“Finally Free: Healing from the Wounds of Trauma” Published by Edge Magazine

“Our perception becomes our reality. If we wonder, “what did I do wrong,” then “wrong” becomes the focus. “I am wrong” becomes the reality. But it is important to recognize that this is a thought. We are not our thoughts. This is where practicing meditation and mindfulness comes in. If you recognize that you are having an uncomfortable thought or memory, and consider the science that it is merely firings in your brain, you can watch the thought drift away like a cloud in the sky or a boat on the water. We can then mindfully engage in the activity we are doing, the time and place that we are in.”

Read Here (Note: trigger warning)

Julie and “Fighter” Featured in Photojournalism Project for Break the Silence Day

Thank you to Break the Silence for including the photo and original poem, “Fighter” in the Survivors of Minnesota photojournalism project.

*Trigger Warning*

My name is Julie Grossman, and I am a survivor of assault.

I’ve been a fighter since I was thirteen
Bows to my opponents, always fought clean
But that night
He stole my chance to fight
The alcohol and drug
Pulsed through my blood
The underdog and the heavyweight
Not a chance was stood

So just imagine how I felt
When I found he had stripped
My championship

I fought to conceal
Scars I thought I earned
I fought not to reveal
Outpourings of tears that, like fire, burned

Then I pulled on my gloves tighter Landed solid punches on the bag
Jab left, hook right
I’m no used, shook up rag
I let out all my fight there in the gym
And for one night, I don’t think of him
I fight for myself,
Made not of glass
I kick the thoughts from my head
Choosing instead
To kick

I am a fighter
And I’ve always been
I carry on, not carrion
At the hands of some man
The trick is to keep getting up
Until the bell sounds
He may have gotten one
But there’s still nine more rounds.

I am alive
And I thrive
I am a fighter
And I will survive.

“Upon Waking” is Out Now!

The original poem, Things I Can’t Remember, has been published in the new anthology book Upon Waking: 58 Voices Speaking Out from the Shadow of Abuse, sponsored by the League of Minnesota Poets.

According to the League’s website, “Upon Waking: 58 Voices Speaking Out from the Shadow of Abuse gives victims a place to share how the abuse felt, how abuse lingers, and what they have done to heal and move forward. These poems show that abusive experiences affect us all, and if we speak up, we can change our culture for the better.”

Things I Can’t Remember is an original piece by Julie Grossman that inspired the song of the same name.

To purchase your own copy of “Upon Waking,” click here, available also at Barnes and Noble, or other booksellers.

Julie Featured in Fierce / Calm

Thank you to @fierce_calm for sharing my story! I’m proud and honored to be one of your featured survivors.

*Trigger Warning*

“In times of trauma, like a sexual assault, you don’t think clearly and you don’t file memories correctly all the time. There are things I can’t remember — and things I’ll never forget.”

Meet trauma informed yoga teacher Julie Grossman sharing her #yogasavedmylife story with us. These are her words.

“I remember what I was wearing — a baggy sweatshirt, and jeans. It was a weeknight, and we were going to watch a movie. As I relaxed with my feet up on my friend’s couch, he brought me a tall, fizzy, orange-flavored drink. Then it’s all a blank — until I woke up later on his bed. He was on top of me. I registered what was happening, but paralyzed and terrified, I passed out again.

I drove back to my apartment later, called my parents, and moved home. The police wouldn’t even take my story. I talked to my therapist, and that was helpful, but I still struggled with anxiety attacks and bouts of severe depression. But then I found what would change me forever — yoga.

It started as simple exercises, then become a daily practice of meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, and reconnecting with my body.I hated my body — I wanted to escape it, to hide away and live in my head.

Trauma-sensitive yoga, however, teaches how to be gentle with yourself, to be in the moment, and find that comfort and healing once again. It was absolutely life-changing for me. I even reached a point where I was able to forgive my attacker, inside myself, and stop the cycle of hate. I studied TSY as much as I could, and became a certified teacher. Now I am thrilled to be able to help and guide other women on their own path to healing. I truly feel this is my purpose in life.

It happened to me too, like it happens to too many others. But nobody took anything away from me. I’m still whole and I’m complete. And now, with yoga as a tool and a lifestyle, I’m stronger than ever before. Julie

#FIERCECALM #yoga #survivor #abusesurvivor #traumayoga #traumainformedyoga #traumasensitiveyoga #yogaheals #metoo

The Lotus

For the International Day Against Violence Against Women, I’m sharing some song lyrics for “The Lotus.”

Please enjoy.

Alabaster white bud
Rooted in the mud
Waters from the flood
A lotus
Fragrance like perfumes
Petals like bird plumes
Tenderly she blooms
The lotus

Little sister, you’ll be alright
Just turn your face to the light
Roots in the mud mean you’ll grow just right
Little lotus

Emerging gently
We gaze intently
At the lotus
Sweetly the earth sings
From the silted spring
Through it is a flourishing

Little sister you’ll be okay
Turn your face to the light of day
You need roots in the mud to grow the right way
Little lotus