About Happiness Australia
Happiness Australia is founded by Susan Carew. Everyone has a happy place they go to, for her that has been positive philosophy, inner change and practice. As a jester she has experienced the joy of unlocking joy in others by tapping into the joy herself. The Jester is known for speaking the truth and being quizzical, the Fool is about life’s quest. This is to know we are on the Fool’s journey awakening to self discovery. When we discover what allows happiness then great things happen. We see extraordinary ideas generated, enthusiasm expand possibilities and then the courage to act on ideas and trail blazing new initiatives.
Happy people make things happen and their optimism is the light that others follow.
So, what makes you happy?
The tool kit for happiness really is discovered through attitude, seeing life as the cup half full, curiosity, taking risk and yes education and training in life. Happiness is a life skill that develops the more you allow happiness. It is a decision.
Happiness Australia is the happy place or heart of Worldpeacefull Empowerment.
Worldpeacefull develops inner peace, conflict resolution, anti-bullying, communications, pro-activism and e-books to share how we can develop peaceful behaviours.
Working in search of my happy place:
Worked in 400 companies. This experience showed me a wide range of workplaces and what I discovered was that the majority of people were not happy. It started me questioning the way we work. Is work about ‘work’ or should it be a ‘happy place’? My sister said once: “you don’t go to work for love” I wondered why?
Learning about my ‘Happy’ Place
Peace Studies (Graduate Diploma), La Trobe University
This study revealed how peace is critical for society and world peace. Peace is about learning to understand violence, the various practitioners in nonviolence, the types of nonviolence and exploring international relations and security. An important part of this course was learning about Mohatma Gandhi and how he formulated Satyagraha (holding onto truth) and Ahimsa (nonviolent love). Peace naturally explores conflict and human rights, ecological peace, nuclear flash points in the world and how to resolve conflict through alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is about meeting in the middle and learning from conflict in positive and respectful ways. t is critical for world peace.
Alternatives to Violence (AVP) trainer (community building)
This training was provided by Quakers who are known to be peacemakers and hve lead the world in community based techniques to empower communities in resolving conflict peacefully understanding tensions, projections, misconceptions, body language, listening, beliefs and narratives we all believe without question. The course facilitated questions, discussion, activities to build community and generate deeper self understanding and awareness of others. This then frees communities to experience the confidence that conflict transformation brings and recognise transformative power, this is true empowerment.
Trained in Economics and Marketing at Griffith University in Brisbane. What I learned from this experience is that economics arose to distribute goods and services to meet needs and wants to society more efficiently. The demand and supply of goods and services was determined by optimal price (equilibrium). The original purpose of economics was happiness.
Rotary Peace Fellow, Bangkok, Thailand:
Selected from a worldwide candidacy to study on the Rotary Peace and Conflict Studies at Chulalongkorn University. My reason for going on the program was to understand our nearest neighbours and deepen my understanding of peace in this region. I learned from world experts their approaches to conflict resolution, conflict mapping, nonviolent activism, counter-terrorism and peaceful philosophies and approaches to evoke peace. It was a comprehensive and inspiring course as it connected me with participants from across the world and catalysed an understanding within myself of positive transformation. The course was both practical and theoretical. We had the opportunity to travel to Northern Thailand to stakeholders engaged in the Salween dam dispute, visit activists traveling into the forests in Myanmar as teachers or doctors. We visited the killing fields and Tsleng Prison in Cambodia. We met with the United Nations, NGO’s in Cambodia dealing with complex social and political issues. We explored peace and conflict from a range of perspectives. This would be the happy/sad part of this work. As we cannot have one without the other. Therefore, when we learn the value of positivity, conflict transformation, education and the realities on the ground we can then work on solutions. We can consider ways to turn conflict around. We can indeed change how we treat others who share our world and learn to see anew. Gandhi’s words ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ expresses the difference all can make. So rather than condemning we create opportunities for people to learn to model and integrate positive change. This experience made conflict real and solutions possible.
Experiencing my Happy place
Travelling to Russia with Dr. Patch Adams
Some may recall the film ‘Patch Adams’. Patch inspired my journey as a peace clown/jester and a good human being. He coined the famous saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’. Myself and 40 clowns visited orphanages, nursing homes, hospitals to spread the joy of laughter, fun and positive community. This experience changed my life as I saw how our joy and fun changed the lives of thousands. This was a profound experience and opened my eyes to clowning as community building. The only focus is happiness. As a multinational team of clowns we learned how a small group can develop loving service with strangers. Patch called this the ‘love revolution’ (refer www.worldpeacefull.com). Imagine if our world societies chose to live to give (abundance) rather than take to have (psychological poverty) our societies would shift from a culture of fear to one of loving kindness. This I have directly experienced. There is no need for security as all unfolds as Patch says as ‘friendshipism’. Clowning taught me to open the heart and see all people as myself. I had the privilege of seeing beauty in every face. This in reality is the real world when we are unmasked. The power of the mask is the ability to unmask to see a world in colour not black and white.
Travelling the World as a World Peace Clown, smile by smile
This journey deepened my understanding of peace in myself and peace in the world as directly connected. I travelled to 20 countries to meet people of diverse cultures and languages. I gained profound insights into the shape and variety of those who share our world. I came to see that we are ‘same same but different’ and that is the very spice of life. I witnessed the capitalist system and globalisation moving into different traditions and how the people responded. I witnessed severe poverty, cultural diversity, environmental pressures and kindness in many of the people I met. I realised the world was indeed my family and that is the attitude to adopt when dealing with world citizens. We are the one family seeing life in a myriad of ways but at the same time we all laugh, cry, smile, love and dream. We have much more in common than is different.
Travelling Australia to teach peace education and conflict resolution, school by school
This experience was to explore my own country, to meet people from the country and the city and from diverse backgrounds. As a peace clown I visited rural children and had the very special opportunity to teach indigenous children conflict resolution. A fantastic educator from the Northern Territory Department of Education was my guide. I never forget the bright smiles and dressing kids up as clowns to see them having lots of fun. I met many children and that is my happiness as a peace clown, it is the true reward for what I do. There is no greater joy than bringing happiness to others. I learned that peace is an inside job and to bravely face what we fear and take a risk. I travelled alone and found a great sense of freedom and peace in following my own heart.
Travelling to India with Humanitarian Clowns with 15 crazy Ozzie clowns
The journey of travelling to Southern India (Tamil Nadu). There were so many shining faces and wonderful experiences, a few notabl3e ones were: visiting Mother Therese’s Missionaries of Charity abandoned women, visiting a school for deaf children, blind children, HIV aids kids, orphanages, freed bonded labourers who never smiled, remote tribal villages who had not seen clowns, travelling in tuk tuk’s enlivening the streets of Velore and watching faces turn from neutral to laughter in seconds. It was life changing. It filled me with REAL HOPES for the world.
Travelling to Nepal with Rotary to teach peace education to teachers and visit schools
On this journey we visited the remote villages of Ghara and Padwar (Western Nepal) and a wonderful celebration of welcome happened. The people were so kind and generous to us. I had the opportunity to clown on the streets and public transport of Kathmandu. I took a Rotarian with me and he was like a mistral, singing songs with a big grin. We connected with everyone as all are special. As a clown I use a feather duster lightly dusting, my love glasses to remind us to see with love, juggling life in the infinity pattern and blowing up balloons. The props become the excuse to love and laugh with strangers and the whole space transforms as people realise life is about fun. They have hard lives so it is a wonderful experience to bring a highlight to someones day where they can talk about it. This bit by bit brings peace into a troubled world. Who knows what the ripple of kindness and love does. Perhaps someone decides to stay on earth another day.
Teaching Peace 4 Happy Places
REAL HOPE Peace, Nonviolence and Anti-bullying program
As a World Peace Clown I had the wonderful opportunity to teach REAL HOPE in schools. This was a transformative program where as a peace clown I could model peace in a way where all are accepted unconditionally, where words are used to encourage and inspire and play is part of the curriculum. It rewires the brain to see in different ways which is the very competency that enables problem solving in conflict resolution. This program focused on nonviolence as an alternative to violence, peace as inner and outer work creating the inner environment to negate negative projection and through thought, word and action create an outer behaviour and attitude that creates the space for peace to be a natural outcome. This work is the most exciting work as it frees people to be who they are. REAL HOPE has come from a dream of peace and can bring harmony into workplaces, schools and in the community. This program is envisaged as a future curriculum, worldwide. The children have fantastic gifts, they just need to remember who they are.
Researching economic places
I worked as a Market research Analyst undertaking research for both companies and government. I worked as an Independent Researcher. I discovered the world of public opinion polling and focus group discussions. I learned from this profession that there was common sense in the public and that there were no average people. I respected all voices I heard and realised this was as close to democracy we could get. So I am in favour of working closely with the public to understand what they feel, their needs and concerns and what will inspire them to live happy lives. Ultimately to find their own happy place.
I had two questions when I finished my economics degree…
- How does economics measure human social emotional satisfaction?
- How does economics deal with infinite growth modelling and the fact that the planet has limits?
I now know that the happiness of economics is to focus on Gross National Happiness as the real indicators of abundance and the real wealth of a nation. This is IN THE PEOPLE not the products.
Many initiatives and approaches to happiness have been developed which empower our society to think and feel in another way. We can create the society we want when we start to question why we are not happy? The problem is that we tolerate the unhappiness as if there is no choice. Indeed there is always a choice. It is to make the steps towards changing the way we see in order to open up to a new path where happiness can occur even when life is difficult.
Patch Adams stated in Saint Petersburg that:
“Everyone is great…now get to work!!” He is right. It is a question of whether people believe that or not!
Do you believe in your own greatness?
I certainly do.
Happiness Australia is an outgrowth or flower of Worldpeacefull, as happiness empowers a peaceful world. This website is packed full of ideas and workshops that you can play with. Feel free to visit Worldpeacefull for peace education, media and books: www.worldpeacefull.com
If Worldpeacefull Empowerment in the workplace is your need, then workplace anti-bullying workshops (empowering nonviolent skills) and wellbeing workshops are available to stop workplace bullying and create harmonious cultures of wellbeing. We can stop bullying but we have to understand the underlying drivers of bullying and power.
We are all in this together and when we generate positive intentions towards the future our children will benefit. They are watching adults and if adults think the world is going to pack then they will believe that too and wonder ‘what is the point?’.
We are in the midst of great change, and it’s outcome will be positive with your participation. Why not join those of like mind to work together for a happy society full of opportunity and surprises. This is not to pretend happiness it is to actually discover the real peace and happiness within us waiting on our welcome.
In the words of Kahil Gibran:
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.”
And the most important truth:
Your Happy Destiny is Unavoidable