In This Newsletter:

Click here to get the audio version of this month's Dream Starter:
The Rainbow Raft

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

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July, 2008


Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for suscribing to my newsletter. Please feel free to pass it along to your friends and family, especially those who are dealing with sorrow or pain. Recently, my dear friend's sister died unexpectedly. And I felt that it was important to write about the amazing power of both love and pain. My hope is that it can bring some solace to those of you who are hurting.

The relaxation techniques in the Floppy Sleep Game Book not only help children to sleep--they are tools that can help kids to get in touch with their feelings, and de-stress. These techniques are particularly important when kids are dealing with difficulties such as trauma, anxiety, or sorrow.

Blessings to you,

   

 

THE POWER AND PAIN OF LOVE

We often speak, sing, and praise the immense power of love.  And powerful it is!  But the strength and power of our love comes from an openness that also makes us vulnerable to pain.  Love and pain are intrinsically interwoven within the human experience.  And no one is immune to either occurrence. 

I have been reminded of this recently because my dear friend lost her sister in an unexpected accident.  Although the understanding that her sister’s passing was part of a divine plan brought my friend a measure of peace, she was not spared from the intense pain of being abruptly separated from her beloved sister. 

At one time or another in our lives, all of us will experience the pain that comes from watching the people we love suffer or die.  These are not experiences that we would choose.  In fact, if we could, we might opt for a pain-free existence.  But the source of pain is love.  And very few of us would choose to live loveless lives.  Love is what sustains us and makes us human.  It also opens our hearts to feelings of kindness, mercy, and compassion—we feel the pain and suffering of others as our own.  The depth of our pain reveals just how deeply we love.  And it is because of our humanness (and our love), that we feel hurt so intensely. 

Some people are dealt more grief and pain than it seems humanly possible to bear. Amazingly, some of these very people live their lives with acceptance, deep compassion, understanding, grace, gratitude and faith.  They have somehow found a way to transform their pain into wisdom and spiritual healing. 

It has been said that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Intellectually, I understand this, but there is  also a part of me that strongly resists the notion.  In the midst of a crisis, I once repeatedly cried out to God, “This is too much for me!” Evidently, the higher source thought otherwise.  And although I still wouldn’t have chosen the experience, I did get through it.  There is no doubt that hurt and pain can teach us important lessons.  But sometimes I’d like to tell God that even though I know that these experiences make me a wiser and more compassionate person, I’m on vacation now. And I’m choosing not to accept any more painful lessons—thank you very much.   

Obviously, I do not have all the answers.  But during the tough times, the following beliefs and actions have helped sustain me.  And I hope that by sharing them, they will bring some comfort and solace to you during the difficult times of your life.

  • Several times during the day, have some quiet time to yourself. Focus on the here and now. Watch your breath and the space between your in and out breath. Donít dwell on the past or on what could have, would have, or should have been. Donít worry about the future. If your mind wanders toward regrets from the past or worries about the future, donít berate yourself. Be a compassionate observer, kindly watching your own thoughts. When you can, gently bring your mind back to your breath and the space between your breaths. By focusing on the space between your breaths, you may access a void where for a brief instant, nothing is happening--and all possibilities exist. During these short periods of time, you will have some relief from your suffering.

  • Consider that there is a bigger pictureóa divine plan that we are not privy to. And that the pain and suffering that exist on Earth has a purposeóeven if it is to awaken our hearts. Compared to our soulís eternal existence, our time on Earth may very well take place in the blink of an eye.

  • If your loved one has passed over, you may miss them for the rest of your life on Earth. But their soul lives on. Even though they are now in another dimension, they are at peace and their spirit remains close to you. And one day, you will be reunited.

  • Although pain recedes, love continues to grow.

  • When you are ready to acknowledge the pain--without feeling that you need to right a wrong, offer a blessing. This doesnít mean that you condone the action, event, or person who caused the suffering. It simply acknowledges what has occurred. Acknowledging something without judgment creates an opening that allows healing to begin!

  • Consider that if your life has been filled with painful lessons, your next lifetime is sure to be a breeze!

AND REMEMBER, IF LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF OUR PAIN, ITíS ALSO THE SOURCE OF OUR HEALING.

Intended to help children who are coping with the loss of a loved one, Sargeantís Heaven also appeals to all curious children, who have wondered about heaven. Written by Icy Frantz and illustrated by Nina Weld, Sargeantsís Heaven portrays the heaven that a family created for their son, Sargeant after his death. This warm and touching book imagines Sargeantsís life in heaven where he takes cloud bubble baths, roasts marshmallows on stars and plays cards with his great great great grandfather.

It is the authorís hope that Sargeantís Heaven will be a starting point for discussion and healing and will be used as a tool for others experiencing loss. What does your heaven look like?

Sargeant's Heaven
Click here to hear Patti Teel's internet radio show:
The Power of Pain and Love

Childrenís Pain

It is very painful for us to see or think about innocent children who are suffering.  While we’d like children’s lives to be happy, healthy, and carefree, it is not always the case.  World-wide, many children are not immune to life’s pain. 

Like adults, if the pain of children’s disappointments and losses linger unresolved, it can lead to poor mental and physical health and destroy their future relationships.  We can help children to heal by encouraging them to get in touch with feelings and to allow them the freedom to express them. 

Children are very pragmatic.  And sometimes their worries are very real.  I recently received a heart wrenching e-mail from an amazing mother who was doing her very best to help her child through a time that was very difficult for them both.  The woman’s husband, (the father of her child), died just a year ago.  And now, the young mother was battling cancer.  Naturally, her son was afraid that he was also going to lose his mom, just as he had his dad. 

I was glad that the little boy was expressing his fear, rather than pretending it didn’t exist.  I encouraged this courageous mother to tell her son about all the women who had conquered cancer and gone on to live healthy lives.  But in addition, I think it’s important for her young son to know just what would happen to him if his fears were realized.  Where would he live?  Who would take care of him?  Like all of us, by having children face their fears head on, they are better able to deal with them. 

My blessings and prayers go out to this family and I ask for yours as well. 


 

July Dream Starter: The Rainbow Raft

Click here to get the audio version
of this month's Dream Starter:
The Rainbow Raft

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, Timeoutfordreamers.com 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. 

The Rainbow Raft

Tonight when you arrive in Dream Land, there is a sign on the door of the Dream Academy.  It says, “Tonight’s dream lesson will take place at Crystal Lake.” Just as you finish reading the note, a beautiful deer approaches you and says softly, “Follow me, I’ll take you there.”

You follow the beautiful and gentle doe down a moonlit forest path.  When the path ends, you find yourself at the edge of a beautiful, large lake.  You are stunned by its beauty.  The water shimmers and dances in the light of the silvery moon.   You spot the Dream Maker along with a group of pajama clad children.  They are happy to see you and wave, beckoning you to join them. The Dream Maker has asked the children to gather sticks and logs to make a raft.  Dream Land’s friendly forest animals are also helping.  There are foxes, badgers, ducks, geese, turtles, and a large owl gathering sticks with the children.   You can help too and begin gathering as many sticks as you can find.  The pile of sticks quickly grows.  Before long, the Dream Maker says that you have enough. 

The Dream Maker takes a pinch of magical dream dust out of her pouch and sprinkles it on the large mound of sticks.  Instantly, the sticks turn into a strong, sturdy raft.  The Dream Maker asks you and the other children what color you’d like the raft to be.  She laughs when each of you chooses a different color.  “We will call it, the Rainbow Raft,” exclaims the Dream Maker. She sprinkles dream dust on the raft and it instantly glimmers with all the colors of the rainbow. 

The Dream Maker invites you and the other children to join her on the raft and there is more than enough room for everyone. When you’re all onboard, the Dream Maker tosses a rope that’s attached to the raft.  The large owl catches it in his strong beak and pulls the raft into the water.  The other friendly forest animals are still on the shore, nodding their heads approvingly.  You and the other children begin singing a song as you float through the sparkling water.  The fish enjoy the song and show their appreciation by putting on a spectacular diving show.  Enjoy watching the rainbow colored trout as they jump up into the air and then dive back down into the crystal clear water.  When your song ends, they all jump up together, wave their fins to say thanks and good-bye, and then happily swim away. 

The water continually laps along the sides of the raft. The Dream Maker passes out soft, comfortable pillows.  Lie down and enjoy the soft summer night’s breeze as it softly caresses your face.  You are very, very comfortable. If you’d like a light weight soft blanket, the Dream Maker will give one to you.  Some of the children are beginning to fall asleep; they are lulled by the sound of the water as it gently laps against the sides of the raft.  You can’t keep your eyes open any longer; you are so very comfortable and sleepy.  Your arms and legs feel so heavy that you don’t want to move them.  Your eyelids feel heavier and heavier.  Finally, you close your eyes and fall asleep.  As soon as you do, the Dream Maker takes off her star studded magical cape and turns it into a large billowing sail which she ties to a pole in the middle of the rainbow raft.  The breeze--along with a little magic, make it grow larger and larger until it billows across the sky.  It lifts the raft right out of the water and you begin floating into the starlit sky, just above the crystal clear water.  The star studded cape lights up the beautiful night sky and the Dream Maker smiles happily.  She looks back at the forest animals that are watching from the shore, nods her head at them and tosses dream dust their way.  They begin to fly too, following your raft as it floats through the sky.  The deer that led you down the path leads the way.  Your raft flies past the lake and over the forest and beautiful mountains of Dream Land. The deer, owl, ducks, geese and turtles fly just behind you. 

Finally, it’s time to go back.  The raft flies back over the mountains and forest until it is floating over Crystal Lake.  The Dream Maker sprinkles a little dream dust toward the sail.  Her magical cape gets smaller and smaller and the raft floats lower and lower.  Finally, it oh so gently lands back in the water.  She unhooks her star studded magical cape from the pole at the center of the raft and puts it back on.  The forest animals fly down to the shore and wait for you.  The Dream Maker throws them a rope and together, they pull you ashore.  When you step off the raft, the little deer who took you down the path gives you a friendly little nuzzle, and offers to fly you back home to your own cozy bed.  The Dream Maker reminds you that you’re also free to stay and explore Dream Land for as long as you’d like.  She sprinkles dream dust into the night sky and disappears.  But you still can hear her voice saying, “Enjoy your dreams!  Good-night!”



© 2008 Patti Teel, All Rights Reserved
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