Life in Balance

Through this online art blog/gallery we can encourage, inspire and share hope with one another…We invite who you to share your “NAPS” (News, Art ,Poetry, Songs) or inspirations. Email if you would like to share inspirations. Please note we can not post advice with regards to nutrition and exercise.

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The Doctor Who Hears Voices

Dr. Rufus May has used his professional knowledge and own experiences of psychosis to focus on developing services that are more patient centred and therapeutic approaches that are more collaborative. He draws upon the nonviolent communication style developed by Marshall Rosenberg and mindfulness. His approach received considerable publicity when it was the subject of The Doctor Who Hears Voices, a 2008 British TV documentary about a junior doctor helped by May to overcome her experiences of hearing voices. Directed by Leo Regan, the documentary depicts the therapy which May provided to the junior doctor, played by actress Ruth Wilson. (Information taken from Wikipedia)

The following blog post: From psychiatric patient to human being: My journey in a nutshell, describes an account of how one individual went through many hospital treatments before finding Rufus May.

View the documentary “The Doctor Who Hears Voices” on YouTube, below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

More about Rufus May


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Think about it…

Think about it…  As the technological landscape is ever changing are we, as a society, replacing human contact with social media and smart phones?  As a society are we disconnecting with what it means to be human (to love and feel) and connecting and maintaining relationships through the digital world?  Does this new world value Facebook friends and likes over actual friendship and interaction?  You may wish to watch this video and think about it…

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Thank you Holy Trinity School!

This post is a follow up to EDOYR visits Holy Trinity CHS!

Our correspondence with Marco to thank him and the students, faculty and staff of Holy Trinity School.


The proceeds of Holy Trinity School’s Sharing Day in the amount of $259.00, just arrived; thank you so much!

It was a pleasure to address the assembly with you and, now, the amount raised will make it possible for us to provide two Stages of Recovery workshops for individuals seeking insight and understanding into the recovery journey. This model is also referred to as motivational interviewing or stages of change as it engages an individual to realize the ways in which they may take action to create change. We have consciously chosen the name Stages of Recovery as this is the ultimate goal.

The workshop is an opportunity for family and friends to be present as well as the person they are supporting to help everyone to understand that the journey has movement in many directions rather than a straight, perfect, line. The workshop is able to encourage self-acceptance and setting achievable goals moving in the right direction, that is, towards recovery, one step at a time. With this in mind, what I refer to as a plan of care can begin to be created to begin the journey with self forgiveness and with understanding.

Please encourage anyone who may be seeking support for any concern to know that they may contact us, in confidence, at anytime. We have two support groups for anxiety and depression including one especially for young teens (14 to 16). All of our groups are for men and women, however, we also have two groups especially for males; one of which is facilitated by a male therapist and in which any concern may be addressed; a second group is specifically for males who may be struggling with disordered eating and body image concerns.

Thank you again, Marco, for your support. Please share out appreciation with the students, faculty and staff of Holy Trinity School.

– Janice Morgante, Executive Director, Eating Disorders of York Region

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Yoga Should be in Schools

Below is the article from

Wed, Dec 7 2011

This Is Why Yoga Should Replace Gym In Schools


Yoga for kids is the sort of thing that makes fodder for Portlandia and Stuff White People Like, but it’s not just a cure for bourgeois boredom or hippie families; it would actually make a pretty good replacement for gym class, if you ask me. Most of the arguments against it seem to come from a fear that yoga could be seen as religious or spiritual, and thus be inappropriate for public schools. But the case for it, outlined in the video below from The Early Show on CBS, makes me really wish that I’d had the option of yoga instead of “racquet sports” when I was in high school (not that I didn’t love you, Mr. Case).

Not only are meditating 7th graders adorable, but regular yoga practice seems to be making a real difference in their lives and schoolwork. The Early Show focused on Kipp Summit Academy, a rigorous charter school in San Lorenzo, California. First brought to the school by Katherine Priore‘s Headstand, a non-profit that brings yoga to disadvantaged kids, yoga is now a part of the curriculum, thanks to outstanding results. According to Kipps, suspensions are down 60% and state test scores are up since they’ve instituted regular yoga classes, and teachers say they’ve noticed increased productivity in their students.

Plus, the kids like it. Kipps students told CBS that yoga helps them with everything from clearing their mind to anger management and doing their schoolwork more efficiently. They like the way it makes them feel, and recognize the improvements in their performance, too.

Which is all a far cry from my own Phys Ed curriculum, which mostly involved sneaking out of the gym while we tried to hit birdies or ping-pong balls in my classes.

And Kipps isn’t the only school to see similar results: In 2003, Researchers at California State University found a correlation between yoga and better behavior and grades in students at a charter school where they practiced yoga almost daily; they were even more fit than the district average according to the California Physical Fitness Test.

Check out the video below and tell me you don’t think that yoga for P.E. seems like a fantastic idea:

Read more:

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Exploring the Dynamics of Support Groups by Jason Applebaum

Did you ever think attending a support group for the first time could be a frightening experience?

I have been a part of many groups and am always apprehensive in the first meeting.  During the initial meeting, people do not know one another and may have high expectations which may lead to a stressful situation.  However, over time it becomes less intimidating and exceptionally rewarding.  Many people make judgements about the group after the first meeting and ask themselves if this group is for me.  The key is to keep an open mind.  It is important to realize the initial group meeting is usually a time to get to know other group members.  For the most part, people do not fully share with a group of strangers and because of this the initial meeting might not seem to meet your needs.  However, over time, trust is built within the group and that is when the magic will begin to happen and real healing will take place.

Once trust has been built into the group and people open up to one another (when they are comfortable), group members can gain valuable insights.  As everyone is experiencing similar difficulties, it is important to not focus on your own challenges, but to listen to others as well.  Through listening to another’s perspective, you can gain insight into your own thoughts and concerns.  It may be possible to draw parallels which you might not have noticed otherwise.

Support groups can be a part of an overall wellness plan.  Just give it time and you will begin to see results.  If the results are not what you were expecting or the group is not working for you, communicate your feelings with the facilitator and give him/her a chance to help; it is helpful when you share your thoughts and feelings.

Consider attending support groups, you might be pleasantly surprised.

The author, Jason Applebaum, is recovering from a gambling addiction and has continually attended support groups as part of his wellness recovery plan.

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What is a Recovery Plan? by Jason Applebaum

What is an addiction recovery plan and what does it look like?  An addiction recovery plan is a series of strategies designed to help a person overcome addictive behaviours and support healthier life choices.  Just like tools in a tool box, each strategy has its own unique features and purpose.

A recovery plan should encompass strategies and activities that are chosen and easily sustained by the individual.  It is important to note, what works for some does not work for all.  It is important for the individual to experience different strategies to better ascertain what works and what doesn’t.  Do not become focused on failure but rather learning about one’s self in the process is what is important.

Here is a list of tools that can be incorporated into any recovery plan and an explanation of how it can contribute to an overall wellness plan.  The list is in no particular order.

Recovery Plan:

1) 12-step group meetings (Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, etc.) – These group meetings allow individuals to meet people facing similar challenges and issues. Relationships formed in this type of group can create an early support network.  The critical importance of these meetings is to learn that you are not alone.

2)  1-1counselling (CAMH, CMHA, etc.) – Meeting with a counsellor can strengthen the ability   to process thoughts and feelings.  As the brain tends to be impaired from thought processes of addiction, counselling gives the opportunity to filter ideas, feelings, and behaviours through the counsellor; resulting in clarity and insight.

3)  Professionally facilitated groups- These groups allow individuals to further process thoughts    and feelings which go beyond the 1-1 counselling sessions.  These groups are not 12 step groups, meaning they are run by specialized addiction counsellors rather than peers.  You can find these groups at agencies such as CAMH, CMHA, and others.

4)  Books – Reading can benefit the individual by helping them expand their mind.  For example, personal growth books can encourage the development of a new positive perspective and    outlook.  Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain is able to build new neural connections which can aid in strengthening and positively influencing recovery.

5)  Family and friend support – By allowing people to know what you are going through and working towards, they are able to understand the supports needed.  Through the best of times and worst of times, knowing they have your back makes recovery that much easier.

6)  Research – Reading many studies and articles about addiction can lead to acceptance which will help to develop strength and courage.

7)  Sports/Physical Activity – Connecting with sports allows for the development of a healthy outlet for stress.  If possible, when the urge to lapse is strong, drop everything and go   play some type of sport or activity.  As time passes, you will find the urges become less frequent and more manageable.  Also, sports are a great way to meet new people and develop friendships with people outside of your addiction circle.  It could even be as simple as going for walks around your neighborhood or yoga.  Basically, anything that gets you to get out of the house and start moving.

8)  Exercise & Nutrition – By exercising and eating well, the brain releases endorphins which makes you feel good.  Focusing on recovery, it is important to stay positive and working    towards healthy outcomes.  Inactivity and a poor diet can lead to negativity and unhealthy outcomes.  When you feel good, you are more likely to maintain the healthy changes you have made.

This is a sample of what a recovery plan could look like.  There are many strategies one could choose to implement.  It is important to figure out what the goals are and what strategies help in achieving those goals.  All of the above strategies influenced me in one way or another to reach my goal of abstinence.

The author, Jason Applebaum, is recovering from gambling addiction.  In May, 2011, he decided to leave his career in the casino industry to focus on his health and recovery.  Currently, he is a Social Service Worker student at Seneca College and is working towards a new career in Responsible Gambling and Social Responsibility.  He has not placed a bet in more than a year and a half (June, 2011).