In My Heart Children’s Meditations. Review and Giveaway!

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.

Heart Meditations can help children cope with anxiety and fear and can improve their sleep by connecting their minds, bodies and spirits. UK Yankee is giving away a copy of the wonderful Room for Reflection's In My Heart Meditations.

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 meditations by Gitte Winter Graugaard

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:

The four meditations inside Room for Reflection's In my heart meditation book by Gitte Winter Graugaard

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 verdict

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:

  1. Leave a comment on this blogpost answering the question: ‘Have you ever done meditations with you children or by yourself?
  2. 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!!


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18 thoughts on “In My Heart Children’s Meditations. Review and Giveaway!

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful review. It is so reassuring to know that other families are dealing with similar issues.

  2. Hi. I’ve just purchased a copy of this book. I’m really hoping it’s going to work on our 5 1/2 year old. She won’t go to her bed to settle. She stays down with us until she falls asleep on the couch and we then have to carry her up which could be 9:30 ish. I’m nervous to start as she’s so fidgitty up down up down etc so much that im wondering will she even lie down and close her eyes for it. She definitly plays us to. I’m justwondering what do i do if she wont fully concentrate? Do i let her get back out of bed and back down to the couch and try another night.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having trouble getting your daughter to settle at night! There are two things I did that I think really helped Minnie-Sue get in ‘the zone’. First, I made a really big deal about this wonderful new book that I bought. I talked to her about these lovely stories that would help her be really strong during the day (bearing in mind we were dealing with anxiety ). I told her that the stories worked best if we made a really special cozy nest for her to snuggle into whilst we read the stories together. Then I really tried to create a snug atmosphere with the candles and the blankets. We have also used soft music in the background on a couple of occasions. We talk about how its our special time together, just me and her. And I think that when she hears the words in the meditation ‘I’m so glad that you, precisely you, are my child’, it makes her feel incredibly special.

      Having said this, there have been times when she just hasn’t been in the right mood. And in the spirit of it all, I just accept that the timing isn’t right and we leave it.

      I know that we all have very different approaches to parenting and our kids are all different. We know that Minnie-Sue does really thrive within a routine so our evenings are and have always been very routine driven but with a healthy dose of gentle parenting (we don’t operate like the military lol). So we never allow screens of any description after dinner at about 5.30. And she always has to do her nighttime things starting at 7pm. So when I added the meditations in, I suppose it might have felt a little bit illicit, like she was getting a special treat within the parameters of her routine.

      I really hope you and your daughter find benefit in the meditations! I’d be keen to hear how you get on, so feel free to pop back on here and let me know! xx

  3. I have not tried meditation on myself or my children. I am very intrigued to try as a terrible sleeper myself and additionally new school terms always create broken sleep for my girls…!
    Love your blog posts. Always an interesting read. 😘 thanks UKYankee x

    1. Thanks for the lovely compliment :-)!
      I can’t recommend meditation enough. Even starting with just paying attention to your breathing, ‘I am breathing in. I am breathing out.’ It helps keep those pesky thoughts at bay! xx

  4. I meditate regularly myself, but haven’t tried it with my children yet (they’re 4 and 2) – these look lovely as an introduction to it!

    1. I’m sure that your children are already aware that you meditate and would be excited to have their own special meditations to do just like you! 🙂

  5. I’m very sceptical of meditation, I’ve tried so hard to embrace mindfulness with no real success. My daughters nightime anxiety scares me I’d love to give this a try, maybe it would help us both?!

    1. 🙂 I know you have a lot of skepticism around meditation lol! I think one of the reasons that this works so well is because it provides a calm, soothing and safe environment to relax in. The one thing I didn’t mention in the review (and should have) is that I also try to modulate my voice to be quiet and calm (this is no mean feat as you will know!). But the combination of all these things does result in a very relaxing atmosphere (think of a spa type environment and how calming they can be). Have a go with E. If nothing else, it really strengthens that connection at bedtime and turns it into something to look forward to instead of something to dread. And believe me! I’ve been in that place where I dread bedtime because I suffered with insomnia as a child and it was awful! xxx

  6. I’ve tried meditation and always found it helpful but never the kids. I’d love to get the kids doing it too. I have a 6/10 and 13 year old and completely relate to what you saying with the worries that come with it. I think I’m going to give it a go

    1. I’ve heard a lovely quote from the Dalai Lama saying: ‘If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world in one generation’. That’s a pretty bold statement. But the changes I’ve seen in my daughter and the way that she approaches problems now is quite different. Not perfect, but we’ll keep working on it! Good luck with trying it out with your children! I’d love to hear how you get on! 🙂

  7. I have seen a lot about meditation being good for anxiety and should try it myself especially since my teenage daughter has just been diagnosed with depression and anxiety..would definitely like her to try meditation

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s anxiety and depression! One of the hardest things about depression is that feeling of being utterly alone. This is one of the reasons that I really love the In My Heart meditations. They are reliant on the connection with a parent or carer. And through this connection, the tools are built for the child to know that even when things get very tense and stressful, the meditations mechanisms can assist with overcoming anxiety in the knowledge that not only is the parent’s love ever-present, but the child is also able to turn up the love for themselves. I hope this helps you Debbie. I would really recommend having a look at the Room for Reflection website. Gitte’s blog is really inspiring and you may take away some nuggets of wisdom. http://www.roomforreflection.com xxx

  8. I have never tried meditation myself or with my children. I too have always been a little sceptical, but after reading your glowing review I am curious to know if it is something we could benefit from.

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