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Behavioural Studies, Faith, Gratitude, Holistic Health, Inspiration, Love, Mind, Purpose, Uncategorized

On a scale of one to balloon, how happy are you?

 Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon – Winnie the Pooh

For Christmas my ma, sis and I gave each other subscriptions to our favourite magazines. This way we would be spoilt every month for an entire year. Catching up on the latest fashion, stories from around the world, health and exercise news, make-up tips and generally indulging in all things girly. I received a subscription to Marie-Claire South Africa and I LOVE it. In the March 2012 issue I read an article called Bhutan: Gross National Happiness: An artist measures Himalayan inhabitants wellbeing and it struck a chord with me. I have an obsession with balloons (all my girlfriends know exactly how I want to be proposed to one day – hint hint nudge nudge it involves hundreds of these bright and colourful plastic inflatable smiles).

The idea behind the project is simple. Instead of using the usual measurement of  “Gross National Product” to measure socio-economic prosperity Bhutan uses “Gross National Happiness” – organizing its national agenda around the basic tenets of Buddhism. The artist Jonathan Harris spent two weeks in Bhutan, interviewing people about different aspects of happiness. They were asked to rate their ‘level of happiness’ between 1 and 10 and would then inflate that number of balloons. A very happy person would be given 10 balloons and a sad person only one.

He also asked each person to make a wish and then wrote that wish on a balloon of their favorite color.

In a beautiful final presentation of Jonathan’s project, all 117 wish balloons were re-inflated and strung up at a sacred mountain pass called Dochula swaying in the winds amidst thousands of strands of prayer flags.

Where would you rank yourself on the “happiness scale”? How many balloons would you choose to hold? What is the one wish that you would write down?

Jonathan Harris’s work can be viewed on his website: www.number27.org

Click on images to view larger versions.


7 thoughts on “On a scale of one to balloon, how happy are you?

  1. I wish you many balloons! It is so true – GNHappiness is a marker that is missing in North American society – yet so very important. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by Anita Mac | April 26, 2012, 7:46 PM
    • Thank you so much for your comment! I am so sorry for delayed reply, for some reasons my comments were being marked as spam but think I have sorted that out now 🙂 very new to this blogging thing!
      Love your blog too and reading about your cycling bucketlist adventures!
      I wish you many balloons too.

      Posted by femmegypsy | May 10, 2012, 7:34 PM
  2. Tam Ta Tam Tam! This is still one of my most fouritest blogs of yours! You have been so insightfull throughout your blogs and each one seems so linked to the next! Your writing is fantastic and I cannot wait to be rejuvinated, inspired and moved by your blogs to come!

    Lots of Loves and hugs.
    The other Tam ; )

    Posted by RichRayson | May 2, 2012, 8:40 AM
    • Tammy! THANK YOU 🙂 I love your comment!!! I am loving sharing all my views and thoughts and ideas and appreciate the comments and views and everything a lot.

      Cannot wait to be stylishly motivated by yours and your DIY tips to come

      Much love


      Posted by femmegypsy | May 10, 2012, 7:37 PM
  3. Such a special idea! Those balloon photos made me very happy and sad at the same time! Makes you count your blessings… and your balloons 😉

    Posted by mishanel | May 19, 2012, 8:15 PM
  4. When you start thinking you have trouble just think of your many balloons…………..

    Posted by Elvira Nel | June 26, 2012, 7:26 PM


  1. Pingback: On a scale of one to balloon, how happy are you? - November 14, 2012

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