by Brooke Nisbet, MA, RYT
When wild elephants are domesticated as babies, they are chained to a huge tree or to a thick iron stake driven deep into the ground. This stake/tree is physically able to hold the young elephant, despite the elephant’s repeated attempts to pull free and escape...
Editor's Note: Yoga is a full-time life. Yoga happens beyond the yoga mat. It happens as you close your eyes at night, while you're driving, when you're interacting with others, when you're silently sitting with yourself. One of the ideas in yoga is to practice non-attachment. Not being stuck to a fear,anger, sadness, joy, excitement, expectation and so on. That takes you away from living in the present moment. Being tied down to your past fears and memories can also become debilitating and depressing. Don't allow yourself to be tied down to old beliefs like an elephant tied to a simple stake in the ground. He has the strength to easily pull free at any moment, but his mind keeps him bound. How about you? What's tying you down?
Editor's Note from Erica Curtis: Patients from 5 care facilities collaborated on the mural, "Memories", in commemoration of world Alzheimer’s day. It highlights the importance of memories of loved ones but, more importantly, provided a way to process feelings related to having dementia.
Arts & Art Therapy
by Adrienne Johanson
I am a writing mentor with the Pongo Teen Writing Project, and also a psychotherapist. Often young people write with Pongo about their family, in a way that reminds me of a complicated tapestry...
Editor's Note from Susan de Wardt: This entry from the Pongo Project Journal shares insight into using writing to help teens deal with challenging family issues.
Writing & Poetry Therapy
by Sudha Umashanker
It was a coconut tree that was lovingly planted by my late grandmother decades ago. Back then, Chennai was not chock-a-bloc with houses and with the plot behind our house being vacant it didn’t matter if our tree was close to the compound wall...
Editor's Note from Michael Williams: I'm pleased to introduce Sudha Umashanker to our All Things Healing readers. Sudha is a young journalist from Chennai in India. In addition to writing about important social issues, Sudha is a trained storyteller. Many of her stories, like this one, are drawn from her memories of childhood and family life. They are a reminder of the everyday challenges we meet in life, the events we grieve and the ones we celebrate. In our increasingly urbanised world, this is a story that reminds us that Nature's loss is also our own.
by Michael Williams, PhD, Adv Dip, CCW Dip
ATH Co-Editor of Therapeutic Storytelling
As the host and producer of the Teller and the Tale, my weekly, half-hour storytelling radio programme on Blues and Roots Radio (www.bluesandrootsradio.com), I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a lot of storytellers. In fact, over the past four years I’ve interviewed nearly seventy tellers from Scotland, Canada, the United States, Denmark, India and other places.
Editor's Note from Michael Williams:: What's it take to be a storyteller? I've heard many people tell me that they didn't grow up in a "storytelling family" or they're not outgoing enough or they have poor memories. Yet in the years I've been interviewing storytellers from around the world, I've discovered that most storytellers didn't have a "special start" in life. Most are just like you and me. So could you be a storyteller? Read on.
by Carol Lawrence & Stacy Toten
ATH Asst. Editors of Family & Parenting
For years while we were raising our children, playing games was always a staple in both our households. Our kids grew up with family game nights. Both of our households have 100+ hours of playing games together. We purposely chose fun, creative, educational, interactive games. To this day even as adults our grown children love to play games and still look forward to game nights.
Editor's Note from Carol Lawrence and Stacy Toten: Do you like to play games with the kids? Here's a fun Unplugged game to play during dinner, on vacation in the car, on the plane or while sitting in the living room next to your fireplace. This game is fun for all ages. This is a really fun way to encourage everyone to put down their phones, become present in the moment together, engage, have fun and create lasting life time family memories.
Family & Parenting
by Donna Jacobs Sife
Personal stories – when teachers tell stories about themselves as children, or as fallible adults, apart from building an intimacy between themselves and their students, their students can also often feel safe to admit to their own fallibilities and internal struggles, particularly if the anecdotes and memories are those of a struggle, a misunderstanding or a reaction to living in a diverse society...
Editor's Note from Michael Williams: The value of storytelling for diversity and cross-cultural education cannot be overestimated. Storytelling can build relationships, develop empathy and understanding of cultures, develop language, connect with traditions, heal grievances, impart values and ethics, and speak of difficult things in a safe and accessible way.
by Tom Cowan, PhD
These weeks around the winter solstice are undoubtedly the most nostalgic season of the year. (Except for maybe summer.) The trappings of this season remind us of all the trappings from previous years: holiday songs, candles, trees, lights, ornaments, tinsel, gifts, wreathes, and the cookies...
Editor's Note from Peter Clark: Shamanic experiences in non-ordinary reality happen outside of linear time and ordinary space. Tom Cowan brings that understanding of existence into the cyclical realm of the feelings that many of us often have around the many holidays associated with the winter Solstice. Some feelings and memories may be wonderful, or… not so much, but whatever they are, we can become more self aware of ourselves and our relationship with the rest of the natural world by paying attention to them. Learning from the past is crucial to a more conscious Now and Future.
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