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What have you been reading lately?
Sometimes the best books can be unexpected discoveries.  Have you ever strolled through the bookstore and had something catch your eye – possibly taking your thoughts on a….detour?
 
 
The biggest ground rule on a detour is to know that although your “detour” is a path unlike anyone else’s, EVERYONE has some path in their life veer off in an unexpected route.  Every day – all around us!
 
 

Sometimes, a book helps me remember that.  

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 artwork this in honor of feeling my grandparent’s presence with me wherever I go. My grandmother reminds me of resilience in the face of extreme difficulty.  She, to me, is an amazing example of someone who thrived after trauma.  She embodied the “upside.”

The book, The Upside of Trauma, is about Post Traumatic Growth – something I think I’m living proof of as well!

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

That’s what this book seeks to answer. There IS an upside of trauma – but you’ll never know it if you don’t keep going.  Keep traveling that detour until you find that upside.

How can you make sure you get there?

In my experience, I’ve found nine ideas  that help me reach the “upside of trauma.”

My NineTips

  1. Surround yourself with people who support you.
  2. Have something to look forward to and something to strive for.
  3. Focus on the, bright future ahead to get through difficult times
  4. Believe your story can change the world.
  5. Keep moving forward. Plan ahead but be prepared to adapt, keep moving forward no matter what.
  6. Remember that you’re larger than your circumstances
  7. Focus on what you can do, not cant.
  8. Let yourself feel bad feelings but remember what you can do.

Number Nine happens to be my favorite…

 

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 Art 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.

So today, make some art.  Star a doodle, buy a coloring book, or make a collage out of magazine images.

You might just find the upside of trauma through what you create.

So what exactly is the upside of trauma?

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

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?

All artwork was created by Amy on her detour.  Help her bring PTSD Awareness to the stage by supporting her work on patreon.com/amyo and watch her TEDx talk on her website at amyoes.com/tedx. Learn about hermental health advocacy programs for students, and find out how to take part in the#LoveMyDetour movement, and learn about her upcoming book, My Beautiful Detour at www.amyoes.com.

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