Hello Again Wonder Friends!

Hello Again Wonder Friends!

Hello Wonder-Friends: Perhaps you’ve been wondering where I’ve been? It’s been a while and it feels so wonderful to be writing you on the weekend Wonder Woman is officially opening. I started this Wonder Blog expressing my love for all things Wonder Woman and the love fest continues, as does my excitement about seeing the movie! Hooray and Huzzah!  We’ve been teaching Healing the Healer a lot over these past months and so Rocky & I thought it would be fun to put together a collage of our teacher paintings as a visual representation. ( My thanks to Rocky for creating this magical collage.)  I –and so many of my friends– often forget to take in and acknowledge what we’ve accomplished. I have a tendency to move from training to training, task to task & owl rock to owl rock…and forget to celebrate when something is completed. That’s one of my self-care strategies that I’m choosing (right now!) to incorporate into my self-care plan.  What about you, what would you like to weave into your self-care regime? The paintings in this collage were created in workshops we taught to amazing people in NYC at the Soul Camp New Years’ Day event and to splendiferous & inspiring human services professionals, fost-adopt caretakers, and foster youth all over California – in Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Orange, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma Counties. I am grateful I was also invited to present a Healing Creative Mindfulness practice for 90 people at UC Berkeley for CalSWEC’s Symposium on Fairness & Equity Issues in Child Welfare Training.  In the presence of these wonder women and men who...
Three Magical Things We Learned Teaching Healing The Healer & Self-Care This Year

Three Magical Things We Learned Teaching Healing The Healer & Self-Care This Year

Over the past year, I’ve have had the honor of meeting and teaching almost 300 incredible human services and healing arts professionals throughout California.  I’ve been awed by their dedication to helping children and families and making a difference in the world.  I’ve also had the pleasure of starting to work with my husband, Rocky, who is a talented artist and began assisting the Healing the Healer workshops in May.  Here are the top three things we’ve learned along the way and wanted to share with you to help support your ongoing self-care! 1.  Self-care love-and humor!– go a long way when working with your husband (or anyone, for that matter).  We are together a lot now and as fabulous as that is, sometimes I get grouchy and need to draw some whimsical owls and laugh about goofy things, like the “disagreements” we have about fonts. Taking a walk on the beach and watching funny shows like 30 Rock and Parks & Rec also helps soothe the inner gremlins.  And starting the day with Seven Second Hug, the song we created for our holiday card, helps us to connect in the morning. Creating goofy, funny holiday cards to spread peace and love to our friends and family (and you!) also helps soothe the soul. 2. Watercolor sets for kids.  They are inexpensive, non-toxic, and easy to carry when traveling and can be used to create cards and notes.  We use Prang Washable Watercolors, which we found on Dick Blick. They even have metallic and glitter sets! 🙂  You can turn 8 colors into 64 by mixing them.  Here is a sample...
Fireside Chat! Beverly Kyer

Fireside Chat! Beverly Kyer

Hello and welcome to Fireside Chats with extraordinary people doing amazing things. At the West Coast Child Welfare Trainers Conference I attended this past week, I had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful trainers, including Beverly Kyer, a dynamic and talented speaker. She just wrote the book Surviving Compassion Fatigue: Help for Those Who Help Others. I immediately scooped up a copy and wanted to interview her to find out more. She also participated in the Intentional Creativity session I taught at the conference and I was curious about her experience with the method as a tool for healing. Beverly has a vast amount of experience in the human services field. She spent over three decades as a clinical social worker working with pediatric oncology patients, Vietnam veterans, psychiatric patients, and foster care. She spent much of her career with the Veteran’s Administration Veteran’s Outreach Center and Medical Center in the Bronx, New York City and the Child Welfare system in California. She has postgraduate certificates and over three decades of experience in integrated approaches to readjustment counseling, post-traumatic stress disorder, and compassion fatigue. She now lectures around the country on compassion fatigue. What is your profession now? I am a speaker, educator, author, and clinical social worker. I specialize in secondary and direct trauma impacts of children, youth and adults. Training has been my calling. I like talking to people. I don’t lecture at people. It’s like a conversation and that’s being me, so it’s never felt like a job. Why did you choose to go into social work? I was a teacher first in the 60’s. I...
Return of The Gemmuddles & Other Magical Creatures

Return of The Gemmuddles & Other Magical Creatures

The Art-A-Day May challenge to support the Mind, Body, Spirit and Heart this past month rekindled my connection to gemmuddles –my imaginary (or not!), magical friends from my childhood.  When I was two, I would climb into my parents’ bed and animatedly talk about our adventures.  I don’t remember details –my mom told me I would do this –but I feel like they are now reappearing in my art and doodles … little wise creatures whispering to me & creating mischief.  They are still speak in a magical language, so I don’t know exactly what they are saying yet; it’s more a feeling at this point … to play, relax and be in wonder & whimsy.  Oh, yeah.  And to be me.       “Be me.”  Sounds so easy, doesn’t it?  In practice it’s a wee bit harder.  Those creeping “shoulds” and “but look at him/her” creep in with the critic arising strong and fierce. — A lot of people I work with in the Healing the Healer workshops struggle with this…the critic often comes rearing his or her ugly head when we are painting. (It does with me too!)  I like to ask my critic to go to a beautiful place-like Paris to eat chocolate croissants; or to have margaritas somewhere, chillax in the sun & read a good book.  I want to let my inner guide have some time to play without interference and criticism! — Wise guidance from Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Gilbert & other sages help me through the rough patches.  Gilbert beautifully says:  “Creativity itself doesn’t care at all about results – the only thing...