Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

“Kissing Joy”

By Dr. Roxanne Daleo

Have you ever noticed the way a humming bird darts from one flower to the next, barely staying long enough for you to observe this little creature? Seems the humming

bird has mastered the art of “kissing joy”; it is the practice of the light touch. Touching

but not holding on or lingering on the sweetness or the non-sweetness of life as it navigates it’s world.

In my work helping anxious children help themselves calm down, I find it is their perception of the event in their lives that causes most distress. They are not realizing they are the ones who assign meaning to all events. Here’s an example: Katie explains, “this bad thing happened at school— everyone keeps looking at me and saying I look sad, am I ok?”

The essential ingredient for tapping into our inner resources is to understand we always have a choice about how we label the events. Our own mind can heal or hurt us; awareness is the path in to manage our ocean of emotion. Awareness is being present without labeling, criticizing, or judging.

The most common reaction to the good things that happen in life is to try to hold on, hold on tighter, making every effort to have that good stay and to wall out the bad stuff.

Try as we may, we don’t want anything bad to happen to us.; whatever “bad” is! And- if that bad thing does happen, we’ll say: ”This is a very bad, horrible, terrible thing!”

Rather than, suspending judgement and saying to yourself: “This is interesting…could be bad, could be good.”

In the teaching tale, Zen Shorts: The Farmers Luck, the story reveals the assumptions of what the neighbors call “bad luck” or “good luck” turns out to be the opposite. Through various experiences, the farmer resists the temptation to agree with his neighbors’ opinions. For example, his son falls off a horse and breaks his leg, everyone says, that’s too bad, bad luck! But, in fact, a few days later when the soldiers come to their village to take able-bodied young men off to war, his son is passed over because he has a broken leg!

Can we be both present to the experiences of our lives while, at the same time, being non-judgmental, accepting and curious?

Can we learn to see them, be with the experience without trying to push it away? Can we allow ourselves to feel difficult feelings, rest in it and be?

And if it is a happy, welcomed event, can you learn that ”kissing joy” as she flies by is a wonderful way to play with your imagination, tapping your inner resources in order to be present, notice, enjoy it but not become attached to it? Kiss it and let it go.

And then can you practice, with this same awareness, to be present, to notice when something seems awful? Watching your feelings of sadness without getting lost in them?

Like gathering, collecting all life experiences, noticing the contrast like the many shades of green in the early Springtime?

Say to yourself: “As I use all my senses to take note and savor, I am present and open to all the feelings in my life.”

The practice of “kissing joy” is an opportunity to become aware of how you can direct your mind to focus- without judging, without making a strong, negative opinion; but rather, just noticing and collecting.

Making a collecting basket, is a tangible way to practice this idea and internalize it for yourself and your child. Say to yourself, “Today, as I am filling my basket with the little things in life— good or bad, happy or sad. I am noticing and collecting with awareness, gentleness and gratitude.”

So fill your basket, as you expand your awareness. Say to yourself; “ I’m feeling the warm breeze on my face or

I’m hearing a song that makes me cry” …

Imagine putting it all in your basket for the day.

Throughout your day, you may want to place in your basket objects like a special photograph or the penny you found on the ground.

At the end of your day, the contents can be taken out and reflected upon as a form of awareness practice. Be gentle with yourself.

Then you can begin all over again the next day. Empty out the contents; let go of the previous day to make room for the new, the now, of today.

As in the ancient mediative tradition, keep your basket empty. When you do, it becomes a practice of taking in, breathing, watching, and recognizing the every day passing events–like ”kissing joy” lightly, not tightly!

As joy flies by as you’re on your way

Give it a kiss and go on with your day.

Embrace the fullness of all that you feel

Welcoming everything-keep even your keel!

Wisdom runs deepest, your open heart knows

To gather the highs, as well as the lows

“Kissing joy” instead of holding too tight

Offers the lesson: there’s no wrong, no right.

Spring has Come

Spring has come again the earth is like a child who knows poems by heart.         – Rilke –
Want your child to feel as confident and happy as a child who knows poems by heart?

Here’s how to use your innate ability to combat stress


Here’s how to use your innate ability to combat stress

By Dr. Roxanne Daleo

Many people know the mismanagement of stress weakens, not only, our immune system’s ability to fight infection, colds, inflammation, head and stomach aches, but also, causes emotional conditions such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance.

The truth is, not everyone knows that we have an innate ability to combat stress that returns the body to homeostasis or balance. This innate ability actually reverses the stress response.

Stress hormones trigger a chemical response, a kind of rush of energy. This rush of energy called the fight or flight response allows the body to run from danger or stand and fight, as our ancestors did in caveman days when we had to escape the saber-tooth tigers and such!

But today, we don’t have that problem, we have “invisible tigers” which are our thoughts of danger that turn on the stress response and never shut it off! Prolonged, without relief, our body under stress will cause us to experience mind/body symptoms.

It is your thoughts that drive your body’s response to stress. So if you want relief, you have to stay present and not let your thoughts take you for an unnecessary ride. It’s as if your mind has a mind of it’s own. Your thoughts can make you sick. So can your thoughts make you well.

But in order to feel relief, you have to learn how to tame your invisible tigers. Some kids are so used to being unhappy and stressed, they are addicted to their response. They may even think nothing will help.

If you want relief, you have to be willing to try something different, even if it’s unfamiliar. You just have to stay present long enough to change three things:

The thoughts that you are thinking

The behaviors and habits you do

The emotions you’ve memorized and identify as you (like “it’s just the way I am!”)

These three things are your habits. Habits of thinking, behaving and feeling; and the GOOD NEWS is you can change all three!

You see, learning a new skill changes your brain by making new connections. When you try something new you are firing and rewiring your brain. Isn’t that great? You have within you an innate intelligence that can restore your system, like installing a new computer program all you have to do is be willing to learn something new.

When you do, your recovery time shortens; you get out of stress mode quickly. You feel more resilient, confident and calm.

The most common ways to shift gears is listening to music, going outdoors for a hike in the forest. physical rhythmic exercise like running, biking, swimming or rowing. If you’ve done all these you may want help from a professional who will know exactly how to unlock your habits so you can train your brain and get lasting results.

Consider this: while your friends are doing the same things over the weekend, you could be learning to use the power of your mind, improving your outlook and getting ahead of the pack!

Walking the Footbridge

These early days of January are like walking a footbridge from the old year to the new.

And as I go on my merry way, reflections of the graces, the miracles, in my life come to me.

I take a moment of quiet, looking out on the stillness of nature, I hear life say to me:

thank you for being a bright light, a spark of energy

the love and laughter, the peace and joy!”

And what comes to you and your child, as you reflect?

In this newborn year, may your heart be lifted from the old, yet satisfied by last year’s journey

Because that journey has taken you here, right now, in this new moment, in this new year

To birth, bring forth, the miraculous within you.

Imagine crossing over the bridge to the awareness of who you truly are- which is Love.

You are free.

Welcome the new you.

Over the crossing, you know you have what it takes to fulfill your potential and unique genius.

Make a difference in this world in need of your goodness and greatness.

Promise yourself, promise your child, to stay tuned-in to the life force energy in and around you

The rich, wild, other-ness of bird songs, cricket rhythms, the forest scent, the subtle colors of

the plants, the sunshine, the snow and the rain.

Look down over the bridge to running waterway; look up into sky, to the constellation of stars

Do not go unconscious of this awe-some beauty, but rather,

Come into a full-body, multi-sensory, part of all that is so much bigger and eternal-

The rushing wind is the holy name of the Divine

and when we take in that breath, we take in the Divine

Stay awake.

Shine on brilliantly.

Happy New Year!

Meditative Art Therapy Training Program

Mind/Body Healing Techniques Combined With Expressive Arts Therapies

with Dr. Roxanne Daleo

I. Presentation Description:

Working from the premise that according to years of psychological literature, the unconscious represents information symbolically, therefore it is an appropriate lens through which to view our inner life. Also, applied here is the mind/body research

known as psychoneuroimmunology from which evidence establishes that higher nervous system centers effect astonishing changes in the body functions. Combined the use of

both are a powerful process which helps individuals discover through their own efforts

insight and inner resources to induce self-healing.

II. Learning Objectives:

a to familiarize students with basic theories of mind/body research

b to promote an appreciation of the role of art as a healing process

c to aid students in applying the understanding of the combining these two

modalities in their work with children and adults in educational and health care


d) to develop a repertoire of skills in mind/body healing techniques combined with

expressive arts therapies

About the Author:

Roxanne Daleo, Ph.D. is a Health Educator with specialized training in relaxation and stress reduction techniques from the Harvard Medical School, Division of Behavioral Medicine. Her expertise is based on over 20 years of experience with chronic and terminally ill, meeting the emotional needs of children and adults using expressive arts therapies both at Boston Childrens Hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Dr. Daleos doctoral studies took an anthropological, cross-cultural approach in the use of symbols for healing from the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland.

Dr. Daleo is best known as creator of the highly acclaimed, MindWorks for Children: Guided Imagery Relaxation Journeys. She continues to design and produce audio-visual programs for patient education, health promotion and expressive arts.

She sits on the Board of Directors for the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) as Co-Chair of Educational Resources Committee.

Program begins January 6, 2019

For more information or to register, please contact DR. ROXANNE directly at

Thanksgiving Storytelling Family Tradition

“ …and that’s true love!” said my grandpa… his voice made my mind conjure up the entire scene: I see it as if it were real, mom serving dessert after a big Italian-American feast for Thanksgiving Day, always prepared with love by my parents in what I believed to be our beautiful New Jersey home. But the fact is, it was only my grandfather’s voice coming from an audio cassette player. A tape I nearly tossed in the trash moments before to clear the clutter from my garage. So glad I have this priceless treasure today.

Through “imaging” you mentally “see.” Your brain takes the audio input of a voice and provides

you a “mental picture”. In this case, it pulled out a memory of the past and my brain served up a scene so vivid you relive it as if it were happening in the present. My grandfather’s philosophy about true love were his words of wisdom I’ll treasure forever.

Your brain can also take an idea or visualization to create a future-self. Your brain can be directed using mental imagery which is really a kind of storytelling.

When you add the auditory aspect, such as a voice, you add a person’s energy because your voice is the blueprint of your soul. Listening to the sound of your own voice is a powerful way to imprint and direct your subconscious mind.

Add the background music and the brain automatically enhances the imagery experience as if it were real. The mind makes no distinction between real and imagined information; this is why using guided imagery narrations for relaxation are a powerful form of mind/body medicine.

Scientists are learning how we manipulate and examine pictures of the mind and develop internal states of awareness, resilience and balance.

Many world cultures have been using the power of mental imagery in the form of storytelling.

Let’s look at the Native American culture specifically, they have been using the art of telling stories passed down from one generation to the next as their primary form of wisdom communication. Traditionally, Native Americans transmit by story their mythology, spiritual and historical understandings of themselves and the world in which they live to their children.

Storytelling creates the mental imagery in the minds and hearts of the young, that which elders did not want forgotten. In this way, the elders ensured young would not lose sight of their roots,

important knowledge that would allow them to live in harmony and cooperation with the natural world.

So this Thanksgiving why not try to capture more voices of the elders in your tribe, the seniors in your family. Allow them to pass on their words of wisdom to the children as part of the formal celebration for which we are giving thanks and deep appreciation. In this way, you can be sure

your children and their children have your familys important knowledge through the beautiful storytelling tradition.

7 Keys to Cultivate Storytelling Family Tradition

1.Give your children and their children a beautiful way to honor their elders by asking questions about their roots, heritage, country of origin and the ways of their people.

2.Use a recording devise to capture and remember forever, the voices of the senior family members and their words of wisdom.

3.Make the bedtime ritual include recounting meaningful memories you made this Thanksgiving holiday (holy day).

4.Create a work of art. Draw, paint, sing a song or dance your newly realized wisdom tradition.

5. Each year collect keepsake photos, images and quotes in a box or a book.

6.Ask your child to express the kind of person they want to become; share the vision of a world they want to see and live in.

7.Have your child record their own voice to express their visions. Speak about appreciation, love and peace. Play this recording before sleep so the subconscious mind can bring good thoughts to every cell in your childs body.


This is how to handle test taking – it’s called mental rehearsal and another technique to solve test anxiety is guided imagery relaxation audio programs.

I have CD’s for home and school practice
Sign up here for more information (place link to contact page AND directly to my email)

When your child learns a new way to self-talk; he has a powerful tool for improving confidence, learning and self-esteem. After listening, a child’s mind is more open to creative thinking and problem solving. Look at these 2nd and 3rd graders who listened to Dr. Roxie’s: “The Star Within”…here’s what their teacher, Valerie F. from Arizona, said:

I started “Mediation Monday” during my writing class using your guided imagery relaxation journey: “The Star Within”. The students really enjoyed relaxing and after listening to the program; we completed art work related to different concepts presented in the CD. We often used the quote from the The Star Within CD “I can do what I say I can, I can do it, yes, I can!”


There isn’t anything average about your child!

Our schools are designed for the “average” student—but in my experience working with both genius and learning challenged children, here is what I know, for sure—there isn’t anything average about your child!

The more understanding you have about standardized tests, how much kids vary in their working memory and how these tests are designed to force kids to jump through unnecessary hoops that may not highlight their strengths, the better you’ll be helping your child help himself.

Discover 3 essential keys when you sign up here for free

1. To optimize your child’s learning style

2. To optimize your child’s learning environment

3. To optimize your child’s strategies for success.

Intelligence is not only cognitive, it is emotional and social. If you know how to develop

all three, it is more likely your child will enjoy not only academic achievement, but even more importantly, social adaptability and emotional stability as well. Research in neuroscience which investigates cognition and learning are pointing to specific methods which build the various intelligences necessary to succeed in all educational settings and life.

Just as we must teach our child penmanship, first by writing letters, then words, then

sentences. So too, we must teach them behaviorship and thoughtmanship.

You can work on this immediately.

Now Im wanting to offer something that is even more in-depth: for me to offer all my best insights, coaching, strategies, visioning and support. In-depth personal advising and empowerment,

Basically, Im offering to become the personal mentor to an exceptional parent or teacher

When you teach young children to ride a bicycle, it’s not so easy at first. But once you learn how, you know for life. Many children start by using training wheels, which are gradually raised higher and then removed as they get their balance.

In a sense, guided imagery meditations are like training wheels that you use until you learn how to cultivate the art of paying attention for yourself. Over time, we develop the

capacity to improve our quality of attention to other aspects of our moment-to-moment

experience- breathing, body sensations, hearing sounds, all sorts of perceptions of the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and body and then to the whole domain of thoughts and emotions. This is how we cultivate “intimacy with the spaciousness of awareness. An

awareness that can hold any or all objects of attention and then bring that awareness into everyday life.

Thus, the true meditation practice becomes how you live your life, not how well you sit on a cushion. What we are really talking about is awareness.”

The various objects that we can pay attention to are of importance but most importantly, is the attending itself, awareness itself.

The use of rhythm and rhyme throughout the guided imagery is a mechanism intended for appeal to children tapping the unconscious mind tapping their inner resources, inner strengthwhich brings about a shift into deep relaxation of the mind/body with daily practice you and your child can actually experience peace right here in your own body, in your own mind, in your own life.

You can take my word for it- guided imagery is a powerful tool helping children help themselves.

Tell me about your experience and successes!



“To tack a boat, to sail a zig-zag course is not to deny our destiny or our destination-
despite how it may appear to those who never dare to take the tiller in their hand.
Just the opposite: it’s to recognize the obstacles that stand between ourselves and
where we want to go and then maneuver with patience and fortitude, making the most
of each leg of our journey until we reach our landfall. “ -Richard Bode

I love sailing! It’s exhilarating; that distinctive salty sea air and water mist on my face, causes me to be alert and wide awake. You never know when the wind will change and you must ready yourself. Like the game of life, we are here for the joy of it and must know how to play it.

When the sails start to luff, you must head into the wind, tighten your angle to move forward. Obstacles are merely challenges so you can use your head to maneuver onward. You learn to welcome the unexpected because the unpredictable offers you novel ways to find solutions to life’s problems. In the process of sailing, you become confident working your magic: building your ability to be clever and use skillful actions to adapt, improve, improvise!

Can your child “roll with the punches” and “go with the flow”?

You don’t need to be in a sailing boat to practice. These are positive, mental attitudes and I can show you how you foster your youngster’s use of inspiration and innovation and how to encourage him to “take off” and “trust”. But first you have to row a little boat– which means, you begin with the self-disciple required for centering yourself, calming yourself no matter what is happening in the world around you or within you.

Here are 5 steps for steady progress:

1. Practice Relaxation

The most important skill we can teach our child is how to calm and settle himself. But you can’t teach what you do not know for yourself. So begin by taking back the afternoon and just rest together. Turn off cell phones, put away mobile devices and turn on your child’s smiles. Sit together on a back yard swing, relax in a hammock or just flop on the sofa long enough to quiet your nervous system by breathing rhythmically. Four counts, breathe in; six counts breathe out

2. Stay Present

Bring your attention to the present moment. In this moment all is well. Feel the peace that is always there which the rush of the day tried to hide. Using a guided imagery audio or music combined with rhythmic breathing is an effective method for keeping your attention on the present moment. When you develop the capacity to be aware of your mind/body system slowing down, you find your peace. Remember, emotions go to every cell in your body so choose health.

Pay attention to opportunities that present themselves disguised as disappointments, despair or detours. These “problem emotions” give birth to innovation, perseverance and adaptability.

3. Be Patient

Practice holding on to peace rather than becoming impatient or uncomfortable with the slowed down pace. Sometimes it may feel like you have to move or talk or you’ll jump out of your skin! The more you can become focused, the more you can cultivate the passive attitude of relaxation and the more you can be gentle with yourself.

4. Welcome the Unexpected

When you welcome the unexpected, you open your mind to the power within you, so you can maneuver yourself forward and not collapse in a heap of discomfort. When you welcome the unexpected, you begin to think more creatively to find solutions rather than stay stuck in old assumptions, such as, this thing happened to me and therefore I should be crushed! When you welcome the unexpected, you practice using your mind in a special manner that make new nerve endings connect causing you to come up with even more possibilities than ever before.

5. Be Determined

Never give up on yourself. Make the most of each leg of your journey until you make your landfall using your skillful action to adapt, improve and improvise.

leave comment for me on my contact page at

In the Breath is a Clearing Space: Multi-Sensory Relaxation Techniques for You and Your Child

In a world where we and are children are hurried, over-scheduled and stress-out; health integrity is not only favorable, it is a necessity. Learn how to slow, pause and tune into your bodys innate ability to rightitself. Heres how.

Years ago, when I worked as research assistant to Joan Borysenko,Ph.D., co-founder of the Mind/Body Clinic with Harvard cardiologist, Herbert Benson, MD, I was introduced to the basic

principles and benefits of relaxing the mind, body and spirit. I was involved in weekly meditation groups of adults who came with stress disorders ranging from digestive problems, chronic pain, migraine headaches to cancer. They were seeking a cure for their physical symptoms. But they left with a new mind set, a perspective on how the mind/body connection is really a body/mind language. And in learning how to communicate, they reported weekly relief. It all begins with our breathing.

In the breath is a clearing space.This was unfamiliar language to me. But as I practiced

breathing mindfully, I understood how Dr. Bensons Mind/Body Program was helping adults use the breath to restore the bodys natural ability to return to homeostasis and cope with additional stress.

I use the childs imagination through my teaching guided imagery relaxation and breathing. I have come to believe that this is probably one of the most amazing tools that you could be given.

School principals and teachers are only too aware of unruly children in classrooms due to

their disruptive behavior, anxiety disorders and meanness. The ability to be peaceful, patient and kind has gone by the wayside. However, I believe, and current trends in social psychology are pointing to methods in mindfulness and resilience to teach the new ABCS:

A-wareness of our B-ody/Mind C-ommunication for S-tress Relief.

The individual letters or building blocks of this language include mindfulness, meditation and relaxation techniques.  This language builds understanding and communication first with ourselves and then with those in the world around us. This language helps to create inner strength and resilience, right action, peace, balance, contentment and connection.

To teach our children this new language, we must first learn it ourselves.  The more we are able to be centered in our own bodies and feel what is going on for ourselves personally when we or a loved one is experiencing some sort of challenge or change; the quicker and more natural it becomes for our children to do this as well.  Just as it is with any other language, the more it is spoken and shared by everyone in an environment, the easier it is to become fluent in it.

Children learn through their senses. Think about this for a moment. Everything, especially in the natural world, can be experienced using all your senses. Everything can be taken in

through sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and intuition. Multi-sensory awareness is our innate

ability and it can be developed so we more deeply experience multi-sensory living.

To what purpose would multi-sensory living serve? You say you and your kids are already in stimulus overload!

I am asking you to consciously learn a new language. Gently, turn your attention away from the day, away from the stressors. Bring your attention inward to your breathing. In the breath is the clearing space where something new can happen. It is open, expansive, healing. Start with the breath; add a word, phrase, image, sound or touch stone and you learn your ABCS.

Inner balance is another term for homeostasis. When we pause and take three, deep letting go breaths, we begin to allow our bodies to be conscious to us. So that we learn the language of the bodys warning signs of stress overload. And then notice where the tightness and tension is located, breathe into that place and start the process of stress reduction.

The following are a multi-sensory series of relaxation techniques designed to increase your childs ability to learn her ABCS. These are essential for anyone who wants to calm the mind, body and spirit. Try them all, one after the other (1-5) or one at a time.

  1. VISUAL Take three, deep letting go breaths. Stand or sit in front of a window overlooking your garden, your backyard; or find a photograph of a beautiful place in nature. Now, look more closely- what do you see, really? If you are looking outside, notice the wind moving the leaves and flowers. In the photo, you can zoom-in on the colors. Let yourself stay focused with the object in front of you.

2. AUDITORY Take three, deep letting go breaths.with your child. With your eyes open or eyes closed, ring a bell or chime and follow the sound for as long as you can hear ti. A gentle sound

like a bell sound is a nutrient to the human nervous system. Ring the bell again, now listen to the sound of your own breathing. This is a good way to start slowing down and then listening to your body.

3. KINESTHETIC Your child may be a kinesthetic learner, one who feels in his body the vibrations of this environment.. Take three, deep letting go breaths. Bring you childs

attention to her body. Ask: What do you feel? Tight knot in stomach, sad, mad, happy?

When ever you notice your self becoming upset- you can place an elastic band on your wrist

then you can snap it lightly to remember to breathe. Pull on the elastic band around your wrist and say to your self: snap out of it!

4. OLFACTORY Take three, deep letting go breaths. Holding a bottle of lavender essential oil,

smell the fragrance of the aroma from the bottle. Because our sense of smell is a powerful and immediate stress reducer, it is an effective method of changing what we are focused on that is

stressing to a sweet smell that is pleasurable to you.

5. TASTE Take three, deep letting go breaths. You can use your breathing to practice eating

slowly and mindfully. Taking a raisin or a small bite of food, bring all your attention to the sensations of eating. Try chewing twenty times then swallowing. Really taste the sweetness of the raisin or food you are eating.

6. SIXTH-SENSORY Take three, deep letting go breaths. Open your inner vision, your in- sight; the sight in you, in your imagination. Imagine a picture of a doorway opening to a wide open space like the blue sky above you. Breathe in fully; breathe out fully. Opening to your imagination by closing the visual channel will almost immediately reduce the level of distraction, confusion and anxiety you are experiencing. Take a moment, keeping the eyes closed to just breathe. What do you see? Hear? In the breath is a clearing space where something new can

happen. It can be peaceful, stay as long as you like as just listen.

Your breathing is with you all the time and you can use it whenever you find yourself

getting caught up in stressful moments. Select one of the above six sensory relaxation

techniques, perhaps visual. Look out the window at the sky. Even though we

may have upset feelings and want shut down our emotions. Use your breathing to create

space so you can pause, breathe. Be present. You are learning how to make friends with all

your emotions- angry, sad, hurt, scared, happy. This ability to be fully present creates the new.

By taking the time and space to be conscious of your own physical response and feelings in a given situation, you can actually create more time and space to receive meaningful information and deeper wisdom from which to act in a way that is helpful and supportive.

Please leave a comment about your multi-sensory experience and get a free guided imagery