Today is Denim Day!

Denim_day_workinglogoWe celebrate Denim Day in honor of a woman who was forcibly raped by her driving instructor. The woman pressed charges, but the case was dismissed because the chief judge decided that, “…because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans, it was no longer rape, but consensual sex.”

Let’s come together and wear our jeans loud and proud! It’s time to end victim-blaming and stand up for survivors of sexual violence.

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Remembering Martin

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Courtesy of the Huffington Post

Martin Richard, an 8-year-old boy from Massachusetts, loved climbing trees and jumping in mud puddles. On Monday, he stood near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, eating an ice cream cone with his family, when a bomb hit, killing him and critically injuring his mother and sister. Today, a candle burns on the stoop of his family’s home.

When I read about this, I was shocked and left without words. Having just returned from maternity leave and so in love with my new baby boy, I can’t imagine how Martin’s mother must feel. My heart goes to her and I can only hope that she has a strong support system to comfort her, if that is even possible.

Above is a picture of Martin, smiling with bright eyes into the camera and holding his message for the world. “No more hurting people. Peace.” It’s a simple thought, but hopefully one that can resonate with all of us.  Let’s take a moment for those affected by this tragedy in Boston and honor Martin’s memory by coming together for PEACE.

Have you ever “tweeted” someone a compliment?

AUR_78196191[1]These days, it may seem like bullying through social media has taken over schools across the country. Everything from aggressive taunting to death threats quickly spread through Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs.

Students often fall victim to these harsh words and find themselves in uncomfortable situations as their self-esteem plummets and uneasiness takes hold.

To combat this problem, Jeremiah, an Iowa-based High School student decided to use social media for good and compliment his classmates.

So, I was especially inspired to see  how this teen used Twitter to combat cyberbullying.  Isn’t it great to see someone do something so positive?

What do you think about using social media to build people up?  Sometimes, a simple positive message can make someone feel better emotionally and spiritually. Try it today and let us know how it felt!

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

How can Reiki help you?

CIMG6795Have you heard the term “Reiki” before and ever wondered how it could benefit you? Simply put, Reiki is a Japanese practice promoting healing and stress reduction that creates spiritual growth and positive energy throughout the body. This energy flows to where it needs to go and can heal whichever part is in need of help.

Last Sunday, a dear friend of mine and trained Reiki master offered me a session. When I arrived at her house we shared a cup of tea and just relaxed a bit before I climbed onto the Reiki table (much like a massage table). As I lay in a comfortable position, she moved from my head to my feet, placing her hands on certain parts of my body to allow this energy to flow more freely. The most powerful feeling I had was when she put her hands on my upper back. I remember feeling some pressure in my chest and a lot of heat moving through the upper part of my body. After the session, which lasted for about an hour, I felt incredibly relaxed and told her I hadn’t felt this calm in long time. She told me that she had felt the most powerful sensation in my heart and that she felt my heart was open to new things and that the energy she worked with during Reiki was flowing freely through that area of my body. I found this interesting because that is exactly the area I had felt the most intensity as well!

Throughout my experience with Reiki, I’ve learned that it does not discriminate with certain areas of the body. In order for this energy to flow, the person receiving Reiki does not necessarily even have to believe in it fully. Its effects take place simply because of the connection between the practitioner and a universal energy flow.

Interested? You might enjoy it and even if you’re skeptical, Reiki is a relaxing experience to try as the New Year unfolds.

New Year’s Resolutions

new year(photo taken from Pinterest)

I’ll be honest. I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions because although they seem like good ideas on January 1st, most of us are creatures of habit and resort back to our regular behaviors a week or 2 after the first of the year. The gyms clear out, diets cease to take hold, etc. However, this year I’ve heard a few creative “resolutions” that I thought I’d share. Some are mine and others are ones I’ve read on blogs, heard from friends and seen in articles.

Cheers to 2013 and all the goodness that is in store for us!

Resolutions that caught my eye:

1. Spend more quality time with family and friends. This cannot include “screen time” or any activity that involves being on the computer, watching TV, etc. Make a coffee date, play board games or join a book club. Talk. Laugh. Reminisce.

2. Cook. Plain and simple. Throwing a frozen entrée in the oven doesn’t count. I mean really cook. Pick the freshest ingredients from the store, chop, dice, stir, experiment and TASTE. Savor a new recipe and enjoy the warmth of what this food brings to your home and your family.

3. Go on adventures. Find some hiking trails in your area when the weather warms up and explore! If you can, save up a bit to try something new like skiing, rock climbing or train for a race in another state.

4. Start a new ritual/tradition. It can be daily, weekly, monthly or just on holidays. Try a ½ hour of yoga each morning when you wake up, bake a cake every Sunday, or enjoy a spa day each New Year’s for detoxing and rejuvenating your spirit for the coming year.

When Tragedy Strikes

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Although the holiday season is in full swing, tragedy struck recently and shook the nation. I really cannot find the words to describe how I feel about what happened and my heart aches for all of the children and families involved in the shooting. As I hold my loved ones extra close, I am once again reminded of how important it is to cherish what I have and not to take anything for granted. I’ll be the first to admit that I love what the holiday’s offer- warm, delicious foods, happy music, lots of presents and decorations. As time passes though, I realize how important it is to spend time with the important people in my life, uphold and create traditions to carry on through the years and truly feel thankful for what I’ve been given. In reflecting on the horrific events that took place in Connecticut, I also remember how important it is to show love and respect for those around me. We can do this in our own lives by teaching our children from a young age to care for themselves and others, and by practicing patience. We can also go the extra mile to keep our families and communities connected, while fostering an atmosphere of “togetherness” for all.

As we celebrate the season this year, I hope we can take a moment to honor those we lost last week and keep the families involved in our thoughts and prayers.

The Hope Shining Gala was a Success!

The Healing Center’s 4th annual Hope Shining Gala raised $41,000 and welcomed 305 attendees to celebrate the courageous spirits of survivors of sexual violence. Guests dined on delicious foods, while bidding on silent auction items, participating in a wine/tea/coffee pull and listening to music by Frank Tarantino. The event also included a photo exhibit by Shutter the Silence, a project that ends victim blaming by allowing survivors and allies to dispel myths about what they have been told and heard about sexual abuse. The highlight of the night came when two very strong survivors shared their stories about overcoming past abuse and learning to heal. The Healing Center presented Hope Shining awards to Linda Davis and Sally Turner, who have both made a huge impact on survivors and work to bring resources to Milwaukee that keep the community safe.

The Healing Center is grateful for all of the sponsors who made this event possible! Their contributions help fund counseling and advocacy for those in need and allow additional survivors to access services.

Thank you for your heartfelt generosity!

Silver Sponsors – $2,500

The Brico Fund

Gail Hanson

 

Bronze Sponsors – $1,000

Aurora Health Care

Janine Arseneau

Maryann and Joe Clesceri

Adam and Carole Glass

Mira and Keith Ketzler

 

Table Sponsors – $550

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

CORE/El Centro

Tom Cooper

Bob and Linda Davis

Chris Doerfler

Debbie Donovan

Fix Development

Dr. Nancy Havas

Jane Lazynski

Elaine Maly

Office of Violence Prevention –Milwaukee Health Department

Mindy and Matthew Price

Dr. Kristen Reynolds and Dr. Tiffany Mullen

Herica Silva

Sally and Tim Turner

 

 

Spirited Souls- Britny’s Gift to The Healing Center

We’d like to recognize Britny for her generous donation to The Healing Center. Instead of birthday presents, she asked for money to help survivors heal. Britny raised $450 and we feel so grateful for her fundraising and caring heart!

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

What are you thankful for?

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

As Thanksgiving approaches I am reminded of the true reason we gather this Thursday. While I eagerly await the turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, I have to remember the meaning behind this holiday: giving thanks for family and friends and acknowledging the little things in life that allow me to feel gratitude.

This year I am thankful for the fact that my family can come together from all parts of the U.S. (Wisconsin, St. Louis and New York) and for all the healthy, happy new babies in my life (born and still on the way!).

For me, Thanksgiving is also a time to appreciate the simple things that make life precious: thoughtful friendships that still last even though we live miles and miles apart, the volunteers I work with each year who graciously give of their time and resources to help The Healing Center, my downstairs neighbor who continually rakes, shovels and maintains the yard we share (even though we really are responsible for the back!).

It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity that surrounds us on a daily basis and forget about the big and little things that actually make our lives positive. Personally, I’ve found that by truly feeling thankful for all that I’ve been given makes me happier and feel a lot more control to tackle obstacles. Life isn’t perfect and I don’t think it’s supposed to be. It is a balancing act between good and bad, easy and difficult, giving and receiving.

I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving with family, friends and all whom you love (and enjoy the pie as well!).

What makes you feel thankful?

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