Hope Is The Most Important Ingredient In Healing

Without hope, people lose the energy to heal and move forward, yet this ingredient is often missing in the medical community. I have experienced doctors who have instilled a sense of hope within me and those who have not, through my journey of chronic pain and illness. This is why I instill a sense of hope with everyone I work with, whether it is through my role as a psychotherapist, spiritual coach or creative writing teacher.

Hope is the Most Important Ingredient to Healing (1)

Unspoken Energy

Being a compassionate person, I am sensitive to the unspoken energy a person conveys. I went to a new specialist because another doctor, who I trusted, wanted to rule out other conditions. As soon as this doctor walked into the room and looked at me, I felt judged. She didn’t ask me much about my condition and when I did talk, she wasn’t listening. The doctor ended the appointment with, “if you get worse, come back” and left the room. Stunned, I thought; I have been living with this for ten years, I am not waiting for it to get worse.

I went home feeling angry and disappointed, not the feeling I wanted to have, after waiting months to get an appointment. She conveyed no hope. I could not express these feelings during the appointment because I felt shut down. I was able to express my displeasure on the survey sent to me weeks later.

I had to cool my jets and figure out my next move. I am a person who is grounded and emotionally balanced. I have to admit, this appointment threw me a little. I can only imagine the impact of an experience like this on an emotionally vulnerable person.

Hope Restored

It took me almost two months before I returned to my original specialist because of my busy schedule and need to re-group. At our original appointment, she listened and was thorough with my history. I remembered her telling me, “if you don’t get anywhere with the other doctor, come back and see me.” I felt nervous going back because I did not want to face another rejection or dead-end. I chose to trust.

I had my appointment. She not only listened but agreed, I should not wait until my condition worsens. She explained, “sometimes people don’t fit perfectly into a diagnosis, but you can treat the symptoms.”  I thought, yes, you are speaking my language! As a psychotherapist, I don’t turn someone away who is in pain; physically, mentally or spiritually because they don’t fit into a certain box. I sit and work with him or her, while we find solutions together.

I am on a new treatment and I have hope. If this one doesn’t work, we will try something else or the Divine will lead me in a new direction. People underestimate hope, yet it is the life force that keeps us going when facing our most darkest hours.

You may also want to read this blog: How to Pick Healing Providers who are Right for Empaths

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine.

Pick up her FREE gift 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now!  at http://www.lisahutchison.net

5 Ways Expressive Arts Heal Unexpressed Pain

 “Art can permeate the very deepest part of us, where no words exist.” 
― Eileen Miller, The Girl Who Spoke with Pictures: Autism Through Art

5 Ways Expressive Arts Heal Unexpressed Pain

Expressive art therapy combines creativity with psychotherapy. It feels fun, yet is a deep form of healing for people who can’t put their emotional pain into the spoken word. Creative methods help people process post traumatic stress, grief, and terminal or chronic medical conditions. It can help anyone decrease depression and anxiety. Expressive art therapy is most effective when the client has an interest in creativity and you work with a licensed psychotherapist, who has knowledge of expressive art therapy techniques.

What is expressive art?

Expressive art is any type of creative activity (painting, writing, singing, dancing) in which you experience a decrease in symptoms, such as anxiety or depression. Its purpose is to shift emotions, in order to process them. Unlike traditional art, expressive art it is not about making a pretty picture. Although, you can end up with a beautiful piece of art in the end. Here your focus is on the process, not the finished product.

5 Ways Expressive Arts Heal Unexpressed Pain

Art holds a space for transformation to take place. You are in control of how much you express and when. If the process feels too overwhelming, put the art aside. Together, with your therapist, you decide when to re-enter the work. The page, paper or room where art is created, holds the space for you without judgment, as a therapist does in any talk psychotherapy session. This safe place for healing, allows you to open up, connect, and accept the pain inside. When you allow yourself the space and freedom to express creatively, healing takes place no matter what type of art modality you choose.

Relaxes and opens you to new possibilities. Play is important for everyone, not just young kids. Expressive art gives you a chance to have fun and let go. Think back to a time, when you were caught up in the moment of creation. You experienced a sense of timelessness or an expanded sense of time. Afterwards, many of you asked, “Where did the time go?” You returned to this moment, renewed and refreshed. This type of surrendering to spirit is when the most healing happens.

Helps you process terminal and chronic illnesses. It is difficult to connect with emotions when you are in physical pain. No matter how ill you are, you have the power of your imagination. It is common to experience anxiety and depression with any form of illness, including chronic pain. “The Expressive Arts, including painting, sculpture, music, dance, and literature, can bring joy, pleasure, and laughter to patients and staff in medical settings, qualities often in short supply. Making art or hearing music reminds us that no matter how ill or busy we are, we can always tap into the magic of our imagination. This frees patients from being just “the cancer patient in bed 4,” passive with no power, to the person who has cancer who still also has an imagination, a creative spark. This spark can be utilized to tell her story, imagine her healing, aid in her recovery” (Heath, 2005).

Heals Trauma. After a tragic event, people feel overwhelmed. Their nervous system reacts in one of three ways; fight, flight or freeze mode, releasing various stress hormones. When these chemicals don’t reset after a trauma, it changes the actual physical structures in the brain. The good news is with treatment these structures can be restored. Creative arts helps clients who have adversity, process these unspeakable experiences and organize them within the brain. Art helps contain these emotions and break them down into mentally digestible pieces. People find healing by telling their story in a different way, which reduces trauma symptoms.

Contains the Devastation of Grief and Loss. Often after a death, it is difficult to put your experience into words. Art gives you a safe place to express all of your feelings after a loss; whether it is anger, sadness, bargaining, depression, or acceptance. This process is also helpful when facing denial, as it helps you take in a small portion of the pain to work through at a time. There is no judgement with art; no one tells you to get over your loss or move on. Often through art, one not only heals but also finds a way to keep their loved one’s memory alive.

Reference: Creating Connections between Nursing Care and the Creative Arts Therapies: Expanding the Concept of Holistic Care by Carole-Lynne Le Navenec, Laurel Bridges (2005)   Chapter 7 The Spark of Creativity: Expressive Arts in a Hospital Setting by Wende Heath. 

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist with over fifteen years experience in counseling and nine years of experience using expressive art techniques. She specializes in working with professionals who often get drained from their helping efforts, giving them the tools and support to recharge and rejuvenate their energies. Get her free gift here a 10 page E-book: 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now!  

0fab46dd992fe6a8e72c95c6c00959da

Why Angels are Important in the Manifestation Process

Why Angels are Important in the Manifestation Process

Growing up, my Mom told me everyone has a guardian angel. This angel is with you since birth helping you throughout your life. It was 20 years ago, I bought my first angel card oracle deck. I had a tarot deck, animal oracle cards and rune cards yet I preferred my connection to the angels. I found them to be gentle and direct with their guidance, which is the perfect combination for an empath like me. From there, I bought thirteen angel card decks, a mediumship card deck and a goddess oracle card deck.

The angels have helped manifest many goals and intentions. They guided me to release what blocked my progress and where to increase my energy. I have found angels can help with anything, from the mundane areas of life to the most important. Your only limitation is your own mind because any area of life is a possibility for growth. All you have to do is ask!

Here are some specific areas angels help with the manifestation process, remember the list is endless.

1.) Find work you love and live your life’s purpose. When you are uncertain, the angels can show you how to increase your confidence, be more assertive, hone in on your skills and interests. Archangel Michael’s specialty is work and life purpose.

2.) Heal chronic pain and health issues. When you have tried everything you can think of, turn to the angels. Angels give you the hope to try something new in regards to your health whether you are suffering on a mental, physical or spiritual level. They give you gentle guidance to take the next step and improve your well being. Archangel Raphael is a magnificent healer.

3.)  Find your soulmate or the love you desire.  Looking for love? The angels can tell you the areas you need to heal in order to open up and attract a partner. They also give guidance to those who are in established relationships whether it is to bring in more romance and passion or how to let go of a relationship.

4.) Heal Your Grief– The angels give you comfort and help put things into perspective in a time where everything is turned upside down. Often they have connected me and my clients with deceased loved ones (humans and animals) in order to resolve unfinished business.

5.) Children and Creativity- Angels remind you to be lighthearted and to play. They can help you with fertility and pregnancy, through all the years of your child’s development. Archangel Gabriel loves to assist with children and creative writing.

6.) A New Home- Ask for the angels help in finding a new home or selling your current one. They can help with financing to relocation issues. Once you move in, they can assist you in making your house a home.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist, certified angel card reader and Divine Channel. With over 15 years experience as a mental health counselor she gives you the encouragement, guidance and support you need to take the next step forward. If you would like an individual reading for angels or mediumship contact Lisa as she offers in person and phone readings all over the world. 

Pick up her FREE gift 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos From Your Life Now! at http://www.lisahutchison.net

0fab46dd992fe6a8e72c95c6c00959da

 

 

 

 

 

How to do the Letting Go Part of Grief

How to do the Letting Go Part of Grief (2)

I find myself facing the transitory nature of life again. In 2016-2017, I had two friends die. Last month in February, another one joined the light. I am in a mixed state of denial, shock and intermittent sadness. You would think it gets easier to grieve when you have had a lot of practice with it such as myself, it doesn’t. Each grief experience is unique and takes you into the depths of your being. A part of yourself dies because you no longer have that shared physical experience and memory of being together.

Life is all about holding on and letting go

I have found the letting go part scary and at times I have not been very good at it. I want to recreate and sit with the memories a little bit longer. I read old texts, emails and look at photos in an effort to grab a hold of that old connection once more. Then the realization sweeps over me and the pain of the loss sets in.

I reach out but find I can’t make or control certain family members to care more. I try to force a square peg into a round hole and find myself tense up when it does not work according to my plan. I want to assure you, this is normal in the beginning stages of grief. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you adjust to a new reality. Overtime, this tensing up and holding on can translate into body pains, sleep difficulties and irritability. This is when you need to let go…

 Tips to let go

1.) Awareness– Know your own signs of holding on too tight. Are you are an obsessive thinker or doer? Learn your body signals and see where you resist letting go. A couple of days after the loss of my friend, I received a message from spirit telling me; “Relax, you don’t always have to be going someplace.”

2.) Don’t think about it, just do it – Choose to let go and take a leap of faith. Do not intellectualize the letting go. Rather than focusing on how to do it, be present with releasing. Start by surrendering to your breath. Breathe in and state, “I am calm.” Breath out and state, “I let go.” You will need to practice letting go many times as it is not a natural process for most people.

3.) Remind yourself, it is safe to let go. Often our fears make letting go worse than the reality is. Believe and trust you are safe. You may need to tell yourself, “I am safe or it is safe to let go now.”

4.) Remember how letting go can feel positive. When you have fully healed and let go, you are left with a feeling of joy, release and freedom. Think back to when you were a child and rode a bike unassisted or stood up on ice skates to move on your own.

In letting go, you trust and release the emotional pain. What remains is the love, memories and spiritual connection. Now you are open to a new way of living. If you need more help through the grieving process check out these blogs:

Coping with the unexpected death of a friend  (grief, sudden loss, friend, PTSD, complicated grief, empath)

5 Powerful Ways of Finding Freedom from Empathic Guilt (petloss, guilt, empath)

This blog is dedicated to my friend Gary who would have been 63 years old today when this blog was published on March 6th. He died from a courageous battle with esophageal cancer on February 3, 2018. Thank you Gary for shining your light upon my life.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Unresolved grief or loss is one of the many ways your energy becomes depleted overtime. Lisa specializes in working with professionals who get drained from their helping/caring efforts, refill and recharge their energy.  Visit her website and get a FREE gift- 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at www.lisahutchison.net  

How to Find Pain Relief Through your Mind

How to find pain relief through your mind

When you are in a state of suffering and distress, it is difficult to be peaceful, spiritual and at ease, yet this is the place you long to be in. I know because I have experience with chronic pain and illness.

I have enjoyed many months with little to no pain by working on myself emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. When I began to have chronic pain issues, nine years ago, I never thought I could have a day without pain. I tried several different medications but decided to live without them because I could not tolerate the side effects being a sensitive person.

You look healthy!

As a child, I hid my pain from others. I felt responsible, being an empath, for everyone’s emotional well being. I often wore a smile and focused on those around me, ignoring my own needs. From the outside, I looked healthy, yet within I carried hidden pain. The saying, “you never know what someone is going through,” is true for someone who lives with chronic pain and invisible illness.

Today

Now, I express my pain in healthy ways, in order to take care of myself.  I let others know what I am going through when I need to withdraw temporarily in order to heal myself. Pain has brought me a more spiritual life. I cry out to God, the angels and spiritual helpers, while I surrender to their love and guidance

I write as part of my healing. Recently, I had a flare up of two sites at once. At first, I thought; what did I do wrong? I realized with any chronic condition you will experience cycles of relapse and remission.

Working with the pain

Acceptance- Be where you are. Trying to escape pain does not work because it is with you and focusing on the pain intensifies it because you are teaching your brain to think about the sensation. If it is not severe, you can distract from it temporarily.

There are times the answer lies in acceptance. Accept the hopeless feeling and sit with it. As you focus on your slow, rhythmic breathing, say to yourself, “I feel stuck right now, I feel hopeless, I don’t know what to do.” People are resistant to use the word hopeless because they have a fear of getting stuck in it. You need to admit where you are, in order to surrender and move through it. It is when you resist or deny feelings, you get stuck.

Remember there is hope even when you do not feel it. Know you can keep going and you are not alone. There are answers for you even if  you haven’t found them yet.

Be gentle with yourself. When you see someone you love in a vulnerable state you give them gentle loving care, why not yourself? You are just as valuable and worthy. Soften your voice, speak kindly and hold a space for yourself. When you experience a rough day, keep your schedule light.

Employ self-care. What does self-care mean for you?  It can be a favorite cup of tea, a warm blanket, soft music and/or a scented candle.

Exercise. If your doctor recommends exercise, do it. A gentle walk can help some forms of pain. When you circulate the blood and connect with nature, it supports the healing process.

Rest. There is great power in being. A lot of healing takes place with restorative sleep, meditation and mindfulness. Pain is an exhausting experience, it drains your energy. Make time to rest.

Find a therapist. You will want a psychotherapist who is compassionate about your health but also will challenge you to think and act differently. Cognitive behavioral therapy works specifically with your thoughts and behaviors. This type of treatment helps you change your thinking about the pain sensation and has been highly effective with pain management.

In closing

We all suffer pain at some point in our lives whether it is mental, physical or spiritual. It is human nature to want to avoid pain, yet pain can teach you something valuable about yourself. It is up to you to discover that meaning and a therapist can help you with this process. The next time you feel pain, work with your body but do not forget your mind. Your mind is much more powerful than any of us know or believe.

I highly recommend this book to help you through your journey, it has helped me through mine. The 12 Stages of Healing by Donald M. Epstein D.C. In it, the author teaches breathing exercises and affirmations for each stage of healing from suffering through reclaiming your power. Buy it here on Amazon. 

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. Her specialty is working with professionals who get drained from their helping efforts, recharge and renew their energy. If you would like to learn more about Lisa and her practice visit www.lisahutchison.net and pick up your FREE 10 page e-book called 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos From Your Life Now!