Can You Make a Trauma-Warrior Resilience Kit...from Picture Frames, Leftovers, and High Heels?

BY THE END of this post, you are going to have three concrete action steps for turning any obstacle into an opportunity - and I'm not going to even mention (hardly) the word DETOUR!

This is an action plan based on picture frames, leftovers, and high heels.

Weird? So is creativity. But we all HAVE it. And we all NEED it.

"Placing myself in other people’s words, as in placing myself in other people’s shoes, has given me the opportunity to get below the surface — to get “real.” - Anna Deveare Smith

Picture Frames:

One of my favorite parts of performing Gutless and Grateful at the esteemed Feinstein's/54Below was getting to premiere one of my Original Songs, Picture Frame.

There’s a recap of the June 30th show here.

Is there a childhood picture you always think of as your "old home?"

More <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">mixed media art -</a> made right out of Yale hospi
More mixed media art - made right out of Yale hospital!


This song is actually part of a new musical I'm working on, LEFTOVERS.

Which...there have been some very exciting developments with...(when I say "on the ain't exactly what you might think!")

What are YOUR leftovers?

I mean - besides the one I'm still working on from LAST Thanksgiving?!

Leftovers, in my play, are what you're left with AFTER disaster strikes: the pain, the losses and ultimately the gifts of transformation that stem from trauma. Yes, even our leftover burgers can be reimagined into a really delicious casserole.

You might be cultivating resilience for dinner tonight and NOT EVEN KNOW IT! Are you repurposing some leftovers in your fridge into something new?

Well, that's a key trait of a Detourist. You had to be adaptable to not just overcome, but grow from Trauma!

How are you a Trauma warrior without knowing it?

Well first, watch my latest TEDx Talk on how to make any trauma into a thrilling warrior's adventure.

Then, share a recipe wth me where you take something old and make it new!

What's the irony of ironies when I couldn't eat? I made a food blog. Creating recipes from scratch was how I practiced reimagining identity after Trauma, and how my body changed after every surgery.

It made my parents stomachs’ very happy though...
It made my parents stomachs’ very happy though...

Sound delicious?


(Well it can be...)

Through transforming the aftermath of trauma into art, we create our own unique masterpiece, cultivating a bold, new identity that is uniquely ours. Yet, this transformation draws us together.

SO what do picture frames have to do with all that?

My <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">mixed media art</a>

(A series of art canvases I made to chronicle my own story - "mixed media" picture frames of my life!))

High Heels

Here's a monologue from the protagonist of LEFTOVERS that might sum things up:

" I’ve been reconnecting my leftovers, to let them go.

Why not let go (a little) of the girl in the picture frame? You aren’t her anymore. Let go, so you're here now.

It’s hard to digest, but it makes sense.

So I don’t think I am going to say “I can’t wait to get my life started.” Maybe I’ll say, I can’t wait to heal all of me. Because I’ll never stop healing. That’s what makes life beautiful. I want to heal every little part of me, and then I want to heal others, and then the world, and then heal, heal, heal, and wear high heels and heal."

(by the way, my monologues are available for purchase, thanks to PERFORMERSTUFF!)

So find an old childhood photo, eat your leftovers, and happy, healthy HIGH-HEALING!

<a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">Gutless and Grateful.</a>..healing in HEELS.
Gutless and Grateful...healing in HEELS.
Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world. - Marilyn Monroe

Trauma and its leftovers affect us all. So we all are entitled to our just desserts.

Come, take a seat.

Here’s the Three-Part Action Plan to turn any obstacle into an opportunity.

First, here’s an example: You can even repurpose clothes - you know any hipsters?

This is some mixed media sewing I did from OLD SOCKS!

More of my wacky art<a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank"> here.</a>
More of my wacky art here.
Okay, back to the three-step plan:
1.) PICTURE FRAME STEP: Find a photo that makes you remember who YOU are ASK YOURSELF: WHAT IS MY FRAME?
2.) LEFTOVERS STEP: Use that photo to reconnect what's leftover in YOUR life ASK YOURSELF: WHAT IS DO I NEED TO LET GO?
3.) HIGH HEALS STEP: Put on those dang high heals, and flaunt how obstacles have shaped YOU! ASK YOURSELF: HOW HAVE MY LEFTOVERS MADE ME WHO I WANNA BE?

How are you going to FRAME the leftovers in your life?

My<a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank"> 2nd TED Talk at TEDx VCU</a> <em>- Patterns</em>

It's all about the big PICTURE, folks...

#FindYourFrame. #LoveMyDetour.


TELL me about your leftovers!

 Amy Oestreicher is a PTSD  specialist, artist, author, multidisciplinary educator, writer for Huffington Post, speaker for TEDx and RAINN, health advocate, survivor, award-winning actress, and playwright. Learn more about Amy’s program for colleges here. As creator of Gutless & Grateful, her one-woman autobiographical musical, she’s toured theatres nationwide, after it’s NYC Broadway-World nominated debut in 2012, along with a program combining mental health advocacy, sexual assault awareness and Broadway Theatre for college campuses and international conferences. Sign up for her newsletter for weekly Detourist tips and updates on her upcoming book, My Beautiful Detour.

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