The Surviving Spirit Newsletter

July 8, 2010



The Surviving Spirit Newsletter – Healing the Heart Through the Creative Arts  –

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. – Kahlil Gibran

Hello Folks,                                                                                               June & July issue

Welcome one and all to the latest offering of news, resources, and information from the Surviving Spirit. Summer is officially here and a time to unwind and relax a bit…so with that in mind and with so many people on vacation, it seemed right to combine the months of June & July into one issue.

We’ve held several events recently that have helped the Surviving Spirit in its Mission and Vision of the things we are trying to do through the creative arts in raising awareness on the issues and concerns of trauma, abuse and mental illness. All have been well received and it has brought more folks on board to the newsletter and also helping us in our efforts in other ways. Our website continues to move along in the building process…still more to do, but we are getting there. As the saying goes, “slow but sure”.

Speaking of the website, our News & Events section is up and running, we still have some tweaking to do…but please note: We have two parts to this, one is for matters of interest that pertains specifically to what the Surviving Spirit is doing and the other part is to share information on what other organizations and individuals are doing that concerns their events, conferences, advocacy and creative news, etc.

If you have news or an upcoming event to share, please let us know.  You can ‘check it out’ at click on News & Events, fill out the form and send us the information you wish to have shared. Thanks!!

And here are some more helpful resources and news from our friends and colleagues:

1] Meg LeDuc who is involved with the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has put together a new website and blog called Divinest Sense. It is to be an artistic forum for people who have struggled with a mental illness and who express themselves through the graphic arts, music, writing, video and more. Please visit  to learn more.

2] This is some great news from the folks at Mental Health America – they have launched a new national campaign on the importance of stress and trauma in the development of mental health problems and the need to appropriately treat them in order for people to get better. Called S.T.A.R. of Mine (for Stress, Treatment, Awareness, Recovery), the campaign will raise awareness of the impact of trauma & help remove the stigma attached to it

Hmnnn….on a personal note, this cuts to the heart of the matter that helped to shape and start this newsletter and my advocacy efforts many years ago in the early 90’s. I enjoy sharing the news and information of what others are doing – it is a labor of love. But there is a flip side to that; it reminds me of why I and so many others do what we do. The stigma attached to the impact of healing from trauma, abuse and/or “mental illness” only makes one’s healing journey that much harder. So this program from Mental Health America and the efforts of what others are doing will hopefully some day end that stigma and discrimination.

3] Cynther Jones has a radio show that is broadcast down in Texas. She recently launched a new segment called "Mental Health Spotlight," which features a mental health professional or a mental health consumer, monthly. She is also a mental health consumer advocate. The show airs on Thursdays, at 11:30 a.m., on KGLD 1330 AM. Listen world-wide, online, at  This is a Gospel station, but the program is secular.

I had the good fortune to be on her show several weeks ago…we touched upon many of the issues that pertain to those of us affected by mental health concerns and the impact upon us as parents and so much more. If you would like to be on her show, write to her at or call the radio station at (903) 526-1330

I hope to post a recording of the show I was on to my website soon.

4] Fia Marie has a website, The Borderline Experience – BPD Up Close & Personal and a blog that is a great resource and place for peer support around the issues of Borderline Personality Disorder.

5] Courage Network –  A community for domestic violence organizations, professionals, advocates and survivors. And a resource for victims, family and friends dealing with domestic violence in their personal lives.

6] Corinna West, Certified Peer Specialist also has a website Human Hand Wordworks for her Motivational speaking, spoken word poetry, and catalyst for change –

I’m also excited that I will be co-presenting with Corinna and Gayle Bluebird [ ]a workshop – Developing Your Art Practice into a Self-Supporting Business to Promote Social Justice at the Alternatives Conference in Anaheim, CA Sept. 29th – Oct. 3 rd 2010. Learn more about the conference at:

7] We thought it would be helpful to share some resources to help those who are writers, would be authors and poets with some information that could help them in their creative endeavors. Self-publishing is a great thing for those of us who are creative, but it still helps to have some basic guidelines to follow and learn from. With that in mind here are a few websites to help you –

What is Good Writing?

And for our musician friends –

Please note I’ve been in music all of my life…I’ve seen the best and the worst of those in the ‘business’ taking advantage of us. CDBaby does indeed help independent musicians and bands. They have helped me to sell my music worldwide with credit card orders and also getting me connected into I-Tunes and so many other Internet sites that have sold my music. Payments to me are timely, but what they also do is share LOTS of helpful resources and tips for promoting and selling your music – so do check them out.

If any of our artist friends have some helpful resources to share, please let us know.

8] Sheva Burton shares this news from ‘across the pond’:

UK RALLY AGAINST CHILD ABUSE, Trafalgar Square, London, Saturday August 7th, 2010

Start – 1:00pm Members of the public will be invited to take the stand to voice their views and share their stories. Finish – 5:00pm
The UK Rally Against Child Abuse is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to join together not only in raising awareness of this most serious issue but also to show victims/survivors/families that you/we/they are not alone.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us – survivors, non-survivors, friends, families, children, supporters and support organizations, anyone who is against child abuse and wants to make a difference.
(Please note: this event will be filmed) speeches aired with permission!/event.php?eid=121663397854205&ref=mf

9] Upcoming event information for the 5th Vital Cycles Retreat being held in Fredericksburg, VA  August 6-8 2010,  can be found at

The purpose of Vital Cycles is to empower those who seek joy in living while healing the emotional impact of trauma.

Take care, Mike

ps. Please share this with your friends & if you have received this in error, please let me know.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

A diagnosis is not a destiny. – Hope, Healing, & Help for Trauma, Abuse, & Mental Health through music, resources, & advocacy – musical endeavors only  Facebook – for friends, music, & advocacy!! – live performance of "Brush Away Your Tears" from TV show interview 603-625-2136    38 River Ledge Drive, Goffstown, NH 03045 – new site for public speaking & music presentation on healing for trauma, abuse, & mental health.

"BE the change you want to see in the world." Mohandas Gandhi


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