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Nature’s Medicine

Nature’s Medicine

Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music.
~ A Cornelius Celsus ~

 

 

 

Go to main page: Your Personal Tuning Fork the endocrine system ( a way to sustainable health)

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The Best Medicine

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
~ Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990 ~

 

Go to main page: Your Personal Tuning Fork the endocrine system ( a way to sustainable health)

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Sustainable Health – an excerpt

Your Personal Tuning Fork: The Endocrine System

is a book about health — Sustainable Health

 

[“A key to sustainable health is the Endocrine System: our personal tuning fork.”]

 

Your Personal Tuning Fork: The Endocrine System takes you on a journey into the human body, its processes and systems as both a physical and metaphysical being. As a reference piece, its purpose is to acquaint the reader with their own personal tuning fork and to guide regarding the functionality and processes of the endocrine system, with a goal towards self-empowerment through knowledge. It presents safe, simple techniques to enable a creative approach to self-care which engenders greater wellbeing at a holistic level towards sustainable health.

 

 [“Allow yourself to gain the understanding and then you will be guided towards a greater sense of wellbeing and harmony.”]

It Discusses:

·       Daily disturbances which interfere with health

·       The endocrine system and how it relates to health and health disturbances

·       The endocrine system as our personal tuning fork

·       The concept of holism or totalism towards sustainable heath

 

It Takes You on a Tour:

·       Of the body via the endocrine system exploring the glands and hormones – and how it tunes the body’s systems and organs back into health

·       Beyond the physical body into the unique interaction between the physical and the subtle energies known as the meridians and chakras and how integral this relationship is to total well-being

 

It Demonstrates:

·       How to identify imbalances and correct them with natural and safe remedies

·       Self-care techniques to assist your journey towards sustainable health

·       A how-to-daily-tuning-guide

·       Safe and simple practices to maintain a balanced and fluid connection between the physical and subtle bodies

 

 

 Read more excerpts – click on book image

 

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20 Preservatives & Food Additives to Avoid

“If food has agents added to preserve its shelf life – it will usually shorten human life.”

Top 20 Preservatives and Food Additives to Avoid

Name

E #

Usage Facts you need to know
Allura

Red AC

E129 Food coloring in snacks, sauces, preserves, soups, wine, cider, etc. Avoid if you suffer from asthma, rhinitis (including hayfever), or urticaria (hives).
Amaranth E123 Food coloring in wine, spirits, fish roe. Banned in the U.S. Avoid if you suffer from asthma, rhinitis, urticaria or other allergies.
Aspartame E951 Sweetener in snacks, sweets, alcohol, desserts, ~diet” foods May affect people with PKU (phenylketonuria). Recent reports show possibility of headaches, blindness, and seizures with long-term high doses of aspartame.
Benzoic acid E210 Preservative in many foods, including drinks, low sugar products, cereals, meat products. Can temporarily inhibit the function of digestive enzymes. May deplete glycine levels. Avoid ifyou suffer from asthma, rhinitis, urticaria or other allergies.
Brilliant

Black BN

E151 In drinks, sauces, snacks, wines, cheese, etc. Avoid if you suffer from asthma, rhinitis, urticaria, or other allergies.
Butylated Hydroxy-anisole E320 Preservative, particularly in fat-containing foods, confectionery, meats. The International Agency for Research on Cancer says BHA is possibly carcinogenic to humans. BHA also interacts with nitrites to form chemicals known to cause changes in the DNA of cells.
Calcium benzoate E213 Preservative in many foods, including drinks, low-sugar products, cereals, meat products. Can temporarily inhibit function of digestive enzymes and may deplete levels ofthe amino acid glycine. Should be avoided by those with hay fever, hives, and asthma.
Calcium sulphite E226 Preservative in a vast array of foods-from burgers to biscuits, from frozen mushrooms to horseradish. Used to make old produce look fresh. In the U.S., sulphites are banned from many foods, including meat. They can cause bronchial problems, flushing, low blood pressure, tingling, and anaphylactic shock. The International Labour Organization says avoid them ifyou suffer from bronchial asthma, cardiovascular or respiratory problems and emphysema.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) E621 Flavor enhancer. Has been known to cause pressure on the head, seizures, chest pains, headache, nausea, burning sensations, and tightness of face. Many baby food producers have stopped adding MSG to their products.
Ponceau 4R, Conchineal

Red A

E124 Food coloring. People who suffer from asthma, rhinitis or urticaria may find their symptoms become worse following consumption of foods containing this coloring.
Potassium benozoate E212 See calcium benzoate. See calcium benzoate.
Potassium nitrate E249 Preservative in cured meats and canned meat products. It can lower the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood; it may combine with other substances to form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic; and it may have an atrophying effect on the adrenal gland.
Propyl p-hydroxybenozoate, propylparaben, and paraben F216 Preservative in cereals, snacks, pate, meat products, confectionery. Parabens have been identified as the cause of chronic dermatitis in numerous instances.
Saccharin & its

Na, K and Ca salts

E954 Sweetener in diet, and no-sugar products. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has concluded that saccharin is possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Sodium metabisulphite Preservative and antioxidant. May provoke life-threatening asthma.
Sodium sulphite E221 Preservative used in wine-making and other processed foods. Sulphites have been associated with triggering asthma attacks. Most asthmatics are sensitive to sulphites in food.
Stannous chloride (tin) E512 Antioxidant and color-retention agent in canned and bottled foods, fruit juices. Acute poisoning has been reported from ingestion of fruit juices containing concentrations of tin greater than 250 mg per liter.
Sulphur dioxide E220 Preservative. Sulphur dioxide reacts with a wide range of substances found in food, including various essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and essential fatty acids. Adverse reactions: bronchial problems particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease.
Sunset Yellow

FCF, Orange

Yellow S

E110 Food coloring. Some animal studies have indicated growth retardation and severe weight loss. People with asthma, rhinitis, or urticaria should avoid this product.
Tartrazine E102 Yellow food coloring. May cause allergic reactions and asthmatic attacks and has been implicated in bouts of hyperactivity disorder in children. Those who suffer from asthma, rhinitis and urticaria may find symptoms worsen after consumption.

Safe Kids

Never let harm come within two feet of your kids”

Our Inner Advisor

To have health you must first be health

Our true state of health is not a goal to be reached but a way of living. Thus, health is a state of being and we are our own health.

Author, Astrid Alauda wrote, “My inner advisor is dying to heal me.”

As we listen to your bodies we attune to its needs mentally physically, emotionally and spiritualty. We have the answers within and our body gives us messages and requests. True health requires a balanced and fluid connection between the physical body and the subtle body and the environment we live in. Thus, the goal is to live the health you desire and apply this to your environment.

  • How well do you listen to your ‘Inner Advisor ?
  • Are you aware of the messages your body gives you?
  • How do you live the health you desire?
  • How does your environment support your health and your health goal?

~~

Read full article on Health and Wellbeing – click on image:-

Better Health Recipe

 

 Health Recipe

“Our true state of health is not a goal to be reached but a way of living”

Most people want to improve their health. Most people want longevity – longevity that is with well-being. We have the ability to live longer today – to live longer and healthier.

“Health is a large word. It embraces not only the body, but the mind and spirit as well.”

Health’s primary goal is to restore harmonious function so that every part of the whole is doing its work and is in open communication with every other part. Holistic applications are not about fighting disease – rather it is about restoring harmony – and within this environment disease cannot be tolerated. Well-being is dependent upon all of our processes working at optimal levels. That is holistically. That is – mentally physically, emotionally and spiritualty.

“To have health you must first be health”

Our true state of health is not a goal to be reached but a way of living. Thus, health is a state of being and we are our own health. Author, Astrid Alauda wrote, “My inner advisor is dying to heal me.” As we listen to your bodies we attune to its needs mentally physically, emotionally and spiritualty. We have the answers within and our body gives us messages and requests. True health requires a balanced and fluid connection between the physical body and the subtle body and the environment we live in. Thus, the goal is to live the health you desire and apply this to your environment.

Self acceptance and self care are integral to health, this applies to our environment, and it encompasses eating healthy, thinking healthy, living in homes which support this through fresh foods, clean environments and awareness of artificial and toxic substances. Maintaining a clean and toxic free environment applies also to our thoughts, words, behaviours, intentions and deeds. Two excellent toxic cleansers for the emotions and mind are weeping and laughing.

Weeping and laughing are two of the easiest and fastest ways to release toxins, raise energy levels and decrease stress.

Weeping

The act of weeping is clearly understated and almost stigmatised, yet it is one of the most powerful cleansing tools we can use for both mind and body.

Emotional tears are a response which only humans have. All animals that live in air produce tears to lubricate their eyes. But it is only humans that possess the marvellous system that creates the act of weeping.

Biochemist William Frey has spent 15 years as head of a research team studying tears. His scientific studies found that tears created from ’emotional crying’ carry toxins not normally found in the tear created to simply moisten the eye. The research team compared the normal moisturizing tear with the tear caused by emotion and found that stressful tears contained far more toxic biological by-products in addition to ACTH hormone which is associated with high blood pressure, heart problems, peptic ulcers and other physical conditions closely related to stress. Weeping, they concluded, is an excretory process which removes toxic substances from the body that normally build up during emotional stress.

The simple act of weeping not only cleanses and detoxify, it raises the body’s energy levels, which assists people to feel better both physically and physiologically. Suppressing tears increases stress levels, and contribute to diseases aggravated by stress, such as high blood pressure, heart problems and peptic ulcers.

And so it is… weeping contributes not only to the health of the individual. But more than that at a more lateral level, tears are an extremely effective method of communication, and can elicit sympathy much faster than any other means, thus deepening connections with others.

Laughter

The act of laughing is gaining more insight today and accepted as a therapy as demonstrated through laughing clubs.

There appears to be an assumption that we need something funny to laugh at. The contrary is true. Children laugh approximately 80 to 100 times per day. Children appreciate the relationship between humour and enjoying life. They will laugh at anything! If you ask them, “what’s so funny,” they may say something like, “nothing!”

By the time we reach adulthood, we laugh only 5-6 times per day. It is not so much that we have lost the ability to laugh or forgotten how to but we simply do not find the time to or are too stressed to find the humour in – nothing.

Some of the benefits of laughter are:

  • Enhances T-cell production, which boosts the immune system
  • Triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers
  • Releases toxins
  • Provides for improved cardio-pulmonary function
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces stress hormones
  • Increases muscle flexion
  • Raises levels of disease-fighting proteins called Gamma-interferon and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies
  • Produces a general sense of well-being
  • Dissolves tension, stress, anxiety, irritation, anger, grief, and depression
  • Lowers inhibitions
  • Releases pent-up emotions generating a sense of well-being.
  • Helps to integrate both hemispheres of the brain

Laughter has the ability to raise the vibrations and energy levels of humans  and is becoming one of the most  low maintenance, free, all rounder holistic balancers available for better health.

Questions to ask:

  • Are you your perfect weight?
  • Do you eat nutritionally and exercise?
  • Do you have any health conditions that are being unattended?
  • Do you use addictive substances or prescription drugs?
  • Do you drink enough water, 2 litres per day and get enough sleep?
  • Is your environment conducive to health?
  • What constitutes good health to you?
  • Do you use the medical profession, support your health through alternative practices?
  • Do you listen to your body; do you pay attention to symptoms?
  • Do you allow yourself to weep?
    Do you laugh daily?
  • Do you love, nurture or hug regularly?

Health Behaviours:

  • Take frequent energy breaks in your day and ensure you look at a pleasant scene, read poetry to balance the cerebral hemisphere stress patterns
  • Listen to revitalising music
  • Allow your body to  absorb the sounds of nature, birds or running water
  • Smile as often as you can. Do it several times a day as an exercise
  • Think positively and walk proud
  • Dwell on positive thoughts – love, faith, trust, gratitude, and courage
  • Eat well, drink plenty of water and supplement with herbs and minerals if you skip meals
  • Get to know your body, develop an intuitive knowing regarding its rhythms and needs
  • Breathe deep into and expanding the belly
  • Laugh long and frequently
  • Nurture your soul by honouring its needs and requests
  • Do nothing – rest, restore, revitalise
  • Give yourself a definite wake up and sleep time. This helps you feel well, sleep soundly, and awake refreshed
  • Watch how much sugar, caffeine, and other stimulants you use. People who are stressed almost always begin to use stimulants as a boost. Stimulants put the body under even more stress. Eating more raw foods and vegetables can help your body deal with stress instead of increasing it
  • Exercise three times a week. Enjoyable exercise, in moderation, reduces stress. It will make you feel better right away
  • Dancing, listening to music, reading, working on a craft, playing a musical instrument, meditation, and biofeedback also relieve stress

Health Amulets:

  • Smile and laughter are your personal amulets and you can wear them anytime
  • Positive thoughts are an inner amulet which will reflect outside
  • Clean clothes make you feel healthy
  • Pictures of healthy environments and people
  • Healthy looking plants and furnishings
  • Clear, clean and clutter filled homes
  • Clear, clean and clutter filled bodies

 

The Mysterious Pineal Gland

 When the pineal is stimulated and functioning optimally, it helps us to sleep and relax, improves the immune system, evokes a natural state of euphoria and higher states of intellect, and helps alleviate depression and the ageing process.

The size of a pea, the pineal gland lies immediately beneath the hypothalamus in a tiny cave at the centre of the brain. As the last endocrine gland discovered, it was once shrouded in myth, superstition and metaphysical theories. However, as life coach and applied kinesiologist Deborah K Bates explains, the pineal gland holds the key to sustainable health, mood, energy and self-esteem.

A supernatural gland

Philosophers and spiritual adepts have long contemplated the function of the pineal. The ancient Greeks believed it was our connection to the Realms of Thought, while French philosopher Renee Descartes referred to it as “the seat of the human soul”. Ancient Greek physician Galen of Pergamum (131-201AD) said the pineal was a regulator of thought, and that the soul was anchored there.

Most mystical traditions and esoteric schools have thought this area, in the very centre of the brain, to be the connecting link between the physical and spiritual worlds. Many consider it a powerful source of ethereal energy initiating supernatural powers. Associated with the crown chakra, the hormones released by this gland play a part in the stimulation of the higher-mind and the development of intellectual pursuits. It is said toxins in this gland indicate the spirit is weak due to lack of will combined with an invasion of the psyche.

“Keep the pineal gland operating and you won’t grow old – you will always be young”.

Function

On a physiological level, the pineal gland is activated by light and works in harmony with the hypothalamus gland directing the body’s thirst, hunger, sexual desire and biological clock, which determines how we age. As famous psychic Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) once said: “Keep the pineal gland operating and you won’t grow old – you will always be young”.

Producing the hormone melatonin (a brain chemical that regulates our sleep rhythms) and trace amounts of the psychedelic chemical dimethyltryptamine similar to the neurotransmitter serotonin, the pineal gland control sleep-wake rhythms, signals the reproductive system to set a child’s birth in motion, and moderates the states of euphoria and depression.

When the pineal is stimulated and functioning optimally, it helps us to sleep and relax, improves the immune system, evokes a natural state of euphoria and higher states of intellect (possibly even visions), and helps alleviate depression and the ageing process.

Light deprivation and melatonin

An imbalance of melatonin interferes with the body’s circadian rhythms (day/night cycle) and results in light deprivation disorders such as depression, oversleeping, weight gain, fatigue and sadness. Our lifestyles can contribute to a reduction of melatonin. Most of us spend the majority of our day working indoors with little natural light, rush home to spend more time indoors to read, watch television, use the computer, or listen to music. While these are great activities for relaxation, they can deprive us of adequate light to produce healthy melatonin levels.

The following symptoms indicate light melatonin deprivation:

  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Low energy
  • Reduced libido
  • Social withdrawal
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain

 Other functions

Along with the hypothalamus, the pineal gland forms part of the brain’s communication centre, including visual, auditory, speech and learning functions. Imbalanced function can lead to dyslexia, stuttering, forgetfulness and inability to think clearly.

Other pineal secretions stimulate activity in the adrenal glands (the stress response glands that sit on top of the kidneys). The pineal helps stimulate the adrenals to reabsorb sodium and eliminate potassium. The pineal secretions also help the adrenals to control fear.

The pineal also takes up excess iodine as a backup for the thyroid gland, an important energy and hormonal regulator in the throat.

Symptoms of an underactive pineal

Environmental stressors affect pineal function, affecting overall body alertness, temperature levels and hormone operation. Stressors that affect pineal function include unusual light and dark patterns, radiation, magnetic fields, nutritional imbalances such as excessive alcohol and caffeine, temperature swings, and overall daily stress patterns.

Symptoms present in the following:

  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Hypochondria
  • Mood swings
  • Excess worry
  • Irrational fear
  • Seasonal affective syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Irregular sleeping
  • Right eye problems
  • Paranoia or fanaticism
  • Hypertension
  • Epilepsy
  • Sodium or potassium imbalance
  • Nightmares/vivid dreams
  • Dyslexia
  • Stuttering
  • Inability to think clearly or be in present moment

Natural corrective measures

  • Stress management techniques such as meditation and relaxation
  • Daily doses of natural light
  • Massaging the third eye area, located in the slight indent between the eyes on the forehead. Massage upward and outward in a half-inch radius for 30 seconds.
  • Eating foods high in potassium such as brown rice, avocado, broccoli and banana
  • Taking regular breaks from computers, televisions and artificial lighting
  • Massaging pressure points in feet – pad area of the big toes
  • Massaging pressure points in hands – pad area of thumbs
  • Avoiding bright light at night, for example, watching TV in bed
  • Reducing exposure to electromagnetic fields, such as electric blankets
  • Sleeping in complete darkness so your body produces more melatonin. For instance, your bedside clock might emit too much light.
  • Avoiding use of melatonin-lowering substances such as caffeine, tobacco, alcohol
  • Consuming foods high in melatonin or the melatonin precursor tryptophan, such as oats, sweet corn, rice, ginger, tomatoes, bananas, barley, Japanese radish, spirulina, soy, cottage cheese, chicken meat/liver, turkey, pepitas, almonds and peanuts.

 Tratak meditation, also known as candle gazing, can stimulate the pineal gland and help produce higher levels of melatonin. As a daily practice, light a candle and use the candle flame to focus the eyes.

Alternate nostril breathing is simple technique for balancing the pineal. Use the thumb on your right hand to close your right nostril as you breathe in through your left nostril. Then, use your ring finger on your right hand to close your left nostril as you breathe out through the open right nostril. Breathe in through the right nostril and out through the left. Breathe in through the left and out through the right.

 

 

 

ART FOR HEALING

Creativity isn’t just for artists and musicians, it’s also a healthy way to express the way we feel, heal, get in touch with our inner self, and cope with illness and trauma.

As Life Coach and applied Kinesiologist Deborah K Bates discovers, many people have uncovered a tremendous sense of healing and personal transformation through the creative processes of Art Therapy.

Deborah chats with two professionals, Gold Coast artist/teacher, Shelena Russell and Northern Rivers, Community Artist/mentor, David Adams. While both work in different areas of art – David in community art with clients facing multiple life barriers and Shelena an artist and art teacher with her own gallery – they share a common philosophy regarding Art Therapy, that it’s a transformative process whereby we can unblock and unlock our past. It’s about freeing our future from the past – it’s about helping us becoming emotionally successful.

WHAT IS ART THERAPY?

Art therapy is a non-invasive form of therapy which provides a safe process for individuals to unleash repressed emotions, trauma and blocked feelings, art can be a window to the soul opening up the unconscious mind.

Shelena explains, ‘It differs from counseling and psychotherapy in that, rather than talking and analyzing it uses art as the medium. In essence the client doesn’t do the talking; the art does it for them.’

ART THERAPY ORIGIN

The origin of art as a therapy has appeared vague historically yet; art has always been a visual therapeutic tool.

David’s explains, “History is dotted with evidence of how art assists healing, I believe Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud played a role in the development of art as a therapeutic process. Both drew conclusions that art could reveal and heal. This seemed to spur a development whereby other professionals experimented with art as a therapeutic tool and Art Therapy began to be taken seriously and earned its place as a distinct profession. Nowadays, Art Therapy is included in wellness plans to enhance recovery and healing in numerous hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation or counseling centre’s.”

“Creative expression has the power to transform painful experiences, evoke healing, and change how we interact with our world.”

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Trauma brought about by illness or circumstances – physical or emotional – has the power to incarcerate our internal processes. The usual processing mechanisms seize up, thoughts and feelings become concealed, disguised, or suppressed, and the result is blocked emotions, muddled thoughts, and an inability to translate the experience through words.

David’s experience reveals, “Art therapy is a process of expression, the person doesn’t need to talk, the art does the talking. It works by allowing that which has been difficult to articulate or that which hurts to be expressed and released then healing can occur. Art Therapy is more than just about creative expression, communicating feelings and emotions using art as the medium is the objective not the end result. The process of emptying and refilling with a new sensation lets one see, safely, a little of how they feel on the inside. It has the power to transform painful experiences, evoke healing, and change how we interact with our world.”

Shelena shares similar findings, Art Therapy is a non-verbal process, and people don’t need to talk when producing art. The art does the talking.

 “Art is a silent therapeutic tool because it tells you what you can’t say verbally. For example, when I’m painting something extremely emotional I feel a rushed yet exciting feeling … Art provides a place of safety for people to express and an individual has the opportunity to understand their internal environment and see things that otherwise may not have been comprehended.”

“ … Art Therapy is a non-verbal approach, in the end it is the art that does the talking, no matter the medium.”

WHAT HAPPENS IN AN ART THERAPY SESSION?

Art Therapy uses many creative forms such as drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, phototherapy and numerous mediums such as paints, scrap-booking type materials, gems, stars, feathers and so on. A typical session may involve integrating creative projects such as making masks, painting, drawing, or writing. The materials selected are appropriate to individual’s needs and those that will produce the best results in terms of expressing feelings.

David explains, I like to design a session that has the greatest potential to elicit what has been locked away and then guide the client through the process. Remember, Art Therapy is a non-verbal approach, in the end it is the art that does the talking, no matter the medium. Most times the expression comes out as a series of symbols and the product is metaphoric and this alone tells the story. It is up to the therapist to help the client determine the meaning behind the symbols represented in the artwork. A lot of my work is listening and then filling in the blanks to help the client find the messages behind the symbols.”

WHICH CONDITIONS CAN ART THERAPY HELP WITH?

 “Art therapy can help anyone, anywhere,” David says. “Through my association with various community organizations I became aware that art therapy has been beneficial in assisting people with a number of conditions. In particular art has proved beneficial with ex-offenders and issues which affect many people such as bereavement, anxiety, and/or depression and post traumatic stress. Through my community work I have worked with many people with numerous disadvantages – vocationally, socially, economically, physically, including abuse and eating disorders. Art has proved successful in a number of ways, for example: self esteem, self pride, reduced stress levels, increasing communication and social interaction, better coping skills, improved motor skills and physical co-ordination.”

Shelena too, shares similar findings and confirmed individuals produced similar results including: increased self esteem, stimulate imagination and creativity, autism and grief. At the end of the day art, in any form, can simply leave you feeling good.

“When you paint it can make you focus on creating something you are feeling deep inside, the final brushstroke brings closure, a door has closed and another opens and that’s how you heal and evolve.”

WHY DO YOU THINK ART THERAPY CAN HELP A PERSON’S INNER WORLD HEAL AND EVOLVE?

Art itself is a process of evolvement and transformation, the simple act of connecting the mind and thoughts through art can have a positive influence on perception and personal expression and this leads to healing through evolvement.

David’s work with clients experiencing multiple social barriers reveals, “The act of working with art is healing to their inner emotions, and this transforms perceptions from negative to the positive. It is the journey of the creative process, unknown, or undiscovered, which elicits the healing process and that alone is a vehicle towards evolvement. And that will continue on for the rest of their lives.”

Shelena says, “When you paint it can make you focus on creating something you are feeling deep inside, the final brushstroke brings closure, a door has closed and another opens and that’s how you heal and evolve.”

HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM TRADITIONAL ART?

Traditional art offers an opportunity for the artist or viewer to experience a form of healing. So does traditional art differ from Art Therapy?

David explains, “It is my opinion that in essence it doesn’t differ, the end result can still be appreciated by the viewer. It is more about the process and motive that differentiates the two. Art Therapy has a motive – to unlock pain, the completed piece becomes a diagnostic tool to heal the artist; traditional art has no real motive persé– it produces a result, it is a journey of expression from the artist to heal the viewer.”

CAN WE BE OUR OWN THERAPIST?

Some people choose a less formal approach to healing through art classes with trained artists or home creative expression.

David explains, This approach has its merits, as art by virtue of its therapeutic properties has the power to heal. Anything people do that involves putting the heart and soul into it, will have a beneficial affect. If one wants to work in their own space I would suggest following art therapy principles of expressing without judgment or the need to have a specific outcome. However I suggest seeking out a professional when dealing with more serious issues. People can support their healing through their own creative practices using the principles of Art Therapy.”

Shelena suggest when working in ones own space to let that space do the work, “When I paint I go into my own world … I let it unfold without thought, it lets me create something that I feel deep inside.”

WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING AN ART THERAPIST?

Both David and Shelena agree, as with any modality it is important to seek out professionals who hold relevant qualifications in Art Therapy including someone you have a rapport with.

David adds, “Many counselors and psychologists adopt the methods used in art therapy, as part of their repertoire, art therapists are usually artists but they also hold other qualifications in psychotherapy as well.”

DOES THE INDIVIDUAL SEEKING HEALING NEED TO BE AN ARTIST?

You do not have to be an artist; in fact, lack of knowledge can be an asset in a session, it’s about the creative expression which comes from the inner person.

 Shelena explains. “If someone recognizes the artist within, that will trigger the right emotions, passion and mental framework. The focus of art making is personal growth; developing new coping skills and release.”

CAN THE SIMPLE ACT OF VISITING AN ART GALLERY DO YOU CONSIDER VIEWING ART AS THERAPEUTIC?

Definitely says Shelena, “When I visit other galleries or view others artwork, I feel overwhelmed, but it gives me a warm feeling especially when I see a piece that pulls me towards it. Conversely when people visit my gallery, often they share with me feelings of being inspired or moved.

David agrees with Shelena’s sentiment, stating when he views a piece of artwork he enters the window of the artist’s world, it transports him beyond his own space – it’s healing, stimulating and reflective.

WHAT INSPIRES YOUR ART?

Shelena says “Just being loved and cared for inspires me as an artist. The emotions I feel as an artist is like a roller coaster ride with no ending, when its running down you know there’s always an up. I’m still learning to train myself to enjoy the downs.”

Tips for Healing – Art Therapy principles

  •  Ensure you have a safe, quiet place to work from
  • Work with materials you feel comfortable with, let them choose you
  • Don’t think, simply express with your chosen medium
  • You will know when the piece is finished you may release an audible sigh, tears, words
  • Appreciate the creation, suspend all judgments and analytical process

 Remember … Art does the talking – so … let it do the talking

Un-Clutter Your Life and Let the Sunshine In

Do you feel weighed down by life, people, or stuff? Does time and freedom feel scarce? Does your home need a make-over? Is it time to de-clutter, re-prioritise, and clean-up? De-cluttering your life can lift a weight from your shoulders putting that extra spring in your step; it can free up spaces and allows for a little more sunlight to shine through.

Life is busy, demanding and can be completely over-whelming. It seems the more we do, the more people in our lives, the more we have, the more we think and feel, the more we burden ourselves increasing the risk of feeling weighed down. And the more weighed down we become the less energy and room we have to grow, achieve and spring into each day with enthusiasm, joy and light.

The more clutter in our lives – whether it is people, possessions, thoughts, emotions, duties – the less light shines upon our lives.

Inventory Control

In the movie Revolutionary Road, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character quotes, “knowing what you got, knowing what you need, knowing what you can do without, that’s inventory control.”

And so in the process of de-cluttering it is necessary to take inventory control.

Inventory control means evaluating what you have, where it belongs, what can go, what is needed or necessary. This evaluation process helps to shift static energy of old habits, stuff and thought processes making room for growth and newer experiences. Clutter, one’s own or other peoples, gets in the way of moving forward, having new things, creating fresh experiences, and evolving through life. Clutter is also a time stealer/waster/drainer and impinges upon freedom. It is not just about stuff, but thoughts, obligations and emotions and they all have the ability weigh the shoulders down.

The simple act of taking stock – inventory control – sets the de-cluttering cycle in motion. From here it is possible to begin to lift the weight from burdened shoulders freeing the spirit, health, mind and life, and putting that extra spring in the step.

Seven Easy Steps towards De-cluttering

De-cluttering one’s life works best as a systemized approach. Often the process of eliminating can pull on the heart strings as it is a letting go process and the emotions can get in the way. This process necessitates a willingness to change, let go and re-evaluate. Are you the type of person who likes being liked and will say yes way more than you should say no? Or maybe you cling to those little treasures and trinkets which when the emotions are removed can suddenly turn into a piece of junk. Do you enjoy being over-committed, or grown attached to the habitual thoughts and patterns of anger over the last love or regret in not pursuing that hobby, goal or dream? These are some of the qualities, things, and patterns which through the de-cluttering process will have to find new ‘homes.’

Whether it is stuff, commitments, people or a cluttered heart and mind, time to ditch them and lift the burden from the sagging shoulders. Time to free up the spaces and spring into life – Uncluttered.

The following steps will help the process:

  • Forgive

According to Webster’s dictionary the definition and etymology of the word forgive is from for – ‘completely’ AND from give ‘to give, grant, allow, to give up,’ and so to forgive is to ‘completely give.’ To forgive is primarily a gift we give to ourselves to free us from pain or regret. Forgiveness isn’t about saying it is okay or condoning, it’s about saying ‘I’m okay.’ When we forgive we de-clutter old emotional stuff which takes up space designated for new emotional stuff. Through the act of forgiveness we grant freedom, it sets us free from the pain, the past the power the hurtful situation has over us. It allows us to move forward, lighter and freer.

  • Eliminate the people parasites

People can drain both time and energy and the result is feeling weighed down physically, emotionally and spiritually. These “people parasites” don’t realize they are a drain, for most it is unintentional, begin to be aware of who is a drain and set in motion the process of eliminating them. Family members are an exception and often this cannot be avoided, rather than eliminate, minimize the contact or the level of interaction. Develop boundaries by donating less time to the latest drama or obligation.

  • Practice saying no – convert the yes’s into no’s

Too often people say yes – Too often. It isn’t easy saying no, but learning to say no is liberating and essential to healthy boundaries. Developing an understanding that no is an okay response and that everyone has the right to say no has an almost instantaneous affect upon self empowerment and is self freeing. Simply, it means individuals are prioritizing and putting self first. Work out who or what warrants the big no response, push the shoulders back and up, stand tall in personal power and begin to say no today.

  • Donate or Sell

Take the time to go through each room in the house including the cupboards, garage, and kids rooms and get rid of what hasn’t been used, is no longer necessary, or belongs to the past. Donate to charity or have a garage sale and earn some cash. Clearing space has a freeing effect particularly stuff that belongs in the past. Cleared and organized areas of the home look cleaner and brighter and will lift the spirit as more weight is shifted.

  • Cull tasks, change habits and de-routine yourself

Take note of each commitment, routine and task in a regular day. Prioritize what is important, unnecessary and can wait or be delegated. De-cluttering tasks, habits, and commitments frees up an enormous amount of time and energy, the benefits of which leaves time for personal enjoyment, free of the burden of unnecessary obligations.

  • Tune Out and Tune In

The din and clatter of life can be invasive and clutters the peace and tranquility of a still mind and personal inner space. Everyone it seems has something to say, an opinion, judgment, advice, or the television blares or the kids fight or the neighbours are rowdy. The consequence of which is cluttered minds and over-used ears and the shoulders stoop that bit lower beneath the cacophonous sounds of life. Time to tune out, empty the mind of others thoughts or outdated mindsets, release the emotions and tune into the heart, turn down the television and an imaginary volume control on the kids or the neighbors. Tuning out to the outer influences and tuning into one’s inner spaces de-clutters the non tangible weights and stuff in life.

  • Find Room For You

Find room for me? A common response to that is, “I just don’t have time for me,” and often it is a squeeze, finding room for self that is. But hopefully after following the previous steps extra room for self has appeared. To help push that along and open up more space, dedicate a small amount of time each day (to start with) even if it is just fifteen minutes to personal “me” time. As de-cluttering becomes a way of life rather than the usual cluttering process, the more time will appear. Today start with just the minimum and do something small, even if it is extra in the bath, a cup of coffee down town or a walk on the beach.

De-cluttering won’t happen over night but a little each day helps to de-weight and the less clutter carried on the shoulders the more energy will be available to continue to de-clutter, and de-clutter and so on. One step each day will lead to feeling clearer and fresher with more confidence to stand tall and spring into life. Begin one step now and continue walking in personal empowerment, growth, and light. Before long that spring in the step will be a skip, maybe a dance and a twirl in the newly opened spaces in your life.