a great kindness.

I am overwhelmed with emotion.

I have been shown a great kindness today. My community came together and supported me in a way that I never knew possible. Old and new friends, loved ones, and wonderful people I had never met before joined together to help me raise funds for yoga teacher training. It was a beautiful afternoon, with a few tears, and a lot of laughter.

From the bottom of my heart, thank-you to each and every one of you.

I would like to share a song with you, to take you into your weekend (thank-you to a lovely friend who shared the song with me, and a lovely yoga teacher who sang her verson in class this morning). You are light, and I am light.

I Am Light – India Arie

I am light, I am light

I am not the things my family did
I am not the voices in my head
I am not the pieces of the brokenness inside

I am light, I am light

I’m not the mistakes that I have made or any of the things that caused me pain
I am not the pieces of the dream I left behind

I am light, I am light

I am not the color of my eyes
I am not the skin on the outside
I am not my age, I am not my race, my soul inside is all light

All light, all light
I am light, I am light

I am divinity defined
I am the God on the inside
I am a star, a piece of it all
I am light

i won’t quit, i want more.

This blog post has been bubbling up in my throat all day. I knew I had something to write, but as I moved through the motions of my day, I didn’t know what it was yet. It started out as a feeling of anxiety – tightness in my chest and shoulders, feeling like I was going to vomit – and turned into whirling thoughts in my head that I couldn’t stop. I tried everything that normally helps me when I’m feeling this way – writing, reading, painting, meditation, and even a nap – nothing worked. Eventually the tears came.

I have been feeling like a bit of a mess since returning to Ontario. A lot of crying, sleeping, isolating myself, and just a general feeling of overwhelming sadness. I feel weak, physically and mentally, and I feel like giving up; I feel quite a bit like I did when I first moved here.

Here’s the difference between then and now: Now I am able to recognize these feelings. I am able to say to myself, its okay to feel what you’re feeling, but you have to keep going.

So, I went to yoga. I cried the whole way there in the car, but I got my butt into the studio and onto my mat. I inhaled and exhaled until my body knew it wasn’t in fight or flight mode anymore, I was safe. During many points in the class I wanted to just lie down and cry (it wouldn’t have been the first time) but I didn’t. I told myself that after class I could run to my car and cry the whole way home. But I didn’t. I felt just a little calmer, and I felt ready to write.

On the way home, a song came on the radio, and I couldn’t help but turn it as loud as it could go, and sing at the top of my lungs – the lyrics felt fitting for my day.

My body – Young the Giant sings in the song, “My body tells me no / But I won’t quit / Cause I want more”.

And I won’t quit. Not today.

adjusting, again.

It was really hard for me to leave Newfoundland, for a second time in three months. Even though I was only there for a week, it took no time at all to adjust back to the way of life I lived while I was happy there: surrounded by friends and family, walks along the harbour, and meals at my favourite restaurants. It was perfect.

But I had to say farewell once again, because as I said in my post last week, my journey to health is here.

What I didn’t expect was how I would feel when I got back to Ontario. I felt out of place, unwanted, unwelcomed. I felt alienated from my family here, and instead of talking to them about it, I isolated myself from them. I felt as though they should have known how hard it was for me to come back here again – but after taking some time to think about the skills I learned in my therapy program, I realized this was an unrealistic expectation of them. They are not mind readers, and I offered no line of communication. In the end, I made it harder on myself by choosing to be alone.

This isn’t the first time I have felt this way. When I first moved here three months ago, I just wanted to be alone in my room and cry. On top of my other diagnoses, my psychologist diagnosed me with something called adjustment disorder: moving back to Ontario to live with my parents while finalizing my divorce was all too much for me. I couldn’t adjust properly to my surroundings, which therefore caused added stress in my life and in my relationships.

Part of this disorder is explained here as:  “You experience more stress than would normally be expected in response to a stressful event”.  I would say this is something I experienced travelling back from Newfoundland this past Friday.

What I would like to work on is knowing that contentment is within myself, and not within a place – I won’t find it in an apartment, or a city, and not in a province. It is here, in my heart, and wherever my heart takes me.

until next time.

As I mentally prepare myself to leave this little island for the second time in three months, I am reminded of a song that my father sang to me as a young girl. His deep baritone voice washed away my cares from the day, and lulled me to sleep in just minutes.

The song, Isle of Newfoundland, sung here by Roy Payne, can be listened to by clicking the link, and you can read along to the lyrics below. (blog post continues after)

Isle of Newfoundland 

In the cold Canadian waters north from the coast of Maine
There’s an island called Newfoundland swept by snow wind and rain
On the island there’s a village with its customs and its ways
The little town of Carmanville my home of childhood days

Those childhood days were something carefree all the time
There’s a girl in every story and you know there’s one in mine
She broke my heart so often and it stays a little sore
That’s the reason I left home and can’t go back no more

Where the people make a living on the land and on the sea
There are people on the island that mean the world to me
I wish I had the power to change the course of time
And live again in Newfoundland my home of childhood times

I’d like to watch the fishing boats as they sail across the bay
To see again the farmers sow his seeds and cut the hay
Well this island has no strangers cause everybody is your friend
This little isle called Newfoundland oh I’d sure love to see it again

To live again in Newfoundland my home of childhood times

 

Since arriving here on Friday morning, I have felt that my departure date has been looming over my head (I even extended my flight by four days). So why must I leave? Because my journey to health begins in Ontario, and, while it shatters my heart to leave my family, my friends, and a great love, I know that to be the best version of myself, I have to step forward into the unknown.

So – here’s to Newfoundland, and my next few days enjoying everything it has to offer. And to everyone else taking their steps into the unknown, I will leave you with a Newfoundland blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
Long may your big jib draw.

shannon

St. John’s Harbour

when the night comes.

Sometimes, when I go to sleep at night, I silently tell each of my loved ones how deeply I care for them, and then I apologize, as I wish with all my strength that I won’t wake up in the morning.

I have spent countless hours over this past month, staring at this screen. Typing – deleting – typing – deleting – typing – smashing the laptop screen shut. I felt pressure – pressure to have the perfect first post. It is, after all, my first blog, and I want to catch the readers’ attention. I want to hook you all in, so you will subscribe and follow me and I can touch the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands.

No.

That is a pressure that I created in my head – no one put that pressure on me, but myself. The purpose of starting this blog is not to gain followers. The purpose of this blog is to have an outlet for my brain. An outlet for the thoughts that creep into my head when I’m falling asleep at night, or walking, or at a party, or at yoga. A place to write down my trials and tribulations, but also my strengths, and happy moments. Or maybe post an article that has helped me through a tough moment, or perhaps a piece of advice from a friend that I hold dear to my heart.

I invite you to come along on my journey. Adventure with me as I challenge myself to live a better life. I have much to tell you about my past, and if you’ll listen, I will share.

Shan

As a side,  I would like to thank my friend Jillian, for sometimes knowing me better than I know myself. She suggested an amazing song, part of which ultimately became the title of my blog.

Please have a listen to When the Night Comes by the talented Dan Auerbach