The Life Feast (introduction)

How do we stop merely subsisting on fictitious table scraps and instead start just drenching ourselves in all of life's wonder?

Let's Eat - Hafiz

Why

Just show you God's Menu?

Hell, we are all 
Starving––

Let's

Eat! 

Our appetite can be insatiable if we allow it to run wild.  Many of us suffer from the affliction of all-consuming consumption.  The bottomless pit that needs to be fed.  Wanting begets wanting.

What is enough?  
Is our life enough?  
Our income enough?
Our house enough?  
Are our kids' enough?
Our clothes enough?
Is our body enough?

Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest have brought coveting someone else's life to a whole new level. You've probably had the experience of looking at someone's feed and thinking, I want HER life. Her happiness.  Her kitchen. Her body. I am not happy FOR her.  I am now feeling like my life is not enough because of how picture perfect her life appears to be. This is the antithesis of happiness. 

How will we know when we reach enough? And even if I have enough greenbacks in my wallet, the catalogs will still roll in telling me I need more.  Will these shoes fill me up?  How about this skirt? Or that kitchen table? Or this self-help book?  In the post-holiday carnage that is known as January, many of us feel that consumption hangover on our credit card statements and in our stuffed closets. Materialism tries to be the cure all, but it's the catch-22.

Hedonic Treadmill

In psychology, this is the curse of the Hedonic Treadmill. The Hedonic Treadmill is a theory that despite positive or negative gains in our lives, we adapt to our "new normal" quickly and return to our original happiness levels. As researcher, Sonja Lyubomirsky, summarizes in The How of Happiness, Hedonic Adaptation is an adaptive quality especially when going through a negative event, but if we've got a new partner, a new job or a new car it's not exactly helpful for our happiness boost to be short-lived.

So, if you're thinking that your next new car, new home, new relationship, new job, new pair of shoes is going to be the "thing" that finally brings you massive amounts of happiness, only to find that this euphoric feeling was pretty short lived, you're probably trapped on the Hedonic Treadmill. 

If we choose to delight in the every day, we can find beauty in the ordinary. We can marvel at the curiosities of our strange human tendencies rather than spiral into resentment or annoyance of others. We can laugh at the absurdity of our beautiful and messy lives.  

We can slow down.  
We can stop.  
We can notice.  
and then we can get curious.

In Tibetan Buddhism, a Hungry Ghost is someone who is not fully alive, not capable of fully living and not able to appreciate what the moment has to offer.  They keep consuming because their bellies are bloated but never full.

Your cup runneth over.  You can't be thirsty when you're standing in the middle of a river.  Or hungry when you've pulled up a chair at life's buffet. Satiation is everywhere.  Just set an intention to really see it.

Life is cumulative. It's more than the sum of its parts, but it's also singular beauty in each individual second. All Lives are made up of thousands and thousands of moments. How much life any of us put into those moments is up to us.  

In this course, you will learn how to apply the concepts of positive psychology and photography to make those moments memorable, to take a hard pass on another Hedonic Treadmill turn and to boost your happiness for the long-haul. 

I invite you to take a page from Derek Walcott – Sit. Feast on your life. There's a whole buffet to enjoy. It might be flawed, but it's also fantastic.

Your Life's Feast

Love after Love

The time will come 
when, with elation 
you will greet yourself arriving 
at your own door, in your own mirror 
and each will smile at the other's welcome, 

and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you 

all your life, whom you ignored 
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 

the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life.  

Engagement: Crafting more flow experiences.

The Engaged Life (Seligman): Engagement is about flow: being one with the music, time stopping,

and the loss of self-consciousness during an absorbing activity, experiences which contribute

to the “engaged life.”