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This is a mixed media piece “Nature Choir” inspired by the music, color and creativity I try to feel all around me in difficult times.
Nature-Choir-IMG_0385
Creativity is the best medicine – anyone can and deserves to create. As bodies with souls and voices, it’s our earned right, for making it this far.

Sometimes, a book helps me remember that.  

What are you reading this week?

I’ve just started an amazing book, The Upside of Trauma.

The author, Jim Rendon is the grandchild of a holocaust survivor, as am I.

Grandparents 16 x 20 IMG_0497

I made this in honor of feeling my grandparent’s presence with me wherever I go. More art here.

The book is about Post Traumatic Growth – something I think I’m living proof of!

I was sexually abused.My stomach exploded.I was in an coma for months.I've had 27 surgeries.I couldn't eat or drink for 6 years.

I wrote about PTSD as the illness I couldn’t see, an outgrowth of ten years of medical trauma as well as sexual abuse.

But how can terrible events lead to remarkable and dramatic breakthroughs?

That’s what this book seeks to answer.

Let’s just say I am more than looking forward to reading this!

Untitled design (14)

The Upside of Trauma? A New, Unexpected Pathway!

I call my “post-traumatic growth” my beautiful detour.  The blessings I’ve received just because these unfortunate events happened in my life are too large to quantify…or even start listing!

Creativity is a mindset... (4)

Expressing our traumas through art:

Sometimes it’s tough to just come and and talk about difficult times. It’s hard to open up.  But we NEED to.  Why keep those memories locked up inside?  When we keep things in, we become numb.

But how to start?  That’s what ART is for.  Creativity is the best medicine!

community art

I learned the power of community art this weekend in an Expressive Therapies Workshop.  We each had to draw our version of “trauma” and then arrange our drawings in a way that spoke to us.  It was amazing how although our traumas were all different, our drawings of “trauma” were so similar.

I didn’t have to share exactly what happened to me, but I felt heard.  Have you experienced this feeling before?  Get some friends together and create.  It could be healing in more ways than you know.

If you could draw your detour, what would it look like?

Tears for Tomorrow

Detour Art Exercise: Think of one thing you can’t put into words.  One thing that you’d LOVE to tell someone…but can’t yet.

Draw it instead.  And share what you come up with – I’d love to see how you’re helping to heal the world through art – don’t laugh – you are! Send, tweet or instagram me a picture!

Instagram #LoveMyDetour Challenge

There’re more than one way to share your detour.  Sing it, dance it, walk it.  Tweet it!  Take a picture of your detour and share it with me on Instagram with #LoveMyDetour – anything goes!  I’ll be featuring your pictures every week in my #LoveMyDetour Gallery.

Art, Healing and College Students

Singing Tree Revisited Hi Res Photo

I also got to experience healing power of art on Wednesday, when I got to perform my mental health program at Hampshire College.  You can see some highlights of the night here.

hampshire flyer on campus

 Afterwards, I left coloring pages based on the first painting I ever made, Singing Tree.  I was so happy to see some students filling theirs out, like this one!
nina coloring pages

Coloring Page from a student!

“Just finished this masterpiece! Great job tonight! It was so nice to hear your story in full and I heard so much meaningful dialogue sparked from the performance as I biked by audience members on my way home!” – Nina

I also left some coloring pages and a poster when I performed my program in Denver for the Eating Recovery Center – art is the gift that keeps on giving!

Amy at Evergreen

So today, make some art.  Star a doodle, buy a coloring book, or…

So what exactly is the upside of trauma?

Many things.  But a big thing?  CONNECTION.

Mommy Cant Fix This

Mommy Can’t Fix This (Mixed Media Gallery)

By sharing the stories of what has happened in our lives, we feel heard, supported, and connected.

Detourists should not travel alone.  We all have something to learn from each other’s journey.

detour definition

As I said, my grandmother was a holocaust survivor herself (you can read my piece Waiting For Miracles, which I wrote to honor her on my wedding day) and for someone who had been through something so terrible at such a young age, she had the most beautiful spirit.

Learn what a Detourist is here, (you’re a Detourist, you just don’t know it yet) and share your story here. YOU never know who YOU may help.

There is an upside of trauma.  You just have to get through those rough detours to see those flowers along the path.  That’s the upside.  Don’t give up.  Keep going.  

And one day…

Floating-Girl-IMG_0429

You’ll find that flower!!!

I #LoveMyDetour.  Now tell me why you love yours.

#LoveMyDetour

That’s the upside of trauma.  What’s your upside?

bring gutless & Grateful to campus here!

 

bring gutless to campus

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