“But,” you ask, “How do I pay for Heidi’s services and products?”

60737_576251065759623_1517212783_n-copy-copyHere’s how:  I do all transactions through my business Paypal account at http://www.paypal.com.  Go there and pop in my business email, the amount I charged, and your confidential payment credit or debit card. I won’t see any of that information, and you will get an immediate confirmation by paypal that I received the payment and all your particulars for your records.  Presto!  And, completely private only to you.  Email me at dog.hotel.hansen@gmail.com and let’s talk more — my fees are very polite and I offer a sliding fee scale to those who need it.  On large art purchases/commissions, I can take installments.  Thanks! — Heidi Hansen


The Problem With Hopelessness

Mental Health, Art and Cooking (MHAC) Talk #2:
The Problem With Hopelessness
____________________by Heidi D. Hansen, M.A.

This is in reply to a reader’s comment, “Sometimes I feel hopeless.”

The problem with hopelessness is that it cuts off its own solution, like a virus that attacks the immune system.  We get hopeless about being hopeless, just  like we get depressed over being depressed, and anxious about being anxious.

Here’s some helps:

1.  Tether yourself to the land of the living, to the world, to the day, to others.

2.  Motion. Any motion.

3. Argue with your hopelessness.  Is everything hopeless?  Perhaps some things are.  But not all. Argue the point that this one thing — whatever tiny pocket thing is going alright — is not hopeless. Advocate to give this one thing more advertising time, more ‘face time,’ more attention.

4. But, perhaps some things are hopeless.  Accept that for what it is, just as it is and let it lie here and silently slink off into the night.  If you are hopeless and that is an accurate appraisal, respect it.  Then find it’s pain, find it’s loss, it’s grieving, it’s fear that things will never be better or ever be the same. It may be a matter of fact that some things will not be the same or get better.  Accept it and rock and roll with it but don’t let it get the better of you.  It’s a dance. The art of this dance is to stay in the lead.  By your steps and footwork, your hopelessness has no choice but to change it’s pattern.  Or, retire itself and find a new partner.

5. Accept that things may never be the same.  Like infidelity in a marriage, you will lose one marriage and end up marrying again — perhaps even with your original partner.  A  new and different relationship.  Let that be.  Hopelessness means something wants to change.  Find the change point and let it continue its natural transition, with you finding the bigger meaning in it all and thus becoming a bigger person.

6.  Commit yourself to the day — do small, simple but tangible things that are creative and different.  A new food preparation, a kind deed for someone else, a kind of artsy thing (no need to be an artist to make ordinary things fun and funky), a new grooming or fashion statement, doing the opposite of what others expect, etc.  The basic point is to make your day your own and put some investment in it. Something you can look at and say, “See? I was here today.”
Learn something new. Write something. You can get through anything if you can tell a good story about it.  And no matter what, we can always learn something new.  And that learning commits you to the day.

7.  Finish the sentence “I can’t do anything about my hopelessness because__________________________”  Target the part that you fill in.  Don’t try to fix your hopelessness directly — it’s a gamey thing and doesn’t play fair. Target the reason why you can’t do anything about it. Start writing with that.

8. Make hopelessness your teacher.  Ask it,  “What do you have to teach me? To tell me? What are you pointing me toward?”

9.  It’s a trickster, so don’t be fooled or suckered in by hopelessness wanting you to act on it with destructive behavior.  Destructive impulses are the “All hands on deck!” red whirring signal light that you must find someone to talk to, to be with, to be around. Do that first.

10.  Learn to wait.  All things change, that is the way of it. That works in our favor here.  If you can’t control the hopelessness at all, if its just too big and overpowering, just wait.  And wait and wait for some shift.  Some movement, some idea, some impulse towards an opening.

If this is all too much to remember, just remember two things when you are in a bout of hopelessness:  Tether yourself to the day, and, motion.

______________Heidi D. Hansen, M.A. is a Mental Health Advocate with 20 years of experience and works in private practice on a sliding fee scale. (360) 842 -3479.  email  dog.hotel.hansen@gmail.com. Writing and art copyrighted to Heidi, needs permission to use.

Dear Mr. Trump: Here’s Why We Need the EPA. Love, Nativica

Dear Mr. Trump,

Leave the EPA alone.

Why do we need the Environmental Protection Agency?

Because of what you see above.

Mr. Trump, you have publically recounted the story of when you were a little boy and your father showed you the skyline of Manhattan from your viewpoint in Queen’s.  Your father told you that one day, you would change that skyline.

You did, and New York’s skyline has inspired many hearts and pens and community.

But, have you seen the skyline that a ladybug sees?  Have you seen the skyline from the vantage point of a squirrel?  How about what a salmon or trout sees on the skyline as it jumps briefly from its waters?  Have you read John Muir’s account of his view of the surrounding forest skyline as he braved out a windstorm while hugging onto the top of a Douglas Fir?

Don’t you want your young boy with that shining face to have the option of seeing the skyline offered to him from a tree fort built in a hide-away secret woodsy spot that only he knows how to find?  Read Longfellow’s “Hiawatha.”

The native plant, wildlife and ecosystem art shown above represents the pacific north west skyline I saw when I illustrated over 500 of these species native to this area.   I call my body of work “Nativica,”  because it is a place.  Not just paint and ink and paper and pretty and interesting shapes, but a place to visit and find one’s Self among the mosses and ferns and lichen and trees and berries and birds and worms and even a newly thriving wolf pack (huge comeback story, really terrific!  High drama!).  Our pacific northwest native environment has its own unique history and stories to tell and skylines to view from many perspectives..

This is why we need the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Trump.  So little kids and old ladies and warm – hearted vagabonds can see skylines of branches and bulbs and leaves and petals in a full color palette and create a richer, fuller world from the experience.

Are you brave enough to travel out of your grayscale cement and steel skyline and risk nature’s elements to protect ours?

The EPA will.  Don’t stomp your carbon footprint on the EPA. We need it.

Love from,


Heidi D. Hansen is the author and illustrator of all Nativica  art and writing.  These are copyrighted works (cheididhansen1994-2017)and reproduction is prohibited without my permission.  Contact me at email  dog.hotel.hansen@gmail.com or phone (360) 842-3479. Thank you!


A Note from Nativica: The First To Bloom In Spring

swanwithfairyslipperJanuary, 2017
Our native North West orchid, calypso Bulbosa, or Fairyslipper, is often the first flower to bloom in spring but we usually miss it.  Why?  It’s very tiny, and grows near the roots of Doug Firs and evergreen ferns with their mosses nearby.  And, this sweetie blooms so early that it may be hidden by lingering snow drifts.  Tiny, but resilient!  Can you find one?  Take a woodswalk and tell me if you do.  In the artwork above, you see our native NW Trumpeter Swan, which have made a strong comeback over the last 15 years, and our NW Snowberry which last on their branches all winter as food for birds.
For an art woodswalk through Spring unfolding, via
my NW Native Plant art collection, visit Nativica
at my website, http://www.hhansenma.wordpress.com.
Using and respecting native NW plants can have
many benefits against climate change effects. Write
me with your questions, and if this is useful to you,
I will happily accept a $5.00 donation through http://www.paypal.com and give you

some native plant art (digital) of your choice.  Enjoy! — Heidi D. Hansen c2017January, 2017


Boycot Shamalan’s Movie “Split” due to monsterization of mental illness

declare-copy-copyJanuary 18, 2017
Dear Editors of The Oregonian, Columbian, Consumers of CVAB, NAMI, and DSHS;
As a mental health advocate I am calling for a boycott on M. Knight Shamalan’s new thriller movie, “Split.”  This movie and it’s promotion represents an agredious monsterization of the very real and rather common mental illness known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as multiple personality).  This movie is dangerous to the innocent lives of those who suffer with DID because of the outrageous and hysterical criminal dramatization of this illness can instigate high-pitched discrimination against those who suffer humbly and quietly and just want to be included in regular life.  It is irresponsible of Shamalan and hollywood to create a stereotype that instigates fear and picks on a population that can’t or likely won’t fight back.  Well, I can and will.  Do “Split” viewers realize that those with mental illness are often pre-judged and denied basic rights due to hollywood – hysterical stereotypes?  The parent who is denied custody of their children because of hollywood – induced superstitous and voodoo – based stereotypes, the housing that is denied or retracted because of fears of mental illness in the household of one’s neighbors, the relegation of the mentally ill to back-room jobs because of fears that they will scare away customers.  Hollywood would never monsteritize a person of color in such a way, neither a political refugee, neither a person who lives in a power chair or whom has cerebral palsy or down’s syndrome or cancer or who is deaf or blind.  As a mater of fact, these disorders are often heroized by hollywood.  Their triumph over their race, victimization, disability and all the heartbreak and frustrations and mountains to climb are celebrated as a matter of inspiration.  Where is that for those who do the same with their mental illness?  Public! You are smarter than this, and better than this.  Boycott “Split” and sound out your voice to portray DID sufferers accurately and informatively, not ignorantly and as monsters waiting to “unleash.”  Cheap shot, Shamalan — are you going to donate profits from this National Enquirer – level film to better the daily lives of those who plod in their recovery from mental illness in quiet, everyday and rather nice ways?  Or buy a new car?  Picking on a segment of our society that can’t fight back is shameful raw exploitation of mental illness and disqualifies Shamalan from his profession. Public consumers, voice your preference with your wallet.

Heidi D. Hansen, M.A., Mental Health Advocate, Vancouver, WA

MHAC Talk (Mental Health, Art and Cooking) #1: You Can Have A Life!


I Wrote A Song For Those With Mental Illness

Hello, this is Heidi Hansen, your terrific mental health advocate. I wrote a song for those who struggle with mental illness.  It’s called, “Friend’s Lullaby,” and is about how we can lose our Self to mental illness, find our Self again through recovery, and how we can use courage self-talk to build the life we want.

Email or call me and let’s talk about what your needs are.  I offer a sliding fee scale and can take major credit cards.

Heidi D. Hansen, M.A. email:  dog.hotel.hansen@gmail.com.  Phone: (360) 842-3479.

Heidi and Maile Lei are in Vancouver, Washington, just a hop and skip over the bridge from Portland, Oregon.