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How my children teach me about happiness

Observe our young children. They bring us sometimes the oldest wisdom of the world. “Let go of control”, “Enjoy the present moment”, and “Be true”, are how my children teach me about happiness.

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Let go of control

We went on holiday to Sicily last summer. My husband and I had some difficult conversations about our travel plan. I regretted that he didn’t choose one thing. He didn’t like my choice of another. At a certain moment, I just stopped and observed our kids who enjoyed playing in the room.

I told him: Look, don’t you think our children are the best travel companions in the world?

That is more than true! They are ever happy with what we have to offer. They never questioned: Why did you book a hotel so far from the center? They simply enjoyed so much the walk! They neither doubted our capacity when we got lost. They simply found things to do while waiting.

Their secret? They don’t think they need to control their parents! Whatever the latter do, they simply accept, and find ways to enjoy the best!

Stay in the present moment

Never wonder why our kids don’t spend time regretting what toys they chose for Christmas last year? Or worry about whether they will be able to learn to ride a bike in 6 months?

My son can spend several minutes caressing his teddy bear. Before, I usually interfered to remind him of his to-do list that was waiting.

One day, I went to a “Sesshin”, a Japanese Zen retreat. During the whole week, we were taught to be mindful of every step, every gesture, because it helped us stay in the present moment.

I realized that was what my son did all the time. You got it, now I stop reminding my son of his to-do list!

Here and Now (Photo by Michael Morse from Pexels)

My kids choose their best time zone: the Here and the Now! You may say: I have my private Zen masters in my house!

Be True

One day after school, my daughter had a piece of apple cake she made in class with her teacher. My son wanted that to be shared. My daughter did not want. She was so hungry. So she ate it alone.

Surprisingly, my son found it normal. Among kids, it’s normal to say no! When you do not truly feel you want to share, you don’t. My son did the same thing later. And assure you, they did share many things. The difference with my “adult way”, is they only do when they truly want it. That’s a share with real joy!

Someone says: The best gift you can ever offer to others is your true happiness. And I never learn it enough from my children.

Read more: 6 easy things you can do daily to cultivate joy

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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