Gentle Steps Foundation

Gentle Steps Foundation. Gently Planting One Seed of Kindness at a Time Our Foundation is based on: the fact that “how” is more important than “what”.

Gentle Steps Foundation Cornerstones


Gentle Steps Foundation believes that all individuals have the right:

To their own healing and recovery
To be treated with dignity, respect, value and worth
To be listened to and heard
To have the opportunity to be who they are. Gentle Steps Foundation's Objectives

Our goal is to provide a positive climate that works effectively with our clients’ strength

Operating as usual

02/07/2019

ADJUSTING TO PARENTHOOD
Julia Mitchell-Hoffman, Behaviorist

Many changes happen when a baby becomes part of a person’s life. For most parents this is a joyous time and a time of celebration. For others it could be a time of confusion and conflict. Still others are facing some very difficult times ahead of them. Change is not easy and learning to place the needs of another before your own can be a hard learning experience.

Most of the changes that are required of the new parents are welcomed. Some may seem easy while others can be much more challenging. The fact here is that your life will change and some of these changes will not be anticipated.

Here are a few issues parents will probably face after your baby is born:

Total exhaustion: Many parents are aware that will be tired but the truth is many parents are not prepared for just how tired they become. Giving birth is hard work. Babies have their own schedules and they rarely sleep for more than a few hours. They have needs that have to be met for them to survive and they are normally not quiet when waiting for you to attend to them.

While partners of the one who gave birth may think they will have it easy they will be in for a surprise. Their schedules will be dictated by the “little bundle of wonder” as well. In addition, they will be responsible for helping the mom as much as possible.
It is critical that caregivers get the rest they need and should be on the lookout for signs of fatigue in their partner and in their own self. Fatigue can show in our physical, mental and emotional states.

Here are some common things to look for:
• Chronic tiredness or sleepiness
• Headache
• Dizziness
• Sore or aching muscles or weak muscles
• Slow to respond
• Difficult time making decisions and/or concentration
• Changes in appetite
• Feeling unmotivated
• Closing off from social activities

12/15/2018

The Best Gingerbread Man Books:

• The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt is the classic, easy-to-read folktale that we all know and love. Children love repeating the phrase “Run, run as fast as you can, You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!” as the gingerbread man outruns everyone in town until he meets the quick-witted fox.

• In The Gingerbread Boy by Richard Egielski, the gingerbread boy is on the loose in New York City. Will he make is out of Central Park in this modern, urban version of the story? Your students will enjoy looking at all of the detailed and colorful illustrations as they watch the cookie run through the city.

• Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett is a sweet version of the classic tale. The fox may have been able to catch the Gingerbread Man, but he’ll never catch the Gingerbread Baby. Your students will love to look under the lift-the-flap gingerbread house at the end of the story to discover that the Gingerbread Baby is safely inside and won’t be eaten in this story.

• The classic story gets a wild west twist in The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires. Your students will love reading this version’s line, “Giddyup, giddyup as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!” The Gingerbread Man can outrun everyone but what about the sleeping coyote?

• In The Gingerbread Bear by Robert Dennis, the crafty cookie manages to escape and runs all over Woodlands National Park. Can a clever park ranger, a few campers, and some wildlife friends work together to catch the cookie? Your children are sure to love this scrumptious spin on the childhood classic.

• This time the old man and woman bake up a gingerbread girl in The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst. She runs off just like her brother did but can she outsmart the fox? This book sends a positive message to kids but you may want to omit the words “airhead” and “dumber” when reading it aloud to your class.

• Gingerbread Man Superhero! by Dotti Enderle is about a special cookie with superpowers. He flies to a bakery and helps save the other baked goods from a crazed macaroon. Your students are sure to enjoy this unique superhero story.

• In Keep Running, Gingerbread Man: A Story About Keeping Active by Steve Smallman, no one can keep up with the speedy biscuit. After outsmarting the characters in the story, he leads them into an aerobics class. This version of the story combines the classic folktale with a message of personal well being.

• Follow along as Captain Cookie works to save his gingerbread men crew from being a treat for Santa in The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristen Kladstrup. This tale combines the magic of Christmas with an exciting pirate adventure.

• Catch That Cookie! by Hallie Durand is an imaginative story about a young boy who doesn’t believe the original folktale until he opens the oven and all of the cookies are gone. Now, the boy and his class have solve a series of rhyming clues to find the cookies.

• The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth is slightly different from the original folktale. In this version, your students will have fun repeating the phrase, “No! No! I won’t come back! I’d rather run than be your snack!” and looking at the well-dressed cookie outrun everyone in the town until he crosses paths with the fox, of course.

12/15/2018

Gingerbread cookies

You'll Need
• 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 tsp salt
• 1 1/2 tsp ginger
• 1 1/2 tsp cloves
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
• 1 Tbsp cinnamon
• 1 cup butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup molasses

To make the cookies

Sift the flour, salt, ginger, cloves, baking soda, cocoa powder, and cinnamon into a bowl. (Sifting combines the ingredients and make the flour fluffier for baking. If you don’t own a sifter, mix the dry ingredients with a wire whisk.)

Have your child smell each bottle of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, or cocoa powder individually. They have very specific smells that will add to the sensory experience.
In a separate bowl, beat softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses. (I always use mild flavored molasses, especially when I’m baking this recipe with young kids. Molasses can be an acquired taste and many young kids are not fans of the full flavor.)

Add half of the dry mixture and beat until combined. Then, add the other half of the dry mixture. This is a very thick dough mixture, so use a heavy duty mixer.

Chill the cookie dough for 2 hours.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the cookie dough to ¼ inch thick. Use cookie cutters of your choice to cut out the dough.

Place cookies directly onto a baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Small cookies will need much less baking time than larger cookies.

After the cookies have cooled, decorate as desired!

01/18/2018

Communication and Personal Identity

Looking inside oneself involves internally observing one’s attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. As the individual comes to understand their own self they are better able to connect and communicate with others.
The first important influence on how we see ourselves is the family. The way our family labels our behaviors, attitudes and personality gives us our first insight into how we come to define who we are. These labels are referred to as identity scripts as they are the “should’s” and “ought’s” we are taught to be from childhood.

Attachment styles are patterns of parenting that teach us who we and others are and how to relate to others. Secure attachment styles develop when the primary caregiver responds in a consistently attentive and loving way to a child. Fearful attachment styles are cultivated when a caregiver communicates in negative, rejecting, or abusive ways to a child. Dismissive attachment styles lead us to dismiss others as unworthy. The anxious/ambivalent attachment style is fostered by inconsistent treatment from the caregiver.

A second major influence on our self-concepts is communication with our peers. Social comparisons are comparisons of ourselves with others to form judgments of our own talents, attractiveness, abilities, leadership skills, etc. Assessing similarity and difference allows us to see with whom we fit.

A third influence on our self-concepts is interaction with society in general. Perspectives of society surface as we communicate with others who have internalized cultural values and expressed them to us. Social perspectives are also communicated through the media.

Communication shapes the self through the self-fulfilling prophecy. The self is multidimensional. The physical self refers to our physical descriptions of ourselves. The cognitive self refers to how we think. The emotional self refers to how we feel. The social self refers to how we interact with others. The moral self refers to what we believe in and try to follow.

The self is a process. The self develops over time. We develop ego boundaries which determine where the self-stops and the rest of the world begins. The self internalizes and acts from social perspectives. The “particular others” refers to the viewpoints of specific people who are significant to us. Reflected appraisal is the process of seeing ourselves through others’ eyes. This is also known as the “looking-glass self.”

“The generalized other” refers to the collection of rules, roles, and attitudes endorsed by the whole social community in which we live. The generalized other is culture-specific. North American culture views race as a primary aspect of personal identity. Gender is also an important aspect of Western culture. Sexual orientation is a third aspect of identity that cultural communication establishes as salient. Socioeconomic class is central to the generalized other’s perspective in Western culture.

Social perspectives on aspects of identify interact with one another (race intersects gender). Social perspectives on the self are constructed and changeable. Social perspectives are constructed in particular cultures at specific times to support dominant ideologies, or the beliefs and traditions of those in power. Social perspectives are variable because values differ between cultures. Social perspectives are changeable because they are fluid and respond to individual and collective efforts to weave new meanings in the fabric of common life.

Enhancing the Self—Guidelines for encouraging personal growth as communicators. Make a strong commitment to improve yourself.

• Gain knowledge as a basis for personal change. First, understand how the self is formed. Second, you need to know how to develop goals you can achieve. An important source of knowledge is other people.
• Set realistic goals based on realistic standards.
• Self-disclose when appropriate.
• Accept yourself as being in process. Accept who you are now as a starting point. Realize that you can change.
• Create a supportive context for change. Think about your settings. Choose to be around people who believe in you and encourage personal growth without being dishonest. Avoid self-sabotage, or the self-talk that tells us that we are no good.

01/17/2018

My Journey: Day 14

The life cycle is an amazing one and Erikson's theory of human development; Freud’s theory of personality and the systemic perspective are fitting means of connections. Let’s pretend that we can turn back the hands of time and walk together as we reflect on the turning points of my childhood and adolescent years. It is in the understanding of my place and role within my family of origin that we may best understand the development of my personality.

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) highlighted unconscious psychological processes and stressed the importance of early childhood experiences. His viewpoint that social development is largely based on the first 6 years of life has provided much insight for early childhood educators and especially for parents. He believed that unresolved conflicts during early childhood are huge variables in personality difficulties we face later in life.

Erik Erikson (1902-1994) emphasis was on the social factors that contained early childhood but extended beyond. He presented us with a more positive approach as he considered the health and growth of the individual. He showed how the self-emerged and developed that the interactions with the social and cultural environment had a huge impact on this process. In many ways the challenge for individuals is to find a balance between self and the world in which one is exposed to. Taking into consideration at the same time that the world changes from which environment we are currently in (home, school, community, place of worship, etc). Each of these worlds have their own set of acceptable norms; desirable behaviors and consequence and reward systems.

It is here we can see clearly how the psycho social theory focuses on and stresses integration of the biological, psychological, and social aspects of development.

Each stage of life has a framework:
• Major developmental tasks at each stage of life
• Critical needs that are either satisfied or frustrated
• Potentials for choice
• Critical turning points
• Developmental crises
• Fixated at a transitional period
• Faulty personality development (moving backwards with later in life personality conflicts)
• Achievement of successful resolution of our conflicts (moving ahead)

As time has gone on we have seen more focus on the interpersonal realm and connection to others as essential. This perspective takes into account race, socioeconomic class, disability, gender, ethnicity, and culture as central factors that influence the course of development throughout the individual's life-cycle.

The systemic approach emphasizes the social context of behavior and how gender affects that behavior. In some cases, gender can play a role in the choosing of a career. Traditionally we have seen or considered construction work to be a man’s role. This has been challenged in today’s workforce. Fields that were once thought of female like nursing are still confronted by society when a man is a nurse with “why a nurse and not a doctor?” In many ways this approach goes beyond the self and offers a true concept for the need of others.

Combing these theories and looking at others we can gather that every stage of life is equally important and necessary for the well being of humankind. Each stage of life has its own unique “gift” to contribute.

Infancy (birth to age 2)

• This is a time for the development of empathy and emotional attunement.
• Some specific tasks include learning to talk, making needs known, developing coordination, recognizing self as a separate person, and trusting others. Infants learn how to sit, stand, walk, run, manipulate objects, and feed themselves.
• They communicate both frustration and happiness.

Possible Problems:

Later personality problems that stem from infancy can include greediness and acquisitiveness the development of a view of the world based on mistrust, fear o reaching out to others, rejection of affection, fear of loving and trusting, low self-esteem, isolation and withdrawal, an inability to form or maintain intimate relationships.

Early childhood (ages 2–6)

• The theme of this phase is a growing understanding of interdependence. Great strides in language and motor development are made. A key task is to develop emotional competence, which involves being able to delay gratification.
• This stage ushers in the awareness of “otherness” in terms of gender, race, and disability. Other tasks include learning cooperative play, being able to share, developing peer relationships, becoming aware of self in relation to the world around us, and increasing our ability to trust others.

Possible Problems:

Children experience many negative feelings such a hostility, rage, destructiveness anger, and hatred. If these feelings are no accepted, individuals may not be able to accept their feelings later on.

Middle childhood (ages 6–12)

• This is a time when children learn to read, write, and do math. They increase their understanding of self in terms of gender, race, culture, and abilities. There is an increased understanding of self in relation to family, peers, and community. A key task is developing empathy, or being able to take the perspective of others.

Possible Problems:

Problems that can originate during middle childhood include negative self-concept, feelings of inferiority in establishing social relationships, conflicts over values, confused gender-role identity, dependency, fear of new challenges, an lack of initiative.

Pubescence (ages 11–13 for girls) (ages 12–14 for boys)

• A time of finding one's own voice and the beginning of developing a sense of autonomy. Some specific developmental tasks include asserting oneself, developing emotional competence, increasing capacity for moral understanding, coping with dramatic bodily changes, increasing ability to deal with social relationships and work collaboratively, and developing awareness of own and others' sexuality.
• This is a time of expanded sense of self in relation to peers, family, and community.

Possible Problems:

Communication can be challenging in both verbally and non verbally context. Negative learning experiences tend to lead to feelings of guilt about natural impulses. Strict parental indoctrination can lead to rigidity, severe conflicts, remorse, and self- condemnation.

Adolescence (ages 13– 20)

• The theme of this period is searching for an identity, continuing to find one's voice, and balancing caring of self with caring about others.
• Key developmental themes include dealing with rapid body changes and body image issues, learning self- management, developing one's sexual identity, developing a philosophy of life and a spiritual identity, learning to deal with intimate relationships, and an expanded understanding of self in relation to others.

Possible Problems:

A time when a individual may anticipate an identity crisis. Caught in the midst of pressures, demands, and turmoil, adolescents often lose a sense of self. If role confusion results, the individual may lack sense of purpose in late years. Absence of a stable set of values can prevent mature development of a philosophy to guide one's life.

01/15/2018

Journey Day 13: “Responding to our circumstances with strength and courage… M. King, Jr.

I am tired this morning and so I am going to sit under the old oak tree and reflect on how my ability to make changes in my life have developed to where they are now. In my twenties, I believed that to a large degree I had been shaped by the events of my childhood o adolescent years.
During this time, I felt insecure, unwanted and while I knew my mom loved me, I really never thought I was lovable. Negative feelings seemed to be forbidden to express (frustration, anger, fear, and jealousy). Suitable patterns of desirable behaviors, emotions and attitudes lacked modeling in my childhood home and in many ways, were only surface level at my church. In school, many of elementary teachers shows good examples of modeling as well as one specific woman from the church. My friends’ parents often were stable in modeling behaviors I would come to want in my own life. Sadly, much of my early childhood and adolescence held more failures than successes which were huge variables in a life-long struggle to obtaining and maintaining a healthy self-concept.
I was about thirty-five when I began to pinpoint that I self-sabotage by allowing the “should(s)” and “ought(s)” get in the way of me making the choices I wanted to make in living my life the way I wanted to. These often were based on half-truths and seem to stem right from my Christian beliefs. You see they seem to have elements of truth but I kept missing the point. For me, the way Jesus walked the walk is what I desire for my life. This is still extremely important to me. It is my desire, my passion and my choice.
Yet does everything that happens have a reason? Does God really only help those who help their selves? Will God give me more than I can handle? Is everything in God’s plan? And, how about this one: God said it, I believe it, that settles it. Clichés, or as I call them band-aids, do not give me comfort or direction when I am struggling with life and it’s cruel twist and turns.
These confused me and continues to still. I serve a God of love. I was told He has a masterplan and I have believed this for a long time. Well then why should I do anything to fight injustice or my cancer because it is already written, right?
And so I return now to how I start my day each morning and I recite the prayer written by John Wesley:
Wesley’s Covenant Prayer (modern Version)
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
exalted for you, or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.
The old oak tree has a firm foundation. Her roots go so very deep and curl itself into the hard earth. The Midwest winds blow hard against it but she stands firm. She is strong. She has and always will be a soft place for me to come to, a place I know I am safe and a place I know I will always be welcomed. It is hear I hear the whispers of God’s love for me and I feel the warmth of the Holy Sprit’s embraced. I have come to see things more clearly in my elder years. For it is only a speck of truth that everything happens for a reason and that God does not give us more than we a handle. For in these statements we place the BLAME on God – He gave us this – He made this happen. I am sure God does not desire that I have cancer or that my husband has lost his sight. Nor do I think that God told my stepfather to abuse my siblings and me. I do not think God wishes that we disrespect the land and waters he has freely given to us. But it happened and continues to happen. God allows for us to take on personal responsibility because he has given us domain over the earth. He is not a puppet master who pulls our strings and we do his bidding.
Instead he encourages us to fight injustice, to speak up against things that hurt others and for us to come to him for the comfort and fortitude we need to get through difficult and challenging times. It seems fitting that today Journey has happened as we celebrate the life of Martian Luther King, Jr. In 1953, King stated: “And so the challenge which confronts all of us is to respond to our circumstances with strength and courage rather than with weakness and despair. Dr. King continues in this speech to point out that Jesus “was born in a stable and raised on a carpenter’s bench. His mother and father were not members of the upper crust of Jewish society…Jesus was born in plain unpretentious circumstances…But Jesus had within himself a power of personal response which was destemmed to transform his circumstances This same Jesus who was born in an ox stable, rose up to be the strongest and tallest oak in the great forest of history.” I think the oak tree just purred in my ear as I sit under her as I write this. How beautiful. And the purr is joined by the mighty wind as its blows like a trumpet declaring. “herein lies our area of responsibility!”

God invites us to share our joys and pain with him. As I look deeper I see now how God took evil in my own life and from it forced goodness from it. How you may ask? I do not think God sent my stepfather to this earth to harm my siblings and me. I think God was there for him and he choose to do what he knew was wrong. God loves him as much as he loves me. He chose to do evil. The consequences of his actions are between God and him. What God did do was take those evil times and loved me through them, drew me closer to God and then He touched me in a way that helped me to see that injustice against children needed to be addressed. He touched me deeper and I began to counsel people who have been abused. And then came the impossible – the day when in walked an abuser and God somehow worked through me and now I help people to find other ways of handling anger and a need for control.
I am beginning to see that I am indeed capable of looking at my past decisions and then making new decisions that will significantly change the course of my life. This helps me to mature in my own independence and interdependence, as well as my own spirituality.

01/14/2018

Journey Day 12

Personal growth to me means that I am striving always to do what is good for me, what fits well in my life and not working toward some ideal norm. I think that the idea of what is “normal” or “being well-adjusted” can be misleading sometimes. Who am I to say what helps me to be well-adjusted should make it possible for another person to grow too? How I define normal can be totally different than how you might define normal. Do my culture and/or experiences provide an explanation as to what one can decide if I am a well-adjusted human being? What if where I reside is a place of chaos am I expected to conform to what others think is a well-adjusted or normalize lifestyle?

Genetic and environmental factors have to be considered when we decide what we want to be in our own lives. Trying to conform to a single standard is just boring and unfulfilling. If what I chose to do and be, embraces my values, it will more than likely connect to my culture. Thus, as I proceed to advance in this journey I feel it is important to note that it is my personal growth I am striving to strengthen.

This journey is providing me many opportunities to define and look at my lifelong joys and crises at particular stages of my life. Some have been opportunities for change while others have proven that I am resilient. Most have offered me new insight and strengthen my need for connection to others. Some of shown me the need for autonomy as well. Still as I travel I know there will be more old ways of thinking and doing that I will need to let go of. As I have been learning, as I travel this road, that sometimes in the letting go, I feel the freedom to hope. In so many ways, I have restricted myself from really enjoying life for fear of being harmed.

01/12/2018

“Choices”

Painted smile
Dash of blush
Shoulders back
Stand up straight
Avoid the mirror
Close eyes
Radio up
Inconsolable distress
Beneath surface
Gloomy haze
Fragmented spirit
Shattered soul
Broken dreams
Pain and confusion
Lifelong scars
Screaming fear
Fading away
Enter death
Stepping back
Stop breathe
Seek assistance
Allow kindness
Be gentle
Build up
Change message
Let others
Believe. Hope.
Build sandcastles.
Blow bubbles
Blessed serenity
Calm assurance
Peaceful rest
Beautifully broken

-Julia Mitchell-Hoffman (2016, revised 2018)

01/12/2018

“Choices”

Painted smile
Dash of blush
Shoulders back
Stand up straight
Avoid the mirror
Close eyes
Radio up
Inconsolable distress
Beneath surface
Gloomy haze
Fragmented spirit
Shattered soul
Broken dreams
Pain and confusion
Lifelong scars
Screaming fear
Fading away
Enter death
Stepping back
Stop breathe
Seek assistance
Allow kindness
Be gentle
Build up
Change message
Let others
Believe. Hope.
Build sandcastles.
Blow bubbles
Calm assurance
Blessed serenity
Beautifully broken
Building castles in the sand
Believe and hope
Harbored deep in my heart
Calm assurance
Peaceful rest
Beautifully broken

-Julia Mitchell-Hoffman (2016, revised 2018)

01/12/2018

The Humanistic Approach along our Journey on Day 11

The humanistic approach, the elevation of inner development and the self- actualization progression, motivates me to consider the close parallels between the struggles and life experiences of early childhood and the focus of adult investigations. I believe that my own set of life experiences is a huge variable on the decisions I have made. Self-determination is important to me and is a way has been my surge of energy that I drawn my own unique creativity from to deal with feeling like I just do not fit in. I refuse to be called a victim and I believe this has much to do with why I find that my freedom in choice-making is something I take very serious – my choices give my life purpose and meaning.

This does not mean I do not get discouraged or that I do not need others to walk along side me. In fact, it is the encouragement that I have received from others, that has helped me grow into the woman I am today. It is my belief that this has also helped me be a better server of people who find themselves facing discouragement. The need to belong – a sense of community – being interested in the social development of others excites me and I believe this desire and need to serve comes as a blessing from God. It is where I find my happiness and in many ways where I find the courage I need to deal with and face my struggles. I know I am not alone, that like I cheer for others, others are rooting for me as well.
It is the connection of others that I have come to see how I can actualize my own potential.

Oddly, self-actualization has much to do with both autonomy and connection to others. There have been some people who have told me that I share too much of myself with others. They are welcomed to their opinion yet I feel in this journey I do want to address their concern. When I open myself up and share my life, I feel that what I share allows others to know that they are not alone, that there are those out here that really cares about their welfare and that in connecting we can slowly and gently step forward. Together we can face daily struggles and provide a world that is a better place for those who will follow us. It is true that I am a strong advocator and while some refer to me as being aggressive – I am far from aggressive. I am indeed assertive in both my professional and personal life. As I move toward the fulfillment or realization of my capabilities I realize that I need to become aware of and accept the full range myself.

This includes the side of myself that I refer to as my shadow. It is the darker side that wants to close off from people, to have things the way I want them and at times can be demanding. In many ways, it is the primitive and as I find myself denying its existence it seems to gain control having negative influences on my behavior and/or attitude. To deny that I am angry at what was done to me as a child is harmful. When I give my anger a voice it inspires me to do something (even in small ways) to help prevent another child from going through what I had to or provide the education and or support to a struggling parent. I can accept what has happened because it has happened and I can not turn back the hands of time. But I can make choices that does not give power to my shadow (which in this example would be my anger).

This process is not an easy one though and it has caused me to work very hard at sharpening my own nonjudgmental listening skills even for my own ability to listen to the messages I tell myself, about myself. Yet this hard work has paid off in many ways (and continues to) as I can observe my own ability to accept myself and the freedom I feel as I male choices for myself. This includes me choosing to be a liberal Christian who has a thousand unanswered questions and self-evaluate in order to make necessary changes on this journey. One question that I constantly ask myself is: “How do I begin to see reality without distorting it?”

My faith in humans is strong and deep. I believe most people at the core of who they are, kindness, constructiveness and cooperation exist and therefore they can control any impulsive of negativity.
Utilizing the expressive arts (such as: movement, painting, sculpting, music, writing, and improvisation) I believe has added to my personal growth and healing. Professionally I have embraced spontaneous creative expressive art as a means to help children explore feelings and emotions (by the use of color, movement, sound, or drama that provides release, insight, self-discovery, and self-empowerment.) Creativity allows also for healing and growth in self-awareness, self- understanding, and insight as one expresses feelings connected to trauma, grief and anger, as well as joy, love and satisfaction.

So please hold me hand tighter as we journey inward to discover our true wholeness and how our essence relates to the outer world in which the inner and outer become one.

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4100 N Brandywine Drive
Peoria, 61614

Campus Life is a positive place where students can go to have fun with friends, talk about relevant