I had a busy and productive week as I traveled to Quebec City to deliver mental health self-care workshops to colleagues. Although I presented this workshop over twenty times in English, this was a new challenge: I would be co-presenting with a colleague and in French, my second language, for the first time. This work required me to step out and through a sea of old doubts, fears, self-limiting beliefs and thought patterns. (And yes, I chose to do this!)
After much preparation and stepping into the challenge with blind faith, I’d say we had a very successful week. I started each day with prayer and meditation and reminded myself and my colleague that it was about the message, not the messengers. Also, I made a point to remember my original goal in doing these workshops: if I helped even one person have more courage and hope in the face of mental health challenges, everything I’ve been through and the work I do today, would definitely be worth it. I’m grateful and can say with 100% confidence that we achieved this goal many times over this week. It was indeed worth it!
As I stepped off the airplane on Friday evening, I was tired and relieved to have the week successfully behind me. I was also very aware that I was floating somewhat off the ground, much like a balloon that had been released into the sky, eventually deflating and floating back down to earth. Even though I fully expected this and tried to ensure a gentle landing, there has been some turbulence these last few days which has left me feeling vulnerable and wondering what this process is all about. Here’s what I’ve concluded:
- There is just some law that says “what goes up, must come down”. No exceptions, even if I insist and try to deny it exists.
- I handle stress and chaos quite well. They are in my comfort zone. Having quiet down time is challenging, especially after flying high on adrenaline for a period of time. I prefer being in my comfort zone.
- Structure (even chaotic structure) gives me predictability. Predictability brings me security. I like feeling secure.
- There is still a part of me that is much more comfortable “doing” rather than “being”. This is especially true when I’m tired and vulnerable and my body’s nervous system has been on high alert for an extended period of time. The rest my body needs seems to be the last thing I feel secure in offering it. Again, moving keeps me safe and sitting and just “being”makes me an easy target. I don’t like being an easy target.
- I’m afraid that if I slow down and just be, I will be overcome with feelings that will eventually lead to a visit from the Black Dog of Depression. As courageous and confident as I try to be in keeping him controlled and on his leash, I still get scared. I really don’t like being scared.
This is another gentle reminder that I am a “lifer” in the School of Life. Every experience has something to teach me and only when I learn the necessary lessons, do I get to move on to the next class. I want to live and learn with grace and gratitude (even when I’m repeating classes).
Love and blessings my friends,