first sun rays on the Colorado National Monument

There is a solitary, solemn moment, in western Colorado, when the first sun ray pokes up over the Grand Mesa and shatters into the craggy red monoliths of the Colorado National Monument. Whoosh, the match is lit and soon the rock, on fire with brilliant hues of orange and red, is soaking up ultraviolet and infrared waves. Lucky rock doesn’t need sunscreen or sunglasses, I think as I dart home to avoid any extra skin exposure. Part of my strategy of getting out on the trail so early in the morning is for my skin to escape contact with those virulent rays as much as possible. My skin doesn’t need any more trauma! Too bad, EMDR doesn’t work on skin damage.

Colorado National Monument,  red bike trail therapy, EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, EMDR, Colorado National Monument, trauma

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EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing – see why we just settle for the acronym? Evidenced-based, EMDR is approved by the Veteran’s Administration and the American Psychiatric Association (for information on how EMDR works, visit Besides trauma, it's used for panic, anxiety, phobias, depression, addiction, and even physical pain. It can be used as mental rehearsals to boost confidence – for example, giving presentations and competing in sports events, and the like. In March, I’m attending a workshop for EMDR and attachment work. As it seems like many of us have attachment issues, I’ll be excited to bring this information back home.

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But let’s get back to trauma and the trail. For those of you who have been to the Monument, you certainly know its dramatic beauty. That beauty was shaped in part by blunt meteorological and geological forces or trauma, if you will. Without that trauma, the Monument would not have its drama – and would not be the Monument. So, too, with us – trauma shapes us.

trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, EMDR
Colorado National Monument, trauma, EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

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Trauma – a deeply disturbing or distressing event – sometimes can be too big to process. Unprocessed trauma can get stuck inside of us. This can lead to maladaptive thinking, maladaptive emotions, and maladaptive behavior. Unprocessed trauma changes our neural pathways. EMDR can process what is stuck and reset those neural pathways. The Colorado National Monument is evidence that our world is full of trauma. We too, know that our lives are touched by trauma. Good to know that when that trauma is too big to process, that there is a monumental tool to help.


You are so right about trauma shaping us; it has made me the strong person I am today. Hope you enjoy the EMDR training. I'm sure you will find it useful. Love your pictures. AJ

I have just read your blogs and find inspiration in this commitment you have made to self-care in your life as you celebrate nature in the process. Your descriptions are beautiful, your pictures capture the essence of your explorations, and your humble, insightful, universal observations and commentary are a gift. I love the intertwining of helpful tools for growth and the learning that happens for the Reader as you find clarity within your weekly explorations. Your writing is meaningful and uplifting. Thank you!  F

I love your analogy of the formation of the monument and turmoil in our lives. You should have been writing all along! D

Beautiful pictures and beautiful insight of tying us together with nature and all our abrupt shifts in life. Thankfully for us there is EMDR to help lessen the trauma. K

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