In This Newsletter:

Featured Article:
  Take Good Care of Yourself

Dream Starter/Visualization:
  Your Best Friend

Raido Show:
  Be Part of the Show!

Time Out with Patti Teel Radio Show

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A Complete Guide for Parents on children's Sleep and Relaxation

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February, 2007

Take Good Care of Yourself

In this month’s newsletter, I chose to write about the importance of nurturing and treating ourselves lovingly. At first this may seem to be an odd, or even a selfish choice. After all, Valentine’s Day is traditionally about expressing our love for others—not ourselves. But when we take care of ourselves, everyone around us reaps the benefits.

In order to be the loving and supportive mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends that we want to be, we need to love and nurture ourselves—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The adage about filling our own cups so that we have something to give to others is very true. It is simply not possible to give from an empty cup. But when our own cups are full, we’re likely to have an abundance of energy and love to share.

I can’t help but chuckle as I remember the old saying, “When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” If you’re a mama or a papa, you can be assured that your children are affected by your happiness as well as your unhappiness. And as their role model, taking care of yourself and pursuing your own passions gives them permission to do the same.

But don’t mistake nurturing yourself with a self-absorbed preoccupation with improving your image. While it’s normal to take pride in our accomplishments and to try and look our best, people who become obsessed with their image are not capable of truly loving themselves or others. Their experiences and relationships are greatly limited by a lack of depth. Because they see everyone else through the same superficial lens that they view themselves, they are capable of using and manipulating others in a futile attempt to try and preserve their fragile sense of self.

To the degree that one’s identity is based on an image, one is not in contact with one’s being. When a person loses the ability to know himself, he feels empty inside--with nothing to give to himself or others. And all the looks, accomplishments, and possessions in the world cannot fill the void.

We can become more loving to ourselves and others by nurturing our bodies, minds, and souls. By doing so, we strengthen the connection to our higher selves and to the divine. By connecting to the God force, or the universal energy, we tap into an infinite flow of love which we can pass along to others. The more love we receive, the more we can give. And the more love we give, the more we will receive.

Nurturing ourselves and
our connection to God:

Take a few minutes to be quiet, each and every day. If you have young children, you might try waking up fifteen minutes earlier, in order to have a few minutes of reflective time to start your day.

Express appreciation and gratitude to everyone you interact with during the day.

Become aware of your thoughts, directing all those that start with “I am,” toward positive statements and goals.

Demonstrate compassion and empathy through your actions, words, and thoughts. Look for the good in each and every person.

Take care of your health by exercising and eating healthy foods.

Do the things that make you happy and bring you joy.

Spend time in nature and have reverence for every living thing.

February Dream Starter: Your Best Friend

Dream Starters are visualizations which promote relaxation, imagination and well-being as they guide children into the world of dreams.

Getting Ready

To prepare for these dream starters, (or visualizations), create a quiet comfortable atmosphere in which your child can relax.

Step One ~ Progressive Relaxation (Tensing & Relaxing Muscle Groups)

Have your child lie down in his bed.  Have him lift each arm and leg individually, holding each limb tightly before loosely flopping it down on his bed.  Then have him wrinkle his face and hold his eyes tightly closed, before relaxing his face.  (Tense each muscle group for at least 5 seconds.)

Step Two ~ Focus on the breath

Have your child get very quiet and watch his own breath.

Step Three ~ Creative Visualization

Now that your child is relaxed, read (or tell) the following visualization.  Of course, feel free to modify it according to your child’s age and interests. 

Your Best Friend

Your best friend is calling softly to you.

Be very quiet so you can hear the message.

You feel the message coming from inside your own heart. (Pause)

It’s telling you that you are loved and that you are perfect—just the way you are.

A warm feeling starts in your heart and spreads throughout every part of your body. (Pause)

Enjoy how it feels. (Pause)

The warm feeling stays with you. When you are still, you can always feel it.

Who is your best friend? It’s you.

As you fall asleep, feel your own heart beating—caring for you and loving you all night long.