Self Care

As I have continued on my healing journey, one thing that I have had to learn is self care. I used to believe that I was not worthy of self care since I saw myself as dirty, worthless and useless.  Once that view of myself changed, I started making little changes to take better care of myself. Self care first started by drinking more water. Then that expanded to getting a massage. My self-esteem started coming back.  I started going to therapy where I learned and accepted that I was a worth while human being that deserved to be loved by myself. Soon I was getting massages two times a month, using essential oils to help myself calm down and started to realize that I could have self-compassion.

The next step I took in self care was finding my way to Nia and taking white belt. This is where I learned to love my body and life. My trainer suggested I go to see her friend who did Reiki Jin Kei Do. I did what she suggested and made an appointment. Through Reiki, I learned that I can connect to my body more and more. My energy level became higher and more self care started. Next thing, I know I am eating better, spending time in nature, dancing, being with friends, listening to music, choreographing dance routines,  using essential oils, candles, healing stones, crystal singing bowls, take espom salt baths, meditation, earthing, massages, counseling and  getting acupuncture treatments. I had to teach myself that I could love myself again and now I practice self care every day.

The Journey Back to Myself: A Book of Healing Poetry, Second Edition



A collection of inspirational, empowering poetry written over the course of three years as Julie went on a healing journey to heal from multiple sexual assaults and Post Traumatic Stress. She learned that creating space for deep healing starts with taking some deep breaths to be present in the body. She learned that her body is her home and that her body is safe to come back to. Also, she learned how to love herself again. This is a powerful book that invites you on a healing journey. It is meant for every single person who is healing from something. It’s meant to be a guide for every psychologist, psychiatrists, doctor, nurse, social worker, professor, counselor to use to understand the effects of child sexual abuse, university rape, military sexual trauma, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress.


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Peaceful Warrior


I am fighting a battle inside of myself,

My enemy is Post Traumatic Stress,

My strength comes from myself,

Memories of what happened to me replays over

And over again.

There are flashbacks,

There are nightmares,

There are triggers,

The pain is so real and I cannot stop the pain.

I cannot stop the flashbacks.

I cannot stop the nightmares.

I cannot stop the grief.

I cannot stop the rage.

I show a brave face to the world but on

The inside I am crying.

Mother Earth is helping me to heal my heart

That was broken into thousands of pieces,

There are many days when I feel like I am broken,

I am determined to win this battle and to heal my heart.

I will not let triggers, flashbacks, nightmares control my emotions.

I will not let those tried to destroy me win this war.

I have awakened and I will find peace with myself.


I will love myself and forgive myself for past harms

I will love my body.

I will continue to grow spirituality.

I will continue to be mindful and meditate.

I will continue to speak my truth and continue to heal.

I will reach out to fellow Peaceful Warriors and

Help them to heal to.

I am Peaceful Warrior.

Heart Chakra


Settling into Reiki slumber,

I begin to breathe deeply,

I sense my spirit guides and teachers all around me,

They surrounding me in healing white light,

That touches very part of my being,


Breathing in deeper into my lungs,

I begin to connect to my heart center,

I become aware of the compassion they have for

me and realize they are there for me,

They want me to have compassion for myself,

They want me to feel my feelings,

To allow the tears to come out,


Breathing out I parts of my body are shaking,

My teachers and spirit guides tell me that I am safe,

I am releasing trauma, grief, anger, body memories, tears

And feeling connected to myself and heart center for the first time,


Breathe deeply again to sense the white healing light surrounding me,

I feel all of the love, compassion, empathy and support,

I begin to let go of past betrayals, hurts,

forgive myself and others,


I am connecting to my Divine spirt,

Raising my energy level, and realizing

That I am a healer.


Grounded and Powerful


Close your eyes and breathe deeply,

Sink your roots deep into the earth,

Come home to yourself and your body,

Allow yourself to connect to that place inside of you

That knows you are rooted deep in the earth,

Hear that little voice inside that is telling you,

You are safe,

You are strong,

You are an empowered Warrior,

You are beautiful,

You are a goddess,


Breathe deeply again,

Connect to that place inside of you that knows

You can speak your truth,

You can feel your feelings,

You can heal.

You are an empowered Warrior and Goddess who shines brightly.


You flow in the wind,

You allow the wind and rain to wash over you,

You have learned to surf the waves that crash around you,

You know that you are empowered,

you are healing the pain deep inside,

You know that you will never back down,

You know that no one can hurt you any more,

You have taken your power back from those who tried to destroy you,


You are safe,

You are a goddess that is standing in her power,

You are shining brightly so others know there is a way out,

You are healing.


Take three more breaths, in and out,

Allow the air to fill your lungs to capacity,

You no longer have to breathe shallowly,

You can take up space,

You can speak your truth,

You can feel your feelings,


You are connected to the earth below you,

You are deeply rooted,

You are very powerful.

Keep shining and ever back down.









You want me to become aware

Of what my ankle, knee and lower back are saying?

You want me to stay in my body?

You want me to feel my feelings?

You want me to say what I need to say?

You want me to tell my truth?

Are you kidding me?


You want me to stay connected to myself, my body

And my feelings?

Why would I do that?

I used to scream.

You tell me that I am safe,

That there is no reason to

Disconnect any more,

That you are there for me as I become

Aware of my feelings and body,


It takes tremendous strength for me to

look deep inside of myself

Where there are dark shadows,

But my shadows are demanding that light

Shown on them,

There is no reason to hide any more,

There is no reason to remain silent any more,

It’s not my shame!!

I can be in my body.

I can love myself.

It’s not my shame!


I have come back home to my body

And to myself,

I know that I am safe to feel my feelings,

I know that I am safe to speak my truth,


I have become aware of the power I have deep inside,

I know that I am an empowered Warrior

Who is speaking her truth and will never

Back down until victim blaming, shaming stops.


I am aware of the connection to my body

And know where the trauma is held,

I am loving myself and my body every single day.

I am being gentle with myself for

I know that I am still healing.

My Nia Journey

The Healing Power of Nia

I am a Navy Veteran, Women’s Veteran Advocate, photographer, Reiki Jin Kei Do Energy Practioner and author that has been on a healing journey for a long time. I have tried many different ways to heal Post-Traumatic Stress. Earlier in the year, I went to a retreat called Artemis Rising in Bluemont, Virginia. The retreat involved EMDR therapy, art therapy, kayaking, hiking, archery, acupuncture, equine therapy, and somatic therapy. One of the therapists at Artemis Rising introduced us to a dance routine called “Break the Chain.” We learned the choreography and I felt so empowered. This is when I started to realize that I like to dance, and by dancing I am able to access feelings that are locked away. I then could let the tears come out.

After the retreat, I came back home and got involved in my life again. At the same time, I found out my mother’s cancer had returned and was feeling very emotional. I began to look for a way to express what I was feeling. I found Nia by looking on the One Billion Rising website and came across a Nia Jam that was being held 10 minutes from my house. I had no idea what to expect and had never heard of Nia, but I walked into the studio and met all of these lovely women that were excited about dancing and made me feel welcome. The music started and I began to dance; I immediately realized that I had come home.

Nia has helped me to feel again, to come back into my body and to heal on a deeper level. Nia is teaching me I do not need to leave my body, but that I am safe to feel what I need to feel and to express what I am feeling. Most importantly, it is doing what therapy has not been able to do, and is allowing me to access feelings I cannot talk about.

I took the Nia White Belt in July with the amazing trainer, Kate Finlayson. That was an awesome experience! By doing the White Belt I developed a relationship with my body. I realized, I do not need to be ashamed of my body and can love my body. I learned where I hold my feelings and memories, and instead of criticizing and hating those parts of me, I began to accept and love those parts of me. Kate Finlayson taught me to be present, to talk to my body, listen to my body and be loving to my body. I learned that I can dance and trust myself and embody the 52 moves of Nia. She taught me to listen to the music. I found that I a writer and started writing poetry. I am coming back home to myself.

In September, I took the Green Belt with Stephaney which continued to build on the foundation from my White Belt, learning where I hold my memories and about music, how to cue on the three and six. I learned the importance of just trying, and that I don’t have to be perfect.

I love Nia. Nia is helping me heal from Post-Traumatic Stress. It’s helping me to access feelings that have been locked inside. I have a relationship with my body and have started to love my body. Nia has given me sisters and friends on their own journey that truly care about me, and I about them. Nia has given me a safe place to feel what I need to feel and be who I am.