Children’s Mental Health Week 1st to 7th Feb

Illustrator Trevor Murphy and I are hosting a FREE Zoom workshop for parents and children as part of Children’s Mental Health Week.

The focus for the workshop is our book, The A to Z of Heartfulness.

Children will have the opportunity to:
– Interact with fun poems for a greater sense of wellbeing
– Create their own poem and character

The event will be held daily with a limited number of participants per day.

Children must be supervised by an adult. You are welcome to leave your camera and microphone turned off if you prefer, there is no pressure.

We hope you will join us.

If you’d like further information and a ticket click on the picture below.

We look forward to welcoming you!

As a further gift to you, the eBook version of our book will be available for free Kindle dowload from Feb 1st to Feb 5th, from Amazon.

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The A to Z of Heartfulness

Available on Amazon – click to go to Amazon

“A stunning piece of work, filled with words of wisdom and joyful illustrations. Highly recommended for all.”
Shamash Alidina, Bestselling Author of Mindfulness for Dummies

Happy New Year everyone!

I’m starting the New Year with some positive news… my book The A to Z of Heartfulness is now available on Amazon.

It’s an interactive poetry book, designed to help children connect with their hearts for a greater sense of well-being.

Each poem offers a starting point for discussion between child and parent/educator.

The simple illustrations provide inspiration for the children’s own drawings and can be coloured in.

Themes include empathy, kindness, courage, heartfulness, mindfulness, and simple meditation exercises.

This book was a postive focus for me throughout lockdown last year and I’m happy to finally be able to share it with you.

Take care!

Jacqueline xx

What nourishes you?

How can we tell if a tree is healthy? It stands tall and strong through the seasons, withstanding the downpours of rain, and the frost and blankets of snow that decorate its branches. In the autumn it sheds its leaves in a flurry of red, yellow and brown. It’s roots reach deep and wide, anchoring it to the ground to enable it to withstand storms while providing essential nutrients for growth and renewal. A tree offers shelter and refuge for animals and birds. It provides us with oxygen.

I’d like to use the image of the tree to think about how we ourselves stand strong throughout our lives. If we imagine ourselves as the tree, then our own roots will keep us strong and healthy.

The roots of place – the safe place we create for ourselves in the world which keeps us anchored in difficult times.

The roots of nourishment – what we put into our mouths will be evident in our bodies and their ability to function to the maximum.

The roots of relationships – which are the relationships in your life that are steadfast, providing support and lifting your spirits?

The roots of creativity – what do you create in your life? Do you bake? Write? Draw? Make things? Dance?

The roots of spirituality – this isn’t necessarily religion. Do you feel at one with nature? Do you feel connection with a certain place?

The roots of solidarity – what do you do for others? Helping others can create a deep sense of well-being in ourselves.

What nourishes you? What inspires you?

Finally, here’s a poem about a tree to share with your child, from my upcoming book of poetry for children. You can get them to stand tall like a tree and invent some accompanying actions.

THE TREE

There’s a tree at the end of my garden.

It stands tall, majestic,

Branches out wide, reaching up to the sky.

Trunk strong, roots deep.

It stands through the seasons.

Spring – the new leaves form and spread to provide shade in the summer.

Autumn – In the autumn the leaves fall in a shower of red, yellow, orange and brown.

In winter the snow dresses its bare branches.

It sways with the gentle breeze and bends with the storm. But never breaks.

Quiet, companion, showing me that no matter what happens,

Everything passes,

As the seasons continue to follow their cycle.

Copyright 2020 Jacqueline Gammon

12 tips for mindful living

Here are some ways to bring mindfulness into your everyday life – you can download them at the end too!

  • When you wake up in the morning take time to take some deep breaths and stretch your body. This will begin the process of bringing awareness to your day.
  • Be aware of your posture during the day and thoughts/feelings and emotions. Note any tensions and use your breath to recalibrate yourself.
  • Have a reminder on your desktop or phone as a “mindfulness bell” to bring you to the present moment. This will allow you to step out of automatic pilot.
  • Take time to do the 3 Step breathing space to ground yourself at regular intervals to give you a sense of clarity.
  • Eat mindfully, paying attention to the tastes, textures, colours and origins of your food. Chew your food properly and be aware of when you are full. In this way you can enjoy your food with appreciation and avoid overeating.
  • As you walk from one place to the other use this as an opportunity to be aware of the ground beneath your feet, the temperature of the air and your surroundings and the present moment.
  • When someone is talking to you, give them your full attention, without interrupting. And when it is your turn to talk try to get your message across in a succinct way. If you are feeling angry or upset, take a deep breath before beginning to speak and choose your words wisely. This avoids impulsive conflicts and misunderstandings.
  • Use moments such as supermarket queues to stand tall and ground yourself instead of getting wound up. There is nothing you can do to change the queue, so accept it with grace.
  • Take time to stretch and breathe throughout the day to release any tensions.
  • Give your full attention to routine activities like showering or tooth brushing to bring yourself to the present moment.
  • Show a kindly and compassionate attitude towards yourself and others, enriching your relationships.
  • Before going to bed at night, take a moment to show gratitude for the pleasant things that have occurred throughout the day. Taking time to steady your breath will help you fall asleep and positive thoughts will hopefully encourage sweet dreams.

Here’s the promised PDF copy of these tips:

10 tips for self-care

Look after yourself! What does it even mean? If you’re struggling to find ideas for self-care then start here:

Try something new like gentle yoga. There are a range of yoga videos online. Choose something that will suit your fitness and strength level.

Listen to classical music and colour in – have you seen all the mandala and mindfulness colouring books for adults? They’re amazing! Pick one, switch on some classical music and let your mind wander and see where it goes. If it wanders too far bring it back to the movement of your hand on the paper and the colours before you.

Have a bath. You can use essential oils to restore a sense of calm and wellbeing or pour in the bubble bath, lie back and relax.

Read – pick something you wouldn’t normally choose, you may discover a new genre or author.

Walk – paying attention to everything around you using all your senses. Feel each step as you walk. Connect.

Start a gratitude journal – each day write down three things that you are grateful for in your life, they’ll soon add up.

Treat yourself to a new nail varnish and give yourself a manicure.

Curl up on the sofa with a cuppa and a comedy. Laughter is the best medicine.

Have lunch out with an old friend.

Be you – it’s a strain trying to be someone else!

What are your favourite self-care ideas? I’d love to hear them…