“I’m not happy”…how many times do we hear this from everyone we work with, from our friends, from our children. If only this or that would happen I would or could be happy.
We forget so often that happiness is a matter of choice. Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher said,”Happiness is an achievement rather then a gift…an achievement that requires effort both inward and outward.” It’s the decision to intentionally choose a frame of mind and behaviors that will lead you to that happiness. Marimeta wants to foster positive sentiments, such as compassion, peace of mind and especially gratitude. We want and need to take the time to work on our happiness.
Camp Marimeta develops the skills that are needed to lead a happy life. There are few better remedies to unhappiness than close friendships, which we cultivate daily. We place likeminded campers together that work on being nice to each other and respect each others’ differences. We want our campers to be their true self and choose friends they are proud to know and people they admire. We don’t want the girls to compare themselves to anyone else. Our campers know that they should never stop trying to be the very best version of themselves. We ask them to give it their all in whatever they are doing.
We ask our campers to be grateful for the wonderful opportunities they have in their life. Our activitiy days are now called G-day (gratitude) and K-day (kindness). We encourage them to take a moment and reflect on who has gone out of their way to do something kind for them and what they may have done for someone in need. Choose to help others when you’re able. See the following link for a wonderful experiment about this. http://sfglobe.com/?id=1820&src=appfb_1820. When you make a positve impact in someones’ life , you also make a positve impact in your own life. Our bead necklaces are also a way to acknowledge gratitude. Campers and counselors alike are able to give gratitude beads to people whom have helped them in someway to feel empowered, encouraged them to conquer a fear, give them a voice, lend a helping hand or just for giving a much needed smile.
We have all heard of the person whose smile brightens the whole room. A smile may seem simple but that too is a choice. A real smile makes you and everyone around you feel better. The simple act of smiling pumps endorphins through your body which actually makes you happier. So we ask campers to smile and say good morning to each other on the way to the dining room.
Spend time outdoors. Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc, says spending at least 20 minutes outside on a nice day not only boosts positive mood, but broadens thinking & improves working memory . A study at the University of Sussex found participants were substantially happier outdoors in a natural environment. With schools cutting back on outdoor activities and our society struggling to let our children run around the neighborhood, camp is invaluable for our futures well being. Happiness is found in the flow…a state in which your mind becomes absorbed in a meaningful task that challenges our ability.
Our campers at Marimeta learn to be more forgiving. We foster forgivness of self and others. We all make mistakes and work hard at not building a case against any one particular person. Girls and drama seem to go together so we work on not getting involved with drama that doesn’t effect us. We start by being honest with ourselves and everyone else, this makes life less complicated. Everyday is a new beginning so we let go of the past and create our own happiness today.
The choice is yours. I choose happiness. Will you join me?
May your week be full of fun, sunshine and most of all laughter.