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Showing posts from July, 2015

Why Some People See Ghosts and Other Apparitions There are potential explanations (even if some people won't believe them). I have personally experienced auditory, olfactory and visionary hallucinations due to severe PTSD. It was a frightening experience but once understood what was happening I gained some sense of solace.

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How Creativity Works in the Brain - More than 30 years of cognitive-behavioral research has informed our knowledge about creativity, but there is little neuroscience to back it up. The field needs neuroscientific validation of existing tools to assess creativity in individuals. If effective, these tests can be adopted more widely by our nation's educators, employers, and other decision-makers. Read more: http://www.dexigner.com/news/28109

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Music - Flight Facilities - Clair De Lune (feat. Christine Hoberg)

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This photo has given me a little shock this morning. I can see the pain and exhaustion in my face and shoulders. It was taken on the afternoon of the sentencing. I got out of my pj's to dress for this shot then got back into my pj's hopped back into bed and have hardly been able to function since. Hartman is in jail and this has made what happened to me all the more real. I don't regret the last 17 winters and would do it all again but now I need to recover from my marathon battle. I feel as though I have been climbing a rugged mountain and reached the frozen peaks. Now I will be gently climbing back down to get back to steady ground.

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Yoga : Aligning to the Source. This Film short introduces audiences to the vast subject of Yoga. Millions of people around the world today practice some from of Yoga and this Film explores the origins of Yoga, its development and practices, its integration across religions in India, the science behind it and its successful spread all over the world.

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On 8th August I am Master of Ceremonies and a presenter at the Hero's Journey Collective Exhibition. Every cent of the profits on this event will be personally given to the people of Nepal by Atira Tan who offers life saving support for women and children through her foundation The Art2Healing Project. The recent earthquakes in Nepal have left vulnerable women and children easy pray for sex slavers.There are some tickets still available but if you are unable to attend please use the link provided to make a donation.

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Marianist brother who taught at North Catholic gets 2-year term for sex abuse in Australia July 25 : By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A two-year prison sentence cannot repair the lifelong trauma of being sexually abused from age 8, but an Australian survivor of abuse by an American Roman Catholic religious brother says his incarceration is a sign of progress.

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The story of  Brother Bernard Joseph Hartman's arrests has been published in his home town of Pittsburgh. Sadly, a statute of limitations stands in the US so it is very unlikely that Hartman will face charges for crimes committed there.http://www.post-gazette.com/news/world/2015/07/25/Marianist-brother-who-taught-at-North-Catholic-gets-2-year-term-for-sex-abuse-in-Australia/stories/201507250054The day of sentencing has really taken it out of me. I am so tired, and my head aches.I have never been a person to hold a grudge. My philosophy is generally live and let live but for the sake of the protection of children I fought feelings that went against my natural state and pursued Hartman. the final court result is 3 years with one suspended. Once Hartman serves his 2 years in jail he will most likely be sent back to the States. I know that this short term might anger some but please keep in mind that most perpetrators of historical crime serve no sentence at all. My heart goes out to …

Today's events have really taken it out of me. I am so tired, and my head aches. 3 years with one suspended. Once Hartman serves his 2 years in jail he will be sent back to the states. I know that this short term might anger some but please keep in mind that most perpetrators of historical crime serve no sentence at all. My heart goes out to all of the survivors who have undergone the harrowing experience of facing their abuser to have the offender walk free. Please see today as a progressive step in the right direction. 2 years for three counts of sexual crimes of the most severe nature and 4 other crimes of assault are worth a LOT more than a short 2 years.

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http://tenplay.com.au/news/melbourne/2015/7/24/paedophile-catholic-brother-jailedIt's about time. It took me 16 years and I would do that 16 years over again if I needed to. For those who live in Victoria Australia who may wish to report abuse SANO Task force does not require you to take criminal action if you don't want to. You can make a report with no obligation to take the matter further and you will be directed to organisations that can help with healing. Please find information about the SANO Task Force below.https://www.victas.uca.org.au/communitys…/Documents/Sano.pdf

Music - Russian Gypsy Music

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Can Art Be Medicine? I use art in many forms to express my inner thoughts and feelings. I find that creativity allows me to delve into places that words cannot do justice. I can also tell an entire story with authenticity and depth while maintaining safety. I can then process what I have learned about myself by having a conversation with my work.

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The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease by Maria Popova How your memories impact your immune system, why moving is one of the most stressful life-events, and what your parents have to do with your predisposition to PTSD

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In 1999 I was sent an apology letter from Brother Bernard Hartman in response to an impact letter that I sent him.He had been sexually abusing me for a number of years when I was between the ages of 8 and 11. The apology was short and meaningless.He did not hand himself to police, he did not make any possible amends, he has not shown any empathy to me or other survivors and he has drastically prolonged our fight for justice. So this has made me ask myself the question, ' What is a true apology? "

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The letter sent to me by Brother Bernard Joseph Hartman November 3 1999"Dear Mairead, This letter is an acknowledgement of the hurt I caused you by my actions many years ago. I acknowledge the pain that you must have experienced and the feelings that you expressed in your letter to me. I know that I have been the cause of this hurt, and I do acknowledge my part in that. I am sorry.Bernard Hartman, SM"So what makes an apology a true and empathetic expression of regret for treating another person in such a way that the recipient feels that their pain has been understood, validated and treated with respect. Often it comes in the form of reparation, at other times it may be possible to restore the damage or replace that which might have been broken or damaged.                                                                                                                                                        I was 34 years of age when I received this apology. I will be turning…

Walk for Health: The Best Medicine - I am so very fortunate to to have grown up and live near the beach. I am connected and grounded when I engage with the environment and nature.

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In about a months time, my eldest son, Lachlan Mackinnon heads off to the U.S to participate in the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship hosted by the Iroquois Nations. Like the Iroquois,Lachlan held his first Lacrosse stick as a newborn and played his first game at the age of 2 and a half. He is still seeking the funds to pay for the trip. If you can manage a couple of dollars please go to Lachlan's Go Fund Me Page. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and he has trained extremely hard. I am so proud of him.

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Please Don’t Kiss Me – Respecting My Child’s Personal Boundaries. "When a child clearly states that they do not want to be touched, hugged, or kissed, I expect adults to respect that."

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Childhood Trauma Leads to Brains Wired for Fear: If you're an adult and life's been good to you, and then something bad happens, that sort of injures a little piece of the whole structure. But toxic stress in childhood from abandonment or chronic violence has pervasive effects on the capacity to pay attention, to learn, to see where other people are coming from, and it really creates havoc with the whole social environment.

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On the 8th of August I will be Mater of Ceremonies and an inspirational speaker at this soulful exhibition, The Hero's Journey Collective. One of out talented Artists, Zelen Gee shares his thoughts and experiences.

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Welcome to my new Art of Life Facebook page. I live in Melbourne Australia and have begun my private practice in Altona. I am a current Post Graduate Student at the Australian College of Applied Psychology studying a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am researching the prevention of childhood grooming and sexual abuse. I have experience working with Trauma, PTSD, Adult survivors of Childhood and Adult sexual abuse, grief, somatic and psychogenic disorders and the relationship of the self. In 2012 I was honored to receive the City of Hobson Bay Inspirational Women's Award for my volunteer work with survivors of sexual abuse.

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You must be feeling........... Must I? The protective nature of distancing yourself from communal trauma. Mairead Ashcroft (B HolC, Dip TPAT) 16/7/15

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"How are you?" As I under go the process of having my long term childhood sexual abuser incarcerated for crimes committed against me as a child, I have been asked this question many times. But more often than not, I am generally offered statements such as, "You must be so excited that it is nearly over, " or " You should be happy that he plead guilty, " and the most common, " Now you can put it all behind you and you can forget about it." Must I? Should I? Can I? https://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/video/watch/28718265/victim-of-cruel-pedophile-catholic-brother-speaks-out/#page1


I understand that many people may be expressing genuine hope that I am "Excited", "Happy" and that it might be possible for me to "Forget about it." I am very grateful, and always will be for the wonderful, genuine support that some people have given me. Unfortunately others have deeply hurt me without even knowing it. I believe that it might be p…

Music - Dead Can Dance - 1994 Mystical Rain

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Very, very funny - Dalek Relaxation Tape

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Grooming in preparation for molestation - In cases of grooming, much of what we teach our children about sexual abuse creates does more to exacerbate the child's guilt and shame when they realize something is wrong than to encourage them to tell. At what point should she have shouted “NO!”? Whom should she have told? It's frightening for parents—even good parents. No wonder so many simply choose to pretend it simply doesn't happen or couldn't happen to their child.

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Psychosis or Spiritual Awakening: Phil Borges at TEDxUMKC

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The Secret History Of Thoughts Co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller ask the question, "Are my thoughts related to my inner wishes, do they reveal who I really am?" The answer can have profound consequences for your life.

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We learned to associate darkness with scary and unknown, and we learned it’s better not to speak with our dark thoughts and emotions. Turning the light on our emotional shadow is a lot more challenging than flicking a physical light switch on. So we avoid it. Superficiality is easier. But this darkness of our soul has a life of its own which thrives, whether or not we choose to acknowledge it.

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News of Hartman's abuses in Australia hits the US. It saddens me to say that unfortunately for a victim there, a statute of limitations under their law, prevents a survivor from getting a conviction.

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F*ck That: A Guided Meditation - If you are against bad language this clip is not for you.

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Music: Indigenous Mildura rapper Philly covers Bob Marley's classic 'Three Little Birds' for Like A Version.

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'We all complain. It’s usually no big deal — an exasperated sigh here, a snarky quip there, a resigned grumble before bed. Our days are littered with small injustices, and sometimes we just need a moment to acknowledge them. But sometimes our complaints pick up too much steam. Complaining becomes a constant, in our day-to-day and in how others see us.' Complaining isn't always a bad thing, but if we let it consume our lives this can be a harmful cycle.

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Today was an extremely difficult day and I want to say how proud I am of my children and husband who have supported me throughout this ordeal of 17 winters despite some overwhelmingly negative life experiences. Today, my youngest son Campbell, 21 next week, gave a most powerful statement, not only on his behalf, but on the behalf of his older brother and 2 sisters. I feel that had I kept my horrific secret of abuse from my family, I expect that they would still have faced the life difficulties due to the heart wrenching impact of my abuse but without any understanding. This may have lead to anger, shame, guilt and blame within our family unit. I believe that had I remained silent, my children, husband and myself would have not been given the valuable opportunity to find healing.

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I'm off to court tomorrow to give my impact statement resulting from sexual abuse crimes committed against me and others by Brother Bernard Joseph Hartman back in the 70's. I'm hoping that, for once, I am not strung along for another year with a load of red tape. It has already been 17 winters and that is with a written apology written by him in 1999.Enough is enough. It is my 51st birthday in 4 weeks. I am looking forward to having a birthday not tainted by my past. My last "Happy Birthday" was 43 years ago.

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Obsessive compulsive disorder: myths, causes and treatments :Most people have strange, intrusive thoughts. They can be embarrassing or completely irrational, so we don’t often talk about them. For some, however, these thoughts are impossible to stop, and can lead to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Lynne Malcolm and Olivia Willis report.

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Music - Sting A Winter's Night Live From Durham Cathedral 2009

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