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.

Leave a comment

Cafe Series Concert and Art Show in Newmarket

Yesterday Riverwalk hosted a concert and art show as a part of our new Cafe Series concert series. This spring, we will be hosting a series of concerts and art shows all over York Region to promote our Expressive and Therapeutic Arts Program and to raise awareness about mental health in our community. Saturday’s event was at Books Cafe and Things on Main St. in Newmarket. The next show is at Bonsai Hill at Yonge and Wellington in Aurora on March 25th. Check out the details here. If you are interested in performing a short acoustic set, email Michelle at

Thanks to all the awesome acts that volunteered their time and shared their tunes with us:

Matt Gerber

Michelle Scott

Mel and Peter from Ravyn Red

The New Commuters

The Jay Dee Band

Check out the photos below for highlights from the event!

Watch the 1st Songs to Recovery showcase, which started it all, on Rogers TV here!



Leave a comment

Expressive Art – Honouring the Whole Self

“[Expressive and Therapeutic Art] is a way of helping people know their complete selves …  It is about having a full soul and a full heart and realising that you’re a full person. It is important to honour that playful, imaginative aspect of ourselves that is all too often forgotten when we’re running here and there and stressing out. It is important for people to reconnect with that part of themselves.”

Riverwalk’s Michelle was interviewed by the Auroran newspaper about the Cafe Series concert series coming to York Region starting this February. You can read the article here (go to page 12). Each month, for the next few months, Riverwalk will be putting on an acoustic concert and art show in cafes all over York Region. The first will take place Febuary 25th, 6-9pm at Cafe, Books and Things in Newmarket on Main St. The second will take place March 25th, 3 – 6pm at Bonsai Hill at Yonge and Wellington in Aurora.

In March, a new Music as Expression group will be starting at the Newmarket Public Library, Saturdays in the afternoon. Bring an acoustic instrument, play one of our percussion instruments, or just use your singing voice to join in as we play and sing along to popular songs or take part in impromptu jam sessions. No experience necessary! This group is free with a referral from either Riverwalk or Addiction Services for York Region.

For more info about either the Cafe Series concert series or Music as Expression, email

Leave a comment

Mind over Matter / Mind vs. Body / #NotAChoice

Mind over Matter / Mind vs. Body / #NotAChoice

by Ola Mazzuca


Do I have much choice, when,

My brain is connected to my body?

Do I have much choice, when,

These are the results of trauma?

Do I have much choice, when,

This is how I cope?

Do I have much choice, when,

My work/life balance does not exist?

Do I have much choice, when,

I listened to that person’s opinion?

Do I have much choice, when,

No one understands how I feel?

Do I have much choice, when,

I can’t find another way to live?


Why would I choose this, when,

I genuinely enjoy food?

Why would I choose this, when,

It is my right to health and nourishment?

Why would I choose this, when,

I know it is hurting my body,

My love life,

My friends,

My family,

My future?

Why would I choose this, when,

I am slowly killing myself?


Eating disorders are not a choice,

For they are results of things past,

a reflection of inner turmoil,

more than what’s on the surface

or in the mirror.


Eating disorders are not a choice,

When we are struggling to decipher,

Who we are, and what we need,

To keep our heads up high,

And push through.


Eating disorders are not a choice,

Because weight is not the issue.

Numbers hold no value.

We just need support,

Time and space to speak our minds,

And a chance to see the light.  


Leave a comment

EDAW Day 2: Identity, Family Dynamics, and Challenging Behaviour

Yesterday at our Fireside Conversation event we had a thought provoking discussion surrounding this year’s EDAW theme, Eating Disorders are Not a Choice.

We talked about how one’s identity is shaped by forces that are in our control and outside of our control. We talked about the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of understanding mental health issues and how this aligns with the EDAW theme. We talked about how past histories and family dynamics (tracing all the way back through our parents’ interactions with their parents, and so on) in combination with biological and psychological factors, can shape our identities in a way that lead to an unstable sense of self. We talked about how an unstable sense of self and identity can lead to the adoption of harmful behaviours such as eating disorders, substance abuse issues, isolation, and self-harm.

We talked about the importance of accepting, and sometimes even forgiving, those in our lives that have led to these unstable identities. We also talked about the fact that sometimes it’s okay not to forgive others, but at the very least it is important to forgive oneself.

We talked about the importance of shaping one’s identity around helpful, creative, and productive activities and roles in recovery, as identity during mental illness can be shaped and defined by illness-related behaviours.

We shared personal stories and professional anecdotes, we shared information and we learned from one another, and overall we elevated our collective understanding of eating disorders and mental health issues in general.

See below for photos from the event!