|Description of Book
In this highly entertaining and literate book, Shawn Christopher Shea takes us on a provocative journey into the world of practical philosophy, applied spirituality and everyday psychology. Calling upon more than twenty years of clinical experience, fifty years of navigating life's ups and downs, and an array of thinkers and pop icons - from Alan Watts to Albert Einstein, Billy Graham to Bob Dylan, the Dalai Lama to the English mystic Julian of Norwich - he weaves a gentle compassion and a tart wit into this compelling look at human nature and our never-ending quest for happiness.
Not content with traditional stereotypes of happiness, Shea is on a search for a tougher happiness that is present and revitalizing even during times of stress, loss, and pain. He begins with the intriguing twist that happiness is not so much a feeling as it is both an attitude and a feeling. He shows how to distinguish between success and happiness, emphasizing the importance of embracing life as a series of moments to savor as opposed to a series of goals to achieve.
For Shea happiness is determined within each moment by five interacting processes - our biologies, our perspectives, our relationships, our environments, and our spiritual quests. These five interacting, constantly shifting processes, give happiness its fluid nature; change one factor, and you change them all. This "matrix effect" explains why happiness is often elusive and fleeting. It need not be so.
Using the human matrix, Shea shows what it is that limits our ability to find happiness and what it is that allows us to transcend those very same limits. Shea demonstrates how an understanding of this human matrix can be used to forge a resilient and enduring attitude of trust and a resulting feeling of confidence and compassion - a combination we call happiness.