Healing Garden

Helping women heal, inside and out.


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Poetry & Inspiration

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Relax through the Breath

The breath is said to be Life. Learn to use it to improve your health, overall life and recovery.

Eliminate distractions – turn off the phone, radio and TV, close the door, keep everyone away from you.

Close your hands tightly into fists. Hold for several seconds. Release. This is similar to the tension you are holding in your body and what it will feel like when you release the tension through relaxation techniques.

You can use breathwork anytime, anywhere to reduce stress, anxiety, bring more oxygen into the cells of your body, feel more in control and help you on your healing journey.

  • Sit in a comfortable position; uncross your arms and legs, remove or loosen tight clothing, loosen your belt, etc.
  • Close your eyes to minimize external stimuli.
  • If you need to, visualize your safe place, to promote deeper relaxation.
  • Bring in a very deep, sloooooowwww breath. (count silently to between 4 – 7 to find your capacity)
  • . . . And release slowly.
  • Watch your abdomen (not just your chest) rise and fall
  • Repeat several times until you are relaxed enough to resume normal activities.
  • Use this natural tool anytime you need it.

Deep Relaxation Exercise

Claim time for yourself… People hold tension in their bodies for days, weeks, months, believing that they are fine. They adapt to the discomfort until it gets to a level where it can’t be ignored. Then they seek help – from a medical doctor counselor or coach, a massage therapist or a chiropractor for an adjustment.

Practice stress management to minimize the need for discomfort, drugs and doctor visits with the following:

  • Turn off the phone, radio and TV, close the door, keep your spouse, kids, pets occupied away from you.
  • Close your hands tightly into fists. Hold for several seconds. Release. This is what it will feel like when you release the tension from your body.
  • Sit in a comfortable position; uncross your arms and legs, remove or loosen tight clothing, loosen your belt, etc.
  • Close your eyes to minimize external stimuli.
  • If you need to, visualize your safe place, to promote deeper relaxation.
  • Bring in a very deep, sloooooowwww breath. (count silently to between 4 – 7 to find your capacity)
  • . . . And release slowly.
  • Repeat several times.
  • When your body is somewhat relaxed, focus your attention (consciousness) on the top of your head.
  • Continuing to breathe sloooooowwww, deep breaths. Imagine a wave of relaxation slowly flowing down from the top of your head, over your entire body like a warm gentle waterfall, starting at the top of your head, down over your toes and out into the earth.
  • Slowly release each group of muscles as you continue down your body – scalp, forehead, eyes, facial muscles, release the tension in your jaw, your neck – just releasing and relaxing your muscles all the way through and down your body.
  • Sit with that deeper sense of relaxation throughout your body.
  • When ready, feel your feet on the floor, sitting in the chair or sofa, and open your eyes.

This is an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate at the same time. You should feel more relaxed and have a healthier, more balanced energy flow at the end of this exercise.

If you find that the focus remains in one area for a long time, gets stuck, make a mental note of it to work on later (and journal it after the exercise) and use your powerful mind and strong will to direct the energy flow through the blockage, down and out of the body into the ground as much as you can.

If you have difficulty with this exercise, one of our coaches is available to help you relax in one or more affordable telephone coaching sessions. Contact us for help.


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in Heaven

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done,

On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

Forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever.


The 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,

He leadeth me beside the still waters,

He restoreth my Soul.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I shall fear no evil.

Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me,

Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies

Thou anointed my head with oil, my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell in the House of The Lord, forever.


Prayer for Serenity

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

accepting hardships as a pathway to peace,

taking, as Jesus did,

this sinful world as it is,

not as I would have it.


Trusting that you will make all things right,

if I surrender to Your Will,

so that I may be reasonably

happy in this life

and supremely happy with You

forever in the next.



23rd Psalm for Recovery

The Lord is my sponsor, I shall not want.

He makes me to go to many meetings.

He leads me to sit back, relax and listen with an open mind.

He restores my soul, my sanity and my health.

He leads me in the path of sobriety, serenity and fellowship for my own sake.

He teaches me to think, to take it easy, to live and let live and do first things first.

He makes me more humble and grateful.

He teaches me to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can and gives me the wisdom to know the difference.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of despair, frustration, guilt and remorse, I will fear no evil.

For Thou are with me, your program, your way of life, your twelve steps, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: rationalization, fear, anxiety, self-pity, resentment.

You anoint my confused mind and jangled nerves with knowledge, understanding and hope.

No longer am I alone, neither am I afraid, nor sicken, nor helpless, nor hopeless.

My cup runs over.

Surely sobriety and serenity shall follow me every day of my life, one day at a time, twenty-four hours at a time.

As I surrender my will to You and carry Your message to others, I will dwell in the house of Higher Power, as I understand It, one day at a time, forever and ever.


Just For Today

Just for today I will try to live through this day only & not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is & not try to adjust everything else to my desires. I will take my “luck” as it comes & fit myself into it.

Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study; I will learn something useful; I will not be a mental loafer; I will read something that requires effort, thought & concentration.

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn & not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count; I will do at least two things I don’t want to do–just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as good as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, not find fault with anything & not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.

Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry & indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself & relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. I will enjoy that which is beautiful & will believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

(Based on the original Sanskrit version)

Just for Today

Narcotics Anonymous Version

Just for today my thoughts will be on my recovery, living & enjoying life without the use of drugs.

Just for today I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me & wants to help me in my recovery.

Just for today I will have a program. I will try to follow it to the best of my ability.

Just for today, through NA, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid, my thoughts will be on my new associations, people who are not using & who have found a new way of life.

So long as I follow that way, I have nothing to fear.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him (or Her) to be and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

(advice found in Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore. Dated 1692)

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

Where there is discord, harmony.

Where there is error, truth.

Where there is wrong, the spirit of forgiveness.

O Divine Master,
 Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console.

To be understood as to understand.

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Native American Prayer

I give you this one thought to keep –

I am with you still – I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awake in the morning’s hush

I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not think of me as gone –

I am with you still – in each new dawn.

Native American AA Prayer

(short version)

Great Spirit,

Whose voice I hear in the wind,

Whose breath gives life to the world,

Hear me.

I come to you as one of your many children,

I am small and weak,

I need your strength and wisdom.

May I walk in beauty.

And now my life is unmanageable.

I need to learn and remember that

I have an incurable illness and that

Abstinence is the only way to deal with it.

Native American AA Prayer

(Long Version)

Oh Great Spirit whose voice in the winds I hear,

And whose breath gives life to all the world-

Hear me.

Before you I come

One of your many children.

I am small and weak.

Your strength and wisdom I need.

Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the sunset.

Make my heart respect all You have made,

and my ears sharp to hear Your voice.

Make me wise that I may know all You have taught my people,

The lessons You have hidden in every rock.

I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,

but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.

Make me ready to stand before You with clean and straight eyes,
So when life fades as the fading sunset,

may my spirit stand before You without shame.

— Mitakuye Oyasin

Pettiness Prayer

Keep us, oh God, from pettiness.

Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.

Let us be done with fault finding and leave off self-seeking.

May be put away all pettiness and meet each other face to face,
without self-pity and without prejudice.

May we always be patient,
never hasty in judgment and always tolerant.

Teach us to put into action our better
 impulses, straightforward and unafraid.

Let us take time for all things; make us calm, serene and gentle.
Grant that we may realize it is the little
 things in life that create differences,

That in the big things of life we are as one and may

we strive to touch and to know the great common heart of us all.

And, oh God, let us not forget to be kind.

The Twelve Promises

We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word Serenity and we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we’ve gone,
We’ll see how our experiences can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.
Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations that use to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not.
They’re being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
They’ll always materialize if we work for them.

(Source: A.A. teachings)


(A Jewish prayer when in distress)
Answer us, O L_rd,
answer us on our fast day,
for we are in great distress.

Do not turn to our wickedness,
do not conceal Your Countenance from us,
and do not disregard our supplications.

Be near to hear our cry;
Let Your loving kindness console us;
Answer us, even before we call You…

For You, L_rd,
are He who answers in times of distress,
who redeems and rescues
in all times of distress and tribulation.


Prayer for Step 3

Our G_d, our Father, our Shepherd,
Tend us, nourish us, sustain us,
feed us, and provide us with plenty;
and speedily, L_rd our G_d,
grant us relief from all our afflictions.

L_rd our G_d,
Please do not make us dependent upon
The gifts of mortal men,
Nor upon their loans,
But only upon Your full, open, holy and generous hand,
That we may never be shamed or disgraced.

Respect for Self

Dear Lord,
Thank you for giving me
the richest gift of all:
You taught me to respect myself.
I have the ability to say “no”
to the toxic people in my life.
I am able to surround myself
with only those who share authentic love
through word and deed.
I can grow to my full potential.




Prayer for Others


Merciful God,

I offer prayers for those who are wanting,
Those with broken hearts and broken lives.
Bless them with healing.

Change their circumstances.
Cause peace and prosperity
to come to them in abundance.

I, who have plenty,
pray that I may share the richness of my Soul,
Even as I share my resources.


Prayer for Healing



Please walk beside me through this day.

Clear the heavy air

with the lightness of Your Presence.

Guide my hands and steady my heart

that I may give comfort

when I cannot give hope,

that I may give relief

when I do not have a cure,

and that I may radiate Your healing peace

when the limits of science, time

and the human body overwhelm us all.





It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks. Helen Keller


In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. ~ Deepak Chopra

Meditation is a valuable tool that is misunderstood and underused in our society. Some people have begun to meditate along with the other practices like yoga, tai chi, or for relaxation and in cancer treatment.

A blending of East and West starting to have an impact on health and well-being, meditation can be learned and practiced by almost everyone. You can use it almost anytime and almost anywhere.

It might take a little while to do it well enough to benefit your health, but well worth the time.

Some practice a quiet form of meditation, while others may chant. There is a variety of ways to do it – just do it!

We will have classes on a variety of topics including meditation, guided imagery, alternative and complementary therapies and more. Watch for them in our e-newsletter and calendar.

I am . . .

(Based on the Disidentification meditation)

I have a body to function in this world
But I am not my body
The physical pain that I experienced made me stronger
Any current pains I feel I can now manage or let go
I ground myself in my body
But I am not my body
I am more than my body

I have a mind
But I am not my mind
My mind helps me to think, know, understand
Negative thoughts, beliefs, messages have contaminated and limited me
I am ready to let go of negative thoughts, beliefs, messages
I ground myself in my mind
But I am not my mind
I am more than my mind

I have emotions or feelings
I am not my emotions or feelings
They help me to gain an understanding of myself, this world and others
I am able to stretch and grow through my emotions or feelings
I am able to feel and share my emotions/feelings
But I am sometimes limited by my emotions or feelings
I can now let go of limiting emotions or feelings
I am not my emotions or feelings
I am more than my emotions or feelings

I have a job, career or profession
I am not my job or work
It is an activity I do to earn money
It may be meaningful and enjoyable
But it is not who I am
I am not my job or work
I am more than my job or work

If I am not my body, not my mind, not my emotions or feelings, my work/job, then what am I?

The whole is greater than the parts.

I am the loving energy within, the Soul, the Divine “spark” of life.

The Great Invocation

From the point of Light within the Mind of God,
Let Light flow forth into the minds of man.
Let Light descend on earth.

From the point of Love, within the Heart of God,
Let Love stream forth into the Hearts of man,
May Christ return to earth.

From the center where the Will of God is known
Let Purpose guide the little wills of man,
The Purpose which the Master knows and serves.

From the center which we call the Race of Man,
May the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may It seal the door where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power
Restore the Plan on earth.



The purpose of the relaxation technique is to begin to train your body to relax, your mind to be calm and begin to focus your attention on a single point. You are in control throughout the process. It is not the same as hypnotherapy where you can go into a deep trance. With visualization, you use your own mind, your own imagination.

Prepare your physical environment so there are no distractions.

Phone off, no radio or television playing, kids and pets away from you and door closed/locked to avoid interruptions. 

Sit in a comfortable position, no tight clothing, sitting with legs and arms uncrossed, hands comfortably on your legs or by your side, feet flat on the floor to anchor you to your physical surroundings.

Close your eyes if comfortable. If not, build up to the day when you do feel comfortable closing your eyes, It can be more impactful for you.

Take several long, slow, deep breaths.

Each person is different, so you can silently count to 4 or 5 as you inhale, then count up to 5-7 as you slowly exhale. This will determine what your breath capacity is.

When your body is relaxed and your mind is calmed, focus the power of your mind on what you need to work on (healing, forgiveness, inner child work, decreasing anxiety or depression, etc.).

If your mind should wander, or you have intrusive thoughts, gently bring your attention back to the breath and what you are working on at the moment. Avoid judging the thoughts or feelings and simply return to your work. If you do judge, journal it to reflect upon and clear it from your life.

Continue to breathe with intention (not shallow) throughout your session.

When ready, feel yourself sitting in your seat, be aware of the air, temperature in the room, sounds, feet firmly on the ground and slowly open your eyes.

When you engage in guided imagery you are being “guided” through the process by a person’s voice, either in person or through a recording.

When using the help of a recording, do a “body scan” to see if your body gives you any messages of discomfort, headache, etc. (Put your attention on the top of your head and slowly go down to sense any discomfort in any area on your body). You may be using a recording with “subliminal” messages imbedded in it.

The more you practice away from chaos, noises, etc., you begin to tap into your own intuition, inner wisdom, develop your deeper senses.

We will have classes on a variety of topics including meditation, scanning, and helping you to develop your deeper senses. Watch for them in our e-newsletter and calendar.


Affirmations are brief statements that can remind us of our new beliefs, values, character traits, behaviors, and other personal and/or professional goals. They can be written on sticky notes and posted in areas we will see often.

Write a list of things you want or need to change and prioritize them. Choose three and write an affirmation for each one to help you change each.

Remember the “5 P’s. They must be Positive, Current or Present tense, Personal, Possible, and Probable that they can happen for you.

Because you are making these changes for yourself, add “..for me” at the end of each affirmation.

Practice each affirmation several times a day in front of a mirror and throughout the day wherever you are.

Make your own affirmations:


In Present tense

Probable (happened for others)

Possible (could happen for me)

Personal (for me)


I accept myself as I am, for me

I am a survivor, for me

I release the need to control others, for me

I am a strong, capable woman, for me

I am open to making healthy friends, for me

I trust my thoughts and emotions, for me

Poetry, Personal Prayers and Inspirational Stories

I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.

Helen Keller

You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.

These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“Whatever is in me is stronger than what is out there to defeat me.”

Caroline Myss

From the Stillness Within

by Dena J Bower©

Going within, quieting the mind
Calming the body through breath.

A deep, slow breath into the nose,
A deep breath out of the mouth.

Taking the tension, fears, toxins
Out of the body and mind.

Leaving instead, a relaxed body
And calmer mind.

I feel the stillness within
As I connect with it.

An effortless embrace from within
Flowing outward into the world.

Sharing the stillness I experience
To calm other’s chaos and fears,
Opening to peace –

Inner and outer Peace.

From the Stillness within.

Copyright ©2018-2019 All Rights Reserved Dena J Bower

A Personal Prayer

As I begin a new way, I seek to find within me the calm,
compassionate and caring person I believe myself to be….

I seek to find within me the courage and knowing that will help me find, within me, my own special way of being…. in order to become emotionally and spiritually heart-centered toward my “Self” and to those in my life.

I wish to expand the love consciousness and truth I hold close and dear, so that I can be my own unique self in finding the courage, humility and wisdom that will flow from my continuing journey toward Wholeness!

I will continue to seek the calming of my restless mind in order to perceive the natural energies that will enable me to be present to everyone and everything in my life, in every way!

I am an awakening Being in the here-and-now toward unconditional Love and Oneness!

Rita J. Sordellini, Ed.S., LMHC
Psychotherapist and Coach
Living Well Health Center and
Recovery 4 Women
Hollywood, Florida

My Need

My need for you is strong.

I think of you and my heart races,

My body trembles, and my spirit soars.

I try to fight the craving for you,

But I know the cause is lost.

I must have you again.

I fear that the world will someday know

About my weakness for you.

I know that if I go to you

For one more taste of you,

My guilt will overcome me

And a heavy penance will be paid.

But my resolve weakens and crumbles.

I go to you, I take you and hold you.

The wonderful smell of you fills my senses.

This is insane, why can’t I resist you?

I know that any other can have you

If they but pay the price.

Ahhhhhhh …… Chocolate……


I Wanted to Change the World

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.

I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.

When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.

I couldn’t change the town and

as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself,

and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself,

I could have made an impact on my family.

My family and I could have made an impact on our town.

Their impact could have changed the nation and

I could indeed have changed the world.

~ Author Unknown

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. Mother Teresa

I wondered why somebody didn’t do something.  Then I realized, I am somebody. Author Unknown

Fall seven times; stand up eight. Japanese Proverb

Past the seeker as he prayed came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten.
And seeing them… he cried, ‘Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?’
God said, ‘I did do something. I made you.’

Author Unknown

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