HOW THE 28 DAY HAPPY CHALLENGE BEGAN
I had just finished my busiest work year on record – 2014 ‘Year of the Horse’. A year that started with me deciding to birth more projects than a battery hen. So with that handicap I was not an odds on favorite in Year of the Horse. I started the year bolting out of the starting gates like I was riding high on a prize mare…a pace which could not be sustained over 365 days. I ended up finishing the year feeling like a novice jockey who’d been pulled behind the horse, trampled on by the rest of the pack and then retired early. Yes, it was time to review my work / life balance.
So I decided to watch the documentary, ‘Happy’ directed by Roko Belic. It’s a beautiful film which journeys around the globe to meet some of the happiest people on Earth with the aim of sharing the specific lifestyle choices that account for their happy disposition.
Happy Film: http://www.thehappymovie.com/
After watching the film I was brimming with inspiration and started making a list of all the things WE could do to create our happiest year yet! (Yes, I was roping my partner in.) I excitedly shared my list of FUN things to do with him, inviting him to join me in my mission to generate more JOY in our daily lives.
Then it occurred to me I could share the JOY with even more people via my community page on Facebook and create a happier world…(a devious ploy to keep me personally accountable). So I created an event on my community Facebook page, ‘The Moon Woman’ and within a week we had thousands of people around the world who also wanted to feel less stress and more of the good stuff.
We began on the lunar new year and each day people blew me away with their stories of how they had embraced the daily suggestion and reaped the benefits which they shared with those around them. People were still joining on the last day of the 28 day challenge and as we arrived at the end of our month together, no one wanted it to end. It was then people requested I put the info out as a book…so here it is!
HOW PARTNERING WITH ART2HEALING CAME ABOUT
A few years ago I was given a copy of ‘Half the Sky’ by Nobel prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. I didn’t read it until early in 2015 when Atira Tan, founder of the Art2Healing project asked me if I would come to Asia & train women to facilitate women’s rite of passage ceremonies and monthly Red Tent sharing circles. (As she had found ancient women’s wisdom and traditions had the most impact in restoring the psyche of women who had survived sex trafficking.) So I finally picked up the book and what I read made me cry for two days.
I grieved for them & because I felt powerless to help girls as young as eleven being sold into a life of sexual slavery. My daughter was the same age as these girls who every day were subjected to multiple rapes, life threatening sexually transmitted diseases and induced drug abuse.
I then spoke with Atira about how I could help and I felt lit up like a Christmas tree in gratitude to her for having set up a structure through which I could directly make a difference to these children & women.
In the months that have followed, despite our plan to travel to Nepal in September of 2015 being postponed due to two large scale earthquakes, I devoted myself to writing and launching this book and organizing an awareness raising speaking tour with Atira in the UK.
This was only possible due to the women who signed up for my course to learn how to facilitate Red Tent women’s gatherings to generate the support of community in 30 countries, some of whom have donated funds from their circles to Art2Healing and organized their fund-raising projects such as art exhibitions.