We came back from San Diego where we saw sea lions, lemon and lime trees
and thousands of blooms everywhere. We had the most incredible time. We
came back to Ontario in a fantasy; it was going to be Spring and the snow would
be gone. We set ourselves up for failure, because that was not the case. We have
even had two snow days in April! Then, Jadyn our daughter had a fever and was miserable and I broke my toe (2nd broken toe in 5 months!).
It seemed like nothing was going our way and I will confess; I had a pity party.
It took a few days to get out of that until I finally decided… ENOUGH! It was
time to accept—acknowledge and allow my feelings—but then get out there
and enjoy what is!
I put on my big winter boots, the only ones I could wear with my broken toe.
I had a beautiful walk with squirrels scurrying around and birds everywhere.
I could hear the water in the creek running and the sounds of Spring coming.
It reminded me: Sometimes we do have to acknowledge and allow our feelings
and have a little pity party. But then we have a choice to move forward. There
are not going to be lemon and lime trees in Muskoka, but the change of the
seasons is certainly a magical time!
I’m going to enjoy every moment I can; broken toes, snow days… all of it.
I am just going to keep loving my life—no matter what—or at least keep trying! May you have the courage to do the same!
I met Stacey Canfield while I was in San Diego, and quickly realized we were kindred spirits. She has embarked on a beautiful journey. Stacey shares:
Back in 2010, I started a movement called, Being a Soul Sitter.
It is a comforting community for people facing the loss of a loved one. It really gives that extra support—in the dying process—for the loved ones who are in the awkward position of having to say goodbye.
The book helps guide you through with a lot of practical tools.
By reading her book, “The Soul Sitter’s Handbook; What to do when a loved
one is dying”, and the wealth of information from her website (excerpt):
You can feel confident as a Soul Sitter.
You can learn to build a bridge that will help you cross each
challenging experience effectively.
You can learn to receive help and support using Soul Sitter tools.
There is a path to peace with each challenging or sorrowful experience In our lives we will have the opportunity to be Soul Sitters.
This will help us to understand the privilege and give you the tools
to be present, to Just Show Up.
The Soul Sitters Handbook
Once a month I share one of my 7 Take Aways, the culmination of my
learning of how to live life to the fullest, learning to grieve and support others
and having “The Talk” about end of life, long before it arrives and diffusing the fear. Today I am sharing Take Away #6; Find Your Post.
As I was going through and figuring out how I wanted to empower myself
and others—I’m learning as I go along just like everyone else—I was developing
the Take Aways; having “The Talk”, being that village for everyone, just showing up for others, showing up for yourself first and structuring your life in such a
way that you were self-reliant. But I felt like something was missing.
So I went to visit 101-year-old Minnie Boyes (Minnie turned 105, March 24th 2018!!). I absolutely love Minnie. She is so wise, although she doesn’t think so.
I asked, “Minnie, what else can I share with people? How can I empower them
in life, grief and death? What is missing?” We talked for a while longer, then
she sat back and casually said, “You know, we all need a post, something we
can hang onto, no matter what, in times of despair!”
I was so excited, because that was my missing piece. We all need a Post. We all have loved ones we can rely on in times of grief (well, hopefully!), but you know, sometimes you can have a Grief Attack in the middle of the night, or five years later or just sometimes when you are alone. You need something internally
or permanent that you can hang onto.
For some people, it is religion, spirituality, yoga, meditation, music or art; something you can rely on, go to, no matter what else is going on, no
matter when, to help you in times of despair. Nature is a wonderful post that
you can visit anytime. It’s what soothes my heart and soul. I go to Nature when
I’m happy, sad or grieving. I feel connected to something wonderful.
I encourage you to sit back and take the time to find your post,
if you haven’t already.
Find Your Post, and Hold Onto It.
I love chatting with Suzanne Witt-Foley. We were talking about mental health first aid…
and ALGEE! I asked Suzanne to explain; (full description of ALGEE below)
Suzanne: In mental health first aid, we learn a set of action steps, a "toolkit" for helping people to feel confident, comfortable and to be successful in supporting someone else.
Yvonne: In supporting you don’t have to fix it, you don’t have to be a professional!
It’s about being that community, that village for people! I think it’s just as important
as learning CPR or first aid.
Suzanne: One in three people will struggle with a mental health issue at some
point in their lives. So if it’s not you, it’s a loved one, a friend, someone close to you or
a colleague. We take CPR and value it because we might save a life. With Mental Health
First Aid you use it all the time and you could also save a life!
Yvonne: Very powerful! I’m honoured to share the following information to
learn more about Suzanne:
Hunters Bay Radio show I Just Showed Up on April 7th (then available on podcast).
Anxiety Warrior Event on April 8th in Bracebridge.
*Elke Scholz wrote Anxiety Warrior and Anxiety Warrior 2.
Suzanne and I each contributed a chapter in the first book.
Suzanne will be sharing information on MHFA at the event.
Suzanne was a guest on my Roger’s TV Show, Real Life Talks
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person developing
a mental health problem, experiencing the worsening of an existing mental
health problem or in a mental health crisis. Just like physical first aid is
provided until medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate support is found or until the crisis is resolved.
You can make a difference!
Yvonne Heath is a Canadian Transformational Speaker, Television Host, Author and creator of the #IJustShowedUp movement.
Author & Coach
Ann McIndoo's Blog
Yvonne's Guest Blog
Life and Death Matters