Writing, reading, art, photography, and other expressive therapies for self-rejuvenation, self-awareness, and self-healing. Who is The Healing Phoenix? Social worker, writer, teacher, artist, student, problem-solver, creative thinker, and lover of the magic of life!
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The Healing Phoenix

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself. as quoted by Neil Gaiman, and posted on the http://www.socialjusticesolutions.org Facebook page

Social Work Career Development: How to Start Art Journaling and Manage Stress

Awesome article about art journaling on a great social work website! Also mentions Brene Brown’s online journaling class. I love this article because it shows the amazing potential of these techniques for social workers to use both for themselves and their clients!

What self-love does:
It improves your hearing, your eyesight, lowers your blood pressure, increases pulmonary function, cardiac output, and helps wiring the musculature. So, if we had a rampant epidemic of self-love then our healthcare costs would go down dramatically. So, this isn’t just some little frou-frou new age notion, oh love yourself honey. This is hardcore science.

A wonderful quote by Dr. Christiane Northrup about how self love affects you physically. Everything is interconnected!

Hungry for Change

(via fightingformyfuture)

(Source: whenitrymybestbutidontsucceed, via ncpolitics)

May 2-6 - New Adventures

These past few days, I’ve had some wonderful deluxe newness in my life! First, I graduated with a Master of Social Work degree! Second, I visited a wonderful place I had never been before, Tybee Island, GA.

Awesome stuff! When I think about it, I just smile and have a wonderful warm feeling inside!

I want you to take some time thinking about something new and positive that has happened in your life, recently or in the past - maybe a new job, making a new friend, finding a great restaurant…anything! Anything that really made you happy.

Think about how it made you feel. How did it affect your life? Like the last exercise, write down some words, thoughts, feelings, that come to mind. With the last exercise, I suggested some ways to express yourself in addition to writing. This time, we are going to do something specific.

Find some old magazines that you can cut up, and browse them (if you don’t have any, try the library or asking friends). Take out the pictures that for whatever reason catch your fancy and particularly resonate with the feelings/thoughts/images that came up when you were thinking about your new happy event. Gather as many as you want. 

Don’t overthink this process! Tell your inner voice to hush up if it’s being a negative nelly. Next session - we’ll be using the pictures you chose. 

May 1 - Looking Ahead

I saw a quote recently that made me stop and think:

"You cannot start writing a new chapter in your life if you are too busy reading the previous ones."

Being stuck in the past might seem safe. Even though there’s stuff there you really want to let go, it’s more comfortable to stay with the pain of the past rather than embrace the fear of the future. I get it.

So here’s a little exercise. Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit. Close your eyes, relax, let all your stress go. Think about what your life would be like now if that pain, regret, grudge, etc. was lifted. How would you feel? What would you do? How would your life look? Visualize it.

When you are done, write down what came to mind. You can even draw a picture, make a collage…whatever way you want to express what bubbled up when you thought about your ideal.

That, my friends, is your new chapter.

It’s All About M.E. ……My Energy!

Happy May Day! This starts what I have commonly referred to as the month of Me, because my birthday is May 31. However, I will be doing something different this month rather than focusing on my birthday….

For this month of May, I am presenting my “All About M.E.” mini-course. Never fear - this isn’t about homework, but it’s about me-work; that is, tuning into yourself and tapping into your own strengths, energy, and positive sense of self to help you move toward whatever goals, awareness, or emotional space you are ready to move toward.

Every day during May, I will post some bit of wisdom to think about, an activity to do, and maybe even both. Write down your thoughts, ideas, brainstorms etc., and give me feedback here too! See - easy, fun, and focused!

Here’s to a great month of M.E. - focusing on myself, my goals, and My Energy!

My Happy Garden Place…

I have to do something I rarely do - brag a little…My garden this year is rocking! Everything is blooming, blossoming and bursting forth with abandon! I had a garden last year too, and it was lovely, but this one, I don’t know…it must the the combination of weather, watering, and good garden juju, but it has really inspired me.

I was out there yesterday morning, puttering, weeding, and communing, and I couldn’t help but sit back and enjoy the drunk-with-pollen fuzzy bumblebees going from flower to flower in my patch of delicate yet hardy pink balloonflowers, and then enjoying the pretty yellow blossoms trailing along the vines of my melon. I hope that honeybee contributes to some honey, because it is going to taste great!

It’s a small, simple pleasure, really - a patio garden. But life has taken me down some rocky and dead-end paths lately, so being able to slow down enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor as well as feeling like my effort is in some way making a positive difference in the world - well, that’s pretty big. And it makes me feel pretty happy, proud of myself, and accomplished - feelings I haven’t felt much in a long time.

I have a decorative plant stake in one of my flower pots, and it says “Happiness must be grown in one’s own garden.” Is there happiness growing in your garden? If not, maybe you need to do some weeding, or grow some new plants. Let me know how you plan on making your garden - real and figurative! - a happy place this summer and beyond!

My sweet LilBit, all-American dog, true companion, and furry inspiration. As the saying goes, “Please let me be the person my dog thinks I am”!

My sweet LilBit, all-American dog, true companion, and furry inspiration. As the saying goes, “Please let me be the person my dog thinks I am”!


You will notice, dear Reader, that it has been a while since my last post. As sometimes happens, “life” got in the way. However, now I have returned, back and better than ever!

It’s time to guide The Healing Phoenix in the direction I have always wanted, which is not only to include my writings and observations, but also to have learning content for you!

This is an exciting direction for me, and I cannot wait to expand and move toward my dream and goals for this website and my readers.

I still plan on having monthly themes and doing Project 365, which will involve some catching up! The pictures have been taken - they just need to be shared!

To celebrate returns and new beginnings, I have posted above for you a picture of my “angel with a fur coat,” LilBit. If anything is inspiring, it’s a wonderful pet with unconditional love!

Valentine's Day Art Activities, Ideas, Projects

Some Valentine’s Day activities from the Art Therapy Blog….and if you do not have a particular sweetheart this valentine’s day, be sure to be sweet to yourself, and to the other special people in your life!

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