Healing Through Connection
Every Thursday a small group of women came together at Beyond Body Holistic Wellness to participate in a workshop called, Her Adventurous Spirit. My intention when I created the workshop was to create a safe space for healing and growth, but I didn't realize what was in store for me and my colleague in crime, Sarah Atcheson. We were in the last class of an 8-class series. Over the weeks we watched the women come together, courageously share their vulnerabilities, support each other through their painful realizations, and hold the space for each other with acceptance and compassion. They never missed an opportunity to celebrate with each other in those ‘ah ha’ moments, always contributing a fresh perspective or a nugget of wisdom when needed.
It was on this last night, as we watched these beautiful souls build intimacy and connection with each other, that I had my own epiphany. For the first time, I realized that my vision and inspiration to create this safe healing space, was born from my own struggle with a feeling isolation and disconnection. It was due to these deep hurts that I had turned to personal growth many years before, in hopes of finding a healing balm for myself. I never dreamt that my longing for love and connection would be the catalyst for bringing people together to share genuine moments of heartfelt caring.
I see so many deeply spiritual and heart centred people struggling with loneliness and feeling like they just don’t fit in. The world can be a very cold and uncaring place at times. With all of our busyness, technology and self serve options it's hardly necessary to interact with human beings anymore and when we do, we skiff the surface chit chatting about the weather or the sporting event of the week. Whether we are aware of it or not, the lack of real and meaningful connections with others is a painful experience for all of us.
The journey of healing, building more self esteem, empowering ourselves, etc., is really about learning to love and accept ourselves more. And there is always a more... there is never a limit to who we can become. In my experience, workshops that encourage this deep sharing are some of the most powerful when it comes to healing, self acceptance and self love. We don't learn to love ourselves by hiding the depths of who we are, even when it means exposing our shortcomings and insecurities. These are the things that make us real and we are hard pressed to find true connection if we don't take off our masks.
Life, from my perspective, is much like art. Whether it's a song, novel or painting, the idea is to evoke emotion. We watch the horror movie for the thrill, the tragedy touches our pain, the romantic comedy makes us feel good. If this spectrum of human emotions wasn't beautiful in and of itself, art would seize to exist. Let's face it, life is messy but it can also become very beautiful when we share it's full range of ups and downs with people who will accept and support us anyway. Although I rarely draw and paint anymore, my canvas has literally become three dimensional. When you walk into a workshop room with me, my goal is to allow you the space to express what really lives in you and to work it through like paint on a canvas. My hope is that by the time you leave, you will have reclaimed a piece of true self and tossed aside another misconception of who you thought you should be.
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