A Brighter Light in the World

Blossoming into states of love

Nishuane School, Montclair, NJ   May 3, 2013

Author/Illustrator, Brian Dorr visited his childhood grammar school and read his recently published book "I Make A Circle" to students (K-2) and shared with them the meditative practice of painting an enso.  Brian explained to the children that he wrote this book to share with the world two important things:  What makes him feel calm - BREATHING and what makes him happy - PAINTING!  Here are some photos of the event, highlighting the children's artistic creations!

  

Essex Books - Sunday, April 21, 2013

New London Day - Sunday, March 10, 2013

Big Book Club Getaway,  Mohegan Sun - February 2, 2013

Valley Courier - January 10, 2013

Wicked Local Watertown TAB - June 15, 2012

Watertown Students Help Author Write Children's Book

WATERTOWN - Author Elisabeth Rose Wilds wrote her sixth children's book with the help of a group of seven- and eight-year-old Watertown students.  Wilds, who works with homeless young adults at Covenant House in New York City, knew she wanted her book to teach children about mindfulness, a psychological concept that involves meditation, awareness and self-control.  But she didn't know how children would connect with the plot, so when her old friend from high school, Jill Ferraresso, a second and third grade teacher at Watertown's Atrium School, connected with Wilds on Facebook, the women decided to give Ferraresso's classes a draft of Wilds' book and ask the children for feedback.

"The way to know if a children's book is effective is to ask the children.  You can be a great writer but it might not hit the place where the children live," said Ferraresso.  The end result, Cookie's Magical Snow, published by A Brighter Light in the World Publishing, tells the story of a young girl named Cookie whose best friend moves to England.  Distraught, she befriends a green dragon, and through her adventures with him, overcomes her fears of being alone, learns to make new friends and learns change can be positive.

Wilds, along with illustrator Brian Dorr, visited a classroom at the Atrium School on June 8 to talk to the students about the book and present certificates to children who had given her feedback on the story.  Originally, Cookie had solved many of her problems through magic, but the children told Wilds they wanted to see the main character realistically navigate life's pitfalls.  They also wanted to see her learn about friendship.

"They really liked the fact that they were listened to.  A lot of times we don't listen to children," said Wilds.

At the Atrium School, Wilds discussed the themes of the book with students, including friendship, accepting change and taking control of your actions.  Many of the students spoke up to share what the book had meant to them.  "I feel like the book is trying to tell you about friends, that you can be friends with anyone, big, small, no matter what they are," said Eros Sakalowsky, 9.

Wilds also led the students in a three-minute meditation - part of her overall goal of teaching children and young adults about emotional well-being.  With Cookie's Magical Snow and with her other books, Wilds encourages children to "connect with their inner wisdom," or to use principles of mindfulness to adapt to change, stay calm and solve problems.

"When children are given the opportunity to be creative and understand how the body responds to things, they're able to self-regulate," said Wilds. "It doesn't take much for kids to rebalance.  If you take minutes during the day to stop and listen to a bird...look at a tree or insect on the sidewalk, that's all you need to put them back at 0."

For Ferraresso's students, the project was an opportunity to see the process of workshop and revision that writers go through.  Ferraresso runs her own writer's workshop with her students, where they read and critique each other's work as well as the works of famous authors.  "[They're] always learning from other writers, whether they're eight or 88," she said.

Ferraresso said that she has not heard about any other schools completing a project like this.  "I think that now we're in a world of testing, teachers have to worry about what's on the test," she said.  "But Atrium, a private progressive elementary school, is exempt from testing and therefore focuses more on creative projects," said Ferraresso.

By Emily Cataneo, Wicked Local Watertown, Posted June 15, 2012 @ 02:38 PM

 Click Here for Link to Atrium School

 Click Here for Link to Article

New Life Expo - October 21-23, 2011

We exhibited at The New Life Expo at the New Yorker Hotel in NYC.  We were delighted to meet so many people that were supportive of our brand and its philosophy.   

Elisabeth Rose Wilds gave a well attended lecture on Teaching Mindfulness to Children & Teens.  She shared some of the techniques she has developed through her work with at-risk children, where simplicity of execution is key, as is the immediacy of effect.  Her lecture was recorded by Quest TV and will be available on their site for viewing in the next couple of months.  Please check their web site for New Life Expo Oct 2011 in the link below.

Quest TV web site  

OMYoga & Lifestyle Magazine - October 2011

 

 

Storygins - Parenting through stories:  original stories make original kids.  (storygins.com) - July 27, 2011

Mindfulness in Storytelling:  Elisabeth Rose Wilds on How to Help Kids Be Mindful

Children have much to teach us about living in the moment: they are open to the pulsing beauty of the world, which adults so often rush past. But modern childhood, with its enrichment programs and computer games, affords little time for observation and reflection. Even in the summer, I find myself wrestling my kids in and out of bathing suits to get them to activities on time. With so much noise and hustle, how can we allow our children the space for mindfulness?

For parents seeking to cultivate peace and wisdom in their children,   Elisabeth Rose Wilds offers sage advice. Ms. Wilds, the founder of The Healing Arts Center, is an advocate for homeless children who applies meditation and mindfulness practices to her work with at-risk youths in New York City. She is also the author of a line of books that teach children to become aware of their inner lives and capacity for compassion.We sit down with Elisabeth to discuss the relationship between mindfulness and storytelling:

What does the word “Mindfulness” mean to you?

Mindfulness, simply put, is becoming aware of our thoughts and observing how they affect our well-being. The practice, which has its roots in Buddhism, is about how to become connected to the world/nature/others in a healthy, loving and open way; and how to experience the sacredness of life.

Is there a relationship between storytelling and being mindful?

Mindfulness develops the observer; it is a process that begins to free us from thinking habitual patterns and responding in programmed manners.   Through mindfulness, we become centered and begin to see and interact in the world in a more spontaneous way allowing for our creativity to blossom.   Through mindfulness we develop the ability to create a “story line” without the mental distractions that would otherwise interrupt that creative process.  We become open to more possibilities in our creation as we ourselves have leapt over many of our own mental limitations and patterned responses.   As we enter this “zone” of possibilities our creative process develops spirit and moves within us, it becomes a sacred process – similar to what our ancestors of native heritages speak to.  Where the story is created in a sacred space and given flight.

What obstacles keep modern children from cultivating mindfulness?  

Rushing here and there makes it very difficult for children to regain their inner harmony.  Children live in the moment, and being centered and still is helpful to them in coming back into balance when strong emotions course through them.

There are many simple things we can do to help our little ones develop mindfulness – the key being stillness, creating those quiet moments when we look at the sky, investigate a flower, listen to the birds sing outside our window, honor the sun as it rises and sets, watch the moon in its different phases.   Nature helps us find that quiet place within.  And when we connect to nature in healthy ways our heart grows calm and our mind becomes peaceful.  So creating those sacred moments throughout the day creates moments of balance in our little ones lives.  In those moments, they can connect to that place of inner harmony and begin again in a more centered way.

Tell us about a storytelling or creative visualization exercise you use to help children be mindful?   

One way to develop the observer in children is to have them create a story where they are the main character.   This allows them to see themselves in the third person.   And, when the adventures or misadventures arrive in the story line, moments of pause and reflection can be inserted to help them begin to understand that they have choices as to how they can respond to their environment.  Those pauses will teach them to collect themselves, find their center – that peaceful place, and then move forward in a more balanced way.

Elisabeth Rose Wilds latest book is We Are Like the Sky, in which a cowboy and his horse learn to weather the storms of emotion to find a radiant place of peace.

The Yoga Journal Buzz Blog - June 20, 2011

We Are Like the Sky - by Nora Isaacs

Summer's here. This means extra time with kids, lazy days at the beach. Why not give them some books on the themes that yogis hold dear?

We Are Like the Sky
by Elisabeth Rose Wilds was inspired by the author's own mindfulness practice and her work at a youth homeless shelter in Manhattan, where she has set up a healing arts center.  "I felt that there was a real need for children and youth to see the world through the eyes of love and learn to open their hearts," she says of her first book, illustrated by Brian Dorr (also the illustrator of her current book.) Recently, we caught up with Wilds:

Q: Tell us how you became a children's author using spiritual themes?
A: As I started teaching mind-body programs and mindfulness practices, I saw that the youth were receiving real benefits. For the first time they could remember, many of them expressed an experience of  peace and quiet.  It became very clear to me how powerful and life changing mindfulness practices can be, and how wonderful it would be to teach these concepts to younger children. The youths that I work with still have some emotional storms to endure, but they have some tools to help them "reset"  - mindfulness is one of these wonderful tools.

Q: How did yoga/meditation influence the words and the pictures?  

A:  A key to mindfulness practice is finding that quiet place within, which allows us to observe our thoughts. In the book, the quiet place within is represented by the sky (feather) and our thoughts and resulting emotional states are depicted by weather patterns. The book teaches that we can we can always find that quiet place within, regardless of the storms that our thoughts are producing.  We can regain our balance, and begin again, living with greater awareness on a moment by moment basis. 

Q: What is your hope that children take away?

We hope that children will develop an awareness of how their thoughts impact their emotional well-being and learn how to access that quiet place within to rebalance and begin again.

   

The Book Expo America 2011 - NYC  (May 23-26, 2011)

We had a spectacular time at the BEA this year.  We met many wonderful people, shared ideas and sincerely hope to stay in touch with our new friends!  For those that did not have a chance to visit us at the event, here is a clip of our booth and products.

 

 

Dr. Masaru Emoto Blog - May 17, 2011

2011年5月17日火曜日

Blessing the Water

This book is dedicated to Dr. Masaru Emoto, who has performed numerous scientific experiments to study the impact of our intentions and states of mind on the crystalline structure of water.  Dr. Emoto’s experiments have consistently revealed that our prayers, our good intentions, and our love positively impacts the quality and beauty of water.


 
The founder of THE HEALING ARTS CENTER, Elisabeth Wilds published her new book, BLESSING THE WATER. This book is very easy for children to learn the importance of water, (what) lives in the water and around it as well as the importance of our loving mind.  She dedicated this book to Dr. Masaru Emoto, and it's our pleasure to share the dedication and the cover of the book.