Do you have a feeling that's visiting today?
Can you open your door and invite it to play?

Visiting Feelings encourages children to treat their feelings like guests — welcome them in, get to know them, and perhaps learn why they are visiting. Through this purposeful and mindful exploration, Visiting Feelings harnesses a young child's innate capacity to fully experience the present moment and invites children to sense, explore, and befriend all of their feelings with acceptance and equanimity.

A Note to Parents provides more information about emotional awareness and mindfulness, plus practical advice and activities for introducing mindfulness into daily family routine.

About the Author

Lauren Rubenstein, JD, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Bethesda, MD. She also teaches yoga and mindfulness to children and adolescents, including kids in Haiti living in extreme poverty. Her humanitarian work in Haiti has been featured in the Huffington Post.

Dr. Rubenstein plans to donate proceeds from Visiting Feelings to the Go Give Yoga Foundation.

About the Illustrator
Shelly Hehenberger studied art and design at Indiana University and received her MFA in painting from the University of Cincinnati in 1994. Since that time she has worked as an art teacher, professional artist, and illustrator of children's books. The illustrations in this book were created digitally using hand-painted textures and overlays. She lives near Chapel Hill, NC, with her husband and 14-year-old daughter.
Reviews & Awards
  • Silver Medal, 2014 Nautilus Awards
  • Gold Medal, 2013 Mom's Choice Awards

Visiting Feelings is not just for children, as we all need this gentle reminder to love ourselves, our feelings, and accept and embrace who we really are.
Elephant Journal

This gorgeous book is a wonderful gift for the children in your life.
—Little Flower Yoga

Through a poetic text, children are encouraged to identify and explore their emotions. Readers are asked to embrace their feelings, to treat them like friends…The full-page, digitally created illustrations feature hand-painted textures and overlays. They have a dreamy quality as the feelings swirl around the youngsters in soft pastel colors...The high-quality, appealing art will hold the attention of younger children…The book has a lot of potential for teaching students how to describe their reactions to different situations.
School Library Journal

I wish every child could benefit from the wise and loving guidance offered in Visiting Feelings. This beautiful book offers our children (and their parents as well!) a mindfulness-based approach to navigating strong emotions that can directly strengthen resiliency, happiness and capacity to establish loving relationships with others.
—Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge: Finding Peace & Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Visiting Feelings presents an exquisite lesson in mindfulness and dealing with emotions by letting children know it's OK to feel however they may and simply embrace the experience. The book stresses that feelings are neither bad nor good, they just are. Welcoming your feelings in, and actually making friends with them, is the best way to learn more about yourself and what your emotions are trying to teach you. The lesson is simple yet deep and playfully accessible for children and adults alike.

This lyrically illustrated beauty of a book is the doorway into accepting feelings that arise and accepting oneself for experiencing those feelings. From the first page through the last, a light-hearted, rhyming poem encourages the young reader to welcome and listen to feelings, as though they are visitors, inquiring into shape, color image,location in the body, and the origin of the feeling. In the author’s note to parents, she includes activities adults and children can do together to increase meaning and connection between them, along with breathing and self-awareness exercises. Written by a psychologist and yoga teacher, this book belongs on the shelf of everyone who serves children—parents, grandparents, therapists, aunts, uncles and teachers.
LifeForce Yoga

A beautifully illustrated children's book; a soft poem that is a lullaby to children in preschool or primary grades that takes a mindfulness-based approach to the many feelings that children will experience. Visiting Feelings is one of those books you can cuddle up and read with a child on the couch or before bedtime. It opens the door to an adult talking to a child about the many feelings that are inside of us, and that even the painful ones are not bad. Feelings are simply feelings, and if we are aware of them and can talk about them, we won't be frightened of them.
—Lily Eskelsen García, Vice President of the National Education Association