Less than a year ago, I received a box from a family member.  I was told it was a present from a loved one that passed away. To be completely transparent, I didn’t receive it with an open heart or a sense of gratitude.  Due to unresolved trauma, I received this box with hesitation nervous about the strings that would be attached. Emotional abuse is sneaky, it can appear genuine but can be more damaging than physical abuse. I am always on guard for emotional abuse.  This box has sat on a piano bench since the day that it was given.  Today, I opened it. The Lord woke me up at 4 am this morning; I could not fall back asleep. I thought my assignment was to clean the house, so I did.  I put up my Christmas tree, yet still, my spirit was restless. My attention was drawn to this box. I sat down and slowly opened the blue and yellow box decorated with lemons.  The lemon zest immediately struck my nose as the lid was removed.   My teary eyes fell on the bright yellow journal titled Journal with Joy.  I had seen it before, but I didn’t open the plastic. Slowly, I removed the packaging that protected the journal. Mentally, I braced myself for a potential message from my loved one, or maybe something to take away my doubts about the authenticity of our love but there was nothing handwritten. There was a  satin yellow ribbon bookmark that turned to a page. At first, I did not notice the writing prompt on the page, but when the words “forgive those who have hurt you, immediately tears began to fall. The person that I am missing is my mother and I could hear her voice saying “Nee” (only she called me Nee) “Nee it doesn’t matter forgive them.” At her funeral, the minister got direct instructions, from her, to talk about forgiveness. This is a tough assignment for me because in the past I thought forgiveness meant that I had to let someone back into my inner circle and disturb my peace when I forgave them. However, situations, maturity, and time have opened my eyes to understand that forgiveness is not for them but me. Forgiveness does not require me to forget, but it allows me to let go of the trauma that comes when you hold in the hurt from the situation. There are so many things that I would consider unfinished business but it is also business that I can not get the closure that I want because my loved ones are gone. 

As you move through this holiday season and begin a new year,  I invite you to join me in authentically letting go and forgiving those who have hurt you. Whether they are still living or have transitioned on. This will not be an easy journey, nor will it be instant. This process will require you, to allow yourself to feel the emotions and be ok with letting go without the answers you are seeking. However, going through this process will allow room for blessings coming your way, improve your emotional wellness and allow you to begin to experience life again with wisdom but not baggage.  Will you join me in 2022, forgiveness is for you. 

About the Author: 

Denise Williams is the founder of Be ReZilient, Healing Through The Arts. No matter who she serves, Denise believes it is essential to open the door of communication through trust, empathy, and compassion—meeting people where they are and allowing them to be unapologetically themselves. Her education includes an MS in Human Services (Lincoln Univerity), MA in Leadership and Accountability (Cappella University), Certified Life Coach (Life Purpose Insitute), Certified Therapeutic Art Coach (Transformation Institute). She founded her non-profit, Be ReZilient, Healing Through The Arts, in 2019.

Be ReZilient,  strives to help people move from trauma to healing through workshops, coaching, and wellness products. through creative arts wellness methodology and aromatherapy. Be Rezilient has a holistic approach to help the clients and communities in which it serves.

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Interested in a workshop or partnership contact Denise Via email at artheals719@gmail.com


To-Do List

As I was writing my to-do list, I paused as I thought about the items I don’t put on my list that are just as important. I have a list of things to get done to run my home, my business, and take care of my family. Why don’t I have a to-do list to care of me? That is just important, and I would argue even more important. I decided to try it and here is what my first list consisted of.

Breathe. How many times a day do you hold your breath in a moment of anxiety or stress? I am embarrassed to say, I caught myself engaged in a whole conversation holding my breath. I had no physical escape route and my bodies reaction was to freeze. Thank goodness it was only a 2-3 min interaction, any longer, I would have passed out due to a lack of oxygen.

Detox: This is a new concept for me, personally. I have always advised others to detox the negative in their lives but when it came to me I would have a sense of guilt when I started the letting go process. It took one panic attack recently to change my point of view on this. Sometimes you have to love from a distance, and this is ok. It is not selfish or disloyal. It is actually saving the relationship. It saves you from continuing to resent the situation and the person. It stops you from harboring those feelings and it prevents the other party for experiencing the ugly moment when you will have had enough and can no longer hold it in. Separation is good it allows people to reflect on the relationship and determine if the situation was one of obligation or that came from a true genuine place and is worth saving.

Release: How do you release or let go of your daily stress sometimes it may be just a quiet moment for me, other times it is retail therapy ( I tend to buy new vacuum cleaners during stressful times in my life). Other times it is a musical journey through time, I will shuffle my Spotify starting at gospel and ending with some Keith Sweat :). Recently though I have been turning back to my first love of drawing. The pieces are nothing I would share with the world but it is a physical release for me to put those emotions on paper.

I know I have been gone for a while but in order for me to be unapologetic and authentic as I continue to develop Be ReZilient I want to be sure that I am using the same tools daily and developing new insights that may help others.

As we continue this journey, let’s never forget that self-care is apart of this journey that can not be overlooked. What will you put on your list?


A Moment of Transparency

As I started the process of creating Be ReZilient, I was brushing the surface of my life. I personally didn’t want people to judge me for my life experiences or doubt the facts because of the misconception that no one could go through so much and still be standing. Today as I attempt to help others with their journey, I am committed to continuing my own journey and not dismissing the details that will cause me a moment of discomfort. I will tell you now I will make a typo and grammatical errors; I may digress and circle back in another blog. If you can look past that and listen to my heart, I promise you I will encourage you and help you find strength through my experiences. I will share strategies that helped me and freely give you wisdom that others get me, but I didn’t accept till the moment the brick hit me on the head. (true story) Won’t you join me on this journey of living a ReZilient life? Till next time – Denise

Relax, Release and Reboot

In the last two months, I had to take some time to process some life events. While I am not done processing I needed to take the time to just Relax, Release and Reboot. On February 25th my mom was called home to be with the Lord. While I am happy that she is no longer in pain, she is reunited with her husband, father, mother, and many other family and friend the have gone before I miss her here with us.

Be ReZilient is for moments like this, and I want to be vulnerable to share with you what I have been experiencing. Let me share how have been dealing with this loss, by allowing myself to start the steps of Relax, Release, Reboot.

  1. Hibernate. Relaxing looks different to everyone at this moment; for me, it was hibernation with some particular essential oils that help calm my spirit, a music soundtrack, and just being still. Hibernation is a luxury that I have at this time in my life. If this had happened when my children were younger, it would have been harder for me to take this time. So if you are going through the same thing you will have to decide what this will look like for you. What does this mean, you ask? I unapologetically disconnect from the world. When this happened, I could not help others as I usually do. I needed to focus on my emotions and gain a better perspective on the new norm. This step I will revisit in the upcoming months because grief is a process, but it is a key first step. Don’t be discouraged if you find that you need to do this more than once; sometimes, you have to go through a step more than once to continue the healing journey.
  2. Journal: I always journal, but this life event was important for me to detail the feelings. I have detailed conversations between my mom and me. I have gone through some of the memories good and bad, that my mother and I experienced together. Why is this important? I am naturally an introvert, and a situational extrovert, so for years, I have kept many emotions inside (note: the unhealthy mental wellness behavior that I work hard each day to correct.) Journaling has allowed me to release some emotions and start the healing process. Journaling for me does not always mean writing words; it can be doodles that have words infused into them, poetry, project ideas. The main purpose is to be a dumping area for my emotions, so I don’t keep them inside.
  3. Reboot: It is hard to reboot when you’re not done releasing. So allow me to be candid; I am beginning this grief journey; I am not done. I am blessed to know that this journey called grief is a road I will always travel, and the steps will not get easier; they will become part of my DNA that will allow me to grow from this experience, adjust my mindset and help me navigate through life.

Trust your process, whatever that may look like. Enjoy your journey and strive to live a ReZilient life!

Be ReZilient Love Yourself Wellness Box

Say I love you with a Be ReZilient Wellness Box. The gift of Self-care is the ultimate gift.

Love Yourself Wellness boxes will include: Unique blend of Lavendar infused paints, Canvas, Paintbrush, Room Spray, Hand-poured lavender-infused ReZilient candle, Chocolate treat, and a single artificial rose (exact box not in the picture)

Boxes $45 send a message to artheals719@gmail.com to place an order.