Blog Posts

Currents: December 2018


Currents is published monthly by Windhorse Integrative Mental Health of Northampton, 211 North St., Suite 1, Northampton, MA 01060. Executive Director is Victoria Yoshen. For questions, concerns, and suggestions about Currents, contact us at


Upcoming Events

mark your calendarMark your calendars for upcoming community gatherings!

Community Events:
Christmas Day Hike
Tuesday, December 25th, 1-3pm

New Years Day Hike
Tuesday, January 1st, 12-2pm
Join us for two relaxing treks through the great outdoors. Email us at to RSVP or with questions about either event.

Events Committee:
Wednesday, January 2nd, 9:30-10am in the Windhorse community room.
The Events Committee plans Windhorse community events. Clients, staff, and community members are welcome to attend and share their ideas. The committee meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 9:30 to 10am.

Community Lunch:
Tuesday, January 8th, 12:30-1:30pm at the Windhorse office.
This is an opportunity to enjoy a potluck lunch while meeting and socializing with others in the Windhorse community. All are welcome to come for the whole hour or just stop by for a visit. Please feel free to bring your own lunch or contribute something yummy for the group.

Community Education:
Wednesday, January 9th, 9-11am with an optional guided meditation 9-9:30am.
Join the Windhorse staff during their monthly discussions and trainings on topics relating to the work of Windhorse. Open to the entire Windhorse community. 2nd Wednesday of the month, 9:30-11am. You are also welcome to attend the 30-minute guided meditation from 9-9:30am.

For more information, contact us at

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Development Corner

I have worked at Windhorse on and off since 2000, a total of 16 years.  I knew many of the Founders, who represented a vision of the Family, Professionals, and Clients all working together.  I stayed in touch when I was away at other jobs and came back with a thread still connecting me and a newer perspective.  We are celebrating our 25th year as a healing organization.  I keep thinking there are so many stories, and yet, it is difficult to share them.  I can remember people and their transformations, both clients and staff and board members, but not as a narrative.  More as sparkles in a night sky.

I have watched so many different people stretch beyond what they thought was possible and grow.  Recovery is one word for the work we do here, mutual recovery.  The staff continue to learn and heal and work through difficulties with the support of the community we share.  The families intersect less frequently and yet experience a deep sense of trust and heart-opening.  What we create here is different from what most of the world understands how to do. 

It requires a generosity of spirit to oneself, to move beyond the ways we judge ourselves or feel judged by the world.  Sometimes the best way to find that strength to deal with Truth is to be in collaboration with someone else struggling or needing help.  To see beyond one’s own set of circumstances into another’s.  Taking a puppy for a walk so the owner can focus on a task.  Settling down on a rug to help with a project or playing a game with others at a gathering.  Giving time or money to a cause that matters to you and improves the world around you.  All of these acts bring joy to the recipient and the giver.  That is how it works. 

May you find your joy in generosity this season.

Victoria Yoshen
Executive Director of Windhorse IMH Northampton
Windhorse IMH
211 North Street, Suite 1
Northampton, MA 01060


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Board Summary from November 27, 2018

The Windhorse IMH Board met on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 via Zoom and covered the following topics:

  • reviewed October financials.
  • talked about metrics and changes.
  • responded to bonus proposals.
  • recognized Northampton is celebrating a 25-year anniversary.
  • went over the Director’s reports from each site.
  • discussed how marketing may change in 2019.
  • looked at the budget for 2019, which was approved as submitted after discussion.
  • considered changing the financial report to the Board to focus on oversight.
  • agreed to a proposed questionnaire for employees, to be sent out via survey monkey.
  • set the next meeting (January 29, 2019).

Written by Victoria Yoshen, Executive Director of Windhorse IMH Northampton.

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Things To Do: Volunteering

Last month we discussed the potential health benefits of practicing gratitude on a regular basis in our article entitled In Gratitude. This month we’d like to continue that thread by sharing with you the potential health benefits of volunteering, as well as opportunities for volunteering here in the Pioneer Valley.

Volunteering can take many forms, from helping your neighbor shovel snow from their walkway to walking dogs at an animal shelter, from mentoring children in an after school program to being a companion to someone facing the end of their life, from helping build homes for people in need to serving meals at a homeless shelter. The one thing universal to all volunteer activities is that it benefits both parties, the one on the giving end as well as the one on the receiving end. Often people are driven to volunteer out of a desire to give back, but there are many reasons to volunteer, and one big one is that it could have a positive impact on your health and well-being as well as the well-being of the person/people/thing you are helping. Below are two articles that discuss some of the health benefits of volunteering, but a quick internet search will show you that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Helping people, changing lives: The 6 health benefits of volunteering from Mayo Clinic Health System

8 Long-Term Health Benefits of Volunteering from Nonprofit Hub

If you’re interested in finding a place to volunteer in the Northampton area, we’ve collected these resources for you to check out:

United Way of Pioneer Valley Volunteer page

Five College Consortium Community Resources and Volunteer Opportunities page

Forbes Library’s Volunteering in the Northampton Area page

Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Volunteer Opportunities page (Please note that this page was created near the beginning of 2018 and may not have been updated recently. Please contact the organization for which you wish to volunteer to confirm that they are still looking for help.)

If you find a volunteer opportunity in the Valley that speaks to you we hope you will share your experience with us in the comments section.

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A Poem for the Season

Winter Branches
by Margaret Widdemer

When winter-time grows weary, I lift my eyes on high
And see the black trees standing, stripped clear against the sky;
They stand there very silent, with the cold flushed sky behind,
The little twigs flare beautiful and restful and kind;
Clear-cut and certain they rise, with summer past,
For all that trees can ever learn they know now, at last;
Slim and black and wonderful, with all unrest gone by,
The stripped tree-boughs comfort me, drawn clear against the sky.

And continuing on the theme of volunteering and giving back that we mentioned above, we think you’ll also enjoy To Be of Use by Marge Piercy.

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Recipes: Food for Potlucks

It’s that time of year when people tend to gather with family and friends, enjoying the coziness of being indoors with good company and a hot meal. Since many of these gatherings include a potluck component, we thought we’d share with you some recipes that are straightforward to make and that can feed a crowd. Do you have a recipe that you repeatedly fall back on when invited to a potluck? If so, please share it with us in the comments section. We’re always looking for new recipes to try.

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili from

Easiest Lasagna Ever from

Merry Berry Salad from

Deviled Eggs (that potluck classic) from

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip from

Easy Green Minestrone from

Crunchy Thai Peanut & Quinoa Salad from (Incidentally, one of our staff member’s brought this to our monthly community potluck once and it was a huge hit.)

The Original Fantasy Fudge from (We recommend adding roughly chopped dried cherries or cranberries to this recipe for an added layer of flavor.)

Easy Granola Berry Crisp from

Easy Chocolate Fudge with Pretzels from

Happy potlucking, folks!

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  • We regret that we neglected to mention last month that Lionel joined our staff as a new Still Point manager.

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