75 episodes

With help from guest authors, experts, and community and business leaders, the Familius Helping Families Be Happy podcast explores topics and issues that connect families to the nine habits of a happy family: love, play, learn, work, talk, heal, read, eat, and laugh together.

Helping Families Be Happy Familius

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

With help from guest authors, experts, and community and business leaders, the Familius Helping Families Be Happy podcast explores topics and issues that connect families to the nine habits of a happy family: love, play, learn, work, talk, heal, read, eat, and laugh together.

    Breaking Waves of Life with Shaun Tomson

    Breaking Waves of Life with Shaun Tomson

    In today’s episode of the “Helping Families Be Happy” podcast, host Christopher Robbins talks to Shaun Tomson, a former World Surfing Champion, who has been described as one of the greatest and most influential surfers of all time. Shaun is also a world-renowned leader, mentor, entrepreneur, environmentalist, and best-selling author. Today they’re going to explore principles of decimal living from his most recent book, The Surfer and The Sage.


    Episode Highlights

    02:20 – Christopher asks Shaun to tell a little bit about his background, how he got into surfing and the World Championships.
    04:15 – Shaun talks about his father who was South Africa’s top swimmer and used to go to the Olympics. He became a world champion in many events around the world.
    07:42 - There's a way to activate positive decision-making in this magic universe through the stroke of Science and Leadership, says Shaun.
    10:02 - This book – ‘The Surfer and The Sage’ is a continuation of philosophy that addresses the eighteen relentless, breaking waves of life, from loss and aging to relationships and depression, and guides you to transformation.
    12:30 – Christopher wonders and enquires that as a Surfer and as an Environmentalist what has the ocean taught Shaun.
    15:50 - Shaun mentions that his parents have had so much impact on him that it has been a source of service, a source of inspiration, and it's been the way he became the world champion.
    17:00 - What have you learned in writing the book that can help the family deal with the anxiety that perhaps some are experiencing today? Asks Christopher.
    19:20 - This book is a common book that will take you through some of the stories and philosophical interpretations of the story.
    21:20 – Christopher was so fascinated as he was reading about forgiveness, humility, and courage in the book. Every chapter amongst the 18 chapters is focused on life are opposites.
    25:30 - Was there a moment in writing this book where you learned something you had an aha moment something you hadn't realized before? Enquires Christopher.
    27:50 – Christopher states that he loves that quote by Gupta from the book – “Whatever you can believe you can begin. Boldness has genius, power, and magic so that it connects with anyone."

    Three Key Points

    While everyone runs something different, we have defined this compulsion that we want to be better today than yesterday, and we want to be better tomorrow than we are today. The underline is, that we'll help others to be better which means to help others to be part of a wider community.
    ‘The Surfer and The Sage’ is not a list of rules to follow that guarantee success, health, or wealth, but rather a collection of advice from two guides who have traveled far and wide and suffered deeply, but still look forward to tomorrow with faith and hope. 
    This is not just a book that talks about this concept of hope and this concept of optimism. This is a book that talks about faith, and darkness. It talks about forgiveness, but at the same time, it also talks about guilt. It talks about optimism, but it talks about pessimism as well. So we have to see these aspects in order to make a positive step forward.

    Tweetable Quotes

    “My primary mission is to help the world be a better place by making lives better.” - Shaun Tomson
    “After I retired from the church, I ended up working for Sony which worked for Patagonia for a couple of years, that was a wonderful brand.” - Shaun Tomson
    “The ocean has taught me so much about the basic principles of life.” - Shaun Tomson
    “At the beginning of the book, you say this world is too often, too broken for too many.” - Christopher Robbins
    “So the principal words have been stress, anxiety, depression, and disconnection.” - Shaun Tomson
    “You have to face the bitter too in order to know the sweet” - Christopher Robbins
    “That's the whole point that Familias assisted families, be happy individuals, families, whate

    • 31 min
    The Unplanned Summer with Pam Lobley

    The Unplanned Summer with Pam Lobley

    In today’s episode of the “Helping Families Be Happy” podcast, host Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a practicing Clinical Psychologist, Wellness Advocate, and Author based in Sonoma County, California talks with guest Pam Lobley who is talking with us about her book – ‘Why Can't We Just Play’.


    Episode Highlights

    01:15 – Pam is a writer, she started her career in sketch comedy, so everything she does or writes, she approaches it from a comedic standpoint.
    03:35 – When Pam’s son was in fifth grade he said that he never had time to just play. Play for him was like having a friend over, goofing around in the backyard, making their own games, and going to a playground without any parents’ rules.
    05:45 - Pam feels so lucky that she took the chance and slowed down, for me as a parent, it was the risk because I was doing something I wasn't sure was right. 
    07:20 - It's hard to be a parent and that was hard. Kids fought a lot like siblings and especially when they only had each other to play with, or it rained a lot.
    09:15 – Dr. Carla asks if it is possible that this would only work for a stay-at-home mom?
    11:05 - We're always comparing ourselves to other parents and we're always comparing our kids to other kids, which is so ridiculous, but it's very hard not to do.
    13:00 – Dr. Carla enquires from Pam that for somebody who wants to be able to let their child play, other than the low expectations what are some key steps they can follow?
    14:50 - There are times to step in when somebody's bullying, being super toxic, or anything like that. But other than that, that’s where we learn to negotiate.
    17:20 – Pam says that the young kids instead of being on phone all the time, enjoy being loud and messy in the backyard or climbing all over the playground, or just pretending whatever they want with their friends. 
    19:10 - We often forget as parents, that kids as much as they might push back against structure and routine. As far as family rules go we need them for the kid’s sanity and for the parent’s mental health.
    20:50 - Some people say minors need to play or my kids should be in academics. They're on the fast track to an Ivy League school who cares about play?
    22:30 – We can learn great life lessons from watching our children play, and then sleep as they have no sleep issues.
    24:00 – Pam suggests to the parents that they need to consider their children as they are. Parents shouldn’t be comparing their kids with others.
    26:15 - Research shows us that happiness peaks when you get to that point of success when you have enough to pay your bills, or enough to have health insurance. After that, it can start dipping because external success is not as important as the beauty of internal success and the joys of big things like play.
    28:20 - Pam thinks giving your child as much time to play will position them to be healthier and maybe better learners when they hit high school age.
    30:30 – Young people today don't want to try in case they fail because they feel too much pressure to succeed all the time.


    Three Key Points

    Pam says you can build in this type of autonomous, independent, and free play for your kids. For instance, let's say you do need to have a daycare or a camp for your child. Look for the one with the least amount of structure, the most amount of fun, and low expectations. The whole idea is that we're supposed to be improving our children all the time is so exhausting. So it's okay to just be Spider-Man all summer long. That's a perfectly acceptable thing for an eight-year-old.
    One of the steps parents can follow is to kids have an afternoon or several hours every week that is their own. The other step would be that when your child is playing with other children, resist the urge to step in and make it right because then the kids don't learn how to do it themselves, just pretend not to notice.
    A few experts see that play for children is the best education they can have. They've done so many t

    • 34 min
    Helping Children Through Tragedy with Dr. Carla Marie Manly

    Helping Children Through Tragedy with Dr. Carla Marie Manly

    In today’s episode of the “Helping Families Be Happy” podcast, host Christopher Robins, co-founder of Familius publishing, husband, father of nine, author, fisherman, backpacker, and aspirational musician based in the Central Valley of California talks with guest Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a practicing Clinical Psychologist, Wellness Advocate, and Author based in Sonoma County.

    They discuss a challenging subject for all parents, i.e. how to deal with the anger, fear, sadness, and other associated issues involving Texas School Shooting, and other tragedies that families are witnessing and experiencing.

    Episode Highlights


    01:44 – Christopher enquires from Dr. Carla that there are parents who are dealing with anger, fear, and sadness in the wake of the many recent shootings. 
    03:37 - Dr. Carla says, parents, work on their feelings so they’re not overwhelming their children with unprocessed emotions.
    06:05 – Dr. Carla states, don't pressure the child, create the opportunity to talk.
    08:07 - If you have a child who wants a lot of space, pay attention that the child is safe in their safe space, mentions Dr. Carla
    10:15 - The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and ultimately acceptance.
    12:45 - It's okay as a parent, and caregiver that let me check in with a therapist on that or let me go Google it, says Dr. Carla
    14:02 – Christopher asks Dr. Carla, how can she help us as parents, as to, what we need to do?
    16:50 - We need to use our resources, internal and external, to work on being able to care for ourselves so that we can be the rock for our little ones or big ones. 
    19:51 – Dr. Carla points out that we should allow ourselves and our children to express themselves in creative ways.
    20:56 – Dr. Carla tells that when we see the dramatic type of news footage, then as adults we think about what's happening with the children.
    22:52 – Christopher enquires, what do we say when our children say why did this happen or why did that man do that?
    26:40 – Dr. Carla explains how can we make our children safe.
    30:32 – Christopher enquires if there are some resource books that Dr. Carla would recommend which might help parents deal with such situations.
    32:22 – Dr. Carla says, there are definitely good books that talk about self-care on the Familius website.

    Three Key Points


    There are other resources for children, you don't have to be the only resource. You can pick up a book on trauma, a children's book, and read it to the child so that you don't have to know it all. Then maybe as you read, you're able to process some of what's going on for you.
    Christopher mentions how we can make our children safe. We can really watch our communities, we can be a part of the schools and keep an eye on what's happening in the schools, volunteer in the schools, do mental health awareness campaigns in our school, get it on our radar, and depending on our child's level, on their radar. So, they feel safe and come to us.
    It's important for parents to know that whatever they're feeling, the stress and strain and being pulled in two or three directions, what should they do, that's normal. Talk to someone about it, process it and then make the very best decision you can for your situation and move forward.

    Tweetable Quotes


    “Process your experience, so that anything you're not processing does not leak out onto your child.” – Dr. Carla Marie Manly
    “Be available to talk, don't force a talk, but welcome and chat with your child.” - Dr. Carla Marie Manly
    “Telling a child don't feel your feelings makes them feel criticized, makes them want to close down rather than allowing them to feel their feelings.” - Dr. Carla Marie Manly
    “Sitting down and making eye contact is one of the best gifts you can give your child.” - Dr. Carla Marie Manly
    “The first step in being a parent and caregiver, you matter.” - Dr. Carla Marie Manly
    “Your kids and you, need as much routine as

    • 34 min
    Feeling Good, Feeling Like You and with Jessica Lancaster

    Feeling Good, Feeling Like You and with Jessica Lancaster

    In today’s episode of the “Helping Families Be Happy” podcast, host Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a practicing Clinical Psychologist, Wellness Advocate, and Author based in Sonoma County, California talks with guest Jessica Lancaster who shares about her work as an Actor, Social Media Guru, Producer, and Waitress.


    Episode Highlights

    01:38 – Jessica says, she waited tables now for 20 years and she doesn't actually need to do it financially anymore.
    03:51 – It's important for people with phones to keep them away while they eat.
    05:30 – Jessica wishes she could have had more family meals; so many wonderful things can happen around the dinner table.
    07:10 – Dr. Carla asks Jessica about her life as an Instagram Goddess.
    09:05 - Instagram is a great way to unite mothers. Those are the groups and communities of support and connection that can be found only through Instagram.
    11:35 – If the post doesn't make sense of what they're doing or what they're trying to say, Jessica guides them to a better target market of quote selling. 
    13:30 – Jessica mentions that everybody is doing cool stuff like the artsy design but now what's working is just authentic feeling in the moment.
    15:38 - It's important to shop local and support these women and these moms specifically as the money's going right into their children.
    17:40 - The movie making and producing came out of necessity to play good roles, mentions Jessica.
    19:43 – Jessica says, she grew up in an interesting family where her mom was married four times, and her dad was married three times. 
    21:00 – Jessica talks about what the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) means.
    24:40 – Good acting is that they want something different than you want, and that's what makes the scene explode, says Jessica.
    25:15 – Dr. Carla states, that as a parent, and partner you are seeing the other and you're responding to them whereas, in acting, you are reacting to create contrast.
    27:50 - The scene has the contrast, but in life, one should get what they want.
    29:38 – Jessica says, when there is a contrast, it's an easy solution.
    31:25 - One piece of advice that sticks with Jessica is don't give up on having to be right.
    33:18 – Jessica shares, that something shifted in her and she learned that it didn't feel good to be in an argument, and she’s not going to do that anymore.
    34:50 – If you're looking for a good movie, Jessica has got movies like ‘The Holy Fail’, and ‘Choosing Signs’ on Amazon.
    36:10 – Dr. Carla says, we need more films about love, comedy, and lightheartedness.


    Three Key Points

    Dr. Carla Highlights - one of the things she loves about Familius Publishing is that they have a grassroots way of working where they honor moms, and families and are heavily focused on that. She’s a believer that the more we support our kids, the more we support our family, the family’s authenticity, genuineness, caring for the planet, and the happier we all are going to be in the long run.
    Children don't know enough to make life easy so the parents have to come in. Unfortunately for many people, they don't know how they weren't given lessons, they didn't have role models on how to be in a relationship. So, the work that is involved for people is getting to a place within themselves and their relationships.
    Dr. Carla mentions - it is about showing the world what it looks like to radiate love. Not radiate I am right, or I am better. You are bad, but to radiate love, because that's what Jessica does it's one of the things she specializes in naturally as she radiates love.

    Tweetable Quotes

    “I tell people at my tables I'm like, if possible, please don't have your cell phones out.” - Jessica Lancaster
    “If you're talking and communicating, you're not just eating the food. You're enjoying the food.” - Jessica Lancaster
    “You'll go to someone's page and they have like 100,000 followers and 17 likes, that feels inauthentic to me.” - Jessica Lancaster
    “The more aut

    • 37 min
    Healing through Creativity with Mary Potter Kenyon

    Healing through Creativity with Mary Potter Kenyon

    In today’s episode of the “Helping Families be Happy” podcast, host Dr. Carla Marie Manly, a practicing Clinical Psychologist, Wellness Advocate, and Author based in Sonoma County, California talks with Mary Potter Kenyon (A Certified Grief Educator, Public Speaker, and an Author) who talks about her book ‘Called to be Creative - A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity’. Mary shares how creativity helps you and your families to be happy.

    Episode Highlights

    02:50 – Dr. Carla asks Mary about her former work, and what she has been doing before she moved to this segment of writing a book – ‘Called to be Creative’.
    05:00 – Mary talks about her book ‘Mary and Me’ which was about a friendship fuelled by 30 years of handwritten letters.
    06:40 – Mary says even though she grew up in poverty, her mom was the person that she saw was making their poverty-stricken house a home.
    09:00 – Mary also interviewed various people that she saw as creative, like a yoga teacher, a painter, etc. 
    12:00 - One of the studies that fascinated Mary was how adulthood takes a creative genius right out of us.
    13:05 - What would you say is the reason there's that incredible drop-off in creativity? Asks Dr. Carla.
    15:11 – Dr. Carla asks about a few pointers on how readers can bring creativity into their lives, the lives of their children, and the lives of their partners.
    16:57 – Mary recommends to start making a list of those things that you love doing, and then making a list of things that you would do if time or money was no hindrance to you.
    20:00 - One of the things Mary did to reflect the value of learning together was to start a creativity group at her local library, get together, and just try something different every month. She says her book is built to do that.
    22:00 - Science shows that if you are being creative and using your natural creativity, you are going to the doctor less, there's less anxiety and there is less stress.
    25:35 - When we find that passion, and you can hear it in other people's voices pointed out that they would love to see you doing this more because you just come alive when you're doing that.
    27:-35 - Give yourself once a month date to check off the list of those things because if your grand pull yourself into too many directions and think well I started trade is a fair trade, you can feel overwhelmed.

    Three Key Points

    Mary thinks we all have it in us to be creative. What happens to that very creative little child, that we become an adult who can't fit creativity into their lives? So there's a little bit of science in the book - ‘Called to be Creative’ as Mary delved into the research and discovered that science is behind it, that we are designed to be creative.
    Creativity can be what you are born with the gift, you might not think of as creativity it could be that you have a natural knack for relating to children or you have this empathy that you are a good listener that can be you can use that creatively in your job and life. A lot of people rediscovered their natural creativity during the beginning of the pandemic, doing something that they hadn't done for years like playing games with their children or getting outside and coloring with chalk on the sidewalks.
    The main point of Mary’s book is to play. Put some play into your life as an adult. Allow yourself the time for creativity. Don't look at it as something that you have to save for leisure time, or you're going to be waiting a long time because there's not a lot of leisure time built into our busy lives. We have to have that in our lives as adults.

    Tweetable Quotes

    “It would be a very sad state of affairs if grief was the only source of your creativity.” - Dr. Carla Marie Manly
    “So, that very first inkling that I might be writing about creativity was planted in 2011.” - Mary Potter Kenyon
    “I caught on to creativity in the form of writing all those years.” - Mary Potter Kenyon
    “There's a little bit of scie

    • 29 min
    Finding Your Calm with Noah benShea

    Finding Your Calm with Noah benShea

    In today’s episode of the “Helping Families Be Happy” podcast, host Christopher Robins, Co-founder of Familius publishing, husband, father of nine, author, fisherman, backpacker, and aspirational musician based in the Central Valley of California talks with guest Noah BenShea, North America’s most respected and beloved Poet/Philosophers, Pulitzer Prize-nominated, and international Best-Selling author of 28 books translated into 18 languages. They explore the principles of successful living from Noah’s most recent book – The Surfer and the Sage: A Guide to Survive and Ride Life's Waves co-authored with world champion surfer - Shaun Tomson.


    Episode Highlights

    01:37 – Christopher says, it's interesting to think that a real champion Surfer Co-authored a book with a world-famous Poet.
    03:50 – Poetry in many regards is the business of putting a frame around a moment around a witness that you give to a moment that might otherwise pass unnoticed, unknown, says Noah 
    05:38 – Noah shares, what he learned about life through his experience with Shaun, and the parallels that exist with the ocean and with waves in the surfing.
    08:10 – Shaun spends more time in the water than he spends typing, and Noah spends more time typing than being on a surfboard, says Noah.
    12:02 – Christopher reads a section of the book – “When there are storms overhead, drop down into your mind ocean and ride the waves under your waves, the calm in your storm is the calm within you, your calm is calmly waiting, your calm is not at a distance from you unless you are at a distance from you.”
    14:45 – Noah says, finding that calm inside of you is first recognizing that if you're in a state of turmoil. The turmoil is yours, and the disquiet is yours.
    16:20 - Your working life is who you are and how you conduct yourself with you, says Noah.
    18:42 – Noah mentions, that life is a gift, and prayer is a thank-you note. Write thank-you notes, and send those thank-you notes out. 
    20:02 – Noah states, that the only company that we can be assured of on that journey is ourselves.
    22:35 – Before Noah gets to his prayers during his meditation is that he imagines that he is a prequel to himself.
    24:55 – Noah’s feeling is that each of us is a time machine, and in our memory, we can go backward in time. In our imagination, we can go forward in time, but the only place you can steer your time machine is in the now.
    26:55 - In working with Shaun there were times in a story that he would tell about loss, but he wanted to be wise enough to be silent, states Noah


    Three Key Points

    One of the real strengths of this book is that at the very cost of anything else both Shaun and Noah wanted to bring honesty and candor. Just two straight-ahead guys who are a little further down the trail than a lot of other people in life perhaps, and bring that to it. So, to Shaun the ocean of the idea of a wave rising or waves falling, catching a wave or missing your wave, or the idea that you’re not a drop in the sea, you are all the drops in the sea in a philosophic sense was very easy and a comfortable fit for him. While they both spoke about doing this book, Shaun was the one who decided that he (Guest) would be the sage in this book.
    You're not in charge, what you are in charge of is you. What the world delivers to your doorstep each morning isn't your responsibility, your responsibility is your reaction to it, and it's calming to the soul. When you realize that your sole responsibility is who you are and how you conduct yourself. That's the only thing you're in charge of for the moment and in the moment. Your working life is not what you do, but who you are and that's in the book. So, our work in life is oftentimes making us self-important. 
    In the same way, as we leave the woods behind, we leave the boat behind, and we leave the river behind. We wander through where we are in that moment, and the only company that you can be assured of on that jo

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Carla Marie Manly ,

Spectacular! So filled with love and uplifting information!

What a delight to listen to podcasts that are enriching and filled with heartfelt information. Genuinely good for the heart and soul!

C.M., Mom of 4 ,

Great Podcast! It really helps families be happy

Interesting authors and experts are interviewed in their family fields and share scores of ways that families can be happier. And who wouldn’t want just a little more happiness in their lives? No one! Love this podcast and its mission.

Hecksmama ,

Family focused content

So refreshing to find a podcast that has such a well-rounded approach to making a family work. Thank you!

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