Gratitude Letter

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This simple activity is considered one of the most powerful positive interventions  by leading positive psychology scientists around the world. Creating a Gratitude Letter will have an immediate impact on enhancing your personal well-being AND the well-being of the person you are expressing feelings of gratitude towards.

Keep it simple. Just get started. Here’s a suggested opening you can use (or write your own words).   Dear (Person’s name):  I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you. It might be surprising to get a Gratitude Letter out of the blue but I wanted to tell you why I am grateful to you. 

Then just list a couple of things for which you are grateful. Give specific examples if you can since this makes it more powerful.

Expand the joy.

If you want to get the MOST benefits from this positive exercise…. It’s even more powerful when the person writing the gratitude letter gets to read the letter to the person receiving the gratitude letter. If you can’t do this in person, perhaps you can read it to them over a video chat or the phone. Or you can mail the letter.

Digging Deep: A Journal for Young People Facing Health Challenges

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When children and teens are ill, they experience many different feelings that are hard to express. Digging Deep: A Journal for Young People Facing Health Challenges, is an exercise journal created by Rose Offner, MFA and Sheri Brisson, MA to empower children and teens with medical conditions to build resilience through their challenge. You can download  the individual journaling worksheets here in English or Spanish. Subjects include: Circle of Support, Treatment and Hospitals, My Life, Moving On, Identity and Self-Esteem, Feeling Exploration.

Click here to download different theme pages and to start writing your unique journal. 

SoaringExpressions

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2016_03_31_14_45_35003Idioms are expressions that use nature or animals or common actions to make a point in a fun and dramatic way. When something comes easy to you without too much effort you might say, “it was a piece of cake” meaning that it was simple. If someone says “a penny for your thoughts” they want to know what you are thinking.

Choose an idiom below or think of your favorite expression to make a message and artwork to give to your nurse, someone in your family, or another hospitalized child. Your gift will “Make someone’s heart sing!” which means it will make them feel really happy (and make you feel great as well).

 

 

 

Choose an expression or think of your own:
2016_03_31_14_45_35002At the drop of a hat:
without hesitation, right away
Ball is in your court: it’s up to you to make the next decision
Best thing since sliced bread: a great idea or invention
Can’t judge a book by its cover: cannot judge based on appearances
On the ball: when someone understands the situation well
Once in a blue moon: when something happens rarely
Raining cats and dogs: heavy rain 
See eye to eye: when two or more people agree on something
Sitting on the fence: when someone does not want to choose or make a decision
Take it with a grain of salt: not taking something too seriously
To hear it straight from the horse’s mouth: right from the source

 

 

2016_03_31_14_45_35001Here’s How to Get Started:

1) Pick your expression and write it on the blank line at the top of the border.
2) Think of the best way to illustrate it, fill the whole page with your drawing.
3) Sign your name on the bottom and share what you made with the others in the room.
4) “Pay it Forward” – give your special message and artwork to someone else. Go to Soaringwords.org to make more and invite your family to make a SoaringExpression message for you!

 

 

SoaringLove Message for Someone Special

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2016_01_27_13_03_27002When you love someone or something it makes you feel really happy so your heart expands with joy. Many different cultures have LOVE symbols to communicate this powerful positive feeling.

  • Native Americans consider the Hummingbird to be a symbol of love
  • Chinese people think the Maple Leaf shows the sweetness of love
  • In Norway and Iceland, the Harp symbolizes love
  • Hinduism and Roman Mythology consider the Shell to be a love symbol
  • American Sign Language has the “I Love You” sign, which is depicted in the artwork on the left.

Today you are invited to make a special SoaringLove message and artwork to give to another patient to brighten his or her day. If you want, you can surprise someone in your family or your doctor or nurse by making your SoaringLove message just for them.

Here’s How to Ge2016_01_27_13_00_26003t Started:

  1. Think of things you love that make you happy. It could be your favorite stuffed animal or your pet or your favorite toy or anything that puts a smile on your face.
  2. Draw a picture of this to “give” to another person.
  3. Make a special message on the bottom of the page that completes this sentence “I drew this picture for you of a ______________. I am sending this to you with lots of Love!”
  4. Write your first name and age on the bottom of the page.

Pointers:
Do make your picture really big. Fill the entire page with your picture and message.
Do make your picture really bright and colorful.

After You Finish Your SoaringLove Message:
Give it to someone special like your mom, dad, brother or sister, friend, nurse, doctor or another child in the hospital.

Click here to download the activity and the border.

SoaringConstellations

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eagleDOGArrow

For centuries, people have taken comfort and joy as they gazed at the night sky and were able to recognize clusters of stars known as constellations.

You are going to help someone feel more hopeful and positive when they get your SoaringConstellations messages and artwork.

 The cool thing about Constellations is the stars make up a pattern.

See samples of SoaringConstellations.

Here’s How to Get Started:

1. Choose what kind of Constellation you want to make today:
          a. Animal-shaped
          b. Object-shaped
          c. People-shaped
          d. Invent your own Constellation

2. Write the name of your Constellation on the top of the page and then draw your SoaringConstellation within SoaringConstellations border, using lots of colors.

3.  Fill in the bottom lines with a message for a special person. When you are done, share this finished artwork with the person you chose.

Pointers:
Do make your picture really big. Fill the entire page with your picture and message.
Do make your picture really bright and colorful.  
Do have fun!

 pegasus Queen lion Little Bear herculesInvent Your Own Constellation

 

 

SoaringQuilts® and SoaringPillows®

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There’s nothing more comforting than a soft, fluffy quilt and pillow. When kids are ill at home or in the hospital, they have to hang out in bed for a long time. You can help transform a child’s bed by adding a cozy, colorful quilt and pillow decorated with special messages and artwork. Your gift will help a child feel loved and supported and inspire them to heal. Imagine how much they will enjoy looking at all the different drawings and messages you created. This project is especially exciting because each person can decorate a quilt and pillow in their own unique way. For example, some people will pick a theme for the quilt and decorate all the patches with words or pictures about sports or nature. Other people have chosen the words from a nursery rhyme and illustrated it. To see photo gallery of the quilts and pillows click here. To get started watch the video or you can just read decorating instructions below. When you are finished decorating your quilt and pillow you can make a special SoaringBed message to tuck into your pillow pocket.

  

How to Decorate the Quilts and Pillows:
1. Read the Do’s and Don’ts below.
2. Use a piece of scrap paper to decide what you want to draw and write.
3. Fill up the whole white patch with your colorful drawing.
4. If you have a heart shaped pillow, use dark colors to decorate the front and the back of the pillow.
5. Make sure to include your name (first name is fine) on the bottom of your drawing.

Great Things to Say:

  • Thinking of You
  • You are a Star
  • To Brighten Your Day
  • Here’s a Big Smile for You
  • Hurray for You!
  • Hip Hip Hurray!
  • Awesome!
  • Excellent!
  • You’re Important
  • Sending You a ___________(name the thing you drew. It can be a rainbow, a panda, a poem, etc.)
  • Sending You Healing Energy
  • Sending You Love
  • Sending You a Giant Hug
  • Sending You a Joke (you can write a joke…Corny, easy to understand ones are the best)
  • Or, write your own message

55.-Childrens-Memorial-Hospital-150x15063.Texas-Childrens-Hospital2-150x15028.-New-Orleans-150x150

 Great Ideas for Artwork:

  • Space theme with planets
  • Animals (dogs, fish, pandas, ladybugs and other animals)
  • Nature (rainbow, sun, trees, flowers, beach, mountains, clouds)
  • Sports (basketball, baseball, hockey, football)
  • Popular figures (Sponge Bob, The Simpsons, Superheroes)
  • Words in bubble letters like COOL, LOVE

Great Theme Suggestions:  •  That 70s Quilt and Pillow  •  Lost at the Zoo •  Why did the Chicken Cross the Road and Other Funny Business •  Hope You Love my Stick Figures  •My work should be in the Metropolitan Museum of Art •  NASA would be proud of my artwork  •  Under the sea

Things NOT to Say:

  • Hope you get better soon
  • Get better soon
  • Get well soon
  • Hope you can go home soon
  • Hope you are not in pain
  • Don’t say anything religious like “God loves you…” or draw angels, since the patient may be from another religious background.

After You Decorate: You can give your special quilt and pillow to someone who is ill. Or, you can contact Soaringwords and we will collaborate with you have the quits and pillows donated to your local hospital.
917-499-3783     heal@soaringwords.org