Tag Archives: mindfulness

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

To be in with a chance to win a copy of The Children’s Meditations In My Heart, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

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1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
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3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
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5. The winner will be sent a copy of The Children’s Meditations In My Heart.
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Review: Mindfun Tees – Adult Colouring T-Shirts

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know that I’ve had a tough time of things lately. I’ve been struggling to keep my spirits up and to start to heal my grieving heart. Just before my dad died I was sent a Mindfun Tee to review. It sat waiting for me on the kitchen table for a few weeks whilst I was being swept away and dragged under by waves of grief and emotion. 

One day I walked into the kitchen, opened the package and took a closer look at it. I immediately sat down and began colouring.

mindfun

Adult colouring books have been huge in recent years and this is a similar thing but on a t-shirt. Mindfun Tees are unique t-shirts designed to help people relax and unwind. There are lots of designs to choose from and they come with a selection of coloured fabric pens and some simple instructions.

To start, put the instruction card inside the t-shirt so the ink from the pens doesn’t leak through to the other side of the t-shirt. My top tip would be do one colour at a time and leave it to dry. Where I coloured in different colours next to each other while the ink was still wet the colour sometimes leaked a little across the line. It wasn’t a disaster, but if you’re a perfectionist you might get a bit twitchy.

Over a few days I would wander into the kitchen and do some colouring in each day. It really did help me take my mind off things and mentally zone out for a little while. Although I had a whole skull design to colour in, I quite liked just picking out some of the details and colouring them in. 

Once I’d finished and I was happy with it, I ironed the reverse of the t-shirt and it was good to go. Here’s the finished article as modelled by my lovely husband.

Mindfun Tees

I think it looks pretty cool.

The t-shirts they use are lovely, good quality t-shirts. The material is nice and thick, made from 100% cotton and the stitching looks good. There are a huge range of designs to choose from and the prices are £11.99-£23.99 depending on the size and design you choose. The price includes everything you will need, including the fabric pens.

As the t-shirts come in both child and adult sizes, with a number of appealing designs suitable for children, I think these would make an interesting gift for a child, and it would be something kids would enjoy doing, especially if they can let their imaginations run wild with the colouring of it.

Mindfun Tees are launching a campaign called “Outside The Lines”. The idea behind “Outside The Lines” is to promote a sense of not staying inside the box, it allows people to express who they are while helping them to switch off and unwind after a long day. They offer a safe space for people to share their story through their creativity and the Mindfun Tees designs.

The Mindfun Tees are a lovely product at a good price. The simple act of focusing on a creative activity, even for a few minutes a day has been a great help to me at a time when I needed a little distraction. I was pleased with what I produced and hubs liked his t-shirt too. It was a winner!

For more information about Mindfun Tees visit their website.

 

Art Therapy for Adults – Calm Colour Create Magazine

Adult colouring books have been a bit of a thing for a little while now and  there is a part of me which really likes the idea of sitting down and doing a bit of colouring. I was sent a copy of Calm Colour Create Magazine so I could see if colouring in was for me.

Calm Colour Create Magazine

I have anxiety disorder and when I’m in the middle of it all and I can’t find a peaceful place in my head, the thought of focussing on some colouring in seems like a really good idea. It’s not a new idea, it’s a form of art therapy and something encouraged by mental health professionals. The great thing about adult colouring books is that you don’t need any artistic skills other than the ability to hold a pencil.

Calm Colour Create Magazine

Rather than the simplistic designs you would normally find in a kids colouring book, the adult designs in Calm Colour Create Magazine are quite beautiful, featuring intricate patterns. The first issue of Calm Colour Create Magazine featured sophisticated ocean themed patterns and illustrations, and it came with a packet of colouring pencils, though I’m tempted to delve into our craft box and dig out a more extensive selection of colours.

After a tiring, stressful few days I took myself off to the quiet sanctuary of my bedroom to watch the Great British Bake Off and wind my mind down a little. I spent a restful hour colouring in and not thinking about the thousand things that have been on my mind recently. Doing some colouring in helped me switch off from some negative thoughts, focus on the task in hand and wound me down nicely in time for bed.

Calm Colour Create Magazine

Calm Colour Create Magazine has 64 pages of black and white patterns and illustrations to colour in, including intricate mandalas and tangles. Each issue has a different theme, next month is florals. There’s a lot of colouring in in each magazine, so this one will last me a while, it’s handy to have something to focus on and distract me when my anxiety peaks.

Calm Colour Create Magazine is widely available, priced at £4.99 and definitely worth a look at if you’re interested in adult colouring or art therapy.

Note: I was sent a copy of Calm Colour Create Magazine free of charge for review purposes, all images and opinions are my own.

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.