What lifted my spirit?

A festival devoted to strawberries, of course! Cedarburg’s Strawberry Fest was in full bloom last weekend, as I walked with my mom through the busy streets, listening to music, sampling strawberry desserts and taking in all the local crafts. Summer is in full swing!


How can finding your purpose change the world?

Last week, I read an article in the Huffington Post about one man’s take on the true meaning of life. I think we’ve all pondered this question from time to time. “What is my purpose?”

Is this job, activity, lifestyle really for me? The article talked about Toan Lam and how he found his purpose in life through the 14th Dalai Lama’s reflection:

“We are visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety or one hundred years at the very most. During that period, we must try to do something good, something useful, with our lives. If you contribute to other people’s happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.”

This idea of service led him to create Go Inspire Go, a non-profit that showcases people’s personal stories of helping others. This site allows Toan to use his talents of building connections with people and telling their stories. One story in particular caught my eye.  Check it out below:

What talent do you possess? Maybe you’re an artist, a healer, a great listener or a wiz at finance. Whatever it may be, ask yourself this question: How can I use my gift to help others? Imagine what this world would be like if we all shared our talent with just one person.

There are over 7 billion people on this planet – I think we’d make quite a difference.

What lifted my spirit?

Yesterday we had our grand opening ceremony at the new Clock Shadow Building on Bruce Street. Hundreds of attendees sat under tents and lined the sidewalk as Fix Development’s, Juli Kaufmann and Milwaukee dignitaries spoke about the innovative green landmark and its new inhabitants: The Healing Center of Aurora Sinai, Core/El Centro, Walker’s Point Community Clinic of St. Luke’s, Clock Shadow Creamery and Purple Door Ice Cream. This is just a glimpse of the night’s festivities:

Spend some time today with Aurora employee, Carol Polk!

1. Tell me about your book,“Digging Deep in Order to Reach the Sky.” What are some key messages that you’d like your audience to take away from it?

First of all let me start out by saying I had no intentions of writing a book, neither did I think I could. The inspiration along with the mandate came strictly from the Lord. Expressing how I overcame every obstacle and passed every test in my spiritual walk was crucial in revealing; also showing how God was responsible for all my victories became my endeavor.

2. Who do you think would benefit most from reading your book?

Anyone and everyone who find themselves lying in the pages of my book, whether literal, figurative, or spiritual. I’d like to think of it as a “How To” manual for what they may someday encounter.

3. How do you incorporate spirituality into your life?

Actually it’s just the opposite; my life is incorporated into my spirituality, meaning my walk with the Lord and the things He has commissioned me to do dictate what my life is to be about.

4. What daily activities do you participate in that foster healing and peace in your life?

Speaking by faith, whether yet experiencing the symptoms or not, I continue to quote the scriptures that attest to my healing. Scriptures recited of peace are a continual practice, but again I must say them aloud and not just think them in order to bring about my awaited results.

5. If you could describe your outlook on life in just one word, what would it be?


6. You are a published author, a dedicated mother and work at Aurora Health Care. How do you keep yourself balanced amidst your busy schedule?

It’s not difficult, because first of all I’m part-time. Prior to starting at Aurora I requested a schedule that would allow me the opportunity to be at home when my children left for school and when they returned. The writing of the book was accomplished while the children were asleep and the house conducive to concentrating making the completion of the book easy.

7. Whom do you most admire?

Pondering this question, seeing I was trying to come up with the name of a mortal, I could only come up with none other than my most beloved role model Jesus Christ.

8. Your co-workers describe you as always positive, friendly and eager to lend a helping hand. What keeps you motivated?

Trying to follow the golden rule of “Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” is my war cry. Encouraging others to adopt this rule is motivation.

9. As an active member of your church, what do you feel this community brings to your life?

The challenge to make better a society many have given up on and after having a prison ministry last from 1979 to 2011 has given me the compassion and tenacity to go the extra mile.

10. When you’re feeling stressed or in need of some time to yourself, where do you go to unwind and reconnect?

I can go anywhere, just as long as I’m in the car ALONE.

11. If you could meet anyone, who would it, be?




How can you improve your spiritual wellness every day?

It’s been awhile since we focused specifically on spiritual wellness, so I’d like to take a bit of time to touch on the topic.

Everything covered in this blog reflects something spiritual in nature, but it’s always beneficial for me to become familiar every now and again about my purpose here.

Here are some simple ways to incorporate spiritual wellness in your life.

1. Before you go to bed every night, think of one thing that happened during the day that made you feel grateful. Thank someone who acted kind towards you, someone who made a difference, yourself, or whoever/whatever you go to for spiritual wholeness.

2. Try to treat others with kindness, especially those who come off as jealous, demeaning, or unfriendly. This is often challenging, but by meeting their negativity with something positive, you can protect your own emotions and maybe make someone else’s day better!

3. Celebrate your inner child! With the temperatures rising, there are endless opportunities for kid-friendly activities—ditch your afternoon coffee for a chocolate ice cream with a friend, play in the dirt (garden, hike, throw around a Frisbee at the park), or take on the water slide challenge at your nearest waterpark. I’ve done a couple of these things lately and felt rejuvenated!

Stephanie coordinates volunteers, marketing efforts and operations for The Healing Center in Walker’s Point.

4. When life hands you lemons, take one day at a time — and then make some lemonade! Relax and realize that you’re just one person, doing the best you can, and that’s all you can do! Give yourself credit for small achievements like finishing a complicated task at work or on tough days, just getting through the afternoon!

5. Carve out a bit of time for yourself each day. Read, walk, or just breathe. You deserve it and the rest of your life will thank you for taking these moments of self-care.

What tips would you like to share with our readers?

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

Fox Run 2012!

On Saturday, June 2, The Healing Center hosted the Bay View Fox Run in honor of survivors of sexual violence. We were thrilled about the beautiful, sunny weather and great turnout of runners, walkers, babies in strollers and canine companions! An event like this also always reminds me of how great it is when we all come together for a good cause. The volunteers came from near and far to help with registration, chip timing, water stations and food preparation. Some even donated money for prizes, goodie bags and for The Healing Center. We raised over $12,300 for survivors and feel so grateful for the hard-work and generosity of all who participated!

Check out some photos from the race!