Grateful Hearts

Thanksgiving is a season of gathering gratitude, spreading it feast-fashion around a table to be shared with family and friends…as well as the groaning table of festive foods that takes days to prepare and minutes to consume. It’s one of my favorite meals to cook. And one of my favorites to eat. But . . . → Read More: Grateful Hearts

Shades

In catastrophic thinking it is either perfect or horrible. Things are black or white. There aren’t shades of gray. So we spent some time last week with the women at the Lighthouse, a twelve-month, faith-based residential treatment program for women recovering from substance abuse, helping them learn to paint a gradated gray scale . . . → Read More: Shades

Cinderella

A recent talk I heard entitled Cinderella Revisited inspired last week’s art activity at the Lighthouse, a twelve-month, faith-based residential treatment program for women recovering from substance abuse. The essence of the message was that Cinderella was dead in the enslaved environment of her life with a wicked step-mother and two ugly sisters . . . → Read More: Cinderella

Anger Sort Of

Sometimes I set up an art activity and everything goes as planned. Other times? Not so much. That happened last Friday at the weekly therapeutic art workshop at the Lighthouse, a twelve-month, faith-based, residential treatment program for women recovering from substance abuse. The group of women currently in the program is largely new . . . → Read More: Anger Sort Of

Soul Care

The recent Breathe Conference in Switzerland was all about soul care… in its many forms – worship, good teaching, rest, counseling, massage, medical attention, rest, tasty meals with lively conversation, chocolate, recreation, beautiful views, leisurely walks and vigorous hikes, rest, more chocolate, saunas, and my personal favorite, art making. Many of the guests . . . → Read More: Soul Care

Life

As far as Vivian’s concerned she’s feeling like a shining star…or two…or twenty-eight. She’s weeks away from moving to transition housing and then graduating. As she says, “I feel like my life is full of light. I feel like a shinning star!” Well, indeed she is. Her prayer flag is a wonderfully composed . . . → Read More: Life

Fun

Sometimes we just have fun. Not that having fun isn’t therapeutic. Without a doubt it is. So sometimes our most serious therapeutic intent is just to have fun. Well, fun with a purpose, but maybe not what you imagined.

It all started with a visit to the Oxnard Rescue Mission thrift . . . → Read More: Fun

Raw

Raw emotions. Red for ANGER. Green for ENVY. Great black looping CONFUSION. Periodic EXPLOSIONS. That’s the mask Ashley describes wearing because she believes expressing her anger is a stronger position than crying although her tears are just beneath the surface. She knows that needs to change….in a safe place…in a safe way…at a . . . → Read More: Raw

Anger

Nobody had a problem drawing the first picture – what their anger looked like in the past. Everyone could remember their version of bottled poisonous rage that eventually exploded all over the place. But I think they were more than a little surprised when I shared with them what I imagined doing with . . . → Read More: Anger

Crazy

The prior week had been crazy fun. A morning of playing with paint and stamps creating decorative papers for an art project the following week. Each woman had made at least one colorful 12×12 sheet they knew we were going to cut into 4″ squares to be shared with one another. As best . . . → Read More: Crazy