Today is the one year anniversary of a life-changing day when I went on a date & it ended horribly wrong 5 hours later (restrained, dominated, beaten, humiliated, raped, injured).

What can I say about it except this has been the worst & best thing ever. Yes, worst than the gang rape & subsequent abortion from my youth. And best because of what doors it has allowed me to open along my continued spiritual & healing journey.

I awoke working on my gratitude list because it helps me when I am having a bad day. Today is not bad per se, but I have been tense & preoccupied. So this is what I wrote this morning. The picture is a water color I made over lunch with some really fun watercolor pencils.


I am grateful I have rapport skills & endurance as I made a connection & got away, worse for the wear but alive. That’s all that counts. Your opinion does not.

I am grateful that I consistently went to medical & health professionals for help. And am on the mend. It really hurt to have my ribs reset, I mean hurt like a bitch, & I was very angry at the drs who claimed they were fine when I demanded they look at them all along. But what matters now is that they are healing properly finally.

I am grateful to be able to do my deep breathing & yoga techniques again.

I am grateful for the most amazing & sincere group of supporters that have shown up this year. I just hope I can be there for you if you ever need to call on me.

I am grateful that now I recognize a true red flag vs my anxiety or random somatic responses around people. It’s not me, it really is/was you. Trusting my gut is like having my own K-9 companion from now on.

I am grateful I reported it, & it’s on file. May he will think twice about sexually abusing women in the future.

I am grateful I “got his badge”. He did not wear it well. Nor do some of the others like him or that protected him, but most do. So let’s keep integrity there on the police force shall we?

I am grateful for the negative comments, victim-shaming, shunning & name-calling I experienced. Less people for me to waste time, energy & money with.

I am grateful for the non-believers or folks that just could not handle the truth that this happens in their circles too. I hope you are kinder to others in the future.

I am grateful that someone I loved told me that I had “ruined that man’s life”, referring to the rapist. I am not sure if he was drunk, angry, jealous or all of the above, but I do realize he was simply referring to himself & how women had made him feel. However, his words were the knife that severed our codependent bond, because I finally had realized how little he thought of me.

I am grateful for those who reminded me how much they did love me.

I am grateful that I realized & accepted this incident in my life has to be more about my courage to speak out & help others, than about seeing the justice system protect victims, since the local DA politely informed me there was not enough physical evidence to waste tax-payer money on me. (After reviewing an incomplete list of my medical records).

I am grateful that I am now informing more people about civilian PTSD & the various causes of it. It is time for more compassion, education & resources.

I am grateful for NLP, grief work, therapy, prayer, energy work, self care & meditation, as it all helps recovery.

I am grateful for better living through chemistry when it is necessary. Uncritical acceptance. No judgments. Get out of crisis & back into managing your recovery & life.

I am grateful for walking, massage, yoga, chiropractors, functional neurology, swimming, green drinks, & reducing alcohol, caffeine & sugar as it transforms your mind & body.

I am grateful for music, dance, art, poetry, laughter, crying, yelling, smashing, writing, singing, gardening, & photography as they are all wonderful ways to express oneself.

I am grateful that I spent this year in celibacy & platonic friendships. By establishing & setting this boundary for myself, I was able to identify LOTS of narcissistic, psychopathic, unstable or manipulative men who were rude & disrespectful simply because I said “no thank you” to their advances. Seriously, stay on your white horse & ride away. No heroes need apply.

I am grateful for connecting, coffee & meals w friends, volunteering, networking, & working as it all gives purpose & joy.

I am grateful for truly understanding, identifying & sharing my WHY.

I am grateful for pets, large & small. They are the most amazing mobile & interactive coping skills out there. They bring you back to NOW with their furry kisses & nuzzling to sleep in a ball under your arm, reminding you & I that we are loved & accepted in every way.

I am grateful for this amazing basket of life lessons. Yes some fruit may go bad but most turn out tasty & so we sift through it all instead of giving up & going hungry.

I am grateful for juicy ripe peaches, that drip down my hand as I eat them on my sunny back porch.

I am grateful for the smiling faces & heart-felt hugs I share with my clients.

I am grateful for long soaks in the tub with lavender bath salts at the end of the day.

I am grateful for hummingbirds and butterflies that come to visit me in the garden, & remind me what Summer is all about.

I am grateful for knowing my worth & waking up to it every morning with a smile.

I am grateful for this reminder to love & celebrate myself, & have a life worth living. That can not be taken away from me. Ever.

Thank You.

Love, Betsey xo




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The Path of Many Blessings

As the weather begins to cool this Fall evening, I am grateful for the breezes as they pass over me. I walk along this path daily, yet it seems fresh and new today. Maybe because my neighbor just mowed his lawn, or perhaps it’s the blooming yellow and orange flowers in the planters. I am grateful for the bright colors and I am appreciative of the fresh grass. These cheer me up. But most of all, I am thankful I am walking, walking pain-free, walking with love and joy in my heart, walking along this path with my little brown dog.

At times Life has a bunch of twists and turns, and sometimes we learn to roll with them and go with the flow. You may have heard me speak of the “little blue trucks” in life, just another name I have for challenging situations or people that pass by us, sometimes running us over as they go. We have a choice – lay in the street and give up? Sit on the curb and wait for an apology? But I am not doing either of those, I am walking. I am thankful for the challenges. All of them. Lessons that shape character, wisdom and integrity. I am so very blessed!

I am walking towards Home, where loved ones await. As I get closer, I begin to think of each of them. I am thankful for my Loved Ones, as they make my heart sing. I enjoy sharing laughs with them. I look forward to sharing this evening with them. A roast has been in the oven, slow cooking with potatoes and vegetables. The whole house smelled delicious when I left to go on this walk, so it should be done when I return. I think we’ll serve it with some crusty bread I just brought home. Life is good. I am happy and content. My dog is excited too, because he knows he gets some scraps tonight!

Where are you headed and what blessings are along your path? I invite you to be present and mindful of them, all of them, the many gifts and lessons you have received with a grateful heart.

In love and light,

Elizabeth Garland,



Copyright 2012 Soul Nourishing

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