Bringing Sustainable Happiness to Life
By Elin Kelsey • March 12, 2013
Yesterday, Maria Popova at Brain Pickings reviewed my latest book, You are Stardust http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/03/08/you-are-stardust-kelsey-kim/. Her comments got me thinking about how much I’d learned about “enough” by embracing the editorial edict: ‘less is more’.
The science behind the examples in the book are so rich, my first draft was filled with lots of explanatory text. But when I shared it with kids in classes, and with my writing group (a small group of wonderful children’s book authors), I realized that they were emotionally engaged by phrases, such as “Your breath is alive with the promise of flowers” and that the longer text explaining why this is so, was working against the feeling of connection.
In a way, I wonder if my decision to go with the essence of the feeling rather than making the science overt is a manifestation of working through the question of “What is enough?” in other parts of my life. In a world of consumerism, we learn that more is better. Yet we know that is not environmentally sustainable. And, happiness research shows what we know in our hearts to be true – that it’s good relationships, meaningful work or contributions, time spent in nature with the people we love, that creates lasting joy. It turns out that in books, as in life: less stuff, more meaning.