Tag: Wellness

Fierce Catalyst to Fight Stigma


“Someone you know lives with a mental illness.” So starts the bold yet accurate statement for Mindful, Exploring Mental Health Through Art, the upcoming September exhibition at the Society for Contemporary Crafts in Pgh.

I’ve written the feature essay for the exhibition catalog, to be shared in full after publication. I was honored to have at my disposal the participating artists’ statements, in order to weave their voices into my reflections, on a topic I have been writing and speaking on for years.

Creative artists are a segment of the population whose way of being in the world brings them variously close to two poles– extreme wellness and extreme discomfort. Mania, anxiety, depression, mood or personality disorders can inordinately pervade their lives as they attempt to make sense of inner pain and darkness. There’s little doubt an artist’s balance at times goes by the wayside– but namely its in the chase to sustain a living while creating!

But Art allows for ease. For the most part, It keeps its makers well. Artists put their sensitivity, their ill, their abundance of feeling into the transformative fire of creation.  I propose that eradicating the stigma of mental illness can best happen when the same fierce energy that defines the creative life is applied as a catalyst to this battle…

Check out the link, go to the exhibition and see the work, read the artists’ statements and essay, and advocate for acceptance that there is nothing more significant than our mental health.

Image:  Jan Vojta c 15   Charcoal, Pen & Ink


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Spiral~ an Ebook anthology

SpiralCover scan



I’m so gratified to announce that I’ve compiled the slew of writings that were my creative output of 2013 into an eBook.  Spiral:  An Anthology of Writings in Self Development, Mental Health & Creativity is essentially the product of six months’ time and gathers together in one place 44 unique articles and essays on Self, Mental Health and Wellness.  

Titles range from “Unspoken Bargains in our Daily Relationships” to “Getting Clean on Addiction Policy in the U.S.” to “Early Wounding & Dysfunctional Family Roles”… and much in between.  There is something for everyone intent on better knowing the course of their life or relationships, navigating tricky waters of dysfunction in family, embracing  creativity in their career, finding balance in their life and perhaps a little peace with uncertainty.

Purchase this eBook  directly from this site and send it along directly to a friend’s desktop, tablet or reader in PDF form as a unique lovely present for anyone who needs some end-of-year stimulation and renewal!

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Going After Goals Yet Letting Go of Outcomes




A recent article of Christine Lattimer of the UK inspired me to think on Goals/ Outcomes further–

Good advice in article, esp. ‘Going After a Goal’ but being able to “Let Go of the Outcome” at same time~ How true in business, career and interpersonally!  (This adage should be in all such, as well as mental health and employee EAP program, “manuals”…and indeed is found in some).

This is an important truth in life, especially when disappointments of any kind get us down.  We must aim high but  prepare ourselves mentally to feel satisfied when high outcomes are not in the cards for us.  Similarly, we must define success as personal and professional accomplishment regardless of whether great money, “following”/fame, and traditional definitions of “success” in personal and relationship happiness occurs.  

Define what you aim for.  Define success for yourself.   Though making great money (or at least a decent living) is always desirable,  more gratifying for sure is to do good work, to make a difference, to contribute, to create.  

Ask yourself–What have you actually done?  

What would you like to do?  Get to it.  Then the outcomes might even surprise you.

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Zen & Martial Arts Life-Lessons on the Path Around Anger


Psych Central


Awareness of when anger and conflict are imminent, and then using best practices to completely deflect or even transform it is one of many core truths in Zen and martial arts.

See this article where it was originally published on PsychCentral



Lisa A. Miles c 2013

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MH in school curriculum

Re-reading a reply of mine to a comment posted on one of my articles made me desire to post it alone.  Like money skills, which are not taught as part of most junior high and high school curriculums (and I mean dealing with ill-minded banks, not just balancing your checkbook)–  mental health awareness is also given the shaft.  

Dealing with our emotions and stressors is something that should be a part of the curriculum in schools. If only mental health were considered as important as gym class…. (and we know it is even more important, as the foundation for somatic health)!

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Presence: Authentic Sense of Self


Psych Central


Artists being able to collaborate with psychologists makes for a unique experience.

View this article where it was originally published at PsychCentral


Lisa A. Miles c 2013

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Japanese Self-Reflection: Naikan

Psych Central


Naikan parses life purely to its simple truth, universal and timeless.

See this article where it was originally published on PsychCentral


Lisa A. Miles c 2013

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Self-Development Workshop at BYS Yoga this summer

Sunday July 21, 2013  11 a.m.- 1p.m.

Personal Power:  The Self-Designed Life

A colorful and motivational look at the keys we each hold to pursue a life that most speaks to us in this world.

This hands-on, highly engaging workshop will give participants a chance to reflect on their individual “sense of self.” It will be creative process-driven and utilize stimulating discussion, reflection, tactile and sensory facets, and some minor movement. Bring a a yoga mat and journal, and be prepared to leave empowered and inspired to leverage assets within, and to think on transforming personal and professional challenges, with both inspiration but also effective tools.

Led by Pittsburgh musician, writer and self-development coach Lisa Miles, who has been uniquely blending her expertise in Personal/ Professional Development and the Creative Arts ever since leaving the traditional world of teaching in the 1980s.
See more on Lisa’s advising, and writing for www.psychcentral.com on the BYS Yoga Community Wellness page, as well as her in-depth coaching profile at www.liquic.com.  
$20 in advance
$25 at the door

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Self Development as Balm

Lisa A. Miles c 2013   www.lisamilesviolin.com
All Rights Reserved



Take the toughest challenges you have to tackle at work, at home or with extended family and friends–

Bosses who seem clueless to what your job requires, colleagues who can’t relate to you (or you they), the stress of deadlines and dissatisfaction of being in a job you are not even sure you belong in.  Family members who throw plans into disarray, disregard you and have you questioning your commitment (as well as your sanity).

Perhaps adult siblings who ask for money or come to you for advice, only for you to soon find yourself involved in maddening family triangles, or aunts and uncles who pull you into long-entrenched but silly feuds.  Then of course there are friends who you would like to shake to knock some sense or self-reflection into….  Get the picture?


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On board as writer at PsychCentral

~ Check out my twice-weekly blog column on self development, mental health, professional enrichment and workforce human relations at PsychCentral ~

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