Tag Archives: creative healing

Swings in Playground

Place of Inclusion: One-of-a-kind Playground for Every Kid

In San Antonio, Texas a unique park has been created with the goal of uniting people young and old with the common element of play.

Inspired by a young girl with physical disabilities, Morgan’s Wonderland creates an atmosphere where people can safely enjoy time with family and friends, regardless of any physical or mental disability.

This 25 acre park caters especially towards people with special needs and provides for guests a first-class area where people can relax and have fun.

Accommodating Every Person

Swings in PlaygroundMorgan’s Wonderland is an interactive and inclusive park where people with special needs and their family and friends can interact and enjoy all aspects of play. Traditionally, parks are designed and built, then accommodations are made for people with physical or mental limitations. Morgan’s Wonderland was not created this way: all obstacles were identified first, with its design following second. The entire park is accessible, safe, and fun for people of all ages.

This recreation area leads the way in providing inclusive, family orientated activities. In 2007, the Gordon Hartman Family Foundation created Sports Outdoor and Recreation (SOAR) as a non-profit organization to raise money and provide administration for the park. Fundraising came from many sources, including the City of San Antonio, the State of Texas, family and friends, and various charities and corporations.

In just a few short years, Morgan’s Wonderland opened with the mission to “provide a safe, clean, beautiful environment free of economic barriers for special needs individuals of all ages.”

Features of Morgan’s Wonderland

Carousel RideThe park has many attractions that can be enjoyed by every person:

  • an event area and gymnasium with basketball, volley ball, and tennis access
  • an interactive sensory area that includes a theater, horse stable, fix-it shop, grocery store, and a television station
  • accessible 1930s style train
  • amphitheater
  • accessible cars that travel a track throughout the park
  • carousel
  • wharf
  • 8 acre lake with fishing access
  • accessible playgrounds and wheelchair/adaptive swings
  • water park area
  • picnic area
  • garden
  • sand pit
  • music garden
  • various pavilions and rest areas

Morgan’s Wonderland is the first “ultra-accessible family fun park” of its kind in the world. Individuals with special needs are admitted with no cost, and other guests to the park are charged a nominal entrance fee.

For more information, please click > Morgan’s Wonderland

For more information, please click > Morgan’s Wonderland

Paint Brushes in Art Mug

Art Therapy Beneficial for Mind, Body & Spiritual Wellbeing

Art therapy is a healing practice used to increase the overall health of one’s body, mind, and spirit. It’s a therapy that can easily be successful for people of all ages and for people suffering from many different challenges, such as illness or trauma.

The American Art Therapy Association was established to help promote the healing aspects of art and how it can improve the overall quality of one’s life.

Art therapy is often used when working with the aging population, as it is effective with increasing people’s self-perception, memory, and coordination.

Wellness with Art Therapy

Paint Brushes in Art MugResearch has shown that the creative process has many benefits, including:

  • helping with managing stress levels;
  • developing conflict resolution skills;
  • balancing emotions; and
  • improving cognitive clarity.

Useful for everybody of all ages, art therapy helps with personal development because the creating and reflecting aspects of art increases self-awareness.

Accepting Aging Through Creative Expression

As we age, there are many things that change in life that sometimes we may not be willing to accept or have a hard time coming to terms with: we lose people, we lose our health, we lose our home, and we lose our mobility. Depression is common among elderly people, in addition to confusion and low self-esteem.

Art helps people come to terms with various aspects of aging and can help people reclaim their identity. Because art is full of choices people have the freedom to make, it helps ease the feeling of dependency that aging people may feel. Growing older is often viewed as merely a day-to-day survival issue, whereas creative expression lays emphasis on the person’s experiences, memories, and relationships.

American Art Therapy Association

With over 5,000 members globally within 36 chapters, the American Art Therapy Association strives to promote the effectiveness of art therapy for every type of person of every age. The Association supports legislation involving art therapy at both the state and federal levels of government and supports different research projects, educational programs, and clinical uses of art therapy.

The following video was produced with help from the American Art Therapy Association with the goal of showing people how effective this creative therapy is for the elderly population. It is an example of rediscovering one’s joy and happiness through expression.

As art therapist Wendy Miller notes, “[Art is] not a luxury; it’s really a necessity.”

Wonder-When Process: 4 Steps for Finding Purpose

What if you were soon to become aware of wonderful treasures which exist within you?

What if you have incredible inner resources that can easily be activated to enrich your life and help you with life purpose?

What if you you have lived many times before and have mastered many things?

What if all of your resources from past, and future lives, are available to you right now?

Wouldn’t you be more apt to be successful at attaining your goals?

You Do Have …

Well, here’s my experience:

  • You do have wonderful treasures within you.
  • You do have incredible resources within you.
  • You have mastered many things and have these skills and learnings available to you now.
  • You exist in all times at once, therefore having access to your full mastery (a bit mind-boggling perhaps).

The Wonder-When 4 Step Process …
Smiling Girl Sitting on Grass

Imagine how you could fuel your life purpose and create positive motivation for accomplishing your goals.

You can discover these resources for yourself. Here’s a simple four-step process:

1) Pick a word that represents one of your inner treasures that you would like to discover or deepen. A short list of some of my favorites are: boldness, clarity, compassion, confidence, contentment, cooperativeness, courage, creativity, dependability, dynamism, efficiency, energy, flexibility, freedom, generosity, gentleness, goodness, gracefulness, harmony, honesty, humor, independence, integrity, inventiveness, kindness, love, loyalty, motivation, openness, patience, persistence, practicality, radiance, sensitivity, sensuality, strength, thoroughness, uniqueness, and wisdom. Pick one word from this list or come up with one of your own.

2) Write down the following sentence on a small piece of paper: “I wonder how soon it will be before my inner <fill in your word> begins to express itself in my life?”

3) For the next week—longer if you wish—repeat this phrase with as much enthusiasm as you can bring forth. You can say it out loud and to yourself; quietly and with lots of volume; quickly and slowly; or with sacredness then silliness. Just say this magical affirmation in as many different ways as come to mind. The more you speak these words, and in as many different ways, the more you will be evoking your inner treasures.

4) Expect the resource to come forth! How could it not?!

If you enjoy this process, repeat it many times, using a new word each week. Without a doubt, this is the most powerful affirmation process I’ve ever used. I hope you enjoy bringing forth the wonders which exist within you. May you achieve success in realizing your goals and be on a path for expressing your life purpose.

Tips for Getting Paid to Play

I was corresponding with a friend regarding her career and life purpose. She’s very intuitive, talented, and hard working. However, she’s had many job struggles—like most of us—bridging into work that truly gives her joy.

It’s important to remember that it’s just an illusionary perception that one’s purpose and making money are opposites. Polarity perceptions like “business = money” and “spiritual = poverty” create confusion.

Read on to discover some of the insights we discussed.

Gleaming Hints of Joy

When you have hints regarding what brings you the most joy—your purpose—and take consistent, playful action, you begin to move the energy toward creation.

Your life’s purpose often isn’t what your mind perceives it to be. You can’t know what it is until you’re immersed in the energy of pleasant action (yes, there are sometimes “hard” parts too).

When you are moving in the fun of what you love, the next steps open up from there—and they’re most often a surprise.

Letting Go, Moving Into Play

Person Making PotteryAt first, let go of any business model or structured plan. Creative career healing begins as you move toward mastery of activities you love to do. Then, as you lay the foundation by becoming skilled at thoughts and actions that bring value to others, others will pay you well to play well.

People love to flow money to people who are doing what they love, and thus providing positive benefits. But don’t focus on providing positive benefits at the outset. Start with immersing yourself, as much as you can, in experiments that give you feedback on what you LOVE to be, do, and have.

You may think you know your purpose, but perhaps your mind is in the way. You have hints, but too much thought and too little action create a kind of mental constipation; analysis paralysis. Our minds don’t really have a clue at first. Ask your mind’s money-making worries and previously-reinforced strategies to sit quietly on the sidelines and . . . watch. Then, as you continue creating with the energy of enjoyment, your mind will move from passive observer to excited fan!

The world is full of people with money who will pay you well to play, since they will receive positive benefits from your expressions.

Using Your Enthusiasm to Build Energy

Perhaps you need “a job” to pay the bills as you explore. So be it. Do that job each day with as much positive, enthusiastic energy as you can muster to avoid job struggles.

If that job is funding your “life purpose discovery experiments,” do that job well and create gratitude for the opportunity. Find ways to do your current work exquisitely and with joy. This energy will act as a powerful magnet to attract work that you will find to be even more fulfilling.

The key is to discover what you LOVE to do by taking small, experimental action steps each day, and then doing more and more of what feels really good to you.

Renew Your Energy with 15 Self-Care Actions

The stresses we encounter in day-to-day living can take a toll on our energy reserves.

Consider a few examples: watching too much television or listening to the world events on the news. These situations can invoke fear responses and become energy drains.

When we feel heavy, a little self-care can help us restore our vitality and energy. If you have been feeling a bit low or are in need of a boost, it may be a great time to do some of these self-love activities to help you stay balanced and resourceful.

15 Renewal Exercises

Two Friends on Chair Lift

  1. Spend some time in nature with a friend going for a walk or an outdoor excursion. Talk about things for which you are grateful.
  2. Practice some deep breathing. As you exhale, imagine your body releasing any sadness or grief. As you inhale, welcome in love and universal wisdom.
  3. Go on a media diet. If you find yourself watching too much television or news, put yourself on a media diet or fast. If you want to stay current, try reading the headline articles in your local newspaper or read the news online instead. By reading the news online, you can learn about current events in 10 or 15 minutes a day versus the hours that you may spend watching television.
  4. Learn something new. Get with a friend who has a skill you would like to learn, or schedule a class in something you are interested in.
  5. Make something. Creative energy always helps us feel empowered!
  6. Volunteer some time to help a friend or a cause that you find meaningful.
  7. Pets are naturally healing. Spend time with pets or animals. Take them for a walk, or give them some extra attention.
  8. A Tree's Healing EnergySpend time in nature’s healing energy, such as going for a swim, walking through a forest, or spending time in your garden.
  9. Learn a “healing or helping” skill. Then share it!
  10. Start a new hobby in an area that interests you, or you feel would make you happy.
  11. Free up some energy. Clean out your closets, and give things you no longer need or have outgrown to those who may want or need them.
  12. Write a story or a poem, and express something you value or feel is important.
  13. Invite a few friends over and teach them something you know that you feel would be fun, inspiring, or helpful.
  14. Fix something that is broken, or give an item a new and refreshing look.
  15. Let someone know you care! Write to a friend or send them a thoughtful, free e-mail card. A two-way conversation is even better! Just pick up the phone and call someone you have been thinking about. You may find they have also been thinking of you.

The Ripples of Creativity

We have learned from Alana that when one individual takes a creative action, it ripples through the whole and helps everyone. The more reactive energy we generate contributes to a downward spiral that is easy to get caught up in.

May any or all of these 15 self-love, self-care action tips spark your imagination and help you feel better and lighter! As we support each other in becoming lighter, our perceptions can begin to see a brighter and more loving world.

—Kirk VandenBerghe