Having had a rough go after mid June major surgery, a "good enough" turnaround in my overall health and well being, I was blessed to travel abroad for one month in September, a long planned trip including the very first item ever on my wish list: Russia. On my return to the US, the usual post international travel blues awaited me. The longer the trip, the more difficult the return for me. It was finally in November that things started shifting again for me in a more hopeful direction.

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Nettie's Got the Blues

Some days I just wake up with the blues. Years of therapy have provided me with a toolkit of resources, the first one being curiosity and a mindfulness of how this shows up in my body. Drawing always helps, even a little journal mandala. Then maybe I choose to get out and about, another resource. Prayer is everywhere, without it I am nothing.

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Wondrous Healing

I journaled this poem just four days after major surgery, sitting out on my patio on a beautiful morning, feeling the stirrings of wholeness. The surgery had cured abdominal and pelvic pain that had worsened steadily since January, unrelieved by removal of my gall bladder, and undiagnosed by many procedures and tests, invasive and non invasive. I truly believe that my body was finding its way of releasing trapped trauma. I'd had over 55 years of accumulating it, after all, and in the much bigger picture, I understood the power of healing as not being limited by western medicine. I've been known to say that there are some things you can't see under a microscope...


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The Day After Taking Shelter on a Really Rough Day

Grief can be like a bad storm at sea. So when it blows into the harbor, you take down the sails and stay sheltered as best as you can. Allowing myself to go slow allows my body and nervous system to adapt to the changes taking place as a part of trauma recovery therapy. Plus, drawing helps my subconscious and conscious mind to integrate. Being kind to myself is such a loving thing to do.

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Body's Wisdom

In this entry I reflect on the duality of life, that opposites can and do occur at the same time. This part of my healing is focused on recognizing my own body's wisdom and the experience of it being both, not just one or the other.

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Fully Present

I always travel with my journal and water color pencils. This found me in Phoenix visiting my stepdaughter and her fiancé. I was struggling with the heat and sun, trying to find a way to relax in it.

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Holey Wholely Holy Lord

I was on my way back to KC with my father and several siblings after attending my godfather's funeral in Chicago. My morning meditation transitioned into a prayer using Somatic Experiencing techniques, which then transformed into a drawing.

We sing "Holy holy holy Lord" in one of the service songs at church, and I've shifted that a bit in my own heart. Here's how I see them:

Holey reflects the open wounds Jesus bore in his crucifixion.

Wholely captures the fullness of his essence as Lord over my life, over all humanity.

Holy honors his divinity.

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In this journal entry I reflect on how strongly I relate to words written about Abraham Lincoln's life and sacrifices. I am just learning that, however unintended, I have been socialized to believe I don't matter, that I'm not important, that I must take on others' burdens for them. I draw a self portrait of the little girl that is me, her little shoulders overburdened, her mouth indistinct, as she has no voice.

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Thunder Summerstorm

Being a pluviophile (one who finds solace in rainy days) and storm lover, this day was made just for me, hours of rumbling thunder between big storms. Having begun my trauma recovery just months before, I was struck (no pun intended) by the similarity between the storm and my experience. This is also shortly after I began using the technique of inner parent/inner child dialoguing, which I learned from the book Self Parenting recommended to me by my therapist.

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