One Foot Forward – Reflections on Healing by Milena Cifali  

by | May 4, 2024 | Author | 0 comments

Overview of the Newest Book

I would like to begin by introducing myself to Authors’ Lounge readers. Authors’ Lounge have kindly asked me to submit an article about my newest book ‘One Foot Forward – Reflections on Healing’.

Following on from the success of my first published memoir, Mallacoota Time – The Lost Summer, which dealt with the shock and grief of losing everything in the Black Summer bushfires in Victoria Australia on New Year’s Eve 2019.

Returning to Mallacoota “One Foot Forward – Reflections on Healing

My book ‘One Foot Forward – Reflections on Healing’, is my own personal account of a traumatic car accident which left me hospitalized, and unable to walk; the fact that this occurred immediately after returning to my hometown of Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia, to seek closure after the bushfires of 2019 which destroyed my home, musical instruments, compositions, and pets only made the trauma more harrowing.

The Fateful Journey: From Canberra to Mallacoota

In 2021, after relocating to Brisbane, Australia after the bushfires. I decided it was time to confront the trauma and seek closure.  I decided to return to my hometown of Mallacoota where we had lost our home.  After an album launch in Canberra, on 21 August 2022 I hired a car and drove to Mallacoota, a three-hour trip.

It was upon my return to Canberra, two days later, that after parking in my friend’s driveway and exiting the car to retrieve the luggage from the boot of the car, that the vehicle suddenly rolled back and dragged me under it, trapping me.

The Perilous Moment: Trapped in Darkness

That evening as the sun set and I lay in the semi darkness, in light rain and at a wintery temperature of merely two degrees, I realized that all that was stopping the car from completely rolling over me and killing me was my foot and leg, which was well and truly trapped under the wheel. After an eternity, my friends found me and drove me to hospital, where I remained for three weeks. 

It has now been a year and eight months since my accident, and I am still currently on crutches, relearning how to walk. In my book, I reflect on meaning in adversity, and ways of healing, inviting the reader to journey with me as I do so. A good part of the book was written from my hospital bed; whilst I lay, black and blue, in pain, broken, and unable to comprehend what I had just endured.

Connecting Through Creativity: Art, Music, and Writing

Reading this book is like inviting the reader to dip into my own private journal. But instead of keeping my emotions hidden away, my wish is to share them with the world, so that even if my words connect with one reader, my trauma will have been worthwhile. As I see it readers of all ages and demographics will connect with these aspects of healing that I discuss. 

I am an award winning musician and songwriter. Top Ten in the best pop song category in the World songwriting contest 2020. My way of processing trauma is to write, sing, draw and create. This encompasses song lyrics and a selection of my artwork in the book. I am a published poet ‘Love Politics Art Ideas’ 2019 and ‘Messages from The Embers’ Bushfire Anthology   2020. I reside in Brisbane with my partner Jim, one cat and eight birds. 

Excerpt of Review by Barbie Robinson at Living Arts 

“Milena recounts her horrific mishap when said car rolls backwards over her resulting in serious injuries and hospitalization. Enough to daunt a lesser soul, but Milena uses her own pain and the sadness of her fellow patients and finds the strength to bring cheer to others and to contemplate big philosophical questions. That is the essence of this book. It is written to make sense of the experiences that pulled her down. To draw from them and from life itself the lessons she has learnt and now shares with us.

She doesn’t preach or give advice. She simply tells us what has helped her find meaning and purpose. Helped to find new pleasures and to keep going when things were at their bleakest. What buoys Milena will not necessarily buoy someone else. It is the principle that matters here. Finding home, find connection with community. Find the thing, person or animal that gives you comfort in the storm. Find the things you love to do and which allow you to express all that you feel and think.”

Finally, I wish to summarize that I am no expert on trauma, nor on healing; I am merely an ordinary human being that has had some experience of both. Any insights I have gained along the journey, I wish to share, in the hope that I may help others. 

The book is available on this website and amazon.


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