New Vision

As a health activist, and as my role as an activist has become more and more defined, I have developed a desire to participate in more “real world” activities related to activism. I get more and more newsletters and updates in my inbox these days. It is great to be alerted to the news and hot topics, etc. Since I am quite active on Twitter I am privy to insight and upcoming events in the field that way as well. It is great to be connected to this passion of mine in these ways, but I am feeling a bit of a disconnect, too, for the first time.

It is interesting to me to see how this has evolved and how I am beginning to feel the need to get out and connect more with my peers, as well as a desire to get more educated! On this journey of mine, since developing Fibromyalgia, I have often felt limited, but as my interests and passions have grown, so has my desire to look outside of my box of limitations.

It really struck me today when I received an email notice from Mental Health America regarding their upcoming annual conference. The theme this year: “Get Connected: Social Inclusion in Wellness and Recovery“. This fits in perfectly in regards to my efforts with the Mental Health and Social Media chat I have developed on Twitter. I have been stung with a pang of the “wish I could’s“! The conference is in June in Washington, D.C. I’ve never been to D.C. before… you see where this is going don’t you? If you feel the need to nominate me to win a free trip to the conference, by all means, don’t hold back!

Other similar events have stung like this recently, too. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Overnight this year is being held in Boston, MA. I have a great desire to go to Boston, for a variety of reasons, and also to support this cause that I hold so very close to my heart. It just isn’t in the works for me this year. (Last year was such a great experience!)

It is actually a great sign to be feeling this way. It means that the fire to take more action in my life is kindled. I have visited with the college I previously attended to see what is needed to go back and complete my degree in Psychology. It may have to wait a short time, but I can see the opportunity coming soon for me to get back to school and accomplish this goal of mine. I would hope that opportunities will continue to come my way in regards to paid work in the area of writing and/or health activism as well. My eyes are open a bit wider to possibilities in my life. It may seem small…but this realization is quite big.

What are you not allowing yourself to see today? Are you closing off possibilities simply by your own vision? I know that I often do just that. I hope to continue peeling back the layers of cloudiness so that I can see more and more possibility each and every day.

In the Calm

I am in the “calm before the storm”, or perhaps I am in the “eye of a tornado”. Whichever way I describe it, I think you get the sense that there is a lot of chaos going on around me. My life has felt very turbulent for some time now, but what is most interesting is that not only am I in the calm before the storm but I am the calm. Facing many impending personal tragedies (or potential triumphs), I am not frantic, panic stricken or working up too much of a frenzy. This amazes me.

I have been, and continue to be on, a slow path to stillness, calm, and serenity. I have not arrived. But here in the midst of this, I can feel it and see the progression, like a movie in my mind, of my travels on this path that allows me now to sit here…calmly. I remember clearly a time when my luggage was lost. This must have been 10 to 12 years ago. I was truly a bit frantic, but I handled it in a better fashion than I had handled things like it previously in my life. Lost luggage is a real button pusher, but I remember that moment and that I felt good that I did not let the situation overwhelm me. That situation was small potatoes compared to the things I face today, but there are perfect parallels in the circumstances.

Today I can choose to “lose it”, to panic, to “freak out”, or I can be still and wait. I don’t mean to just sit and wait for bad things to happen, but I don’t have to sit in fear or frenzy. The things that are beyond my control are going to continue to stay beyond my control, so why not do my best to continue soaking up the sunshine, to feel the Spring breeze on my face and enjoy the laughter of my children?

It’s remarkable how something so seemingly simple or a concept that I have heard many times before suddenly awakens in me at a certain moment in my life…like now.

I can be the calm. I can choose it and I can claim it. Will you?