• NUWAY Annual Picnic 2019Hazelden Renewal Center

The Ability to Identify as an Artist First

artability people incorporated

How People Incorporated’s Artability Program Challenges Mental Health Stigma For people living with a persistent mental illness ­— stigma, debilitating symptoms and a lack of self-esteem — can create a misconception that they are unable to choose who they want to be in life. They may feel defined by their mental illness. Daily struggles, confusing emotions and fragmented thoughts, may also make it difficult to communicate how they feel, producing this overwhelming feeling of being misunderstood. There is no choice involved in this particular experience — their mental illness choses them. The good news, however, is that it does not … Continue reading

The Insufficiency of Real Love

insufficiency of real love

Most of us are aware of those sublime experiences of life we call love. We may feel uplifted in being more than we already are through the continued tenderness of a loved one. It’s as good as it gets. We may also have magnificent moments when we have transported a dear one to be a better person through our efforts at kindness. The power of such caring may live in our memories for years as we witness the Higher Power of real love. But what if love is not enough? Sometimes, it just isn’t. It’s no wonder then, that we … Continue reading

Healing Through Music

healing and music

Bob Ross, the infinitely relaxed host of The Joy of Painting famously said, “We don’t make mistakes, we have happy little accidents.” And I believe Bob. If you are a musician or performing artist and you live with crushing panic, anxiety, depression, and are paralyzed with fear and self-doubt, I hope you believe Bob too. Although I am not a full-time musician, I recently released a solo EP and am currently writing and rehearsing for a new album with another band that I play in. I understand the grind, the hustle, and the exhaustion of the music business. There seems … Continue reading

Art Heals

art is healing

“Art is a wound turned into light.” ~ Georges Braque, 20th Century French Artist I am not surprised that healing and art are connected. I know the calm I feel as I play piano or focus on a favorite painting or indulge in a luscious piece of poetry. Art is an oasis in the hurry of my life, whether it is my art or someone else’s. Healing is soul work. Our wounds cry out for healing and light. The slow work of healing is a process of making whole, but it does not necessarily return us to what was. Nor is it … Continue reading

Amber’s Story

first person testimony

I haven’t always been known as a person in recovery, as a matter of fact a label that many knew me as is would be addict, meth-head, felon, thief, liar, and many more. I spent 14 long years loyal to a drug that should have killed me. Yet, I stand. My Life Then By the time I was 19-years-old, I had two children by two different fathers, was in college pursuing a degree, all the while working at 3M as an intern hoping that I would one day become an employee. I had always dreamed of working for such a … Continue reading

Basket Making 101

basket weaving

About this time last year I ventured to the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN, for three days of basket weaving. Yep, Basket Weaving 101. Ostensibly, the adventure was to create and take home our very own, personalized, Birch Bark Berry Basket. In reality, the trip was much more profound. None of us knew quite what to expect, having never attended any of the wide-ranging offerings at the North House Folk School. And so we all packed for three days of being together in a cabin up north, collectively making dinners, catching up on each other’s lives, and … Continue reading

Finding Happiness

happiness lemons

“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” Albert Schweitzer I am happy to report that after much searching I have at long last found the key to happiness. Well at least I’ve unlocked my personal definition of contentment and I’m happy to share it. It wasn’t long ago I believed happiness could be found only after I’d reach certain goals. The problem with that logic was that when a goal was met there were always others to strive for. If  I failed to fulfill a certain wish did that mean I was doomed to eternal despair? … Continue reading

Shame on You! Understanding the Shame-Rage Connection

shame rage

This article first appeared in our April 2007 issue of The Phoenix Spirit. Many people believe that punishing and explosive anger is a sign of power, confidence and “being on top of your game.” In face, this is not the case at all. Disrespectful anger and even all out rage actually come out of a deep sense of powerlessness, inadequacy and despair. Another word for that place is shame. Shame is a significant part of all human misery. Shame can lead to a whole host of compulsive, addictive, irresponsible, and demoralizing attitudes and behaviors and is a major contributor to … Continue reading

Who Am I to Be Homeless?

homeless encampment

The following was first published in our January 2008 issue of The Phoenix Spirit. Year round, Moxie gets up with the sun. “It’s really the only way to go,” explains the 40-something woman in a grey sweatshirt dappled with gold paint. “I have a lot of stuff to do in the morning, and I just don’t want the cops watching me get out of bed.” No woman would, of course-and Moxie is especially keen to protect her privacy. Her bed-well, one of her favorites-is an old refrigerator carton shrouded by a swirl of brambles near the scrap yards north of … Continue reading

Nuway Hires Former State DHS Official as Public Policy Director

Former Minnesota Department of Human Services official, Amy Dellwo, will assume primary responsibility for short- and long-term public policy goals as NUWAY’s Director of Public Policy. “We are thrilled to have Amy join the NUWAY team,” said Monique Bourgeois, NUWAY’s Chief Community Relations Officer. “Her depth and breadth of public policy experience will be an invaluable asset to NUWAY’s mission to provide extended care treatment to individuals in supportive environments.  NUWAY is committed to increasing access to extended care treatment for those in need.” Dellwo has worked at the intersection of public policy among state agencies, elected officials, providers and … Continue reading