I am driven to learn everything I can on the subject of highest well-being. I have compiled the work of many enlightened teachers and leaders. Yet I have come to some conclusions of my own that I have not seen others put together. I had all five of my births at home. zI was born in 1960. One of my earliest recollections was seeing my mother cry in our living room as she watched the assassination of JFK on the news. I remember vividly the deaths of Ghandi, Jimmy Hendrix, Janice Joplin, John Lennon. My father was a military man who would stand in our living room talking heatedly about guerrilla warfare, agent orange, and the cold war. I remember wondering why those gorillas were fighting like that.
My mother embraced women's lib with both arms and openly hated my father for his oppressive male dominance in our home. It took some heated battles that could be heard three blocks away, but he finally relinquished his right to rule, which set him on a journey that led to his decision to retire from the military and become a self-funded missionary to 44 countries around the world. My mother refused to forgive and forget and was among the first to jump on the divorce band wagon at a time when it was not an accepted course of action. I guess she was a leader of sorts in a very discontented way.
Meanwhile, in the 3rd grade, I was tested to have an I.Q. of 160. I was placed in a special program for "smart kids" and everyone had great expectations for me. They enrolled me in kindergarten at four years old so I was always the youngest kid in the class. Even though I was the youngest, I was still at the head of the class academically. Being the youngest and the smallest, and female, was not a good combination at that time in history. I was bullied throughout my years at school and was not supported to set far-reaching goals. No female in my family had ever held a job outside the home.
The special program for "smart kids" focused on many world issues at that time during the late 60s. They wanted us to have a big-picture perspective. Many of the female teacher even wore pants. Because of this progressive program I found that academics provided me a happy place. My turbulent home life and the bullying I encountered at school undermined my sense of well-being, yet I always had straight A's throughout my years in school. I received an award in all seven of my classes at the end of my sophomore year. No matter what crazy thing was happening in the world, no matter what negative tailspin my mother was in, no matter how mean kids were at school, I remained constant. I took extra classes before school and after school and in the evening. Soon they called me into the office and said I would be graduating a year early because of the number of extra credits I had earned. I was already a year ahead and now another year ahead. I graduated at 16, and I was lost. I had no idea where to go from there.
When people used to ask me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I always said, "I just want to be normal." I never felt normal and didn't even know how to define normal, but I was determined to be "normal." This set me on this path discovering and developing all the information I could find on the topic of "well-being." I first wanted to know what it was, then where it comes from, and then how to get it. I collected everything I could find on the topic and posted it on my many websites in bite sized pieces because it is too much information for most people to absorb all at once. My vision expanded to larger and larger issues from my own personal well-being to my family well-being to well-being for all. I was born in 1960 so I have observed a lot of changes happening around me that have caused me great concern for the well-being of the entire planet. For this reason I have formed the Global Well-Being Think Tank to gather great minds together to share my research and my conclusions to create something entirely new.
The high school never talked to me about college. They didn't counsel me on career choices. I remember one of my teachers said I should be an engineer and I had never heard that term before. I thought she meant driving a train like the engineers in children's storybooks. I walked away from that meeting completely bewildered.
Like all the females in my family, I got married at an early age and started having children right away. While I was pregnant with my first child we lived in Escalante, Utah, a town of 400 people. They had an opening for a teaching position and wanted me to fill it. They set up a special program with the nearest college to waive my general ed classes and put me straight into Elementary Education classes with a remedial reading minor. I finished that program with a nursing baby in my arms. Utah is open to that sort of thing. I worked as a substitute to fill that opening until I could get my certification. Working in the public schools I became very disillusioned with the education system. I saw so many children being left behind and mistreated for social and racial issues that they had no way of comprehending. I pulled out of the system completely and chose to home school my own children instead.
I had all five of my births at home. I was a stay-at-home mom from 1977 to 2020. Both my husbands struggled with the same type of male supremacy that was prevalent at that time in history that led them to domination and control like my father. I have had a lot of sorrow in my life because of this oppressive male mindset, but I have learned to overcome anything that life brings by fostering well-being in myself and my children. I have optimism in the face of it all and have developed a method of coping that keeps me happy and creative most of the time. I have lived through many set backs but learning and studying remained my happy place. That's 23 years of research. I was driven to learn everything I could on the subject of happiness and well-being, for my own benefit at first. Soon I compiled the work of many enlightened teachers and leaders, researchers and innovators. I have come to some conclusions of my own that I have not seen anyone else put together. I used my gifts to pull myself out of the darkness and into the brightest of lights, using my privilege of being a stay-at-home mother and home maker to its fullest advantage.