Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of
happiness or have gone stark raving mad.
Happiness Australia has been established given our world is not happy. The purpose of this work is not to say you have to be happy, papering over what is causing real discord and unhappiness but to start a conversation to inspire change through example and to guide others to facing life rather than soothing or avoiding it. It is evident there is rising levels of anxiety, depression, suicidal idealisation, insecurity (homelessness) that catalyses a wide range of mental health challenges.
In Australia approximately 1 in 5 people suffer some form of mental health issue. All mental health issue from resistance (fear) on some level which has a adverse impact on health and wellbeing. The work of real happiness is to show people how to gradually release from resistance by questioning their thoughts to access the natural joy inherent within.
Joy is always there but mostly we are not feeling it as we do what ‘we have to do’ to survive. This work is about thriving not surviving no matter external circumstances. We can indeed bounce back, as a clown I can recommend that, particularly in a Jumping Castle. (ha ha)
Kahil Gibran says it best: “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be?
I am a former economist and market analyst clown. Over many years I have been exploring the fundamentals of unhappiness investigating: powerlessness, apathy, misery, bullying, psychological abuse, detachment, tiredness, isolation, shallowness, selfishness, absenteeism and the social emotional numbing we witness every day.
Did you breath whilst you read that?
Have you witnessed how people shutdown from each other? They are experiencing the world as overwhelming and their lives overshadowed by responsibilities, rising costs, relationship breakdown, uncertainty and social isolation. These are the visible signs of disempowerment which shutsdown our humanity and render us feeling powerless.
All violence and victimisation have roots in powerlessness. The work of true happiness is to address unhappiness and work on ways to rewire the brain to develop more neural networks from repeated experiences of happiness, joy, compassion, felt perception, authenticity, truthfulness, empathy, fun, expression and loving kindness.
As a clown in Russia with Dr. Patch Adams I witnessed and experienced the impact of love as fun and saw transformations in very dark, unhappy places because someone cared enough to go and visit and remind them of their inner beauty. As a World Peace Clown (and peace ambassador) I travelled the world connecting with people on the streets of 20 countries and making visible my humanity which was reflected in every face. This experience helps you to see yourself as One with all the world and that the troubles and fears we hold evaporate when we connect positively with others and shine our light heartedness.
When we stop feeding our minds with negativity and choose a healthy diet of positive, empowered inputs you will marvel at the change within. My work is here to inspire this change. Hence, ‘to be the change you wish to see in the world’ (Gandhi). This Cherokee story sums up the truth of this:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”