In This Newsletter:

The Floppy Sleep
Game Book

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

You can learn more about the book and order it via our website by clicking here.


February, 2009

Dear Friends,

In this month’s featured article, we’ll re-approach our intentions for the New Year with renewed insight and enthusiasm.  If you feel as if your New Year’s resolutions have gone by the wayside, this article is for you! 

And as we approach Valentine’s Day, I hope you enjoy receiving and expressing all the delightful representations of love that are such an integral part of this enchanting day.  As a parent and former teacher, I remember how much the children loved to give and receive Valentine cards.  During the classroom parties, even the most boisterous children were content to sit and savor their cards.  Long after Valentine’s Day has passed, cards and notes are a wonderful way to let people know that we care about them.  Unfortunately, writing letters, notes and cards is becoming somewhat of a lost art.  But it doesn’t have to be.  I express this sentiment in an article I previously wrote, Notes for Valentines Day and Beyond.

I wish you a happy February, filled with love and a renewed sense of hope for the future.  As always, I thank you for subscribing to my little newsletter and invite you to pass it along to friends or family who might enjoy it.

Sweet Dreams,


Stay Tuned!
New Dream Starter Recordings Are Coming!

I've been hard at work recording several of the most popular Dream Starters from the monthly newsletter. They will be available for purchase and download in the next few weeks.

Beyond New Years Resolutions

Can you believe that it’s already February?  I thought that by now, I’d have whipped myself into shape, lost the extra pounds that stubbornly settled around my mid-section, and accomplished other feats too numerous to mention.

If you’re like me, you may be feeling as if your New Years resolutions have already fallen by the wayside.   However, rather than being angry at myself, I’m actually amused by the realization that I repeat this little scenario each and every year.  And I don’t think I’m alone in this regard.  The classes that I take at my local YMCA were swarming with new members during the first two weeks in January.   But now, they’ve already dwindled back down to their usual size.

It’s so easy to get caught up in all the media hype surrounding the New Year and to set unrealistic goals for ourselves.  But lasting change generally starts with self reflection.  And I don’t think I’m making an excuse when I point out that as inhabitants of the Earth, we’re wired to take it easy in January. In many parts of the world, animals and birds are rarely visible in January.  And even the trees, rivers, and pastures seem to be resting in preparation for their rebirth. 

But now it’s February.  And just as dormant seeds stir in anticipation of their upcoming journey through the Earth—so do we.  If your actions have not been in alignment with the goals you set forth for yourself, brush yourself off and get back on the horse. 

But first, let’s begin our journey with renewed insight. Since hindsight is 20/20, it’s helpful to spend time looking back at both our successes and our shortcomings.  While we never know exactly what challenges the year will bring, we do know that history tends to repeat itself.  Look back at the past year, and at the last month.  Examine the difficulties you encountered and at the roadblocks that kept you from attaining your goals.  This honest assessment can be the first step toward lasting change.

Sometimes, varied circumstances and situations disguise the fact that we’re still dealing with the same core issue.  If you realize that you are continuing to struggle with a familiar problem, don’t be disappointed.  Understandably, when lessons that we thought we’d already learned resurface, it can be discouraging. But it doesn’t mean that all our previous efforts and successes were for naught. It simply means that there are more layers to peel away as we work toward a deeper understanding of the issue. 

Recently, I tuned into Oprah’s show and watched with interest as she expressed embarrassment at once again struggling with her weight—an issue that she thought she’d already conquered.  Like most of America, I greatly admire Oprah—not only for her numerous successes, generosity, and vast accomplishments, but for being brave enough, honest enough, and open enough to share her vulnerabilities and struggles.  When she revealed her feelings of disappointment in herself, we understood just how she felt.  But instead of being received as a negative message, it gave us hope.  Because if someone as highly accomplished as Oprah feels that there are areas in her life that still need work, perhaps we can also be honest enough and brave enough to face and tackle our own difficulties. 

In order to change the future, look back at the past year and assess the following four areas of your life: relationships, wellness, work, and spirituality.  If you’re a parent, you can look at the same four areas of your child’s life, substituting the work/career category with a school/learning category.  Pay particular attention to problems that originate in one of these areas--but that spill over and cause problems in other areas as well.  For example, you may be struggling at work.  But the ‘work problem’ may actually be caused by health issues that have robbed you of your energy and vitality. And when the health issues are identified and solved, the work difficulties become a thing of the past. 

In order to help you plan the changes you’d like to make, I’ve included a report card that you can print out.  If at all possible, take time to fill it out when you have a quiet hour to yourself.  It is for your eyes only; being completely honest in your self-assessment is to your own benefit.  You can use it to plan the changes that will make 2009 the best year of your life.   

When you’ve finished filling out your report card, I hope you’ll take the time to follow up with the following three ‘assignments: 

  1. Make one broad ‘life’ intention for the New Year.  For example, my intention is to positively co-create through both action and acceptance.  There is a space to write your  intention down on your report card.  You may also want to write it down on a small piece of paper, then fold it up and keep it in your billfold.
  2. Make a date with yourself to review your report card each month, checking to see if you’re staying on track by continuing to make the intended changes.  Keep it in a handy  place.  Our lives are a work in progress so if you receive new insights, feel free to revise your life intention as well as your solutions in each of the four categories. 
  3. Have the best year of your life!

The Annual Compass Planning Tool

This is a planning tool I devised to help me figure out what I want to accomplish in the coming year and what I need to do to stay on track. While I wrote it with adults in mind--with a few modifications, it can also be a useful tool for parents to use with their children.   

If you’re a parent, you can look at the same four areas of your child’s life, substituting the work/career category with a school/learning category.  However, I’m not a big fan of letter grades for children.  You may simply want to use this form as food for thought or as a conversation starter with your child.  If you and your child go through it together, simplify the verbiage in order to make it age appropriate.

I suggest you give stars—rather than letter grades.  Four stars would be indicative of areas of strength and success while fewer stars would signify areas that need attention.  Afterwards, have a conversation with your child to discuss your reflections, enlisting their input as well.  Be sure to start the conversation positively by pointing out successes and areas of strength.  If there are problematic areas, together with your child, devise a strategy to make improvements.  

Click here for a printer friendly version of the Annual Compass.

In this fun visualization, children will make Valentine cards at the Dream Academy.  Then, they drive down to Earth in their own magical mail truck and personally deliver the precious cards. 

February Dream Starter: Dream Delivery

In this fun visualization, children will make Valentine cards at the Dream Academy. Then, they drive down to Earth in their own magical mail truck and personally deliver the precious cards.

You can download the audio version of this month's Dream Starter at

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. 

Dream Delivery

Click here for a printer ready version of this Month's Dream Starter.

Tonight when you arrive in Dream Land, it’s aglow with red and pink sparkling hearts. They are hanging from each and every tree. When you walk near them, the paper hearts begin to sway back and forth—as if to say hello.  You reach up to try and touch a heart and it playfully darts just out of your reach. 

Then, the colorful crystal mountains of Dream Land begin to hum.  This means that the Dream Academy is ready to begin.  You and the other dreaming children run over to the crystal dome of the Dream Academy.  A heart-shaped note has been posted on the door. It tells you to come inside.  You and the other dreamers walk down the hallway and into your classroom.  The Dream Maker is standing next to a large heart-shaped table that she set up in the middle of your classroom.  Everything you need to make beautiful Valentine cards is on the table.  There is colored paper, crayons, pens, markers, paints and paintbrushes, scissors, glue sticks, and even envelopes.  Just in case you need a little magic, there is a jar of glittery dream dust in the center of the table. 

“Good evening Dreamers,” says the Dream Maker. She smiles excitedly at you.  “Tonight, you’ll be making Valentine cards.  Giving Valentine cards is a wonderful way to let your friends and family know that you care about them.” 

She asks you to be quiet for just a moment as you think about the people you care about.  (Pause)  Wouldn’t they love to get a special valentine from you?  (Pause)  If you’d like to, you can make cards for your mom and dad, your brothers and sisters, cousins, grandparents, friends, and for your teacher.  (Pause)  It’s time to get started.  Choose some paper and begin making your valentines.  When a card is finished, put it in an envelope.  Write the name of the person on the outside of it.  If you don’t know how to write the person’s name, take a sprinkling of dream dust from the center of the table—think of the person—and the dream dust will write the name in sparkling glitter.  Make as many cards as you’d like.  (Pause) 

When everyone has finished, the Dream Makers gives you and each of the other children a mail bag. Carefully put your precious valentine cards inside.  You will be delivering them, but first, you and the other dreamers need to clean up your mess.  The Dream Maker tells you to sprinkle a little dream dust on the table and on the floor.  Watch as the scraps of paper magically become beautiful Valentine decorations.  You and the other dreamers hang them up on the walls of your classroom.  (Pause)  It looks beautiful! 

Now that the Dream Academy is ship-shape, it’s time to deliver your Valentines.  The Dream Maker says that the fastest and most efficient way to deliver them is by Dream Delivery. You and each of the other children pick up your bag of Valentines and follow the Dream Maker down the hallway and then outside the door.  There, you are surprised to see a fleet of mail delivery trucks parked in a line that encircles all the way around the Dream Academy.  There is a truck for you and for each of the other dreamers.  Each truck has been decorated with an assortment of red and pink valentines.  You climb into the very first truck and are a little surprised when the heart on the dashboard speaks to you.  “My name is Val,” says your mail truck.  In the center of the heart, you notice that there is a mail slot.  Val says, “When you drop a Valentine card in my slot, I’ll take you to that person’s address.  But first, you need to buckle your seatbelt.”  After securely buckling your seatbelt, you reach into your mailbag and drop the first valentine card into the slot.  “Here we go,” says Val.  The Dream Maker waves at you as you begin flying down to Earth to deliver your valentines.  You take a look back and see that the other dreamers are also taking off in their mail delivery trucks.  You wave at them and they smile at you and wave back.  Beautiful sparkling stars light up the sky and a soft breeze gently blows through the open windows.   (Pause)  Down below, you see the beautiful Earth.  It looks like a gigantic blue and green ball.  Val flies lower and lower and finally, her wheels gently touch down on the street.  It is very late and there are no other cars or trucks on the road. Everyone is asleep. 

Val takes you to deliver the first valentine card.  You don’t need to get out of the comfortable truck.  Just reach your hand out the window and carefully set the card in the mailbox. Each time you put another Valentine into the slot on the heart, Val says, “Special Delivery—the Dream Delivery is on its way.”  Then, she takes you to the person’s mailbox.  She never gets lost.   One by one, you deliver each and every one of your valentines.  Finally, all your cards have been delivered and it’s time for you to go back to bed.    

Val drives you home and parks just outside your home.  The heart on her dashboard sparkles brightly and two valentine cards pop up like toast from a toaster. Val tells you shyly that they’re for you.  You thank Val, tell her good-by and get out of the truck.  She honks her horn softly to say good-by.  Then she begins flying back to Dream Land. You walk inside with your valentine cards and climb into your own cozy bed.  Before you go back to sleep, you open your valentine cards.  One is from Val, and the other is from the Dream Maker.  They both wanted you to know how wonderful they think you are.  The cards make you feel very happy.  And then you feel happier still as you think about all the people who will receive a valentine card from you.  Close your eyes and feel the warmth in your heart as you think about how surprised and happy your friends and family will be when they open your valentine cards.  

As you drift back to dreamland, listen to your own breath. 
In and out, in and out, in and out. 
When you’re ready, you can go on another dream flight.  
Have fun.  Good-night!

© 2008 Patti Teel, All Rights Reserved