The Heroine’s Journey: Understanding Women’s Depression and Anxiety

To My Dearest Divine Gods and Goddesses,

I am delighted to be sharing this update with you on my last day in Copenhagen, Denmark! Fortuitously, my hotel room has wifi and I wanted to share this moment with you.

This picture is the view from my room…

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First Hotel Kong Frederikson

The theme for this month,The Heroine’s Journey, has been on my mind, as I explored this new country and culture.

Fun fact about Denmark: it is reported to be the happiest country in the world. This is presumably due to several contributing factors:

  1. Denmark supports maternity leave for both mothers and fathers.
  2. Health care is a civil right — and a source of social support.
  3. Gender equality is prioritized.
  4. Danes feel a responsibility to each other and have high rates of volunteerism.

Given that levels of happiness are so high in Denmark, it is reasonable to assume that Danes also enjoy good mental health. But a study published in 2014 by the American Medical Association tells a different story.

When it comes to so-called “internalizing” conditions, rates for Danish women are higher than for Danish men: for anxiety disorders 19% of women will receive treatment compared with 13% of men; for depression the figures are 16% and 9% respectively.

Men, on the other hand, are more vulnerable to “externalizing” disorders: in Denmark 8% of men will receive treatment for alcohol or drug problems, twice the figure for women.

For both sexes and for most conditions, it usually manifests during adolescence and early adulthood.

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The Grand Central of Copenhagen, Denmark

What does this have to do with The Heroine’s Journey?

There are ten stages to The Heroine’s Journey, which is a psycho-spiritual stage model of female identity development, created by Maureen Murdock.

The Heroine’s Journey is perhaps most uniquely characterized by the “Descent into the Dark Goddess,” which is a stage that looks exactly like anxiety and depression.

For this month’s live-online events, we are going to focus on three essential aspects, in a two-part presentation:

  1. The idea that all women experience a split or division within themselves that is the result of a societal disregard and devaluing of femininity.
  2. Women must confront this feminine wound on both a personal and archetypal level, in order to recover their feminine parts.
  3. This recovery leads to an integration of self that allows for a healthy and harmonious balance of feminine and masculine energies.
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The Heroine who traveled with me and visited the famous Little Mermaid statue, in Copenhagen. 

A few disturbing statistics…

Raised on psychologies that examine a woman’s femininity as a reaction to a male paradigm (as opposed to her own inherent trajectory), women have become lost and unable to find our way back to center, leading to the highest rates of depression and anxiety ever recorded, in the United States.

  • Approximately 12 million women in the United States experience clinical depression each year (nearly twice the rate of men).
  • About one in every eight women can expect to develop clinical depression during their lifetime.
  • Depression occurs most frequently in women aged 25 to 44, and girls ages 14-18 have a consistently higher rate of depression than boys at this age.

With numbers like these, chances are you have experienced depression or anxiety yourself, or treated a woman struggling with it.

Please join me, live and online, to learn more about The Heroine’s Journey, and how this framework may be used in combination with mindfulness-based creative arts therapies interventions to help women in need. 


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The Heroine’s Journey Part I: Theory (1.5 CE’s)

This presentation includes:

  • Review of Psychodynamic Theory as it Applies to The Heroine’s Journey
  • Important Aspects of Female Adolescent Development
  • An introduction to an 8-week treatment protocol, Embracing the Feminine.
  • A Sample Experiential

Register for FREE!

For CE contact hours, LCATs will need to pay a $35 fee.

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The Heroine’s Journey Part II: Applications (1.5 CE’s)

This presentation includes:

  • A case study examined through the framework of The Heroine’s Journey
  • 3 creative arts therapies techniques that may be applied in treatment
  • An introduction to an 8-week treatment protocol, Embracing the Feminine.
  • A Guided Meditation Experiential

Register for FREE!

For CE contact hours, LCATs will need to pay a $35 fee.


This course is right for you, if you are…

  • A creative arts therapist
  • A mental health professional
  • Seeking self-help
  • Seeking creative inspiration

The framework of The Heroine’s Journey is primarily focused on the experiences of cisgendered women. However, I do believe that the work we cultivate around the “womb space,” which is also the sacrum or sacral chakra, can apply to all who wish to cultivate their feminine aspects.

The sacral chakra is associated with receptivity, emotional intelligence, affect regulation, the embracing of dualities, sexuality, pleasure, play, and creativity. It is where we first explore and learn to organize our sensuality and felt experiences.

Exploring this part of the self as represented by the energetic or spiritual body is a benefit to all, even if the physical “parts” may be different than that of a cisgendered woman, or have been surgically altered, removed, or damaged.

Be sure to look out for more emails this month on the topic of feminine empowerment, and feel free to reply to this email with any questions, comments or concerns. I’d love to hear from you!

Warmest regards,

Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT
CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com
BrianaMacWilliam.com


Please click here for Webinar FAQs.

If you have any problems or technical difficulties, please contact Briana MacWilliam at Briana@CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com.

CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Creative Arts Therapists. (#CAT-0014.)

[Webinar Tonight!] FREE Registration For Healing The Heart Chakra (1.5 CE’s Available)

To All My Messengers of Love and Spirit,

I’m so excited because tonight Kristen Boyer and I dive into our Healing the Heart Chakra Webinar.

And because the best things in life ARE FREE, like LOVE, Registration is FREE to the public.

In our Heart Chakra Webinar this Wednesday, April 19th at 8pm EST where we’ll be talking about attachment styles, psychological relationship patterning, and how to step into healthy partnerships.
Specifically, we will debunk three commonly held beliefs:

  1. “The perfect romantic partner will make me happy.”
  2. “Good relationships shouldn’t be hard.”
  3. “If I allow myself to experience my feelings, I will spin out of control.”

These myths and their concordant “truths” will be examined in the context of attachment theory, as well as shamanistic approaches to energy healing.

Participants of this event will be able to identify the following on a multiple choice quiz and learning assessment, which will be part of the course evaluation:

  • Identify the shadow aspect of the Heart Chakra.
  • Identify at least two observable behaviors of someone experiencing Heart Chakra imbalances.
  • Identify one guided meditation that may be used in working with Heart Chakra imbalances.

You will also receive…

  • A Guided meditation for opening the Heart Chakra
  • An outline of the presentation
  • Handouts to assist with working on Heart Chakra imbalances, in practice
  • A FREE,  introductory lecture on all 7 Chakras, which is part of our 7-week, LIVE, Online Master Class, Healing the Chakras: Mindfulness and Creative Arts Therapies
  • A FREE, Introductory, 30- minute Guided meditation to all 7 Chakras, which is part of our 7-week, LIVE, Online Master Class, Healing Through the Chakras: Mindfulness and Creative Arts Therapies
  • A FREE, introductory, 30-minute guided shamanic journey, which is part of our 7-week, LIVE, Online Master Class, Healing Through the Chakras: Mindfulness and Creative Arts Therapies

This is definitely a free event you won’t want to miss! So Sign up for Free HERE.

And to give you a head start on getting clearer about where you stand in your own way and block the development of healthy partnerships, I want to invite you to take this FREE QUIZ to identify your attachment style.

So make sure to join in this Wednesday at 8pm EST for our FREE Heart Chakra Webinar, and get your heart healing on with me and Briana so that when that special someone comes along you can fully embrace it and receive those juicy love vibes because nothing will be holding you back anymore!

If you are an LCAT interested in CE contact hours: the course materials, learning assessment and certificate of completion will be made available for $35.


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Healing the Heart Chakra
Mindfulness and Creative Arts Therapies

A LIVE Webinar

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 @ 8pm

Applicable for self help and mental health professionals.

(1.5 Live event, continuing education contact hours for LCATs in New York State, with a $35 fee.)

REGISTER HERE FOR FREE!

 

We hope to see you there!

electronic signature

Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT

Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist

Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner

CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com

BrianaMacWilliam.com

YouTube Channel

If you have any problems or technical difficulties, please contact Briana MacWilliam at Briana@CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com.

CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Creative Arts Therapists. (#CAT-0014.)

Creative Arts Therapies and Brain Basics in Relationships: Unlocking Your Brain’s Love Map

To My Dearest  See-the-Big-Picture Subscribers,

For four years of my professional life as an art therapist, I had the privilege of being a research outcomes coordinator for the executive team, at the Amen Clinics Inc.,

Dr. Amen has pioneered a method of psychiatric practice that focuses on using brain scans and SPECT technology to provide accurate diagnosis and integrative treatment for mental health problems, poor nutrition, and other obscure conditions.

Dr. Amen has been a guest on CNN, PBS, Dr. Oz, Entertainment Television, Dr. Phil, The View, TedX, Rachel Ray, Larry King, and more. Currently, he has a show, Lying on the Psychiatrist’s Couch on PBS.

Two LIFE CHANGING things happened to me while I was working for the Amen clinics.

First, I got divorced.

Second, I was diagnosed with ADD.

Now, when the doctor told me, I scoffed and my ignorant pride replied, “What are you talking about? I was an A student! In all the advanced placement classes. I was valedictorian of my undergraduate class. I even faked mono to get out of gym class my senior year!”

The doctor nodded and said, “Well, sure, but how hard did you have to work for all that?”

And then I started to think about all the notebooks I have kept since I was a little girl; how I can’t bring myself to throw them away because in order to keep up with my cohort, I would basically have rewrite my text books by hand.

I also remembered how my mother used to tease me for biting my nails and wringing my hands all the time. Whenever she’d catch me white-knuckling it, she would laugh and narrate my inner state as if I were Oliver Twist. “Please Sir, can I have some more?” She would mock.

And, of course, it only made me wring my hands harder. But how was she supposed to know what was going through my head? Kids are reticent, mysterious creatures. And I thought it was just a weird, eccentric quirk of mine.

Now, I realize, it was how I embodied my anxiety.

I was academically successful because I was motivated and very good at drawing connections. But it took me twice as long and I had to work twice as hard as my friends, just to keep up.

You might be wondering, how did they know I had this diagnosis when it had gone undetected for 30 years of my life?

Well, Dr. Amen is known for using SPECT scan technology to diagnose and treat conditions like ADHD and others. SPECT is not necessarily a new technology, but it is used infrequently because the images that the SPECT machine creates are only tiny, thin slices of the brain. Like this image below:

But Dr. Amen had the idea to put all those slices together to create a three dimensional image that would give us a clearer picture of how all the different systems of the brain were functioning simultaneously. Like this image below:

This technique assisted in the development of reframing the brain and human behaviors into “Five Big Bosses.” And THAT helped him come up with the 7 Types of ADD, depicted below:

But what does all this have to do with getting divorced?

EVERYTHING.

What we do, how we perceive the world, interpret other people’s actions and perceptions, process our bodily and sensory experiences–especially in LOVE and attachment relationships– are ALL a reflection of our brain function…and our brain function is a reflection of all these influences!

This is the heart of Mindfulness–as is within, so is without. 

We must acknowledge the interrelationship between mind and body, which is the basis for understanding how one mind and body interacts with someone else’s!

It is the resiliency and plasticity of the brain and body that makes real therapeutic and life changing experiences possible.

In our webinar this month,  Creative Arts Therapies and Brain Basics in Relationships, we will:

  • Explore “The Five Big Bosses of the Brain” in the context of relationships.
  • Conduct a self assessment.
  • And create our own Brain Maps, to foster consciousness around our experiences of love.

We will also explore:

  • 4 Deep versus surface structure communications
  • 3 Dimensions of interdependency
  • 3 Creative Arts Therapies Techniques for Affect Regulation and Communication
  • And explore a “Heart-Soul” Mindfulness-based experiential and guided meditation, focusing on fostering empathy and compassion in relationships, through mirroring and entrainment.

We will be offering this LIVE Webinar twice this month, so pick the day that works best for you! Registration is FREE.

If you are an LCAT interested in CE contact hours: the course materials, learning assessment and certificate of completion will be made available for $35.


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Creative Arts Therapies and Brain Basics in Relationships

A LIVE Webinar

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 @ 8pm

Sunday, April 30th, 2017 @ 2pm

Applicable for self help and mental health professionals.

(1.5 Live event, continuing education contact hours for LCATs in New York State.)

REGISTER HERE FOR FREE!


We hope to see you there!

electronic signature

Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT

Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist

Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner

CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com

BrianaMacWilliam.com

YouTube Channel

If you have any problems or technical difficulties, please contact Briana MacWilliam at Briana@CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com.

CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Creative Arts Therapists. (#CAT-0014.)

Healing the Solar Plexus: Restore Your Personal Power! [1 Day Left/ 1.5 LIVE CE’s]

My Dearest Lion-hearted Power-Houses,

Today is the day…and that’s one day away from our LIVE Webinar on Healing the Solar Plexus (1.5 LIVE CE’s); the seat of your personal power!

But before you enroll in this amazingly empowering course, I thought we’d give you a little taste of what’s in store.

At the inner core of each of us spin wheel-like energy centers or vortices. These energy centers are referred to as “chakras” and each one reflects an aspect of our inner and outer experience, as well as the degree of consciousness we have around those experiences.

When these chakras are in balance they are able to integrate mind, body, and spirit. They help us organize our life force energy, and provide a powerful tool for mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical growth.

But when they are out of balance, we may find ourselves continually stuck in old patterns, unable to evolve or break free.

If we cannot create spaciousness around our more physical experiences, we cannot reflect, change, grow or expand. Similarly, without the embodiment of intention, we remain scattered dreamers unable to make commitments or put our thoughts into action.

The Root chakra establishes our basic sense of security as well as body integrity. And this is associated with the element of earth.

From this ground we move into the second chakra (the Sacral)  and experience difference, change, and movement, like the fluidity of water. We learned about embrace polarities and dualities and discover the passion that emerges from desire.

We expand beyond survival mode and move towards pleasurable interactions.

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When matter and movement combine, they create a new kind of energy; if we rub two sticks together, they create a spark. And fire is the element of the Solar Plexus.

Now, fire moves upward, it facilitates chemical transformation and takes the energy of matter to a new dimension; that of heat and light.

The fire of our will propels us to transform, to take action. The Solar Plexus puts us in touch with our sense of competence and ego integrity. It allows us to set a goal and take action steps towards that goal. And the first step is breaking old patterns. Particularly those that keep you disempowered or victimized.

Thus, in discussing the shadow of the solar plexus, we might begin by asking yourself:

What is my relationship to power?

And by extension, we must ask ourselves the following questions as well:

  • What is power?
  • Where do we get it?
  • How do we use it?
  • Why do we need it?
  • Where do we find our own empowerment without diminishing that of others?
  • How do we avoid the duality of victimization and abuse, aggression and passivity, dominance and submission?
  • How do we reclaim, with full responsibility, enthusiasm, and pride, our innate right to act, (which is the basic right of the solar plexus), free from Shame?

And this is the shadow aspect of the Solar Plexus… Shame.

You may recall the shadow aspect of the Sacral, which is the chakra that develops before the Solar Plexus, is guilt. And while guilt and shame are close cousins, there are some notable differences that are worth taking note of, in understanding not only our own underlying dynamics, but also those that we may treat as healers.

Guilt involves an internal sense of malevolent power, a feeling of deep personal destructiveness and evil. When we feel guilty it is the experience of breaking an internal moral code.

Shame, by contrast, involves a sense of powerless vulnerability, the chronic risk of exposure to the criticisms in contempt of others. Shame is rather the concern of being looked down upon by others.

For the shame-driven person, The message is “I am an imposter; Someone else could do this better than me. One day, they’ll all find out, and they’ll be so disappointed. Nobody would ever accept me. I just don’t fit.”

For the guilt-driven person, The message is, “I am fundamentally bad. I don’t have a right to be here. If I had any balls at all I would just take myself out of the game. It’s not necessarily that I don’t fit; I don’t deserve to.”

And so, in the Solar Plexus, shame blocks the liberating, feminine energy and prevents it from rising up from the lower chakras to meet the masculine, manifesting current of consciousness, which brings impulse and motivation to heel through effective and consciously willed action.

As a result, you feel afraid of following your own gut instinct, or completely out of touch with it altogether. Feeling ashamed of our basic instincts hands disproportionate control over to the mind, often leading to limiting beliefs. Additionally, shameful personalities tend to feel stuck in patterns of compulsion and/or addiction.

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In Wednesday’s LIVE Webinar on Healing the Solar Plexus, my good friend and Shamanatrix, Kristen Boyer MPS, HC and myself, Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT,  will discuss how shameful blockages manifest in three common and damaging myths.

“If I just had more_______, then I could…” Whatever you have isn’t good enough.

“I’m not the expert, I’ll let someone else take charge.” Someone else always knows better than you.

“If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Being strong means you have to do everything on my own.

These myths and their concordant “truths” will be examined in the context of psychodynamic theory, as well as shamanistic approaches to energy healing.

I invite you to register today!

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Healing the Solar Plexus

Mindfulness and Creative Arts Therapies

(1.5 Live event, continuing education contact hours for LCATs in New York State.)

In this course, we will explore mindfulness-based practices in treatment, using the Solar Plexus as a frame for understanding the impact of energetic imbalances in the body.

Presenters: Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT, and Kristen Boyer MPS, HC

Date/Time: April 5th, 2017 @ 8pm

Registration Link: http://creativeartstherapiesonline.com/p/healing-the-solar-plexus

Fee: $35 Due upon registration

If you are interested but want to catch up first…


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Click here to enroll in a FREE introductory course on the Chakras!

FREE Course Includes:

A Brief Audio Lecture and Introduction
30-Minute Lecture and Guided Meditation on all 7 Chakras
20- Guided Shamanic Journey
Handouts to help you process the experience

 


Additionally, if you you missed March’s webinars on the Root and Sacral Chakras, they are both now available as a low-cost, bundled package. 


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Click here to enroll in this bundled course. 

In this bundled course, we explore the Root and Sacral Chakras; the energetic vortices that are the most connected to our feelings of attachment, felt security, and emotional intelligence. From the development of these chakras we learn how to get our most basic needs met, maintain body integrity, and feel secure within ourselves. We learn how to name and organize our emotions, hold dualities, learn to play, and to be sensual and sexual.


 

We hope to see you there!

 

electronic signature

Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT

Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist

Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner

CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com

BrianaMacWilliam.com

YouTube Channel

If you have any problems or technical difficulties, please contact Briana MacWilliam at Briana@CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com.

CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Creative Arts Therapists. (#CAT-0014.)

[LIVE Webinar] Healing the Sacral Chakra: 2 Days Left to Sign Up!

Hello All You Ascending Clusters of Stardust,

I don’t know about you, but March has been one wild ride, and we still have 11 days to go!

That Venus in retrograde energy has really kicked things up and shone a light into some dark places that need a good “chimney sweeping…” as Josef Bruer’s patient, Anna O., used to call the therapeutic process.

Actually, that’s what Anna called the use of hypnosis and the catharsis that occurred through free association afterwards. Your nerdy-therapist-women’s month-factoid for today!.

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Anna O. was the pseudonym of a patient of Josef Breuer, who published her case study in his book Studies on Hysteria, written in collaboration with Sigmund Freud. Anna O. was treated by Breuer for severe cough, paralysis of the extremities on the right side of her body, and disturbances of vision, hearing, and speech, as well as hallucination and loss of consciousness. Her treatment is regarded as marking the beginning of psychoanalysis.  Free association came into being after Anna/Bertha decided (with Breuer’s input) to end her hypnosis sessions and merely talk to Breuer, saying anything that came into her mind. She called this method of communication “chimney sweeping”, and this served as the beginning of free association.

Now, we enter the Spring Equinox, the sun has moved into fiery Aries, and we are in an astrological new year. Aries is ruled by Mars, the god of War but also our own personal energy.

And Mars teaches us to seize the moment. Take advantage of the now. Live life; savor and enjoy it. Travel outside your comfort zone and do the things you’ve been meaning to do, or have been hesitant to do. It’s time to be a little bit crazy and very spontaneous. It’s time to be bold and brave!

A tremendous amount of energy is bursting in to clear the way for new beginnings, can you feel it?

Or perhaps you are struggling with…

  • Motivation and/or can’t find your passion?
  • With short-term relievers or addictions?
  • Putting up emotional and physical walls to feel safe?
  • Anxiety, depression or mood swings?

If so, you may be struggling with Sacral Chakra imbalances.

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Additionally, any one of these symptoms may be further complicated by  the following three “wisdoms” that we tend to consider common sense:

  1. Keeping cords to old partners and people helps you stay in the love vibration.
  2. It’s selfish to put your own needs before others, and selfishness is a bad thing.
  3. Playfulness is a waste of time and takes away from productively getting things done.

But are these “wisdoms” really true, or the product of limiting beliefs?

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In our upcoming LIVE webinar on Healing the Sacral Chakra, the Shamanatrix, Kristen Boyer MPS, HC and myself, Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT,  will explore  three truths that debunk these myths:

  1. Keeping cords to old partners and people (and even projects) blocks you from attracting new patterns and people into your life.
  2. You can’t help others until you are fully helping yourself; you can offer better quality support to others, once you’ve supported yourself.
  3. Playfulness raises your vibration, and helps you be more productive.

This discussion will incorporate a blend of creative arts therapies, mindfulness and shamanistic approaches, including an experiential intervention.

After this webinar you will be able to…

  • Name the shadow aspect of the Sacral Chakra.
  • Identify three “truths” about working with Sacral Chakra imbalances.
  • Identify at least two observable behaviors of someone experiencing Sacral Chakra imbalances.
  • Implement guided meditation and art making in working with Sacral Chakra imbalances.

You will also receive…

  • A FREE Guided meditation on “The Sacral Circle”
  • An outline of the presentation
  • Handouts to assist with working on Sacral Chakra imbalances, in practice
  • A Free introductory Lecture to all 7 Chakras
  • A Free Introductory Guided meditation to all 7 Chakras

Healing the Sacral Chakra:
Mindfulness and Creative Arts Therapies

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Wednesday, March 22nd, @ 8pm

$35  to Register

Applicable for self-help and mental health professionals.

(1.5 continuing education contact hours for LCATs in New York State.)

*If you are a LCAT interested in continuing education contact hours, after the webinar, you may complete a course evaluation and learning assessment. Upon completing the course evaluation and learning assessment, a certificate will automatically be generated and emailed to you. More detailed instructions will be available on the webinar.

Register for Healing the Sacral Chakra


And if you missed our LIVE webinar this Sunday…

 Complicated Grief and Creative Arts Therapy (Part II): Mindfulness and Treatment

(1.5 continuing education contact hours for LCATs in New York State.)

You can catch the replay as a self-study!

Be sure to enter code 5OFF before the end of March, to purchase the course for $35.

(In April, the cost will remain $40.)

Enroll Now


We hope to see you there!

electronic signature

Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT

Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist

Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner

CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com

BrianaMacWilliam.com

YouTube Channel

[LIVE Webinar] Healing the Root Chakra

Hello All You Stargazing Energy Explorers,

Have you or someone you know ever struggled with feeling…

  • Disconnected or dissociated from your body?
  • Struggled with gaining or losing weight?
  • Fearful, anxious or restless?
  • Like it was hard to focus or have self-discipline?
  • Fixated on stuff, struggle with change, or avoid taking risks?

If so, you may struggle with Root Chakra imbalances.

Additionally, any one of these symptoms may be further complicated by  the following three “wisdoms” that we tend to consider common sense:

  • “You attract financial abundance through sheer hard work.”
  • “To heal, you need to unearth fearsome stories from your past.”
  • “You have to become a Zen guru, do a bunch of yoga, and win the lottery to feel grounded and secure.”

But are these “wisdoms” really true, or the product of limiting beliefs?

In our upcoming LIVE webinar on Healing the Root Chakra, the Shamanatrix, Kristen Boyer MPS, HC and myself, Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT,  will explore  three truths that debunk these myths:

  • By healing your Root Chakra you can work less and attract more of what you want.
  • Healing your root can be a gentle and easeful process, producing immediate insights and results.
  • You only need to surrender to your inner wisdom to feel safe, grounded and supported.

This discussion will incorporate a blend of creative arts therapies, mindfulness and shamanistic approaches, including two experiential interventions.

After this webinar you will be able to…

  • Name the shadow aspect of the Root Chakra.
  • Identify three “truths” about working with Root Chakra imbalances.
  • Identify at least two observable behaviors of someone experiencing Root Chakra imbalances.
  • Implement guided meditation and art making in working with Root Chakra imbalances.

You will also receive…

  • 2 FREE Guided meditations
  • An outline of the presentation
  • Handouts to assist with working on Root Chakra imbalances, in practice

Register now for our LIVE webinar event!
Healing the Root Chakra: Mindfulness and Creative Arts Therapies


Wednesday, March 8th, @ 8pm

This will count for 1.5 LIVE event continuing education contact hours for LCAT’s in NY, with a fee of $35.

We hope to see you there!

electronic-signature

Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT

Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist

Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner

CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com

BrianaMacWilliam.com

YouTube Channel

3 Keys to Manifesting Your Dreams: The “Sacred Marriage” of Consciousness and Matter

My Daring Defy-the-Debbie-Downers Darlings,

How many of you, on the eve of 2017, pulled out a paper and pen, wrote down (with due diligence) your new year’s resolutions, and then burned them, buried them, or folded them in a scented envelope and stuffed it under your mattress, with a prayer that your dreams may come true, in 365 days?

How much earnest intent did you bleed into those words, watching the paper burn? How many tears did you stuff in that envelope, your heart in your throat?

…And how many of you have given up already? How much faith do you still have that you will see the manifestation of your intentions? That your wishes will be granted?

Why is it so easy to backslide into old patterns of living and loving? Why can’t we just seem to “get it together” enough to remedy our finances? To take that vacation we’ve been planning for years? To finish that project we started? Or to start that project we’ve been fantasizing about for years?

The short answer: Your energy is blocked.

The long answer: Your energy is blocked, and if you want to unblock it, you would be best served by figuring out how energy works, so you can grease your wheels and get this buggy back on track!

How to do that?

I give you, the Chakra System.

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The chakra system is a philosophical model of the Universe. Chakras came to the West by means of the traditional practice of Yoga, which is a discipline that uses mental and physical practices to integrate matter and Spirit. This is achieved through several steps of  expanding consciousness; the chakras represent these steps.

The main seven chakras are created by the combination of two active principles, consciousness and matter. Consciousness may be perceived as entering through the crown chakra and moving downward through the body; I like to refer to as top-down processing, Anoeda Judith, in her book, eastern body western mind, refers to this as “the current of manifestation” (1996, p. 14). As the flow of consciousness moves down, the chakras and their related elements become increasingly dense, allowing for the embodiment of our dreams.

Secondly, we have an upward current, which moves from this place of density to ethereal consciousness. I call this bottom-up processing; Judith (1996) refers to this as “the current of liberation” (p.14). If we cannot create spaciousness around our more physical experiences, we cannot reflect, change, grow or expand. Similarly without the embodiment of intention, we remain scattered dreamers unable to make commitments or put our thoughts into action.

The combination of both currents is the ideal, and considered to be a “sacred marriage;” the congress of Heaven and earth. This union of opposites creates limitless possibilities.

When we are blocked in any one or more of our chakras, we may fall into habitual patterns that render us stuck, throwing us continually back into survival mode. Or, we may be unable to ground ourselves, lost in a flood of overwhelm and ideas, dissociated from the real world.

Unblocking a chakra requires addressing the problem on at least three levels: 1) clearing out the blockages, 2) clarifying your needs versus your wants, and 3) learning how to ask for what you want, and and be willing to embrace what you need, when it arrives.

1. Clearing Out Energetic Blockages in the Chakras

meditate-while-you-medicate-chakra-cleanse-weedist1The first step in manifesting your dreams involves a clearing out of energetic blockages in your chakras. Cleansing the chakras involves an acknowledgement and releasing of Karmic vows, soul contracts, and wounds of shame from past lives.There may also be ancestral wounds that we carry in our lineage.

At best, these vows may simply be no longer serving us. At worst, these vows may be actively interfering in our lives now by keeping us from being all we can be today.

If your Higher Self has led you here, to this post, it means that you have fully experienced the outcomes of your action in taking the vows and you are ready to let them go.

All you need to do is ask!

2. Clarifying Your Needs vs. Your Wants

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But before you ask for a clearing in order to manifest the life of your dreams, you must clarify your needs versus your wants. And getting to the root of your desires means confronting whatever you dislike in your life as a reflection of your own shadow; a mirror of all the parts that you have repressed.

The “you” that is creating your own reality is your transcendental self in its entirety, which means it’s more than likely you have limited conscious access to a large part of yourself that is calling in your life circumstances.

However, just because a large part of yourself is not knowable, it doesn’t mean that you have no power to create change in your life at all. But you must have the passion and the willingness to step outside of your comfort zone, which is the ONLY WAY  to get to the root of your desires.

To clearly examine your desires, you must step outside of judgment. It is the labeling of a desire as “bad” that sends it to the basement of repression. Rather, we should try to examine a desire for its underlying dynamics–what is the underlying need and fear?

Typically, a person’s desire is an externalized goal or reward (such as social approval and physical manifestations of it, like wealth or power) that he or she thinks will make him or her happy, but this pursuit actually impedes this person from getting what he or she needs internally (spiritual and emotional gratification).

For example, perhaps a girl felt ostracized as a child, so she wants to achieve celebrity because she thinks it will make people like her. But with celebrity achieved, she realizes that even though she might have millions of fans, they worship her as an object or a symbol of their own projections. In reality, people only like her for her popularity and she can’t trust anyone enough to engage in intimate relationships. The achievement of her external want actually prevented the gratification of her internal need to belong.

Sometimes, what you think you want won’t make you happy!

3. Learning How to Ask for What You Want, and Embrace What you Need

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By now you must be wondering…

“How do I know if what I want is a reflection of my Shadow Self, or a valid request in alignment with my authentic needs?”

The short answer: “The Universe will let you know.”

The long answer: You might have heard this explained through The Law of Attraction, which is based on three principles of Quantum Physics:

  1. Everything is energy
  2. Everything is connected
  3. You create your own reality

Essentially, these principles amount to the idea that with concentrated energy and focused intention, you can change your reality in very real and physical ways. Particularly if your energy is “entangled” with another energy cluster (like, another person, for example).

Thus, “Ask and ye shall receive,” would appear to be both a scientific and spiritual truism. The only thing is, you might not realize you’ve gotten what you’ve asked for.

Because as we mentioned above, often we are not fully cognizant of our own motivations (or energetic frequencies) tied up in the question.

And frequently, the seed of want, is fear.

  • Fear of vulnerability…Leads to a desire to prove your strength
  • Fear of failure…Leads to  a desire to prove competence/capability
  • Fear of worthlessness…Leads to a desire to prove worthiness and seek approval
  • Fear of abandonment…Leads to a desire to prove your independence (or hold tighter)

Because of this, you may think to yourself…

“I’m writing all these affirmations and I’m trying so hard to do all the right things, yet I’m still getting the same results!”

In fact, you’re still doing the same thing, you’re just reframing it. For example:

  • It’s not righteous to bully a bully, it’s the same behavior repackaged from a different perspective.
  • It’s not generous to give more than is asked, it’s invasive and rooted in a desire to induce dependency, in order to acquire control and stave off a fear of abandonment or irrelevancy.
  • Reading every self-help book under the sun, buying organic food, and attending every meditation and yoga class within a five-mile radius, in order to feel more “spiritual,” maybe no different than working fourteen-hour days at a corporate job, in order to feel more “accomplished.”

In fact, recent studies show that people who recite positive affirmations but do not actually believe them, experience higher levels of stress (Wood, Peruvonic, & Lee, 2009). And, of course, stressful energy attracts more stressful energy!

Asking for what you want is somewhat of a fine art. Because it includes a willingness to embrace what you need.

And sometimes you need to grow…and often times, growth stings. Like ripping off a Bandaid to treat an underlying infection; it hurts in the short term, but in the long term, you will heal and function better than ever!

So how do we ask for what we want?

→ First, we say, “Universe, I pray for you to guide me on my journey to fulfilling my higher purpose, and to assist me in seeing the signs that will help clear the path to abundance.”

→ Second, when the Universe then sends you a miserable boyfriend or girlfriend (boss, business partner, estranged family member, etc.)  who stimulates your worthiness issues, realize the gift of this opportunity to remove that block from your soul.

Because if you DON’T recognize that difficult experience as a GROWTH OPPORTUNITY to embrace what you really need, that  energetic frequency will keep calling in situations that leave you feeling devalued, and continue to manifest a lack of income or terrible romantic relationships.

Whew! We’ve thrown a lot of information at you in this post, and it’s starting to feel a little heady.

Don’t worry if it’s hard to take in, because much of what we are describing is MOST EFFECTIVE when it is experienced through body and spirit, and the best way to integrate these two energy currents is with CREATIVITY!

And we are here to show you how to do just that.

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Kristen and I having a super-cool artmaking jam session about the Root Chakra.

The Shamanatrix, Kristen Boyer, and myself, Briana MacWilliam, are offering an opportunity to learn more about the Chakras, and focus in specifically on the first Chakra, your Root.

Come join us for our LIVE Webinar, Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 at 8pm EST:

Healing the Root Chakra: Mindfulness and Creative Arts Therapies

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REGISTER HERE

During this LIVE event,  we will bust 3 pervasive and detrimental myths:

  1. Keeping cords to old partners and people is loving, and helps you stay in the love vibration.
  2. It’s selfish to put others needs first before your own and selfishness is a bad thing.
  3. Playfulness is a waste of time and takes away from productively getting things done.

Come join us on the 8th to find out how these myths are holding you back, and what you can do to shift your energy tied up in them.

We hope to see you there!

REGISTER HERE

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Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT

Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist

Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner

CreativeArtsTherapiesOnline.com

BrianaMacWilliam.com

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