Friday, October 31, 2014

Be your own hero, continued...


Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo

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I love how Elizabeth Gilbert recognizes the empowerment that comes from the journey of healing or what she calls, “The Hero’s Journey”.

It is triumphant and beautiful how a person can pick him or herself up from the ashes of tragedy, changed from the hardship, and engage the world in a forced rebirth. Or, as Elizabeth calls it, “Turn suffering into grace”.

Or, if you just dwell in the trauma without taking the bridge to healing you waste away in the pain; it kills you. Elizabeth calls this “wasted pain”. I have died many deaths in this lifetime. During each hardship, I couldn’t even imagine life after whatever the loss was in the depths of my suffering. But, the truth is, I did answer life’s call and I continue to; I’m my own hero.

And, the magic in all of this is that when I discovered I could save myself, all of the pieces started falling into place.  I’ve realized we have to step up and play the hero role time and time again. Why, because I am worth it and you are worth it too.


If you’re stuck, break through the barrier of change; live to transform.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A mandala, continued...


Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC drawing

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I was introduced to the mandala in my Expressive Art Therapy Trauma classes when I was in a program obtaining my Professional Certificate 1. The mandala creation exercise can be as basic or complex as you wish; much depends on how much time and focus you are willing to devote. I included a video in the article of a sand mandala created by monks; it is extremely impressive. If you search Google Images for the word mandala, you’ll find some breath-taking creations. I also looked at many YouTube videos that offer a “fast forward” view of people capturing their creation process. You can learn many tricks and/or shortcuts to utilize if you are going to create your own.

In all of the cultures I read about, the mandala represents some aspect of spirituality. If you follow my column you know that I believe creation in any form is spiritual but it is amazing to me to read about all of the cultures that acknowledge the spiritual power of a mandala.

If you do create your own, I would love to see your creation. My first was quite simple (shown above) although, I have stepped my complexity up since then; regardless, it’s worthwhile to try if you haven’t drawn one yet.


Keep me posted on your progress, I’m curious how it’s going.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Living your full potential, continued...


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I learned about the Shadow self through Debbie Ford’s book, Dark Side of the Light Chasers. Her appearances on Oprah’s show over the years taught me about the importance of accepting the little girl that I used to despise that lives within me. Why did I despise her? Because of the unacceptable things she did that I was not able to change; this lives in my past. I have learned that this “misfit” within was just a product of my young and unhealthy environment. I justified unhealthy choices then but today I know better and because of this past I do better. This angry and savage like little girl taught me to survive and eventually, through this acceptance, to thrive in a healthy environment. Debbie taught me to hug this inner self instead of denying and shaming her. And, by doing this I was able to gain an inner peace that strengthened me and helped to align me with universal love instead of worldly turmoil, a turmoil that used to manifest from within me.

Denying your inner self, the darkest place within, causes struggle in your life and until you realize this, you will just exist in the world instead of thriving by living your full potential, which is in alignment with the universe. 

Do you love yourself? If you do not love all of you, how can you expect others to? How can you surface your best self?


How to Unleash Your Full Potential to Live Your UnlivedLife, which I referenced within my Examiner article, shared this reference, “Excerpt from Living Your Unlived Life by Robert A. Johnson and Jerry M. Ruhl, Ph.D. with permission from Tarcher/Penguin.”

Friday, October 24, 2014

Physical and emotional abuse, continued...


Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo "Only you can change you; not someone else. Be brave and reach out for help if you are suffering domestic violence."

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I have been volunteering in a domestic violence and sexual assault shelter for almost 8 years. Intimate partner abuse can be serious and fatal; it is not uncommon in our communities. As I was driving home today and talking to my mom, she told me of a local news story about a woman (a mother of 4) that was killed this week by her ex-husband. This type of violence has to stop; it's unacceptable!.

Safehorizon.org offers these haunting statistics about domestic violence:

       1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
       Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
       Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
       Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
       Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner.

Can you imagine being abused by someone you love? It is a traumatizing thought not alone living in this hell. And, if you consider all of the children who are in these environments and the impact this violence has on them, without help, this pattern is continues to be energized.

It is horrific to think that in the year 2014, our communities and families are suffering such pain. The way we can stop this suffering is to talk about it, to support local shelters and agencies and most importantly, to get involved!

Have you been touched by domestic violence or sexual assault? If so, how were you able to leave the relationship? Or, are you still in it?


Monday, October 20, 2014

Mind, body and spiritual upkeep, continued...


Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo

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Examiner article

What is your self-care routine? I have increased my significantly since I’ve entered my forties. I have embraced flossing daily, double brushing, daily vitamins, lots of water, more helpings of fruit and vegies, less red meat, and more prayer and mediation. I have noticed, although I try to stay active daily, my exercise routine comes and goes. For example, I didn’t go to the gym this weekend but I did work hard in the yard cutting down dead flowers and getting it ready for winter. I’ll be very sore tomorrow and, this is my way of knowing, my activity is working me out just fine, at least for now!

I exfoliate and give myself facials at least once a month. I get massages when I can afford it and I read a lot. I’m in a Master’s program so I have absorbed many textbooks over the past 2 years. I continue to challenge myself through new endeavors and I am creative often. I love writing, drawing, cooking, problem-solving and serving others in creative ways.

I have tried many types of holistic healing processes and I will continue to engage in this world. It is sincerely intriguing to me.

I have a lot of short-term and long-term goals such as, finishing my masters in counseling and then serving others in this role. I want to finish writing my second book as it has been taking me far too long. I will marry my fiancé in the near future, and continue to travel when we can. I hope to get accepted into a doctorate program and obtain a doctorate in Art Therapy. Eventually, I want to open a clinic in southeastern Michigan.

As a woman, I serve many roles and while I do live in the present, I am keeping my eye on the horizon. And, with all of this on my plate, it is important that self-care is a priority in my routine.


What are you doing to better you as you grow older? What is your self-care routine?