There's a Path to Happiness - It's called the ARC

Have you ever heard of the ARC of happiness by Jonathon Fields?

It’s a simple theory that suggests having experiences to look forward is a major factor in our happiness. Here’s why:

A is for Anticipation.
We receive so much joy out of anticipating something we’re excited about. We talk about it, get giddy, do a countdown - it gives us a burst of happy energy.

R is for Relish.
Once it’s here, we truly relish in the experience. That vacation, the best concert ever, peace and quiet, we earned it and it’s beautiful and everything is right in the world.

C is for Contemplate.
When you return from an experience you’ve been looking forward to, you look back and smile, laugh, think about it. It’s like it became a photographic part of you with your special people, it was that good.

That’s why I plan parties, and even better - now family retreat vacations. I love the planning, the details, the anticipation. Being there is my favorite. No work, usually a glass of wine is involved, no phone scrolling, just genuine connection and experiencing something you’ve never done before. Relishing in the laughs, the music, the warm sun.

Then, driving home with that, God, that was awesome feeling. Thinking of it days, weeks, months later as something that felt pure and right. The “I need to do that more” contemplation.

That’s why I do this because Anticipating, Relishing and Contemplating experiences has brought great joy to my life. And I do this for us Parents because we forget to do anything for ourselves.

If you’re already booked for our retreat this May, you may have already experienced the first letter of the ARC, Anticipation. Daydreaming about watching live music, drink in hand, while the kids run and play. Smelling that nostalgic smell of s’mores and the warm feeling it creates when you’re sitting around a fire with great people. Imagining sitting at a wine tasting room while the kids are off playing outside. The anticipation of it has me totally giddy with excitement.


Picture yourself in these rocking chairs reading a book. This is the Hartley House, outside of this house is where all the meals and fun will take place. This two bedroom private house with plenty of space for the kids is still available.

Always daydreaming,



Karen Cook is a mom of two young girls living with her husband and family in LA. Founder and Chief Experience Officer of The Wyldflower Collective - a parent focused community providing joy-filled events and retreats with on-site supervised kids camp - so we can catch a breath. Follow her story on Instagram at

Karen Cook