Guest Post : How To Find Your Superpower by Monica Kovach

WHAT IS A SUPERHERO?

In comic books, they’re characters who have obvious supernatural abilities that differentiate them from the rest of society. They can run at incredible speeds, or fly, or become invisible. We, as the readers, witness their perilous journey toward self-discovery and exhale in relief when
their unique power is exactly the thing that defeats the forces of evil.

In essence, though, I believe a superhero is someone who discovers an innate power within themselves and chooses to use it to make the world a better place. Someone who chooses to cultivate their strengths instead of trying to change their weaknesses.

You have a unique gift, or superpower, that the world needs. You have something to offer that no one else can. Maybe it’s in the way you listen, or in the way you communicate. Maybe it’s in the art you make, or in your curiosity and quest for truth. Whatever it may be, it’s up to you to find it. And once you find it, it’s up to you to cultivate it… To strengthen it… To use it for good.

Here’s the best part:
When you find and use your superpower, your calling emerges. You naturally fall into the life and work you’re meant to do, in the way you’re meant to do it.

And sidenote: as your superpower develops and changes throughout your life, so does your calling. When you’re aligned with your superpower, and always willing to honor your strengths, a change in your calling isn’t jarring, it’s exciting.

If you’re struggling to find your superpower, answer these five questions:

1. What are you really good at? What lights you up?
Identifying our natural abilities and strengths lets us see the power that’s already there. That’s the thing about superpowers… They’ve been inside us the whole time.

2. Which of the above makes you lose track of time while doing it?
A feature of superpowers is that when we use them, everything else falls away. Our whole internal system tunes into this thing, which is one of the reasons it has so much power.

3. What could you talk about for days?
Usually, the things we love to talk about are the things we’re super passionate about. And in that passion lies some clues about who we are, and what makes us feel the way we want to feel.

4. What do people thank you for?
The people around us are often the best mirrors. Whatever people thank you for most often will point to the unique gifts that you bring to the world.

5. What do your friends and family say is your greatest strength? (Ask them!) Again, turn to your best mirrors for feedback. Ask people who you love and respect, and vice versa. It might feel awkward at first, but it’ll be worth it, trust me.

After you’ve answered these questions, do MORE of what makes you lose track of time. Talk about the things that you could talk about for days. Make space for the things that light you up, and eventually, your superpower will emerge and start to energize your life.

Monica is an art therapist and career coach, based in Detroit, Michigan. She runs TheGrowthStudio.org, where she helps dreamers, doers, and change-makers find and live their calling.

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Amy Leiter

From a very young age I have had a passion for art making as a way to learn and explore my world. After working as a professional designer for several years, I discovered I could embrace my expression and creativity in the service of children and adolescents. I entered graduate school to train to offer art as a powerful mode for healing. With my M.A. from Naropa University in Counseling and Art Therapy, my dream of using art to heal will be realized through the creation of a nonprofit organization, Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing. I am off to a great start. However, I could use some help, which is why I need YOU! As a child of adoption, I have personally experienced the profound healing that counseling and art therapy can provide. My passion for children and my clinical experience have prepared me to offer comprehensive support to clients from various backgrounds with a wide variety of needs. My goal is to create an organization that promotes community and hope while giving clients choice, no matter their circumstances. At Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing we guide and support children, adolescents and families in their journey through the healing process. Youth will learn to recognize their strengths, identify challenges and overcome adversity. With the support of the Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing team, adolescents will also learn how to identify and communicate their feelings and emotions, which in turn can influence the course of their life.

Guest Post : GROWTH & FREEDOM: Through Movement, Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space... in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response, lies our growth and our freedom." –Viktor Frankl

Last month, I experienced quite a bit of growth in my professional life and offerings after completing a 65-hour training in Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy (TIYT). The training was not only a place of learning for me, it was an opportunity to build community, rest and restore (through guided TIYT and Yoga Nidra!), and merge the worlds of yoga and psychotherapy. The work of TIYT is centered about neurophysiology, the Poly Vagal Theory, understanding of the brain, nervous system, and cranial nerves and our responses to activating or triggering situations, Eastern teachings, yogic philosophy, breath work, connection, safety, empathy, and self-regulation. All bundled together in the work of TIYT!

There are many possibilities and ways the work can look and take form. The number one goal of TIYT is the creation of a safe space, to express oneself just as you are with choice and empowerment. YOU choose what feels good in your body. YOU have choice over your body. There is no judgment. As a Trauma Informed Yoga Therapist, I am a guide who creates a safe space, educator, holder of space, a support, and an individual to connect with. With an awareness that certain practices and forms of movement trigger a negative response, I will offer techniques of self-soothing and self-regulation to all practitioners in the class. 

TRAUMA INFORMED YOGA THERAPY (TIYT) MAY INCLUDE:

•    ASANA (Movement/postures)
To support an individual or population dependent upon their needs

•    BREATHING
An introduction to breathing techniques to activate or deactivate the autonomic nervous system which includes the sympathetic nervous system responsible for fight/flight and parasympathetic nervous system responsible for rest and digest. 

•   SELF-REGULATION SKILLS
To support the nervous system and vagal nerve, a nerve that begins in the brain and travels down the entire spine. Linked to the parasympathetic nervous system and Social Engagement System which includes the visceromotor system (heart & lungs) and the somatomotor system or somatic nervous system (facial, ears, voice). More to come in my next blog :) 

•    USE OF MANTRAS
Words, phrases, sentences of truth or intention. Used as a practice of mindfulness to stay in the present moment and as positive cognitive repetition (positive thinking). 

•    MUDRAS
Mudras are hand gestures. Our fingers contain thousands of nerves endings and placing our hands in a particular way cultivates powerful healing energy and subtle responses to our systems, breath, and bodies. You may be thinking this is "woo woo" and that's ok! Again, the practice is tailored to you and my suggestions are just that, suggestions, invitations, and choices. 

•   PSYCHOEDUCATION
If appropriate, education may be provided to learn about the science behind body-based practices, the connection of mind/body, stress on our systems, eastern philosophy, the effects of breathing and self-regulation, etc.  

•    DISCOVERY
The situations that activate or trigger you and skills to use in those situations to decrease the fight/flight/freeze responses. 

As a mental health professional, work can include processing of feelings, emotions coming up throughout TIYT work and a greater understanding of the self, reactions, and re-patterning to decrease trauma response situations and anxiety/stress related to symptoms and experience. 

Many people do not feel comfortable attending a "westernized" yoga class or studio. It can feel intimidating and disempowering. My hope is to create classes for various communities and populations to attend and participate in yoga regardless of your financial situation, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation. 

Through the practice of yoga, individuals gain knowledge through their own experience and the experience begins in the body. This is different from reading from a text and understanding teachings and concepts. The knowledge gained from experience is truly unique and your very own. 

This summer I have the opportunity to facilitate “Internal Landscape Movement” and “Stretch your Mind” at Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing’s Summer Studio Sessions. The week-long sessions for three hours a day are designed as summer camps for kids and teens to join others in the community to dive into yoga movement, yogic philosophy, games, team building exercises, and self-regulation skills!

INTERNAL LANDSCAPES MOVEMENT, Yoga for Teens 13-17 yrs
June 26-30, 2017, 1:00pm-4:00 pm
Throughout the week teens will have an opportunity to engage in a yoga practice and education to better understand themselves, relieve stress, and take home skills to assist in challenging moments. Through movement, breath, understanding of the brain, mindfulness education, team building exercises, activities rooted in yogic philosophy, and community connection teens will have a blast while developing new skills while working together with others.

STRETCH YOUR MIND, Yoga for 8-12 yrs,
July 17-22, 2017, 9:00am-12:00 pm
Downdog, child’s pose, dancer, mountain pose… which one is your child’s favorite? This week your little yogis will engage in a yoga practice to learn more about the emotions felt in their bodies, the thoughts in their mind, develop language to communicate in challenging moments all through connection in community with other kids, fun self-regulations skills, games, and creative outlets for expression of self.

I am thrilled to guide younger populations through self-expression, movement, emotional intelligence, and regulation. No yoga experience is necessary. 

Please contact me with any questions or needs. Visit my website at www.staceymbramley.com for more information and registration.

Sending love, 
Stacey 

 

Comment

Amy Leiter

From a very young age I have had a passion for art making as a way to learn and explore my world. After working as a professional designer for several years, I discovered I could embrace my expression and creativity in the service of children and adolescents. I entered graduate school to train to offer art as a powerful mode for healing. With my M.A. from Naropa University in Counseling and Art Therapy, my dream of using art to heal will be realized through the creation of a nonprofit organization, Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing. I am off to a great start. However, I could use some help, which is why I need YOU! As a child of adoption, I have personally experienced the profound healing that counseling and art therapy can provide. My passion for children and my clinical experience have prepared me to offer comprehensive support to clients from various backgrounds with a wide variety of needs. My goal is to create an organization that promotes community and hope while giving clients choice, no matter their circumstances. At Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing we guide and support children, adolescents and families in their journey through the healing process. Youth will learn to recognize their strengths, identify challenges and overcome adversity. With the support of the Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing team, adolescents will also learn how to identify and communicate their feelings and emotions, which in turn can influence the course of their life.

Be All Of You Even If Just For A Minute Today!

Today I want to express to all of our followers how beautiful you are and give you permission to show up as your authentic selves. So often people tell me that they have struggled with being able to show up in all areas of their lives as themselves. They say they either have to wear different hats or masks or show up as less than themselves to fit in or feel comfortable. I have had that in the past as well or even sometimes in new situations. 

I invite you today to find some time for you... So much of the art therapy work I do with clients is about allowing them to be messy, raw, and vulnerable. I have the best job in the world as an artist and art therapist because I get to see people's authentic selves show up in so many ways - through their art, speaking their truth, non-verbal communication and shared energy. I invite our followers today to intentionally carve out a moment for yourself. A moment where you can be your most truthful, beautiful, and authentic self. Singing in the car or shower, moving your body or working out, making art, writing, speaking to friends, cooking, whatever allows you to feel full and wonderful. If you feel like you might like to work on integrating the different parts of yourself to experience this more on a daily basis check out or workshops or feel free to contact us for a consultation.

 
Amy-Violet-XO Sig copy.jpg
Comment

Amy Leiter

From a very young age I have had a passion for art making as a way to learn and explore my world. After working as a professional designer for several years, I discovered I could embrace my expression and creativity in the service of children and adolescents. I entered graduate school to train to offer art as a powerful mode for healing. With my M.A. from Naropa University in Counseling and Art Therapy, my dream of using art to heal will be realized through the creation of a nonprofit organization, Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing. I am off to a great start. However, I could use some help, which is why I need YOU! As a child of adoption, I have personally experienced the profound healing that counseling and art therapy can provide. My passion for children and my clinical experience have prepared me to offer comprehensive support to clients from various backgrounds with a wide variety of needs. My goal is to create an organization that promotes community and hope while giving clients choice, no matter their circumstances. At Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing we guide and support children, adolescents and families in their journey through the healing process. Youth will learn to recognize their strengths, identify challenges and overcome adversity. With the support of the Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing team, adolescents will also learn how to identify and communicate their feelings and emotions, which in turn can influence the course of their life.

You Gotta Feel To Heal...

Comment /Source

Amy Leiter

From a very young age I have had a passion for art making as a way to learn and explore my world. After working as a professional designer for several years, I discovered I could embrace my expression and creativity in the service of children and adolescents. I entered graduate school to train to offer art as a powerful mode for healing. With my M.A. from Naropa University in Counseling and Art Therapy, my dream of using art to heal will be realized through the creation of a nonprofit organization, Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing. I am off to a great start. However, I could use some help, which is why I need YOU! As a child of adoption, I have personally experienced the profound healing that counseling and art therapy can provide. My passion for children and my clinical experience have prepared me to offer comprehensive support to clients from various backgrounds with a wide variety of needs. My goal is to create an organization that promotes community and hope while giving clients choice, no matter their circumstances. At Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing we guide and support children, adolescents and families in their journey through the healing process. Youth will learn to recognize their strengths, identify challenges and overcome adversity. With the support of the Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing team, adolescents will also learn how to identify and communicate their feelings and emotions, which in turn can influence the course of their life.

Celebrating Our 2nd Year as a Nonprofit and Our 1st Year on East Colfax!

OUR STORY

As Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing Moves Forward we thought
it might be important to take a look back at how we got here!

From a very young age, I have had a passion for art making as a way to learn and explore my world. After working as a graphic designer for several years, I discovered I could embrace my expression and creativity in the service of others in a different way. I entered graduate school to train to offer art as a powerful modality for healing. Upon completing my Masters from Naropa University in Transpersonal Psychology and Art Therapy, my dream of using art to heal was realized in a new way and continued through the creation of the nonprofit organization, Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing. I sold my house, rallied the troops and jumped in with both feet.

As a child of adoption and a teen that struggled to find my place in the academic world, it was important to be someone that could provide opportunities for individuals to experience healing and return to their authentic path. I have personally experienced the profound healing that art and art therapy can provide. My passion for children and teens, as well as, my clinical experience have prepared me to offer comprehensive support to clients from various backgrounds and ages with a wide variety of needs. My goal was to create an organization that promoted community and hope while giving clients choice, no matter their circumstances, while also allowing myself and others to show up as our authentic selves. As this fulfilled another goal to offer new therapists a path to begin practicing with clients honoring their approach and unique and personal calling. While we are able to follow our paths we also help others to return to theirs.

At Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing, we guide and support individuals and families in their journey through the healing process. It is the hope that clients will learn to recognize their strengths, identify challenges and overcome adversity. With the support of the Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing team, individuals will also learn how to identify and communicate their feelings and emotions more authentically, which in turn can influence the course of their lives. 

I am so grateful and overwhelmed to look back at the last year and see how this dream I cultivated in 2015 has been realized at our home at 3107 E. Colfax Avenue.  This also has been a year of new beginnings for our relationship with our 6 renting therapists and our journey with Denver Public Schools to provide art and therapeutic programming.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT HAS BEEN A PART OF MAKING OUR SPACE,
HOME AND THE WORK WE DO POSSIBLE!

              Amy K. Leiter, MA, LPCC     Founder, Artist and Art Therapist

              Amy K. Leiter, MA, LPCC
    Founder, Artist and Art Therapist

Comment

Amy Leiter

From a very young age I have had a passion for art making as a way to learn and explore my world. After working as a professional designer for several years, I discovered I could embrace my expression and creativity in the service of children and adolescents. I entered graduate school to train to offer art as a powerful mode for healing. With my M.A. from Naropa University in Counseling and Art Therapy, my dream of using art to heal will be realized through the creation of a nonprofit organization, Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing. I am off to a great start. However, I could use some help, which is why I need YOU! As a child of adoption, I have personally experienced the profound healing that counseling and art therapy can provide. My passion for children and my clinical experience have prepared me to offer comprehensive support to clients from various backgrounds with a wide variety of needs. My goal is to create an organization that promotes community and hope while giving clients choice, no matter their circumstances. At Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing we guide and support children, adolescents and families in their journey through the healing process. Youth will learn to recognize their strengths, identify challenges and overcome adversity. With the support of the Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing team, adolescents will also learn how to identify and communicate their feelings and emotions, which in turn can influence the course of their life.

What If Your Child Is Not All Pink Or All Blue?

What if your child floats on the gender variation spectrum from super-macho-masculine to all the way to super-girly-feminine? I have been thinking a lot about this lately. Why are we so freaked out about our kids being who they were born to be and exploring what that means for them? What does who they choose to be say about us? And is that the real problem? Are we not ok with who we are as adults?  Find out more about this and the gender spectrum in the article, The Gender Spectrum

Also check out Chelsea Handlers show on Netflix, Chelsea. The episode "Dinner Party Adventure in Parenting" it was fantastic. And even more fantastic due to the section on gender fluidity with CJ and his family. Every parent should try to understand Gender Fluidity, our kids will grow up understanding that there is a Gender Spectrum. This world is changing fast and we need to get with the program to better support our kids. Keep in mind it is Chelsea Handler so there will be some off color comments that could offend so feel free to check out CJ's Mom's blog either way.  https://raisingmyrainbow.com/

Illustration sourced from the Gender Spectrum Article
by Olaf Hajek

Comment /Source

Amy Leiter

From a very young age I have had a passion for art making as a way to learn and explore my world. After working as a professional designer for several years, I discovered I could embrace my expression and creativity in the service of children and adolescents. I entered graduate school to train to offer art as a powerful mode for healing. With my M.A. from Naropa University in Counseling and Art Therapy, my dream of using art to heal will be realized through the creation of a nonprofit organization, Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing. I am off to a great start. However, I could use some help, which is why I need YOU! As a child of adoption, I have personally experienced the profound healing that counseling and art therapy can provide. My passion for children and my clinical experience have prepared me to offer comprehensive support to clients from various backgrounds with a wide variety of needs. My goal is to create an organization that promotes community and hope while giving clients choice, no matter their circumstances. At Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing we guide and support children, adolescents and families in their journey through the healing process. Youth will learn to recognize their strengths, identify challenges and overcome adversity. With the support of the Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing team, adolescents will also learn how to identify and communicate their feelings and emotions, which in turn can influence the course of their life.

Art Isn't Just Good For The Mind, It's Good For The Body Too

Pricilla Frank, Arts Writer for The Huffington Post talks about how art does a body good. Art isn't just good for the mind, it's good for the body too. The two are more interconnected than you think. Check out the article in which Donna Betts, president of the American Art Therapy Association, remarks on these findings.

 

 

 

 

ART CREDIT: IMOGEN SKELLY

Comment /Source

Amy Leiter

From a very young age I have had a passion for art making as a way to learn and explore my world. After working as a professional designer for several years, I discovered I could embrace my expression and creativity in the service of children and adolescents. I entered graduate school to train to offer art as a powerful mode for healing. With my M.A. from Naropa University in Counseling and Art Therapy, my dream of using art to heal will be realized through the creation of a nonprofit organization, Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing. I am off to a great start. However, I could use some help, which is why I need YOU! As a child of adoption, I have personally experienced the profound healing that counseling and art therapy can provide. My passion for children and my clinical experience have prepared me to offer comprehensive support to clients from various backgrounds with a wide variety of needs. My goal is to create an organization that promotes community and hope while giving clients choice, no matter their circumstances. At Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing we guide and support children, adolescents and families in their journey through the healing process. Youth will learn to recognize their strengths, identify challenges and overcome adversity. With the support of the Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing team, adolescents will also learn how to identify and communicate their feelings and emotions, which in turn can influence the course of their life.

SO, WHAT IS Art Therapy EXACTLY?

At Violet Hive we want you to understand a little more about what we do. We first believe that art in itself is inherently healing. You do not have to be an "artist" to join a workshop or open studio! Although we believe everyone is in their own way. We feel this way because we use a holistic model of seeing people in our lives and in work.

Art therapy is a healing modality which applies a model that recognizes the whole person and its many aspects—physical, mental, spiritual and emotional—while allowing the client to drive the process. This process is relational and uses talk and art mindfully. Images in the form of art may allow the client access to their subconscious in ways words cannot. Art therapy is based on knowledge of human developmental and psychological theories as well as art theory. This powerful modality works toward reconciling emotional conflicts, cultivating self-awareness, developing social skills, managing behavior, solving problems, reducing anxiety, aiding reality orientation, increasing self-esteem, and integrating difficult emotional content and trauma. For more information checkout: Art Therapy Association of Colorado (ATACO) and American Art Therapy Association. (AATA)

I absolutely love this video for explaining and showing how the process of art therapy can work. Watch The Science of Happiness -Art Therapy  from SOUL PANCAKE so you get it too!

 

 

Comment /Source

Amy Leiter

From a very young age I have had a passion for art making as a way to learn and explore my world. After working as a professional designer for several years, I discovered I could embrace my expression and creativity in the service of children and adolescents. I entered graduate school to train to offer art as a powerful mode for healing. With my M.A. from Naropa University in Counseling and Art Therapy, my dream of using art to heal will be realized through the creation of a nonprofit organization, Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing. I am off to a great start. However, I could use some help, which is why I need YOU! As a child of adoption, I have personally experienced the profound healing that counseling and art therapy can provide. My passion for children and my clinical experience have prepared me to offer comprehensive support to clients from various backgrounds with a wide variety of needs. My goal is to create an organization that promotes community and hope while giving clients choice, no matter their circumstances. At Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing we guide and support children, adolescents and families in their journey through the healing process. Youth will learn to recognize their strengths, identify challenges and overcome adversity. With the support of the Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing team, adolescents will also learn how to identify and communicate their feelings and emotions, which in turn can influence the course of their life.

ART THERAPY Getting a lil lov'in from the Denver Post

We had The Denver Post visit us just before Christmas. They were interested in hearing about what we were doing and seeing us in action during an art workshop. One of our amazing teachers Bix was teaching a beginners ceramics class. We had an absolute blast for 5 weeks.

Read the full article here: http://dpo.st/1YJmw0W

Comment /Source

Amy Leiter

From a very young age I have had a passion for art making as a way to learn and explore my world. After working as a professional designer for several years, I discovered I could embrace my expression and creativity in the service of children and adolescents. I entered graduate school to train to offer art as a powerful mode for healing. With my M.A. from Naropa University in Counseling and Art Therapy, my dream of using art to heal will be realized through the creation of a nonprofit organization, Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing. I am off to a great start. However, I could use some help, which is why I need YOU! As a child of adoption, I have personally experienced the profound healing that counseling and art therapy can provide. My passion for children and my clinical experience have prepared me to offer comprehensive support to clients from various backgrounds with a wide variety of needs. My goal is to create an organization that promotes community and hope while giving clients choice, no matter their circumstances. At Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing we guide and support children, adolescents and families in their journey through the healing process. Youth will learn to recognize their strengths, identify challenges and overcome adversity. With the support of the Violet Hive Art Therapy and Healing team, adolescents will also learn how to identify and communicate their feelings and emotions, which in turn can influence the course of their life.