What lifted my spirit?

The Healing Center’s roof-top garden of course! I volunteered to water yesterday morning and couldn’t help, but snap a few photos. Here is what caught my eye:

.this thriving roof-top greenery.

.these soft, magenta petals.

.these hopeful sprouts.

.this view.

.these blooms, catching water.

.this weathered metal.

.this morning sanctuary.

.these garden helpers.

.this found contrast.

Move Your Body to Lift Your Spirit!

These are just a few of the benefits of regular fitness:

-Reduced stress

-Improved mood and body image

-Increased energy

-Decrease in feelings of depression

-Greater ability to cope with nerve-wracking situations

Why not move for a great cause? On Saturday, June 2, The Healing Center hosts the Fox Run in South Shore Park. This family-friendly 5K/10K race celebrates the beauty of Bay View, Milwaukee, while raising much needed funds for survivors of sexual violence. It is chip-timed, certified and includes a free kiddie dash, prizes for the fastest canine companion and delicious, complimentary refreshments after you’ve crossed the finish line! To register, please visit: http://www.bayviewfoxrun.webs.com.

We hope you can join us!

 

Have you mastered the “art of being nice?”

The simple comfort of coffee can make someone’s day.

Some days, this may seem like a dying art, but yesterday I experienced a simple act of kindness at Starbucks that made my day.

When the woman in front of me placed her order, she gently asked the employee behind the counter about the man sitting outside on the patio. She said she’d noticed him sitting there most days and wanted to know if he ever came in to order something. The barista replied that he usually just sits outside by himself for an hour or so, watching the cars pass and then leaves.

Taking one last glance in the man’s direction, the girl promptly ordered another coffee and on her way out, offered it to him. He gladly accepted as a big smile spread across his face, which quickly spread to mine (and just about everyone else’s around me!).

This cup of coffee was a simple gesture, but really changed my spirit for the rest of the day. This coffee held compassion, empathy, and an acknowledgment that the man was not alone. He was someone that she noticed, someone (like all the rest of us) that really matters and exists as an integral part of the community we live in.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a Xhosa proverb that defines South African culture: “Ubuntu ungamntu ngabanye abantu” or “People are people through other people.” As individuals, we are not islands (no matter how hard Simon and Garfunkel tried!), we are all interconnected in the beautiful chaos that is, life.

This is why it is so important to reach out, help someone in need, extend love and gratitude and…as mom always taught…

Moral of the story? Just. Be. Nice.

The Healing Center provides counseling, group therapy and other support services. All of our services are free, as we believe that everyone, regardless of inability to pay, deserves the help they need. To learn more about our services, please visit our website

Choosing the Path of Forgiveness

We’ve all been hurt from time to time, and this can easily lead to feelings of anger, resentment and sorrow.

Sometimes these feelings can take over and lead to anxiety towards the situation, group or individual that made you feel bad.

It’s ok, and actually very healthy to feel sad when someone wrongs you. The danger comes in holding grudges. Although very normal, grudges may start out small at first, but can build into something quite overwhelming and feelings of helplessness prevail.

Without forgiveness, you have actually allowed the other person’s wrongdoing to seep inside of you, causing pain from the inside out. Your life could become so wrapped up in the negativity that you stop living in the present and lose your healthy connections with others.

Forgiveness is not easy. It takes a lot of strength and courage to pardon someone that has caused you grief. Sometimes it is helpful to consider the situation from the other person’s point of view. Why did he/she react this way? What in the past could have prompted him/her to take insecurities out on you?

Personally, I find it useful to keep in mind that no one is perfect and that every individual has issues to deal with. Another suggestion is to think of a time when you may have caused harm to someone else. Learning to accept people’s shortcomings and understanding that the majority of people in the world are innately good can help as well.

According to the Mayo Clinic,

Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change.”

 Here are some of their thoughts:

  • Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time
  • Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how this combination has affected your life, health and well-being
  • When you’re ready, actively choose to forgive the person who’s offended you
  • Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life

The Healing Center provides counseling, group therapy and other support services. All of our services are free, as we believe that everyone, regardless of inability to pay, deserves the help they need. To learn more about our services, please visit our website