In This Newsletter:

Featured Article:
  Faith Springs Eternal

Dream Starter/Visualization:
  Hide and Seek

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

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March, 2008

Faith Springs Eternal

As we welcome March and say good-bye to February, I'd like to acknowledge the very special demonstration of faith that February presents to us each and every year. Typically, in most parts of America, February displays little evidence to suggest that spring is just around the corner. Growing up in Nebraska, I remember the slushy streets, barren trees, and colorless skies engulfing us in gray monotony. Still, we had complete faith that February would lead us to March and that the winds of spring would soon be spreading the vitality of new life, warmth, and vibrant color to our world.

The human condition predisposes us to a spectrum of emotions. Dispair would be at one end of our personal Richter Scale and faith would be at the other. Feeling hopeful is certainly many degrees above dispair, but it is not synonymous with the feeling of faith. The definition of faith is absolute confidence or trust in a person or thing. When we have faith that something will occur, we can relax and confidently go on with our lives. In contrast, feeling hopeful implies a cautious optimism, allowing some room for doubt and worry. Admittedly, when we're facing a difficult situation that causes us to be concerned about something or someone, faith can be a scarce and precious commodity.

However, we can cultivate faith through prayerful visualization. It's an enjoyable and powerful practice that can dramatically change our attitudes and ultimately, the events that make up our lives. Each and every day, imagine that what you want to have happen has already occurred. For example, all parents want their children to be healthy and happy. Instead of praying for their health and happiness, close your eyes and envision your child as the picture of health and happiness. See her smile, and hear her laughter. At this point, you will probably find yourself smiling and your heart will grow warm. If you want to add silent or spoken words to your prayerful visualization, pray (child's name) happy, pray (child's name) healthy. As you'll notice, I'm suggesting that you leave out the word for. You are actually experiencing (through your feelings and visualization) what you'd like to have occur. When you feel complete, punctuate your prayerful visualization with a feeling of thankfulness and gratitude.

Prayerful visualization has no limitations and can be applied to any situation. It can be directed toward an individual's well-being or toward the entire planet. When you feel hopeless and frustrated by the turmoil in the world, close your eyes and through prayerful visualization, experience a peaceful world. Pray peace. See young soldiers reuniting with their families. Feel the joy in a mother's heart as she hugs her son. Expand upon your prayerful visualization until you feel content and grateful. This practice will feel quite a bit different than praying for peace or for anything else. When you're praying for something, you're focusing on your need and on what is lacking. It may seem like a subtle difference. But the feeling it invokes is very different. And the feeling is the prayer! Rather than pleading for something that we feel is missing in our lives, we're surrounded with the answered prayer and filled with the feeling of fulfillment and gratitude.

Although one of the wonderful benefits of prayerful visualization is stress relief, it is far more than a fanciful exercise that simply makes us feel good. Quantum physics is proving that our thoughts and prayers are effectual and powerful agents of change. When we embody the very conditions that we want to experience, we transcend the doubt that often accompanies our desires and prayers. This creates a positive energy that is projected beyond our bodies and throughout the world, opening the door to our dreams and desires. When the feeling of our prayers is answered in our hearts, they become the reality of our lives.

At times, we all find ourselves in situations that hurt us. While it's easy to embrace a positive attitude when everything is as cheerful as a sunny spring day, it can be difficult when life brings challenges that engulf us in gray despair. During these times, let's remember February's demonstration of faith. No matter how dreary the landscape appears in February, spring is on its way.



March Dream Starter: Hide and Seek

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

You can find more story visualizations about Dream Land, where children manifest whatever they desire, in The Floppy Sleep Game Book. Or visit Patti’s new site, for recordings that you can download.

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. 

Hide and Seek

Tonight when you arrive in Dream Land, the kindly Dream Maker is already waiting for you just outside the Dream Academy. Glittery dream dust is swirling all around her. She raises her arms up toward the sky and the sparkling stars begin moving closer together,encircling a beautiful, round blue moon.

When the stars have formed a complete circle overhead, the crystal dome of the Dream Academy begins to hum, signaling you and the other children that the Dream Academy is about to begin. The Dream Maker smiles excitedly and says, "Welcome Dreamers. I've been waiting for you. Tonight, the stars are shining especially brightly. And we have a glorious blue moon that's shining down upon us like a powerful flashlight. It's the perfect night to stay outdoors and play hide and go seek. Dream Land is a very big place and I know all the best hiding places. I've already decided where to hide. (Pause) To help you find me, I'll be sending some clues. But you may need to be very still and quiet, so you don't miss them."

The Dream Maker reaches into the deep pocket of her floor length cape and pulls out a star studded pouch. She takes out a handful of dream dust. When she tosses the dream dust above her own head, she vanishes. It's as if she herself has turned into the sparkling glitter. "Ready or not, here we come," says one of the other children. But where will you look first?

Remember, she told you to get very still so you wouldn't miss her clues.

Close your eyes and be very, very quiet. Can you feel the soft breeze on your face? The branches on Willow, the tree next to the Dream Academy, begin to sway in the breeze. The beautiful tree's branches begin to move apart to create an opening. You and the other children are being invited in. You step inside Willow's cozy canopy. Beautiful green branches hang all the way down to the ground and it's as if you're inside a large, leafy tent. Silvery blue moonlight shines through the spaces between the leaves. The light dances around as the leaves rustle in the breeze. Willow's magnificent trunk is in the center. Suddenly, it begins to sparkle and a magical, secret door appears. It slowly opens and you hear the Dream Maker's voice saying softly, "Good job, dreamers. You followed my clue."

One by one, you and the other children duck through the door on Willow's trunk. Inside, there is a slide with colorful lights along the sides. Where will it take you? You and the other children sit down and begin sliding down-down-down, all the way down to another part of Dream Land. When you reach the bottom of the slide, you and the other children find yourselves in the Forest of Dreams.

It's beautiful! The stars are shining even brighter here. And the blue moon bathes the forest in a soft haze of silvery-blue light. The light shines directly on a path that leads through the forest of trees. Along the path, there are brightly colored heart shaped rocks. Perhaps, this is another clue from the Dream Maker. You and the other dreamers begin walking down the path, collecting the beautiful heart shaped rocks along the way. A family of bunny rabbits, birds, butterflies, and a young deer join you as you look for the Dream Maker.

The path leads you to a beautiful grassy meadow that is filled with blue and yellow wildflowers. Breathe in the sweet smell of the blossoms. The grassy meadow is beautiful but you don't see the Dream Maker anywhere. Where could she be?

A small parade of fluffy clouds slowly begin to float down from the sky. They continue to float down towards you, closer and closer. Could this be another clue from the Dream Maker? The clouds hover near the ground and you recognize your own little cloud from the Dream Academy. Realizing how sleepy you are, you decide to take a little rest. Climb aboard and lie down on your very own soft, comfortable cloud. It takes you on a little ride, floating slowly around the meadow, just above the flowers. Close your eyes and enjoy the gentle ride.

The cloud surrounds you like a soft, fluffy blanket. You are becoming sleepier and sleepier as you sink deeper and deeper into the cloud's velvety softness.

You are very, very comfortable. You don't have a care in the world.

Enjoy the sound of your own breath, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out. You are beginning to sleep deeply and find yourself drifting into a new dream.

You hear the softest whisper. It's the Dream Maker; she's sitting next to you on the edge of your cloud. She says, "Here I am. You found me. I've been hiding in one of your dreams." You smile to yourself. Of course. Where else would the Dream Maker be? "If you'd like," she says, "we can spend more time together. Or, you may wish to dream on your own. It's your dream and you
get to dream it.

Enjoy your dreams! Good-night!"

© 2008 Patti Teel, All Rights Reserved