This is how many of the women who walk in our doors feel. They have not experienced happiness for years and picture it as something just outside of their grasp.
This is why we created our Pursuing Happiness group.
Our group is based on The Art of Happiness by the Dali Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D. The book teaches concepts of compassion, kindness and love. These are big world concepts that can apply to everyday life and its struggles. Our Pursuing Happiness group is like a book club, with women reading a chapter and openly discussing it each week. Topics are linked back to addiction and mental health issues making it relevant to their recovery process. An activity then connects the women to what is being discussed that week. For example, the idea of the comparing mind and the tendency for individuals to compare themselves to others or to themselves at other points of time. At this group, women compared themselves to pictures of other women in magazines and rated their life satisfaction off of those images. The women were able to make the connection and see how much their self-esteem, and self-worth are impacted by our conscious and unconscious tendency to compare themselves to others who are perceived as “more fortunate than us.” They were able to conclude that continuing to constantly compare would ultimately leave them unsatisfied with themelves, so many women in the group made a commitment to themselves to be more aware of this unhealthy habit/tendency and work towards being more mindful and content with their own unique qualities and blessings.
“I see women have a-ha moments.”
The book is something that really spoke to our Counselor, Hilary Hancock, who leads the group. In her words, “I love it so much because it opened my eyes to worldly concepts and helped me through difficult times.” She goes on to share, “I see women have a-ha moments and feel really connected to each other because the concepts are so deep.”
Hilary helps women see happiness is something they can truly have. Through the group, women can see how easy it can be to be happy. “It is exciting to see women feel inspired and hopeful. I love showing them that happiness lives inside of them.”
Starting the first Friday of the month, we will begin featuring a takeaway from Pursuing Happiness and sharing it on social media so you can follow along with what our women in recovery are talking about. We hope this will provide a great opportunity to reflect on your own happiness and how you can bring it out in others.