read this blog for a while know that throughout 2013 I embarked on The Happiness Project. I was poolside in Hawai'i in November 2012, reading

Gretchen Rubin's book

, and some combination of twelve short chapters and the aloha spirit inspired me to host a monthly brunch slash book club. We gathered. We ate. We cried. We talked. We set goals. We succeeded and failed. We supported each other. We decided Gretchen was lame. I don't want to spread negative juju on this site, but it will suffice to say that we find her text self-absorbed, ethnocentric, lacking in research, and soulless. A missed opportunity, in sum. That might actually be a whole lot of negative juju, but we won't dwell. The point is we used it as a springboard. We made it to the end of the year and knew this group needed to continue.

Enter 2014. Happiness, version 2.0. The Advanced Placement class. Digging deep. However you cut it, we've long ago graduated from Gretchen and shit's gettin' real in here.

Below is the list of texts we're tackling this year. If you would like to read along, please do. I will post on this site throughout the year, sharing ah-ha moments and inspiration from our monthly discussions. If you're reading with us, jump into the comment section. I'd love to hear from you.

Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map

kicks off the year because it will change our entire relationship to goal setting. Foundation: Determine how you want to feel, then start saying "yes" and "no" accordingly. Start setting intentions or goals with that feeling in mind. The journey needs to feel the way you want the destination to feel...and feeling good is the primary intention. Bam. Take that, new year's resolutions.

Once we're clear on our core desires, we'll work on breaking down old patterns of thoughts and agreements that hold us back from completely living those desires and becoming pure awesomeness. When I first read 

Don Miguel Ruiz's Four Agreements

 eight years ago, it took me all of one sitting and it changed my entire life. These new agreements are so completely fundamental to my worldview at this point, I almost take the revolutionary wisdom for granted. I revisit the book often and cannot wait to do it with this crowd.

Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages

is an important tool for self-discovery, but also a powerful insight into our friends, family, lovers, bosses. Our core desired feelings are now governing our decisions, the four agreements are shaping a healthy experience of ourself and others, so let's move on to loving each other, shall we? Let's love each other well, and in the way we want to be loved. All of that. Yes.

Halftime. Gut check. Regroup, reflect, recommit. Go deeper.

Brene Brown's Daring Greatly

is about embracing vulnerability as a courageous act. {gulp} Vulnerability. {ugh} Not my thing. These middle months are going to kick my ass. I'm up for it, but for the record, my palms are already sweating. If we're going to truly absorb all we've learned to this point in the year, and if we're going to truly own it as the new normal for our lives (when it's not the norm for the world around us), it's going to take vulnerability and a whole heap of courage.

I've written about

Jen Sincero's You are a Badass

before. I read it last year, or to be more accurate, I devoured it. It's so crazy good. Show up. Own it. Take up space in the world. Change your frequency. Dump the chump. Make it happen. Get over yourself and do it already. Yes, this is the perfect way to wind down the year and wind up our lives.

Kim Dinan

is my spirit animal. She was in her early 30s, working as an LCSW in Portland, when she and her husband Brian decided to save their pennies, quit their jobs, and travel the world (i.e. my dream). I haven't written yet about

Kim Dinan's Life on Fire

, but I will soon. I read it in three spinning sessions at the gym and knew instantly it would be huge for me; hence, closing this awesome year with everyone experiencing it. It's part text, part workbook. After all this introspection and soul searching, we'll end 2014 with a plan, man. A plan for a life on fire.

There you have it. Let's rock it out. 2014 is the year, folks. Join us...

...consider this your virtual invitation into my home and into these conversations.

Love and pure awesomeness,


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