Mission of Creative Wellness Services

Creative Wellness Services provides unique, creative and experiential wellness programs for individuals and groups, such as your work place environment. Services are facilitated to include the use of art, creativity and self-reflection to promote enhanced teamwork and individual wellness.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

When There is Dark Then There is Also Light - One Cannot Exist Without the Other

Did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its Being.
We all remain


I can imagine, like most people, you might be experiencing a mixture of emotions, such as fear and uncertainty during this global pandemic with Covid-19.  It is a time in our lives where many of us, if not all of us, are having to rethink the way we do things.  It is not business or life as usual, instead we are all having to develop new routines and different lifestyles.  Many people are working from home now, some are trying to figure out how to manage with reduced hours, or potential losses and changes.    These feelings you might be experiencing as a result from these fast-paced changes are real, and with some mindful practices, gentleness and compassion, these feelings you are experiencing can be honoured.

Perhaps in this current situation and with the feelings we are experiencing, we can find ways to transform them from fear, worry, anxiety, and misfortune into hope and opportunities.

Many of us are practicing physical distancing, or what the media is calling it social distancing, at this time, as am I.  I have fully transitioned to online counselling and/or some phone support, where appropriate. The online platform I am using is both PHIPA and PIPEDA compliant and fully encrypted.  Clients have told me these past several weeks that they have found online counselling to be as effective, as in person counselling, where I am able to be fully attuned to you and I am able to offer the bi-lateral processing required for EMDR, the mindfulness practices and exploration of the parts of you that are being activated.  Many clients shared how pleasantly surprised they were at the end of their online sessions, at how well it went and how easy it was to transition to this new normal.  With a simple encrypted link that you are provided you are able to join me for an online session, there is nothing for you to download.  

In the meantime, stay safe and be well, practice physical distancing and maintain social connection by reaching out to others, ask for assistance and use all the resources you have worked hard to establish to maintain a mindset of calm and peace.  Fear and stress contribute to the breakdown of our immune systems, so more than ever using the de-stressing techniques is important.

Look for the light in the darkness.  Be the light, it is inside of you.  Focus on what you can control, and the only thing we can control is our own responses and the environment of our own inner mindset.  Be generous, kind and patient with each other and know that the way through this is together.

I am here for you, you are not alone.  

Here are some resources that help with the triggered feelings of fear and anxiety to help calm the internal system so you can see a pathway forward more clearly:

Peter Levine’s Voo Sound:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7zAseaIyFA&t=2s

Artwork by Supria Karmakar "Uplifting Our Hearts", Encaustic Mixed Media 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Self-Compassion can Unite us all

“We are not the survival of the fittest, we are the survival of the nurtured.”
~ Louis Cozolino
Even more than ever we need to magnify the nurturing of all things in order to heal, and a key to this is to begin with yourself. To practice self-compassion can bring about a deep nurturing for the world and all species living on the planet. Specifically, practicing the three steps of self-compassion that Dr. Kristin Neff speaks about, mindfulness, seeing the common humanity and sending kindness can bring a softening to the pain and suffering being experienced in your life, as well as, providing an opening and a connection to others in their suffering. This may seem counterintuitive or it might even go against what you might have been taught. Often, I hear from those I work with, that to care for oneself, to practice self-compassion, is to be ‘selfish’, or is thought of as being self-centred or even more ostracizing, to be narcissistic. Who wants to be labelled selfish, self-centred or narcissistic? I would venture to say that these labels keep us segregated from our true healing and from each other. 
Self-compassion can unite us. Now, practicing self-compassion doesn’t mean striving and having yet another thing we put on ourselves as we “should” do, or I “shouldn’t feel this way", or “I deserve to do this or have this ”or “ others have it worse than me”, Dr. Kristin Neff speaks of this as diluting self-compassion, it doesn’t work with these conditions. Instead true self-compassion involves a need to directly recognize that something is hurting right now. Saying to yourself something like, “I am suffering, and this hurts”, “this belongs right now”. The practice of RAIN, helps with this connection to oneself for healing. First, Recognize that this is suffering; Allow it to be there, not to judge it or fix it, bravely let it be there; Investigate the suffering, being curious about it, not in a thinking way, but in an embodied way, how does your body feel with this suffering, and ask yourself, what does your being need right now to be Nurtured? Tara Brach speaks to this practice in her new book Radical Compassion and shares that after RAIN practice there is a blossoming of space in ourselves and for others. 
For those who have trauma and/or childhood adverse experiences, (and this is more widely prevalent than we might think), the first step of self-compassion might mean to provide yourself with some kindness, some safety with mindfulness and then recognizing the common humanity in that experience. This may mean mindfully recognizing the need to say YES to your NO; this is different than shutting down the experience of suffering, instead be aware of your suffering, and mindfully with kindness placing some boundaries of safety for yourself in that moment. It is okay to be with your NO, this is kindness to oneself.
Self-Compassion notes and resources: