Little G’s Happy Heart! Part 3 of the ‘Loving My Heart’ Program

Goal– Through story-telling and writing we make a commitment to our heart to give it all it needs to stay healthy and strong.

What you will need– paper, pens/colours, staples

Time frame- Up to an hour

Introduction

Becoming aware of ourselves and our connection with our physical body can ignite a personal interest in keeping ourselves well.

In this workshop we listen in on Little G’s conversation with her mother and realise the importance of taking command of our health and wellbeing.

Creating our own illustrated story helps to further cement our commitment to ourselves, bringing joy to health giving activities and fascination and motivation into our natural day to day existence.

Workshop
First enjoy reading Little G’s Happy Heart (at the bottom of this post)

If your child is reading age use the opportunity to read the story in ‘role-play’ style acting out the appropriate parts.

Swap parts and pretend to be the child whilst your little one pretends to be Little G’s Mother.

Discuss keeping the feeling of love in the heart, imagine love flowing all around the heart, sparkling and twinkling.

Now it is time to create a dialogue together. Choose a health theme for example; healthy teeth, healthy lungs, hygiene, healthy hair etc

As you have the conversation, jot down the health points that come up.

When you have compiled a few points make them into a conversation between you and your child.

page17image15312
page17image15584
If your child’s name is Mary for example and you chose brain health, you might call the story Little ‘M’s Beautiful Brain!

Follow the template of Little G’s Happy Heart with a page by page simple conversation leaving room for your child to illustrate the story.

Please don’t feel you must make the story perfect, just FUN!

When the story is done, decorate a title page and staple the book together!

Awesome!

You have created your own story book and made staying healthy even more meaningful!

Gather your family and friends for a storytelling session and read them YOUR story!

Suggestions – print out your story and give as birthday or holiday gifts! Send your story to The I AM Program via info@theiamprogram.com and we will publish it and acknowledge you on the website!

page18image8848
page18image9120
page18image9392
page18image9664
page18image9936
page19image1264
page19image1536

Little G’s Happy Heart

Written and Illustrated by Arna Baartz© 2011

page20image1264
page20image1536

‘Mummy, what is this drum bumping in my body?’

‘Why that is your precious heart, Little G, beating loud and strong.’

page21image1264
page21image1536

‘Your heart is healthy because you eat food that is just right for you.’

‘Healthy food makes my heart strong!’ Little G, licked her lips.

page22image1264
page22image1536

‘Your heart is beating like a drum because you take good care of yourself,’ said Mummy, ‘I see you drinking plenty of fresh, cool water.’

‘Yummy, splashy water for my healthy heart,’ slurped Little G.

page23image1264
page23image1536

Your heart is strong because you love to jump and run,’ smiled Mummy.

‘Yes I DO love to run!’ Little G flicked her legs like a dancer.

page24image1264
page24image1536

’Your heart is healthy because you smile and laugh and play with your friends, Little G,’ said Mummy.

‘My heart is very happy to play games with you too Mummy,’ Little G blinked her long eyelashes.

page25image1264
page25image1536

‘Your heart is healthy because you have long sleeps at night and sometimes a short nap in the day, Little G’ said Mummy

‘I close my eyes’ said Little G, ‘then I OPEN THEM AGAIN, my heart likes that!’

page26image1264
page26image1536

‘Your heart is healthy AND happy,’ cuddled Mummy, because you can feel LOVE.’

‘My heart CAN feel love Mummy, I know, ‘cause I LOVE YOU!’

page26image4464
page26image4736
page27image1264
page27image1536

‘And my heart is happy too Little G,’ said Mummy ‘because I LOVE YOU.’

Advertisements

‘Heart Yoga’ Part Two from the ‘Loving My Heart’ Program

Goal– Introducing and using Yoga to connect with, heal and open heart chakra. Balancing body mind and spirit!

Time frame- 20 minutes (can be shortened or extended and suggest making this a daily practice for optimum results!)

What you will need– comfortable clothing, drinking water, a mat or towel, soft music.

Note- If you are new to yoga take it easy and remember to breathe. Please DO NOT over extend yourself and check with your Doctor or Yoga expert for any contraindications to yoga. Otherwise enjoy a gentle stretch, re-invigorating your body mind and spirit.

Introduction

The word ‘Heart’ triggers different meanings and emotions for everyone, but it is generally agreed that it is the core of our physical and emotional wellbeing. It is also seen in the Yogic tradition as the spiritual centre.

When our spiritual centre is closed, stagnant or hurt/sad, it is seen to affect our health.

To keep ourselves healthy, it is important to open our heart ‘chakra’.

The word Chakra is a Sanskrit word that loosely means ‘turning’ or ‘wheel’ and refers to a vortex or spinning centre of energy. Energy runs through our entire body but seems to swirl and collect around certain areas.

Keeping these energy centres fresh and healthy, open and active is said to bring great benefits for the body mind and spirit.

On a physical level, the chest (heart area) houses many hardworking muscles that are prone to tightness.

It is important to be conscious of our posture as hunching the shoulders due to cold or fear or as a habit all contribute to tightness of these muscles, constriction of the area around the heart and a sense of un-ease in the body.

Below, is a sequence of yoga postures to stretch, strengthen and “open” your heart.

Prepare your yoga area with consciousness and care. Make sure it smells fresh with the use of flowers from the garden, aromatherapy oils or incense.

Note- when burning candles or oils ensure they are essential and natural and not contributing petro chemicals to your healing environment.

Yoga can be enjoyed in the open air as well as indoors.

Start your music and spend a few minutes sitting or lying comfortably as you engage your whole body and mind, letting go of your day so far; ready to experience the benefits of your yoga practice.

Have fun trying some of the stranger poses, don’t try to be perfect. Everyone does yoga perfectly for them. If you find some of the poses difficult, make up a new one! Whatever way you approach this workshop make sure it is with a sense of joy.

1. Begin in Embryo or Child’s pose.

 

2. Downward Dog

3. Upward Facing Dog

4. The Bow Pose

 

5. The Butterfly- flap your knees up and down like wings.

 

6. Sleeping turtle

7. Happy Baby Pose

 

8.Knee Squeeze

9. Lion Pose – roar like a Lion!

10. Child’s pose to relax and finish up.

Enjoy a glass of fresh water and relax for a little while.

You can pop the heart visualisation from workshop one onto the end of this workshop for a wonderful finish or engage in a discussion about Yoga and the way it made you feel.

Suggestions– Take photos of each other in poses that you enjoy and create a yoga chart to follow in your own time. Make a little yoga booklet to give to a friend!

‘HOWDY HEART!’ Part One of the ‘Loving Your Heart Program’

The heart is the centre of the body, just as you the parent are central to your child at this time in their life.

I felt that a comprehensive 8 workshop heart program could be a great idea as a way to connect the heart with the head for a successful and invigorating journey!

I hope these next 8 posts will bring you and your child great pleasure and awesome results!

Designed as a family activity The I AM Program recommends participation by as many enthusiastic family members as possible.

Healing is never a one way street; we affect and are affected by everyone in our lives. So the healthier the hearts of those around us the more space there is for our heart to get the picture and beat to its optimum level of health

And so saying, the more love and happiness our heart generates, the more we can know that we are effecting the world around us in positive ways!

It is a fact that our children observe us closely, mimicking much of our behaviour. Even our unconscious programming is exposed on some level like a smorgasbord of values for their selection.

Our children learn to love themselves and to tend to themselves by watching us love and tend ourselves.

By developing our emotional intelligence and self-awareness we naturally evolve and heal the psychological and emotional wounds we may have been carrying within.

I have seen my children miraculously heal physically as I have personally shifted and healed certain aspects of myself emotionally.

Connection is key to a highly developed emotional intelligence so through activities that involve parent and child we see wonderful results both physically and mentally.

The heart is where it starts, so without further ado let us explore, strengthen and awaken our dynamic little friend!

HOWDY HEART!

Workshop One

Goal– This workshop gives us the opportunity to meet and greet the heart; giving the heart the appreciation and time it deserves through acknowledging the work being done to keep our body functional.

What you will need

Comfortable place to sit or lie, soft loving music

Time Frame

10-15 minutes

Suggestion

Repeat visualisation daily until it becomes second nature to acknowledge and thank the heart each morning.

Introduction

Our modern lives are stimulating. The external world holds much adventure and reward, so finding time and motivation to explore our inner world is unlikely to be a priority for most.

It is, however, a healthy and revealing activity to make it a quest to know ourselves inside and out!

Ultimate success and happiness is a human right and a significant aspect of the journey there, is through dedication to self.

Our heart is at the centre of our physical wellbeing as well as the emotional brain, taking the time to get to know our heart and speak to it as though it is a valuable friend and counterpart is essential for complete personal development.

In this short but effective workshop we will be taking the time to greet and establish a true and conscious relationship with our hearts.

Lesson Plan

Sit or lie in a comfortable position.

Make sure the room is warm.

Turn on soft music or simply listen to the natural sounds around you.

~

Thanking My Heart Visualisation

 

When you are ready, breathe in deeply and let the breath out in a big sigh.

Breathe in and as you release the breath relax your hands and your feet.

Breathing in you feel you body filled with wonderful oxygen and love. Now breathing out allow your body to sink into the floor or bed.

Breathe in deeply now sink further into the bed or floor, relaxing your hands and feet.

As you breathe in now see the beautiful air swirling down to your heart.

As you breathe out relax your chest and heart.

Breathe in again, this time see the air a beautiful light green colour. Breathe the light green colour deeply into your chest and heart.

Allow your heart to be bathed in this beautiful fresh light green colour. As you breathe out imagine all the air is cleaning out your heart and chest, sweeping away any old dust or worries that may have been sitting in that area.

Breathe in deeply and let all your old worries out. Breathe in filling your chest and heart are with fresh oxygen and beautiful light green colour.

Now see your heart beating in your body, strong and healthy. Smile at your heart. Imagine your heart smiling back at you. Imagine your heart feeling proud that it is working for you and doing such a brilliant job.

Your heart is so happy that you are noticing the good work it is doing. Your heart is like a beautiful child that wants to be noticed. Smile lovingly at you heart.

Breathe in deeply giving your heart the gift of fresh oxygen to help it do its job.

Breathe out in a big sigh.

Now in your mind say ‘Thank you, for all you do for me, I love you’ to your heart.

Breathe in and out, when you are ready wriggle your fingers and toes, slowly open your eyes and smile.

 

Now that you have enjoyed this cleansing visualisation, share your experience with each other.

  • Do you feel different now?
  • What was it like to imagine fresh green light filling your body? Did it Feel good?
  • Was it difficult to imagine your heart happy or was it easy?
  • Would you like to do it again?

A simple discussion like this is effective in ironing out the little wrinkles we sometimes feel when attempting something new or unusual. It clears even more space for the return of your health and upliftment.

 

Growing Self-Esteem

One of the major contributing factors to a successful life is self-esteem.

Self-esteem is the necessary cornerstone to be found within every aspect of life, determining the degree to which a child may maximize the personal tools he or she was born with.

Self-esteem or lack thereof will influence personal development, educational opportunity, creative endeavours and responsibility for actions and consequences as well as personal relationships.

A child with high self-esteem will take pride in accomplishments, be accountable, assume responsibility where appropriate, cope with external circumstances; including sudden change, be confident enough to try new things, and exhibit emotional intelligence.

High self-esteem is self-actuating in that someone who feels good about themselves will act in ways that further increase their sense of self worth and satisfaction.

A child with superior intelligence and low self-esteem can do badly in school, while a child with average intelligence and high self-esteem can do unusually well.  High self-esteem helps a child deal with challenge and adversity.

Encouraging children to participate in activities that provide fun opportunities for learning will build their self-esteem

  • climbing something slightly difficult
  • cooking a simple salad or making their own healthy lunch
  • decorating a room with their own paintings
  • creating a garden bed
  • helping others
  • writing love letters to family members
  • looking after a pet

When a child participates in a self-esteem building exercise, make sure you ask them questions like ‘how does it feel to cook this meal?’

Point out that the dog is very grateful that he has been taken for a walk.

Notice the smile on a family members face when they receive a love-letter, point that out and ask the child how it feels to make someone else smile.

Help children realise the power to affect the world through their actions!

This will grow self-esteem and raise emotional intelligence!

Hydrate The KIDS!

 

It is extremely important to remind families, students and ourselves about the necessity of adequate hydration.

Most people are chronically dehydrated due to habit and most of us lack awareness of the affects dehydration has upon the human body.

Dehydration causes confusion in the brain making it difficult to react appropriately no matter how developed our emotional intelligence is.

Part of developing emotional intelligence is gaining an awareness of the possible physical reasons for mental and emotional distress. These reasons may also include, fatigue, hormonal cycles, food intolerances, petro chemical influences such as exhaust, paint or candle fumes, and inadequate nutrient intake amongst others.

As soon as we begin to feel energy rise in our body we need to ask ourselves, ‘What is going on in our personal, physical environment and have I been drinking adequate water today?’

Adequate fluid is approximately 1 litre per 25 kilos of human body weight.

Appropriate fluids for rehydration purposes are water and herbal teas.

Note: Soft drinks, milk, tea, coffee and all alcoholic beverages must be seen as ‘pleasure beverages’ rather than be used for hydration purposes.

Some Symptoms of dehydration

  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of frustration
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Lightheadedness (especially when standing)
  • Weakness
  • Decreased urine output

Suggestion: create a printout/poster for your classroom wall and as a handout for students and parents.

Teaching Values To Children

If we become conscious for a moment and think about the future we might begin to see something rather obvious if not a little bit disturbing.

These children of whom we are in charge now will very shortly be in charge of us!

If nothing else this should provide the impetus to find new ways to educate them!

We must ask ourselves ‘what sort of carer would I want caring for me when I am old and incompetent?’

‘What type of value system do I want the future leaders of this country to be sporting!?’

‘Do I want career driven, authority figures, or do I want love driven authority figures?’

If we have a good long think about it we will have the basic outline for the curriculum that should be in our classrooms NOW.

I know what I want…. if I need to be cared for when I am older I want the carer to have a well developed compassion. If I get in trouble I would want the judge to be a smart yet empathetic person.

And my country well I would choose to have it governed by a tolerant, kind, confident and intelligent leader!

So there you go if we take a simplistic look at this list our school curriculum should consist of daily lessons (interactive arts based to be most effective) in COMPASSION, EMPATHY, TOLERANCE, KINDNESS, CONFIDENCE, INTELLIGENCE EMOTIONAL AND INTELLECTUAL!

Pretty simple, teach now for a bright and sustainable future for all!

Teaching Kids Personal Boundaries

It is important and possible to teach children how to establish personal boundaries.

Personal boundaries are very real and we do have the power to strengthen them in order to keep us safer in life.

An effective way of understanding boundaries is by recognizing how the body registers feelings of YES and NO.

A yes feeling may be light and uplifting. A no feeling can be heavy or uncomfortable. Each person will feel yes and no in their own way.

Recognizing the way ‘yes’ and ‘no’ feels personally, is a powerful tool to help us say no when we need to and yes when we choose.

We can learn how to recognize each feeling by paying attention to the body’s physical reaction in different situations.

When we have learned to recognize feelings, we can choose our response; this provides the lifelong gift of personal power.

Practice becoming aware of the body more often, choose a part of your body and focus on it, feel the feelings there, hear the sounds in your body or notice sensations on your skin. Take this further by imagining something you don’t like, how does that feel in your body? Now imagine something you already know you like, how does that feel in your body?

Feelings have a purpose and that is to guide us towards that which brings us joy, fulfillment and success!