I had a massive headache yesterday that wouldn’t quit after typing. I don’t know if it’s the computer screen, the exercise ball I sit on or what but…ouch. Trying again. Hoping for no pain…
I have a new idea taking better and clearer shape of what I long to do, be have. I want to be helping those forgotten in our society-our returning soldiers and those returning to society after being an inmate. I want to help them with tools for integration back into society and healing. I feel like I have a unique set of skills & experiences to help this group of people because of my military service and disease diagnosis. Both of those events have made it difficult and challenging to return to normal society and care about other humans and their little problems. I helped people directly in the military, specifically when I was in training to be a medical technician. I held traction for someone’s compound fracture, I helped another to the restroom, I witnessed two births. I actively helped, got my hands dirty and almost passed out multiple times in the direct service of another. It was hard to return to regular civilian life. Folding shirts at Express just didn’t matter much. No life-altering stuff happening there. Trivial. Then I got a disease diagnosis (MS) and other people’s problems seems silly and stupid in comparison. Your dishwasher isn’t working? How cares? I have a disease which eats my brain, has no cure, is chronic and debilitating. You want me to give a shit about your problems?! Please. These two events specifically have made it extra hard for me to feel compassion for “regular” society. “Regular” society seems filled with whiners. RANGER UP! Maybe that’s part of the reason I just can’t deal with social media. So fake. So scripted. So edited. So photoshopped. The whole concept of “like” and Facebook “friend” makes me want to throw up. So. Yuck.
I have also had the unique privilege of teaching yoga to youth in a Juvenile Detention Center. This population is in desperate need of tools to help them throughout their lives. These children have been born into situations I cannot even imagine and made choices that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Choices. Need tools.
Plus, I have lead my own support group for those diagnosed with MS. Sharing our stories, struggles and triumphs has been difficult and rewarding. Helping them find the light in even the darkest of dreary of situations has been my goal. I don’t want people to survive. I want them to thrive. Shine bright. Radiate! We have it inside each of us, sometimes life dulls the sheen. It’s still there. Waiting to be revealed.
I would like to offer workshops and play days of fun, healing tool sharing. I want the attendees to leave with a sense of comfort, a feeling of being seen, and empowered. I want to provide them with tools-yoga, writing & art journaling specifically, which they can use for the rest of their lives. Creative practices to fall into when times are hard. Things to create with their hands to keep their minds from falling into deep trenches of anxiety, depression & despair. I want to provide them with kites (and kits) to help buoy their spirits and give them a lift. I believe in the power of affirmation cards, writing down gratitude and taking photos of the beauty around. I want them to feel appreciated, needed & wanted in this space. Safe, seen and loved. They deserve this. Everyone does.
I would like their to be a community created by these people, for these people. A place they can go to talk, listen, share and be supported. Online would be grand but I want the original community to be a face-to-face thing. I want to look into the eyes of those who want help, find out what they need and work for them to get them the support & kindness they merit.
I know I don’t have the psychology degree, the yoga certification or years of art journaling experience. I do have, however, a deep desire and well of compassion for helping others. I have experienced first hand the healing powers of yoga and writing in my own journey and struggles. I am an excellent organizer and connector of people. I want to be the one talking about these events, spreading the word, getting out in the community and receiving support. I want to work for this group of people. Our soldiers have given so much for us and our youth are the future. Perhaps these two groups can help each other. I want to facilitate that meeting!
Maybe a non-profit. Maybe workshops held frequently to start spreading the sunshine. Maybe videos to be posted online to reach out to the ones who aren’t ready to be in a group. A forum, a place to talk.
I am not sure what the next step in this journey is but I feel like this is the right path.
I am one who usually plans everything and then doesn’t want to do anything. So much thought and time go into the planning that I am burnt out when the steps need to be taken. I want the plan to be perfect and I want a guarantee of what it will look like at the end. My vision. Perfect. Not possible. Planning is fun and safe. I can’t mess up if I don’t step forward. I can’t fail if I never move.
I want this to be different. Organic. One step at a time. Unfolding like a flower blooms. Like the sun rises-on ray at a time. Breaking through the clouds, over the horizon to shine light on us all. I want help. I want connection. I want us to hold hands to help our returning soldiers and inmates. To lift them up. To help them shine.
Arms open. Hands open. Receive. Love.