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Versatile Blogger

January 5, 2012

A heart felt “Thank You” to Jen at Step On a Crack…, for nominating the GrowthLines blog for The Versatile Blogger Award.  I began blogging as a way to think out loud with a larger community, outside the therapy room.  To think about the growth that comes from our experiences.  To recognize the incredible resilience of humans.  To highlight the hope to be found even in our darkest moments.

In the process of writing my thoughts, I have encountered an amazing fabric of fellow travelers who push me to listen more closely, think more clearly, and to see the raw beauty in each of us.  Fellow bloggers have expressed that beauty with humor and wit.  With warmth and encouragement.  With agony and longing.  With confusion and uncertainty.  With candor and honesty.

Thank you, Jen, for your continued presence in the blogging world.  Thank you for your willingness to give us a window into the complexity of your relationship with your mother, and your grief over her living, and her dying.  You invite and inspire all of us to engage in honest conversation about our own lives.

According to the requirements of the award I must:

• Nominate 15 other bloggers

• Inform my nominees

• Share 7 random facts about myself

• Thank those who nominated me

• Add a picture of the award to this post

Congratulations Versatile Bloggers!

I am honored to nominate the following blogs for the Versatile Blogger Award: – Emerson J. Winchester invites me to think with her every Thursday morning through her writing.  Her meditations push us to think as a springboard to action, as in her recent post , Pop Music Failure (or, A Step in the Wrong Direction). – Check out this blog on “survivors creating a life beyond Loss and Trauma”.  I found Brenda’s post on self-forgiveness to be insightful. – a rich and poetic blog about the simultaneous dance we do with life and death, loss and change.  The final post of 2011 was especially thought provoking. – join a fellow blogger at a crossroads with the chance and challenge to reinvent her life.  One view of the crossroads can be found in the Weekly roundup post. – a wonderful “voice of experience” resource for people living with complex PTSD.  “Show up empty and experience everything joyfully.” – Consider fewer possessions for a greater quality of life.  I was intrigued by the most recent post, Pick four people. – I was delighted to discover this blog about daring to dream your life, and then working the dream.  I was even more delighted to discover that the dream is being worked out in the shadow of one of my favorite places on this earth, The Spanish Twin Peaks near LaVeta, CO.  The indigenous tribes of the area called them Wahatoya, the “breasts of the world”. – Written by “a poet and a dreamer”, asking “Why Life?”  Beautiful photographs and thought provoking posts, such as Walking Between Worlds. – She’s a seventeen year old thinking beyond her years, and writing her thoughts.  Listen to her in “What’s the point of kindness?” – following the musings at the People Always Leave blog, and read Hanging By A Moment – Join the “head clown” at the Cameron family Carnival as she looks at being family yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Hear her honor her own father’s spirit in A Skier’s Dream – Thank you for poetry and prose.  Make sure you read “To a special man…” – Arianna invites us to join her in a discussion of resilience, motivation, and personal development.  She sometimes uses sports as a metaphor for our discoveries about life, as in Press On!  What Rowing Taught Me About Resilience – an interesting blog about “living the life less traveled”, which includes among other topics, “Mistakes introverts make”. – Another young, talented artist who is letting the blogging community join her as she “paints” her thoughts with words.  I appreciate her candid thinking in Recap: 2011.

Congratulations again to my Versatile Blogger nominees! 

Now for the seven random facts about me:
  1. I have lived long enough that after years of wearing glasses and contacts, I now have 20/20 vision to see anything within 18 inches of the end of my nose.  Since I love to read, write, and “google”, all of which fall within the 18 inch range, I’m ecstatic.  Anything past the magical 18 inches is a blur, including the glasses I took off in my moment of “clarity”.  On more than one occasion I’ve had to put in contacts in order to find where I left my glasses.
  2. I too am a “one-sneezer”, and sometimes pretty loud.  I am occasionally embarrassed when a sneeze refuses to be stifled.  On the heels of nearly every sneeze I have a memory moment of my grandad.  Our sneezing behaviors are identical, which means my sneezes are often followed by a smile.
  3. I grew up watching my Dad work on cars, literally a “shade tree mechanic”.  Later, with the luxury of a garage, he taught me how to maintain and repair my first car, a 66 Mustang.  I spent years worth of happy moments in that garage getting my hands dirty and my heart filled.  Some of my hardest moments were being there alone, packing up the remains of my shade tree mechanic dad, when dementia made it necessary for him to move to a nursing home.  Sometimes I go to my own garage and hold his socket wrench in my hand for old time’s sake.
  4. When I was old enough to know better, I left my grandad’s horse grazing in the yard while I went to get a drink of water.  In less than five minutes, Old Red had caught the saddle horn on the clothesline wire, and was racing around the yard in a panic dragging one of my grandmother’s new iron clothesline poles behind him.  The other pole was bent to the ground.  I had to wait for grandad to come home so I could look into his clear, blue eyes, and explain what had happened.  I had to live knowing I had destroyed something my grandma had waited for, for years.  Red and I both survived the experience, him with a small cut over one eye and me with a better understanding of responsibility, and that it takes less than five minutes for things to “go to hell in a handbasket”.  My grandparents kept on loving and investing in me in spite of my mistakes…, priceless.
  5. I like hiking with a camera and a sketch pad.
  6. I’ve been to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival every year since Hurricane Katrina.  If I could rewind my life, I would shake the limitations of a “no dancing” religious code, and learn to do the Zydeco.  The next best thing is to be at the Fais Do Do stage watching a mass of people dancing zydeco to live music.
  7. I love Vivian Higginbotham’s seafood gumbo, and am so glad she gave me her recipe and taught me how to make it before she died.


11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2012 9:11 pm

    Thank you, ma’am! Always fun to ‘discover’ new blogs through what others are reading, too! Happy New Year!

    • January 5, 2012 11:46 pm

      You’re welcome! It is great fun finding such a wide range of well written blogs to indulge in. I continue to enjoy the Thursday Morning Meditations. Happy New Year to you too!

  2. January 5, 2012 11:58 pm

    Thank you for this lovely award! I feel like Natalie Woods about ready to sing “Let Me Entertain You!” Except I’m fully clothed 😉

    • January 6, 2012 12:14 am

      You’re welcome, “Natalie”! I look forward to following the belle of the Cameron Carnival through 2012 and beyond.

  3. January 6, 2012 7:59 am

    Thank you for the recommendation and honor. It is a special honor because of your credentials as a therapist and healer. Your passion for supporting people and the challenges you have taken to grow as a mature person are admirable.

    Great spirit and an awareness of life. Your clients must benefit from your insight.

    Thanks again for including me in the talented group of bloggers you have chosen.


    • January 6, 2012 10:05 am

      Thank you, Marty. I always gain insight and understanding from getting to “see” through another person’s eyes. The impact of trauma on our lives is a painful reality. I believe it makes a difference when we begin to see our history as a landscape to be managed, rather than the definition of who we are. It is amazing to watch people discover their own strength and to begin to accept their own healing. Your willingness to create a place for telling the stories gives others the courage to find their voice. Those stories teach and heal us all.

      Thanks again. I know your blog will continue to be a resource for both helping professionals and people struggling under the weight of trauma.


  4. January 6, 2012 1:45 pm

    May I ask you what was the impetus for the draw to be a therapist late in life? What is more valuable as a possession than supporting someone who finds their self worth and opportunity. A free mind is a beautiful thing.

    Rick Hanson in Buddhas Brain says we have 1 with a million zeroes behind it as opportunity in every minute, available. Our mind constructs our ego out of past memories woven together in a story.

    My old ego entertained worry, doubt, guilt fear, shame and worthlessness. My newly constructed ego, gently caresses me with positive platitudes daily.

    Thank you again for your kind words and opening up more doors for me on my journey.


    • January 6, 2012 7:22 pm

      My decision to become a therapist evolved over the span of a few years. I was working with teenagers and began to find myself in “counseling” situations with them, and their parents, more often. I knew I needed to be better equipped to respond to that need, so I returned to college to get a family psychology degree. I discovered I loved the required courses and felt the studies were a good fit for me. I had a professor/advisor who believed in my ability to go on to graduate school, more than I believed it at that point.

      I applied to an accredited marriage and family therapy program that was fortunately only an hour away from my home. Graduate school and clinical training were so challenging and satisfying. It was a real gift to discover something I felt so passionate about, and to get to spend my days with people courageous enough to wrestle with themselves in order to recover and recreate their lives.

      • January 7, 2012 11:30 am

        What a blessing to bring a whole life experience with you before school. Most therapists online are guarded and into growing the practice or promoting a book, however you are open.

        You also see the need for support and resources in the big picture. Most therapists that I have encountered are consumed by the inside of their therapy office. Nothing wrong with that but even this medium can reach more people in a day than you may see in a month.

        You must make it possible for many to heal that arrive at your healing space.


  5. January 6, 2012 6:31 pm

    Congratulations!!! xxx

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