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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

The Science of Happiness is an Inside Job Make positive changes in 2021 with Lulu Carter

Apr 30, 2021 04:49PM ● By Linda Sechrist

Everyone needs healthy coping skills to deal with the uncomfortable emotions that accompany anxiety, depression and anger. The dire need for a tool kit of healthy coping strategies to help individuals and families navigate tough times became starkly clear throughout the COVID 19 pandemic. Intimately acquainted with the uncomfortable emotions, Maria Luisa “Lulu” Carter, founder of the nonprofit Bee Gaia, in Naples, knew how to apply and teach others the positive psychology and useful coping skills that she acquired via careers in positive psychology and psychodrama as well as those she learned from her association with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, co-founder of the Happiness Studies Academy and author of Happier, No Matter What: Cultivating Hope, Resilience, and Purpose in Hard Times . “Consulting with others that were also struggling without income and equally traumatized by the global lockdown of the hospitality industry was the one thing I could do throughout the pandemic,” says the Chief Happiness Officer, entrepreneur, author and holistic educator. 

Carter is grateful for her relationship with the pioneering positive psychologist, whom she holds in high esteem. Endearingly referring to him as the “Science of Happiness expert”, she notes that she was a student at his academy during his first year of educational training. “His popular and well-attended classes at Harvard University were equally a phenomenal success, which is why I’m proud that he and his business partner at the Happiness Studies Academy asked me to develop international Happiness Beyond Borders retreats. The one I planned at the Naples Beach Club in 2020 was cancelled because of the pandemic,” she advises.

Acknowledging that humanity is going through difficult times, Carter offers a ray of hope. “From the Science of Happiness and its deep exploration into the questions, ‘What are we doing here?’ and, ‘What is the purpose of being alive?’, we learn that everyone’s birthright is to be happy. I’m not talking ‘Ha! Ha! Happy’, rather I’m talking about the happiness that comes as a natural result of a life of contentment and purpose. Despite any outer circumstances and chaos, when doing personal work and allowing ourselves to grow emotionally and spiritually we learn how to love ourselves and develop self-esteem, in addition to defining and embracing our strengths, as well as how to perform what we determine for us to be regular self-care. “Through this process, which is so important right now, we grow to feel worthy, strong, spontaneous and authentic,” notes Carter.

Happiness is about an individual’s neural biology. The brain is not wired to be happy rather it largely operates in survival mode. This is why Carter is adamant that the Science of Happiness is so important. Learning to use the coping skills she teaches in the workshop’s five elements—spiritual, physical, intellectual, relational, emotional and wellbeing—can help to bring balance, even amidst instability. 

“I help people to balance these five elements via the workshops and in individual coaching sessions. Everything is curated to an individual’s needs. As a generally happy, well-adjusted human being, even I would be depressed if I didn’t have these tools. I’m very empathetic and the chaos in the world and the divisiveness in our local communities would be making me very sad and depressed. I think that throughout this pandemic, a large percentage of us have learned that the answers to our state of mind are not outside us nor are there any quick fixes in unhealthy coping skills. The Science of Happiness proves this and helps us to make positive changes,” advises Carter.

To learn more or reserve one free online session, call 239-290-7008 or visit