Becky Goddard-Hill introduces a guided meditation for children
“If you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, and it can do anything.” Alice Walker (feminist and writer)
Meditation is “the act of giving your attention to only one thing… as a way of becoming calm and relaxed”. You can meditate in lots of different ways, such as breathing, mindfulness and yoga. One really lovely way to mediate is with a guided meditation.
Because of the way the mind and body are connected, you can totally feel like you are experiencing something deeply relaxing just by imagining it. Isn’t that amazing?
Lie down and close your eyes while someone reads you ‘the flying boat ride’, our guided mediation, and see how relaxed it makes you feel.
The Flying Boat Ride
Close your eyes gently and take in slow deep breaths.
I am going to count from five down to one. When I get to one, you will feel calm and deeply relaxed.
Five, four, three, two, one.
Imagine a beautiful pathway leading down a sloping hill. You are barefoot and the grass beneath you feels soft and dewy. As you walk slowly down the pathway, the sun is warm on your face and you feel content.
You see ahead of you a beautiful lake. You kneel down when you reach it and run your hands through the turquoise waters. It is warm as a bath.
You see a little wooden boat bobbing gently on the water’s edge.
You climb in and the boat feels steady and secure beneath you.
Your body feels strong as you take the oars and row out onto the lake. The water is perfectly still.
You feel the boat slowly rise at the front and begin to leave the water. It tips you only slightly and you hold the sides firmly as you look in awe as it rises, heading to the clouds.
Soon you are in the sky and you notice your boat now has oars made of beautiful golden feathers.
You feel totally safe and snug in your little boat. Looking down you see the shimmering lake, the emerald-green grassy hills and a few tiny houses. A gentle breeze ruffles your hair.
You let go of any worries. You feel nothing but awe and wonder and deep joy as your boat gently flies you over our beautiful Earth. You are far above anything that has been bothering you and it all seems so small.
How powerful you are as you row steadily through the clouds.
Slowly you direct your little boat back to the lake, and with your strong arms you row your boat steadily back to the shore.
You say thank you to it as you climb out of the boat and lay the oars gently inside it. You can come back to your boat any time you like and take another magical journey. It’s always there for you, ready to take you far from your worries.
Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly.
Breathe in all the happiness and wonder from your boat ride and keep this with you.
You’ve done a wonderful job relaxing and imagining.
When you’re ready, give your body a big stretch and gently open your eyes.
Becky Goddard-Hill holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapy and is a former children’s social worker. She writes the blog and is the author of Create Your Own Happy and Be Happy Be You, wellbeing activity books for children and teens, and her latest book, Create Your Own Calm. Becky is on Instagram as @emotionallyhealthy_kids.
This is an edited extract from Create Your Own Calm: Activities to Overcome Children’s Worries, Anxiety and Anger by Penny Alexander and Becky Goddard-Hill, illustrated by Clare Forrest, published by Collins. The book is for children aged 7–12 and is packed with ideas to help children manage their worries. The guided meditation is available as a vlog at tinyurl.com/the-flying-boat-ride.
The feature was originally published in JUNO Autumn 2020.