Sunday, November 29, 2009

Generosity is critical especially when times are tight

Lifetime Art Impressions image

I have volunteered for Safehouse Center, in Ann Arbor, Mi, for over a decade. It is a lifesaving organization focused on strengthening community by offering hope to those suffering with domestic violence and/or sexual assault. This is what inspired my article, which  I posted in November of 2009, It speaks to the heart of the need of the organization for donations of both time and money.

If you or anyone you know are local to Washtenaw county and you are in this situation, call the Safehouse Center helpline phone# (734) 995-5444. It is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They will listen to you and provide options to help empower you! If you are not local to southeastern Michigan, they have resource information for other DV shelters.


Generosity is critical especially when times are tight

For almost 35 years, Safehouse has been advocating support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.  Kathy Winterhalter, Volunteer & Intern Coordinator at the center communicated, “We help empower participants to learn to regain control; make their own decisions and create their own futures.”  She said very passionately, “We don’t use the label victim, the service participants are a victim only in the moment of the crime, one moment later they become a survivor!” 

The ripple effect of the economy has impacted this organization as it has many other non-profits; their staff has been cut in half, down to approximately 30 members, making the need for their 150 active volunteers a must.  Last year they logged over 20,000 volunteer hours.  The center offers shelter, an on-site clinic, 24 hour immediate on-call response, help-line, counseling, support groups and legal advocacy; last year they helped over 4,400 survivors.    

The compassionate people of Washtenaw County passed the millage that enabled the construction of their building back in 1993.  This non-profit organization devotes its efforts towards developing communities free of domestic violence and sexual assault.  The 50-bed shelter was designed specifically for the needs of their survivors; deserving souls suffering through unimaginable circumstances. 

Safehouse Center is counting on the community’s generosity, even more so during these trying times.  Kathy remarked, “The powerful teamwork of staff, volunteers and community donors helps us give survivors what they need and deserve!” 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanks for the gift of your time

Thanks For the Gift of Your Time
Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC image


I've been involved, in 1 way or another, with Safehouse Center in Ann Arbor, a non-profit organization over the past few years. I wanted you to learn more about the organization which is why I prompted the interview with one of their staff members as posted below (completed in 2009). I've been working for businesses for over 20 years, interfacing with thousands, and not one of them benches up to the magic accomplished through the teamwork at Safehouse. I haven't encountered anyone who doesn't have a loving presence there. It really makes my spirit rejoice when I think of what they do and how many lives they change daily. I'm proud to be part of this organization! Who are you helping?

This was posted on the Examiner prior to them closing their doors and removing the content.


Generosity is critical especially when times are tight

For almost 35 years, Safehouse has been advocating support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.  Kathy Winterhalter, Volunteer & Intern Coordinator at the center communicated, “We help empower participants to learn to regain control; make their own decisions and create their own futures.” She said very passionately, “We don’t use the label victim, the service participants are a victim only in the moment of the crime, one moment later they become a survivor!” 

The ripple effect of the economy has impacted this organization as it has many other non-profits; their staff has been cut in half, down to approximately 30 members, making the need for their 150 active volunteers a must.  Last year they logged over 20,000 volunteer hours. The center offers shelter, an on-site clinic, 24 hour immediate on-call response, help-line, counseling, support groups and legal advocacy; last year they helped over 4,400 survivors.    

The compassionate people of Washtenaw County passed the millage that enabled the construction of their building back in 1993. This non-profit organization devotes its efforts towards developing communities free of domestic violence and sexual assault. The 50-bed shelter was designed specifically for the needs of their survivors; deserving souls suffering through unimaginable circumstances. 

Safehouse Center is counting on the community’s generosity, even more so during these trying times.  Kathy remarked, “The powerful teamwork of staff, volunteers and community donors helps us give survivors what they need and deserve!” 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The freedom of letting go

Photo of my dad and mom provided by my mom, Patricia LaBean

Today was my Dad's 71st birthday. I miss him terribly! He passed in 2008 and if it wasn't for my Mom's voice mail, I don't think I could even remember what his voice sounds like. It is really hard for me. I'm lucky I had a great relationship with him as an adult. I feel like I made him proud and I was actively involved in his life all the way until his last breath; I was there, with him, as often as possible. It was my fear he would pass by himself which thankfully didn't happen. I'm sure I would have had a much more difficult time in the aftermath of his death, had I felt guilty about things. I pray for anyone suffering with guilt or regret connected to a loved one who has passed. I hope the article helps soothe this pain! As for me, I know I can always close my eyes and find my dad imprinted into my memories and my heart! This is what was happening in my life, which inspired the article posted below but originally on Examiner.com before they closed their Internet doors and pulled the content.


The Freedom of Letting Go

Are you haunted by an unspoken truth or imprisoned by guilt from something you did or did not do in the past?  This dark secret can cripple you mentally creating negative energy that keeps you from living your deserving, healthiest potential.  

Ease your mind and mend your spirit with the freedom of letting go.  Live for this and choose to release painful thoughts when you recognize them.  Freedom is not being subject to or affected by a particular thing, especially something undesirable as defined by the Encarta Dictionary. 

Welcome this concept to start your healing process.  Recognize you are human and you’re not perfect.  Even at your best, you will make mistakes.  If you’re not, you are not embracing life fully.  Give yourself a break, forgiving you first and then others; apologize if necessary regardless if the person is not longer in the living; write them a letter.  Let go of any unrealistic expectations and bring yourself back into the present moment when you find yourself stolen into the past.  Address life as it comes and do not let the negativity fester.  If you’re not able to confront a problem, learn to vent in a healthy way; either through friends, family, a professional or by writing it down and burning it as a way to release any negative thoughts. 

Enable your healthy life by freeing guilt, regret or shame.  Learn to “let it go” and allow this philosophy to be the wholesome foundation for moving forward. Remember, this is a process so when intrusive thoughts pop in, remind yourself you have chose to let go and work your coping tools like deep breathing or meditation to de-escalate any heightened feelings!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bereaving the loss of a husband

Photo provided by Patricia LaBean taken at their
 40th Wedding anniversary party.


The loss of Buck LaBean, my father and Patricia LaBean's husband (my mother), has been the most traumatic thing any of us, in my family, has been through. We've all leaned on eachother and with each day that passes it seems we're stepping on the path of healing. Interviewing my mom and asking some personal questions helped me discover that she is doing better than I expected with her bereavement. My mom is a really strong person but she is living with a broken heart hoping her time left on earth is minimal. It is sad to accept this but I realize her world has been shattered and it will take some time for her to recover and find peace with a new life without my dad. Her persevering spirit inspired my article, which I posted on Examiner.com in November of 2009. They closed their internet doors years later and took down the article, which is posted below.


Bereaving the loss of a husband

As Patricia LaBean, of Belleville Michigan, placed her order for funeral flowers, May of 2008, she told the florist at Steins Nursery, “Fifty years ago in July, I was here with my boyfriend ordering our wedding flowers!” After living her life with her childhood sweetheart, her beloved husband, LaVern LaBean (known by all as Buck), she was devastated by his death. 

She communicated her biggest fear was to live by herself after being used to having someone with her; someone who shared all of her experiences and then all of a sudden he was gone! She offered advice to anyone who is suffering the loss of a loved one, especially through the holidays, “You don’t realize what you have until you lose it, you take them for granted because you think you’ll go on together forever and this isn’t the case.” Her message was clear, “Be thankful this Thanksgiving, and every day, for your family!” 

She continued, “It is hardest for me at night when I’m trying to sleep, thoughts go through my mind. I know it is bad to say but sometimes I feel like I’m just existing, waiting to die, waiting for my turn. At first things that reminded me of him like his birthday (November 25th), certain songs, flowers, a Coke (he retired from Coca-Cola) made me sad but now, it makes me happy. I feel him around me and I know I’ll see him again someday.” When asked what she misses the most about him, Patty responded, “His sense of humor, he was always such a character, he kept me laughing all of the time!”

With time, Patricia is learning how to better cope with the grief from the loss of her husband. The support from her family, the unconditional love from her pets and her faith in God enables her to get through each day. 

Patricia and her family received a heavenly blessing they believed Buck helped orchestrate from beyond the grave. Her Grandchild, Jennifer Booth, gave birth to her first Great Grandchild, Kylie Madison Booth, born on May 20, 2009.  This was exactly one year, to the day, after her husband passed. This sweet little baby will help the family mourn Buck’s death with an annual gathering celebrating her life. It is a true miracle!

 

 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Using Your Spirituality as Your Lifeline

Lifetime Art Impressions, artwork

I was able to really understand the power of God and our great universe when we visited the Grand Canyon this past summer. The view really gives a perspective of something much bigger than "us". If you ever get a chance, it is a worth-while trip! This is what inspired the below post that I wrote for the Examiner.com before they closed their on line doors and took the content down.


Using Spirituality as your lifeline

We’re so fortunate to be gifted with life, what a glorious sensation; to be part of the vibrations of humanity impacting the world! When it feels like the world is impacting you and this is probably more often than not these days, recognizing and relying on your spirituality is essential!

It can be the key to finding your peace of mind regardless if you are a religious person or not.  As defined by Brene Brown,

“Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.”

This starts with understanding philosophically, the intangible powers of the universe. This power reaches into each of us validating our existence; we are not alone, we’re part of the whole. Tangibly, imagine you’re like a small grain of sand playing its part and holding its place at the ocean’s side. How can you feel peace, guidance and love from such an indescribable source?

You can feel this by being conscious of your individual part and how this part impacts the whole. We are beautiful creations and we are capable of surviving anything disrupting our journeys. This is something you must embrace to empower your zest for life.  Realizing you can’t control others but you can control yourself, and by trusting “this to will pass” and with a mindset of, "I'm capable of handling whatever comes my way", knowing if you can't figure it out, you will find someone who can. With this thinking, you’ll find it easier to navigate back to your own peace of mind gifting yourself clarity with the thoughts framed above. 

By living your life as kindly as possible, generating a positive worldly influence, even when you’re feeling like a specimen under the universal microscope, you’ll find your spirituality can be your lifeline!
 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Priceless Self Worth

Lifetime Art Impressions image

As a Mother I really believe my boys learn more from my actions or non-verbal approaches as apposed to learning from my words (which is good more times than not)! I've always tried to be fair with them and, if I mess up, I've learned to recognize it and apologize just as I would expect them to do for me when tables are turned. Through the good times and bad, I've somehow been able to hold my head high and keep my ethics in check knowing these young pupils of life we're absorbing all of my reactions along the way. One of my biggest fears has been the disabling thought of either of them not possessing healthy self-worth. I'm really proud of both of them and I'm so grateful they've found their way and, in their young teen lives, they are both exuding priceless self-worth. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and I'm praying a lot along the way to help us all stay on course, taking it and enjoying one day at a time! This is what inspired my article below, which was posted on the Examiner prior to them closing their online doors and removing the content.


Priceless self worth

What is the value of your self-worth? Self-worth comes from within each of us although this perception is very apparent to others. How you think of yourself is projected into the world like an imaginary price tag floating over your head. Are you projecting a priceless self worth or are you red tagged and targeted for the clearance rack? 

Most people will spend hours in the kitchen preparing wonderful meals for their loved ones but when it comes to making their own food, a five minute meal is customary or perhaps there isn't any meal prepared.  Why is it we can justify spending our time on someone else’s needs but not on our own? Perhaps we’re people pleasers and we crave praise from others to validate our own existence; someone needs you, therefore you must be valuable!? 

Your self-worth doesn’t increase from external praise although in the moment it may feel like it. It can be improved, fundamentally, by embracing spirituality inclusive of mindfulness. Learn to appreciate the wonder of you and how to manifest a healthy life and when you do this, you'll find miracles within the most ordinary places. Practice letting go of preconceived notions such as self-centeredness or selfishness. Fill your spirit with self-love. Set aside time prioritizing your own needs; this refueling will help you better serve others in your life. 

Allow this self-love to clear the distortion from your mirror image and let this new found confidence radiate self-esteem and reflect your priceless value to the world!  

 Click here to read more about self-worth.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Forced career change surfaced a new found passion

Lifetime Art impressions image

This article was posted in 2009 on the Examiner.com website. Since then they have closed their doors and took the content down that was with them!

Michelle's story is really inspirational to me. I'm in the same boat and I'm hoping 6 years from now I'll be feeling confident and I'll be happy with my career transition. I love writing and creating art and I'm hopeful it will support my lifestyle and I'll be able to consider it a career!

Michelle is actually offering dinner massages in the Toledo area. She and another Massage Therapist, along with a chef, go into peoples home and massage (the couple) while the chef prepares their meal. They've developed a pretty cool package!

Michelle is genuinely serving other's needs and helping spread good health and happiness. We need more people on the earth like her!


Forced career change surfaced a new found passion

Michelle is an extraordinary woman, someone who reinvented herself after her world was turned upside down by a job loss in 2003. Like most people who’ve lost their job, she wasn’t sure where to turn.  She decided to go back to school for Massage Therapy, “Without one door closing I don't think I would have even considered opening another one.” Her forced career change surfaced her new found passion, “Massage is such a rewarding career, I'm grateful, as strange as it may sound to have lost that job!”

Michelle transitioned from a Finance career to Massage. She is a Massage Therapist and instructor at Owens Community college in Toledo. Her passion is clear when you meet her, “It’s important to love your work, because your attitude will definitely come out in your massage. I believe in healing touch, I believe it works. My job is to be the best hour of your day.”

She feels strongly about this holistic healing approach, “Massage definitely benefits both mind and body, treating not only the symptoms, but establishing a cause whether it’s internal or external."

Michelle discussed some of its many benefits, “Massage increases overall circulation, helps in alleviating lower back pain, improves range of motion, assists with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers, helps athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts and is, overall, great for relaxation.” When asked what she would say to someone who isn’t comfortable with touch, she offered Chair Massage as an option. “This 10 – 20 minute, fully clothed, seated massage slowly introduces you to massage giving you an idea of what to expect.”

Michelle’s thoughts on massage necessity, “Most people still consider massage a luxury and say they can’t afford it, what they don’t realize is, it’s not a luxury, it has extreme benefits and what you can’t afford is to not take care of yourself. It’s the best preventative medicine I know of!" 

Michelle’s career transition rewards her daily by meeting people like Patty Wilson; someone who is coping with Dementia. Patty’s response after receiving a massage Michelle donated is testimony of the power of therapeutic touch, “I feel giddy! You know-- happy all over!  I felt, today, like a normal person, doing things a normal woman would do, it was a wonderful day!"  Michelle could have never imagined any of this would have been possible without suffering the tragedy of her job loss. It was a true blessing in disguise for her!   

Friday, November 13, 2009

The holistic powers of touch

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC image
Embrace those whom you love!


I grew up in a family that really didn't communicate love by hugging or verbalizing it, although we knew we were loved, it wasn't physically demonstrated. I've made an effort to love my kids not only with my words but by physically hugging them every chance I got or they would let me:) It used to be often when they were little, but now as teenagers, it's a bit more difficult. I'm hopeful I've instilled the importance of touch into their hearts and they'll pass it forward as they mature into healthy adults!

Below is the article I wrote for the Examiner.com prior to them closing their online doors and removing the content!


Holistic Powers of Touch

As defined in the Encarta Dictionary, holistic is taking into account all of somebody’s physical, mental and social conditions in the treatment of illness. Touch, when influenced by affection, is its pathway; a wonderful sensation that sends energy into the body, soothing signals to the mind and warmth into the heart. 

When you are at a loss for words, and you’re not sure how to help a loved one in their time of need, express silent compassion by offering sincere and calming touch. The holistic powers of touch facilitate connections of tenderness and healing through human kindness.   

Are you comfortable with physical contact?  If so, the spiritually uplifting, gift of massage is a therapeutic encounter that is out of this world.   
Michelle Raider, a certified masseuse, discussed some of the numerous benefits of massage, “It enhances immunity by stimulating lymph flow (the body’s natural defense system), increases joint flexibility, lessens depression and anxiety, reduces spasms and cramping, lowers blood pressure, relaxes and softens injured and tired muscles and best of all it’s becoming accepted throughout the medical community!”   

It is essential to realize and share the holistic power of touch.  Regardless, if you are treating yourself or someone else with the celestial gift of massage or warming someone’s heart through a hug, kiss on the forehead or offering a supportive hand; promote affection through touch and help make the world a more loving place to live!   

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Are you comfortable in your skin

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC image
Love who you are!

For the most part I have been comfortable in my skin and confident in my abilities but it hasn't always been this way. And, my confidence continues to grow as I continue to appreciate who I have become. I really do believe I am a survivor; I'm a successful person who can handle just about anything that comes my way although maybe not in the most appropriate way at times. It doesn't mean I don't react or struggle before I find and navigate my path forward, it just means I recognize the challenge and figure out a solution before it gets the best of me! Really, if we can't count on ourselves, who can we really count on?

Below is the article I wrote in November of 2009, before the Examiner closed its doors and took the content down.


Are you comfortable in your own skin

Regardless of the class you fit into, your age, gender, color, shape or size, the way you carry yourself as you maneuver through your life impacts your success.  Are you comfortable in your own skin?  Your thoughts about you, even if you are not verbalizing them, affect your body; how one feels and acts.  Do you have a presence that commands positive attention or does your demeanor influence people negatively?  Every person you know is flawed, the difference is most people do not become disempowered by their imperfections instead, they figure out how to accept them so they are perceived favorably by the world, which is empowering! 

Learn to love your flawed self and offer this authentic being to the rest of the world!  You’ll find, after a little practice, it is easier than you would think and you’ll realize how draining self doubt and negativity is, once you are able to free it.  

Start by countering any damaging thought with an encouraging one. Any time you speak negatively about yourself, add the word "but" to it and reframe it positively with a countering statement. Maybe you are overweight but you are healthier than you used to be. Your health can be the foundation to facilitate a new commitment to walk daily enabling you to slim down. Harshness isn't going to motivate long-term change but self compassion will encourage this.

Look into the mirror and force yourself to find a compliment. This might feel conceited and seem really hard at first but it is a worthwhile venture!   Work on your posture; someone slumped over might suggest laziness even if you are a very active person. Finally, smile. You’ll be surprised how contagious it is; people will reciprocate your cheerful gesture. 

Regardless if you are teaching a class, meeting for a first date or interviewing for a new job, it is critical to remember, you are your best investment.  Let your comfort emanate through your pores and present a confident, cool self to enable success by attracting positivity into your life!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Living a Life Imprisoned by Dementia


Here is my Examiner Article interview Patty Wilson as it was posted in November of 2009 prior to them closing their doors and removing the content from the Internet:


Living a life imprisoned by Dementia

A stylish, born sales person with an eye for art, Patty Wilson used to work for an upscale gallery as an art buyer. When asked her view of the world prior to the diagnosis she exclaimed, "I loved being around people and beautiful things!" Living a life imprisoned by Dementia for over seven years, Patty is adamant to continue to push forward; she doesn't want to be "Pitiful Patty." She doesn't want to give up although she is fully aware of the disability and in her words, "Life is going to take over me. They don't know what it is and it is happening to so many; it's a killer, a disabler!" She has had to make a switch to the basics in order to cope with her illness.

Her advice for others supporting someone with this type of disability, "Kiss them, tell them a joke to keep them laughing and keep them surrounded by loved ones and babies. If they like something, help them to do it as much as possible!" 

She used to love taking walks and although she can't walk by herself now, she is able to still enjoy strolls in the park on the arm of a loved one. Patty lit up when she described her latest shopping find, Easy Spirit athletic shoes. She beamed, "I used to fear I would slip and fall and hit my head, but now I can walk, little things like these shoes help me feel more in charge! She continued, When my family has things organized; what I'm going to eat and do next, it takes the scariness away from me."
 


Patty has loved music all of her life and the songs still live in her heart. Many times during the interview she sang lines of sweet melodies. Patty reiterated she would never have been able to get through her disability without having such a loving support system; she is extremely grateful for her family and friends, she sang, "We are family!"

When asked how she wanted to be remembered, Patty responded, "Oh, I do not think I can answer that." Although she was unable to verbalize a reply, the connection we shared for just a few short hours offered a silent knowing. Patty's disability might blur her past but this just heightens her present moment; the most mundane experience is priceless. Why would she waste any thought about being remembered, she is still very much alive. Patty is looking to the future and trusting her support system, knowing she still has a lot of joy to embrace even within the boundaries of Dementia!

Click here to learn more about Dementia


I was touched when my friend Jude suggested I meet Patty to learn and share some of her insights. She is such an extraordinary woman; I struggled with the Examiner's 200 - 400 word limit for this article. I could have written so much more. Patty was her Mother's main support during her struggle with Dementia. She had forgotten she served this role; her eyes welled up when Jude reminded her. Patty is a very sensitive, loving, intelligent person who lives to laugh. She told me her job now was to help make other people happy when they're feeling sad. Patty couldn't remember if she had gone to church in her previous adult life but she was sure she had lived her life genuinely helping others whenever possible. This is apparent when I learned of her family support. Her ex-husband, John (Jude's brother), welcomed her into his home and took care of her for 3 years (15 years after their divorce) and he continues to actively participates as a loving caregiver. She lives with her son, Jesse, and his wife, Molly in their home and her daughter, Olivia, is also a strong support for her. Jude, along with others in Patty's circle of love contributes much loving care by sharing precious time with her as built into Patty's weekly schedule. Jude kissed Patty’s forehead several times during the interview when her emotions surfaced as she shared her story. Patty told me there was a time when she thought she didn't have any people but she knew now that she was wrong. She communicated she had a lot of thanking to do. I replied by reminding her that the people, in her life today, are a testament of the love she shared and I'm sure they are thanked everyday when they see her smile and hear her laugh! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to meet Patty Wilson!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Healing power of laughter

Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo
Keep your silly inner child alive!
Healing Power of Laughter

My wit was gifted to me by my Father who kept us laughing through a financially strained and traumatic childhood. My parents did the best they could and I recognize this, understanding my upbringing made me the person I am today. Humor has offered comfort to me during the most stressful and sometimes inappropriate times. I can't think of a better way to detox than shedding tears of joy through laughter. I'm so grateful for the times I've lost my composure to uncontrollable bouts of this therapy. I wish this for everyone. This is the type of "epidemic" the world could benefit from; help me spread the power of laughter!

This is the Examiner article that was originally posted in October, 2009, prior to them closing their door and removing the content from the Internet.


Healing power of laughter

Humor is one of the best home remedies for pain. The healing power of laughter is very therapeutic. This rhythmic sound begins deep within the core and opens passages as it travels through the lungs and out to the world. Each outbreak causes a gasping motion enabling oxygen to better fill the lungs.  The breathing affects are similar to those achieved during meditation.

Have you ever laughed so hard your face and stomach hurt afterwards?  The activity actually provides a workout for your stomach, chest and facial muscles. This is the only workout that comes to mind as being genuinely contagious!  If only the gym offered the same affect the world would be a much healthier place.

Have you ever laughed so hard it made you cry? These tears of joy are priceless.  They actually help detoxify the body. During a laugh attack, the body also releases endorphins providing a natural pick me up for anyone partaking.

Enjoy a therapeutic retreat from your pain and melt your stress away by sharing a belly retching laugh with a friend. Remember to take as many self-created, authentic and natural happy pills as possible and allow this healing power of laughter to awaken your spirit!   

Click here to learn more about laughter medically. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

Circle of Love

Liftime Art Impressions, LLC image
Circle of Love

I feel extremely lucky to have such a wonderful support system in my life. I do not consider myself a “needy” or “high maintenance” person and maybe this is why I have people who will swoop in to help me in my time of need. I try really hard to give back to my community and help others when possible; this might be why others are willing to help me too. I also believe in karma and perhaps the good energy I give out as an adult, loops back in gifting me with some of this love! Whatever the reason, I feel blessed even when challenge surfaces. This is the article I posted in 2009 before Examine closed its online doors and pulled my content.


Circle of Love

Regardless of how strong or weak you feel, when you are confronted by a life crisis support is critical for overcoming your challenge. Many of us lean on our family and friends or perhaps a professional counselor or psychologist to seek aid during a crisis. This informal “circle of love” is part of our survival. It validates our existence and brings companionship to the isolation triggered by the problem. 

What if someone isn’t fortunate enough to have a circle of love in their life? Healthy support can be found within your surroundings.  You must recognize the need for it and be conscientious of the help lines available to enable your support. Depending on the dilemma, something as simple as sharing a few moments with your pet can offer soothing, unconditional and non-judgmental love. If you have spiritual beliefs, prayer can calm anxieties and your church can offer words of encouragement. A medical outlet might help facilitate a path to your solution or your starting place might begin with a local resource such as Washtenaw County’s United Way 211 call center. Regardless if you have basic needs, require physical or mental support or you looking for financial assistance, simply call (734) 477-6211 or 211 (from a cell phone) for a list of local options. This state certified call center devotes its time and efforts towards finding resources for life's predicaments.    

Next time you feel like life is turning upside down and you realize you’re not functioning at your best, reach out to find support and utilize or create your circle of love!

Click here to learn how to build a personal support system.