a review and a giveaway!
I’m delighted to write this post about children’s meditations today because I’m reviewing a book that I absolutely adore. And more than that…the author of the book is kindly providing my readers with a chance to win a copy of the e-book for free! (See bottom of the post to enter!).
About a year ago, a friend sent me a link to a Danish blog about meditation as a powerful tool in helping children cope with anxiety and fear. It can help them calm their minds after intense periods of stimuli; a feature of modern childhood. And it can help children connect their bodies and their minds through breathing. The blog was Room for Reflection.
room for reflection
Gitte Winter Graugaard, author of The Children’s Meditations: In My Heart, has a wonderful way of identifying the important things in life. And she communicates these in simple, yet powerful language and imagery. Many reviewers of In My Heart raved about how the meditations helped their children fall asleep. I am always a fan of Minnie-Sue getting a good night’s sleep. But this wasn’t my primary motivation in buying the book.
Instead, I was interested in Gitte’s deep-held belief that teaching children to go inside themselves to sense their body, mind and heart will help alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes with day to day life.
As a mother, I spend an awful lot of time worrying. (‘No kidding’, I hear you say!) I often feel ill-at-ease with the ideas and influences that face Minnie-Sue outside of the home. I worry that she will measure herself by the magazine covers at the supermarket. That her joy of learning is getting lost amidst standardized testing and national curriculum. And that her childhood is getting lost in the hustle of after-school activities and other ‘Achievables’. I can’t imagine what being a child today feels like on the inside.
My desire to have a copy of In My Heart was primarily based on having a tool that helped my 7-year-old (at the time) relax and let go of all that outside stimulation. So, in one easy click, I bought the pdf copy of the book.
How is the book laid out?
The cover art is a beautiful depiction of the meditation themes: A mountain, a heart, a cloud. These images are central to the meditations.
In My Heart has four meditations which a parent reads to their child/ren. Interestingly, Gitte points out that whilst recorded children’s meditations are readily available, In My Heart meditations rely on the familiar voice and presence of a parent or carer. These are essential to the connection during this special meditation time.
The Introduction to the book helps parents understand the importance of heart meditations. It also gives lovely, clear instructions on how to prepare your child for the meditation; how to make your child comfortable; and how to read the meditations. ‘Reflections’ follow each meditation giving you extra time to escape ‘Brainland’ and explore your own ‘Heartland’. I can highly recommend these!
The Meditations themselves
I mentioned before, In My Heart has four heart meditations:
When I previewed the first meditation, I wondered if I’d be able to read these to Minnie-Sue without breaking down in tears. However, it turns out that the peace that comes from these meditations is two-way. Consequently, I approached it all with a calm mind and heart.
Our heart meditation how-to guide
Everyone will have their own preferences, but we always do the heart meditations at bedtime. Minnie-Sue gets completely ready for bed and crawls under the duvet. We light three candles and turn off the lights. I sit next to her bed on a little wooden stool. Once she has settled, we begin.
At first, we read the meditations in order and I was guided by Minnie-Sue as to how many nights to devote to each one. Now we dip in and out, reading the one that she chooses on a given night.
Here’s the astounding thing. I mentioned before that a lot of the reviewers said their children would fall asleep during the meditations. Even Gitte mentions this in the introduction. I kind of thought this was one of those ‘side-effects’ that a few people experienced. But hand-on-heart, Minnie-Sue falls asleep in the meditations about 80% of the time. And if she doesn’t fall asleep, she is in such a deep state of relaxation that she’s not far from the Land of Nod. I had to experience this to believe it! And I sleep better that night too.
Here’s the second astounding thing. When we do the meditations, she sleeps later in the morning. This is an accomplishment because she is a born Lark.
Finally, I have noticed that over the year that we have been doing these, Minnie-Sue’s behaviour is vastly improved on the days after a heart meditation.
The Children’s Meditations: In My Heart have been a revelation in our house. I cannot recommend this book enough! Adding Gitte’s heart meditations to our routine has provided an extra layer of stability and safety to Minnie-Sue’s life at a time when she is beginning to wrangle with social issues and new emotional depths.
Recently, Room for Reflection introduced two beautiful little tokens to augment their In My Heart meditations. One token is a small dream-catcher and the other is a cloud keychain.
I bought the cloud keychain for Minnie-Sue to keep with her at school. Now, when she is feeling anxious, she can remember the 3rd heart meditation: that her cloud is full of love and with her always. These two tokens are created through a collaboration between Room for Reflection and a charity in Kathmandu supporting women in Nepal. (Just one more reason to love what Room for Reflection is all about!!).
The great news is that one lucky reader is going to win an e-copy of The Children’s Meditations: In My Heart.
I really believe that this book is perfect for children of all ages! I’m so excited to be working together with Gitte to bring one of you lucky readers your own free e-copy of the book. So get your name in the giveaway draw!
Here’s how to enter in 2 simple steps:
- Leave a comment on this blogpost answering the question: ‘Have you ever done meditations with you children or by yourself?
- Next click on the link below and follow the simple instructions.
Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! You can enter once and the giveaway closes on 14th March 2017 at midnight GMT (that’s London time!).
This Giveaway Has Now Ended. Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to MowgliMom who won the Rafflecopter Draw!!