"People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Abraham Lincoln

Well, it’s not quite that simple ~ but the intention to be happy is a fundamentally important starting point. This fall, Wendy Bratt and Ginny Sassaman -- two experienced, compassionate, knowledgeable, and fun facilitators -- invite you to bring your intention to be happier and join us for a six week study group designed to cultivate greater well being and contentment. And here's the cool thing: our group, while aspirational in nature, will also be solidly grounded, thanks to the exciting new science of happiness field.

We are pleased to once again team up and provide this opportunity to learn authentic happiness practices and create your own unique long term happiness plan. Using The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky as our guide, we will explore 14 areas proven to significantly enhance personal happiness:

Gratitude Optimism Avoiding over thinking Acts of kindness Nurturing relationships Coping strategies Forgiveness Increasing flow Savoring life Practicing religion and/or spirituality Meditation Physical activity Acting happy * Commitment to goals

No doubt, the conversations we have as a group in Burlington will be thought provoking, funny, inspiring, and transformational.

Ginny and Wendy will facilitate safe and meaningful happiness activities and discussions. You’ll leave each session with strategies you can try at home. At the end of this study group, you’ll have the knowledge to choose what strategies work best for you.

What You’ll Need: You’ll need your own copy of the book, The How of Happiness, along with an open heart and an open mind. We’ll let you know each week which chapters to read in advance of our gathering.

Study Group Leaders: Wendy Bratt is training in the communication practices of BePeace and Nonviolent Communication. She is a Spiritual Director, certified through the Claritas Institute for Interspiritual Inquiry. Wendy earned her Master’s degree at Boston College and taught people with visual impairment and blindness for 15 years. She owned and managed Twenty Acre Farm, an apple orchard in the Champlain Islands, for eight years. Wendy is certified in Wilderness First Aid and Reiki II. Recently, she has led Women’s Transformation retreats and consulted with Kimball Brook Farm Organic Creamery.

Prior to co-founding Gross National Happiness USA and creating the Happiness Paradigm, Ginny Sassaman earned a Masters in Mediation from Champlain College where she is a staff member in the mediation department. She has earned certificates in “The Philosophy and Psychology of Happiness” and “How Positive Psychology Changes Lives.” She has led happiness workshops in Seattle, Bar Harbor, Florida, North Carolina, and Central Vermont; and has delivered sermons to four Unitarian Universalist congregations on the moral imperative of happiness in light of climate change. Ginny also leads creativity and women’s retreats, and has a private mediation practice.

Contact: Ginny, 802-272-5628 or happinessparadigm@gmail.com; Wendy, 802-777-1057 or wbratt@gmavt.net