4. Alchemy of the Heart (Ages 6 to 10) Lesson 4
Overview of Lesson 4 for Children Ages 6 to 10
- Love is the strongest force in the universe – it is powerful.
- When we feel gratitude, we get into the habit of seeing the positives.
- You can learn to be kind by learning to see the beauty of people’s hearts.
SUGGESTED MUSIC: In this lesson we tell the story of Andrea Boccelli, the blind singer. Playing your favorite music by Boccelli is a good choice.
CHAPTER 2: Empowering the Heart
- Crayons and colored pencils or paints
The love in your heart is the greatest power in the universe.
It is powerful enough to change the world.
Heart power far outweighs any other kind of power. That is why the sages of the East and the West say that it doesn’t take a lot of people to create spiritual transformation [or change.] It takes only a few very powerful hearts…
Pure love always brings power; for the more we love the more powerfully can our heart affect other hearts.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet
Demonstrating Your Love
Whatever you decide to do in your life; from studying hard in school, becoming a Scout, having special friends, to building your career when you grow up; you can do it with love. The more you build that momentum of love, the more God fills you with more love to give.
It is helpful to have a visualization of how God’s love and energy comes to us and how we can send it back to God with gratitude for all of His creation.
Activity 1: You and God Working Together
Take a sheet of paper and a crayon or some paint. Right in the middle of the page make a small picture of you. Then draw a large figure 8, with the picture of you at the nexus, right in the middle between the upper and lower loops.
At the top of the 8, draw a flame representing God. Around the bottom loop, make several small people representing the people you can be kind to, such as your family, your teacher, your friends and whomever you want to add.
Take your finger or a crayon and begin to trace, from you in the middle, up the left side of the upper loop to the God flame, then back down and around the lower loop, then back to the middle and up again. Trace it again and again.
As you make this loop every time you put your attention on God, sending the energy of your heart up to God, he charges it with his light and it returns to you full of God’s love for you to bring down into your world and to use in your work and service.
Gratitude is strengthening because when we are grateful we establish a figure-eight flow of love from our heart to the heart of God. And when we send love and gratitude to God, light and blessings return to us.
Practicing the Art of Gratitude
This is the story of someone who learned at an early age to focus on what he could do and what was beautiful in his life instead of what he could not do and was difficult in his life. This man is a rich and successful singer who travels around the world and gives concerts. He is married an is the father of two children. He rides bicycles, rides horses and skis. Before he began to sing professionally, he went to law school and became a lawyer. It sounds like someone with many talents and the ability to succeed.
The thing that makes his story so unusual is that he is blind! He has been blind since he was twelve years old. When he began going blind, his mother and father continually helped him face the fact, accept it and find out what he could do, rather than what he could not do. His name is Andrea Boccelli.
When people felt sorry for him that he could not see, his mother reminded him that he would see things inside his mind that others could not see. He learned not to feel sorry for himself, but to be grateful for what he could still do and be. This mother showed compassion for Andrea, instead of sympathy to make him feel sorry for himself.
When he was a little boy he went to the Shrine of Mother Mary in Lourdes, France, where she had appeared to a little girl many years ago. It is visited by millions of people every year and many people are healed when they pray there. Andrea told a priest after he had prayed that he had not prayed to be healed, but to be serene. That means to be peaceful in accepting his life.
Andrea believes that singing is his destiny, and now his music brings peace to many people who love his beautiful voice.
Poetry of Gratitude
Long ago a Persian poet named Rumi wrote a very short poem about what God might say to us. It reminds us about being grateful for what we have, like Andrea learned to do.
“But listen to me: For one moment, quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you. God”
Gratitude is a very important thing, for you and me and for all nations on earth. Part of the figure eight flow you drew earlier is always remembering that life and energy come to us from God. If we always remember this and learn to be more grateful, we will use God’s energy with greater care.
Activity 2: I Am Grateful!
Take a moment and write a list or make a picture of the things that you are grateful for in your life, of the things that are blessings falling as blossoms around you. Think especially about things that might not be perfect in your life and see if you can find some new way to think about it with gratitude.
A short quick prayer we can say is this: “Hear O Universe, I AM grateful!
Activity 3: I Am Grateful!
Take a moment and make a picture of the things that you are grateful for in your life, of the things that are blessings falling as flowers from heaven all around you.
Activity 4: How I Can Serve
One important part of growing up and being happy is learning to help other people. There are many ways you can do simple service projects with your family. For example, you and your mom might make a nice lunch or dinner and take some of it to a neighbor who is ill. You might go by your grandmother’s house and offer to do some chores for her. You might invite a new child over for a play date.
The important thing is to learn to think about what other people need; not just what you want and need. (See Parents’ Place on this website, How to Spiritualize Your Family and the article on the Difference Makers for more information about why service is so important for your whole family.)
Pick one service project you can do. Do it, then you can draw a picture of how you helped.
Activity 5: Timeline of the Story of Me
This story is not written yet! You have many choices to make about how you will live your life as you grow up and how you will use the energy God has given you in your life to make a difference in our world.
You will write the story of your life by what you do, just like Andrea Boccelli wrote the story of his life by the things he did. You already started your story when you were born, even if you have not written it down yet!
To help you think about the story of your life so far, we can make a timeline of your life. We are going to think of one wonderful thing that happened each year of your life! Tape together, side by side, panels of 5 ½″ x 8″ paper. Use one sheet for each year of your child’s life. Lay out the pictures you have selected. Beginning with a baby picture, have your child tape or glue the picture on the top of the first panel. Just below it, write one sentence about your child’s life.
Continue this project through the years. Help your child celebrate with gratitude the events and people in your lives.