March 2010 Newsletter
Up, Up and Away
As we continue our journey through the See It. Say It. Do It! Model, I would like to share one of my favorite visualization activities, The Balloon Trip. When my two daughters, Annie and Becky, were toddlers, we started taking "balloon trips" before bedtime. We’d snuggle together, shake out our “wiggles” and then started our relaxation by breathing…blowing up our imaginary hot air balloons together.
These trips helped my family create, practice visualization, have fun, laugh and relax. These “trips” provided a great opening for communicating with my children as issues with friends, challenges in sports or school problems would often come up during our journeys. We could “look” at the situation from our “balloon” and “see” possible resolutions for these situations.
As my daughters became older, we continued the "balloon trips". They would often practice their sports routines in the “clouds,” always knowing that they were safe and strong. On page #188 in the sports section of my book See It. Say It. Do It!, the story of Becky’s preparation for her gymnastic preparations for competition is shared.
Even as we are now all adults, the "balloon trips" are a family staple. My daughters now give me "balloon trips" when I’m stressed or preparing for an event, such as a big presentation. This is a great activity for the whole family. Use it as a bedtime relaxation activity or when preparing for a special event.
Enjoy your ride!
Let's Practice Visualizing!
Activity of the Month:
Purpose: Visualization for the whole family.
Try this as a bedtime relaxation activity or when preparing for a special event. The first few times you use this, you might read it to your child. Then have fun with it and create your own personalized version of a balloon trip.
Instructions to child:
Lie comfortably and close your eyes.
Imagine yourself blowing up a balloon—a big hot air balloon.
Notice the color of the balloon—what color is it?
Is it big or little?
Now take a big breath, allowing the air to fill up your belly (tummy), and then slowly allow the air to move out of your belly into the balloon.
Take another breath in, again feeling your belly rise, and then allow the air to move into the balloon.
Continue breathing in and out until your hot air balloon is just the right size for you.
(Pause) Now, let’s get into the basket connected to the balloon.
Is there anything you need such as a jacket, a hat, a seatbelt for safety, glasses for protection, your favorite blanket or stuffed animal?
(Pause) Get comfortable.
When you are ready, allow the balloon to start floating up, going higher and higher and higher.
Continue to breathe deeply and relax.
Enjoy the ride as we go higher and higher.
Wave goodbye to your friends, your school and your homework. Put away any troubles or problems, as you continue to move higher and higher, up to the clouds.
Once you get to the clouds, you can get out of the balloon and play in them.
Touch the soft, fluffy clouds that support you and your balloon.
Smell the fresh clean air and cool breeze.
Feel the warmth of the sun, spreading throughout your entire body.
Listen and experience the quiet and calm.
See how far you can see, how the big blue sky goes on and on and on.
As you continue to enjoy playing in the clouds, this balloon trip can go several different directions. For example:
- You can practice any sport routine in the clouds, always knowing that the clouds will protect and keep you safe.
- Or, you can snuggle up in the clouds and fall asleep.
- You can get back into the hot air balloon and continue to another fun place, like candy land, or an amusement park, or any other place you would like to go.
- Your child may want to come back home and land in his bedroom. Don’t be surprised if you all doze off, and the balloon trip continues in your dreams.
With love and gratitude,
There are certainly many options to create your own personal "balloon trip". Just keep emphasizing relaxing, breathing, quite, safety, and fun!
Stay tuned for “Say It” portion of the process, as we declare our visions and intentions in the April e-Newsletter. I invite you to share your experiences and feel free to ask any questions.
Up, Up and away…
Lynn Fishman Hellerstein, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO
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