Healing From Abuse: Light Encourages Recovery

HealingFromAbuse1

In 2015 as the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis was hosting festive events to celebrate its 50th anniversary, a smaller, quieter happening began to ripple through the CTC alumni community. No fanfare, no hype, but to those involved, of greater celebratory significance. Thirty-one years had passed since the 1984 arrest of John Clark Donahue, the theater’s co-founder, and several other staff members on child sexual abuse charges. Donahue spent ten months in the Hennepin County workhouse; the other cases were dismissed or settled out-of-court. In May 1991 the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a thoroughly-researched twopart feature by reporter Kay … Continue reading

Is it Time to Retreat?

maryloulogsdon2

Retreat. Withdraw. Pull back. When armies retreat they fall back, de-escalate, leave the frontline for a place of safety and rest. Me, too. I go on retreat to regroup, refresh, rejuvenate. Our frenetic lives leave us fewer and fewer quiet places to retreat into. Electronic devices have marched into every room of the house. They ride with us, walk with us, sleep with us. News is broadcast all day. Phones ring, beep, vibrate incessantly. Even out-of-doors, too often machines swallow the stillness. It takes much more effort to retreat. And we need it more than ever. I contacted several retreat … Continue reading

Stepping into Life

Emily Roiphe Carter

When I hear the word retreat, I tend not to think of meditation, cedar scented cabins, or even a prettily situated lakeside bench. I think of troops of traumatized and malnourished shoulders slogging through mud to get back from the front lines, I think of standing in the doorway of a party and seeing some bad decision I’d made making his way to the front of the buffet line; I think of retreat as something to beat hastily in order to get somewhere I can I can let out that breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding. Like most people, … Continue reading

The Importance of Character and Why we are Blind to it

John Driggs

Good characteris doing the right thingwhen nobody elseis looking. When I first met Jamil I didn’t know what to think. He is a charming, funny and intelligent man from Somalia who is active in his community here in the States. He helps many of his own country persons to make it in America as he has done well himself and has a good civil service job. He came across as somebody I would like to know, particularly because I hadn’t known any Somali people before. I would often tease Jamil about his adjustment to our culture as he would with … Continue reading

From the publisher

Julia picture of her

Life is circuitous, at least mine has been, and often I find myself scratching my mop, wondering how I got to this particular place in time — and why. While the journey has been filled with twists, hairpin turns, and I’ve stopped millimeters short of a precipice or two, it’s been pretty darn good. Challenging, yes. Filled with moments of awakening should I choose to look at them, yes. And each day I find myself grateful and mostly at peace with the conscious choices I make. Twenty-one years ago I chose to get married, become pregnant, and move to Minneapolis … Continue reading

The Miracle Power of Your Mind: The Joseph Murphy Treasury

TheMiraclePowerofYourMind

By Joseph Murphy Readers familiar with Dr. Joseph Murphy’s name will be excited to learn that Tarcher Penguin published his collection in their recent Success Classics series. There they will find everything written—all 24 books from 1954-1963 and multiple pamphlets— by Murphy, the pioneer of success thinking. All collected in one very large volume. Murphy’s writing is uplifting and encouraging. He states, “I wish for every man who walks the earth what I wish for myself. The sincere wish of my heart is, therefore, peace, love, joy, abundance, and God’s blessing to all men everywhere.” The founder of the New … Continue reading

The Write Prescription: Telling Your Story to Live With and Beyond Illness

TheWritePrescription

By Judith Hannan Practical instructions are provided in three parts: first, a series of writing prompts; second, suggestions to change observations into story narration; and third, encouragement for individuals to write about their experience of illness and treatment. Included is information on clinical trials about the Medical Narrative and the therapeutic value to patients’ recovering from illness and how writing helps the healing process. Hannan wrote to deal with and get through her young daughter’s illness. She does that by doing what writers are advised to do—show, don’t tell. She encourages putting the words on the page, “Whether you are … Continue reading

Why Can’t I Meditate? How to Get Your Mindfulness Practice on Track

WhyCantIMeitate

By Nigel Wellings Looking for an in-depth analysis of the practice of mindfulness and practical advice on how to incorporate meditation into your daily routine? Wellings, a practicing meditator himself, provides both. According to Wellings, mindfulness is, “Being consciously aware of what is happening inside of us and around us in the present moment, accepting what we experience without picking or choosing, without judgments about right or wrong, good or bad, and seeing things as they really are.” He interviewed over forty meditators and meditation teachers for examples and insights into how to begin, and when wavering, continue a mindfulness … Continue reading

Dear David: Dealing with My Son’s Addiction One Letter at a Time

DearDavid

By Martha Wegner After seven weeks of in-patient treatment, David walked away from treatment for the third time. He was homeless due to his addiction, again. Wegner dealt with the pain of his disappearance by writing letters to him (all ending with Love, Mom). She describes the pain of having a loved one living on the streets, unable to be contacted. Since her letters couldn’t be mailed to him she posted her journal on a blog. In one letter, she lists all of the events he missed due to his drug use. In another, she describes the experiences his drug … Continue reading

Food for Early Recovery

FoodForEarlyRecovery

Introducing the concept of nutrition into a treatment program is not an easy task. Many addicts in early recovery are not ready for health behavioral change, since most are simply trying to get past the immediate crisis of addiction and the associated life adjustments of abstinence. In fact, sobriety can magnify pre-existing dysfunctional eating behavior. Many addicts began using drugs and alcohol in their early teens and never developed a healthy relationship to food. Many people in early recovery crave sweets and simple carbohydrates such as candy, juice, cereal, grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or ice cream. In addition … Continue reading

Your Darkest Moment Could be the Beginning of Change

YourDarkestMoment

Crash. Bang. Reality. As I woke up, a dark misty haze was swirling around my mind. The moment that I recognized that I was in a hospital bed, the events of the past 24 hours came flooding through my mind. I had tried to take my own life. At the age of 26 years old, my marriage had ended, and along with it, the non- profit organization that I had worked so passionately to grow, was pulled from under me. At that moment in time, living ceased to be an option. After a seven-year relationship, my wife had walked out … Continue reading

The Brand, Spanking New!

DanMaurer149x209

Finding Resilience to Live in the Moment Again I like new things. I like them so much that I seek after them all the time. Well . . . I’ll be honest—I lust after new things. Things like new cars. I love new cars. That new car smell is the best. Even the new, used-car is fairly cool. But the fun-factor gauge definitely goes past “eleven” when you buy a new, new car. You know how it goes: You think the moment you drive it off the lot that everyone is looking at you. “Holy shit—look at that guy! He’s … Continue reading

Art Exercises Help Boost Self-Esteem

ArtExercises-small

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

MozartToMotown2

“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

DryInTheHighDesert

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

TravelPlan

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