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5 years ago · · 0 comments

December 2018 Newsletter

“It wasn’t the world that changed, it was the way I saw the world that changed. When I realized that, my entire life changed.”

Dear friends,

While I was preparing to write this month’s newsletter, a few ideas came to mind. Christmas and the holiday season are on everyone’s mind, so my first thought was to write about the origins of Christmas. As I began to research this, what I read was rather disturbing. It certainly was not the uplifting message I had intended to send.

The second topic idea that came to mind was consumerism, which seems to pervade the holiday season. Along with that often comes the problem of figuring out what to get for whom. That topic, somehow, didn’t feel right either.

The third subject I contemplated was the “Son of God” versus the “God of Sun” conundrum.

The blending of Pagan and Christian rituals brought me back to my first topic, and some of the same information regarding the origins surfaced in my research.

Finally, I thought of who actually reads this newsletter – You. All of you have in some ways touched my heart and soul.

So this holiday season, I decided to share with you, a list of my favorite reminders of the beauty you all hold within. At Wisdom and Recovery, we understand the power of positive thinking and affirmations. As you know, with time and repetition, we truly can rewire our brains and begin to see the world through new eyes.

Please consider printing this list and frequently read the affirmations that speak to you.


Believe in yourself.
Anything is possible.
Inside of you, there is a miracle.
Have the courage to be yourself.
Your uniqueness is your gift.
Make peace with your past and let go.
Be kind to yourself and others.
You have abilities and talents.
Never give up trying.
Believe in your dream.
Every situation presents an opportunity.
There’s something great waiting for you.
Listen to your feelings.
Find your passion.
Be creative.
Open yourself more to nature.
Be honest.
Respect yourself and others.
Be prepared to change

6 years ago · · 0 comments

November 2018


walking toward light in forest

“There, but for the grace of God, go I”

-John Bradford, English reformer

Dear friends,

One gray, windy, and rainy day in Portland on my way to the office, I was stopped for a red light and noticed a woman on the sidewalk. Her face was old and red and she wore a tattered rain slicker. She was sitting on a small piece of luggage and eating green grapes out of a plastic bag. An aged man was standing a little closer to the curb holding a sign that read, We’re hungry! Please help!

How many of you have seen something similar? No matter what your thoughts may be, try not to judge them. Just notice them and be aware that their life is hard. It is one that we truly can’t understand.

I first heard the quote for this month’s newsletter many years ago. It impacted me in a significant way. Soon after hearing the quote, I happened to be at a playground with my son Seb, who at the time, was only about 2 years old. I saw a young woman pushing a child on a swing. She had a cigarette in her mouth and a beer in her hand. Looking at her face and her hair, she looked familiar, a little like I used to.

As I reminisced about my young adulthood and the recklessness I had exhibited, the quote “There, but for the Grace…,” came back to mind. The message – Do not judge- became clear because that woman could easily have been me.

How many of us have made choices that could have sent us in a downward spiral? Some of us have been through that experience and thankfully recovered.

Thanksgiving consists of two words: One is “Thanks!”, and the other is “Giving!” Maybe this year, if we are able to have an appreciation for all we have, we can also shift our minds slightly and think of the following phrase: “While I give thanks for having so much, I can perhaps give something to someone who might have much less”.

Happy Thanksgiving!

6 years ago · · 0 comments

October 2018

heart in hands

Healing the World One Heart at a Time

– excerpt from the book, Love for No Reason by Marci Shimoff

Dear Friends,

After reading Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, I began to notice more and more businesses “going green”. I wondered what that particular phrase really meant. I found an answer by reading an article at

According to their definition, “going green” means finding better ways of doing simple things in order to save the world and its environment. Examples are recycling, using less gas and electricity, buying organic, even planting a tree! When I think of the word green, I see trees, grass, and plants, all which are present on our earth to sustain animal and human life.

Loving and caring are matters of the heart. Eastern medicine and philosophy teaches us that there are Seven Chakras (energy clusters) that run up and down the body. Each Chakra has an associated color. The heart is one of the Seven Chakras and its color is green. That makes perfect sense to me, as I believe it will require a profound love to heal the planet we live on. Mother Nature, much like the mother we were born to, nurtures and takes care of us.

However, there comes a day when we realize we must take care of her. In order to love and care at such a high level, we must first turn within, tapping into our own resources. When that time comes, some of us might find we have a heavy heart, most likely as a result of some of life’s pain and betrayals. In her song, Every December Sky”, Beth Nielson Chapman wrote the lyrics, “How heavy the empty heart, how light the heart that’s full”.

At Wisdom and Recovery, we focus on working through our pain and healing our wounded heart chakra. When we accomplish this, we will have an abundance of love, compassion, and peace to bring to the world.

6 years ago · · 0 comments

September 2018

fall trees

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt, from his first Inaugural Speech (1933)

Dear Friends,

Most of us have heard this famous quote. What meaning does it hold for you? One interpretation might be, “If I focus on the fear, everything just gets scarier, but if I focus on my courage, I can probably handle it all.” I think I take Roosevelt’s statement a little more literally.

We all know that fear is a natural feeling and it certainly has its purpose! Doesn’t it signal us that something is going on that we need to pay attention to? Sometimes feelings of fear are for our safety, and sometimes for our emotional well being. Perhaps you may need to leave a situation or set a healthy boundary. Feeling fear usually means that we need to take action. Yet, so many times, we don’t take any action. We just continue to feel fearful, and eventually, it acquires a new name…anxiety!

Our body functions perfectly to take care of us and keep us safe. When we experience fear, our adrenal glands are stimulated. This is a natural process, often indicating there is danger present. Our stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline kick in, causing a flight or fight response.

However, here is the scary part – fear of fear itself. Often we don’t fight or run away, we just sit and ruminate. Our heart rate goes up, and our breath quickens. Our body is getting prepared to do something that, we are not necessarily going to do. This can cause a series of problems for your body, one of which is adrenal fatigue syndrome.

In as early as 1998, The Congressional Caucus on Stress Prevention determined that 90% of disease is caused or complicated by stress. Many clients come to Wisdom & Recovery with symptoms of stress and anxiety.

When they talk about situations in their lives, presently or from childhood, I can see how their bodies have suffered from this chronic stress. Very few clients come to me with stress issues without also having some type of physical dis-ease as well. The two seem to go hand in hand.

When we feel anxious, one of the first suggestions by experts is stress management. Examples are physical exercise, breathing exercises, massage, hypnotherapy and/or mindfulness. Mindfulness is being aware of your thinking and redirecting it away from thoughts of impending doom or danger. At Wisdom & Recovery we teach clients not to see themselves as victims of life, but instead how to utilize 20 Concepts to deal with life’s difficulties.

The only fear we have is indeed fear itself, especially when it has manifested to the point of anxiety. So take a moment now, take a deep breath and drop your shoulders. You have just reduced the level of stress hormones in your body. Since we now know how healthy it is to reduce these hormones when we can, let’s do it again!

6 years ago · · 0 comments

August 2018

tranquil sea

“Till death do us part.”

– from the Book of Common Prayer (1549)

Dear friends,

A few years ago, I sat next to a woman who is near and dear to my heart. She was grieving the sudden and tragic loss of her husband. The church was standing room only, and it was filled with family, friends, and co-workers. So many people loved this man and his family.

There were candles and flowers, music and prayers. Even though no one spoke a word of English, it really didn’t matter. The ceremony transcended words. What occurred was a ritual of LOVE.

All cultures, current and ancient, perform ceremonies from birth to funerals, from coming of age to marriage. Is it instinct that compels us to gather together and share our grief, our joy? It appears that the human being is a species that is energetically “hard-wired” to gather and bond.

The day after the funeral, I went to spend time with another woman who is near and dear to me. She was also in a church with candles, flowers, music, and prayer. She was getting married and again the room was filled with friends and family. All of them coming together to share in a different and significant ritual. What is so striking is that both sacred ceremonies were woven together with the threads of a profound LOVE.

Integration is what we call “The Core” of the 20 Concepts, as it is such an important part of the work we do here at Wisdom and Recovery. By bringing together what is seemingly the opposite, we can visualize something different. This process can provide a calming insight, and the wisdom gained will bring us a peaceful feeling.

I felt very blessed to have been in the midst of such amazing transitions on each of those two days. And while one was of loss and the other of gain, the outpouring of love cradled all.