This is a beautiful book in every sense of the word. Naomi uses her own deeply creative and meaningful art work, alongside photos that are powerfully simple leaving spaces for the reader's own thoughts as well as many practical ideas for helping you to heal. There is a reassuring repetition where the same ideas work under many headings.
As someone with DID, I found the language used totally respectful. Her ideas are offered rather than imposed, leaving the reader feeling free and able to explore what would help them. I liked the idea of the combination of firmness alongside softness, helping to make connections.
"My relief, as I would lay on the ground and place rocks on my body, might have been coming from providing a sensory experience of solidity. I was potentially reactivating the orientation association cortex, a region in the brain's parietal lobe that gives us our experience of physical boundaries and where we are in space."
Naomi talks about relaxing baths alongside riding her bicycle with vigor, aromatherapy and swimming in flowing water. This combination is liberating as quite often with healing the focus is on "just being" so those of us who relish in "doing" as well can feel reassured that healing is achievable for them.
I think this book could be an essential part of the "toolkit" from the start of healing from sexual trauma. You can dip in and out of each section, and there are even suggestions on how to use each chapter by going straight to positive actions, bypassing narrative and pictures that might be retraumatising on a difficult day. The amount of work that has gone into compiling this book from the author's own journey can be felt from the very first page where her openness and generosity influence every word; her realness and compassion walk hand in hand with her knowledge. I also found it reassuring that many of the books and other resources she references are ones I have found most helpful.
Each person will need to think carefully about how they would use this book, in the early days with their therapist while their intuition is rekindled and they learn to trust it? The way it is used will change continuously, reflecting the whole journey while helping to create and sustain a sense of integrated healing.
My only criticism is I felt overwhelmed at times by how much information was being shared, how I wanted to hang onto it all and how would I be able to mentally organize what I would need at any one time. I was relieved to find the Survivor's Toolbox towards the end which did exactly what I needed. It gave me a synopsis with sign posts so I then felt in control again.
This beautiful book is a pleasure to own, hold, read and just touch. Naomi gives hope through her sensitivity in sharing and offering.