Well-being: 10 easy ways to unlock the secret of happiness with your child


The Purpose of Life is to be Happy

Well-being is the homeostasis of happiness. According to scientists, well-being is measurable and incorporates several multidimensional variables. In Carol Ryff's model of psychological well-being there a 6 factors that are key for well-being: self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life, environmental mastery, autonomy, and positive relations with others.  So well-being describes the interconnection of physical, mental and social health and satisfaction.

I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. 
Dalai Lama

The quantification of GHP, Gross National Happiness, is a governing philosophy and part of the constitution of Bhutan. The four pillars of GHP are good governance, environmental conservation and preservation, sustainable socio-economic development, and culture promotion.  The World Happiness Report for 2020, the annual survey by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations, looks at the state of global happiness in 156 countries, ranking countries using the Gallup World Poll and six factors: levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and corruption income.  It reports that challenging times can actually increase happiness. “The global pandemic poses great risks for some of the main supports for well-being, most especially health and income.. As revealed by earlier studies of earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis and even economic crises, a high trust society quite naturally looks for and finds co-operative ways to work together to repair the damage and rebuild better lives. This has led sometimes to surprising increases in happiness in the wake of what might otherwise seem to be unmitigated disasters... People are pleasantly surprised by the willingness of their neighbors and their institutions to work in harness to help each other... This delivers a heightened sense of belonging, and pride in what they have been able to achieve by way of mitigation. These gains are sometimes great enough to compensate for the material losses.”
“Disaster, has its roots in happiness,
and happiness, lurks in disaster.
Who knows when this cycle will end?”
Tao Te Ching Verse 58

The complex sense of well-being is a power of the third chakra, the manipura, or city of jewels, a vast, complex, sparkling city. In the individual, well-being describes one with self-confidence and a sense of purpose, living in integrity, reliable and confident in the world.  The alignment of desire and values with action and agency in the world is powerful indeed.  The first stirrings of this power we see in the toddler years from 18 months to 4 years.

From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other - above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.  
Albert Einstein

Yet, well-being, even as it appears to describe our individual accomplishments in life, is actually out of the domain of the individual egoic identification and ownership.  It is most strongly expressed in those who take no credit and who serve others. Jesus is an example of one with strong well-being (among many other amazing attributes).  He teaches this more clearly than I:

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.’
John 14:9-11

Well-being is a universal sense, one felt with and through the happiness of others, in connection, as One.  How do we instill the secrets of the complex art of happiness into our children?  Let them know all is well and perfect right now. ♡Karen

“Mastery of the world is achieved
by letting things take their natural course.
If you interfere with the way of Nature,
you can never master the world.
Tao Te Ching, Verse 48

Affirmation:  All is well in the world
Chakra engaged: Navel/ Solar Plexus


Well-being, happiness, storytelling, parenting, DIY


Activity 1:  Tell a story about homeostasis

The Frog Prince

Homeostasis is the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements.  To know unbalance, the story must have the element of disaster that is then restored to balance.  A classic and much beloved tale perfect for happiness lost and gained is The Frog Prince by The Brothers Grimm. Find the free audio read delightfully on Storynory here or the original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition is also available free on Audible right now from Princeton University Press.

I'll preface this interpretation by saying that the following is for the adult mind, that appreciates story deconstruction.  This is by no means an exhaustive study of the medicinal nuances of this story and any attempt to describe actually limits its impact but I provide it only as a glimpse into the psychological undertones and healing it provides.  Interpretation like this is not meant for children, as it diminishes the magic of the story, both in the delight of listening and in the archetyptal recognition by the subconscious mind.

The golden ball represents the loss of perfection.  This could be innocence, childhood, health, equality, stability or any other disequilibrium.  It is lost out of sight at the bottom of a deep, dark well. There is no way to regain it on one's own. The frog in this story is perceived as that which is ugly and vile and yet, is the only help and the only way to regain balance.  The princess recoils from this ugliness, avoids it and does not face it.  She only does so when the wise person/master (the King) insists that she must face it and live with it in the most intimate way possible.  The courageous act of destroying this ugliness- by throwing the frog against the wall- restores balance and harmony - the Prince.
Our illness is often our healing.
Mooji

Wings

Wings, an original parable by Janaka Stagnaro, is another powerful tale about facing our fear, or imbalance, and letting that act free us from false identities and limitations.  It is published here on Science of Mind Child and can also be found in the book Silent Ripples: Parables for the Soul by Janaka Stagnaro.

Activity 2: Empower Mother Earth

For this activity, its helpful to take on the perspective of rocks.  If you think like a rock, you know that you have been around for a long, long time, hundreds of thousands of millions of years.  In that time you have witnessed many, many things.  You hold the history of the Earth in your body.  You hold all of its stories and secrets.  You have seen great landscapes come and go, mighty ones die and be born.  Teach children about the earth from a rocks point of view.

By talking to children about environmental issues too early- from our limited human understanding- we do far greater damage than good.  Not only do we deprive them of the magic of childhood, but we place upon them burdens that are too heavy and not theirs too carry.  It's completely unpalatable to me that in searching for images of Mother Earth there are so very many of her crying or behind bars. In my reality, there is no truth at all in this imagery.

Children need to see, experience and have reflected back to them the wonder and delight, to bask in the glory of creation.  While this is in no way denying that we are in the midst of a mass extinction, from the perspective of a rock, this is but one of many we have seen.  We all know about the extinction of the dinosaurs after the Cretaceous Period.  But did you know that in the greatest known extinction, the Permian extinction 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species became extinct?  And the great oxygenation event even earlier than the Permian killed everything, because oxygen, off gassed by algal mats, saturated the atmosphere for the first time making it toxic to everything happily living in an oxygen-free atmosphere.  To our knowledge, there have been at least 5 mass extinctions in Earth's history.  I wrote in the article on Transformation, that destruction is one aspect of the five acts.  Destruction is also called anugara, dissolution. Anugara is quite natural and blaming the algae, an asteroid, or the human race is rather short-sighted to say the least and at most presumptive and narcissistic. We are now in the cycle of destruction, dissolution, anugara. Anugara also means grace.

So, the truth of this earthly experience and its interpretation is relative.  That doesn't mean it is not real, or that we are apathetic in our care and protection of the Earth, but it does mean that we are allowed to teach our children differently, with positive and empowering language, that supports them and supports the Earth.  I see this as the ultimate act of the DIY parenting uprising.  Choice. With our words, we enact the Law of Growth and the Law of Mind.  Know that what and how we speak about Mother Earth is itself creative.

WE BELIEVE that the Universal Spirit, which is God, operates through a Universal Mind, which is the Law of God; and that we are surrounded by this Creative Mind which receives the direct impress of my thought and acts upon it.  
Ernest Holmes, What We Believe, Science of Mind Principles

I teach and speak these truths: Mother Earth is resilient, sustaining, enduring, and takes care of all of her children.  She is majestic, magnificent, nurturing and restorative. She dissolves and makes new all things, again and again.  She protects us, and loves us wholly, unconditionally, and without restraint.  She is the undying life force of all creation.  She heals all wounds. We cannot hurt her. She is enduring. She speaks to us.  She is alive. All is well.

My friend, and contributing author, Nancy Mellon said to me recently,
"Mother Earth has sent us all to our rooms for our own good."

Activity 3: Turn off the news (for kids)

Right now it feels important to keep tabs on events, but the current events as portrayed by the mass media is not a story line that nurtures well-being in children.  We do inform our children about the changing landscape of our society and community using our own soft voice and heart connection, our own loving filter, and our own loving values.

Mass media is a highly sensationalized machine driven by viewer traffic.  It gives attention to our fear.  Screens alone have an addictive quality because of their power to numb and immobilize and to dampen our emotions and sensitivities.  News then replaces our inner processes and quiet inner listening with loud, panic-driven fright.  How can we listen to the still small voice when the mind is usurped in this way?  When there are "more important" things going on?

Healing happens from within, through prayer, positive affirmation, loving attention to the Self, and unification with the Divine.  Seek your news there and more importantly, teach your kids to do the same.

Activity 4 : Give Gifts

This activity is inspired by the book, 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker.  She was given a prescription for her debilitating physical and mental health problems stemming from MS by an African shaman healer named Mbali Creazzo.  Mbali tells her, "I want you to give away 29 gifts in 29 days... Healing doesn't happen in a vacuum, but through our interactions with other people. By giving, you are focusing on what you have to offer others, inviting more abundance in your life. Giving of any kind is taking a positive action that begins the process of change.  It will shift your energy for life."

Gifts come in many forms, from simple kindnesses to elaborate offerings.  The more you do this practice, the more ways you find to give.  Gift giving is incredibly fun and gratifying for children and a key practice in well-being. Find more personal stories about the transformative power of gift giving at 29gifts.org.


Activity 5: Balloon Volley

This fun and engaging activity requires communication and cooperation, plus its active and often results in lots of laughter, all key ingredients of well-being.   Simply toss a balloon in the air and work together to keep it afloat.  Anything goes in this playful and exhilarating game.

Activity 6: Make a DIY Escape Room


Mastery and agency are key ingredients to well-being.  Build and experience this through play.  Escape rooms have become a popular destination for families and groups. They require wit, bravery, intelligence, cooperation and purpose.  They instill self-confidence and self-esteem.  Most of all they are fun.  You can easily make your own escape room at home.  The possibilities are endless.  See this post and inspiration for your own easy at-home escape room from The Activity Mom.

Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness.    
Louise Hart

Activity 7: Take action

A sense of agency in the world has a powerful impact on a child's well-being.  If they are experiencing overwhelming feelings about the state of the world, you can guide them in small projects that alleviate their sense of powerlessness.  Here are a just a few ideas:

  • Recycle
  • Make masks to distribute to others, to doctors and hospitals
  • Clean up trash
  • Use reusable plates, straws and utensils
  • Set up a free library
  • Donate old toys, or make a free toy library
  • Make cat toys for the local animal shelter
  • Find more ideas to take action by searching for Girl Scouts or Boy Scout service projects
The best way to take action is to do treatment or affirmative prayer.  This is a supportive and sustaining daily practice that can be done daily.  For how to's, see my Step-by-step guide to treatment for kids.

Activity 8: Your life has purpose

Deepak Chopra writes in his book, the Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents, to imagine a world where every child was certain from an early age that they are here for a reason.  Would they ever question their life?  Would they ever yearn to find meaning?  If they know their life has purpose, each child would know that they are unique and perfect as they are.  This truth is the ultimate transference of self-esteem we can offer our children.  And how does Dr. Chopra advise for children to experience and embody this truth?  Through acts of service (see activities 4 and 7 above).

Activity 9:  Treatment for well-being


There is only One.
One Heart, One Mind, One Life.
That One cannot be outside of me, that would be two.
That One is being me Now.
I am Unique, Special and Important to the World.
There are no mistakes.
I give freely and happily of my gifts to the world.
I feel the love in my heart surrounding me, my family, my home, my town, my planet and the whole Universe and beyond.
I feel the happiness and joy that is in my heart spread to all of creation, throughout all time and space, endless and forever.
All is well in the world.
Thank you, God.
I let go of all my worries and fear and rest in this ocean of happiness and well-being that is the truth of God and of my being, now and forever.
Amen

Activity 10: Mantra and Sing-a-long to happy songs

Ten seemed a happy number to end with, so I include a mantra along with the sing-alongs.  Typically, I'd break mantra into its own activity.

If you've been reading my posts, you know that I find music and mantra to be an incredibly restorative and healing practice.  I think music alone can propel you into higher realms of consciousness, without all that work of involving the intellect.  Play and sing often with your children.

Vajra Armor : Protection and Healing Mantra

by ThePathtoArhatship

Om Vajra P'het
Om Pema Shawari P'het
Nen Par Shik
Naga Nen
Tayatha Sarwa
Virita
Hana Han Benzirna

May our lives be long and may all wishes be completely fulfilled
May obstacles not impede us, but arise as allies.
May purpose, fortune and abundance naturally be accomplished, without effort,
And may the light of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom, enter our hearts.
Rakya Rakya Soha

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Don't Worry Be Happy

 by Bob Marley
Here's a little song I wrote you might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble but when you worry you make it double
Don't worry be happy
Don't worry be happy now
Ooh-ooh-hoo-hoo-ooh hoo-hoo-ooh-ooh ooh...Don't worry
Woo ooh-woo-ooh-woo-ooh-ooh...
Be happy
Woo ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh...
Don't worry be happy
Ooh-ooh hoo-hoo-ooh hoo-hoo-ooh-ooh ooh-ooh...

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

What I Am

by Will.i.am 

If what I am is what's in me
Then I'll stay strong - that's who I'll be
And I will always be the best
"Me" that I can be

There's only one me, I am it
Have a dream I'll follow it
It's up to me to try

Oh! I'm a keep my head up high (high!)
Keep on reaching high (high!)
Never gonna quit
I'll be getting stronger

And nothing's gonna bring me down (no!)
Never gonna stop, gotta go
Because I know
I'll keep getting stronger

And what I am is thoughtful
What I am is musical
What I am is smart
And what I am is brave
What I am is helpful
What I am is special
There's nothing I can't achieve
Because in myself I believe in oh

Gonna keep our heads up high (high!)

Keep on reaching high (high!)
Never gonna quit
Just keep getting stronger

And nothing's gonna bring us down (no!)
Never give it up, gotta go
Because I know
I'll keep getting stronger

What I am is super
What I am is proud
What I am is friendly
What I am is grouchy
What you are is magical
What you are is special

There's nothing I can't achieve
Because in myself I believe in oh

Gonna hold my head up high (high!)
Keep on reaching high (high!)
Never gonna stop
I'll be getting stronger

Nothing's gonna bring me down (no!)
Never give it up gotta go, oh... yeah
I'll keep getting stronger

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Happy

by Pharrell Williams
It might seem crazy what I'm about to say
Sunshine she is here, you can take a break
I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don't care, baby, by the way

(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Here come bad news, talking this and that (Yeah!)
Well, give me all you got, don't hold it back (Yeah!)
Well, I should probably warn you I'll be just fine (Yeah!)
No offense to you
Don't waste your time, here's why

(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Bring me down
Can't nothing bring me down
My level's too high to bring me down
Can't nothing bring me down, I said
Bring me down
Can't nothing bring me down
My level's too high to bring me down
Can't nothing bring me down, I said

(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Bring me down
Can't nothing bring me down
My level's too high to bring me down
Can't nothing bring me down, I said

(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do



Image credits

Sun rays over water - mikegi
Stick figure circle-Gordon Johnson
Frog prince- Anja­čĄŚ#helpinghands #solidarity#stays healthy­čÖĆ
balls - wolfgang L├╝tzgendorf
Old Mother Earth - Enlightening Images
Lush forest - JoshuaWoroniecki
Press- Engin Akyurt
Child watching screen - Vidmir Raic
Giving flowers- GLady
Escape room - Clockedin dk

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