August 23, 2023

Norbu’s Search for happiness

Children’s story about the way from sadness to happiness

Norbu, a small six-year-old boy with a serious face, was sitting on a sunlit bench. He often felt sad and did not understand why he could not always be as cheerful as his friends. One day he noticed a colorful bird named Kiki, which he had seen many times before. The bird always seemed to be cheerful.

“Why are you always so cheerful?” asked Norbu the bird.

“Come with me, I’ll show you and your friends how to find the joy in life,” Kiki replied.

The next morning, at sunrise, Kiki led Norbu and his friends Dawa and Sonam to a hill. The children hardly noticed what was happening around them, they were so excited about what they would find out at the end of their journey.

Suddenly Kiki asked, “Do you hear the chirping of the birds? Can you feel the cool morning air and the grass beneath your feet?”

“What do you mean?” asked Sonam, confused.

“What are you thinking about right now?” asked Kiki.

Kiki smiled, “Your thoughts are focused on the future, and you are missing the present moment. Be in the here and now.”

The children closed their eyes, took deep breaths and began to notice their surroundings. “I feel it, I understand it now!” cried Dawa. “The air is so cool, and at the same time it is warm where the sun shines on my skin. I smell grass, hear birds and the small animals rustling in the bushes. I feel the morning dew on my feet…”. The children opened their eyes and the sunrise filled the sky with colors.

“Imagine now you were alone. What would it feel like then?” asked Kiki.

“It wouldn’t be the same. I’m glad my friends are here,” Norbu replied. A feeling of connection came over him.

They played tag in the field, laughing and calling to each other. They were united by the joy of movement and the shared experience. Kiki asked, “What do you enjoy most about it?” The children discussed what they felt: “We enjoy the laughter,” they answered, and in response to Kiki’s further question, they realized that the joy was much more intense with friends.

The picnic that followed was a feast for the senses. They talked about the food, how the apple pie smelled, tasted, felt in their mouths as they ate it, and how the buttery apples fell apart soft and juicy on their tongues, their flavor fully developed. “The food tastes better today somehow,” Norbu said, and the others agreed.

At the magic well, they reflected on the day. Norbu was now full of thoughts, insights and emotions. He worried that back in the village he would fall back into sadness. “Kiki, what do I do when I feel sad again?” asked Norbu.

“Could sadness possibly be a signpost for something important to you?” asked Kiki.

Norbu thought and said, “You are right. When I am sad, it shows me what is important to me. But that’s why I’m sad when I don’t have it.”

“Yes, Norbu,” Kiki replied lovingly, “Sadness first shows you what is really important to you. And once you know what’s important to you, you can figure out how to bring more of it into your life. If you miss something, you can even imagine how nice it will be when you have it back. Imagine how you can make the moment extra special, and look forward to it! And because you realized through the sadness how important it is to you, you’re going to appreciate it that much more and be very aware of every moment when you finally have it back.”

Norbu understood the power of presence and gratitude for what he had, including his friends and the importance of feelings, even sad ones.

When the sun set, they returned to the village. Norbu had learned the art of living, found his joy and was ready to share his happiness. Every time he was sad, he remembered Kiki’s words and used his sadness as a guide to what was close to his heart. With this, his joy and gratitude for life grew even more.

Kiki, the colorful bird, still saw Norbu and his friends often and rejoiced in their joy and courage to explore their feelings and live their lives consciously and gratefully. They understood that joy and happiness are not just about being cheerful all the time, but that they themselves can create the joy in their lives by listening to themselves and their feelings, being aware of the moment, sharing with others, and being grateful for what they have.

The colorful bird Kiki and the children from the village spent many more beautiful days together, sharing their joy and happiness and living their lives with a deep understanding of what is really important. The Way of Happiness became an integral part of their lives, and they inspired many others to join them. In doing so, they changed not only themselves, but also their world.

Copyright & Copyright Text & Image, Dominik Habichtsberg, 23.08.2023

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