Welcome to Week 13 the final week of Summer of Well-Being! Our guest blogger today is Michelle Alva, an Energy Healer at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach. Today, she demonstrates 5 quick and easy tips to de-stress and energize ourselves in our daily lives. Watch her video and leave a comment below!

Mary P
Michelle Alva
Michelle Alva Integrative Healing and Wellness 
Michelle, who works as an Energy Healer at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach combines her 18 year background as a physical therapist, yoga therapist, belly dance teacher, and energy medicine practitioner to bring a very safe and effective approach to healing and wellness. Michelle bridges the gap between modern science and ancient wisdom approaches. She writes weekly on her blog, and has been published in national publications. She creates inspirational videos on her You Tube Channel, all designed to empower and educate individuals on how to heal, de-stress, love more and energize from the inside out.



Welcome to Week 10 of Summer of Well-Being! Today our focus is on Art for your Soul, brought to you by none other than my mother, Ellie Kane! Ellie is an artist, healer, and certified coach. I know you’ll love her as much as I do and find incredible value in what she has to share. Read her blog below and leave a comment with your thoughts!

Art and Soul Healing

Creativity is a way to break through the conscious mind that is holding on very tightly. There’s only so much you can talk your way through. Art really does reach something in a very primal, unconscious level.” Martha Grant

Since the beginning of time, art’s most essential role has been to nurture the divine aspects of life; and for many ancient cultures, art is still practiced as a curative tool and as a form of awakening. Externalizing our perceptions and conflicts-even if we simply create a primitive and uncomplicated sketch-is highly beneficial for self-renewal and healing.

Art, when used as an instrument for wellness, can become a guide to finding presence, authenticity, and the place within where body, mind and soul have the potential to be made new and whole.

In recent years, there is a growing movement to redefine the mission of art, transforming it from its position in Western culture as a commodity to a sacred and communal activity. This way of thinking has emerged simultaneously in the art world, psychotherapy and medicine. Many artists, therapists and others are seeking ways to use the collective wisdom of art and imagination, envisioning ways that it can become a healing practice…” C. A. Malchiodi

The healing power of art cannot be denied. Art can bring about the gift of inspiration, harmony, playfulness and transformation. When we create healing art, a restorative process is initiated for the ‘artist’, as well as for the viewer and/or recipient.

Frank Emmettsaid that, “Art has been known as a pathway to the soul…it unlocks feelings, those deep-seated things that we are reluctant to express even to ourselves sometimes, in a manner that is safe.”

Art propels us to bring to light those moments and challenges which are too difficult to talk about. We may be stressed, and be scratched  and bruised internally; and at times we keep these wounds hidden…our little secrets. Allowing these feelings to surface would lift a massive spiritual burden. The world of imagery is limitless when searching for ways to communicate mixed and sensitive emotions; and expressing in creative ways begets well-being. Through the use of artful methods and interpretations, the road to healing is inescapable.

I have created a technique which has proven effective in mending the connection between our physical, intellectual and non-material selves. I call it the Art and Soul Work-Energy Healing through Art program, and here are some familiar forms of art, taken from this workshop, which serve us as therapeutic channels:

  • Visual Designs – Compositions or Imagery
    • Sketching, painting, sculpture, photography
  • Lyrical Vibrancy – Movement
    • Dance, yoga, wu-tao
  • Written Word – Inner Voice
    • Poetry, journaling, essays
  • Unity – Essence
    • Nature, breath, meditation, visualization, Mandalas

I am convinced that there is a little bit of an ‘artist’ in each of us. And I believe that we do not have to consider ourselves artistic in order to use vision and imagination when seeking a path to health. So, in keeping with the Art and Soul Work, I would like to offer a couple of tips which may help you get started on your way to healing. Keep in mind there is no right/no wrong way to go about this exercise. It is very personal and in time you will find your own comfort pattern.

  • Use visualization – close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Become aware of your physical and/or emotional condition (that which must be restored). Then imagine what this feeling would look like. If you do not see an image, then just give it a color, a shape or a word. Observe but stay detached; do not judge what you perceive. Breathe, open your eyes;
  • Journal – choose your favorite notebook (one you will keep for creating and healing). Draw the image (if there was one through visualizing) or the colors and shapes you sensed, and use them on your notebook. Journal about this sketch – you have just expressed an emotion or struggle you needed to bring outward. Be present with it, acknowledge and release it.

This two-step process is simple, yet very powerful, and will transmit awareness, relief and a freeing response. Get some art supplies, those which call to you most, a journal and some neat pens/pencils…and unearth the concealed treasure in you.

Remember that practicing art, in any format or modality, can be a way of entering into a meditative and reflective state, as much as it is an avenue to expression. It releases fears and may trigger a new outlook and direction of habits and behaviors. Additionally, as we enter this unique and original concept, and discover our innate and holistic medicine, we will:

  • Get to know ourselves under a different, truer light
  • Learn to pacify and soften emotional hurt and grief
  • Naturally access intuitive healing methods, and
  • Enter an unimaginable journey to wholeness

May you find your secret self through art and soul healing…



A Personal Note:

Art has always been a part of my life, even in those instances long ago when I did not know I was artistic and creative.  I believe I was born to use all of my senses in whatever I choose to do. Art allows me to experience touch, vision, sound and even smell through my paintings. And dance encircles me inside a bubble of movement and delight.

Yes, I paint and dance because they are my passions, but I also discovered that these two personal approaches have at times healed me physically, emotionally and at the level of my soul.

I am so very grateful to Monique Catoggio and Summer of Well-Being for giving me the opportunity to share my insights with you…and these two paintings which had such immense healing force at two very painful events in my life…when I lost my parents. Thank You.


Ramona, 2003


Don Mario, 2005

Mary P
Ellie Kane, CPC, ELI-MP
Art and Soul Coach
Ellie Kane is a contemporary artist, inspirational writer, nature photographer and energy healer. She created her signature program, Art and Soul Work—Energy Healing Through Art, which combines her love of art and passion for healing as a tool for revelation and renewal. Ellie’s journey has been one of insight and discovery, and she believes that the creative process can be a transformative path for healing and self-expression.


Beginning to Heal

December 20, 2012

Just like most of you who are parents, I can’t help but to sit through the latest horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and wonder, “How do parents begin to heal?”

I’m not sharing my thoughts on this so that you believe in what I believe, as I truly respect the individual beliefs of all people. But, I wanted to share my perspective in the chance that it may provide an iota of peace for some in this storm of sadness.

Since I was a young adolescent I questioned so many of the beliefs I was taught. So much didn’t make sense, including serious life challenges like violence, illness and death. Through my own search, a lot of reading and allowing myself to be open, I have come to find some comfort in the following:

  • We each have a purpose for coming to this earth as humans, to live the human experience of right and wrong; good and bad.
  • We come to an “agreement” or contract with our God that details what situations (accidents, illnesses, issues, death, betrayal, etc.) will occur during our lifetime that will serve as a lesson either for ourselves, others, or both.
  • Individuals in our lives, whether we know them well or not, agree in advance to play a part in our “agreement” to help these lessons play out.
  • Some contracts will involve MANY (yes, even children) who decide, together, as beautiful souls, to create a TRANSFORMATIONAL lesson for many.

So, keeping this in mind, I can find an iota of peace believing that these 26 amazing angels came to our earth, during our lifetime, to GET OUR ATTENTION…to tell us loudly and painfully that our work is not even close to being done. We must pay attention and take action.

What have we not yet learned? What must we all do, together, as a united community?

Clearly some major red flags are gun control and mental health reform.

In my opinion…

Did the shooter need help? YES

Did his mother NEED the weapons? NO

Did his parents truly understand the gravity of his mental illness? PROBABLY NOT.

I know that there are still so many things we don’t know and understand about why this tragedy happened. I know that the parents, relatives, and friends of those innocent souls who died may never entirely heal. Afterall, we are human. But, can we begin to heal if spiritually we can believe there is a reason why their lives ended so early? Yes, I do believe this is possible.

To all of those who directly suffered from this unthinkable crime, I send you overwhelming love and light and pray that the beautiful souls of your loved ones are rejoicing in Heaven, comforting one another as brothers and sisters, knowing that their earthly purpose has been achieved. Now WE MUST NOT ignore their sacrifice and we must work hard to make those necessary transformational changes that are needed as a human society.

Sweet Angels, you have gotten my attention.

Here is a list of books that have helped me along my journey, related to what I’ve written above, which you may be interested in reading:

Sacred Contracts, by Caroline Myss

Growing Up In Heaven: The Eternal Connection Between Parent and Child, by James Van Praagh

The Golden Motorcycle Gang, by Jack Canfield