Genuine well being for ourselves and the planet



One of my many roles — one of the most important — is grandmother. We need to invest in the future!

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) and a full time watercolor artist.

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 this hopeful path forward to a sustainable future.  Since January 2017, I have served as President of GNHUSA.  You can support that work right now by signing the Charter for Happiness!

In 2011, I created the Happiness Paradigm Store and Experience.  In 2014, at the fourth national conference on happiness, it was my honor to deliver the opening keynote speech on why personal happiness is a critical component of building a national GNH movement.

For eight years, I was a mediation coach in the Champlain College Master’s in Mediation program.  I lead meditation classes at The Health Center in Plainfield, Vermont; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont; and the Montpelier Senior Activities Center.  I also lead four lively, informative and inspiriting happiness workshops — workshops that have taken place in New Jersey, North Carolina, Maine, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin, and Vermont to date.  I am happy to travel to lead these important learning sessions!

I also have a private practice as a happiness coach, conflict coach, and as a professional mediator.  My positive psychology training provides a solid foundation for my optimistic approach in helping others thrive and/or move through difficult circumstances.

Additionally, I am so pleased to sermons on happiness from time-to-time, primarily in Unitarian Universalist churches.  These sermons, for which I also happy to travel, explore the connection between spirituality and personal happiness with the urgent need for broad economic systems change; why cultivating individual happiness is so important for personal thriving AND for being a better citizen and friend; how to nurture more positive relationships; and the key role of optimism and strengths in moral movement work.

In 2010, with partner Anne Connor, I launched the first Soul Creativity Retreat.  That has morphed over time into the Joyful Creativity Retreats, which I run with my sister-in-law Susan Sassaman, a Kripalu-certified “Dance Your Yoga” instructor.

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 this blog, through the workshops and sermons, through my activism with GNHUSA, through coaching — and whatever other creative means come my way!

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

To contact me, email: 


Comments on: "About" (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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