Genuine well being for ourselves and the planet

About Ginny Sassaman


Greetings, readers.  Let me share a few highlights of who I am, and what the Happiness Paradigm is all about.

I have a Masters Degree in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies from the Woodbury Institute at Champlain College in Burlington, VT, and a Certificate in Positive Psychology from Tal Ben-Shahar and the Wholebeing Institute.  I have been the communications director for national non-profits (Common Cause and the Women’s Legal Defense Fund), a full time watercolor artist, a working mediator — and now, a lay preacher.

In 2009, I joined with others in central Vermont to co-found Gross National Happiness USA, the first grassroots organization in the United States focused on building a movement for a thriving and sustainable future based on a holistic framework of defining individual and collective success.  I served as President for a year and now serve on the GNHUSA advisory board. I am also on the advisory board of the Happiness Alliance, a Seattle-based group which collects and analyzes happiness data.

One of the reasons I stepped down from the GNHUSA board was to finish my book, Preaching Happiness: Creating a Just and Joyful World. That book will be published in July 2020; you can order a copy here. The book is a collection of secular sermons I have delivered in Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships from 2013 through 2019. Each sermon explores the connection between spirituality, personal happiness, and with the urgent need for broad economic systems change. I have delivered these sermons at churches in Vermont, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and South Carolina.

I have also given speeches and presentations on individual and collective well-being in Seattle; Portland, OR; Santa Fe, NM; Burlington, VT; Charlotte, NC; New York City; and in Costa Rica.

I lead meditation classes and lively, informative and inspiriting happiness workshops. I’ve even led a series of Creativity Retreats at the Beach.  Always, it’s about cultivating greater happiness and well-being!

In 2011, I created the Happiness Paradigm Store and Experience.  This was a bit of an experiment, trying out new ways of reaching all kinds of people with the important message that we can forge new pathways forward in the face of almost incomprehensible world challenges.  Given the urgency of climate change, income inequality, and peak oil, I believe one answer lies in shifting our ideas of success toward genuine well being for people and the planet — moving away from the concept that money and stuff are the benchmarks for happiness.  Meeting this goal would create the conditions that allow us all to be a great deal happier while simultaneously investing in a much healthier planet for future generations.

The store is closed, but the Happiness Paradigm lives on — through sermons, my book this blog, through workshops and speeches, activism with GNHUSA, — and whatever other creative means come my way!

T is a journey we all need to be sharing, so please contact me with any ideas or questions. Email: 

Comments on: "About Ginny Sassaman" (1)

  1. Mary Hood Alexander said:

    Sounds interesting. I’m probably going to sign up tomorrow at the Montpelier Senior Center. More details would be helpful also.

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