Tag Archives: meditation

Book Review: The Children’s Meditations In My Heart

When I was pregnant I really got into yoga and meditation; although I no longer attend sessions, I do some stretches at home and I meditate when I can. Recently I’ve been reading the heart meditations from The Children’s Meditations In My Heart book to my son before bed; both of us have benefited from sharing these lovely meditations.

The Children’s Meditations In My Heart is a book by Gitte Winter Graugaard, a Danish writer and mindfulness instructor. The book has four heart meditations for you to read to your child, or children, as well as advice on how to make the most out of the meditations in the book. The meditations are designed to help your child unwind and drift happily off to sleep.

Book Review: The Children's Meditations In My Heart

My son has always struggled to fall asleep and he’s recently started taking part in a stretch and relaxation class after school. After the classes he is very relaxed and happy, which can only be encouraged. As part of the sessions, the children take part in a meditation and because of this, I knew he would respond well to the heart meditations in the book.

Before you read the meditations to your child, it’s worth sitting down and reading the introductions so you know the idea behind them. There are also instructions on how to read it and what you can do to encourage mindfulness at home. Nothing is more calming for your child before bed than listening to your familiar voice reading a story about your great love for your family.

The first meditation guides your child into their heart to teach them to fill their heart with love. In the following meditations, you teach your child to send and receive love at a distance, to catch love from a little love cloud, and to send love into the universe. It’s a special feeling sending your child to sleep with their heart full of love. 

What we do is snuggle down at bedtime and he closes his eyes. Then using a calm voice, I read the meditation to him; pausing when indicated and using his name when there is a space in the text for his name.

Book Review: The Children's Meditations In My Heart

Each meditation is completely lovely. As well as filling him up with love, they fill me up with love too. This book is a wonderful way to verbalise your feelings for your child and to encourage them to love themselves; which in turn helps to grow in confidence and resilience. The meditations take them off into a calm faraway land and helps them to visualise their heart and see and feel it being filled by love. It really is a special book and an equally special thing to do with your child.

The book and the meditations within it are suitable for all ages of child and adults too. The Children’s Meditations In My Heart by Gitte Winter Graugaard was an immediate hit in Denmark. Graugaard’s book has since been translated into English and is now available in the UK.

I love this book. It’s beautifully illustrated and easy to read and understand. It really helps my son wind down after a busy and energetic day at school. I really enjoy reading them to him and reminding him gently how loved he is. It’s a wonderful book and a great introduction to meditation for children.

The Children’s Meditations In My Heart is available from Room For Reflection for £14.95 for an illustrated hard-back copy.

Win a copy of The Children’s Meditations In My Heart

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Five ways to take some time out of your busy day

Where you’re busy working and looking after a family, if you’re anything like me, you’ll put yourself and your well-being in last place most of the time. I’m a spa junkie and a few times a year I’ll book a day and take myself off. Despite this, I know I need to take 10-15 minutes time out each day to keep some semblance of personal sanity in between spa visits.

If I’m being honest, it’s not always possible for me to take a full 15 minutes, sometimes I forget to put me first for just 1/96th of a day and the habit slips.

Part of my problem, and quite possibly yours too, is that I’m available to other people; friends, family, kids, the internet, every waking hour and sometimes in my non-waking hours too. It’s advisable to turn off phones, tablets and laptops at least an hour before bed. Apparently the blue light can stop us winding down properly and interfere with our sleep patterns. I’m terrible at doing this, but I’m going to try a bit harder.

Five ways to take some time out of your busy day

Here are my five ways to take some time out of your busy day. 

Meditate. I love to meditate. I don’t sit cross-legged on a rug, I generally make myself comfortable on the sofa, or curl up in bed and listen to a mediation app. Andrew Johnson has a great “Power Nap” meditation which lasts for half an hour and is usually enough to wind me down and then power me back up again. I’ve recently downloaded a couple of other apps – Calm and Headspace which are great for shorter bursts of meditation. Even just five or ten minutes can be enough to save your sanity; it’s important to let a little bit of peace and calm into your day.

Read a book. Finding 15 minutes during your day to sit down with a brew and a book. It’s a much better use of your time than you’d think. Transporting yourself to a fictional place and forgetting the state of the house for a few minutes can leave you refreshed and ready to crack on with whatever is waiting for you on the other side. Reading a book before bed is also an excellent way to wind down and stops you scrolling on your phone.

Have a bath. Have a bath, not just any bath, but one with nice fragrant oils or bubbles. Enjoy it in a room lit by candlelight with the door locked to stop invading children is a thing of beauty. I’ve had that kind of bath less than a handful of times over the past few years, but when I have, it’s always been incredibly relaxing. I have friends who manage this every night and their lives are genuinely enriched by having a peaceful bath before bed. Lucky them hey!

Listen to some music. sometimes I’m too agitated to focus on some meditation, so instead I listen to music. Music has the power to lift me up, calm me down, help me process anger or frustrations; it can make me sing and dance,  and it generally raises my spirits. Choose some music to fit your mood or give you what you need and lose yourself in it. For just 15 minutes sit and appreciate, or dance your socks off around the house. Whatever you need.

Go for a walk. I have a dog, so going for a walk is part and parcel of my day. Getting some fresh air, a bit of exercise and physically removing myself from the laptop and the mess in the kitchen does wonders for my mood. I know it’s not always easy to leave home to go for a walk; but even getting off at an earlier bus stop, or going for a quick walk during your lunch break can work wonders.

These are simple things that with a bit of effort you could fit into your day. So what have I done today to give myself some time out? I read a book for a while after lunch in front of the fire, and tonight I will be falling asleep listening to the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Their music sends me off to sleep a treat, I say that in a good way!

How will you take 15 minutes time out today?

Five ways to take some time out of your busy day

If you enjoyed this, you might also like these 28 Self Care habits to stop anxiety in its tracks!

Magical Meditation for Kids – making bedtimes better

When I was pregnant I attended a pregnancy yoga class, it was a wonderfully relaxing highlight of my week, mainly due to the ten minute guided relaxation at the end of the session. Over the years hubs and I have returned time and time again to the pregnancy yoga CD which I bought from my teacher, we listen to it at times of stress and it always lulls us into a state of deep relaxation and often blissful and much needed sleep.

The small boy has always been a pretty good sleeper, but since starting school nursery in September by bedtime he’s often overstimulated, bouncing about all over the place, quick to temper and squealing like a Banshee. It’s pretty wearing to be with him when he’s like that, I often feel that way myself, but as an adult I’m able to express and deal with those thoughts, feelings and emotions.

I popped into Healthy Spirit in Didsbury a few weeks back to pick up a few things, when I noticed the Magical Meditations for Kids selection of CDs. I thought they looked pretty interesting. They start at £11.99 and go up to £14.99. Healthy Spirit have a range of different CDs to choose from depending on your child’s interest, I went for Magical Adventures which I thought would interest my little boy.

meditation for kids

The Magical Adventures Meditation for kids CD is by Heather Bestel. It contains four short mediations which are designed to help children find their inner calm as well as helping to build their confidence, self esteem and inspire their creative spirits. The meditation for kids CD is aimed at children aged 4-7 years and can be used in class as well as at home. We chose to listen to it calmly during our bath/bed routine.

The Magical Adventures CD contains four relaxations, you don’t have to listen to them all in one go, but we decided to listen to the CD in its entirety for a few nights to see which ones he was most drawn to. The CD is 34.54 minutes long and contains –
1. Magical Undersea Adventure (9.11)
2. Magical Space Adventure (7.39)
3. The Magic Circus (6.48)
4. Magic Carpet Ride (11.16)

We started off listening to the CD in the bath, but he soon wanted to get out and lie down with us on the bed and have a cuddle. He was markedly more relaxed than usual and lay with us for a while, occasionally chatting about the undersea adventure and the jellyfish, or the spaceship in the space adventure. Not only was he so much more relaxed than usual, we were too, both of us managed to nod off for a short period.

This CD is definitely going to form part of our bedtime routine from now on, especially after a hectic day at school when he needs to really start winding down for bed. After a busy day of work and parenting we can get a bit frazzled at bedtime too, so a little bit of calm won’t do us any harm either.

There are quite a few other CDs in this range and I think they’d make for interesting stocking fillers and Christmas presents. I would recommend a meditation for kids CD, especially if bedtimes can be a bit fraught and your child is overstimulated by school or whatever. I think back to how renewed and centred I felt after my yoga relaxations and I can only hope my son will feel some of that deep peace and sense of calm.