Interview by Dr Marina Nani
Do you know that children today sleep one hour less than we did 25 years ago?
Too many children suffer from lack of sleep which plays a devastating role in our society. Recently, I've met The Author of 'The Children’s Meditations In my Heart' which is designed for parents who struggle for hours to put their child to bed. Gitte Winter Graugaard 's book gives your child the tools to wind down, find inner peace and fall asleep within minutes. Now available in three different languages, it is changing bedtime routines the world over.
Gitte Winter Graugaard, the author of The Children’s Meditations in My Heart, is a Danish writer, life coach, energy mentor, mindfulness instructor and lightworker. She is on a mission to help parents help their children thrive through child meditation. Gitte helps parents become aware of the energy they radiate and teaches them to always parent themselves first before they parent their children. Gitte is also the founder of Momo Academy, which helps Danish schools offer mindfulness to the pupils as part of their education.
What inspired you to create your business?
Growing up today is so fast and loud. Information is all around our children, whether they’re aware of it or not. It is said that a child today receives as much stimulus in one day, as their great-grandparents did in an entire year when they were children. Expectations, both perceived and real, messages, overt and subliminal, are forever present via the Internet and television, in the playground and classroom, and in the home. This constant sensory overload can impact greatly on their mental wellbeing causing stress, depression, anxiety and sadness. After having ghostwritten a book called "Student life without stress" I looked at my own girls who were 3 and 6 years old at that time, and I thought what can I do to make sure they don’t need to read this book when they grow up. Mindfulness and meditation seemed to be the obvious methods for me. So I set out to find out whether we could teach this to children from a young age.
What is your solution for reinventing skills and Lifelong learning?
Self-esteem and self-love have always been invaluable life resources, and even more so today. We need to equip our children with these resources to enable them to navigate their way through life, to process the constant influx of information and to help them to recharge. By building strong self-esteem, by reminding children they are loved and by teaching them to turn up the love they have for themselves, we enable them to let go of their troubles before they fall asleep and drift off into worry-free slumber, their hearts full of love. By turning up the love for yourself before you go to sleep you tuck your self in an inner blanket of love. What nicer way to end one day before beginning the next? I teach parents to do so through reading my books with child meditations and the most amazing part is that it is helping thousands of children to sleep in more than 20 countries. Sleep or rather the lack of it among children all over the world s a BIG concern of mine. Children today in general sleep one hour less than we did 25 years ago. We must teach our children to get a good night sleep. I am happy that my books help so many children to sleep.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome to arrive where you are in your life?
When I came out of Copenhagen Business School my fellow graduates seemed to follow more or less the same path. I quickly realized that this path just wasn’t for me. Having my children and being on four years of maternity leave abroad only emphasized that feeling and I knew I had to find my own path. Those first years feeling like the odd one out were hard. Today I know that the resistance I felt around me didn’t really have anything to do with me, but rather mirrored the questions I raised in my surroundings by showing that there are always more options. Just because a lot of people are dancing the same dance, it doesn’t have to be mine.
What changes need to happen in your local community so women feel empowered and do things they want to do, by themselves?
Each woman has to listen to herself and believe she deserves a passionate life full of hope and dreams. As a life coach, I am happy to see so many women awaken these years. I see new light in their eyes. Once they become more conscious the next ingredient to add is courage. It take s a lot of courage to find your happiness as it often forces you to change course, and that can be scary. Nobody is going to hand it to you. You need to dig inside and find it.
What changes need to happen in our society so women feel empowered and able to do things they want to do, by themselves?
When a few brave women follow their hearts and show the courage to dare to offer new ways of politics and new ways of doing business with products designed to help more people, other women are watching. The courage they see in these female leaders will encourage them to also dare to believe that they too can be part of changing the world to a better place. As women we should be much better at encouraging each other to follow our dreams and share our visions.