Thank you for visiting. Here you will find posts based on my book The Power of Your Other Hand: Unlocking creativity and inner wisdom through the right side of your brain (new edition, 2019 Conari Press), featuring excerpts from the book, success stories from readers and students, my own experiences, and drawing and writing prompts using this technique. Enjoy!
~Lucia Capacchione, Phd, ATR

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Mary Lou's COVID-19 Story

This blog is a letter I wrote the worldwide community of certified graduates of our training program, Creative Journal Expressive Arts. It features the journey of healing by Mary Lou Gonzalez, one of our certified instructors in Mission, Texas, on the border of Mexico. She is the first person in our community to be confronting COVID-19 and is using our CJEA tools, including work with her non-dominant hand, in her healing process.

Mary Lou’s COVID-19 Story

Dear CJEA Community:

I just spoke to Mary Lou Gonzalez, our CJEA practitioner from Mission, TX. Mary Lou is our first CJEA member to be diagnosed with COVID-19. She was first diagnosed with Bacterial Bronchitis and treated with antibiotics and then tested positive for COVID-19 as well. After a stay in the hospital on some oxygen, she is back home.

Mary Lou wants all of you to know that she is recovering by using CJEA tools every day. Her mother passed away at age 93 during all this and she was unable to go to the funeral because of her condition. So this has been a triple whammy. Two medical conditions and her mom's passing.

I was very inspired to hear how Mary Lou is using all the tools in her tool kit for recovering from all of this.

Here is what she has been doing: She journals (more about the specifics later) using both hands, does body parts movement work with Gabrielle Roth's 5rhthyms music, walks, prays, does a 15-minute meditation from Deepak Chopra, has dropped sugar and flour from her diet (as directed by her doctor), drinks chamomile tea to reduce stress and stay calm, eats soups and nourishing foods, stays off of social media and away from bad news in media generally. She also had to bring her Protective Parent out when other family members looked to her for nurturing and to take on responsibilities when her mother passed. She could not be there for them as she always has been in the past. She had to put herself first and her own recovery. This was a big step and we both agreed, was a great blessing for her. She is putting her Inner Child (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs) first. I've known Mary Lou for years. I have never heard such strength from her. I was there when she quit her old job (during an intensive in Texas) and shared how she asserted herself at that time with the boss. This assertion around COVID-19 was on a whole other level of strength and inner power. I could hear it in her voice when she talked about telling the COVID-19 to "GET OUT OF MY BODY."

For those of you who know Mary Lou, she has been a caregiver for years, in her personal life with family, and in her professional work in mental health as a pain management specialist. She is one of the most compassionate and giving women you will ever meet. And now she is giving all that love and care to herself. She told me the Deepak Chopra meditations really have helped her with that, as they focus on knowing we are enough, we are worthwhile and deserving of love and self-care. And of course, journaling with her Inner Child is helping with that.  

Journaling for COVID-19 Recovery 

Mary Lou kept reiterating to me, "I have to keep up all these practices every day, every day." She said that over and over. Here are some highlights of her journaling:

An Inner Wisdom voice, speaking through her non-dominant hand, has guided her about how God loves her and she is being loved and cared for. That she is enough. That she is recovering and healing. Through her non-dominant hand, her Inner Warrior has been telling the COVID-19 to get out of her body, in no uncertain terms. (This is like the Inner Brat telling the Critic off.)

There is nothing polite or "pleaser" about the Inner Warrior. She is standing up to COVID-19 and setting clear boundaries. That is what I consider a call to her physical immune system to do the same.

This Assertive Warrior voice in us is our psychological immune system kicking in and kicking invaders out. Asserting ourselves against toxins of every kind, including mental toxins of negative thoughts, is our best defense against illness. I've seen cancer patients, like Pat Clark, become victorious over their condition with this simple dialogue.

When I called Mary Lou this morning, I'd been feeling grief over the recent death of a good friend who used to be in our local collage groups, as well as the passing of Hal Stone, who trained me in Voice Dialogue work. Talking to Mary Lou really lifted my spirits. Her use of this work to clear COVID-19 out of her system (as well as fighting the Bacterial Bronchitis), is so inspiring for me. It teaches me, and all of us, how powerful these tools are. They are nothing short of life saving.

As is common with COVID-19 (from what I have read and heard), Mary Lou also had nightmares. Some COVID-19 patients talk about this, either as delirium (which can be caused by high fevers) or as very frightening nightmares. Again, Mary Lou brought her Warrior voice in to deal with these nightmares.

I want to thank Mary Lou for leading the way for all of us on how the combination of journaling, movement, prayer, meditation, and good nutrition in a daily practice can bring about healing from COVID-19. As we know, there is no medical cure for this condition. And there is no vaccine. The antibiotics were given for her other (Bronchitis) condition. And Mary Lou has been told to just stay home. So her kit of CJEA and complementary tools are her "medicine" at this time.

Please keep Mary Lou in your prayers and heart. She is our brave pioneer in CJEA for COVID-19.

Love to all. Be well and stay safe,
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