Since our Hobart launch of Finding Happy Ground: A practical guide to hope and happiness on the 5th of May, quite a few people have asked me how I felt at the event, how I  think it went, and what’s next for Happy Ground Wellbeing. So after just getting back from a terrific holiday, I thought I’d share a bit about the book launch and what’s coming up for the rest of the year.

I guess the first thing to say is, this was my first ever book launch. And with that came a bit of uncertainty. Sure, we have been putting on events for about six years now, ranging from wellbeing programs to Christmas parties. But this was a little different, as in my book I share a lot of myself, in the hope that it will also help others. So as you can imagine, I was a little unsure what to expect, and what I’d learn about myself and others during the process.

The good news is that the event went really well. We didn’t count the number of people who came, but the Founders Room at Salamanca Arts Centre was pretty full, and the room had a lovely feel to it by the time we got started. My presentation provided a brief outline of my own journey, which included the death of both of my parents by the time I was 35, periods of deep depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and my diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2010. But central to my talk was not the tough times, but my recovery and the approach I have taken to become well and help others through Happy Ground Wellbeing. This included an exercise to help those present understand about our spiritual heart, which is the centre of lovely feelings like peace, love and joy. We also discussed the importance of our thinking, which included an exercise about gratitude which can be very powerful in shifting the way we look at the world. I also outlined the central role our relationships play and how we can improve them, as well as a range of lifestyle choices that can have a big impact on how we feel.

Following my presentation, Julia Westland from Flourish Tasmania had some lovely words to say about the book, and in particular, her love of the section of the book which deals with the heart. Exercises for the heart have improved her wellbeing immensely, as she stated in the introduction to the heart chapter, when she says:

‘Some days I wake up and I think ‘not again, not another day’. But on some of those days I then decide to relax, touch my heart and smile, and often after I have finished my practice there’s a complete shift, because I think ‘what’s next, what can I do today?’’

Julia’s experience is a wonderful illustration of why I am now so passionate about teaching people about the important role our hearts play in helping us to flourish.

In terms of the rest of the launch, we finished with lots of book sales and signings, and a few drinks and some food to celebrate. It was for me, a wonderful event. And what made it all the better were the stories people shared about their struggles, their successes, and their hopes for the future.

In terms of what’s next for Happy Ground Wellbeing, we will continue to promote the book as widely as we can, will continue to run our wellbeing programs with businesses around Tasmania, and are intending to run our new corporate and community wellbeing course ‘Happy Heart Peaceful Mind’ later in the year. This program is our latest program which was run twice in 2018 with fantastic results. If you want to take a peek at what this course is about and its results, click here.

If you haven’t already purchased a copy, you may like to know that Finding Happy Ground is now available as a paperback and as an e-book. The e-book is currently on sale from Booktopia for just $5.25, and also Barnes and Noble.

I hope you are well,