Alone In The Wild

I recently watched a movie called “WILD”, starring Reese Witherspoon (2014). 

It is based on a true story and the autobiography of Cheryl Strayed called “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”.

The movie takes place on the Pacific Crest Trail which spans 2,600 miles (that’s a shitload of kilometers!) in length and runs from the the Mexican/U.S border to the U.S/Canada border. To hike this grueling trail in its entirely would take someone between 5 to 6 months to complete. 

In June of 1995 this remarkable young woman (age 26) decides on a whim to take a much needed time out from her life and ascends on a journey toward self-discovery and healing by hiking 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail over a three month period.

At the start of her expedition, Cheryl had just recently divorced her husband and tragically lost her mother (she was only 45 years old when she died) but throughout the movie we also learn so much more about her traumatic childhood and reckless and destructive youth.

There were so many reasons why I wanted to watch this movie (which Rich discovered one night while channel surfing) and so many more reasons why while watching it I felt an instant connection to Cheryl even though our journeys are so vastly different. 

Of course the movie centered around hiking which was a very big draw for me but what led her on that path (trail) in the first place is what connected me so deeply. 

When I think of self-care it often includes alone time. Yes, being surrounded by other people is critical for our well-being but sometimes it can also create stress in your life as well (something I think many of us can relate to more than ever over the past year). 

Taking time to be with yourself is both vital and beneficial in order to tap into our own thoughts, feelings and experiences. 

Along Cheryl’s journey she met many interesting (and sometimes scary) people and was asked by one of them if she ever got lonely out there all alone but it was because of her time alone (and journaling) that she found the freedom to forge ahead and truly explore her own personal growth and development. 

It’s what gave her the strength and determination to discover the power of healing.

Although I love to hike and I find it especially therapeutic for me and although I quite often need space away from others in order to help me heal I don’t forsee a three month hiking expedition anytime soon in my future. 

For starters, I’d barely make it a mile before getting lost! Perhaps maybe a week alone at a spa would be a better place for me to start?

Where do you like to go when you need some alone time?

#wild #hiking #selfcare #selfdiscovery #therapeutic #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #pacificcresttrail #milesfromhome #writer #blogger #author #journey #beinthemoment #journaling #courage #healing #mindfulness #aloneinthewild @cherylstrayed @reesewitherspoon

Afraid to Disappoint

My final delivery of Grad signs is set to arrive some time later today and then my final delivery will begin. I’m still receiving emails daily from people wanting to order a sign for their Awesome Graduate but I’ve had to tell them “No”, and it’s been really, really hard. My responses to each message have been overloaded with one apology after apology because in my mind I’ve let them down, I’ve let a Graduate down, I’ve let Kids Help Phone down and once again I’ve let myself down too.

I know what you are gonna say but still it’s a constant battle I have with my mind and my heart. I don’t want to disappoint anyone and I need to constantly ensure that everyone else’s happiness comes before mine. My head knows that it’s impossible to please everyone all of the time but my heart is often willing to sacrifice it so that I don’t let anyone down.

But I have said “No” this week too many times now to keep count, I kept my word to those who help me set healthy and emotional boundaries and I stuck to them and with each message I returned in fear of disappointing someone was answered with nothing but respect, understanding and the utmost of support…and of course a tad bit of disappointment too but in themselves for having waited so long to reach out! But hey, life gets busy you know; even during a Pandemic.

Please continue to follow my journey at:

#selfcare #selflove #ichooseme #youarenotalone #justsayno #healthyboundaries #itsoktonotbeok  #youareenough #togetherapart #itsoktosayno #yourhappinessiskey

From A Distance

Bette Midler is one of my all time favorite performers and song writers. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her perform and if you were to ask Rich what my favorite movie or song is, he would probably say Beaches/Wind Beneath My Wings. But right now her song “From A Distance” is stuck in my head and its lyrics are so meaningful. I have a difficult time listening to music as it makes me quite emotional, but this song is worth every tear right now; after all we are one world now, fighting the same war; “From A Distance”. 

What song inspires you?

#togetherapart #windbeneathmywings #beaches  #fromadistance #wereinthistogether #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #music #divinemissm @BetteMidler

From a distance the world looks blue and green
And the snow capped mountains white
From a distance the ocean meets the stream
And the eagle takes to flightFrom a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It’s the voice of hope
It’s the voice of peace
It’s the voice of every manFrom a distance we all have enough
And no one is in need
And there are no guns, no bombs and no disease
No hungry mouths to feedFrom a distance we are instruments
Marching in a common band
Playing songs of hope
Playing songs of peace
They are the songs of every manFrom a distance you look like my friend
Even though we are at war
From a distance I just cannot comprehend
What all this fightings for
From a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
And it’s the hope of hopes
It’s the love of loves
It’s the heart of every man
God is watching us
God is watching us
God is watching us from a distance

Taking A Leap Of Faith

Next month on April 4, 2020 it will be exactly 6 years since I have held a full-time job because it was on that fateful day in 2014 that I walked away from a very toxic and fearful situation at my place of employment and it was on that very day that my life began to unravel, and quickly.  It was on that day that I lost my will to live and I have struggled to find meaning and purpose in my life ever since. I have spent the last 6 years feeling worthless and nothing more than a burden and failure to those who love me.

My illness has taken me down many unpaved and bumpy roads along the way and I have been met with one roadblock after another but at the same time my illness has also opened up so many new and unimaginable possibilities, none of which would have ever happened if not for my illness. Because quite frankly if you were to have asked me 6 years ago if I would have started writing a blog or been able to self-publish a children’s book I’d written on any given topic, let alone, Depression, I’d have looked at you like you were the crazy one!

So I guess that in many ways my illness has helped me find some meaning and some purpose in my life after all because I do know that both my blog and my book have made an impact on many people’s lives and when I’m not too busy putting myself down with all the negative self-talk I can actually feel that impact in my heart and it feels good. It feels so good to know that I have helped make a difference in someone’s life which is why about two and a half weeks ago I decided to take a leap of faith. I certainly didn’t make the decision alone, I consulted with several confidants and loved ones first because if left up to me that same negative self-talk would have slammed the door right in my face.

I’ve mentioned many times through my writing how I feel as though I took so many wrong paths in my life and that I never pursued my passions or desires which ultimately has left me feeling like a worthless failure and a burden to my loved ones for the past 6 years.  So a couple of weeks ago when I came upon a job posting on a local Not For Profit organization’s Facebook page that I follow (and who had taken the time several months ago to post my book on their Social Media channels), it caught my eye and by the time I finished reading the posting I saw my name written all over this job. 

I mean, helping others through my own lived experience with mental illness, isn’t that what I do now?  Isn’t this the path that my illness has led me to? Isn’t this why I started writing my blog or turning a silly idea for a children’s book into reality?  Isn’t this the meaning and purpose I’ve been searching for? Well I only had 24 hours left to answer those questions and many more because by the time I saw the posting on Facebook the deadline was the following day at 5pm. But before I could even take a breath, Rich had already dusted off my resume and began helping me update it (adding children’s book Author did feel quite empowering). I had to take that leap of faith, there seemed to be no turning back after getting so much support and encouragement from loved ones, even my kids seemed excited for me.

For those of you who aren’t sure what the meaning of “leap of faith” is, it’s that if you take a leap of faith you are doing something even though you are not sure it is right or that you will succeed. Well once I hit the send button then began the endless negative self talk again, I mean it chatted up a storm for hours. How could I ever commit to a full time job? I am a failure so why would anyone ever hire me? Oh ya it got even worse, and then I put it out of my head because, well why would they even consider my application? That was until Friday afternoon when I received an email that they would like to meet me next week. I’ve got a whole list of reasons that my negative self talk has told me why I can’t do this job, but I guess now I need to come up with the one reason to prove why I can.

#itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #courage #livedexperience #leapoffaith #purpose #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #blogger #advocacy #wheredidmommyssmilego #amazondotca #author #childrensbook #empowerment #selftalk #selfcare #ichooseme 

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