Art Opening: Ali-ce in Winterland: Prints & Quilts by Ali Hansen

Join us on Friday, October 6th at 6:00 pm

at Future Life Now and meet the artist, Ali Hansen.

Several of her artworks will be on display. Light refreshment will be served. We hope to see you!

Future Life Now is located at 4138 Hamilton Ave, Suite B, Northside, 45223. Free parking will be available in the lot behind our building and on the street. The entrance is on the Knowlton St. side of our building. Come up to the second floor for our suite.

A note from Ali Hansen

“Shadows snapped from leafless branches onto the snow. The Stranger in a hooded cloak shuddered against the wind…”

I moved to Michigan eleven years ago, and discovered a wonderland of real and imaginary characters in my own backyard. Ali-ce in Winterland is the garden’s story from the first fallen leaf in August to the first snowfall in December.

The work in this show was completed in the last two years. I have enjoyed reconnecting with printmaking and love working with fabric and collage. I completed this work at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center where I have learned to set type and print on the letterset press.

I would like to thank Cynthia and Larry, and the rest of the team at Future Life Now for the opportunity to share my story with you.
Ali Hansen

Ali’s Bio

After thirty years in Cincinnati, Ali Hansen moved to southwest Michigan to “retire” and enjoy sunsets on Lake Michigan, pursue her artwork, and as a surprise, begin writing stories. This work is the first combination—writing, illustrating, and publishing—her own words.

Ali lives in Benton Harbor with her life partner, Marilee Panna, their dog, Wyeth Blue and Keillor the cat.

Spiritual But Not Religious

spiritual-but-not-religious

When I was a very young boy, there were two deities that watched over me. Both were gray bearded old men. One was Santa Claus. He watched to find out if I was naughty or nice. If I were nice, I’d get really good presents on Christmas day. If I were naughty, I’d probably still get presents, but not the presents I wanted. The other was God, whom my grandmother new personally. If I were good and believed in God’s son Jesus, I could go to heaven when I died. If I were bad, God would send me to burn in hell forever when I died. That meant you had to wait until you died to find out how you were with God. Santa paid off every year. If those were my choices, I’d take Santa any day!

One day, when I was a college student, a friend talked to me about a Jesus who would walk with me and help make life easier and more joy filled. He didn’t tell me anything I hadn’t heard before, but the meaning was different and my life was changed. Since then, my understanding of God has changed several times. With each change God became bigger, more loving and more inclusive. At age 6 years old, I could not conceive of God in any other way. I had not developed enough emotionally to understand God or Santa differently. By the time I was in college, I could understand God in a different way. The content was the same, but the context and meaning had changed. So it is with all of us.

Spiritual Update Needed

We find ourselves in a time of great transition and potential peril. For many years philosopher and teacher Ken Wilber has made the argument that traditional religions hold the spiritual truths that can and should transform the world. Unfortunately, those truths are still couched in a world view of two or more millennia ago – the world was flat, the sun was born each morning and traveled across a dome, died each night, and the stars and clouds were a part of the dome that existed just outside our reach. Maybe no one still believes that. Humanity has grown, developed, evolved intellectually and emotionally. The context has changed.

It is estimated that 20 % or more of Americans claim to be “Spiritual but Not Religious”. They’re not wanting some watered down and impotent version of religion. What is needed is not a religion that is pre-rational, but one that is transrational.

Four Things For Religion

Wilber says the religions have to do four things: they have to GROW UP, WAKE UP, SHOW UP and CLEAN UP.

Grow up: don’t check your brains at the door when you enter to pray or worship.

Wake up: wake up to the true nature of Spirit and the relation Spirit has with us.

Show up: you can’t sit and be holy. Spirit lives, moves and acts in and through us.

Clean up: recognize and transform the shadow side of ourselves.

Though what I have to say applies to all of the major and traditional religions, since I am Christian and want to say a little about each of these four on-going tasks from that perspective

To grow up means to hear the words of Jesus: “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” The word “perfect” means “mature”. Act your age. Hear the texts with intelligence. Question them. You’ve been taught or have learned what they mean, but ask, “What else can they mean in today’s world?” Maybe when you were a child, God was the big guy in the sky who punished those who were bad and rewarded those who were good. Hopefully as an adult that has changed. James Fowler wrote a book called Stages of Faith in which he described six stages through which people grow as they mature. The sacred texts hold different meaning and power as individuals make their way through those stages. Can you recognize your own path of faith development?

The Bible says that humanity was created in God’s image. For the Christian, God exists as one in three forms: Creator (Father), Incarnation (Body – the Son) and Sustainer – Holy Spirit. We need to wake up to whom we really are. We, too, are triune – made in God’s image:

We are Soul/Psyche. It is psyche that co-creates the world in which we live. We participate in creating reality by our spiritual nature.

We are incarnate in that Christ is in us. The Apostle Paul uses the phrase “Christ in me” and other such phrases to emphasize that Christ is in us and that we have the mind of Christ.

We should use it. We absolutely are Spirit. It is Spirit that sustains us, that keeps us going. An infant doesn’t know living from dying but we all know of infants who fought with all that was in them to stay alive. And it is Spirit that sustains us as we transition from one form of life to another. That’s what Jesus meant when he said, “Before Moses was, I am.”

Finally, we have to clean up. What needs to be cleansed from us? What are the parts of ourselves that need to be embraced rather than hidden? What are our prejudices and against whom do we discriminate? Whom would we curse rather than bless? How burdensome are the grudges and angers we carry? They are a weight and detriment to our own development. Others may not need or even want our forgiveness, but we need (not should) to forgive for our sakes. What’s more, we need to forgive and embrace ourselves, those parts of ourselves that we’ve tried to hide from ourselves but may be apparent to others.

It is my firm belief that our country and our world will survive in the long term only if we grow up, wake up, show up and clean up. The Incas predicted the end of the world. Actually, what they predicted was the end of the world as it has been known. They predicted the transition from homo sapiens to homo luminous – from the knowing or wise ones to the enlightened ones. If enough people practice these four tasks, humanity and world will continue to mature and perhaps even make the leap to homo luminous.

England Slide Show 2017

We had a grand time in England. First there was the Movement 2017: Body, Brain Cognition conference at Oxford University in Oxford, England where a research project Cynthia was instrumental in was presented. Alternative movement program in geriatric rehabilitation: Bones for Life®.

This was our first trip to England so we headed over to London and the sounding areas for a busy few days. Our take: multi-cultural, friendly, helpful and very royal.

Click the icon circled on top left hand side for the England Slide Show.

 

Learn How to Get Well ~ Part 2

Last time I shared that we can participate in and lead the healing of our bodies. We have the ability to influence the course of physical illness. In particular, the point of the previous article was that we should learn not about the course of disease, but that we would be better served by learning from those who got well with little or no medical intervention. We’re not opposed to medical interventions but we can benefit in knowing how we can contribute to our own healing. The same is true when it comes to mental health.

We know that some people who were abused physically, emotionally or sexually as children have significant emotional/mental problems as adults. But it is just as true that there are many people who had similar experiences but do not have mental health problems as adults. How is that true? So far as I can find, there are no studies that explain how others who had similar childhood experiences avoid having problems. Psychologists and psychiatrists have conducted major studies on people with phobias and how they got them. Richard Bandler and John Grinder (developers of Neuro-Linguistic Programming) studied people who got over phobias and how they did it. They developed a process for eliminating phobias in just a few minutes without putting the client though any further trauma. The process has been effective in treating PTSD as well. The process does not fit in any psychological model and therefore it remains unrecognized in the mental health fields.

NLP practitioners are not therapists, though many therapists use NLP in their practices. NLP practitioners are not particularly interested in how dis-ease was caused. We’re more interested in knowing how it’s maintained. Healing does not begin at the “cause” stage. It starts with where the client is and moves to where the client wants to be. The practitioner does not need to know what happened to make you phobic, depressed, anxious or whatever. Instead he needs to know what are the internal mental processes that maintain the current problems state. As an example, consider this: We all have internal dialogues and mental pictures. Everyone can day dream and have wonderful or horrifying day dream experiences. The first is called fantasy. The second is called worrying. Those who have no strategy for distinguishing between imaginary and real, between day dreaming and real life, experience life as being very confusing. Those who experience internal voices or internal pictures as being outside themselves often get labeled as schizophrenic. If they had a strategy for consistently distinguish between real and imaginary, the problems would disappear. Those who are labeled as being depressed, would benefit by being taught how to brighten up the day and future. Wouldn’t it be great if you could learn how to take all those terrible things that have happened to you, bundle them up and put them behind you so they were over and done with? This is possible. This has been done successfully many, many times.

I am not making light of life struggles. We may and often do need help to deal with troubled times. But it is just as true that we play a major role in our successfully navigating our way through those troubled times. We are just beginning to understand how to use our mental capacities to create the kind of life we want. We will always benefit from and need physical and mental health professionals. But each of us has within us the ability to participate in our own healing. We are available to partner with you, that’s what we at Future Life Now do: We teach people how to use their mind and body to achieve the kind of life they want.

Learn How to Get Well ~ Part 1

The scientific medical communities are the world’s best experts at studying disease. But they have not been all that successful in studying well-being. I did an internet search for scientific articles on the study of spontaneous remissions and found exactly one. Spontaneous remission is the term used to explain what happened when someone recovers from a chronic or terminal illness and no one know why or how. There is only one study that attempted to discover how people diagnosed with cancer suddenly recover with no apparent or effective treatment. The term spontaneous remission seems to imply that it will come back. If a cold goes away with no treatment, is it cured or simply in remission?

In the last couple of years, we at Future Life Now have made references to two books The Brain’s Way of Healing and The Psychobiology of Gene Expression. They are among the most recent of a very long list of books exploring how individuals influence the course of dis-ease – both physical and emotional.

And in the 1970’s influential books including Getting Well Again, which reported the use of imagination, visualization and belief and recovery for people diagnosed with terminal cancer. A few years later Bernie Siegel, MD, published Love, Medicine and Miracles about Exceptional Cancer Patients.

It’s an impressive and very long list of authors that have covered this topic including Norman Doidge, MD, Ernest Rossi, Ph. D., Carl Simonton, MD, Stephanie Matthews Simonton, Jeanne Achterberg, Ph.D., Larry Dossey, MD, and Deepak Chopra, MD. A common theme in all these books is that mental processes have an enormous impact on mental and physical health and well-being. Until recently, the scientific communities of mental and physical health have largely ignored or denied what these people have been saying for the past forty-years. These claims simply have not fit into the scientific model of inquiry.

Doctors know that smoking can cause cancer, but they do not know how to explain people who smoke for fifty years but never get cancer. They know that people who have strokes frequently have high blood pressure. But they don’t know how millions of people who have high blood pressure avoid having strokes.

We know that herniated discs or arthritis in the spine can be exceedingly painful. But we also know that there are many who have herniated discs or arthritic spines but have no pain at all. I think it would be great to discover how that happens. When it comes to chronic pain, I do know this: I have never worked with a client experiencing chronic pain that could not make the pain worse. I didn’t have to teach them how to do it, but they could do it without getting out of the chair, just by focusing on it. They also discovered that if they could make it worse, they could make it better. We teach clients who experience chronic pain how to resolve/reverse it so they experience more and more comfort.

We owe a great debt to the scientific community. Their efforts have extended life expectancy in ways never thought possible a century ago. The authors listed above and many, many more are suggesting that the scientific community and the world would benefit if the scope of study were expanded to include those who unexpectedly recovered. An eighty plus year old member of a church where I was the pastor was diagnosed with a horribly painful form of skin cancer. She spent weeks in a regional cancer research hospital. She could not even stand to have sheets to touch her body. The hospital eventually said they had done all they could do and sent her home to live with her sister until she died. A niece was a nurse and changed her dressings twice a day. She miraculously completely recovered! She returned to the hospital where pictures of her skin were taken and her case written up. But no one asked how it happened. It was simply a case of spontaneous remission.

For four years, I facilitated a cancer support group. The participants learned how to use their own mental and physical resources to make therapies more effective with fewer unwanted effects. Using mental imagery and guided meditations they strengthened their immune systems, decreased or eliminated pain and had better than expected outcomes. Not all survived. But all lived higher than expected quality of life. Those who did not survive lived active lives up until the last two or three days of life. These same practices have been shown to improve conditions for people experiencing many different illnesses including diabetes, arthritis, heart problems, and others.

We can learn how to be the major contributor to our health, well-being and healing. Health care providers can be more effective if we learn how to take the lead in healing.

What is true in the physical health arena is also true in then the mental health field as well. We’ll address that next time.

Timeless Japan: A Photography Exhibit by Helen Rindsberg

Timeless Japan presents eight photos that capture Japanese landscapes; rural, urban and religious. They are bold color studies of cultural traditions from rice fields to shrine deities, subjects reaching back hundreds of years yet still vibrantly alive in the 21st century.

Drop by to see the opening on Friday, May 12, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Guitar music by Todd Juengling
Meet Helen Rindsberg and connect with new and old friends alike.
Wine, tea, and nibbles provided. Profits from sales to benefit the Cincinnati Asian Art Society.

Show open: May 12 – July 28, 2017

Artist Statement:
My passions are teaching, photography and Japan. Photography is my means of personal expression and appreciation of what is beautiful and important. It’s a way for me to help people see the world in a new way. The photographs in this exhibit are part of my efforts to capture the enduring cultural traditions of Japan and share their energy with others.

Biography:
Helen Rindsberg is the President of the Cincinnati Asian Art Society and in her own words “I’ve been crazy about Japan since I was nine years old.” She has been a teacher and administrator in Cincinnati since 1972, working with students from junior high school to college. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelors and Masters of Arts in Art Education and is currently an adjunct professor there.

In 1984 Helen won a fellowship to study the economy of Japan. That three-week trip began an amazing personal journey. She has traveled to Japan 16 more times, most recently as co-leader of a trip from the art museum. She and her husband have hosted 18 Japanese college students for anything from six months to five years. Their extended family now includes 21 “grandchildren” and has helped deepen her love and knowledge of the Japanese culture.

A docent at the Cincinnati Art Museum since 2004, Helen specializes in tours of the Asian art collection and helps with training for docents and teachers. Helen is also a gardener and Director of Cincinnati Dayton Taiko, a traditional Japanese drum group.

Maybe it IS your Grandmother’s Worst Nightmare

Ernest L. Rossi’s book The Psychobiology of Gene Expression is a pretty heavy read for the lay person, but it carries an important message for each of us. His basic hypothesis, in very simple terms, is that there is a connection between one’s psychology and physical health. More specifically, there is evidence that suggests that psychological processes such as hypnosis can be effective in switching off genes that express themselves as disease. Such may be an explanation for spontaneous remissions (that is diseases disappearing with no medical or scientific understanding as to how that happened). The fields of psychoneuroimmunology and psychophysiology have been around for at least 20 years and have ample evidence of the mind-body connection.

Recently, a student in the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work introduced me to something similar that sounded like psychological DNA to me. The term is transgenerational trauma. The understanding is that the effects of severe trauma is passed on to child and grandchild. Often parents who were traumatized as children had children who had symptoms of having been traumatized. It was thought that it was because of poor parenting skills. It is now believed that it may be epigenetically transmitted. That is, symptoms of trauma arise from nongenetic influences on gene expression. Think of the implications!

This could be an explanation for things like generalized anxiety disorder in which a person feels anxious for no apparent reason. A child is fearful, has nightmares and monsters under the bed. (The child is then actually traumatized by being scolded and sent back into the bedroom.) Is it possible that some parents have been suspected of child abuse because the child expresses symptoms of having been abused but had not themselves been abused?

So why do I write this when I have so little information or knowledge. It is because it calls me to have more compassion for those experiencing the symptoms, especially to have compassion for children who have explainable fears and terrors. Also, I would say, have compassion for yourself, since your fears may not be your own. There are processes for helping people overcome the effects of trauma, even if they don’t know what the trauma was. Some energy workers and body workers can help release the grip of symptoms. Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioners have skills in working to relieve such symptoms without requiring any information about their cause or genesis.

There is connectedness that exists not only within but among human beings. There is the mind-body connection within us. And now we are discovering that the connection is also among us. There is a line in a Native American chant that says, “What I am is holy, holy are we. Body, thoughts, emotions connecting you and me. Great Spirit circles all around me.” We are connected.