Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow

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By Karen Casey The long-awaited paperback edition from a beloved pioneer of the recovery movement.  “This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the quality of his thoughts and how being aware of them can bring positive change.”  Mary Porter, Science of Mind Organized around 12 very simple steps, Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow gives readers the tools to find within them the positive, peaceful response to every curve ball life throws at them. Available wherever books and ebooks are sold.  

Art Exercises Help Boost Self-Esteem

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Every day, we’re bombarded with so many ideas about who we should be and how to look and act that we often lose sight of who we truly are. We all struggle with self-acceptance every once in a while, and need to remind ourselves to love who we’ve become. Creative Arts Therapist Mallory Denison says art can be therapeutic in helping people to become more compassionate with themselves, and ultimately with others. “People who work on tapping into their true, authentic selves may find themselves happier,” she explains. “Connecting inward is an absolutely core exercise for people who want to … Continue reading

From Mozart to Motown Music Reignites Memory

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“Music is my sanctuary. Music kept me alive.” Sir Elton John, in a recent CBS News profile, could have been speaking for all of us. But most of us are more likely to take music for granted because, well, it’s just always there. Natalie Angier, in a February 8, 2016 New York Times article, wrote, “We marry to music, graduate to music, mourn to music.” In other words, music is a fundamental part of our lives and has always been, as evidenced by the archaeological finding of carved bone flutes dating back bout 40,000 years. Our immigrant ancestors carried rudimentary … Continue reading

Dry in the High Desert

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At the age of 55 one should be running out of “re-boots,” the do-overs, the “new starts,” the major moves should be done with, and instead one should be beginning to observe what one has made of one’s life, using amassed experience in a new way, approaching what’s called “wisdom.” Then there’s the economy. It’s the economy, that implacable arbiter of who gets what and when, that decides when enough is not yet enough, and it’s that same economy that’s decided that I should move to Gallup, New Mexico for my husband’s new job. It’s a place that’s new to … Continue reading

Sobriety Travel Plan: Don’t Leave Home Without It

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As I prepared for my first Spring get-away since becoming a recovering alcoholic, I accepted that I can’t do the things I did before or stay in the type of places that appealed to me when I was drinking. Regardless of where I was going I had to build my sobriety into my travel plans; I realized that I needed to take steps to ensure a sobriety- and-travel mix. Fundamentally, I believe it’s possible to vacation and have fun just as I did when drinking. Sure, there will be temptations and cravings that go beyond the normal stress of traveling. … Continue reading

Art Therapy – Top 10 Benefits

by Joan French In my therapy practice I treat clients of all ages who enter treatment for a number of different reasons. I consider my general approach to be Experiential, employing a broad range of interventions. As part of my offerings – I include art therapy. Many clients I encounter haven’t heard of it, and are unfamiliar as to how it might be able to help. I felt it was important to highlight the benefits of using art in therapy, so I’ve composed this, ‘Art Therapy – Top 10 Benefits’ list: 1. Art Therapy can provide a forum to express … Continue reading

Cultural Savvy, Staying Healthy in an Often Unhealthy Culture

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Most of us don’t think about our circumstances. We are like fish swimming in a body of water that is getting ever more poisonous. We don’t see how sick we are becoming simply due to the toxicity of the water. Wea adapt to living with environmental hazards and minimize toxicity. After all, other fish swim in the same waters we swim in. When we eventually do get sick we blame or pathologize ourselves and don’t see the option of jumping to another pond. Few of us take seriously the harmful aspects of our culture and how we are poisoned by … Continue reading

Behind the Wall: The True Story of Mental Illness as Told by Parents

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By Mary Widdifield and Elin Widdifield Langdon Street Press  This collection includes candid stories from parents who have loved and lived with a family member who has a mental illness. They report their experiences with heartbreaking honesty and provide important information and resources for other families in similar circumstances. The book is divided into three parts so readers can experience the process of seeking treatment, recovery, and coping with life. Included is a Parent Questionnaire to help understand and guide the journey. Some of their advice includes suggestions to help alleviate the pain of integrating mental illness into our daily … Continue reading

Living Long, Living Passionately, 75 (and Counting) Ways to Bring Peace and Purpose to Your Life

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By Karen Casey Conari Press Casey reveals she’s “been on the planet writing books and facilitating workshops for nearly half of my seventy- five years.” She is recognized as a long-time recovery expert and shares her personal story and experience of recovery in a 12 Step program. She provides meditative essays and insights with follow-up questions for journaling. For example, “What have you passed on to a loved one that he or she may cherish?” In the section on Remembrances, Casey asks, “Whom do you remember clearly? And why? And whom do you hope will keep your spirit alive. And … Continue reading

Swimming Upstream: Parenting Girls for Resilience in a Toxic Culture

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By Laura H. Choate Oxford University Press Readers will appreciate this guidebook of encouragement and useful information. Choate’s decades of experience as a counselor educator and licensed professional counselor is evident in this resource of research on popular culture and the pressures facing our young girls and their parents. The first part of the book provides an explanation and description of the world we live in; it identifies the cultural standards and messages girls are surrounded by, such as your worth is based on your appearance, on getting attention and approval from others, or on your accomplishments. The second part … Continue reading

Art Therapy can benefit anxiety and stress at work

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Our nation seems like it’s always in the grips of a stress epidemic. Stress and anxiety are disorders that affect more people than ever before, with research suggesting that work related stress costs the American economy $300 billion each year as a result of related health care costs and missed days at work. According to 76% of those individuals suffering from stress, money and work are the leading causes of the condition. Workplace stress can have a myriad of adverse effects. It can lead to physical and psychological systems (with one in ten strokes being attributed to stress) and, at … Continue reading

Women in Recovery offer Connection

Their backgrounds are unique, their stories vary and their recovery programs may differ, but they are all women in recovery that come together to heal, transform and most importantly to connect. Women in Recovery (WIR) is a monthly speaker series held on the fourth Wednesday of the month at The Retreat in Wayzata. Their mission is to create a caring community that provides education, spiritual insight, and growth opportunities for women in all 12-Step recovery programs. Each month, WIR gathers to learn and grow around issues of universal concern to women in all forms of recovery. From relationships to health … Continue reading

Happily Ever Now: Four Ways To Be In Love In The Present Moment

We all know that Happily Ever After doesn’t always pan out. Tinderella and Prince Match.com don’t always ride off into the sunset, and well, that doesn’t mean it was a complete failure after all. Many times people come into our lives for a moment of time to help us grow and expand; then their duty is done. Unfortunately we often get so caught up in obsessive future planning of the “what if’s” and the “might be’s”, that we miss the magic of the moment. Which essentially is all that really exists. What about this…Happily Ever Now. Being present with your … Continue reading

Virtue Revisited

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“Freedom works only in a culture already committed to virtue; it cannot work otherwise.” Aristotle Freedom is a word we Americans like to bandy about. Freedom to carry guns, to practice our faith, to speak, to assemble, to pursue happiness. Our freedoms are many; any attempts to limit them are met with strong resistance. While we are committed to our freedoms, I wonder if we are committed to our virtues. Even the word virtue has a quaintness about it, smelling a bit like rosewater as it sits upright on a straight backed chair, drinking tea from a hand-painted cup nested … Continue reading

Like Dolphins Made of Silver Light

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This weekend I was scrolling through the video playlist on a field biology site I like to visit when I came upon a warning, “Elephant Calf Eaten Alive by Lions: Not For Sensitive Viewers.” I make myself watch these videos for two reasons: First, I have the irrational need to convince myself that it is not as bad as I fear, and second, because my father once told me that if one loves the world, one must love it with open eyes, accepting its horror as well as its beauty. I had briefly wanted to be a field biologist and … Continue reading

Good Health. If it’s so easy, why is it so hard?

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“Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford In 2009 Rip Esselstyn published The Engine 2 Diet – The Texas Firefighter’s 28-day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds. He had followed a plant-based diet most of his life and credits it with giving him the necessary strength and stamina to be a successful world-class triathlete and later a firefighter. His Engine 2 Diet is the result of his offer – and promise – to help a fellow firefighter lower a dangerously high cholesterol level. The dramatic results prompted him to … Continue reading